The Pointer or English Pointer is a well built large dog breed that excels at tracking and pointing game for the hunter. This symmetrical breed has a deep chest, level back and long tail that is customarily docked to half its length in countries that allow it.
The head is elegant and clean cut with a soft and intelligent expression and the broad ears are set high and hang close to the head. The Pointer’s coat is glossy and short-haired which lies flat on the body.
Colors are usually liver, lemon, black or orange: either solid or in combination with white. Pointers stand about 24 to 27 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh from 45 to 65 pounds. Pointers are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Sporting Dog Group.
History of The Pointer
The Pointer was developed in England although its lineage can be traced back to a number of European sporting breeds. These European breeds were too slow and various other breeds such as the Greyhound and Setters may have been introduced to improve the speed and stamina.
By the mid 19th century the English Pointer had become the best of the pointing breeds. Today it excels as a sporting dog and is a frequent winner of the national pointing trials. The Pointer was ranked 107th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Temperament of The Pointer
Pointers are intelligent, energetic, dignified, friendly, even tempered and charming dogs. They make wonderful sporting dogs with an excellent nose and bird hunting instincts. However they also make good family dogs that are good and patient with children if they have grown up with them.
This breed is very energetic and requires lots of running exercise and will not be satisfied with a walk around the block. Pointers can be trained to accompany you on your daily runs or biking activities. Pointers are intelligent and can be easily socialized and trained to be friendly to strangers and other pets.
The Pointer does best with an experienced dog owner who can accommodate this active breed.
Pointers need daily free runs in the country or accompanying its owners on biking, running or hunting activities. An adolescent pointer that doesn’t get sufficient exercise is unhappy and will resort to destructive chewing and barking.
The Pointer needs little grooming and when shedding can be brushed with a rubber brush to remove the dead hairs. The Pointer is a medium shedder.
Pointers should live for 11 to 14 years and the most serious common health concern is hip dysplasia. Less common disorders include: thyroid problems, skin conditions and eye diseases (progressive retinal atrophy).
Buyers of Pointer puppies should ask to see the parent’s OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) screening for hip dysplasia certificate and the recent CERF (Canine Eye Registry) results for eye diseases.