AKC Dog Breeds: Pointer

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Sporting Group
Height:23-28 inches  Weight: 44-75 pounds  Color: liver, lemon, black, and orange, either in combination with white or solid-colored

A hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go, the Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield and definitely looks the part. He gives the impression of power and grace, with a noble carriage, an intelligent expression and a muscular body. Pointers first appeared in England around 1650 and were the first breed used to stand game. Before wing-shooting with guns became popular, Pointers were often used to locate and point hares in conjunction with Greyhound coursing. The Pointer's lineage is foggy, but there is no question that it includes Foxhound, Greyhound, and Bloodhound crossed with some sort of "setting spaniel," which played an important part in the creation of all modern bird dogs. Often known as the English Pointer, he excels in his field. He was registered with the AKC in 1879.

General Appearance
The Pointer, also known as the English Pointer, is powerful, graceful and aristocratic. It carries its head proudly. The pointer has an alert expression and a well-muscled, athletic body. The nose is set higher than the rest of the muzzle. The stop is well-defined. Its upper lip is full but not slack. The eyes are hazel or chestnut depending on the color of the coat. The medium-sized ears are pendant and somewhat pointed. The teeth should form a level or scissors bite. The neck is long. The tail is straight and tapered and is never docked. The feet are oval. Dewclaw removal on the front legs is optional. The short, sleek, shiny coat comes in primarily white, but may be liver, lemon, black or orange, either solid, patched or speckled. Tri-colored is also permitted. The nose should be the same color as the marking on the coat.


Lively and independent, the Pointer is an alert and courageous animal that can make a fine family pet and companion. These dogs love to work, and are determined, enthusiastic, and have plenty of stamina. Full of energy, the Pointer is a dog that loves to play and join in with various family activities, and thrives on the love and affection of his family. These dogs are not suitable for inactive families, as they do need a lot of exercise. He also needs attention, as neglect can lead to boredom and destructive behavior. He can sometimes be stubborn and hard headed, which can make training more challenging, but with the right attitude using assertive and positive methods you will find that training this breed shouldn't prove too much of a problem. The Pointer will get along well with gentle children and when brought up with kids, and also tends to get along well with other pets. They can be a little reserved around strangers, but will usually be polite. The Pointer is a responsive dog that is eager to please, and does not normally display dominance over other animals or people. The Pointer can make an excellent pet and companion for those with gentle children, other pets, and enough time on their hands to dedicate to a loving and affectionate pet.


Grooming regimens for Pointers are very simple. Their coat is virtually trouble free and a brushing, or even just a rubbing with a rough cloth every week or two will keep their hair down to a reasonable level. The hair is somewhat coarse and they usually enjoy a good scalp massage. The brushes with long rubber points will do a very good job of accomplishing both. Their floppy ears may require cleaning every few weeks, also. This should very gently be done with a gauze pad, being careful to wipe only around the outside of the ear and never into the ear canal. Since the sheen of Pointer fur comes from the protective oils their skin makes, you should try to avoid washing your dog as much as possible. A good rinse is allowable and many of them enjoy swimming, but a soapy bath should be an annual event.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Pointer is 11-14 years, and there are a number of health problems associated with this breed. This includes cataracts, entropion, epilepsy, HD, PRA, and thyroid problems.

Activity Level

Pointers need plenty of exercise, often in excess of two hours per day. This means that if you're not keeping your dog out in the country, you'll need to take him or her to the park very regularly or devote a great deal of your day to dog-walks, without fail. Of course, few people have that much free time, and since they prefer to run around, pointers really appreciate having a nice big yard to tumble about in. As long as your fence is rather high, they should be able to be contained in even a suburban yard. 


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