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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Pointer


Origin: United Kingdom

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: Males: 25 - 28 inches; Females: 23 - 26 inches (Male)

Weight: 45 - 75 pounds (Male)

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Pointers are sweet and gentle but very energetic. They prefer to live with quiet adults, and are somewhat suspicious of strangers. They get along well with other pets. Pointers are stubborn and easily distracted.

Pointers are sporting dogs. In general, sporting dogs are active and alert and require daily exercise. Because they have superior instincts in the water and woods, sporting dogs are often used for hunting. If exercised and properly trained, most sporting dogs make excellent pets. However, some of these dogs like to bark and whine a lot, so they're not suited for apartment life.

United Kingdom
Male height: 
Males: 25 - 28 inches; Females: 23 - 26 inches
Male weight: 
45 - 75 pounds
Short and hard.
Mostly white with black, orange, lemon or liver patches, speckles and flecks. Solid black and solid liver are also available, but are less common. Brown eyes. Nose color varies with coat color.

The Pointer (or English Pointer) was developed in the United Kingdom to search for game and then stand on point to alert the hunter to his location. It is believed that this characteristic was desired of dogs working in Southern and Eastern Europe as well, although the Pointer was refined in England. Although not known for certain, his lineage may include the Foxhound, Greyhound and Bloodhound, with some Spanish Pointer and certainly some setting spaniel blood.

As Pointers became more popular with bird-dog hunters, they were further refined into the tall, lithe hunter we recognize today. So distinctive and aristocratic is this look that it came to symbolize what a gentleman's hunter should look like - an engraving of a Pointer is part of the Westminster Kennel Club's logo. A flashy and energetic dog, he continues to draw attention and prizes in the hunt field and the show ring.

The Pointer is a fine family dog, with energy to spare for play and activities with young ones. He also has a love of hunting that pleases the more serious and the weekend sportsman. He has plenty of stamina, courage and loyalty, but his hard-driving nature can result in a dog who may be more than some can handle. Obedience training and socialization from puppyhood are both important for this breed.
At home: 
Pointers are clean, neat dogs, but apartment life is probably not ideal for these hunters. They need plenty of space and a chance to use their natural gifts. Pointers are energetic, but if they get sufficient exercise, they will settle nicely at home; without it, they can become bored and destructive. They make poor watchdogs because they are mild mannered and not wary of strangers.
An active and energetic dog, the Pointer must have lots of exercise - in fact, most need daily intensive exercise to stay physically and mentally fit.
The eager and intense Pointer is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored. He needs the energy that food gives him, but he must be kept in shape. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The Pointer is a joy to train in the hunt field but is easily distracted when training for other activities. Persistent, patient and frequent training using reward-based lessons and working for short times can produce great results. The Pointer wants to please, and once he understands what you're asking, is happy to comply. Some Pointers have a tendency to be overly shy, and for them socialization is particularly important.
Because of their even-tempered nature, Pointers get along well with children and other pets.
The average life span of the Pointer is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include: hip dysplasia; skin problems; and thyroid problems.
Fun fact: 

At one time, Pointers were used to locate hares so that Greyhounds could move in and course them down.

Grooming blurb: 
The Pointer's short, fine coat is easily managed with occasional brushing with a natural bristle brush and going over with a soft cloth. His ears should be checked frequently for signs of infection, as their length traps dirt and moisture inside.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.