Let's talk Portuguese Pointers

For a dog originally bred to be the hunting companion to Portuguese kings, the athletically built Portuguese Pointer has an appropriately regal bearing. It’s not really borne out by the dogs’ personality however: they’re affectionate rather than aloof, more devoted than dignified. These energetic dogs need plenty of exercise but as long as they do get enough chances to run and play, they make fantastically devoted canine companions, becoming part of the family as they form close bonds with their humans.

Official name: Portuguese Pointer

Other names: Perdigueiro Português, Portuguese Pointing Dog

Origins: Portugal

Portuguese Pointer standing facing camera in black and white
 Drooling tendencies:

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level:
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Physical activity needs (high, low, medium): Moderate Kid-friendly? 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets: Medium
Can stay alone? Very low

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour.
Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
Inline Image 15
Illustration of Portuguese Pointer
51 - 61 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 27 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
48 - 56 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
16 - 22 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  10 years onwards

Inline Image 12


Get to know the Portuguese Pointer

All you need to know about the breed

If you’re looking for a tirelessly loyal and affectionate (and just plain tireless) canine companion, the Portuguese Pointer may be the breed for you. This ancient breed dates its origins back to the Portuguese royal family’s kennels, where the dogs were bred for hunting in the 12th century, prized for their impressive scenting abilities and persistent natures. Nowadays, Portuguese Pointers enjoy the much more peaceful pastimes of games of fetch and long invigorating walks, followed by cuddles with their beloved humans.

These majestic-looking medium-sized dogs are energetic (especially when young), and they do need plenty of exercise. A securely enclosed garden where they can run about is ideal, in addition to regular walks and games of fetch. Once trained, they are calm at home and get on well with children, but like any other breed should not be left alone with them. They can be a little wary of other dogs, so early socialisation is a good idea to get them used to everyday situations. Portuguese Pointers shouldn't be left to their own devices for extended periods. These dogs need to be treated as part of the family – and that will be easy!

Close-up of Portuguese Pointer in front of purple tulips


2 facts about Portuguese Pointers

1. Pointing prowess

As the name suggests, Portuguese Pointers are pointing pros. Like other similar breeds, once they pick up an interesting scent, they will display intense focus, pricking up their ears, tensing up their faces, staring fixedly and raising a foreleg (pointing) to alert their humans.

2. Is it a dog, is it a bird?

The answer is: definitely a dog, even though the Portuguese Pointer’s name in their native language, Perdigueiro Português (which literally means Portuguese Partridge) could be misleading. It refers to their origins as hunting dogs used in the pursuit of game birds.


History of the breed

The Portuguese Pointer’s origins date back to the 12th century, when these lively and affectionate dogs were bred in the Portuguese royal family’s kennels for falconry work and for hunting partridge. They were prized for their devotion, docility and of course their pointing skills: a formidable sense of smell and a tenacious streak.

Sometime in the 18th century, Portuguese Pointers made their way to the UK, where the dogs contributed to the development of the English Pointer breed.

But the breed’s popularity slowly waned and by the 1920s, economic hardship in Portugal meant the breed almost died out. Thankfully enthusiasts tracked down some of the last remaining dogs and managed to revive the breed. A breed club was established and the breed standard was set out in 1938, giving the Portuguese Pointer the chance to thrive once more, now a much-loved canine companion to ordinary people as well as royals.

Portuguese Pointer sitting in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Portuguese Pointers

1. Body

Strong muscular body and upright bearing.

2. Head

Solid head with medium-size triangular low-hanging ears.

3. Coat

Short smooth coat in yellow or brown, sometimes with white markings.

Close-up of Portuguese Pointer


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Portuguese Pointer
Close-up of Portuguese Pointer


Caring for your Portuguese Pointer

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming a Portuguese Pointer is easy – their dense smooth coats just require a weekly brush. Like other breeds, they need regular tooth brushing to ensure good dental health (daily if possible) as well as frequent nail clipping. You should also regularly check their ears for any build-up of wax or dirt and clean them if necessary. Eager-to-please and intelligent Portuguese Pointers should make rewarding training subjects. Just start early, and adopt a patient approach. Make sure any food rewards come out of their daily food rations to prevent them becoming overweight. These dogs need plenty of exercise to stay in good physical shape – not to mention for their mental stimulation. And docile as they are, there is one situation in which the Portuguese Pointer breed’s instincts will always get the better of them: when they detect an irresistible scent. This is why they need to be in a securely enclosed space if let off the lead. If not, they will run and run.


All about Portuguese Pointers

They don’t shed much – and Portuguese Pointers are very easy to groom too, with just a weekly brush enough to keep their sleek coats in good condition. The time you save on vacuuming can be devoted to cuddles with these big softies.

Yes – they’re affectionate and utterly devoted to their humans. Once trained, they get on well with children, although like any other breed they should not be left unsupervised with them.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/