Breed Group: Sporting
Height: 23 to 28 inches
Weight: 45 to 75 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
He’s one of the earliest Sporting breeds, used as far back as the 17th century to point hares and later birds for the new 18th century sport of “wing shooting.” The lithe and muscular Pointer is full of “hunt,” and he has a competitive spirit that makes him tops in field trials. He’s handsome, dressed in a short, smooth coat of liver, lemon, black or orange, with or without white.
Did You Know the Pointer is Fun Loving and Mischievous?
The emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club is a Pointer named Sensation, who was imported from England by club members in 1876. He was a handsome lemon and white dog who lives on as the cover dog for the WKC’s show catalog.
On the surface, the Pointer is a sensible and dignified dog, but beneath that noble appearance lurks a fun-loving and mischievous dog who considers himself one of the family. His reputation is that of hard-charging field trial competitor, but at home the Pointer is as likely as any dog to share the sofa with you during the big game, play ball with the kids for as long as they want, and alert you to the presence of strangers. More so than many Sporting breeds, he has a protective nature and is an excellent watchdog.
With other people and dogs, he’s a congenial guy, a little reserved but rarely timid and not inclined towards aggression. Cats may excite his hunting instinct, but if he is raised with them he can learn to get along with indoor cats. Outdoor cats may be fair game, though. Pet birds should watch their tailfeathers.
The Pointer is a bit hard-headed when it comes to training, but he responds well when you are firm and consistent in giving direction. His hunting skills are apparent at an early age, and once he learns something, he never forgets it. In the field, he has style, but more than that he has stamina and a nose that gives rise to the description “bird-finding machine.”
A home where he can have the opportunity to get plenty of outdoor activity is best for this breed. Besides hunting, he is versatile enough to do well in agility and obedience trials. Joint health and overall health permitting, Pointers who live in non-hunting families can make great jogging or bicycling companions (wait until he’s at least 2 years old, when his bones and joints are developed enough for running, and check with your vet before beginning any exercise program with your pet), but what they live for is hunting, so don’t be surprised if your dog is constantly stopping to point birds. If you’re gone during the day, he’ll sack out on the couch until your return.
When it comes to grooming, nothing is easier to care for than the short, smooth Pointer coat. Brush it weekly with a rubber curry brush to bring out its sheen. The fine coat sheds only a little.
The Pointer is much more than a fine hunting dog or field trialer. He can become a devoted friend if you give him a chance.
Other Quick Facts About the Pointer
Three Pointers have won Best in Show at Westminster: Ch. Governor Moscow in 1925, Ch. Nancolleth Markable in 1932 and Ch. Marjetta National Acclaim in 1986.
The Pointer’s coat comes in liver, lemon, black, or orange and can be solid or combined with white. The breed standard says that a good Pointer cannot be a bad color.
A Pointer’s hunting instincts develop early, and he retains what he learns throughout his life.