The Pointer Standard

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by dan v » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:54 am

KwikIrish wrote:
wyndancer" wrote:Kwik...please explain, much better than I, about how judges "get" certain breeds to judge.
I'll keep it short as its a big gap from the topic at hand. Essentially you Apply, do some provisional judging, Get a breed mentor, do some sweepstakes judging, and attend a judges education seminar. There is an interview involved that is pass fail. I have never gone through the process.
Kelli...I don't think it is a big jump. Some people want a pointing dog competition judged on whether or not he Spinone is a better representative of the breed than say the Pointer...on that given day. And to get to that point, FT judges are going to have to be knowledgeable like some think the conformation judges are.

The poorly worded question I put forth left you maybe not understanding what I was after. Say a long time breeder of Pomeranians decided to get into judging. They would of course probably take Poms as the first breed they would judge, Then they might add some more of the non-sporting dogs. Then maybe go for some sporting breed like Labs?

Aw heck...here's link to some AKC doc. http://images.akc.org/pdf/rjl003.pdf

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by shags » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:18 am

Wyndancer wrote:
KwikIrish wrote:
wyndancer" wrote:Kwik...please explain, much better than I, about how judges "get" certain breeds to judge.
I'll keep it short as its a big gap from the topic at hand. Essentially you Apply, do some provisional judging, Get a breed mentor, do some sweepstakes judging, and attend a judges education seminar. There is an interview involved that is pass fail. I have never gone through the process.
Kelli...I don't think it is a big jump. Some people want a pointing dog competition judged on whether or not he Spinone is a better representative of the breed than say the Pointer...on that given day. And to get to that point, FT judges are going to have to be knowledgeable like some think the conformation judges are.

The poorly worded question I put forth left you maybe not understanding what I was after. Say a long time breeder of Pomeranians decided to get into judging. They would of course probably take Poms as the first breed they would judge, Then they might add some more of the non-sporting dogs. Then maybe go for some sporting breed like Labs?

Aw heck...here's link to some AKC doc. http://images.akc.org/pdf/rjl003.pdf
Isn't that what restricted stakes are for? So individuals are compared to their own breed? If someone, or a body of breed enthusiasts, wants the best Vizsla of Vizslas, the best Spin of Spins, the best Gordon of Gordons, they ought to run amongst their brethren rather than impose a dozen or so different standards on a stake.

And who will write those standards...the bench folks who compose the majority of most pointing breeds, or the three or four folks from each breed who sit on an advisory committee? What happens when color and size come into the equation, as we see in this thread concerning Brittanies, are dogs to be barred or not used in placements if they do not conform? Lots to think about :?

Good thread, this

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by slistoe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:54 pm

Here us the deal as I see it. There is a pointing dog standard - search for game birds, handle to the front, point birds. Now we have added manners and style to the list of things we would like to see in our pointing dogs. So, we line them up and have someone judge which dog did the best at meeting all the various criteria in the time allotted. As the dogs improved over time the "game" evolved to keep showing a separation between those dogs that could get the job done and those which showed a little more of any or all of the various criteria. But still we are operating under the Pointing Dog Standard - search for game, point game and handle with manners and style.
If someone wants to enter in All Breed competition, that means that their dog will have to do all the basics at a higher level than any other dog in the stake, regardless of breed. Which means that at the All Age level of competition you better be prepared to beat the Pointer, as they have sort of cornered that game. Now what does All Age mean - it is simply those dogs that are performing the basic duties of a pointer at the highest possible levels of endurance and ground coverage. Within any breed of dogs there will be All Age dogs - those which perform at a higher level than all other representatives of the breed. If the Griffon owners want to identify the All Age performers in their breed they simply need to line them up at the line, turn them loose and have someone judge which individuals performed the basic duties at a higher level than the rest of the entrants. Rebreed, repeat and rebreed again and you will have improvement in the breed.
In no trial or testing format I am aware of is a dog discounted on his performance because they got the job done faster, for longer or with greater style than the other dogs. If a GSP at the VC never broke out of a slow trot would they be given a pass? Not likely - the desire to hunt would be questioned. If another GSP ranged to the extreme of the terrain at hand yet handled kindly and easily would they fail because they ran too far? Not likely. Nowhere is slower, lack of manners and intensity accepted as "better".

