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 |

spinone italiano

The Spinone Italiano – a gentle breed

The Italian spinone – Spinone Italiano – has been present here in Britain for almost the same time as the Brittany: the dogs first appeared at the Game Fair exactly 40 years ago, while they were first exhibited at Crufts in 1983. They soon gained an enthusiastic following in the…

gundog handling

All about the letters FTCh and what they mean

Most people who work gundogs are aware of the letters FTCh in front of a dogs name. They stand, of course, for field trial champion. With the most popular breeds, such as labradors, English springers and cockers, several are made up each year. With the less numerous or minority breeds,…

HPR Championship

HPR championship: victory at last

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s a rule that applies to Rory Major, who last month finally achieved his lifelong ambition to win the HPR Championship. As he admits with a wry smile: “It’s only taken me 34 years to win it. I have qualified for…

The Brittany: why it’s the most popular gundog in France

Why a Brittany? Although it’s not unusual to be asked for guidance, the majority of buyers have already decided on their breed of choice, be it spaniel, retriever or HPR. The majority of people remain with the same type of dog, if not the same breed, throughout their life. However,…

Irish water spaniel

The Irish water spaniel

Hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) dogs are increasing in popularity but it’s unusual to see an Irish water spaniel in the field, although it could lay claim to being the only HPR native to these islands. These spaniels are not only keen hunters, point before flushing and are good retrievers…

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

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…