Type: Gun Dog

Height: Males: 25 - 28 inches; Females: 23 - 26 inches.

Weight: Males: 55 - 77 lbs.; Females: 44 - 66 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 17 years.

Litter Size: 5 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: Very High

Watch-dog: High

Guard-dog: Medium - High

Description: The Pointer is bred primarily for sport and is a true wide-range hunter. They give the impression of compact power and agile grace. Their movement should show them to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage and the desire to go. English Pointers are lean, hardy dogs that live for the hunt. They are large, muscular and square-shaped. The muzzle is long and they have drop triangular ears. They retain an easy-to-care-for coat that is glossy, short and smooth. The Pointer's energy and devotion makes them superior as gundogs. They are a good show dog, friendly and obedient. The English Pointer is giving and kind, but rather serious in personality. They are good with children and other dogs, but does much better in a country setting than in the city. English Pointers do no take to water easily, and are quite susceptible to cold conditions. He does, however, do better than most breeds in the heat. He has great endurance and strength, able and eager to hunt for anything. Although they love hunting, they are not for retrieving. The name "Pointer" literally comes from the fact that they do not retrieve when they see game, they stop in their tracks and "point".

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Other Names: English Pointer

Colors: Lemon and white, orange and white, liver and white, black and white; self (pure) colors and tricolors.

Coat: Short, dense and smooth.

Temperament: Pointers are responsive, lively, and independent. They are very energetic and are excited to go on a hunt. They get along with children well, and also with other pets. They are very serious dogs, with hunting as the top priority. They are graceful and elegant, friendly and moderately cooperative. English Pointers tend to be very sensitive, and are very task oriented. They are hard-working, even tempered, and enthusiastic.

With Children: Yes, tolerant, playful and loving.

With Pets: Yes, will accept other animals, though they have a high prey drive.

Care and Training: Minimal grooming of the Pointer should consist of a quick rub with a rough cloth a few times a week. Rigorous exercise is mandatory as confinement of Pointers may result in hyperactivity. They need quite a lot of exercise, using up their energy that is stored for hunting. They have great endurance, and will probably tire out their owner before themselves. Obedience training is strongly recommended. Pointers can make good house pets if handled and trained as a small puppy.

Learning Rate: Low. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Low.

Special Needs: Exercise, fenced yard, leash, and a job or activity to do.

Living Environment: Pointers are not designed for apartment life as they have tremendous energy which must be directed into some task. They are suited for kennel life, as they require less personal attention than many other sporting dogs. They will do better in a rural area. Owners of a Pointer must tolerate the dog's high strung, task-oriented temperament. The best owner for this breed would be an active owner who lives in a rural environment with a job or activity for the dog to do.

Health Issues: Elbow and hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and epilepsy. Other health concerns include deafness.

History: There is no exact record of where the first Pointers came from, some say Spain and Portugal, other say eastern Europe and England. What is agreed upon is that they were crossed with the old Spanish Pointer and a lighter-boned variety of Foxhound. Greyhound and Bloodhound may have played a part in their creation. Some believe the Pointer originated in Spain and migrated to England through trading companies. Arkwright on Pointers, a compilation of studies on the breed written by William Arkwright, states that the breed probably found its way from the East, hitting Italy on its way to Spain. Regardless, the Pointers in England set the prototype. They arrived all over Europe in the 1650s. Hunters used this dog at first as only a hunter of hare, and later used them for hunting birds in the 1700s. The Pointer was unique in its instinct to, when it saw prey, simply stop and point. This breed allowed other dogs, such as Greyhounds, to actually catch and retrieve the prey. This became quite useful in the hunting of birds, as the breed would not run after them in a flurry of feathers, but would point in silence and drop to the ground, allowing the hunter time to shoot the prey without it being scared off. In 1937 the United Kingdom Setter and Pointer Club accepted the breed. The English Pointer has been used in field trials and other competition shows. In the 1980s, a dual championship was achieved by English Pointers, making history.

First Registered by the AKC: 1879

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gundog

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 7), KC(GB), UKC