Pointing Tests, what are they?

Pointing tests are a way to assess natural ability.

Are aimed at testing the natural ability of a dog to hunt and point game. Whilst not competitive dogs are graded on the basis of ground treatment, hunting and pointing with an element of steadiness to flushed game on open ground, spring crops or moorland.

Tests can be run either in Spring or Autumn, with the early season tests are usually run on ground holding Partridge. Spring tests are run after Partridge have paired but before nesting when there is sufficient cover to hold the birds. Autumn tests are held before the start of the Grouse season on open moorland.

It is usual to restrict the number of dogs in each of the two categories to no more than 12 to make sure there is sufficient time to give each dog a chance to locate game.


There are two classifications in pointing test these are;

Juniors are dogs over 6 months of age and less than 2 years of age on the 1st January in the year of the pointing test, to be judged on Partridge, Pheasant or Grouse and judged on ground game for steadiness only.

Adults are dogs aged  2 years or over on the 1st January in the year of the pointing test to be judged on Partridge only (or Grouse if on moorland) judging for steadiness only on all other game.

Basic Requirements and Awards

Dogs are run singly into the wind to quarter open ground at least 50 yards either side of the handler.

Dogs are run for a minimum of 10 minutes, any faults to be ignored for the first minute, but positive aspects are regarded within the first minute. If a dog has a second run it should be given a minute to settle but does not have to run for the full 10 minutes.

Dogs are required to hunt, point, hold game and flush on command.

Judging emphasis is on the natural ability of the dog in the following order of priority; ground treatment, game finding, pointing and steadiness.

Dogs are awarded grades based on meeting the above criteria;

Grades are Excellent, Very Good or Good. Credit is given for pointing Partridge or Pheasant.