The Pointer is a large breed of gundog with a proportional built and graceful appearance. It has an aristocratic, alert, compact, and hard-working impression with a general appearance of strength, stamina and swiftness. The primary distinguishing features of the Pointer are the head (medium width head, dark nose and eye rims, wide nostrils, concave muzzle and slight depression under the eyes), and the medium length tail that tapers gradually to a point which is carried on level with the back and swished from side to side when sniffing for its prey. It has hazel or brown eyes (according to coat colour) with bright and kindly expression, highly set, slightly pointed ears that lie close to the head and a long, muscular neck slightly arched to carry the head attentively. The long, sloping shoulders, straight, well-boned forelegs and very muscular hind legs, coupled with a wide chest that provides plenty of heart room enables the Pointer to go after prey with exceptional speed and endurance. The fine, short and hard coat is perfectly smooth and straight which comes primarily in white with lemon, orange, liver, and black, solid, patched or speckled. Self-colours and tricolours are also acceptable
Like other dog breeds, the Pointer’s origin (also known as the English Pointer) is a debatable topic. Records of Pointers appear in the United Kingdom as early as the middle of the 1600s. There are those that claim that the Pointer was developed around the 16th and 17th centuries during the time that other pointing breeds where brought from mainland Europe to England, including the Spanish pointer. Besides the Spanish pointer, the breed most probably came from a mix of other field dogs including the Italian pointer, the Foxhound, the Bloodhound, the Greyhound and Bull Terriers. In the 19th century, Setters were added to the mix to create a friendlier and easy-to-train breed. The Pointer was originally bred to hunt rabbits but became exceptionally good at spotting bird. It points to its prey and stands motionless until the hunter is able to shoot the game. However, it was not used to retrieve game; rather, the Greyhound was tasked to fetch the game and works side by side with the pointer. Around the early 1900s, the Pointer was so effective that it started to dominate pointing field trials which was previously ruled by the setters and has continued on to do so since that time.
The Pointer is a mild-mannered dog; a very calm breed that possesses a very low aggression level. It is very adaptable, clever and gentle, excellent with other dogs and non-canine animals, including cats. It adapts well to new situations. It is not a territorial breed but its size and loud bark can be intimidating. Although it may typically bark at strangers, it is not a suitable watchdog because of its timidity and a tendency to be easily distracted. The A Pointer that is left alone will do best indoors, happily lying around the couch. Similar to other hunting dogs, the Pointer is both a field dog and a show dog. Field dogs are work-oriented and tend to be more active while show dogs make better household pets.
Consistency and firmness is needed since this breed is a bit hard-headed when it comes to training.
Failure to give the right amount of physical and mental stimulation to the Pointer may often lead to unsocial and destructive behaviour. It is therefore vital for him to live in a house with plenty of room to move around, preferably with a well-secured, fenced-in yard is an ideal home to run or play off-leash. It would be best if it is given the opportunity to hunt, run and track once in a while if the Pointer is going to be a house pet. It also best to check their feet and ears. Always making sure to keep it dry to keep from chilling.
Grooming a Pointer is not time-consuming and is quite straightforward. The short coat only needs a quick rub with a damp cloth or a rubber brush to remove loose or dead hairs.
A healthy and well-maintained Pointer can live between 13 to 14 years. They are considered genetically healthy as a breed although some may have the tendency to develop hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cherry eye and allergies.
Some of the foods that are not foreign to the Pointer’s digestive system and which the breed could assimilate properly include brown rice, poultry and fish. On the other hand, experts suggest that this breed should not be fed with anything that may contain soy, beef, horse meat or any of their by-products to avoid health problems.
The Pointer was developed to be a superb hunting dog, hence, regular exercise is utmost important for this highly energetic breed. An active family with plenty of time to provide vigorous exercise is an ideal owner for the Pointer. It is not recommended for an apartment living or an urban environment as this breed needs an acreage to be able to have an outlet for channeling its unlimited energy.
Pointer is also very affectionate and playful; excellent with children, but it may be too active for very young children.
They are known to be intelligent, affectionate, patient and friendly. They learn to socialize early.