It would be easy to fall in love with a Pudelpointer for his gentle, easy temperament or the fact that he’s friendly and eager to please. You may love him for his loyalty or because he’s great with kids.
He really is a marvelous family dog.
But don’t let that sweet Pudelpointer temperament fool you. This breed has another side.
He is also a hard-driving working dog.
There is so much to love about Pudelpointers. Writer Andrew Bogan called this breed “two dogs in one” in Covey Rise Magazine. That’s a perfect description of the Pudelpointer.
He’s a rare hybrid of hard-working gundog by day and lovable family companion by night.
Pudelpointer Temperament Traits
The Pudelpointer is “two dogs in one” in more ways than one. He is a German breed that’s a cross between the Poodle and the English Pointer. (Here in the US, most people call this dog simply a Pointer.) The Pudelpointer temperament is a gift from both sides of his heritage.
The Pudelpointer inherited the best temperament traits of both ancestors.
The Family Dog Temperament
Some people say that Pudelpointers have an “on-off switch.” They can work all day and be active and energetic. But when they get home at night, they’re happy to settle in with the family or play with the kids. As long as they get enough exercise, this breed is a wonderful family dog.
They’re smart and learn easily, even when they need to learn different rules in the home than in the field.
Pudelpointers are easy to train. They have a natural eagerness to please and respond well to positive reinforcement. You will rarely have a problem with Pudelpointer behaviors.
They love to be with their people and are faithful companions.
They’re good with kids and other dogs. They will be good with cats, too, if they are raised with them. They’re even friendly to strangers, so don’t get a Pudelpointer if you’re looking for a watchdog!
The Serious Working Dog Temperament
Pudelpointers have a strong hunting instinct that makes them an ideal breed for the job they do.
They have a tireless work ethic, and if they stay active, they will happily work even into their older years.
Pudelpointers have boundless energy. Whether training or working with them, you will probably be ready to quit long before they are!
They are happy to take orders and to accept you as the pack leader.
His natural self-discipline makes him easy to train to do the job he loves to do.
The Pudelpointer’s exceptional drive makes him one of the best gundog, or birddog, breeds. (Many owners would say the best.)
Because of his hybrid temperament, when it comes to his job the Pudelpointer is once again two dogs in one. He belongs to a group called versatile hunting dogs, which means that he is both a water retriever and a land hunter. For this, once again the Pudelpointer is rare in the dog world.
The pudelpointer is the unusual breed that really doesn’t have any “bad” traits. The only potential drawback to this breed is his strong need for frequent and rigorous exercise.
While not technically a negative temperament trait, because of his strong hunting instinct, you probably wouldn’t want to trust him around small pets or birds.
The Pudelpointer’s size is on the medium to large side. He has distinctive, rugged looks. He is well-proportioned and athletic.
A Pudelpointer’s height ranges from 21 to 26 inches, and his average weight is between 44 and 66 pounds.
He usually has the tough, wiry hair of a Pointer, although some have a smoother coat. Pudelpointer colors vary. Chocolate brown is the most common color, but they can be chestnut, liver, or black. The coat feels soft with a dense undercoat.
His face is unique. He has deep-set, intelligent eyes, bushy eyebrows, and silky ears. He has facial markings that are called a beard, although they more closely resemble a mustache.
A Brief Pudelpointer History
In 1881, Baron von Zedlitz of Germany set out to breed the best hunting dog ever known. He crossbred the German Wasserpudel (or Water Poodle, a dog that is now extinct) to the English Pointer.
The resulting hybrid—the Pudelpointer—is an outstanding tracker and pointer on land and an excellent swimmer and retriever in water. Hunters prize him for his temperament traits of intelligence, trainability, and endurance as well as an instinctiveness and work ethic.
In 1956, a German immigrant named Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt brought the Pudelpointer to Canada, where he established the Pudelpointer Club of North America in 1977. He also established the National Association of Versatile Hunting Dogs Association (NAVHDA).
Because of the Pudelpointer’s remarkable combination of temperament and abilities, NAVHDA established a system of strict breeding controls. They designed these controls to limit genetic issues caused by inbreeding as well as to preserve the ideal temperament of the breed.
Interesting Pudelpointer Facts
Rarity in the US
The Pudelpointer is still rare in North America. There are not many Pudelpointer breeders compared to other breeds, but the ideal Pudelpointer temperament and extraordinary hunting skills are gradually changing that.
Today, most Pudelpointer breeders are members of a versatile hunting dog or Pudelpointer hunting and/or testing club. The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize this breed, and owners and breeders are fine with that.
The AKC centers their program on breeding dogs to conform to a breed standard. That standard focuses on a dog’s physical appearance.
Pudelpointer breeders choose to judge and breed their dogs based on different criteria. They are more concerned with protecting the Pudelpointer’s temperament, abilities, and genetic heritage.
Because of the Pudelpointer traits of intelligence, easy temperament, and obedience, Pudelpointers are easy to train with positive reinforcement. They are so eager to please that it doesn’t take unusual effort to train them to be great family dogs.