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by KwikIrish » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:46 pm

shags wrote: Isn't that what restricted stakes are for? So individuals are compared to their own breed? If someone, or a body of breed enthusiasts, wants the best Vizsla of Vizslas, the best Spin of Spins, the best Gordon of Gordons, they ought to run amongst their brethren rather than impose a dozen or so different standards on a stake.
But herein lies the problem. Let's say we GSP people who are judging at a spinone only stake. Both dogs are Do we put up the dog that hunts most like a spinone is bred to hunt (remember slow and mythodical and you won't go wrong), or do we put up the dog that hunts like we prefer (which obviously is the least slow and mythodocal)? And please assume the dogs are equal on all other playing fields.
I know that's an extreme scenario, but it makes my point. Different breeds hunt different ways. I would agree though, closed breed stakes should be judged to that breed's standard, and all breed should be open to judging preference. But what should each breed hunt like?

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by fuzznut » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:47 pm

Many many years ago I was asked to judge a Weim only All Age stake.

Before the stake started both of us judges went to the Chair and asked... is this a Weim All Age standard, or do we judge to an All Age standard? His answer... All Age, period.

We withheld all placements as we felt we did not see one dog in the stake run to an All Age standard. The competitors were not happy with us.. but we felt we had to do what we had to do. But to this day I question our decision... should a bigger going Weim (not picking on this breed, just the one that we judged) be considered All Age compared to...??? We can exchange any breed in the discussion for discussion stake.

If we give away wins and placements to dogs who don't meet the priorities set for those stakes, are we helping our future breeders who might be looking at those wins and placements to make breeding decisions? There are those who want and All Age type of dog, and those who don't.... unearned or false placements either way don't help. Or do they?

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by slistoe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:39 pm

KwikIrish wrote:
shags wrote: Isn't that what restricted stakes are for? So individuals are compared to their own breed? If someone, or a body of breed enthusiasts, wants the best Vizsla of Vizslas, the best Spin of Spins, the best Gordon of Gordons, they ought to run amongst their brethren rather than impose a dozen or so different standards on a stake.
But herein lies the problem. Let's say we GSP people who are judging at a spinone only stake. Both dogs are Do we put up the dog that hunts most like a spinone is bred to hunt (remember slow and mythodical and you won't go wrong), or do we put up the dog that hunts like we prefer (which obviously is the least slow and mythodocal)? And please assume the dogs are equal on all other playing fields.
I know that's an extreme scenario, but it makes my point. Different breeds hunt different ways. I would agree though, closed breed stakes should be judged to that breed's standard, and all breed should be open to judging preference. But what should each breed hunt like?
If a bunch of Spinone owners got together to have a competition, what do you think the odds are that they would say "That dog trotted too fast and covered too much ground - he loses."

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by JKP » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:48 pm

If we give away wins and placements to dogs who don't meet the priorities set for those stakes,
No you shouldn't....the Spins are in the wrong place...as are the majority of all breeds at the higher levels of the FT world. So what do we do? Keep trying to make all the breeds the same?? Sounds like it.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by mask » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:51 am

JKP wrote:
If we give away wins and placements to dogs who don't meet the priorities set for those stakes,
No you shouldn't....the Spins are in the wrong place...as are the majority of all breeds at the higher levels of the FT world. So what do we do? Keep trying to make all the breeds the same?? Sounds like it.
jkp makes a good point. I have had pointers for over 60 years and have seen them change little except for tails. I have seen other breeds change considerably, in range, running style, and in some cases appearance. I actually liked the way some breeds hunted 40 years better than they do today. I don't think there is much doubt that trials were instrumental in some of these breed changes. I don't own other breeds and if those that do like them that is what is important, no matter how they got where they are today.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by KwikIrish » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:52 am

slistoe wrote:
KwikIrish wrote:
shags wrote: Isn't that what restricted stakes are for? So individuals are compared to their own breed? If someone, or a body of breed enthusiasts, wants the best Vizsla of Vizslas, the best Spin of Spins, the best Gordon of Gordons, they ought to run amongst their brethren rather than impose a dozen or so different standards on a stake.
But herein lies the problem. Let's say we GSP people who are judging at a spinone only stake. Both dogs are Do we put up the dog that hunts most like a spinone is bred to hunt (remember slow and mythodical and you won't go wrong), or do we put up the dog that hunts like we prefer (which obviously is the least slow and mythodocal)? And please assume the dogs are equal on all other playing fields.
I know that's an extreme scenario, but it makes my point. Different breeds hunt different ways. I would agree though, closed breed stakes should be judged to that breed's standard, and all breed should be open to judging preference. But what should each breed hunt like?
If a bunch of Spinone owners got together to have a competition, what do you think the odds are that they would say "That dog trotted too fast and covered too much ground - he loses."
:lol:
In all honesty... It's fathomable!
But the remark was just an example of one breed with a more defined hunting standard.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:31 pm

[quote="KwikIrish[quote="KwikIrish] Isn't that what restricted stakes are for? So individuals are compared to their own breed? If someone, or a body of breed enthusiasts, wants the best Vizsla of Vizslas, the best Spin of Spins, the best Gordon of Gordons, they ought to run amongst their brethren rather than impose a dozen or so different standards on a stake.

