Vom Speicher Lane; A Site For Pudelpointers
pudelpointer YAEL vom Orsoyer Land

There are two articles here, both used with the permission of the LG Westfalen im Verein Pudelpointer e.V. and translated by Jude Gerstein.

The first article is a history of the Pudelpointer as written by Adolf Wienecke. The second is an article on the history of the Pudelpointer Association is Germany and its mandate, as envisioned by the man known as  Hegewald. It was written by Dr. Hans Ulrich Voswinkel.

The History of the Pudelpointer,  by Adolf Wienecke
Part I

As the name suggests, the first Pudelpointer came from the pudel and pointer cross. Today it may seem amazing to use a “poodle,” which we know as a companion dog in the founding of a hunting dog breed. Only a few contemporaries know that the large, fuzzy-haired pudel, the “Königspudel” was originally an excellent hunting dog, used successfully up until the last century.

It was praised in particular for its search and passion for the water, its tracking skill and tonguing, its desire to retrieve and to retrieve lost game, its sharpness on predators, its intelligence and adaptability.  Yes, he was considered the most intelligent of dogs.

Today hunters are more aware of the advantages of the pointer rather than the former hunting qualities of the pudel. The pointer was used as it is today; as the English field dog with the keen, true nose, the fiery temper, unsurpassed in the field with enormous perseverance, speed, a far ranging search as the dog with the most brilliant field style.

With a security bordering on certainty, one can say that without an “accident”, one would never have thought to purposely breed two purebred dogs who work in so opposite a manner to each other as the pudel and the pointer. Purely by chance, first accidental and then intended crossings with pudel blood worked out to be very satisfactory.

Thus it was, in a publication from 1902, that Dr. Ströse quotes a sentence from a book published in 1817. It read: “The best hunting dogs are a blend of the large Pudel.” This sentence was not overlooked, as was evidenced by the both these chance and intended breedings between pudel and pointer, continuing to occur. However, where there were only accidental crossings, a breed did not develop further to the F1 generation.

Hegewald writes in his treatise on the Versatile dog; “But of two such ‘accidents’ there was created the brown female ‘JUNO’ and the black male ‘NIMROD‘. Both were pointing dogs used as versatiles by the Ältmeister.

” It could expand, given the proper framework, based on these two dogs,” reports one of the followers of Hegewald. “For not only in Germany, but in England, Spain and America there were great results with the by-products of crossing of pointer and pudel blood.  The English have already succeeded in developing a purebred dog from a pointer x pudel cross, the fuzzy-haired retrieving dog known as the Curly-Coated Retriever.”

Inevitably, Ältmeister Hegewald was possessed by the idea of creating from pointer and pudel blood, a half-blood, pointing, versatile hunting dog breed which combined the best qualities of both original breeds, and which was passed on consistently.

It was not for the joy of experimenting which drove Hegewald, but the realization that the future of the old German “chicken” dogs lay in the outcross. They had by then, become too docile and calm and lacked “nose.”  At that time, the Germans had not come to terms in using full English blood.

Part II
pudelpointer Altmeister Hegewald
Ältmeister Hegewald (Freiherr von Zedlitz)

Thus it was, that in 1881, after many discussions pro and con, and despite the polarized protests of the Kynologie, that Hegewald and his followers dared to begin.

The first purposefully bred Pudelpointer throw went to Stiftsörster Walter zu Walsdorf bei Goldberg in Schlesiesen. It was out out of the black PP female “MOLLY” and the distinguished white and brown pointer “TELL.” From this breeding came “CORA vom Walsdorf” who already corresponded to Hegewald’s ideals to a large extent with the hunting background of both original breeds, and the outward appearance of a rough-haired, dry-leaf brown (dürlaub) pointer, which came from the pudel.

One of the First Generation of Pudelpointers of outstanding bearing was “Cora von Wolfsdorf.” This picture was held up as an “example” of the PP Breed.
pudelpointer Cora von Walsdorf
This dog CORA was held up as an example for a long time. Altogether, nine crossings of pudel x pointer were done. Of these, eight black and one brown (brown being a recessive gene in the PP) pudel, and nine white/brown pointers were used. In seven of these crossings, he father was the pudel, and in the other two, a pointer was the male.

Now the PPs of the F1 Generation were not bred among themselves. This would have led to immediate fragmentations in both the Phenotype and the Genotype. Instead, the F1 Generations, and also the next (F2) Generations were backcrossed to white/brown pointers. There for the hybrid effect was increased (Hybrid Effect: an enormous increase of the desire and performance in relation to the parents’ generation was renewed again and again. Only gradually was the mating of PP to PP done.

