Historical Information:

During the 1880s the German Empire was going through a rapid growth period including its industry, economy and culture.  During this time, German hunting culture and sportsmen developed national gun dogs breed for hunting.

One of the most influential writers during this time was Sigismund Freiherr (Baron) von Zedlitz und Neukirch, who wrote under the pen name Hegewald.  Hegewald used his influence as a well-respected canine authority to convince others to cross water dogs he called pudels with English pointers.  Breeding short-haired and curly-coated dogs were nothing new and had been going on for centuries, but up until then there hadn’t been a systematic approach of breeding established dogs pulling their best qualities into a completely new breed of hunting dog.

Going back to the early 1800s, pointers were imported from England because they were well regarded for their speed and passion in the field.  So they were a natural choice for anyone wanting to develop a new breed.  The pudels that Hegewald wrote about, we don’t actually know much about them.  In the 1620s, an Englishman named Gervase Markham wrote that:

The water dog is a creature of such general use . . . that it is needless to make any large description of him . . . since not any among us is so simple that he cannot say when he sees him: this is a water dog.

. . . may be of any color and yet excellent, and his hair in general would be long and curled, not loose and shaggy; for the first shows hardness and ability to endure the water, the other much tenderness and weakness, making his sport grievous. His head would be round and curled, his ears broad and hanging, his eye full, lively and quick, his nose very short, his lip hound-like, side and rough-bearded, his chops with a full set of strong teeth, and the general features of his whole countenance being united together would be as lion-like as might be, for that shows fierceness and goodness . . . .

Markham describes dogs that were probably descendants of herding dogs that had thick long coats, ideal for working in rough conditions and colder elements like cold water.

The first known written account of cross breeding pudels and pointers was in 1825 when Freiherr (Baron) v. d. Borch wrote in the Jahrbuch für Forstmänner, Jäger und Jagdfreunde (Yearbook for Forest Men, Hunters and Friends of Hunting):

It is noteworthy that crossing the pudel and the pointing dog would unite and maintain the excellent drive by the virtues of both types.

In the mid-1800s, there have been other accounts of systematic breeding similar dog types.

Gaspard de Pekow, the Marquis of Cherville, of France, was successfully breeding griffons and pointers, which later became known as the Guerlain griffon.

Emmanuel Boulet, also of France, was breeding Barbets with pointers.

Hegewald also wrote of other breeding accounts in Germany around the same time.  He wrote that near Magdeburg, an army unit was performing maneuvers in the area.  One of the officers owned a brown pudel that ran off and mated with a brown pointer, owned by a local farmer in the area.  The union produced the first account of a pudel pointer named Juno.  Her qualities inspired Hegewald to write of this account and encouraged breeders to replicate the cross.

Walter zu Walsdorf, of Poland, is said to have mated a black half pudel / half pointer bitch named Molly to a brown and white pointer, named Tell, owned by Emperor Frederick III.

Later, breeders began crossing more pudels and pointers to produce more litters.  It was discovered that pups from the first generation should not bred among themselves as they produce offspring of either the pudel or the pointer, and not the desired blend of the two breeds.  Therefore a new “back-breeding” program was developed, where dogs from the first and second generation of crosses were bred back to pointers which helped to stabilize the character and look and eventually allowed breeders to mate pudelpointers to other pudelpointers.

A breed register was created in 1892.


In 1897, a full-fledged club, the Verein der Pudelpointer-Züchter — later renamed Verein Pudelpointer — was established.

In the beginning a number of prominent members and their dogs joined a different movement called Deutsch Drahthaar (German wirehaired pointer), but those that remained in Verein Pudelpointer stayed true to the breed by only breeding blood lines of pudelpointers because they believed in the gun-dog and their excellent hunting abilities.

In the 1920s the Verein Pudelpointer club joined other breed purists from the griffon and Stichelhaar clubs to form the Rauhaar Reinzucht Verband (Rough-haired Pure-breeding Club).

Pudelpointers eventually made their way out of Germany, at first into neighboring countries, but eventually out of Europe and in the United States.

In 1956, H.D. Hume and Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt, one of the founders of NAVHDA, are credited with introducing the breed into North America.

Today, the majority of pudelpoiners are bred in Germany and the United States with a larger number of pups whelped in the U.S., about 200, with about 150 registered annually in Germany.


Over the last 100 years, the quality of pudelpointers performance and conformation has been assured by various testing systems in Germany and the United States.

In North America, most pudelpointer breeders use the NAVHDA testing system to help provide proof of their breeding stock. Many also register their pups in the NAVHDA registry, and some register with the Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB). As of recent, some breeders have also tested with the newly formed Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF).  In Germany, the Verein Pudelpointer organizes VJP, HZP and VGP venues, as well as a special HZP named after an early supporter of the breed, Edgar Heyne.


Like with any breed of dog or hunting dog, there are variations in terms of performance and other characteristics from one pudelpointer to the next.  However, there almost no variation in one important aspect of the breed: the vast majority of pudelpointers hunt.  Pudelpointers are generally medium-sized gundogs with a similar look and appearance to the German wirehaired pointers.  Colors usually consist of browns, but black coats are also allowed, with some instances of small white markings.  Pudelpointers’ tails are docked, leaving roughly two-thirds of the original length.  The breed also shows a very strong pointing instinct with slight stance variations between U.S. breed pudelpointers and their European cousins.  European breeds tend to have a more level head, back and tail, whereas U.S. breeds have a slightly higher head and tail when pointing.

Pudelpointers are also have a great natural instinct to retriever.  Combine that with a protective coat and pudelpointers are a top choice among waterfowl hunters.

Finally, pudelpointers make great all-around dogs, but are ideal gundogs.  They are friendly, tend to get along well with other dogs and are easy to train.