• Portuguese Pointers in the UK
  • Portuguese Pointer in Great Britain
  • Portuguese Pointer
  • Portuguese Pointer in the UK
  • Portuguese Pointers
  • Portuguese Pointers in Great Britain
  • Portuguese Pointer Puppies
  • Portuguese Pointer Dog
  • Portuguese Pointer Dogs
  • Portuguese Pointer Puppy
Size:
Grooming:
Exercise Level:
Trainability:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Affectionate:
Protective:
Height: 51 - 61cm M | 48 - 56cm F
Weight: 18 - 27kg M | 16 - 25kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 Years

Thinking of buying or adopting a Portuguese Pointer?


Introduction

The Portuguese Pointer (perdigueiro português) originated from Portugal where breeders originally developed him for falconry. Today, the Portuguese Pointer is appreciated for being a warm and loving canine companion. He is a rare breed outside his native country and dog enthusiasts are hoping this breed will find more forever homes worldwide.

The Portuguese Pointer is a quick learner which makes him easy to train. Due to being a gundog, he has moderate energy levels and requires a little more time for exercise and mental stimulation.

Being a seasonal shedder, the Portuguese Pointer is a relatively low maintenance breed but may need more brushing during the shedding season. He is officially recognised by the Kennel Club and classified as a Gundog.


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History

What is a Portuguese Pointer?

The Portuguese Pointer is a dog breed native to Portugal. His origins can be traced back to the Iberian Peninsula where breeders primarily created the breed for falconry. In the 16th century, he became known as the Perdigueiro. Its name is derived from the Portuguese word “perdiz” meaning “patridge.”

In the 18th century, English families in the region of Oporto fell in love with the hunting breed so they brought the Portuguese Pointer to England.  Unfortunately, in the 19th century, the population of the breed progressively declined when Portugal fell into hard times.

Around the 1920s, Portuguese Pointer breeders were able to successfully revive the Portuguese Pointer. They searched and bred a few of the ancient Portuguese dogs found in the north of Portugal.  Today, the Portuguese Pointer is a rare breed outside of Portugal but there are a several of these smart dogs 

Do you want the Portuguese Pointer to be a part of your family too? Find the perfect match for you here.


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Appearance and Grooming

Appearance

What does a Portuguese Pointer look like?

The Portuguese Pointer is a medium-sized dog. Males weigh around 18 to 27 kg and stand about 51 to 60 cm tall. Females can be as heavy as 16 to 25 kg and measure 48 to 56 cm in height.

The Portuguese Pointer has a well-balanced body with sturdy shoulders and well-boned forelegs. His tail has a thick base that tapers at the end.

The Portuguese Pointer has a square-shaped head and a medium length neck. He has large oval eyes that are brown in colour. His nose can either be black or brown. His muzzle is broad and deep.

The skin on his face is typically smooth and without wrinkles or flaps. His ears are set high and drop down to his cheeks.

The coat of a Portuguese Pointer dog is short and sleek. The fur on his face and ears are velvety whilst the ones on his body are slightly coarse. His coat colours may come in tan or yellow. A combination of yellow and white are also accepted.

Grooming

How to care for a Portuguese Pointer?

The Portuguese Pointer’s double coat makes him shed moderately during spring. Weekly brushing with a slicker brush and hound mitt is enough to remove dead hair. Their short and tight coat requires minimal grooming. Trimming his fur every 6 to 8 weeks would suffice.

Bathing should only be done when it is necessary. Avoid frequent washing as it can dry out his skin and coat which can cause skin problems.
 
The drooping ears of the breed can quickly accumulate dirt and bacteria. Weekly ear cleaning is needed to keep ear infections at bay. Be sure to check for warning signs of ear problems such as foul odour, redness, swelling, inflammation, and odd discharge. If he displays these symptoms, bring him to the vet for diagnosis.

Never allow your Portuguese Pointer’s nails to overgrow as it can lead to painful splitting or cracking. Make sure to trim his nails once a month. Dental problems are common in dogs. Keep teeth and gum diseases away by brushing your Portuguese Pointer’s teeth daily.


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Temperament and Intelligence

Temperament

Is a Portuguese Pointer a good family dog?

The Portuguese Pointer is deeply attached to his family. Do not be surprised if he frequently seeks attention and asks for head pats.

His extremely affectionate nature also has its downsides. This makes the Portuguese Pointer prone to developing separation anxiety. Thus, make sure at least one family member stays with him throughout the day.

When it comes to meeting strangers, the Portuguese Pointer dog can be quite shy at first. Once he becomes comfortable being around new faces, his friendly and playful self will shine through.

Due to his friendly nature towards strangers, he is not the best choice for a guard dog. However, if the Portuguese Pointer senses an intruder, he will let out a bark to deter the threat and alert his family. With training, he can easily identify a threat.

To ensure that he behaves properly in different situations, introduce him to proper socialisation during puppyhood. Expose him to different environments, scents, smells, and people. This will mould him into a well-behaved dog with a keen eye.

The Portuguese Pointer’s gentleness makes him a great companion for children. Whilst he is a non-aggressive dog, adult supervision is still a must. This is to prevent accidents such as your dog unintentionally knocking down children due to high excitement.

