THE VERSATILITY OF THE POINTER—FACT OR FICTION??? By Debra Pereira T he Pointer breed stan- dard states “ Th e ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace; the head noble,
until the handler arrives.” Th is inclination to work away from the handler while still taking directions can be an asset in canine sports such as agility—allowing the handler to ‘send’ the dog to an obstacle while mini- mizing the distance the handler must trav- el—ultimately resulting in faster run times. While in general the breed is well suited to performance events, it is important to consider the ultimate goals for your canine teammate when evaluating potential pup- pies in a litter. While important in all ven- ues for pups to be brave and bold, for sports like agility I also like to see a very strong play and toy drive. I personally love naugh- ty puppies—it’s fun to direct that positive energy into desired performance behaviors. Some of our top agility Pointers have come from Pointer rescues—don’t discount the suitability of a rescue if you are looking for a potential performance partner. To highlight the versatility of the Pointer, the American Pointer Club o ff ers awards at the National Specialty for Point- ers competing in fi eld, obedience, rally, agility, and conformation venues. Depend- ing on the number of di ff erent venues each dog participates in, they are eligible to receive the coveted “MVP” award. Th is program was established to encourage Pointer owners to venture out and try new types of events with their dogs, and it has been a great success with participation at record levels at the 2013 Pointer Nationals. Th ere are so many di ff erent venues available to participate in with your Point- er, it’s important to fi nd the ones that make you and your dog the happiest. It’s not about the competition; at the end of the day a national ranking means nothing if we aren’t having fun with our dogs. Our canine partner’s lives are much too short, fi nd what they love and help them do it! Is the Pointer a versatile breed? De fi nitely a FACT!
proudly carried; the expression intelligent and alert; the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an ani- mal whose every movement shows him to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man.” Pointers are not often seen in perfor- mance events such as agility or obedience, but it is not because they do not have the desire or the ability to excel. Th ey are will- ing and able competitors, and their ath- leticism enables them to perform at the top levels with appropriate training. Th eir exu- berant and even mischievous nature can be misleading as they can be very sensitive when they think they have made a mistake. Above all else they want to please their human teammate. Because of this sensitiv- ity, you should always reward the positive and try to ignore mistakes to maintain enthusiasm, and look for frequent oppor- tunities to give your Pointer the chance to be successful in every training session. It is important to understand each breed’s natural inclinations when consider- ing training approaches to other venues such as agility or obedience. Th e American Point- er Club website describes the Pointer in the fi eld as “very biddable, personable dogs that have one thing on their mind when let loose in hunting terrain, and that is to fi nd birds. Because of this, they tend to run hard, fast, and cover as much ground as possible to accomplish their aim. As the Pointer may be a considerable distance from the handler at the time of the bird- fi nd, he must also be trainable, so that he will “stand” his bird
Ch Black Alder Laughing Annie JH CD RE NFP MJP2 MXP3 MXPB CGC CHIC, “Annie” was the APC’s 2013 Champion of Health award recipient. She is 6 years old.
Black Alder Denali JH NJP OAP NF AX OAJ, “Deena” is 2 years old.
BIO Debra Pereira has owned Pointers for the past 15 years, and has competed in con- formation, obedience, rally, agility, hunt tests, and field trials. Her Pointers have titled in all types of events, and they have been ranked in the top Pointers in multi- ple venues over the past several years. Her Pointers Deena and Annie won the High in Trial Agility and High in Trial Agility- Preferred respectively at the recent Pointer Nationals. Frequently the only Pointers at local all-breed agility trials, her Pointers are great ambassadors for the breed high- lighting their versatility. More informa- tion on Deb and her Pointers can be found on her website www.agiledogz.com.
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