From 1924 until 1945, absolute pure breeding was done. It was only after the confusion of WWII and the post-war period when the breed basis had sunk to a minimum, that there was a purposeful and moderate input of pointer blood. This avoided an inbreeding situation and created a new gene pool.

In 1983, after nearly thirty years, plans for breeding according to the early principles were undertaken again, with a narrowly limited input of pointer blood. The descendants of these breedings, which are firstly subject to a breeding barrier, are always strictly submitted to a strict selection procedure.

Thus, PPs registered in the Breed book are the purebred, and occasionally, the limited back-crossings with pointer blood, the latter only with the permission of the Annual General Meeting. Within the context of the pure breed, line breeding is done in order to achieve a balanced consistent and uniform type. Occasionally backcrosses are made which bring only relatively short-term successes (Heterosiseffekt). However, these back-crossings work well against in-breeding depressions.

The Pudelpointer is not a result of the German hunting dog, as was falsely and loudly proclaimed. Instead, it is a rough-haired hunting dog breed, which developed genetically from the original breeds of pudel and pointer, completely isolated from the other German hunting dogs. But it has been said the PP has considerably contributed to the establishment off the “Deutsch Drahthaar” in one of its mother lines. These are facts, which are beyond dispute.

Although pudel blood was only used to establish the foundation of the PP, it is amazing that like the old Pudel inheritance, it is expressed in the intelligence, trainability, tracking desire and tonguing, joy in retrieving and the retrieval of lost game, its nose and passion for the water, and its sharpness on predators, of today's Pudelpointer.

On Hegewald’s Ideas and Mandate;  75 Years of the Pudelpointer Breed

pudelpointer dr. voswinkel In 1972, Dr. Hans Ulrich Voswinkel published “The History of the Pudelpointer Association, in honour of the 75th Anniversary of the Pudelpointer  Association, the VPP e. V. It received a lot of press, both in Pudelpointer publications, and in the hunting press. It is of fundamental importance to the  understanding of the Pudelpointer.

 Dr. Voswinkel became a member of the VPP e. V. in 1949. He became the 2nd. Chairman in 1953, and Chairman in 1958. Dr. Voswinkel held this  position until 1971, when he was unanimously chosen to become the Honourary chairman. Aside from his career as an entrepreneur, he was first and foremost a conscientious hunter and an excellent shot. He was also and outstanding handler and trainer, and his was the critical kennel, “vom Fuchswinkel.” Dr. Voswinkel died in 1973, at the age of 72.

With the blossoming popularity of hunting in the 1880s, the lack of good German dogs became apparent. The sophisticated English pointers and setters proved far superior, and grew in support. But they were generally, used only as pure field specialists.  It was only in the hands of the most talented dog handlers, that they also worked in the forest and in water.

                 pudelpointer Bodo vom Isselstrand                                            pudelpointer Basko vom Huenstein
Bodo vom Isselstrand  PP6688                                                         Basko vom Huenstein

It was Baron von Zedlitz; know as Hegewald, who pointed the way to the creation of the all-purpose German dog, while at the same time, the laying the foundations for the versatile gundog, which is so popular and well liked today. In those years, Hegewald used both the spoken and written word, to urge and encourage his vision; the creation of the keen, fiery, courageous and co-operative purebred faithful hunting companion, who is reliable both before and after the shot, with an inconspicuous and waterproof coat. He was the best person for the creation of this new versatile dog. In his opinion, the best and noblest dog for this would be the full-blooded pointer.

Hegewald writes, in 1881, on the Versatile dog:

“We need the Pointer’s excellent nose and fiery temperament, paired with its enormous drive and speed. We need, however, to lose its singleness of purpose [I.E. field work specialist]. There is only one way to achieve this, through the admixture of Pudel blood. Nevertheless, our well thought out, determined program would create and produce a wire-coated pointer, which possesses a more practical coat, colour and rounded tail. Its single-minded disposition will be changed with the judiciously introduced blood; the versatility and co-operation passed on through the Pudel, along with their acknowledged intelligence and trainability. Then one can appreciate those three already apparent, incomparable characteristics of the English Full blood, plus the great appeal, great intelligence, the versatility, the desire to retrieve, loyalty, watchfulness, devotion, inclination to water and courage of the Pudel. All this, plus the brilliant Pointer nose, perseverance and speed paired with all the virtues of the most intelligent and brightest dogs in the world!”

