Breed Type: Pointer
Country of Origin: Spain (Though England claims ownership to their development)
Also known as: Pointer
Males: Height: 64-71 cm Weight: 24-34 kg
Females: Height: 58-66 cm Weight: 19-29 kg
Exercise Requirements: Vigorous
Care Requirements: Low to Moderate
Lifespan: 12-17 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pet in Active Homes, Hunter
English Pointers are another large canine breed in the hunter & sport category, but unlike most other hunters, Pointers are just as happy at home hanging out with the family as they are on a hunt. “Hanging out” with the family should include significant amounts of physical activity which is an absolute must if you want a happy and well-adjusted English Pointer. If you want a quiet, sedentary, and calm dog, Pointers will not be your best choice. But if you are looking for a friendly, joyful, happy, and “always on” family pet excited to share your frequent outdoor activities, the Pointers will be a great fit for your family.
Strong but graceful, English Pointers are visibly alert the majority of the time shown by intelligent and curious eyes, and long, waving tail among other things. They are muscular, but not stocky – better described as lean and athletic. They are large dogs weighing between 19-34 kilograms and standing between 58-71 centimeters tall with females being smaller than males as is most common in the canine world.
The coat is usually primarily white or white with yellow, orange, brown, or black markings. Their color also dictates the color of their nose…dogs with light colored fur will have a flesh-toned nose, medium colored ones will have a brown nose, and dark colored coats will have a black nose.
Pointers are instinctively a very active breed that requires substantial exercise outdoors in order to be happy and content. If their exercise opportunities are lacking, Pointers tend to become neurotic, anxiety-ridden, and destructive resulting in nuisance barking and chewing up anything they can reach. They are rowdy, hyper dogs that simply must run around outside with as little indoor confinement during waking hours as possible. They are very social however, and need plenty of interaction with their owners – preferably while doing something physically active at the same time. Even if your household does not hunt regularly, Pointers can go to “classes” that teach mentally stimulating games of tracking etc., that can mimic the challenges of hunting that Pointers enjoy so much.
English Pointers are very friendly and quite receptive to strangers so they are of little use as a guard or watch dog unless you want to “kill” any intruders through their kind but rambunctious greetings. They are a “chasing” breed with strong, stubborn insistence on continuing once a chase of any kind has begun and cannot be deterred. This is one of the main reasons that great care must be taken in leashing a Pointer or having a large, secure yard when living in a city for their own safety. Outdoor, rural living is much better for their happiness.
English Pointers have a long history as a breed and have been documented in writings and portraits since the mid-1600’s. Even though called an “English” Pointer, they are believed to have originated in Spain before migrating home base to England where their genetic tendencies were further affected for positive change through selective breeding. Their roots trace back to quite a few hunting breeds including Spanish Pointers as well as various hound and terrier breeds. They were introduced to England through the War of Spanish Succession when British officers returned home with the personable and useful Spanish Pointers in tow. Italian Pointers were introduced to England as well during the same time and English Pointers were the result of cross breeding between Spanish and Italian Pointers.
Once in England, the focus of the Pointers became hunting and their inherent traits further refined their penchant for hunting and pointed both – usually with rabbits as the prey but eventually commonly including bird hunting as well.
Care and Grooming:
With their shorthaired coats, Pointers need very little grooming as it relates to their fur. Since they do shed lightly year round, a simple brushing once a week is sufficient to limit the amount of hair shed throughout the home. They only need a bath a few times a year as needed when they smell or when they decide to roll in the mud, etc.
The floppy and natural state of their ears makes them more prone to ear infections so extra care needs to be taken in both cleaning and checking Pointers’ ears frequently. It is recommended to clean their ears using cotton balls and a vet-approved cleanser weekly. It is also good to brush a Pointer’s teeth weekly as well for fresh breath and teeth and gum health.
English Pointers are known to carry genetic risks for skin problems, hip dysplasia, eye issues, and epilepsy. Otherwise, Pointers are very healthy dogs physically and emotionally as long as they are able to enjoy a high level of daily exercise.
Suitability as a Pet:
With their happy, joyful personalities, Pointers can make a great family pet under certain circumstances. They must be a part of a household with an energetic and physically active rhythm in order to be happy and well adjusted. In terms of children, the risk is not in the possibility for biting, but just a risk for being knocked over or jostled by a rowdy Pointer always ready to play. Of course safeguards for small children can easily be taken in order for all to happily co-exist but it is something to be aware of with any little ones in the home.
Training Pointers is a bit challenging as their attention spans are very short. They can’t focus too long on training sessions before their rambunctious spirit overwhelms and they simply must exercise at any cost. They are easily distracted by anything that gets their attention while training so limiting interruptions or distractions is very helpful while training. It is essential for Pointers to learn to obey from the beginning mostly because of their bubbly and rowdy personality and instinct to joyfully greet anyone and everyone they encounter as well as their one-track mind once on the chase for anything. Owners need to be patience and gentle but firm and consistent when training Pointers in order to maximize the training time you do have before they get distracted. The use of treats and special foods in the process works well in training or behavioral modification. If Pointers are not well trained in anything else, they must be taught to obey commands of “stay” and “down”. Their enthusiastic greeting of anyone entering their turf usually includes a lot of jumping and they are not small dogs. Needless to say, visitors to your home will have a joyful but rough reception from your Pointer and will greatly appreciate his obedience to those 2 commands above all others.
With their easily distracted personalities, it can be very challenging to get a Pointer housebroken. Using the crating method tends to help during housebreaking which means crate confinement when they cannot be under watchful supervision – hopefully only while the household is asleep.
English Pointer Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
English Pointer Organisations in the UK
The Pointer Club
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