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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is pointing? I'm just curious, because our dog sometimes holds one front paw up and points her tail (stub) straight back when she hears a noise. (BTW, we don't know how she ended up with a stub tail. She might have been born that way.) Here's a pic: <a href="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w98/momofcutiedude/DCFC0157.jpg" target="_blank">http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w...e/DCFC0157.jpg</a><br><br>
She's not doing it here, because when she does it, her head is held stiffly and she doesn't look down.<br><br>
She tends to herd a little-especially when there are squealing, running kids around. She nipped my husband (but didn't hurt him) a couple times when he was bouncing our yelling son upside down by his legs in the air. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> That's the only time she's ever done that to a person since we've had her.<br><br>
We've had fun trying to figure out what mix she is. She likes to retrieve balls and likes natural bodies of water (but not baths!) She has some white fur in a few places-mostly an almost star shape area on her chest. She's about 50 pounds and she sheds a lot!<br><br>
All we know is that she's part lab. Anyone want to venture a guess as to what else she might be?
 

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Can't help you with breeds, looks like a lab x to me.<br><br><a href="http://www.shorthairs.net/images/title.jpg" target="_blank">This</a> is a point. Well, it's a pointer pointing. But I wouldn't take pointing as definitive of breeding. My dog points and she's purebred spaniel. Flushers, not pointers.
 

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<a href="http://www.greatmutts.com/dnn/Home/tabid/78/Default.aspx" target="_blank">here's</a> a fun site where people can vote on your dogs breeds. i am terrible at that! but i love her stubby tail.
 

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We have herding breeds and they sometimes pause in "stalking mode" but it's not a true point- it's like a tactical decision that stopping and standing still is the right thing to do in order to continue to stalk or pressure the herd.<br><br>
I had a pit mix who sometimes would really do an amazing point- and it's very different- it's like a total lock up of attention to a sound in the bush.<br><br>
In fact- that might be the difference- the herding breeds really need to have eye contact to do that stalk freeze- where a true pointer will point to a sound without ever seeing what it is and it's a total lock up. That's the job of a bird dog- to show the hunter where the birds are in the brush. It's totally restrained- and I think very instinctive.<br><br>
Hey- Here is a nice article for you: <a href="http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.CFPage?mode=article&objectID=28642" target="_blank">http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catal...objectID=28642</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AlbertaJes, thanks for the picture. That's not really how my dog does it. She doesn't hold her back legs back like the pointer in the picture. Also, she doesn't tilt her head up.<br><br>
Bensmom, thanks for the link to greatmutts (I'm going to try that!)<br><br>
Sarah, thanks for the link to that article! If you look at the bottom photo of the black lab in the article you mentioned, that's what our dog looks like when she does it. (In fact, that looks just like our dog except for the tail!) Her head, back, and stub are all in a straight horizontal line with one foot raised. It's usually when we're out in the woods and she hears a noise. I don't know if she sees anything or not. Birds hang out in our backyard and she doesn't seem to notice them. (We had pet birds for several years and she never bothered them.) She will freeze if she sees a cat or rabbit though--and then chase them if they run. So do you think what she does is a lab thing or a herding breed thing?<br><br>
I'm guessing she's lab and border collie. But I'd be interested to know where she gets that pointing-ish posture.
 

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Pointing doesn't have to mean standing with one front leg raised - that's a popular misconception. Pointing just means standing still, alert and totally focused on a bird (or its scent.) The dog's head and legs and tail may be in various positions. If you do a Google image search for "on point" you'll see a bunch of pictures of dogs pointing in various ways. Lots of dogs (not just pointing breeds) do the alert, raised paw thing. And dogs that aren't pointing breeds can really point birds (or cats, or whatever) sometimes, too. I used to have a border collie who I trained to hunt birds, and she would point sometimes.
 

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Pointing is a natural dog behavior--many dogs do it as a matter of course. In the pointing breeds it's been refined to the point that they'll do it automatically and hold it, but I've seen many Danes (as pure as purebred exists) snap into a nice point if they hear something or smell something odd. Then they move forward, of course, but the "point" is part of the normal stalking behavior of the canine species, so I don't think it can necessarily be used to identify a breed.<br><br>
If her tail is natural, she may be part Australian Shepherd--they have the natural bobtail gene and Aussie x dogs will sometimes have short tails.
 
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