The Old Spanish Pointer was a magnificent breed of hunting dog used extensively for hunting game birds and rabbits.
In this article, we will talk about the history, physical traits, personality, and health of the now-extinct Old Spanish Pointer.
A Brief History of the Old Spanish Pointer
Historically, the Old Spanish Pointer was known by many names, including Perro de Punta Español, Spanish Pointer, Old Spanish Perro de Punta, and Braco Español.
Origins and Ancestry
Like many ancient dog breeds, the exact origins of the Old Spanish Pointer are unclear. Legend has it that the Phoenicians brought the ancestors of the Old Spanish Pointer to the Iberian Peninsula over 3,000 years ago.
These dogs were known for their exceptional hunting skills, and they quickly became popular among the local nobility. Over time, the breed was refined and developed into the skilled hunting Old Spanish Pointer.
Decline and Extinction
Despite the breed’s popularity during the 16th and 17th centuries, its fortunes began to wane during the 18th century. In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century, the Old Spanish Pointer went completely extinct.
Today, the breed lives in art pieces. One of the oldest paintings portraying an Old Spanish Pointer was created by Peter Tilemans in 1725. John Buckler’s painting from 1799 is displayed at Yale Center for British Art in Connecticut, US.
Physical Characteristics and Appearance
Size and Build
The Old Spanish Pointer was a medium to large-sized breed, weighing between 52 and 66 pounds and standing around 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
Coat and Colors
The Old Spanish Pointer’s coat was short, dense, and smooth, with a glossy sheen. This breed came in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, and combinations of these colors., or black spots.
The Old Spanish Pointer had a long, narrow head with a pronounced muzzle and a strong, muscular neck. Its ears were wide and triangular, and its eyes were round and expressive.
Overall, the Old Spanish Pointer had an athletic build, with a broad chest, powerful legs and shoulders, and a well-defined musculature. A distinct feature was its elegant and arching tail.
Temperament and Personality Traits
The Old Spanish Pointer was a highly intelligent breed that was well-suited to training. This breed was able to learn a variety of tricks and commands and was particularly adept at pointing and retrieving.
Some Old Spanish Pointers were willful and independent, so it was important to establish firmness and consistency from an early age. Shorts and engaging training sessions were best for this breed.
Energy Levels and Exercise
The Old Spanish Pointer was a high-energy breed with a strong prey drive. Breed members required regular exercise and stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
Socialization and Compatibility with Other Animals
The Old Spanish Pointer was an affectionate and loyal breed that thrived on human companionship. It was generally good with kids and other animals, but early socialization was important to manage the dog’s prey drive.
Health and Lifespan
Common Health Issues
Like many breeds, the Old Spanish Pointer was probably prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems. Being a hunting dog, the breed was also susceptible to field injuries.
Lifespan and Aging
The Old Spanish Pointer had a relatively long lifespan of between 12 and 15 years.
Overall, the Old Spanish Pointer was a loyal, devoted, and highly skilled dog with a rich history, immense significance, and mysterious origins.
Today, the Old Spanish Pointer is extinct but has its legacy as it is considered to be the ultimate ancestor of pointer dog breeds around the world.