Showsight Presents The Pointer

JUDGING THE POINTER

“Reatta” was a National Specialty winner. She was owned by Den & Elsa Lawler and Cindy Lane.

A terra cotta sculpture by Richard Fath. Ch. Counterpoint’s Lord Ashley, shown by Corky Vroom and owned by William Metz. He was a Number One Pointer and a Westminster Group winner. He was the sire of Ch. Truewithem A Taste of Triumph.

proudly, the tail lashing from side to side. In this country, a lot of emphasis is put on movement, looking for tremendous reach and drive. However, the dog should never lose his outline when mov- ing. The Pointer should not get longer and lower when moving. The head should not be facing the ground. Wasted motion such as hackney gait and pounding movement are also faulty. The Pointer may be black, lemon (flesh-colored nose), orange (black pigment) or liver, either solid or in combination with white. The lemon Pointer will have a hazel eye as it is genetically impos- sible for them to have a darker eye. Unfortunately, this often con- fuses many judges as they look at the lighter eye of a lemon as a fault. Our standard does not address the proportions of the breed as it is covered in other standards. It does, however, mention “compact power” and “loins of moderate length.” Therefore, most Pointer breeders agree that the Pointer is just off-square. The height of the body from the withers to the ground is equal to, or slightly less than, the length of the body from the front of the forechest to the rear proportion of the upper thigh. I feel that if you keep these points in mind, you will be com- fortable judging the Pointer and will be able to reward the dog that best exemplifies our standard—a Pointer that could go out and do a day’s work in the field and go into the show ring the next day. Anyone wanting to see the American Pointer Club’s Illus- trated Standard or our Power Point Presentation as well as sev- eral informative articles on the breed, please visit our website at www.americanpointerclub.org.

The purists in the breed will tell you that the two most impor- tant physical characteristics of the Pointer are the head and the tail. The correct Pointer tail is thicker at the base and tapers to a fine point. Never docked, the tail should not reach below the hock in length. It should be carried straight without curl, and lash from side to side when moving. The tail can be either carried straight off the back or as high as 20 degrees above the back. The Pointer should never carry its tail between its legs. People in the breed often refer to the ideal Pointer tail as a “bee-sting” tail. It is an extremely short, tapered tail and is carried perfectly straight and lashes from side to side when the dog is in motion. One would never see the need to measure this tail as it would fall well short of the hock. In 1906, William Arkwright wrote in his The Pointer and His Predecessors , “...while the head is the hallmark of the breed, for the certificate of blue blood, apply at the other end.” It was at the turn of the last century in the development of the breed in England that Pointers were crossed with Foxhounds and Greyhounds. Mr. Arkwright was very vocal in his opposition to the crosses. He felt that the tail was an indicator of hound crosses. He had good reason to be concerned as, to this day, we can see several hound charac- teristics in our breed: lack of stop, round bone, cat feet, exagger- ated tuck-up, lack of tuck-up and skirting, long ropy tails devoid of tapering, sickle tails, long ears with rounded tips, flat croups and also steep croups. Any hound characteristic is wrong in the Pointer and should be penalized. A good Pointer’s gait is as much a part of breed type as his head and tail. The gait should be strong and powerful. The head is held

Ch. Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, bred by Cheryl LaDuc, owned by Sean & Tammy McCarthy & Helyne Medeiros, and handled by Michael Scott. All-time top-winning Pointer with 117 All-Breed Bests in Show and three National BISSs—all in 16 months of showing.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 279

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