Pointer Breed Magazine - Showsight

ACCEPTABLE as parti-colored or solid- colored! A rudimentary knowledge of color inheritance will make anyone understand that the solid color coat pattern is DOMI- NANT to a parti-color. As such, this is proof positive that solid colored Pointers have been part of this breed since its initial stages. (“A good Pointer cannot be a bad color.”) Th ere is absolutely no di ff erence in bone structure, type or movement between parti-colors and solids. Solids may appear to some as lighter in bone but that is an optical illusion, just as wearing darker clothing is supposed to make one appear less rotund! Solid colored Pointers have been exis- tence as a coloration pattern since the breed’s beginnings, in other words, for centuries. Th ey are quite commonly seen in Scandinavian countries and throughout Europe, where they are widely accepted and appreciated. Th ey are much less known in this country and as such, they are seldom seen at dog shows and field events. White markings in varying amounts are found on solid Pointers in the usual locations such as the chin, throat, chest, face blaze, stomach, paws, legs and tail tips. Th ere are no “faults” as to coloration or markings in this breed, so evaluating a Pointer based on its color and/or markings demonstrates a complete lack of knowl- edge about the breed. A Pointer’s tail tells the tale. It is truly indicative of proper breed type, and atten- tion to this appendage indicates a clear

understanding of the breed standard. Tails should be thicker at the onset and taper gently, becoming more slender and ending in a point. Th e tail can allowably be quite shorter than to the hock, but should not be longer than to the hock. (“Heavier at the root, tapering to a fine point.”) Th e breed’s scent hound inclu- sion in its heritage evinces occasionally with the tail being thick, long and ropey. Keep in mind that the operative verbiage is (“...tapering to a fine point”). If the tail appears to end bluntly, check the end for docking as this should be penalized in the judging process, despite not being the innocent dog’s fault. (“Length no greater than to hock. A tail longer than this or docked must be penalized. Carried with- out curl, and not more than 20 degrees above the line of the back: never carried between the legs.”) To quote the again the most quoted Mr. Arkwright’s opinion of true Pointer type: “ Th ere is a saying about the pedigree being carried on the back, but in this case it is told by the tail. Th e head is invaluable for showing the character of the dog, but for a certificate of blue-blood apply at the other end!” (Arkwright, 1901) Th e most important aspect of all is that Pointers are perfect pets! Th ey are great as family dogs, they are clean, calm, intelligent and very “catlike” as house pets. Th ey like warm, sunny places to curl up and sleep. Th ey like to “sleep in.”

Th ey burrow under blankets and groan and moan when asked to get up too early in the morning. Th ey like to have a toy box in the family room and collect toys, sometimes hoarding them in the most unusual places. Th e general public does not really seem to know that much about Point- ers, especially as pets. Th e recent Range Rover® television commercial featuring the solid black Pointer has been a boon for its recognition, however. Th e main- stream public has vague recollections of “grandpa and his bird-dawgs.” But they were seldom treated as pets. Th is breed has diverged in America since the import in the 1870s of the Pointer, Sensation, from England. Sensation was the West- minster Kennel Club’s Pointer which is still used as its logo. Field-trialing hunters have selected (and even cross- bred with GSPs) for high tails, small- ish, slightly bowed bodies and abso- lutely wired temperaments. Over 98% of rescued Pointers are field-bred variety. Pointers are the Cadillac® of bird dogs because they were bred properly, with proper conformation as well as instinct intact in their native countries, and the divergent variety of field dogs in America has created a dire situation with rescue when discarded by hunters. Th e Ameri- can conformation-bred Pointers and the Continental Pointers, as well as Scandi- navia and British Isles, are one and the same—beautiful, can work all week in

196 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2014

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