Pointer

Pointer

Other Names

English Pointer

Description

The Pointer, also known as the English Pointer, is a powerful hunting dog. The head is about as wide as the muzzle is long. The neck is long. The muzzle is deep. The stop is well-defined. The nose is black or brown in color in the darker coated dogs and may be lighter or flesh-colored in the lighter dogs. The teeth should meet in a level or scissors bite. The round eyes are dark in contrast with the markings on the coat. The hanging ears are somewhat pointed at the end. The front legs are straight. The tail is larger at the root, tapering to a point. The coat is short, smooth and dense. Coat colors include primarily white with liver, lemon, black and/or orange markings, either patched or speckled, or can be solid in color. May be tricolored.

Temperament

English Pointers are extremely high energy, and very enthusiastic hunters. With enough exercise they will be calm in the home. Intelligent, devoted, loyal and clean, they are patient, friendly, affectionate, love children and are a true friend to the family. They adapt well to new situations. Can be reserved with strangers. Socialize well at an early age and as the owner of the dog, be sure to stay mentally strong so the dog can feed from your energy to avoid timidity. Nervous humans tend to have nervous dogs because the dog can feel your emotions. If you do not provide enough mental and/or physical exercise they will become high-strung and distractible and can become neurotic and destructive. If they sense their owners are not as strong-minded as themselves they will become a bit willful as they will believe they need to be the leader of the relationship. It will bark at suspicious noises, but it is not a watchdog. Hunting instincts develop early. Puppies will start to display pointing behavior as young as 8 weeks old. These dogs are generally good with other pets and are not usually dog-aggressive.

Height/Weight

Height: Males 22 – 24 inches (55 – 62 cm) Females 21 – 24 inches (54 – 60 cm)
Weight: 44 – 66 pounds (20 – 30 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to hip dysplasia, thyroid problems and dwarfism. Also skin conditions.

Living Conditions

These dogs are not recommended for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and do best with acreage.

Exercise

This dog is extremely energetic and tireless. It is very important that it gets daily vigorous exercise to prevent extreme indoor restlessness. This breed is more than a match for even the most active family and should not be taken on as a family pet unless they can guarantee plenty of vigorous exercise. They need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. They are excellent jogging companions. Some love to swim and retrieve although they were not bred for that task. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit door and gateways after the humans. When the dog is taught to work as a hunting dog it must be taught the difference between when it is time to work and when it is not. When it is not time to hunt, the dog should be respectfully heeling on a leash for the handler.

Life Expectancy

About 13-14 years.

Grooming

The smooth coat of the Pointer is very easy to groom. Just brush regularly with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. A rub with a piece of toweling or chamois will leave the coat gleaming. Check the feet also, especially after the dog has been exercising or working. Dry the dog thoroughly after hunting to prevent chilling. Ears should be checked regularly. This breed is an average shedder.

Origin

The first recorded mentions of the Pointer were in England around 1650. The Pointer was developed by crossing the Italian Pointer, Foxhound, Bloodhound, Greyhound, Newfoundland, Setter, and the Bulldog. The name derived from the way the dog stands motionless when he spots his game as if he is pointing right at it. Before hunting with guns was popular, Pointers were used to find hare for the Greyhound to hunt. By the early 1700s the Pointer became very popular among hunters. Excellent at catching a scent and pointing the hunter in the right direction, the dogs are very quick and can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time and are often used to flush out birds. They are not water dogs nor are they expected to retrieve the kill. The dogs work great in warm weather but do not do well when it is very cold. The English Pointer often wins Pointing Field Trials over all other pointing breeds. The Pointer was first recognized by the AKC in 1884.