Children should also learn the importance of gently handling pets. Teach them not to pull their dog’s tail and ears or pet them roughly.

The Portuguese Pointer can get along with other pets as well. Proper socialisation and introduction of both pets will help them become accustomed to each other. Their interaction needs supervision, especially if the other pet is a small animal.

The Portuguese Pointer dog tends to chase and nip at the heels of anything that moves. This trait can be curbed through consistent training.

Intelligence

Is a Portuguese Pointer easy to train?

When it comes to training, the Portuguese Pointer is eager to please his owner. This makes him a quick learner and very easy to train. Firm and consistent training help in motivating him to do his best.

Never apply harsh methods and punishment as it can lead him to lose his trust in you. Use positive reinforcement instead. Rewarding him with tasty treats, encouraging praises, and fun games will boost his motivation to learn new commands.


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Nutrition and Feeding

Nutrition

What should a Portuguese Pointer eat?

The Portuguese Pointer needs high-quality dog food in his daily diet. Choose one that is particularly designed for your dog’s age, breed, energy levels, and size. This will ensure that he gets sufficient vitamins and minerals from everyday meals. If you are having a hard time picking the right premium-quality dog food, consult the vet.

Avoid commercial dog food that lacks nutritional content. They tend to be cheaper than excellent-quality dog food but they may also cause nutrient deficiency. Harmful ingredients such as preservatives and additives are found in commercial dog foods as well.

Do not forget to have fresh water available at all times, especially during hot days. Check the bowl regularly and refill when empty. Getting your dog well-hydrated will prevent the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. 

Feeding

How much should a Portuguese Pointer eat?

Portuguese Pointer puppies age 1 to 2 months need at least 1/2 to 1 ½ cups of dog food per day. Four to 5-month-old Portuguese Pointer puppies should eat 1 ½ to 2 ¾ cups of dog food each day. Give 1 1/8 to 2 1/3 cups of dog food every day to puppies age 6 to 8 months.

Once they reach 9 to 11 months, feed them 2 to 3 cups of dog food daily. Divide each meal into 3 smaller portions for easier digestion. Adult Portuguese Pointers must also have 2 to 3 cups of dog food every day. Their portions should be split into 2 smaller servings to prevent overeating.


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Health and Exercise

Health

How long does a Portuguese Pointer live?

The Portuguese Pointer can live for 12 to 14 years provided that he receives proper care and attention. The best way to prolong your dog’s life is by consistently providing for his daily needs. Be sure to give him well-balanced meals, proper grooming, regular exercise, and a stress-free home environment. 

What are the common health problems in Portuguese Pointers?

The Portuguese Pointer is a healthy breed with no records of breed-specific health problems. However, he can still develop certain diseases which are prevalent health issues in most dogs. These include:

To protect your Portuguese Pointer from diseases, let him undergo all necessary health checks for his breed. Regular check-ups play a big role in keeping him in good shape as well. Aside from being up to date with his health, you can also get handy tips and advice from the vet on how to keep your dog in good shape.

Exercise

How much exercise does a Portuguese Pointer need?

The Portuguese Pointer has moderate energy levels. He needs around 75 minutes of exercise and mental stimulation. If these needs are not met, the Portuguese Pointer will find ways to entertain himself. It can lead to unwanted behaviours including improper elimination, destruction of furniture, and excessive barking and digging.

Going for a walk or jog is a simple way to burn out his excess energy. Playing brain-teaser games such as obstacle course, hide-and-seek, and finding the treats will keep his mind sharp and active.

You may also let your Portuguese Pointer run off-lead in your backyard if you have one. Just be sure to check that the fences are safe and secure first. This is to prevent the risk of your dog from escaping and roaming around your neighbourhood unsupervised.


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Cost of Ownership

How much does a Portuguese Pointer cost?

The Portuguese Pointer price is anywhere from £650 to £800. Expect to pay a little bit more for a well-bred pedigree Portuguese Pointer puppy from a KC-registered breeder. On top of the purchase price, you have to spend £200 to £400 for essential items such as leashes, collars, beds, crates, toys, and grooming products.

Set aside £40 to £50 for a high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional requirements of your Portuguese Pointer.

Vet check-ups, vaccinations, boosters, and preventive care will cost you over £1,000 per year. To cover unexpected health-related expenses, you can get pet insurance for your Pointer.

The insurance premium depends on several factors including location, dog’s age, and health condition, among other things. Depending on the type of coverage you choose, the monthly pet insurance premium is anywhere from £25 to £60.


Portuguese Pointer Breed Highlights

  • The Portuguese Pointer is an extremely affectionate dog, especially to his family.
  • He is a low maintenance dog.
  • He is friendly towards children, other people, and pets with the help of proper socialisation.
  • He loves to please his owner and responds very well to firm but gentle and consistent training.
  • He is a moderately active dog.

Fun Facts

Experts believe that the Portuguese Pointer played a vital role in the creation of various European pointer dogs and gun dogs.

Portuguese Pointer

Are you sure the Portuguese Pointer is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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Disclaimer:
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.