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chiendog

Pointer Folks, let's talk about size

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chiendog

Way back when, there used to be two classes for Pointers in shows and trials:  heavyweight (males over 55 lbs, females over 50) and lightweight (any dog under those weights). And I've even come across descriptions of 'dwarf Pointers' that, according to a description from the mid 1800s were a "...perfect miniature variety of a very highly-bred English pointer, seldom exceeding one foot in height".

Today of course there are no longer any official heavyweight or lightweight classes. The KC, AKC and FCI all have a single standard for conformation shows and trials. But what about the vast majority of Pointers bred in North America that are not AKC registered or shown but are registered with the FDSB and run in American field trials? What would you say is the average size of those dogs is today?  Is there a trend towards smaller or bigger ones? or is the size/weight thing more or less stable (and if yes, when did it stabilize?). 

Thanks for your input!

 

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mccuha

Just a personal preference. I like a smaller dog. All my Gpa's dogs were smaller around 35lbs. Due to this that's all I know. I do have a really big setter/GSP mix but I like setters and pointers kind of on the small size (around 35# mark)  I think it's all about what you like. Im no breeder but have talked to some and they say if you use the same line without adding fresh blood to the lines that the dogs tend to get a little smaller. Don't know if this is true or not. Smaller dogs are easier to handle, by that I mean if I need to pick them up. This is especially true if you have a dog topper where you have to help them in and out of there kennel.

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C.J.L.

Weight is a bit tricky cause a kennel dog Is going to be lighter in weight then a house dog (IMHO) and the  then there's how much running they get to do in a week.  I like bigger muscular dogs.  I think they hold up better during the season of hunting a bunch of different birds in different habitat in multiple states.  45 to 50 pound male during the season is about right for me.  Over 52 pounds and I'd put him on a diet.  

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chilly460

I'm not a knowledgeable Pointer guy, having not really been around them, but the ones I'd seen previously were slender dogs, narrow shouldered but muscular.  I do see the hulked up EP in online pics so I know they can have that look as well.  This dude was at training last weekend, 65lbs and very fit, big wide chest on him....and just the nicest dog around.  Pic doesn't do justice, he was a hoss.  

 

Does seem like a lot of variance in the bird dog breeds.  Setters can be wiry long legged dudes, stoutly built but short little pocket setters, heavier built short legged dogs, and then the tall jowly Ryman type dogs.  

IMG_5948.jpg

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Runningdog

Long legged, bodies in the 50's, and the tail short!

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dogrunner

Smaller dogs in the woods usually, bigger dogs out in the grass. 

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Tom Avent

My females are in the 30-35lb range and perfect IMHO. I have had several hunting buddies and seen posts here and on other forums talk about the benefit from larger dogs running thru tough cover. I first started my upland odyssey with a 85lb hard charging lab. My first transition to pointing dogs was a 50lb setter. Both of those dogs were tough as nails, but ended up spending time on the injured reserve list. I'll take a smaller dog who can almost float thru the cover any day.

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mccuha

Far a lot of us id be willing to bet the choice of sizes of dogs go back to what size dogs you were introduced to by fathers ,G fathers , friends and the such.  Like I said I like the 30-35lb range but I’ve had and currently have dogs bigger than that.  

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ThreeDogs

Hunters like them smaller 35-40 lb.

 

Field Trial guys like the big powerful long bodied thoroughbred types.

 

The larger dogs poop more than the other that was the biggest difference I saw. 

 

I guess I prefers a medium+ dog to a smaller one.

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Ray Gubernat

chien -

 

From what I see in FDSB trial pointers in my area(Middle Atlantic), the majority are in the 45-55# range, fairly tall, lean and leggy.   It has been that way here for quite a while. 

 

Not too many in my area are over 60#, but farther south it seems that larger bodied dogs are more common.   Not sure about western dogs.   No experience there.

 

A fair number in my area are under 40#, especially females, but again, usually lean and leggy, just not as tall.  This could be(I think) from the influence of  grouse woods performers,  and possibly from the local influence of Calico Kennel dogs like Thrillogy who is quite well represented in a number of  current competitive dogs. 

 

I am no expert on this, but it does seem that as you breed tighter and tighter to a particular line, the size tends to diminish.

