The Breton spaniel is an excellent pointer

What is a Pointing Dog ?


Gir and Eliote de Keranlouan

A retaining dog is a hunting dog which, by immobilizing itself, has the capacity to hypnotize a game it has within its reach.

This ability to find and stop birds and other game is due to his natural instincts, skills enriched by selection and training.

The Brittany Spaniel, originally from Central Brittany, is one of the most famous and widespread guide dogs in the world.


The different categories of Pointers

We distinguish first of all the continental races and the English races.
The continental races originate from the European continent: shorthaired pointer, spaniel …

The English races are the setter, to point…

In addition, a distinction is made between short-haired, and long-haired pointers.

Short-haired Pointing Dogs

In this category, we will mainly mention: the Pointer, the French Braque type Pyrenees and Gascogne type, the Braque d’Auvergne, the Braque du Bourbonnais, the Braque Saint-Germain, the Braque de l’Ariège, the German Braque, the Braque short haired Weimaraners, Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer, Hungarian Wirehaired Pointer, Italian Shorthaired Pointer.

Long-haired, or medium-haired Pointing Dogs

This category mainly includes the Long-haired Weimaraner, the Brittany Spaniel, the French Spaniel, the Picardy Spaniel, the Blue Picardy Spaniel, the Pont-Audemer Spaniel, the German Spaniel, the Spaniel from Münster, the Spaniel of Saint-Usuge.
The Brittany Spaniel is clearly a medium-haired dog.


Gir de Keranlouan

The natural qualities of the guide dog

Pointers have natural qualities inherited from their ancestors.

These basic qualities have not stopped developing over time thanks to the bond that some breeders have been able to create and maintain with their dogs.

In some breeds like the Brittany Spaniel, the stop instinct is not only innate, but also surprisingly precocious.
Brittany Spaniel puppies are able to stop from 2 months of age, under the best conditions.

There are two types of stops:

  • arrest on sight, the dog stops at the sight of a game/li>
  • stop to nose, the dog stops when he perceives the emanation of game, without necessarily seeing it. It is less frequent because it requires a very thorough education.

Pointing dog belongs to Group 7

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale [ FCI ] which represents the World Canine Organization, has classified pointers in “group 7” among the 10 groups which bring together the different breeds of dogs.

  • Group 1 : Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Guard and defense dogs, mainly herds
  • Group 2 : Pinscher and Schnauzer dogs – Mountain dogs and Swiss herdsmen
  • Group 3 : Terriers. They flush out burrowing game and are also excellent companion dogs
  • Group 4 : Dachshunds. Dog ideal for hunting underground due to its short legs. Also a pet dog
  • Group 5 : Spitz and primitive type dogs. Mainly intended for hunting
  • Group 6 : Common dogs, blood research dogs and related breeds. Pursuit of game, mainly in packs
  • Group 7 : Pointing dogs. Group together different breeds whose common point is to mark the approach to game
  • Group 8 : Production dogs, game dogs and water dogs. Also excellent companion dogs
  • Group 9 : Dogs for pleasure and companionship. Strong attachment to humans. Soft and non-aggressive character
  • Group 10 : Greyhounds. Are distinguished by their exceptional speed, as well as a poorly developed sense of smell.

Training, or training the retriever

It is preferable to use a method of gentle education where you will be attentive to your dog and attentive to its natural qualities, than an arbitrary training consisting in subjecting the dog to your orders, which will have the consequence of limiting the expression of his abilities.

Pointing dog education consists of optimizing the qualities of the dog inherited from its parents, such as the quest or search for game, the rise in emanation, and the stop itself.

The Quest or Search for Game

Depending on the exercise conditions, the dog adapts its way of collecting. When it searches in the wind, it moves in a series of laces, nose in the air to capture the emanation of a game carried by the wind.

When the dog runs with the wind on its back, it will look for the scent left by the game on the ground, which it will track. Or else, he will try to go “downwind” to better capture the smell.

Ascent of Emanation

As soon as the dog smells of game, he will adjust his quest by shortening his shoelaces to concentrate in the field of emanation.

The ascent is to zigzag inside a cone-shaped area until you get close enough to the prey. Then the dog freezes and marks the stop.

The operation is delicate because the bird should not fly until the master is able to shoot.


Hostard, Gir and Eliote de Keranlouan

Immobilization of the dog or Stop position

The stopped dog immobilizes the bird with a hypnotic effect.

The hunter can calmly join his dog.

This is when the dog will “sink” to discreetly approach the bird, which will at some point take flight.

The well-trained Pointing Dog has positioned itself so as not to interfere with its owner or endanger itself.
The hunter only has to adjust his shot, and finally order the dog to go and bring the game.

The reference book on dog training

We recommend that you read Patrick Morin’s book Les Secrets des KeranlouanrnLa Bible du Chasseur au Chien d’Arrêt, an essential book on the training of hunting dogs.

The Pointing Dog in Brief

While pointer dogs are said to have excellent hunting instincts, most breeds of pointer dogs are also found to be pleasant companion dogs.

The watchwords of the training dog are the quest or research of the game, the ascent of the emanation, the stop then the report of the dog, and finally the reward of the master.

The Brittany Spaniel is an internationally renowned guide dog :

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