Why do pointing dog breeds point?

Haven't you seen how dogs stay still after spotting their prey ? Well this is the basis of pointing. Pointing is not an instinct that has been developed for ground animals, but for birds. Dogs would literally make their preys flee, so they had to develop a new strategy that could keep preys from fleeing, and that's how pointing appeared on the scene. This creative concept enabled hunters train breeds in this special activity being very successful at it.

We've heard about pointing dogs since the thirteenth century and from those records we can assume that this skill didn't come out of the blue. It demanded many years of hard training. Then, by the sixteenth century animals had already been bred to turn this skill into a special feature of the breed. By then we could also say that the two major pointing breeds had been set, first the "pointers" which had short hair and then the "setters" which had long hair.

Just for the record, some of the best pointers will hold the point until the hunter says so.

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