Did You Know?
Here’s some fun facts you may or may not know about setters, brits and pointers!
- Pointers as we know them in the UK today are through to have originated from Spain and the Spanish Pointer (or Pachon Navarro). After the War of Spanish Succession ended in 1713, army officers returned the the UK with pointers they’d found in Spain. These were later bred with Italian pointers which had also made their way to the UK, resulting in the pointers we have today.
- Art work of pointers and their predecessors can be dated back as far as 3000 years, to the walls of Egyptian tombs
- Although referred to as gun dogs, setters and pointers were used for hunting long before the invention of guns. The dog would set or point to alert the hunter to pray which they would then throw a net over
- The first official dog show to take place in the UK was in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1859 as an addition to the annual cattle show. The breeds were limited to setters and pointers. The prize awarded to each winner was a double barrelled gun, worth about £15-20
- Setters were originally known as “setting dogges” due to the unmistakable stance while hunting. It is thought the English Setter dates back as far as the 15th century and evidence suggest they originated from crosses of the Spanish Pointer, large Water Spaniel, and English Springer Spaniel
- The Brittany was first registered as a breed in France in 1907 but evidence of the breed featuring on tapestries and paintings date back as far as the 17th century.
- The first written and varifiable record of the Brittany was a hunting description written by Reverend Davies in 1850, describing the bobtailed dogs who pointed as well as making excellent retrievers. It’s around this time that rumours begin of the modern Brittany having been bred by mating with English Setters.
- Unlike many gun dogs, the English Setter is not a hunter-pointer-retriever (HPR) breed but are classic hunter-pointers as they have traditionally never been asked to retrieve. This can be seen in the challenging setter recall, especially in European rescue setters.
- Legend has it that the Brittany shares the same ancestry as the Welsh Springer Spaniel, with both sharing many similar physical traits.
- The modern pure-bred Brittany is often mistaken for having had their tails docked, but in fact are born with natural bobtails due to a mutation in a gene called the T-box transcription factor T gene (C189G).