Portuguese Pointer – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Do you think that this Portuguese breed is for you? Before you get Portuguese Pointer, learn more about the breed's personality, grooming needs, and much more. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
20 to 22 inches
35 to 59 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Portuguese Pointer is a loyal sporting dog. They are extremely kind and highly intelligent.

As a highly intelligent breed, they are easy to train if you have a strong dog experience.

The Portuguese Pointer was developed as a gun dog. Also, this breed is one of the smallest pointing breeds, although they are muscular.

The Portuguese Pointer has a distinctive “square” face and drops ears. They are prey-driven and as such, they might not do the best with smaller animals, although they are family-oriented.

In a way, their look is similar to the famous Boxer. They come with sturdy bodies, a graceful gait, and an agile physique. The Portuguese Pointer has a double coat that keeps them warm in the winter.

During the summer days, they may shed more frequently and in a larger amount. This is why proper grooming tools should always be on hand.

If you are sure that the Portuguese Pointer is a breed for you, know that you should expect to pay from $1,000 to more than $5,000 for this breed.

Although this is a purebred dog, there are still many in shelters and rescue groups, so you might think about checking those places first, and then find a responsible breeder.

Quick Facts

Real name: Portuguese Pointer
Other names: Perdigueiro Português
Origin: Portugal
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 35 to 59 pounds
Height: 20 to 22 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Litter Size: 5 – 8 puppies
Color: Light yellow, red yellow, and yellow. They may have white markings, and be unicolored
Coat: Short and coarse coat without undercoat

Portuguese Pointer History

The Portuguese Pointer is considered to be an old breed.

After all, the fact that their roots can be traced back to the 12th century only confirms this claim.

This Pointer was originally used in royal kennels to be used in falconry. Only dogs with a certain set of skills were used for these kennels.

Their skills were so appreciated that breeders continued keeping them, which is why even today many Portuguese Pointers are used by falconers in Portugal even today.

During the 18th century, this breed started gaining massive popularity across England, while during the 19th century the breed’s numbers started going down in Portugal.

Luckily, an organized group of breeders and dog lovers started working on re-establishing the breed.

As of the 1920s, the breed’s luck has turned for good, and breed standards were established in 1938. Today, these dogs have identical traits, characteristics, and needs as their ancestors.

Portuguese Pointer Physical Appearance

Portuguese Pointers aren’t small dogs.

As such they are always recommended to owners with experience, especially to those who can physically restrain a larger dog.

They usually weigh between 35 and 59 pounds, and range between 20.5 to 22 inches at the shoulder.

Some may be smaller or larger in size. Overall, this is a medium-size dog with a muscular body and powerful stand. Their body is well-balanced and of elegant lines.

The head is in proportion with the body, while the skull is square and wide. The nose is well developed with wide-open nostrils. The nose should always be black.

Lips are square and have a sharp angle. Cheeks are parallel, while the eyes are brown and expressive.

Ears are handging and the neck is straight. The loin is long and very broad, while the chest is deep and broad.

The tail is of medium length and straight. The coat is short, hard, and dense. As for the color they are mostly yellow or lighter or darker tones.

Portuguese Pointer Personality

Portuguese Pointers are affectionate and active dogs.

If you want a dog who is more of a couch potato, this breed isn’t for you. These dogs are packed with an enormous amount of energy, and they need an owner who will understand this.

As a hunting dog, they love being surrounded by people and having a job to do. They may not be busy hunting, but they will need a task, dealing with puzzle toys, guarding the backyard, or mastering new tricks should keep them engaged and both mentally and physically satisfied.

As dogs who are used to working with humans, they are highly affectionate and sociable.

Their strong dedication toward their owners can be seen in how they easily turn into your shadow from day one. These are the traits that will be seen equally in adult dogs and puppies.

Portuguese Pointers are smart and as such highly trainable. They will respond well to high praises, treats, and structured training sessions, Making training sessions fun, consistent, short, and engaging.