But herein lies the problem. Let's say we GSP people who are judging at a spinone only stake. Both dogs are Do we put up the dog that hunts most like a spinone is bred to hunt (remember slow and mythodical and you won't go wrong), or do we put up the dog that hunts like we prefer (which obviously is the least slow and mythodocal)? And please assume the dogs are equal on all other playing fields.
I know that's an extreme scenario, but it makes my point. Different breeds hunt different ways. I would agree though, closed breed stakes should be judged to that breed's standard, and all breed should be open to judging preference. But what should each breed hunt like?[/quote]
If a bunch of Spinone owners got together to have a competition, what do you think the odds are that they would say "That dog trotted too fast and covered too much ground - he loses."[/quote]


I know some of my remarks may have contributed to the confusion, but really... the standard for the stake being run is what must govern. If it is a gun dog stake, then the dog that does the best job, that day, of fulfilling the written gun dog standard... is the dog that must be put up. It is not just run, it is not just pointing birds, it is not just biddability, it is not just ground application...it is ALL of these things and more....

The dog that comes closest...THAT DAY... to fulfilling the "ideal" that is embodied in the written standard, as interpreted by the judges, should be the winner.

RayG

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by JKP » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:24 pm

I don't think there is much doubt that trials were instrumental in some of these breed changes. I don't own other breeds and if those that do like them that is what is important, no matter how they got where they are today.
The games are games...the only thing that matters is if your dog pleases you when you're hunting. I'm glad to see someone else notice the changes that games have made in some breeds. What do we care about standards??? Ever hear anyone turn down a great performance dog because it wasn't inside the standard?? Why have breeds?? Just breed on performance...cross anything...breeds are just man made anyway.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:12 pm

JKP wrote:
I don't think there is much doubt that trials were instrumental in some of these breed changes. I don't own other breeds and if those that do like them that is what is important, no matter how they got where they are today.
The games are games...the only thing that matters is if your dog pleases you when you're hunting. I'm glad to see someone else notice the changes that games have made in some breeds. What do we care about standards??? Ever hear anyone turn down a great performance dog because it wasn't inside the standard?? Why have breeds?? Just breed on performance...cross anything...breeds are just man made anyway.

Not exactly.... You said: "...the only thing that matters is if your dog pleases you when you're hunting."

The only thing that matters is if your dog pleases you. PERIOD.

Each and every person has a perfect right to have just exactly the kind of dog they want. And if that exact kind of dog is not easily available, each and every person has the perfect right to breed just exactly what they want for themselves.

No one out there is holding a gun to anyone's head and saying: " YOU MUST buy this kind of dog and you MUST train it a certain way."

Each and every person has a perfect right to have just exactly the kind of dog they want. And if that exact kind of dog is not easily available, each and every person has the perfect right to breed just exactly what they want for themselves.

Each and every person also has a perfect right to bitch and moan, and do nothing substantive about it.

RayG

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:49 pm

I agree 100% Ray but others want or need some one to tell them what they can & can not breed! NOT IN THIS COUNTRY NEVER!!! :wink:

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by dan v » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:13 pm

JKP wrote:breeds are just man made anyway.
Truer words have never been spoken.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:21 pm

This is a very interesting topic and one that I will do my best to explore (and hopefully untangle a bit) in my next book.

But for now, I'll just make the following observations: What Ray and others wrote is spot on. Field trials are not hunting and they are not only about bird finding. If a breed is running in an all age trial, it should run like an all age dog and be judged as an all age dog (same thing for just about any other test or venue... to earn a VC, a dog should put in a VC level performance, end of story).

But if we want to look at the larger picture and consider the two main centres of pointing dog activity in the world: North America and Western Europe, we can see there are some pretty interesting nuances. First off, judges everywhere want to see good dogs doing good work no matter what the breed, no matter what the format, no matter what the country. But European judges should (at least in theory ... more on that later) consider breed specific working styles and judge dogs accordingly, even if they are running in a all breed trial.

