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Posts Tagged ‘German pointer’

These dogs are HPR’s and were made up of black and white dogs that were registered as German long-hairs.

They will point and retrieve bird, rabbits, and hares, and then you can take them out to track wild boar or red deer.

The idea of a specialist dog, which we Anglo-Saxons worship, is an anathema to those on the European continent, especially in the German-speaking countries.

Medieval German law allowed free commoners to hunt in royal forests, but over time, this right was severely restricted until only German nobles had the right to hunt.  Following the (failed) revolutions of 1848 in the German states, German commoners were given access to the hunting forests once again.

At the time, the majority of Germans were living in urban areas or on very small farms. They were also working and middle class, and these hunting commoners could not afford to keep kennels filled with specialist dogs. They had to have generalist dogs.

Further, when many German states had very high dog taxes. Taxation limited the number of dogs a person could keep.

These high dog taxes and a more “proletarian” hunting culture mean that Germans would always prefer the generalized dog over the specialist.

That’s why these HPR’s are so versatile. They won’t take the place of English pointers or Labradors or hog-dogging curs, but they can do more.

Of course, even these specialist dogs can learn to do a wide variety of tasks. It’s just the most of English-speaking world thinks dogs should be specialized.

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One of the parts of Raymond Coppinger’s book with which I most disagree is the notion that these specialist dogs are motor pattern dependent. In his scenario, a pointer can’t kill anything because it has inherited a selectively bred predatory motor pattern that stalls out at during the stalking behavior. A retriever cannot kill anything either because it doesn’t have the killing bite behavior or the “shake to break its neck” behavior. Livestock guardians have no predatory behavior whatsoever.

Having known a golden retriever that was an obsessive retriever and also very good rabbit killer, I can say that this is mostly bogus.

I don’t know if Coppinger consulted with any German hunters when it postulated his theories on motor pattern dependence, but if he did, I think they would set him straight fairly quickly.

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The Württemberg pointer was a German gun dog, a derivative of the old Spanish pointer, which still exists today.

These heavier pointers were the first of the index dogs.

The Spanish pointer is most likely the oldest variety.

In fact, although the term “spaniel” is thought to reflect the Spanish origin of those dogs, it is more likely that the pointers were first founded in Spain.

Spaniels most likely derive from red and white hunting dogs of the Gallic Celts.

This dog was replaced by the faster moving Kurzhaar (German short-haired pointer).

The Kurzhaar was also derived from the Spanish pointer.

However, it is a lighter pointer that has evolved into an HPR.

The Kurzhaar is the best-known of the German HPR’s, and the Württemberg pointer no longer exists.

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