Articles on Pointing Breeds
First Portuguese Pointer to Obtain the Master Hunter Title
Luis Neves and Betinho do Choupal -- Our Road to Master Hunter
July 30, 2012
I was born in Portugal and spent my youth hunting with my father and our dogs. It was there that I developed my life-long love of hunting. I moved to America when I was 18 years old. I continued to hunt and acquired a wonderful German Shorthaired Pointer. Sadly, she passed away at the age of one. That loss devastated me and I didn't hunt for awhile. Eventually, I missed hunting and my wife suggested that since I had always wanted a Portuguese Pointer that this would be a good time to get one. I acquired Diva from an old breeder friend back in Portugal. I bred Diva and enjoyed hunting with her and her daughter.
However, I wanted a nice male to train and hunt. I took a trip back to Portugal and visited a long time breeder who had a reputation for breeding excellent field dogs. He had three eight month old brothers available. I spent a morning watching the three males work on birds. After much thought, I decided the one called Betinho would be mine. Betinho and I arrived in America in October of 2006. At that time there were less then 200 Portuguese Pointers in the United States. Betinho joined our family and began his hunting training that fall in the fields of Long Island, New York. Betinho and I have a special connection and as his owner/trainer I respect that he always wants to please me. That is a breed characteristic I especially like.
The AKC admitted the Portuguese Pointer into the Foundation Stock Services program in 2005, and in 2008 allowed the FSS breeds to compete in performance events. Betinho and my bitch Sina completed their Junior Hunter titles in 4 straight hunt tests and thus became the first ever AKC titled dogs in their breed. A judge was impressed with Betinho and encouraged me to continue his training and aim for a Senior Hunter title. At the age of four, Betinho became the first Portuguese Pointer and only one to date, to earn a Senior Hunter Title. We continued on with his training and at the age of six, Betinho again became the first and only one to date of his breed, to earn the Master Hunter title.
I am very proud of my dog and all of his hard work and for proving that the Portuguese Pointer is a bird dog any upland hunter would be proud to own. My hope is that someday soon the AKC will recognize the breed to participate in field trails as well as the hunt tests.