To keep this breed happy, provide a minimum of one hour of exercise per day – hiking, running, laying catch-all works.

Test dog sports as well to see what works the best for your dog. They prefer to be single pets, but they will be friendly toward strangers who know their way around dogs.

As a family dog, they will be more than polite with children. Still, children should know how to behave around dogs and how to interact with them safely.

Make sure that your children know not to disturb dogs while they are eating, sleeping, or resting in their space.

No matter how well your children and Portuguese Pointers get along, make sure that their interaction is always supervised.

Portuguese Pointer Training

Portuguese Pointers are highly trainable dogs.

In practice, this means that they will be easily trained in hands of an experienced dog owner.

Make sure that training sessions are consistent, fun, short, and both mentally and physically challenging.

Always reward good behavior. Use treats only as a reward and bever as a substitution.

Extreme praise and high-quality treats will go a long way with this breed. If you feel like you need help think about puppy classes or hiring a professional dog trainer. This may be pricey in the beginning, but it will save you both time and energy. Plus, it will speed up the training process.

In addition, it cannot harm to get some training inputs from professionals, right? Once again, this is a sensitive and soft breed, meaning that a gentle approach can do wonders training-wise.

Never use any harsh training methods on your dog. No dog should ever be handled with any sort of negative training method.

A nice command and a soft hand with treats can do wonders.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? Use that to your advantage to plan training sessions, before your puppy arrives.

Adopting an adult or a senior dog? If so, kudos to you!

Don’t stress that an older dog cannot learn new tricks. To teach a well-formed dog a new trick you will need more patience and a bigger amount of treats.

Portuguese Pointer Exercise

The Portuguese Pointer is a part of the sporting dogs family, and as such, they are highly active dogs. This breed enjoys running and hiking, and any other activity that will keep them busy and moving.

A large house without a backyard won’t do much for this breed’s happiness.

They need a large space to run, so make sure that you provide it. If a backyard is missing, make long playtime at the dog park.

Off-leash walks arent an option with this breed. A long hike, intense running, a dog sport such as agility will do wonders for your dog’s mental stimulation and physical health.

Not to mention just how much regular exercise is beneficial for your dog’s joints.

As puppies, they will be energetic, but be careful – puppies are just developing their bones and muscles and they shouldn’t be over-exercised.

Portuguese Pointer Grooming

Not too excited to spend long hours brushing your dog?

If so, you are in luck, because Portuguese Pointers are low shedders. They have a short and coarse coat or normal density, which means that this breed is easy to groom.

Having the right grooming tools on hand will make brushing and other grooming processes short, easy, and even fun.

Make sure that you check dog’s skin for any sign of fleas or skin infection.

A simple brush once a week should be enough to remove dead skin.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Check eyes weekly for any sign of eye discharge
  • Check gums weekly

Portuguese Pointer Health

Portuguese Pointers are commonly described as healthy dogs.

They are active, easy to maintain, and as long as you provide proper care they should be able to reach their senior years without major issues.

Responsible dog breeders will always screen puppies for common health issues and present you medical documentation on the breed. This is why you should always choose to deal with reputable and responsible breeders only.

Puppy mills should be avoided no matter what. Sometimes the lower price is just a lower price at that moment.

Puppies with poor health and without proper medical check-ups will always cost you more in the long run.

To keep your Portuguese Pointer healthy do the following:

  • Provide high-quality food
  • Provide regular veterinarian check-ups
  • Make sure that you stick to your puppy’s vaccination schedule
  • Enable proper parasite control
  • Know when to feed your dog and how often
  • Think about best joint exercises
  • Provide enough exercise

The Bottom Line

Portuguese Pointers are strong and active dogs who need an experienced dog owner.

If you are a first time dog owner, this isn’t the breed for you.

On the other hand, if you have experience as a dog owner and you have enough experience with dog training, and you want a medium-sized dog with strong hunting instincts and active nature, this is the breed for you.

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