The Pointer is the ultimate expression of canine power and grace. The breed’s name is its job description: Pointers point game birds, and they have been pointing for centuries. The high-energy Pointer is an excellent runner’s companion.
The noble Pointer is the ultimate expression of canine power and grace. Unquestioned aristocrats of the sporting world, Pointers carry themselves proudly and are capable of great speed and agility. The coat comes in several colors, solid or in patterns but as the breed’s devotees like to say, a good Pointer can’t be a bad color. A large male can stand 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 75 pounds; a small female might weigh as little as 45 pounds and stand 23 inches.
The breed’s name is also its job description: Pointers point, and they’ve been pointing for centuries. In the days before rifles, British pointing dogs hunted hares in tandem with coursing hounds. The Pointer would find and indicate prey, and the hounds gave chase. In the 1700s, with the rise of wing-shooting, the Pointer became a devoted and durable gundog. In pointing and retrieving game birds, Pointers have few peers—and their fans say that no dog does it better.
Pointers are generally very healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders. Like other large and deep-chested dogs, Pointers can experience bloat, a sudden, life-threatening stomach condition. Owners should learn what signs to look out for, and what to do should they occur. The Pointer’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
The Pointer’s short, dense, glossy coat requires minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a hound glove will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed with soft gauze and an ear-cleaning solution’”your veterinarian can recommend a good brand to use. The nails should be trimmed often if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort and problems walking and running.
The athletic, exuberant Pointer is a very active sporting breed and requires lots of exercise every day to keep him healthy and happy. This can come in the form of long daily walks and vigorous play sessions with his owner. Providing a securely fenced yard where the Pointer can run full out and burn off some of his renowned “hunt all day” endurance is beneficial and will make for a calmer, more contented companion inside the home. The breed also exercises mind and body by participating in canine sports such as field events, obedience, tracking, agility, rally, and other activities that can be enjoyed by dog and owner.
The Pointer’s amiable, even temperament and alert good sense make him a congenial and trainable companion both in the field and in the home. Pointers are versatile! Many have multiple titles before and after their names, indicating their ability to perfect their inherent talents and happily learn new ones. Pointers have also been known to excel at service and therapy work, as well as in search-and-rescue.
The Pointer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.