All About Pointers

About This Breed

The Pointer has an outstanding ability to point out its target. Still considered one of the most popular bird dogs today, it is also a wonderful companion.

Physical Characteristics

The Pointer is a medium-sized dog with dropped ears, a barrel chest and a high tucked abdomen. Its tail is long and skinny. Its eyes are usually brown or amber and the lips hang over the chin just slightly.

COLORS

The Pointer is most commonly seen in liver and white, lemon and white, black and white or orange and white. However, it is not unusual to see ticking or roaning throughout the coat.

COAT

The Pointer has a short, dense and shiny coat.

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

High

POSITIVES

The Pointer is loyal and loving to its human family. It enjoys working, swimming and playing, and is the perfect companion for an active family. In fact, it often gets along well with children and other dogs.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

The Pointer does better when it is undergoes obedience training early in life. Additionally, if not given a job or exercised regularly, it will get into trouble. In fact, it has been known to chase cats and other small animals.

*This is not a good breed for the first time dog owner.

Care

IDEAL LIVING SITUATION

The Pointer fares the best in a country setting.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The Pointer requires daily exercise and some sort of activity or task to accomplish.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Pointers:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Entropion
  • Deafness

History and Background

The Pointer came into general use in Spain, Portugal, throughout Eastern Europe, and in Great Britain. (Interestingly, the Westminster Kennel Club is said to have been formed mainly for the development of the Pointer breed.) The first Pointers may have appeared in England in the mid-17th century. And though their original function was probably tracing hares, the Pointer’s natural ability and alertness lent itself to bird pointing and the sport of wing-shooting at the height of its popularity in the 1700s.

It may be difficult to delineate the heritage of the Pointer, but it is believed the breed shows traces of Foxhound, Bloodhound, and Greyhound crossed with some sort of "setting spaniel." It also thought that British army officers, upon arriving home after the Spanish War of Succession in 1713, brought heavy-boned Spanish Pointers along with them. Crossing these new pointer types with the Italian Pointers resulted in the reproduction of the modern day Pointer.

Today, the Pointer continues to be the dog of choice when it comes to speed, endurance, determination and hunting ability. The Pointer is also a wonderful family dog and excellent companion.