Hunt, Point and Retrieve breeds

Hunt, point, retrieve (HPR) breeds are not often seen in the beating line, but they are very versatile dogs used for roughshooting, picking-up and deer stalking.

HPR breeds include: German Shorthaired Pointer, German Longhaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Weimaraner, Hungarian Vizsla, Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla, Brittany, Large Munsterlander, Italian Spinone, Bracco Italiano, Korthals Griffon and Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer.

Hungarian vizsla

The Hungarian vizsla is a versatile but sensitive breed

Some of the above breeds are only rarely seen in the UK. However we always enjoy it when we see them, particularly when they are hard at work doing what they love to do out in the field.

A good place to see them is at the various country shows which take place around the country – it’s a good opportunity to view the different dogs up close and talk to the breeders.

The spinone Italiano

The spinone Italiano

Here is a round-up of all our posts on the hunt, point, retrieve breeds and what you can expect from them.

Brittany | Braccho Italiano | Korthals Griffon | Munsterlander | Pointer | Spinone | Vizsla | Weimaraner |

Braque du Bourbonnais

Braque du bourbonnais – a dog with a genuine sporting pedigree

What’s a braque du Bourbonnais? It’s a question that braque owners are frequently asked and most will tell you that it’s a type of French gundog, one of a group known in their native country as les chiens d’arrêt. Braque du Bourbonnais – the stopping dog The word arrêt translates…

German Shorthaired Pointer

A shoot day is no place for an overexcited dog

Q: I own a rather excitable dog, an exuberant German shorthaired pointer (GSP) that I take beating on several driven shoots. He works well once the drives start and always gets compliments. However, my problems occur at the start of the day and in between drives. He has rather a…

German HPR breeds

Just why are German HPRs are so popular here?

History notes that the first of the German HPR breeds, the German shorthaired pointer, was shown in England in 1887, but it wasn’t until after World War II that these elegant, all-purpose dogs appeared in the shooting field in the UK, brought back by British Army officers who had served…

hpr gundog

Which is the best hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Rory Major of Bryantscroft Gundogs has probably trained and competed with more breeds of gundog than anyone else in the business. He has trialled everything from retrievers and spaniels to setters and most breeds of hunt, point and retrieve gundog (HPR). He made up the first British wirehaired pointer field…

spaniel with docked tail

Tail docking: Key facts you need to know

Tail docking: It is one of the most emotive subjects in the gundog world, so education is key to knowing where owners, breeders and vets stand on tail docking.

pointers dog breed

The history of the pointer

When someone tells me they own a pointer I always have to ask what sort. Usually it turns out to be a German shorthaired pointer, as this is the most numerous pointing breed in the shooting field today, but strictly speaking a pointer is a pointer. Pointers are grouped with…

champion stake

Pointer and setter Champion Stake 2019 report

Six dogs ran in that first Champion Stake in 1869 and the winner was Mr. Garth’s pointer dog Drake. One hundred and fifty years later we gathered on Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum’s beautiful Bollihope Estate to see forty-two pointers and setters compete for the oldest and most prestigious field trial…

training an HPR breed

The trick to training an HPR breed

Some traditionalists dismiss HPRs as unnecessary for British shooting, but David Tomlison finds out why owners of these dogs so passionately disagree

Irish water spaniel

The Irish water spaniel

The joker in the spaniel pack. No, not my words, but those of an Irish water spaniel owner and enthusiast, talking about the foibles and idiosyncrasies of his favourite breed. The Irish water spaniel, he assured me, could lay claim to being the only HPR native to these islands. He…

Hungarian wirehaired vizsla

Do Hungarian vizslas make good family pets?

I am thinking of buying a Hungarian vizsla as a hunting/hawking dog and which would also be a family pet, but I know little about the breed. Is there a good book on this breed and a trainer or breeder in Somerset whom I can contact?

English pointer

Can I teach an English pointer to sit at the peg?

Q: I have been involved in shooting all my life, but 
have only begun shooting in 
a syndicate since retiring and have no experience of having 
a dog sitting at the peg. I have always fancied having a pointer primarily as a house dog, but also to take out a…

Hungarian wirehaired vizsla

Secrets of the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla success

The Hungarian wirehaired vizsla (HWV) is a relatively new breed, created a century ago in Hungary by crossing smooth-haired vizslas with other pointer breeds — among them the German wirehaired pointer and the pudelpointer — to produce the dog we know today. Tough, all-purpose hunting dog The breed’s development was…

how to choose the right HPR breed

Which is the right HPR breed for my needs?

Q: I have always used cross-breeds for rough shooting, rabbits and wild pheasants, plus a fair bit of duck shooting as well. They have been all sorts and never very obedient. I now have the funds to be able to afford 
a pedigree puppy and really fancy 
a pointer of…

German shorthaired pointer

The German shorthaired pointer

The very first time I saw a German shorthaired pointer (GSP) working was about 25 years ago. I had been invited to photograph an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) spring pointing test on the Waddesdon Manor Estate in Buckinghamshire, and the first dog to run was a white and liver-ticked dog called Swifthouse Basil. I was truly impressed by…

springer spaniel dream gundog

The dream gundog team

I’ll tell you what I want to see behind me when I am standing in a line of guns outside a likely looking covert. I want to see a bunch of pickers-up with sundry teams of likely looking dogs. I want them a good gunshot distance and where I can see them. I don’t want to…

dogs and pickers up on grouse moor

The pleasure of working dogs on a grouse moor

For most of us the shooting season is still months away. If, however, you are fortunate enough to work your dogs on the grouse moors, there’s just three weeks or so to go before the start, assuming that grouse stocks are robust enough for shooting to begin on 12 August. However, since the introduction of medicated grit, grouse populations no longer…

HPR breeds

Hunt, point and retrieve – truly versatile dogs

Many years ago, when I started out photographing gundogs, I used to attend quite a few spring pointing tests and it was at these events where I not only saw my first HPR working in the field, but I also developed some lifelong friendships with a number of handlers that…

pointing dog

Spotlight on continental HPR breeds

One of the founding fathers of modern electric blues music was a man known as Muddy Waters. A fellow black musician, bemoaning what he perceived to be the hijacking of their music — mainly by the American middle class — once voiced his concern. Muddy, far simply agreeing, responded: “Black, white;…