The Pointer is the world's oldest sporting breed, harkening back to the 17th century. This is a hardworking, long-lasting, and driven dog. Unlike bloodhounds, whose brilliant noses and long ears help them follow smells on the ground, the Pointer catches winds of a scent — literally. They follow scent-trains on the wind. And — as you might have guessed from the name — they indicate their prey's position by pointing their bodies toward it. If there's a bird anywhere in the vicinity, your Pointer will lead you right to it.
Originally from England, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 45-75 pounds and lives an average of 12-17 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||12-17 years|
|Date of origin||1600s|
|Today's function||Water retrieving|
|Average size of male||Height: 25-28 Weight: 55-75|
|Average size of female||Height: 23-26 Weight: 45-65|
|Other name||English pointer|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Moderately protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A POINTER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
This is a no-nonsense hunting breed (at least while they're working), even-tempered and devoted to their people. Pointers are courageous, powerful, and built to move quickly and gracefully. When they're off-duty, this breed is mischievous and full of fun. Pointers are loving and playful family members. They're good with other dogs, but their energetic antics mean it's best to supervise play with small children. Socialize this puppy early and often if you want her to get along with your indoor cat.
WHAT IS POINTER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Pointers carry themselves with nobility. You can tell just by looking at this dog that she's packing some serious brains and brawn.
This is an alert and very active breed. With enough exercise, Pointers make calm and congenial housemates — but bear in mind that if you're not planning to hunt with this dog, her idea of “enough” exercise is going to be a lot. This smarty-paws needs the mental and physical stimulation of being outside, getting out her ya-yas, and chasing down interesting smells. Adult Pointers also make great bicycling or running companions. (Yours will stop to be sure you've seen every single bird you pass, however.)
Pointers are more protective than many sporting breeds; they can make great watchdogs.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A POINTER?
This breed responds well to training, though they can be a bit stubborn. Be patient and consistent with this birdbrain. These are competitive dogs who excel in obedience and agility events.
Keep in mind that no amount of training will counterbalance the drive to follow an interesting scent. Your Pointer isn't a great candidate for off-leash play outside rural, traffic-free areas or a well-fenced yard or park.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO POINTERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Pointers are seasonal shedders. Their short coats won't need much more than a weekly brushing. Bathe them as needed.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO POINTERS HAVE?
As a breed, Pointers are generally healthy. Some are prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye disease, or autoimmune disorders.