Old Danish Pointing Dog (Gammel Dansk Hønsehund)

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white with brown markings, brown specks ( freckles) on white
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • versatile hunter

  • extremely loyal

  • even-tempered

  • easy to groom

  • suspicious of strangers

  • requires a great amount of daily exercises

  • not for an apartment living


The Old Danish Pointing Dog is an average-sized multifunctional hunting dog, which was developed in Denmark in the early XVIII century. The most definitive trait of this breed is the remarkable difference in appearance between the male and the female. This robust and powerful breed gained wide recognition in its homeland for its outstanding hunting prowess as well as for its stable and pleasant disposition.


The Old Danish Pointing Dog is one of the two indigenous hunting breed of Denmark, which was invented in 1710 by a dog lover from Glostrup named Mortem Bak. He required eight generations of meticulous selective breeding to create this supreme versatile hunter with distinctive piebald coat. In his work Mortem Bak used local Bloodhounds and canines imported there by gypsies from Spain. Actually the resulting dog shared lots of characteristics with the St. Huberts Hound, which was also the direct progenitor of the gypsy dogs. Initially the dog carried the name of its developer and was referred as the Bakhund.

The Old Danish Pointing Dog was marked by excellent adaptability and could operate in any type of terrain. Initially it was used exclusively as a retriever but with the invention of gun hunting it gradually evolved into a wonderful gun dog. This breed applied quite unique hunting technique. Its specimen would trot silently and carefully always keeping the human hunter in view. Once it detected the scent trail it would frantically wag its tail and run in circular motion. In such a peculiar way the dog warned the hunter that the prey was within the range of gunshot. Its acute nose as well as sly action in indicating to the game empowers the Old Danish Pointing Dog to thrive in bomb detection and tracking wounded large game.

The two World Wars led the breed to the brink of extinction. Luckily it was virtually resurrected by several breed fanciers. Gradually the Old Danish Pointing Dog was restored to its former number. It first member was registered by the Danish Kennel Club in 1962. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) granted its full recognition to the breed in 1969. In the modern-day Denmark it enjoys popularity as an effective all-purpose hunting dog and a sweet-tempered and affectionate pet.


The Old Danish Pointing Dog is a determined and tough hunting breed, which will make an excellent companion animal for an avid hunter. At the same time this breed is known for its reserved and calm behaviour in a home environment, which also makes it an agreeable pet. It demonstrates incredible loyalty to its master and his family. The dog requires certain amount of socialisation to learn the basics of acceptable behaviour in a human society. Thanks to its well-balanced temperament this dog usually gets along with children and will be absolutely happy to spend time with them.

As a rule the Old Danish Pointing Dog meets all unfamiliar people with initial suspiciousness. Nonetheless it tolerates their presence and will never bite without extensive provocation. Most of its specimens are vigilant enough to signal its master when someone is coming to the door of his house. So it can make a fairly decent watchdog. At the same time this breed lacks necessary aggressiveness to effectively fulfil the duties of a guard dog.

The Old Danish Pointing Dog has good reputation with other dogs although it definitely needs to be introduced to their presence as early as possible. This dog is notable for very sociable nature and will be glad to have a permanent canine play mate. It will treat any type of other household pet as the part of its pack if they have been reared up together. Nevertheless it tends to chase any street cat, which was unlucky enough to come into its view.

Health problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· eyes problems;

· ear problems;

· canine hip dysplasia.


It’s very easy to groom the Old Danish Pointing Dog. To keep its short coat in a healthy condition the master should brush it with a firm bristled brush once a week. It’s recommended to bath this dog only when it’s absolutely necessary. The breed is a moderate shedder.

After each and every hunting adventure large floppy ears of the Old Danish Pointing Dog should be carefully examined and cleaned of any dirt and debris. It’s also important to check the dog’s fur for the signs of external parasites or burrs after it has hunted.


The training of the Old Danish Pointing Dog needs medium amount of time and efforts. With its supreme intelligence and eagerness to oblige it commonly becomes a highly capable learner. However some of its specimens possess an obstinate streak so their training may require some extra patience.

The handler should always keep control over the situation otherwise this dog will simply ignore his orders. It’s important to stimulate it to the work only with food incentives and praise. The Old Danish Pointing Dog is prone to become resentful and unruly if the trainer mistreats it or tries to force it to training.


The Old Danish Pointing Dog is an extremely athletic and hardy working dog, which needs significant amount of physical exercise to stay happy and fit. Brisk and long daily walk is a must for this dog if you want it to remain calm and relaxed indoors. This breed is ill-suited for an apartment life since it should be regularly released off-leash in a safely enclosed yard.

The Old Danish Pointing Dog will become an excellent choice for those families who would like to have a hunting dog and a loving and polite house companion. Bear in mind that an under exercised dog will most likely exhibit such unwanted behavioural patterns as constant barking, hyperactivity, restlessness and destructiveness.