Activities For Portuguese Pointers

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Introduction

There is no denying that when you look into the big, sweet eyes of a Portuguese Pointer, you've fallen in love forever. These historic hunting dogs have been melting hearts for hundreds of years and are well known for their hunting prowess, their sweet and mellow disposition, and those adorable eyes that captivate everyone they come in contact with. Though these dogs are known to be sweet and agreeable, they are still hunting dogs with smarts and energy that need to be exercised. Activities for Portuguese Pointers should play to their strengths and keep them entertained and tired out after a long day of work or play.

Bird Hunting

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
2 hrs
Items needed
Hunting Safety Gear
Decoys
Orange vest
Activity description
The Portuguese Pointer is an old breed of dog known for being one of the best natural bird hunting companions. In fact, this dog was used to cross-breed bird hunting dogs in England. One of the best activities for Portuguese Pointers is bird hunting because it uses their natural instincts and preferences. It takes a little training to focus their natural desire to flesh out and retrieve game birds, but with a little practice, you'll have an incredible teammate who knows where the birds are well before you do and can work closely to flush them at the right time and bring them back to you.
Step
1
Training
Your Portuguese Pointer will need a little bit of training before they are ready to head out hunting with you. You can work with a trainer who specializes in bird hunting, or you can work with your dog yourself if you have experience training bird dogs. Make sure they know the basics and how to listen to you before you head out.
Step
2
First time out
The first time you take your dog out on a bird hunting trip, let them tag along with an older dog. They can learn faster from watching another, more experienced dog work and watch for birds. The older dog will let them know when they are doing wrong and show them the right way to point birds and retrieve them.
Step
3
Your hunting partner
After a few times or even a season out with an older dog, your Portuguese Pointer will learn the ropes and become one of your best bird hunting dogs. Their natural talent and instincts will help them, and the bond you created along the way will pay off as you both stalk birds and your dog enables you to make the perfect shot.
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Trail Running

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Water
Activity description
When you're not bird hunting with your dog, you'll need to find another way to keep them fit and expend all their energy. Trail Running is one of the best activities for Portuguese Pointers during the offseason. It's an easy activity and will ensure you both are staying in shape for bird hunting season and allows your dog to explore and continue their tracking and pointing skills. These dogs love to run, and they like to explore the woods. Their noses are always turned to the ground, smelling all the scents they can, and they are happiest running with you while following those scents.
Step
1
Basic training
Before you head out on the trail, it's important to teach your dog a few basic commands so you have control when you need it. Make sure they can come when called, no matter the distraction. Teach them to heel at your side so you can pass other hikers on the trail without intimidating them. Lastly, teach them to sit on command so they can sit off the trail when horses or bikers pass by,
Step
2
Pick a trail
When your dog has the training they need to be a good trail partner, it's time to find the perfect trail. Find something that will challenge you to run uphill, but isn't so steep that it's too hard for you to keep running most of the time. Your dog will love a trail that follows a creek or stream so they can cool off in hot weather. One of the best incentives for a trail is if it has beautiful views or leads to a mountain lake. Keep in mind that your Portuguese Pointer won't care too much about the view, as long as they are with you they are happy.
Step
3
Running buddies
After a few runs out on the trail, you and your dog will get into a routine. As you increase your fitness level and comfort on the trail, you can increase your mileage or find trails that are even more challenging. Your Portuguese Pointer will always be up for the challenge. These dogs love running through the woods, sniffing all the scents they can, and being with their favorite human.
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Snowshoeing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Snowshoes
Doggy Snow boots
Leash
doggy coat
Activity description
In the winter, your active bird dog turns into an eager powder hound. Snowshoeing is one of the best activities for Portuguese Pointers in the winter because it allows them to run and play in the snow while you get a great workout too. Sometimes it's hard to get out of the house during the long, cold winter, but your dog needs to run outside for at least an hour a day. Snowshoeing is a fun activity that might even convince you that winter is a fun time of year. You don't need to learn a new skill, and seeing the landscape covered in snow makes any trek outdoors well worth it.
Step
1
Gear up
Though snowshoeing is easy to do, you still need to have a few things. Your local outdoor shop should have everything you need, and many will rent you snowshoes so you can test them out before you decide to buy. Along with snowshoes and poles for walking, make sure you have several layers of clothing. You may start out cold, but you'll soon warm up and you don't want to sweat too much in winter. Your dog might also need some gear. If they have thin fur, get them a coat to keep them warm and consider investing in dog booties to keep the snow out of their paws.
Step
2
Practice walking
Before you head out on a big snowshoe up a mountain trail, it's a good idea to practice on flat ground to get the hang out it. Snowshoeing isn't hard, but it's a little strange at first and getting used to positioning the cleats for uphill and downhill travel can take some getting used to. Many cross-country ski areas also have snowshoe trails, and some even allow dogs on them. After a few attempts, you'll be feeling comfortable to head to some dog-friendly snowshoe areas.
Step
3
Snowshoe routine
After a few snowshoe trips out with you, your dog will be excited everytime you put on your coat. Don't disappoint them and make snowshoeing part of your routine a few times per week. You can establish a few trails that are great for after work, and on weekends you can look for new places to explore. You might even enlist a few friends and their dogs to go with you. Jumping through the snow is a great way to keep your pup in shape and keep them happy through a long winter.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

If your Portuguese Pointer can't be out fetching you birds, the next best thing is their favorite ball. A game of fetch will help keep your dog fit and challenged when you can't be wandering in the woods.

Swimming

On hot days your dog will want nothing more than to take a dip in the lake or river with you and do a little swimming. Swimming is one of the best summer activities for Portuguese Pointers.

Conclusion

The Portuguese Pointer is a dog with ancient roots, but their sweet disposition and ability to switch from serious hunting dog to family pet are increasing their popularity. Whether they are running on the trail next to you, playing fetch with the family, or flushing upland birds, your dog will always be ready for work and play. Activities for Portuguese Pointers need to take into account their high energy level, but also their love for being with their people. If you have an active family, or if you're looking for an activity buddy who will always motivate you, look no further. This dog will never pass up a chance for fun.