Pudelpointers: Authentic versatility in a little known breed.
This series of Project Upland hunting dog breed profiles focuses on the hunting characteristics that set one breed apart from another, understanding that within a breed individual dogs may vary in temperament, conformation, instincts and abilities. This particular article focuses on Pudelpointers.
Developed in Germany around 1880, the pudelpointer was a cross between pointers and pudels. Confused by many because of the name, pudels were not the poodles we know today. They were a rough coated gun dog noted for strong water drive and retrieving ability. (“Pudel” means “puddle.”) The breeding objective was – and remains today – to create a versatile water and field dog. Pudelpointers were brought to the U.S. by Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt, one of the founders of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association.
Hunting style and temperament
Pudelpointers come from hunting lines. They have avoided the pitfalls of show breeding and companion dog popularity that often diminish solid hunting traits. They are strong runners working at a medium to fast pace (that’s the pointer influence). They love the water and perform well in cold or harsh conditions (that’s the pudel influence). Pudelpointers track wounded game, and some display the German breeding influence of “giving voice” and barking while tracking. They take well to training and can handle a moderate amount of pressure. They have a remarkable desire to hunt with enthusiasm and focus. Woodcock to pheasants, rabbits to big game, pudelpointers are capable workers for a variety of hunting pursuits.
Pudelpointers have an affectionate and people-oriented personality, complemented well by their shaggy haired, expressive faces.
Traits important to hunters
Medium. The weight range is 45-65 (females and males). Height: males should be 22”-27”, females 20”-26”.
Depending on the breed club or registry, the pudelpointer’s coat standard can include short smooth coats, rough coats or wirey coats. There is controversy over the acceptability of these varieties and how the breed is being presented today. All the coats are flat and somewhat rough to the touch, medium in length with a dense undercoat that protects against brush and won’t soak through easily. The rough and wire coats are suitable for breeding. Although the short coat does better in warm temperatures, it is not generally considered standard for breeding. The rough and wire coats can be stripped in the spring before the warm weather.
Pudelpointers display pointing and retrieving skills as well as a readiness for training at an early age.
Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are noted as the predominant risks.
FINDING A GOOD BREEDER
Compared to many other upland hunting dog breeds, the population of pudelpointers in the U.S. is very small. Most pudelpointer breeders use the NAVHDA registry. The Pudelpointer Club of America, the North American Pudelpointer Alliance, and the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation are also sources for finding breeders. Prospective pudelpointer buyers should read up on the differences in these clubs and the breed standards they endorse.
Last modified: October 9, 2017