Those are Hegewald’s words, in accordance with his philosophy and ideals. That is the Pudelpointer, as he called this rough-coated, versatile dog, from the outset. It was his plan, his path and his goal. He successfully supported it his entire life with interest and enthusiasm. Thus it was, for 75 years, that the Pudelpointer was the foundation of the German Versatile Hunting Dog, and the unforgotten and deserving father of both, was Ältmeister Hegewald.

 Now then one could ask, was this idea of crossing two so opposite breeds just to “create one constant breed,” as Hegewald very strongly described it, very unrealistic and risky?

For centuries, the ancestor of the Pudel was a “rough-haired German sheep herding dog, who worked closely with herders and farmers. These dogs were hard and sharp, very easy to train and weather resistant, as well as being constantly with his Master. But for herding and driving large herds, this old-style herding dog proved to be too cumbersome. Therefore, since the early Middle Ages, people from all the countries of Middle Europe, preferred crosses between these dogs and the “Bracke” as the shorthaired, running dog was called. The product of theses crossings was called the “Pudel” because of its joyful love of water. The Pudel remained in “hard service” for the shepherds, and so was bred with practical selection with an eye to its use, intelligence and heart. At the same time, it was also suitable for the hunt, as a scent hound and tracker in the bush, thorn and water.

This intelligent, rough-haired, large pudel, later also called the Königspudel (King’s Pudel) proved itself through hard work up until the beginning of the 1800s. It was of the same breeding as the fancy, highly groomed Poodle of today, though today’s type would not be useful for the breeding of the versatile hunting dog.

pudelpointer Klosterjäger Lars
Klosterjäger Lars

The Pointers originated in Spain, where it had been bred since the 12th Century as the pointing dog of the high-ranking nobility. It originated from the Celtic “Leguster” hound, which also through selective breeding, showed a strong pointing tendency. This “Perro de Punta” (pointing dog) was purebred for 400 years, where it distinguished itself with its excellent nose, pointing and speed. British Officers serving in Spain in the 1800s, got to know these wonderful dogs, prized for their retrieving and water work. These men took the dogs back with them to England, where they were called “Pointer.” The dogs were then systematically bred for 150 years, until they achieved the highly bred dog of today.

The common ancestor of both breeds, the Pudel and the Pointer, is the age old “Bracke.” He is the common denominator who brought both disparate breeds together, and gave us the “crossbred” Pudelpointer, its ability to work with its nose on the ground. This important ability, combined with the unsurpassable high-winding nose and desire to search, when added to the retrieving ability, intelligence, and precocious nature of the Pudel, was an unusually lucky connection, leading to the creation of the Pudelpointer as a versatile gundog. It was to be expected, proven by today’s knowledge of genetics, that the dominant rough-haired and solid coloured Pudel, in contrast to the short hair and whiteness of the Pointer, would after only a few generations lead to a pure brown, rough coat.

                                                           pudelpointer Festa Langenholzhausen                                               pudelpointer Bella vom Underwald

                                                               Festa Langenholzhausen                                Bella vom Underwald  PP5774   DGStB12.888

This all happened in 1881, and soon the first Pudelpointer, resulting from the mating of a Pointer with a Pudel, was bred. The first Breeder was “Stiftsförster Walter in Wolfsdorf i. Schlessia. Following Hegewal's advice, the breeding was between the black Pudelpointer female Molly and the Pointer Tell. Tell was donated for this purpose by Emperor Friedrich the IIIth for this purpose. Stiftsförster Walter bred this first generation of Pudelpointer, and the dogs of the three subsequent generations as suggested by Hegewald, received a lot of attention and achieved the highest scores at the hunting tests, much to the joy of the Ältmeister. Throughout the 1890s, six “Wolfsdorfer” Pudelpointers were entered into the Pudelpointer Breed Register, which had been in effect since 1892.

One son of the celebrated dog Cora von Wolfsdorf, belonged to the Ältmeister of the Dog Training, Carl Rehfuß (known as Oberländer). He was so enthusiastic about the Pudelpointer, that he remained an active and loyal follower of the Pudelpointer for the rest of his life.

A further 12 Pointer and Pudel breedings, were done by professional hunters, mostly motivated by Hegewald and his friends in the 1890s. According to Hegewald, these “crossings” were then bred back to Pointers, following a Breed Plan. In total, there were 87 crosses to Pointer. Back crossings to the Pudel were not made. With this breeding material, highly enriched with Pointer blood and with only occasional additions of Pointer to the present, created the foundation structure of the Pudelpointer Breed.
pudelpointer Cora von Wolfsdorf
One of the First Generation of Pudelpointers of outstanding bearing “Cora von Wolfsdorf.”

