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A Basic Overview of the Pudelpointer Versatile Breed

A Basic Overview of the Pudelpointer Versatile Breed


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. Within a breed, individual dogs may vary in temperament, conformation, instincts and abilities. This particular article focuses on the Pudelpointer.

Original purpose

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 is the German word for puddle.  The breeding objective was—and still remains—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. These dogs 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 (the pointer influence). They love the water and perform well in cold or harsh conditions (the pudel influence). Pudelpointers track wounded game. Some also display the German breeding influence of giving voice, which is 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. From 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”

Pudelpointer Coat

Depending on the breed club or registry, the pudelpointer’s coat standard can include short smooth coats, rough coats, or wirey coats. Controversy continues over which of these varieties to accept and how to present the breed. All the coats are flat and somewhat rough to the touch. They are medium in length with a dense undercoat that protects against brush and prevents soaking. 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.

Health Risks

Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are the predominant risks.

Finding a Good Pudelpointer 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.

View Comments (2)
  • Some of us regard the PCNA—or the Pudelpointer Club of North America as the official and most protected breed Club for Pudelpointers—not NAVHDA—which doesn’t protect breed standards but rather registers virtually any kennel and any dog from an alleged PP pedigree. I am very sorry to read your mention that “most” PP breeders use the NAVHDA registry. In fact, the NAVHDA registry is why Bodo resigned from NAVHDA many years ago. That is not to say that there are not many great PPs registered with NAVHDA. There are, and I hunt and train with some who are. Suffice it to say that debates continue to this day within the PP community about breeding standards and approved breedings. I will continue to support the PCNA for breeding, and NAVHDA for training — which is the purpose for which it was founded by Bodo and others decades ago.

    • You failed to mention that Bodo left the PCNA. I understand where you are coming from, but the PP would barely have survived in North America with the PCNA only and there are better bird fields than the preserves on the West Coast.

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