 

RayG

 

 

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Chukarman

Western trial dogs range from 30+ lb. females to 50-55 lb. males, with a lot of variability. I generally agree that line breeding can result, sometimes, in somewhat smaller dogs.

 

Most of the pointers that I have seen in trials are about the same size or smaller than most of my setters. All my setters but one were between 43 and 50 lbs. - all males. One of them is a monster - maybe 65 + lbs. He just kept growing and I blame his daddy - T M Patriot.

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MIshooter

I like the size of my female (35#, lean, racy) and she's pretty much perfect for the type of hunting I do (predominantly in the grouse woods). She's out of cover dog lines and females from her breeder tend to be around her size, maybe a little bigger. I like that size for various reasons and will definitely seek out a dog of similar size when I'm in the market for another. She runs hard out west but she wore down after a few days and needed a day off to recover. She wasn't even a year old at the time and I overdid it with her one day so I mostly chalk up the wearing down to that. I kept her to a daily limit of 3 to 3.5 hours on the ground after that and she held up just fine. I will say that my dad had a 48# setter male who could run all day out west or in the grouse woods and there's something to be said for that. His 50# male pointer that he has now is pretty much the same.

 

To each their own.

 

Kip

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redwing

Gsp breed std ,dogs 25-31.8 kgs(55-70 lbs) and bitches20.4-27.2 kgs(45-60 lbs).My current dog,Xela, weighs 21kgs now (she is going on 8)and has maintained this weight since maturity.What I can tell from experience is that all the bigger dogs I've had(dogs/bitches) run out of steam on long hunts (3/4 day) and especially when hunting open grasslands where they have to cover serious ground(probably about 60 odd km/d quartering).What I have also noticed with the bigger dogs is they tended to get more paw related issues, sprains/pad problems etc.This could never be confirmed however, and it definitely wasn't a conditioning thing.I would go for a small dog anytime ,20-25 kg .My 2 c  

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Scott Berg
On 4/12/2019 at 10:09 AM, C.J.L. said:

Weight is a bit tricky cause a kennel dog Is going to be lighter in weight then a house dog (IMHO) and the  then there's how much running they get to do in a week.  I like bigger muscular dogs.  I think they hold up better during the season of hunting a bunch of different birds in different habitat in multiple states.  45 to 50 pound male during the season is about right for me.  Over 52 pounds and I'd put him on a diet.  

 

You make a good point about kennel vs house dogs.  I would add that dogs that are trialed are a couple pounds lighter than the vast majority of personal gun dogs.  Of course we also need to categorize size by male and female.  A 45lb Setter female (in shape) is a couple standard deviations above average.

 

52 lbs is not necessarily in need of being put on a diet.  I have seen many 55-60 pound Pointers that were in great shape.  Some of the great Setter HB Champions were 55+ including Shadow Oak Bo, Tekoa Mountain Patriot, Hick’s Rising Sun, Hytest Skyhawk, T’s Gun Runner, Grid Iron, Havelock Blacksmith, The Performer and several other Champions that were not quite as high profile as these dogs.  Most of the Smith dogs were big as Harold Ray favored bigger males.  Having said this I would agree that it’s harder to get elite athleticism and running style beyond 50-52 lbs in a male and 42-43 lbs in a female.  I would add that Pointers and GSPs average a couple pounds more than Setters.  My preference is a lean 47-50 lbs male or a 40-42lbs female.  We also have a handful of 36-38lbs females that are still elite athletes as long as the cover is not too thick.  A 38lbs female simply can’t handle heavy grasses like a 50 pound male and a 55lbs pound male just can’t navigate the obstacle course we call the grouse woods like a smaller dog.

 

SRB
 

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406dn

If I had to chose between a dog smaller than average or larger than average,, I'd take the smaller dog. Of course if you buy puppies,,, you won't know for certain until the dog has finished growing.

 

I don't see a male needing to be more than 50# and would rather have a 45# male,,, not that I'll likely own another male. Some years ago one the females I owned was hard pressed to weigh 34-35 #. I was concerned that for field trialing, she would not be enough dog. What she was,,,,was a talented bird finder who rarely made a mistake on her birds. That was more important than her stature. Might she have been better if she was bigger??? only if she retained her other talents. She convinced me that there are far more important things to worry about than a dog's weight.

 

 

 

 

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