Showsight Presents The Pointer

or higher when excited. Th e ear should reach no further than to the lower jaw. A scissors or level bite is acceptable. t Front assembly: Th ere is an old saying, “should he toe in he is out; should he toe out he is in.” Toeing out is usually associated with young stock. Th ey often grow out of this tendency by the time they reach 12-15 months of age. How- ever, toeing in is often associated with problems in the humerus, rib spring, and front angulation. Proper muscle development and conditioning should be examined. (Refer to Figure 2 for a proper front view.) Th e width of the fore chest is only as wide as is necessary to support a proper shoulder. (Refer to Figure 3 for a proper front assem- bly side view.) You must train your eye to visualize the layback of the scapula (remem- ber to follow its mid-rib), and the angle formed with respect to the humerus or upper arm. Most breed authorities concur with the observation the optimal angle of the scapula is 45 degrees, and the humerus should meet the Scapula to form an angle of 90 degrees. In the ring, you often do not see these optimal angles. However, the elbow should set directly under a vertical line drawn from the point of the withers to the front pad. Th e front assembly is the most signi fi cant load bearing structure in the pointer. Th ere should exist little doubt, the front is the most important structure of the dog’s skeleton. Refer to McDowell Lyon 7 and Edward Gilbert 5 for more critical analyses of dog structure. Both texts explore in detail the structural aspects and establish an excellent rationale for a proper Pointer front assembly and angulation. t Feet are oval more to the hare in shape, never cat-footed, it is faulted in this breed. Th e pointer foot is premier in its ability for work a fi eld. Th e toes are well arched and accompanied with strong pads. In the fi eld, a quick burst of speed, followed by abrupt turns, and pulling up abruptly to freeze in a statuesque point, hinge on a proper foot to support this action. We see a similar shaped foot in several hound breeds such as the Saluki, Afghan hound, Greyhound, and Whippet. All these dogs are built for speed and quick

attributes, and exciting to watch its action when the Pointer is working on game. In the show ring, a tail should lash in small arcs. Th is is characteristic of the ideal tail action. t Rear assembly of the Pointer pro- vides powerful propelling action with well developed thighs. Th e upper thigh should not be weedy and over- ly re fi ned. Th e hocks are short and strong, i.e. well let down. Th e Pointer rear angulation should balance with the front angulation. A well angu- lated rear does not mean overly angu- lated. Th e standard calls for decided angulation as evidence of power and endurance. Th e judge should look for balance that supports proper reach and drive. Straight fronts and rears are to be avoided in the breed. Summary Th e fi ve key attributes composed of head, front, feet, rear and tail were pre- sented. I proceed to add some additional details to the fi ve key attributes. Sound- ness and temperament help round out the key components of the breed. As previous- ly noted, the two attributes that speak to breed type are the head and tail, more than any other attribute of the breed. Selective breeding, to ensure good specimen replica- tion, is paramount to guarantee long term success for this breed’s type. Th e Pointer’s symmetry is a series of graceful curves. Th e curve comprised from the Occiput, down the neck that should fi t smoothly into the shoulders, across the short back and moderate length loin to fi n- ish at the tail should form a smooth curve. Th e underline curve begins at the point of the elbow that meets the brisket follows on to the tuck up and fl ows across the thigh, upper thigh and fi nishes at well let down hocks. Th e curves represent an excellent test to assess how everything fi ts together, i.e. the Pointer’s overall image is re fl ected in these curves, the curves of symmetry. Th e pointer should stand over ground: he is not a square dog. Relative ratios come into play again. From the point of shoulder to point of Ischium it is slightly longer than height at the withers. Th e optimal inclination of the pelvis should be 30 degrees. Th e bone

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

turns. Th e pasterns should be fi ner in bone and slant slightly. Th e pastern serves as an additional shock absorp- tion structure. Short, thick upright pasterns are to be avoided in this breed. t Tail carried level with the back, may be slightly elevated above the top line in the AKC standard, and lashed from side to side. It is thick at the root with the third Caudal vertebrae somewhat enlarged, then tapering to a fi ne point. Its length has been the object of con- siderable debate, but it should reach no further than to the hock. Th is is consis- tent with many sporting dog standards. Historically, the tail has been likened to a wasp or bee sting; however, the stan- dard calls for neither. In fact, historical- ly, the documentation in many paint- ings, illustrates a lovely pump handle tail, which follows a lazy S-curve. One cannot lose sight of the artistic works of Maud Earl, Deportes, Oudry, Blinks, Osthous, and others, who document- ed the pointer from the 17th century onward. Th e quality of the Pointer tail is one of the breed’s most important

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