Pointer or English Pointer dogs were originally developed in England as gun dogs. These quick dogs with a good sense of smell used to catch a scent and point the hunter in the right direction. As a result, they gradually gained great popularity among hunters.
This breed of dogs was developed by the crossing various other dog breeds like Italian Pointer, Greyhound, Bloodhound, Setter, Foxhound, Newfoundland and Bulldog. Initially, these sporting dogs were used for hunting hares but soon they also became popular for flushing out birds.
Appearance wise, these dogs are compact and athletic in build. Hence, they possess a great deal of stamina and endurance. Their cheeks are cleanly chiseled and there is a slight furrow between their eyes. The eyes are round in shape and dark in color.
The well developed nostrils are wide open. The ears hang naturally and reach just below the lower jaw. They are set on at eye level and tend to be pointed at the tips. The tail is usually heavier at the root and carried without curl.
Color: Common Pointer colors are white, lemon, orange, liver, black or tricolored. These colors could either be present as solid colors or in combination with white.
Height: These dogs are generally about 25 to 28 inches in height. On an average, Female Pointers are also about 23 to 26 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of Pointer dog breed ranges between 45 to 70 pounds.
Pointer dogs are generally quite healthy with less number of genetic diseases and disorders. Still, some Pointer dogs can be susceptible to Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Dwarfism, Thyroid disorders, Cherry Eye, Entropion, Allergies and other common dog diseases.
Life Expectancy: The average life span of Pointer dogs is usually around 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: On an average, Pointer litter size is generally about 6 puppies.
The short and glossy hair coat Pointer breed dogs requires minimal grooming. The average shedding hair coat can be brushed and combed with a firm bristle brush once every week or every two weeks.
Do not bathe the dog frequently. Instead, simply rub the hair coat with a piece of damp wash cloth or chamosis to keep it in perfect glossy condition. Plus, clean your Pointer’s eyes and floppy ears from time to time and check his feet after outdoor activities to avoid the chances of developing infections.
Pointer dog temperament is highly enthusiastic, brave, outgoing, loving, loyal, friendly, patient and intelligent. They are excellent with children. Moreover, Pointer dogs are generally friendly with other pets in the house.
Pointer puppies when properly socialized early in life do not display aggressive behavior towards other dogs. However, they can be timid and reserved around strangers.
These responsive and adaptable dogs are mostly easy to train. Though, they can be slow to housebreak. Show lines make for better house pets rather than the highly active and work oriented field lines.
The field lines, on the other hand, make for brilliant hunting companions. However, they tend to get distract quite easily and hence do not make for good watchdogs.
These excellent hunters usually remain calm and moderately active indoors. They are characterized by excellent tracking and hunting skills but they usually do not retrieve the prey with the same enthusiasm.
The highly energetic Pointer dogs require plenty of physical exercise to remain physically fit. Hence, they need daily long brisk walks or runs. They are quite suitable for rural settings, preferably with acreage but usually not recommended for sedentary apartment lifestyle.
Regular physical activity and exercise also provide sufficient physical and mental stimulation to these dogs, which, in turn helps in avoiding destructive dog behavior. Pointer dogs usually do well in warmer climates.