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10 Spanish Pointer Temperament Traits You’re Going to Love (or NOT)

As a hunting dog with a family dog disposition, the Spanish Pointer temperament is ideal for an active family who would like a sporting dog that’s also great with children.

She’s a highly skilled combination of scent hound and pointer. She’s a hard-working, athletic dog who needs an active family and a lot of room to run.

Spanish Pointer Temperament

1. Intelligent

This is a very bright dog that learns easily. She does several jobs well, combinations that you don’t normally see in one dog.

2. Obedient

The Spanish Pointer temperament is eager to please. She will happily do what you ask of her.

3. Energetic

The Spanish Pointer is an energetic dog who needs a lot of exercise. This is the key to successfully living with this breed.

If your family isn’t an active one, the Spanish Pointer would not be a good choice for you.

4. Loyal

The Spanish Pointer temperament is loyal to all family members. She will even be protective of the children. This breed forms close bonds with the family and doesn’t like to be left alone for long.

She would like nothing more than to be included in all your family activities.

5. Gentle

She has a sweet, gentle personality and is patient with kids if they are raised together. With good socialization, she is great with them.

She is tolerant of rough play. Playing with the kids would be a great way to burn off some of her energy.

The Spanish Pointer temperament can even be protective of them.

6. Calm

When she gets enough exercise, she will be quiet and relaxed at home. She is not much of barker.

7. Dog-friendly

The Spanish Pointer gets along quite well with other dogs, but it’s still a good idea to socialize her to them. It will teach her how to deal with dogs who might not be so friendly.

8. Prey Drive

As a bird dog, the Spanish Pointer Dog has a strong prey drive toward birds. She may also chase other small animals unless they are raised together.

9. Stranger-wary

The Spanish Pointer temperament is pretty good with strangers, but she is a little wary of them. She needs to be socialized to them.

10. Athletic

This dog is prized by hunters for her sure-footedness on various terrains, including water. She is an agile runner and a good swimmer.

As agile and athletic as she is, she would do well in dog sports such as agility, rally, or hunting trials. These would also be great activities to satisfy her need for exercise.

Spanish Pointer History

The exact Spanish Pointer origin is uncertain, though the breed goes back at least as far as 1600 on the Iberian peninsula.

Most historians believe she descends from the Old Spanish Pointer or Perdigeuro Navarro. While some think that these are the same dog, they are actually two separate breeds.

The Old Spanish Pointer is thought to be the ancestor of most of today’s pointing breeds. The list includes the Russian Pointer, the German Pointer, the French Double-Nosed Griffon, and the English Pointer.

Historians believe that another of the modern Spanish Pointer’s ancestors was the Sabueso Espanol. The Spanish Pointer seems to have inherited her thick skin from this breed.

Today, the Spanish Pointer is a rare dog that’s not often seen outside of Spain. She is still highly valued as a gundog in that country, though.

The Spanish Pointer was brought to the edge of extinction following the Spanish Civil War and again due to World War II.

Two men—Don Manuel Izquierdo and Geardo Sardonil—started efforts to restore the breed in the 1970s. Today, the Spanish Pointer is one of the most popular hunting dogs in Spain.

However, the breed is still not well known elsewhere in the world.

Spanish Pointer Training

The Spanish Pointer is a bright dog that learns quickly. She is easy to train in both hunting tasks and good family manners. She responds well to positive reinforcement.

Spanish Pointers needs socialization from an early age. She is good with kids when she has been socialized to them. For best results, though, the kids need to be trained to treat the dog respectfully, too.

She also needs to socialized to other dogs. They generally do well with this, but good socialization is important to be sure it becomes second nature to the dog.

Like any hunting dog, he has a prey drive so he may not be trustworthy around small household pets. He can do well with cats, however, if they are raised together.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Spanish Pointer dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Spanish Pointer Appearance

General Appearance

The Spanish Pointer is a medium to large-sized dog with a square body shape (length and width fairly equal) and a powerful, athletic build. He has thick skin that makes him appear larger than he is.

These dogs are lean and muscular with a deep chest and powerful legs.

He has a large, broad skull. His ears are long and triangular and are set at eye level. They hang corkscrew style.

The eyes are medium-sized, hazel in color. Some say he has a noble appearance with a dignified yet sad expression.

His nose is dark brown. He has a square, broad muzzle, and a double dewlap.

His long tail is bushy, thick at the base, and smooth. It is docked in countries that still allow it.

The Spanish Pointer’s coat is short and dense. It is smooth to the touch. Her coat color is usually white and liver with or without mottling or ticking. She could also have a white patch on her forehead.

Spanish Pointer Size

The average Spanish Pointer weight is between 55 and 66 pounds. And the Spanish Pointer height averages 23 to 25 inches for females and 24 to 26 inches for males.

Spanish Pointer Must-Knows

Other Names

  • Burgos Pointer.
  • Perdiguero de Burgos.

Spanish Pointer Lifespan

The life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 15 years.