In the Field
If you are going to train your Pudelpointer as a hunter, it is critical that you teach him the temperament traits of restraint and discipline. A good hunting dog has self-discipline, no matter what or where he is hunting.
Just as in the home, his natural temperament traits of intelligence and obedience make him a fast learner and easy to train.
Expert breeders recommend starting your pup’s training early. Pudelpointers are eager to learn and smart enough to start as young puppies.
They can learn to swim at just a few weeks old. You should also sensitize them to gunshots very early so they do not become shy and fearful around guns. These temperament traits are not natural to a Pudelpointer.
If you decide to train your Pudelpointer yourself, you may want to consider joining NAVHDA. They publish a training book and video to guide you through the process. You can find your nearest local NAVHDA chapter.
If you choose not to train your Pudelpointer yourself, online gundog training directories like gundogcentral.com can help you find a professional trainer.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Pudelpointer dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
This breed is easy to care for. Pudelpointer shedding is rarely a problem, and many are hypoallergenic, thanks to their poodle heritage. They do need a weekly brushing, but their coats are not oily, so they don’t need baths often.
They do have one unusual grooming need, however. From time to time, they need to have their coats stripped.
Pudelpointers need this hand stripping because they don’t shed much on their own. Coat stripping is the process of picking dead hair from the coat by hand. You can do this at home or hire a groomer to do it. If you choose to do it yourself, you can find demonstration videos online.
The average lifespan of this breed is between 11 and 14 years.
Pudelpointers are moderate- to large-sized dogs. They need a high-quality large-breed food. Because they are so active, consider a food formulated for working dogs. You will need to watch your Pudelpointer’s weight closely to be sure he is burning the extra calories.
Begin with a large-breed dry puppy food. When he reaches about 80% of his adult size, you should consider changing to an adult food. Again, the best choice is a large-breed formula for working dogs.
Besides his temperament, the Pudelpointer’s need for exercise is the most important thing you need to know if you are considering owning one. They need more exercise than most other breeds because of the hard work they do.
This breed would never be satisfied with a walk around the block a couple of times a day. He needs to be busy. The Pudelpointer has such stamina that he can track, chase, and retrieve all day long, joyfully.
Pudelpointer Health Issues
The Pudelpointer as a breed has no serious health issues. This is, again, because Pudelpointer organizations are very strict about breeding. If you want to breed your dog to an officially approved Pudelpointer, he or she will need to pass NAVDHA testing for health and genetic soundness.
The North American Pudelpointer Breeders Alliance (NAPPA) also keeps breeding records to help Pudelpointer owners find healthy mates for their dogs.
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In this way, the Pudelpointer passes on to the next generation only healthy genes along with the skills and temperament traits that make this breed so special.
Finding a Pudelpointer
First Things First—Be Sure the Pudelpointer is the Right Dog for You
The Pudelpointer is a hunter, and he really loves his job. This dog would never be happy living a sedentary lifestyle.
Unless you’re an active, outdoorsy person, the Pudelpointer is probably not the right choice for you.
You may even have trouble finding a breeder who would sell a Pudelpointer as a pet. Many feel it would be unfair to a dog who needs to work to have his best quality of life.
But if your family is very active, or if there’s a bird hunter in the family, the dual personality and ideal temperament of the Pudelpointer could make it the perfect breed for you.
Buying a Pudelpointer Puppy from a Breeder
Because of the strict breeding control of Pudelpointers, finding a Pudelpointer for sale may be difficult. Very few Pudelpointers are raised as pets and none as show dogs. You will find that many breeders will not sell Pudelpointer puppies to non-hunting families.
Your best chance of finding one who will is the NAPPA website. It is a good place to start your search for a reputable breeder. The Pudelpointer Alliance maintains a directory of breeders all over the country.
Pudelpointer cost will generally be less than most other purebred dogs. They can be as high as $1800, but they usually range between $800 and $1000. Pudelpointer prices are reasonable compared to other purebred dogs because you will not have to pay for an AKC pedigree.
Adopting a Pudelpointer
Pudelpointers are rare in North America. Because of this, finding a Pudelpointer for adoption will probably be difficult. Your best option is to contact shelters near you and ask them to notify you if one becomes available. Online searches may also be helpful.
An Internet search is the best way to find a Pudelpointer rescue. There are many rescue organizations online, but again, this is not a common breed in the US. You may need to broaden your search to birddog rescue, gundog rescue, sporting dog rescue, or rare breed rescue.
The Pudelpointer Really is Two Dogs in One!
Now that you’ve gotten to know the Pudelpointer, what do you think? Is he a Poodle or a Pointer? A sporting dog or a family dog? A land dog or a water dog? A pointer or a retriever?
If you’re one of the lucky few who own one, you know that there’s only one way to answer that question: “Yes!”
The Pudelpointer is all of these things and more. The Pudelpointer temperament is so unique that he really is two dogs in one—and that adds up to one remarkable canine!