Hear hear !! Well said !!I cannot get my head round some of the really poor comments on this thread about Pointers
I am going to make some broad statements, therefor I will explain my reasoning and experience first.
I have kept, trained and worked dogs for 60 years, Fell terriers to Afghan hounds, Golden Retrievers to GSPs and a lot in-between.
And I have seen a lot of working dogs all over the world.
Firstly ALL mammals are born with the ability of swimming in water, it is only if frightened or badly entered that any mammal fails and that includes humans, I have yet to see a dog that doesn't swim if entered correctly.
When it comes to Pointers, do people not find it strange that water work is a major part of continental dog tests? and until the working pointer test were cancelled in the UK it was the only dog test that contained water work as mandatory, there was a nice article about it the sporting press last year.
Hard mouth yes, some pointers are hard mouthed, but so are more than a few labs, just look in a game cart at the end of a day.
I take people out wild fowling most of the winter, on most days the wildfowlers take their own dogs, normally Labs or Chesapeake's, but when there's un retrieved ducks or geese, its my GSPs that do the finding and retrieving. Yet by the very nature of my work, they are not out in the field as much as the clients dogs, so it should be their dogs that work better.
When I'm out stalking they work at heel and point deer, fox and find lost large game.
When out on Driven shoots they both sit at the peg without a problem and retrieve when asked and I could go on, but you get the picture!, they are not some sort of magic dog, they are the product of hard work and training, the same as hundreds of other good dogs.
A GSP or GWP can be a perfect all round dog, but it takes a lot more effort and understanding then a Labrador retriever.
And this is the final clincher, MOST British dog men do not have the know how or patience to successfully train a pointer to a high standard and then they make the excusers about the dogs are useless etc.
It takes a lot of patience and time to train a gwp. But it's well worth it!! Having said that, I have a wee problem at the peg with a dog who''s dying to get in there
Now trying to get him to follow scent trails and he's 7 in September