Spanish Pointer Hunting

The Spanish Pointer, or Perdiguero de Burgos, is an enthusiastic hunter. She has excellent scenting skills, which is unusual for a pointer.

Early breeders set out to “remake” the Spanish Pointer, who was initially a deer tracker, into a more versatile hunter. They did this through selective breeding.

They crossbred the original Spanish Pointer with the Sabueso Espanol to create a bird dog, a pointer with excellent scenting abilities. This has made her faster and more agile.

Breeders also set out to create a more versatile hunter. The breed was originally considered deer pointers, but they are now primarily bird dogs. The breed was also selectively bred for this.

The modern breed excels at both pointing and tracking on land and water.

Hunters also appreciate that the Spanish Pointer is easy to train and happy to obey. She is also good at ignoring distractions when she’s in the field.

Spanish Pointer Health Issues

This is a generally a robust and healthy breed, but there are a few conditions they may be prone to:

  • Cherry eye – a prolapsed gland in breeds that have third eyelids. This is a condition that may require surgery.
  • Hip dysplasia – a malalignment of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. This condition is usually hereditary and occurs most often in large breeds. It can result in lameness, arthritis, and eventually loss of function.
  • Epilepsy – seizures that can be caused by many different things. Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common in dogs, meaning their cause is unknown. If your dog has even one seizure, you need to bring him to the vet.
  • Allergies – these are quite common in dogs. They can be allergic to many different things, including food. They usually show up in dogs after six months of age. Your vet can help you determine the allergen that is causing the problem.

Note: Don't let the issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Spanish Pointer dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.

Caring for the Spanish Pointer

Spanish Pointer Grooming

The Spanish Pointer is a low-maintenance breed that’s an average shedder. Their coats need to be brushed regularly, but they should only be bathed when necessary.

Their coats will be beautiful with just a rubdown with a towel.

Otherwise, like all dogs, they need their nails trimmed and ears checked regularly and routine tooth brushing.

Spanish Pointer Diet

This breed has no specific dietary needs. She will do well on high-quality commercial food. Depending on her activity level, she may do better on an active-dog formula.

Spanish Pointer Exercise

The Spanish Pointer is a high-energy, hard-working breed that needs a lot of exercise. They should live in a rural setting where they have plenty of room to run.

They are not suited to apartment living or even a house with a small yard.

This breed needs a home with a very active family. They need vigorous exercise every day. A Spanish Pointer will not be satisfied with a short daily walk.

Long jogs, cycling, or organized dog sports would do the job. She would excel at agility or hunting trials, for example.

If you can’t provide this dog with enough exercise, you will see some unwanted Spanish Pointer behaviors. She is likely to become restless, bored, and destructive.

Check out this article we wrote on how exercise can help dogs with bad behavior.

Finding a Spanish Pointer

Buying a Spanish Pointer from a Breeder

The Spanish Pointer is a very rare dog outside of Spain. If you’re looking for a Spanish Pointer for sale, you may need a lot of patience.

At the time of this writing, we were able to find only one North American Spanish Pointer breeder, but their web site appeared to be out of date.

There are web sites that list breeders of pointing dogs in general, and that might be the best place to start a search. You might try sites like Gundog Central and Gundogs Online.

Another option for finding a Spanish Pointer puppy is to search online for Spanish Pointer user forums or Facebook groups. These groups exist for nearly every breed.

You could even try YouTube. Breeders and enthusiasts around the world post videos of many breeds. It’s possible to connect with a poster who would have helpful information about finding Spanish Pointers.

Spanish Pointer Rescue/Adoption

Again, because of the rarity of this breed, finding a Spanish Pointer for adoption will be difficult. You’re not likely to find one in a shelter.

At the time of this writing, we were not able to find any Spanish Pointer rescues. If you speak Spanish or know someone who does, you might try rescue organizations in Spain or even more generally in Europe.

Similar Breeds

If you’re unable to find a Spanish Pointer, you may want to consider a similar breed. There are other pointer breeds with similar physical and/or temperament traits that may be easier to find.

One possibility is the English Pointer (simply called Pointer in North America) which is more available in North America. He is similar to the Spanish Pointer in size and temperament. He is also a good family dog and has been called “the Cadillac of bird dogs.”

The primary difference between them is that the English Pointer is a little more driven as a scenthound. He is more likely to be distracted by an interesting smell.

He is also a little more independent so training may take a little more effort.

The American Pointer Club would be a good place to start if you’re interested in considering an English Pointer. They maintain a breeder directory if you’re looking for puppies. They may also have information about dogs available for adoption.

There are also a number of rescues available for English pointers.

Is the Spanish Pointer the Right Breed for You?

If you’re looking for a gundog with impressive skills who is also a great family dog, you couldn’t go wrong with the Spanish Pointer.

If you’re lucky enough to find one, you will have a loyal and devoted hunting companion.

Do you have kids? Then you’ll find that he will be a perfect playmate for them as well.

However, like most hunting dogs, this breed is very energetic and needs a lot of vigorous exercise.

If you can provide that, you will find that the Spanish Pointer temperament will make this breed a delightful addition to your family.