In order to keep things under book-length, I will just give a couple real obvious examples. The first one is the fact even at a structural level, field trials in Europe are organized to help breeds (or at least groups of breeds) maintain a breed-specific way of working. So British breeds (pointers and setters) never run against continental breeds in field trials. And that is because no one there expects British breeds and continental breeds to work in exactly the same way (and, everyone wants to avoid a 'melting pot' of styles...which is happening anyway...I'll get to that later).

But even within those two main divisions (British and continentals) judges should look for breed-specific styles..and one of the clearest differences is in the way they want to see Pointers run and work birds versus the way they want to see Setters run and work birds (and they even hope to see subtle differences between the various setter breeds). It would take me way too long to describe those differences, but I will say that they include everything from how the dog holds its head as it runs to how it gathers up its legs then thrusts them forward/backward with each stride to how it enters the scent cone, how it points and how it does the 'coulé' (a way of working the bird with the handler..something we don't do here. I will be explaining that on my blog soon).

Now, before you get to thinking that field trials in Europe are all about those seemingly minor details, they aren't. As mentioned, judges want to see good dogs doing good work. But they will give dogs a few more brownie points as it were for showing really strong indications of breed specific style. So, all things being equal between two dogs that put on a superb performance, the one that had just a wee bit more style...breed specific style... will probably get the nod.

I guess it is sort of like it is over here: all things being equal between two dogs that put on a superb performance, the one that had just a wee bit more style...maybe a higher or straighter tail or a higher, prouder head on point or something almost intangible... will probably get the nod. Its just that in Europe, the 'style' thing is more linked to the individual breeds and has a few more details to it than over here.

Bottom line: there are some pretty awesome dogs on both sides of the ocean and I've seen breathtaking performances in trials whereever serious dog men and women show up to get r done!

I will try to post some videos that illustrate what I mean in breed-specific working styles.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:00 am

As a follow up to what I wrote above, here are some links to illustrate some of the points I made.

As mentioned, field trial judges everywhere are looking for an exceptional performance and, in the case of multiple dogs putting in exceptional performances they all look for that something extra, perhaps an intangible "you know it when you see it" aspect of the performance to decide which dog is top dog on that day.

A good review of what judges are looking for in North America can be found here: http://strideaway.com/all-age-standard/ Note however that the description never mentions any breed. It applies to "The all-age dog". And I am sure that European judges would agree with almost all of it (the exception being 'loftiness' of tail) but they would also want to look for slightly different things from different breeds.

So here is a link to the "working standard" for the Pointer in Italy (almost all pointing breeds have a conformation standard and working standard). As you will see, it is extremely detailed (sorry, it is in Italian. I am too lazy to translate it all, but you can use Google translate to get the gist of it. If there is something specific in it that you want translated, just let me know, I will be happy to render it into more understandable English). http://www.pointerclubitaliano.com/IlPo ... avoro.aspx

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:00 am

Here is a video of various Pointers running during a Pointer club meeting in Italy http://youtu.be/4_AU8EcwvBI

Now, in comparison, here is the working standard of the Bracco Italiano (like the Spinone, it is supposed to trot most of the time..galloping is permitted, but not really what the judges want to see)

And in case you thing 'trotting' means just ambling about the field at a slow jog, it is NOT. The Bracco (and Spinone) should look like almost like a harness racing horse at full clip. And they are NOT supposed to be close workers. I've seen some in trials that worked out to 300+ yards on either side. Here is a clip of a young Bracco in training (the video starts when the dogs is younger and just learning, so skip forward to about the 3:40 mark to see it after it has learned to trot at full speed). Watch how fast he actually moves. He is showing what the standard calls for, the "trotto spinto' or 'flying trot' http://youtu.be/s5sT_Wc1zAI

Bracco doing the flying trot
Image

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by buckshot1 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:51 am

Interesting videos. That Bracco does move fairly quick for a dog that isn't running. I imagine he'd still be a bit slow for even an AKC gundog stake, but it's an interesting style of locomotion nonetheless.

Regarding the Italian pointer video, why are the handlers launching their dogs forward at breakaway rather than just releasing their dogs? Also, it appears that the handlers aren't following the dogs after breakaway. Do the handlers stand in one place while the dogs work the field in Italian field trials?

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by Neil » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:59 am

In horses it is a pace not a trot, and is much faster than a lope, close to the speed of a gallop. Never seen it in a dog.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:47 am

Neil wrote:In horses it is a pace not a trot, and is much faster than a lope, close to the speed of a gallop. Never seen it in a dog.
Standard bred horses trot or pace depending on their heritage and are about the same speed doing either. It is faster than a slow canter for sure.

