The Pointer: as straightforward of a dog if there were one. An active dog by nature, loyal to its family and very affectionate, this dog is an all-star. Sometimes called the English Pointer, many breed clubs simply call this dog a Pointer. Find out more about the athleticism, background and beauty of the Pointer in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Pointer.
History & Background: Most sources state 1650 was approximately the time Pointers were bred in England. These dogs were first used as hunting and retrieving dogs for hare. This dog’s lineage isn’t known exactly, but it’s thought they came from breeds such as the Foxhound, Greyhound, Bloodhound and some undetermined “setting” spaniel breed. Pointers were brought to the United States in the late 1800s and thrived in the new and open lands of North America. At this time Setters were the breed most commonly used for bird hunting during field trial sports. It wasn’t too long into the 1900s that the Pointer began showing the Setters up, and still do.
Field Trials are a sport in which a dog is expected to point, honor and retrieve a bird. Pointing means find the bird’s location, honoring is stopping immediately in a pointing stance and then find the dead or wounded bird as retrieval. Usually bobwhite quails, pheasants or grouse are used. This sport is very prominent in the Southern states and Pointers are the most commonly used dog.
The dog on Westminster Kennel Club’s logo is a Pointer, named Sensation. Pointers have won Best in Show at Westminster three times, most recently in 1986. The AKC recognized this dog in 1884.
Height: Males, 25-28 inches; Females, 23-26 inches
Weight: Males, 55-75 pounds; Females, 45-65 pounds
Coat: A Pointer’s coat is short, tight and soft with a slight sheen.
Color: Pointers have black, lemon, liver or orange colorings. These can appear in combination with white, and usually are, or as solid colors. Facial markings and nose colors depends on the color the dog. A darker dog has dark markings and a dark nose, usually black or brown. A lighter colored dog sport a flesh-colored or lighter nose and markings.
Appearance: Because the Pointer is still largely used for sporting, the look of this dog should immediately communicate and reflect this. Slender, but muscular all over, the overall appearance shows a powerful dog. He is agile and graceful in movements and the muscle of this dog should be powerful and compact. Needless to say, the Pointer is a fast runner and quick in movement. A Pointer’s face shows readiness and his head is held high like a proud animal.
The Pointer is a long dog, with a long face, body and legs. On the face there is a slight furrow between the eyes and the cheeks are pronounced. The ears on this dog are at eye level and hang naturally to the lower jaw with almost no folding. Ears should also be pointed, not rounded. The Pointer’s eyes are rounded and reflect the alert nature of this dog.
Temperament: A Pointer has “wide-awake” personality. They are alert, observant and even-tempered. Pointers are also overall a very happy and easy-going breed. This dog is happy living in the home and is affectionate and dedicated to his family. Pointers do not shy away from strangers and aren’t timid dogs in the least. They do have a rather big bark, but their aggression level is very low, being very hard to provoke this dog.
Because of this dog’s work in the field, if they aren’t being trained to be a bird or retrieving dog, they need plenty of exercise. Pointers love to run, or even “gallop” so a large area of running space is preferred for this breed. This also means a fenced in yard is best to keep the Pointers hunting range to a minimum. These dogs tend to wander away from their homes following a scent and hunt away from their owners. However when their day is done, they just as much love to lie around and be couch potatoes.
Health & Grooming: The average lifespan for a Pointer is around 12 years. This dog doesn’t have many health problems, but can suffer from hip dysplasia, cherry eye, epilepsy, allergies and skin problems.
Grooming is extremely simple for this dog. The coat needs a quick once over with a soft brush to keep shedding to a minimum.
Product Suggestions: For a simple dog, BBS suggest a simple treat. Primal Organic Jerky Chicken Chips are three ingredient USA raised chicken treats that are gluten and grain free. Your dog will love these simple, but delicious all-natural treats.
If there was any dog who would love fetching, it’s this one. The Pointer would make good use out of the Hyper Fling Tennis Ball Launcher from Hyper Pet. These launchers are a great way to maintain your dog’s fitness and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. They also offer hands-free pickup, so no more touching slobbery tennis balls.
Do you own or know a Pointer? Tell us your favorite Pointer story in the comments section!