Pointer – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Should you get a Pointer? Is this breed for you? Read on discover more on the breed's history, temperament, and grooming needs.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
1 foot, 11 inches to 2 feet, 4 inches tall at the shoulder
45 to 75 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Pointer or often called the English Pointer is a medium-sized dog of high energy developed in England. This was the very first breed to be used for hunting.

Pointer is a great gundog and one of the finest breeds of its type.

Dog fanciers assume that this breed is related to Old Spanish Pointer that was brought to England from Spain at the beginning of the 18th century.

The Pointer takes his name from ‘pointing’ at the hidden game as a signal to the hunter that there is something that might be of his interest.

This dog of 28 inches and 75 pounds is capable of great speed and agility. Their coat comes in several colors, solid or patterns.

Females are slightly smaller in size but can come in identical colors and patterns like males. Grooming and brushing this dog is easy and fast, as Pointers require minimal maintenance.

Weekly brushing with a bristle brush is enough to help you remove the dirt and keep his coat healthy.

As an athletic dog, this breed will need a fair amount of exercise, and this is something that you should be considered when getting a dog.

If more than 30 minutes a day outside is too much for you to invest, then you should think about getting a dog with low exercise needs.

Quick Facts

Real name: Pointer
Other names: English Pointer
Origin: England
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 45 to 75 pounds
Height: 1 foot, 11 inches to 2 feet, 4 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 8 – 12 puppies
Color: Lemon and white, orange and white, liver and white and black and white, tri-colour
Coat: Short, hard and smooth coat

Pointer History

Pointer is an old breed, originally used to point out hares for greyhounds to track down.

First records on this breed date back to the 1650s. During the 18th century, this breed was trained to work as a bird dog.

Dog historians claim that these elegant pointers are descendants of Old Spanish Pointers that were imported into England.

Another claim is that Spanish Pointers were originally introduced to England in 1713 on their way returning from Spain.

Some claim that Pointers came from French pointers. One is for sure, that Pointers were crossed with other breeds to create certain traits. This is why some of the mixed breeds included setters, foxhounds, and bloodhounds.

Early Pointers were much heavier dogs than the modern version. Some claim that they were faster and more powerful.

The breed’s standard was officially created and accepted in far 1936 and hasn’t changed a lot ever since.

Pointer Physical Appearance

Pointer is a medium-sized dog with a muscular body and strong posture.

One sight at this breed is enough to realize that these dogs were made for endurance and speed. They commonly weigh between 45 and 75 pounds and usually have 4 inches at the shoulder.

Their head is very distinctive with an elevated nose and wide nostrils. Ears are always hanging low, which is why you should do your best to keep them clean and neat.

Their neck is long and muscular while the tail is of medium length and thick at the root.

The coat should always be short-haired and fine. As for the color they’re commonly bi-colored, white with lemon, orange, liver, or black colored patches.

Compared to Pointers of the 19th century, these dogs are much finer, reflecting their greyhound line.

Pointer Personality

Pointer is a calm breed who loves spending time with his humans. This is a hard-working breed, who loves nothing but when there is a job to be done.

These active dogs are also mischievous, and fun-loving. When they are not exploring around and making you laugh they will be great watchdogs.

Barking is their super tool that will keep strangers away. They will bark fiercely on anything that moves around.

Just like with any other breed, proper training and early socialization are the two biggest factors when it comes to having a well-behaved dog.

Pointer With Children And Other Pets

Pointers are commonly great with children. At least that is the case if children know how to interact with dogs safely.

To get to this point you should educate your child on how to behave around dogs. This means that they should know that dogs are territorial beings who will protect what’s theirs, and who don’t like to be disturbed when eating, resting playing with their toys, or just chilling in their crate.

Children should also know not to hold dogs’ food, not to try to take their toys or to make any sudden moves toward them.

On the other hand, dogs should know house dog rules, and how to behave around children.

No matter how great your child and dog might get along, you should never leave them alone – supervision is what will create a safe surrounding between dogs and children.

Is A Pointer A Good Family Dog?

Simple said, yes. Pointers are great family dogs who just love being surrounded by people.

If you are on the lookout for the perfect family dog, this breed should be on your list.

These active dogs will love spending time outdoors but they will love being clingy indoor pets.

If raised with children they will adore them, but they may do better with children of more senior age.

Pointer Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Pointer home.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? Training from day one is a must if you want your Pointer to be a well-behaved canine citizen.

To get the most out of training sessions, make them short, fun, reward-based, and consistent.

If you feel like you need help training your Pointer, make sure that you hire a professional dog trainer or enroll your pup in puppy classes. These options should speed up the training processes and even provide you with some professional inputs on further training.

Pointer Exercise

If you love staying in, this breed isn’t for you.

Pointers will demand outdoor time. Moreover, they will demand from you to organize outdoor activities and make them fun.

This is a breed with high energy, and you should provide enough daily exercise to keep this breed mentally satisfied and physically fit. Plus, exercise is a great way to keep a dog’s joints healthy and strong.

Make sure that you provide a minimum of 45-minutes of intense exercise next to regular walks. This is a great way to help your dog burn off that extra energy.

Pointer Grooming

Every dog needs proper grooming. Grooming is much more than providing only regular brushing sessions.

Grooming is all about keeping your dog healthy.

If you are not a big fan of long brushing sessions you are in luck because Pointer is low maintenance bred.

What does this mean in practice? In practice, owning a low-maintenance breed means showing brushing sessions and overall fast grooming moments.

To make brushing sessions enjoyable, make sure that you are using the right grooming tools.

That being said, make sure that you have a good bristle brush, a slicker brush, or a rubber hand mitt – these items are great for dogs with short and smooth coats.

The rest is basic care:

  • Brush weekly, up to twice per week
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check gums weekly
  • Learn how and when to clean dog’s ears
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge
  • Trim or grind nails monthly

If your veterinarian recommends it, brush his teeth. Make sure that you use toothpaste and shampoo that are specially designed for dogs.

Pointer Health

Pointers are considered to be healthy dogs.

If you want to know for sure that your pup is healthy, you should deal only with responsible dog breeders. This way you will get a healthy puppy and medical documentation stating that.

Responsible dog breeders will always screen puppies for most common health issues and have results in writing.

They will also provide you with straightforward tips on grooming, health, training, and overall care.

Still, you may provide the best care possible and your Pointer still may get sick. This is why you should aim to provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy dog. Once you get your Pointer home, you’re directly responsible for his weight. This means that it is up to you to create a good feeding schedule, to know how much you should feed your dog and how often.

Pro feeding tip: Avoid feeding Pointer after an intense workout. To learn why this shouldn’t be a practice, learn about the bloat, a condition that may have a deadly outcome in dogs.

As for health issues that may appear in this breed, you may see health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders.

Recommended health tests for this breed include:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Is Pointer For You?

Pointers are great dogs for active owners, who enjoy spending time outdoors. Training them should be easy as long as you know your way around dogs.

As mentioned earlier, this breed isn’t for first time dog owners.

On the other hand, if you have experience with dogs and you want a medium-size dog who is sleek-coated and energetic a Pointer may be right for you.

Popular Pointer Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: