English Pointer (Dog Breed Information)- The Bird Dog

The Pointer dog breed is a medium-sized dog that is an active, fast, and a great bird hunting dog. Pointers point their body in the direction of their hunt. They are very loyal and make great family pets especially if they are raised with them. However, it is not recommended to have this breed with a toddler around. More about that later on in this article.

Pointers are hunters who go out on hour-long hunts. Therefore, they do not do well in small spaces, so condo or apartment living for this breed is out of the question because they require regular physical activity and apartments are not suitable for it to exercise. They do well in a house with a big back yard for them to play, run, and work. They do best with lots of acreage like a farm. As we move into this article there will be more info on the exercise requirements for this hunter.

At A Glance

  • Breed: Pointer
  • Breed Group: Sporting
  • Temperament: Even-tempered, Loyal, Hardworking
  • D.H.T. Outdoor Ranking: -5/10 For Temperate Climates- Does not do well in cold temperatures due to their short coat
  • Worldwide Popularity: Low
  • Breed Origin: England

General Information And Breed History

English Pointers AKA “The Bird Dog” were primarily used as working dogs by hunters to hunt hare as far back as 1650. The A.K.C established them a breed in 1836. They have a strong sense of smell and direction. When a Pointer scents it hunt he stands tall and still, one foot raised off the ground, pointing the hunter in the right direction.

The noble Pointer is the utmost expression of canine power and grace. Aristocrats of the sporting group, Pointers carry themselves with pride and excel in great speed and agility. The coat comes in several colors, solid or in patterns.

General Appearance

The English Pointer is athletic and graceful at the same time, while also being powerful, lean and muscular. The head noble and carried with pride. Their expression is intelligent and alert as a great hunter should be.

Their coats come in many colors and the hair is short, making them good for the hot and humid weather, not so much for cold climate.

Body

The body of a pointer is very lean and muscular. Their neck is also muscular and it is long and slightly arched. Shoulders are long, thin, and sloping. The top of the blades are close together. The pointer’s back is strong and solid with only a slight rise from croup to top of shoulders. Loin of moderate length, powerful and slightly arched.

Head

  • Eyes- Rounded
  • Ears- Thin, and soft hanging ears, slightly pointed at the tip
  • Head – Long with a deep muzzle

Coat

The coat is short, shiny and smooth, and comes in many colors such as:

  • Liver
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Or black markings

Pointers may have solid coloring in any of these shades, but for the most part, their color is white with some markings.

The pointers with orange, liver or black markings have a dark nose, while pointers that are lemon and white have flesh-colored noses.

Legs & Feet

Their feet are oval, with long, closely-set, arched toes, well-padded, and deep. Legs are strong and muscular.

Tail & Hindquarters

Hindquarters are extremely muscular and powerful with great catapulting leverage. Their thighs are long and well developed. Stifles well bent. The hocks clean; the legs straight as viewed from behind. The tail is Heavy at the root, gradually tapering to a fine point. and level with the back.

General Statistics

  • Life Expectancy: 12-17 years
  • Height (at the withers):  28 inches
  • Male: 25-28 inches
  • Female: 23-26 inches
  • Weight:  75 lbs
  • Male: 55-75 lbs
  • Female: 45-65 lbs

Recommended Dog House Dimensions

The recommended dog house dimensions can be found on the dog house dimensions charts for 440 recognized breeds which includes this dog breed that looks like a wolf.  But to save you time, here are our dog house minimum size recommendations:

  • Door Height: 30.8 inches
  • Door Width: 19.6 inches
  • Inside Ceiling Height: 37.8 inches
  • Interior House Length: 61.6 inches
  • Interior House Width: 39.2 inches

Expected Costs

Breed Average Puppy Cost: $500- $1,500 USD

Starter Costs: $1,000 – $2,500

This is our estimate for initial purchase, shots and a few things like food, a bed, leash, that sort of thing.  Basically, this will get you set up but the costs will be greater once the dog is old enough to get spayed or neutered.

Anticipated Annual Care Cost: $ 500 – $2,000

How The English Pointer Reacts To

Babies/Children: 

The English Pointer is very good with children, especially those they are raised with. However, they are not recommended as a family pet for those who have toddlers. not because they don’t like them, in fact, they really enjoy children, but they may unintentionally hurt a small child by swiping them with their strong tail or knocking them down during playtime. They can be rambunctious and not aware of their strength. If you have older children and are a very active family, then this dog can make a great family pet.

Other Dogs:   

Pointers generally do well with other dogs and other pets, again if they’re raised with them. Being raised with other pets gives this dog a better chance at being friends with and a getting along with other house hold pets.

Cats

The pointer does not get along with cats unless they are raised with them. If you are bringing a pointer into a family that already has a cat, then you may find that the pointer will hunt the cat. Good thing dogs are trainable. You can train your dog to not hunt your cat, and they can even become good friends.

Other Animals:

If you have small pets in your house then your pointer may just turn into hunter mode especially birds. Pointers and birds really should not be in the same house together. The dog risks getting injured by a bird’s beak, and well the bird could suffer worse.

Care Requirements

Exercise 

Lots and lots of exercise are required for this dog breed. They need at least 2 hours of intense physical activity. This dog should not be considered for a family pet if the time and energy needed for the dog cannot be filled. They do best with an active family, or a couple the cycles or are runners.

If left alone for long periods of time, or exercise requirements are not met, this dog can become destructive and you may find yourself with expensive repair bills, and perhaps some vet bills.

Canine sports like obedience, tracking, agility, and rally are an excellent way to ensure it meets the required daily physical activity.

Grooming & Coat Info

The Pointer’s short, dense, glossy coat requires minimal maintenance. Once a week brushing with a hound glove or soft-bristle brush will remove any loose hair and dirt for their coat. Nails require frequent trimming because long nails can cause a problem with running and walking.

Health & Nutrition

The pointer dog breed will do well on high-quality dog food. Portions are based on the size and age of a dog. It is recommended that you visit your veterinarian to find out which food is best for your pointer. If you decide to feed human food to your dog from time to time as a treat, make sure you know which human foods are safe and which are not. If you are not sure, you can always consult your dog’s veterinarian.

The Pointer dog breed is generally healthy with only a few health issues. Those health issues are:

  • Bloat
  • Hip dysplasia

Training

Pointers are very intelligent and they love to please. However, they have a mind of their own and it will take time to train them due to this. But once a training foundation is set, then there are really no limits on what this dog can do.

They can do really well in training and they excel in canine sports. Canine sports are not only a good way to exercise your dog, but it is good for you as well. You get to meet new people and your dog gets to make friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pointers Good Family Pets?

Yes, the pointer can make a great family pet. They love spending time with their family. It is even better if the pointer and children are raised together.

Where Does Their Name Come From?

The name pointer comes from the dog’s instinct to point in the direction of its hunt. The dog will raise one leg off the ground, turn and point its body in the direction of the game so that the hunter knows where to go.

Can Pointers Swim?

Pointers are not natural swimmers, though some may learn to swim and enjoy going into the water.

Bibliography

  1. Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds – D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
  2. American Kennel Club
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Canadian Kennel Club
  5. The Kennel Club UK

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