The Pointer dog is muscular and graceful. Their most distinguishing feature is the typical Pointer stance with tail and foreleg raised and head extended towards the quarry. They carry their heads proudly. Their coats are smooth, straight and short with a tremendous sheen and come in several colours – see the breed standard for details. Adult males measure 63-69cm and weigh 30kg and adult females are 61-66cm and 26kg.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: Less than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Usually quiet
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Gundog
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: Low
The exact origin of the Pointer dog breed is not entirely clear: whether they originate from Spanish Pointers or from Continental Pointers is uncertain. What is certain is that English Pointer dogs date back to the 1600s, a native breed to the British Isles, being used to 'point' game out to hunters. These early dogs worked with Greyhounds in hare-coursing, the Pointer breed being used to point out hares for the Greyhounds to seize. In the early 1700s, wing shooting came into fashion and this was when their true skills became apparent. To this day, Pointer dogs are exceptional hunting dogs.
Pointers are popular working dogs. As pets they are friendly and affectionate and get on well with other dogs and household animals if introduced to them early on in their lives. They love to be included in all family matters. They are not ideal guard dogs, greeting everybody in the same welcoming manner, but they will generally bark when someone comes to the door.
Pointer dogs are relatively hardy dogs. As with many breeds, hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) may occur and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
Because they are primarily field sports dogs, a Pointer dog needs plenty of exercise. After puppyhood, free galloping is a necessity on a regular basis. Care must be taken when allowing them off the lead, as they are hunting dogs and, as such, will gallop off on their own. A fit adult needs two-plus hours of daily exercise.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. This breed can be prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
One of the easiest breeds to groom, Pointer dogs only need a brush over during the moulting seasons. However, regular inspection of the coat should be made as skin problems can occur.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information