The Old Danish Pointer: All You Need to Know

The Old Danish Pointer is a muscular and strong dog known for its exceptional hunting abilities and rich history that spans centuries.

In this article, we will talk about the Old Danish Pointer Dog Breed, including its origins, physical traits, temperament, and health. 

History and Origins of the Old Danish Pointer

The Old Danish Pointer is one of the oldest hunting breeds in the world. The breed has been documented in Scandinavia since the 16th century and is believed to have originated from a combination of German and Spanish hunting dogs.

The Old Danish Pointer is a breed that has been refined over many years to create an exceptional hunting companion. The breed’s development can be traced back to the 17th century when Denmark was a superpower.

The breed was developed to help hunters retrieve prey that had been shot down. The breed’s original name “gammel dansk hønsehund”, translates to “Old Danish Fowl-Dog.”

The Role of the Old Danish Pointer in Danish History

The Old Danish Pointer played a crucial role in Danish history, helping farmers hunt for food, assisting in the preservation of protected wildlife, and even being used by Denmark’s army as a solution to their rat infestation problem.

The breed’s ability to retrieve prey and work in the field made it a valuable asset to Danish farmers and hunters. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the breed’s popularity grew, and it became a favorite among Danish nobility.

The breed’s intelligence, loyalty, and trainability made it a popular companion for the elite. The breed’s popularity continued to grow, and it was eventually recognized by the Danish Kennel Club in 1886.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Old Danish Pointer is a medium to large-sized dog with a muscular and athletic build. It has a well-proportioned body with a deep chest, strong shoulders, and a long, tapered tail. The breed’s overall appearance exudes power, strength, and agility.

The Old Danish Pointer’s head is broad and flat with a well-defined stop. It has medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes that are usually brown in color, and the ears are set high and hang close to the head, while the muzzle is long and powerful. 

Size and Weight

The male Old Danish Pointer typically weighs between 66 and 77 pounds, while females weigh between 57 and 68 pounds. Males are 21 to 24 inches tall, and females 20 to 22 inches tall at the shoulders. 

Coat and Colors

The Old Danish Pointer’s coat is typically short, smooth, and shiny. Their coat is easy to maintain and requires minimal grooming. The hallmark coat color of the breed is white with brown markings. 

Distinctive Features

The Old Danish Pointer is a muscular and agile breed with a distinctive appearance. In addition to their short, sleek coat, they have other distinctive features that make them easily recognizable.

For instance, its long, tapered tail is usually held high and is constantly in motion. The strong, powerful jaws and sharp teeth make it effective at retrieving the game and holding it until the handler arrives.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Affection and Kid-Friendliness 

As a breed, the Old Danish Pointer is known for being gentle and caring towards kids. It is patient and tolerant, making it an excellent choice for families with young children. The breed also enjoys the company of its owner.

Trainability and Dog Sports 

The Old Danish Pointer is a highly intelligent breed and is relatively easy to train. It is a quick learner and responds well to positive reinforcement training techniques. The breed’s natural hunting instincts mean that they excel in activities such as tracking, retrieving, and agility.

Socialization and Prey Drive 

The Old Danish Pointer is a social breed that gets along well with other animals, including other dogs. However, due to its hunting instincts, it has a natural prey drive towards smaller animals and requires proper socialization from a young age. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Old Danish Pointer may be prone to certain inherited genetic conditions such as: 

  • Joint Conditions: Hip and elbow dysplasia are the widespread congenital joint issues causing pain & lameness   
  • Eyelid Problems: Entropion, ectropion, and distichiasis are common eyelid abnormalities present in the breed 
  • Ear Infections: The long ears of the breed can trap dirt and moisture, increasing the risk of painful ear infections 
  • Field Injuries: As a working dog present on the hunting field, the breed is at risk of sustaining physical injuries 

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care, including regular check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite control, is crucial in maintaining the Old Danish Pointer’s health. Early detection of health issues can significantly increase the chances of treatment success.

Expected Lifespan

The Old Danish Pointer has an average lifespan of between 12 and 14 years, although many members of the breed can live up to 15 years with proper care.


In conclusion, the Old Danish Pointer is a breed that has been refined over centuries to create the ultimate hunting partner. Not only is this dog a perfect hunter, but it is also a loyal, intelligent, and affectionate companion.

As with any breed, proper training and care are essential in ensuring your dog’s health and happiness. If you’re looking for a unique breed that is sure to bring joy to your life, the Old Danish Pointer is the ideal choice.

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