Born August, 1882 out of the Pointer “Tell” and the female Pudel “Molly”;  Of Stiftsförster Walter zu Wolfsdorf bei Goldberg.  This picture was held up as an “example” of the PP Breed.

 It was in the following decades when the Association of Pudelpointer Breeders, the Verein der Pudelpointer-Züchter, later known as Verein Pudelpointer, was created in 1897 with Hegewald and Oberländer as its Executive Committee (In 1897, Hegewald passed on the presidency to the then 37 year-old Edgar Heyne, who remained in the post for 50 years). Its mandate was to achieve out of the first few cross-breedings, the narrow breed basis of the Pudelpointer Breeders, luckily almost exclusively professional hunters, these three indispensable principles:

1.) Right from the beginning, breeding was done exclusively based on performance, and there was probably no other Breed where as large a portion of the breeding material was selected based on test results. E.g. Until 1911, 40% of all the dogs listed in the Breed Book had run in Hunt Tests, and were thus registered into the Breeding Register. Of these, half were Totverbeller (Sounding on Dead Game). The remaining registered dogs had been at least examined in puppy tests, or at least, a natural ability test. There was special emphasis placed on the track, fox and predator work, and retrieving. It is mostly this spirit of Hegewald, Oberländer, and Edgar Heyne and their colleagues, which remains alive today in the Pudelpointer Breed.

2.) They also undertook Pure Breeding. They were not tempted to achieve instant success in the F1 or F2 generations by adding in foreign (additional Pointer) blood, which in later generations would have led to constant splitting and set-backs in the Genotype and Phenotype. They kept strictly to the original breeding material, created from the first pointer back-crossings, preventing the admixture of too much pointer blood. This was a wise decision, which protected the breed from the ambitions of a single Breeder, and made it possible for the later additions of pointer blood, three generations later, and under the strictest controls.  It was also understood that breeding would be aggressively based on the dog’s achievements and careful selection was based on confirmation and coat as well.

3.) From the beginning, the Pudelpointer breeder remained true to the intensive and proven measures of Nature, as well as the modern breeding recognition where the recognition of the Pedigrees and Mother-lines, as a discipline in forming their breeding programs. Amazingly and interestingly enough, since the beginning, the Pudelpointer Breeder who strives to be successful, carefully pursues their Mother-lines in multiple generations. Just like their forerunners, they keep an eye open to strengthening and improving their own breeding by the introduction of proven blood from their own Mother-lines.  Beyond that, however, is that the most influential Pudelpointer Mother-lines are a continuation of the original lines, E.g. Klosterjägers, vom Waldhorst, vom Badener Land, vom Breuberg, von Langenholthausen, going back sixteen generations to the original Pudel x Pointer crosses. Thus, also, the Founding Fathers developed interconnections of these lines, and line breeding is still in use today.      
       pudelpointer Etzel von Tribergen                                                            pudelpointer Dina vom Klinbach
                                            Etzel von Tribergen  PP 7994  DGStB 20974                               Dina vom Klinbach  PP5793  DGStb 13.563 born 22.01.62    

Using these strictly defined methods, the Pudelpointer was a successfully created Breed, achieving a dog clearly defined by the origins and characteristics of the foundation breeds. The context of the breed has been led by decades of devoted breeders to maintain the equation of ¾ Pointer blood and ¼ Pudel blood.

 Hegewald’s mandate and prognosis reads:  

“We must strive to create from Pointer and Pudel blood, an excellent, consistent and extremely useful dog…. Man’s creation of long-legged, elegant, rough-haired pointers of great impact, which on the outside, the Pudel is a so small part that only the rough coat remains, but inside the intelligent, understanding soul of the Pudel is supreme.

I am thankful, and with admiration in addition to joy and pride, to be able to state that after 75 years, the Pudelpointer Breed has fulfilled its mandate.

The Pudelpointer breed carries with it a serious bequest and obligation to continue its development without deviation, and to continue perform to its high standards for the German Woodsman, as the Ältmeister created it:

“The Pudelpointer as a solid-coloured, rough coated dog, of a pointer type, a lively, well built versatile hunting dog, keen, easily guided, maturing early, happy to track, of strong character and bravery, with strong capabilities equally in field, water and forest, both before and after the shot.”

That was Hegewald’s goal, and it is today after 75 years, that it stands as an independent, pure Breed.  

Check out the web site for the German Pudelpointer Club, VPP e.V.
pudelpointer VPP logo

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February 2014, by Jude Gerstein.
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