Old Spanish Pointer
Old Spanish Pointer in 1915.
|Other names||Old Spanish Pointer|
Old Spanish Perro de Punta
|Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
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Roman writers of the first century, Pliny or Sallustius, comment on the existence of dogs from Hispania that were used for hunting birds with nets. Centuries later, Muslim conquerors arrived on the Iberian Peninsula and brought the technique of falconry with them. These conquerors were pleasantly surprised to learn that Spanish pointers, trained by monks, displayed useful behaviours. The dog stopped when it found a bird and remained motionless until the hunter arrived. At this point, the falconry hunting technique joined with the Spanish Pointer as a perfect mechanism to locate and mark the position of prey. Since then, the skill set of the pointing dog has adapted to the technology involved in the hunt.
In 1644, Alonso Martinez del Espinar described it as "an animal of great work, and its breath and agility is so great that from morning to night non-stop run; there are some so light that seem to fly above the ground, and when the dog is skilled in bumping tracking these birds multiply until these proceedings until it stop it that is that it wants which follows".
Although Spain is the origin of the pointing dogs, the British most often mentioned the Spanish Pointer and brought the dogs to England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Stonehengue, a pointer cinófilo scholar, wrote in the late 19th century, that the dog was selectively bred to be faster by only using lighter and faster specimens.
David Taylor, a veterinary who runs an international veterinary organization, stated that the Spanish Pointer was introduced in Britain and crossed with Greyhounds and English Foxhounds, resulting in the English Pointer.
According to Williams, the British found the dog to have some defects:
"They came to the conclusion that this breed had to be remodelled. The English wanted more speed, more temperament, and enough endurance to be able to withstand a full day's hunting and also to condition the dog to work both in flat terrain and difficult terrain and keep the hobby of hunting and energy for each day, in total was only to preserve its ability to finesse nose. To achieve this, they were crossed with several breeds, especially the foxhound breeds, were made numerous attempts. Carefully they selected individuals to continue reproduction. Disappeared the fat head with the big ears and stayed with the head having now one, a dry head, lower with fine ears. Expressive and always a dark shade eyes and the nose more square with cut straight and dark and with large open nostrils. It is a noble head the very broad chest of Old Spanish Pointer, stayed narrower, but more background. Some that left the freest lungs and therefore with more capacity. The ribs of the old dog were more rounded and now being less curved gave more freedom to the muscles."
- Chapter XXXVII of Arte de Cetrería
- "Perros De Muestra Españoles", TrofeoCaza.com
- "El Perro de punta español", Los Pointers de Alcatea
- Taylor, David. ''The Big Book of the Dog''
- "En Defensa del Perro de Punta Español", Criadero de Fiaske Desde 1971
- Arkwright, William (1906). The Pointer and His Predecessors: An Illustrated History of the Pointing Dog from the Earliest Times. A. L. Humphreys.