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:01 pm

Thanks! I know next to nothing about horse gaits/paces/gallops. And I knew nothing about the classic trot of the Bracco or Spinone until I went to Italy and saw a field trial for those breeds. I was actually quite amazed. The fastest dogs there probably trotted at a speed equal to some dogs' medium speed gallop!

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:13 pm

buckshot1 wrote:Interesting videos. That Bracco does move fairly quick for a dog that isn't running. I imagine he'd still be a bit slow for even an AKC gundog stake, but it's an interesting style of locomotion nonetheless.

Regarding the Italian pointer video, why are the handlers launching their dogs forward at breakaway rather than just releasing their dogs? Also, it appears that the handlers aren't following the dogs after breakaway. Do the handlers stand in one place while the dogs work the field in Italian field trials?

The video looks to be just a compilation of video 'snapshots' done during some sort of meeting of the Pointer club. I think the goal was to just get a minute or two of each dog running because it is soooo hard to do in a trial (believe me, photographing pointing dogs is 1000 time easier than getting good video of them) so that is why the handlers did not really follow the dogs along. In a real trial, they follow the dog while it runs and then when it points they run like heck to get near the dog for the 'coulé (a stylised kind of flush) and the shot (blanks). They run because the birds are usually wild huns just before nesting season and are super nervous.

As for the handlers launching their dogs, it is just something they do over there. I don't really know why, it is part of the culture I guess and something someone started doing years ago and everyone started to imitate and try to one-up the next guy. So you see some handlers being a bit gentler than others but some really throw the dog!

Here is a similar video of setters http://youtu.be/4feBJgFEXnc

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:25 pm

Here's a video that shows some handlers running (well, the bigger ones sort waddle as fast as they can) to get to their dogs on point http://youtu.be/gj3i7pwBbgE (action starts at about the 1 minute mark)

another one here: http://youtu.be/4Tyg1r6GDlM

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by Nutmeg247 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:21 pm

chiendog wrote:Thanks! I know next to nothing about horse gaits/paces/gallops. And I knew nothing about the classic trot of the Bracco or Spinone until I went to Italy and saw a field trial for those breeds. I was actually quite amazed. The fastest dogs there probably trotted at a speed equal to some dogs' medium speed gallop!
Sorry for a very basic question, but is the trot more effective on fairly even ground, versus gallop on broken ground? Or is there some other reason, whether aesthetic or functional, driving a focus on a trot in one case and a gallop in the other?

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by chiendog » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:50 pm

Great question and one that would probably take a book to answer in depth :lol:

But in a nutshell, all pointing dogs trace back to a sort of proto-pointer that developed in what is now southern France and northern Spain. And that proto-pointer of olden days was selected to be a trotter because a. the hunter following him was only armed with a cross bow or a net, and did not shoot birds on the wing (that would come later..and lead to speed) and b. the conditions were (and still are) very hot and dry for much of the hunting season in that region and trotting dogs seemed to handle it better for longer periods of time.

It wasn't really until the English got ahold of some French 'setting dogs' in the 16th century and (later on in the 18th century) Spanish pointing dogs that a real fast gallop was selected for. Over time, almost all of the pointing breeds followed suit and nowadays they are almost all gallopers. But there are still a few such as the Spinone, the Bracco Italiano and the Pachon Navarro (and for some the Burgos Pointer) that remain trotters (at least in their working standards). The Italians who are very style oriented and pretty hard core in their breeding process, have pushed the trot the furthest, especially in the Bracco. They now have dogs that have an almost overly stylised, hard-to-believe-how-fast-it-is flying trot.

Here is the Pointer's great-great-grandaddy, a Pachon Navarro, hunting in Spain. If you were to take a time machine back about 500 years and head out with a cross bow to hunt partridges, your dog would probably look and work like the one in the video. http://youtu.be/L6hNCVT52To

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Re: The Pointer Standard

Post by dan v » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:35 pm

Nutmeg247 wrote:
chiendog wrote:Thanks! I know next to nothing about horse gaits/paces/gallops. And I knew nothing about the classic trot of the Bracco or Spinone until I went to Italy and saw a field trial for those breeds. I was actually quite amazed. The fastest dogs there probably trotted at a speed equal to some dogs' medium speed gallop!
Sorry for a very basic question, but is the trot more effective on fairly even ground, versus gallop on broken ground? Or is there some other reason, whether aesthetic or functional, driving a focus on a trot in one case and a gallop in the other?
A collected lope is much more comfortable for the rider than a trot, or even a hard swinging pace.

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