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Quick facts

Pointer AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 25 - 28 inches, Female: 23 - 26 inches
Weight: Male: 55 - 75 pounds, Female: 45 - 65 pounds
Colors: White with liver, lemon, black, and orange. They come in solid, patched, or speckled.
AKC recognized in: 1884

The Pointer or the English Pointer was a breed developed by British breeders by crossing the breeds of Spanish and Italian Pointers. What came out is the perfect bird dog. Others claim that there must be at least four breeds that were instrumental in the Pointer cross-breeding. These are the Greyhounds, Foxhounds, Bloodhounds and Bull Terriers. The Pointer bred by the English was recorded about 1650 but some archaeological finds in Egyptian tombs revealed paintings of Pointer-type dogs.

With an incredible nose to detect scents, it can cover large areas of ground and locate the prey while the hunting party goes on horseback.

The Pointer does not have the natural instinct to retrieve injured or dead game but it can be trained to do the job of a retriever. In a hunting spree, the pointer is expected to guide the hunters by pointing the location of the game in the wild.

Some of the notable features of the Pointer are its tail, its legs and its ears. The tail of the Pointer is thick and large at the base and becomes tapered at its endpoint. Its tail is also curved almost pointing upwards. The front legs are straight and its hindquarters are a bit higher than its shoulders. Its ears hang down loosely at the sides of the head.

Before guns became popular for hunting, the Pointers were used to locate hares before the Greyhounds came in to catch them. Pointers simply used their noses to find game; they do not retrieve or pick up the captured prey. It does not go into the water unless it has no choice. It works well in warm weather, but it cannot function well during the cold season.


Pointer Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance two paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Pointers can live happily indoors and love to be in the company of the family members inside the home. They are not, however, territorial and will not feel being threatened by strangers. As a matter of fact, it can live harmoniously with other dogs and even cats.

Just like the other gun dogs, the Pointer has a tendency to take over the leadership if its master does not exercise it nor has the lack of it.

This dog is very enthusiastic when it gets outdoors to work or do an activity. This is why it needs to be trained with long and brisk walks to stretch its muscles and become more agile. However, it does not need too much exercise or that which is strenuous. The walks and play are meant to give the dog a happy routine to keep its normal behavior intact.

Pointers do well with other household pets, especially ones they are raised with. An exception to this is pet birds, so make sure if you have a bird that you keep the two a safe distance apart. While Pointers are very good with older children, toddlers can be hurt by being knocked down during rambunctious play.

Health and Exercise

The Pointer has a life span of between 12 and 15 years.

While the Pointer is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Eye problems, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), entropion, cataracts, and cherry eye.
  • Epilepsy - A disorder that can result in severe or mild seizures.

While Pointers love the great outdoors, they should not be outside dogs. They need to be around their family as much as possible. Ideally, that family would be one that also enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping. When let out, they need a large fenced in yard where they can run to their hearts content.

A thorough brushing once a week should be all it takes to remove the minimum amount of shedding the Pointer does. An occasional wipedown with a damp cloth will all but eliminate the need for a regular bath. In this case three or four times a year is all that is needed.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Pointer in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Pointer? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

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