A historic painting depicting some of the first hunting dogs.

Origins of the Pointing Dog: Hunting Dog Confidential Episode #1

An exploration into the origins of the pointing dog and how bird dogs developed alongside our changing hunting styles

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Co-hosts Craig Koshyk and Jennifer Wapenski launch Hunting Dog Confidential by diving into the origins of pointing dogs. This first episode will kick off a mini-series exploring the origins of pointing dog breeds across continental Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

So what’s actually happening when a bird dog goes on point? Did you know that you are likely an experienced pointer? If you’ve ever paused just before swatting at a fly, then you have exhibited this same behavior that makes pointing dogs such effective hunting companions.

Discover fascinating stories about early bird hunting and how certain dogs who happened to “pause” before pouncing became an asset to the hunters of the day. Learn about “bird-batting” and “low-belling”, archaic bird hunting techniques where hunters went out at night to find roosted flocks of birds to flush and actually bat to the ground. Early accounts tell tales of skilled dogs that could locate the birds in the dark and point toward the roosts – perhaps the earliest accounts of hunting over pointing dogs.

Pointing DOgs, Volume One: The Continentals

As our hunting styles evolved, our preference in dogs also changed as we developed new styles of dogs to match the new methods. The introduction of firearms was a major game-changer for bird hunting; during the transition period to reliable firearms, long-haired and short-haired pointing breeds entered the scene once an extended search and prolonged point became useful to the hunter.

“By the time we get to the 1700s you’ve got light enough guns, and by that time the pointer starts coming out of Spain and starts moving into England. That is the dawn of the golden age of pointing dogs. That’s when the true bird dog – the gun dog, the pointing dog that we know today – came to exist in about 1700.”

Finally, Craig and Jennifer wrap up the discussion with some commentary on the current Coronavirus pandemic, how that affects the bird dog community, and what we can learn from history about reacting to a global crisis.

READ: The Great Pause – World Crisis, History, and the Hunting Dog World

Tune in to hear the stories, uncover the myths, and discover the history of the dogs that we know and love today.

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Hunting Dog Confidential is presented by Eukanuba Premium Performance Dog Food

Last modified: September 22, 2020

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