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BaxterBoo Blog
June 19, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Pointer

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  • Height: 21"- 24” with show dogs being up to 28"
  • Weight: 44-66 pounds, with show dogs being up to 75 pounds
  • Historical function: Pointing, hunting
  • Modern function: Hunting, companion
  • AKC classification: Sporting

Physical Characteristics:

The Pointer is a lean, compact and muscular dog that is sleek and athletic. The short, crisp coat enhances the appearance by highlighting the tight musculature. The overall appearance is alert, strong, intelligent and ready to move. The head is about as wide as it is long. The muzzle is deep and is the same length as the skull, running on parallel planes to each other. The ears hang and are slightly pointed at the tips. The nose is wide and may sit slightly higher than or be parallel to the well-defined stop. The nose will be dark in dogs with dark patches and flesh colored in the lighter-colored dogs. Coat colors are primarily white with patches or speckling that can be orange, liver, lemon, black or tricolored. The chest is deep. The front legs are straight. The abdomen tucks up tightly. The tail is wider at the base and tapers to a point.

History of the Breed:

The Pointer is of English descent with several contributing breeds including the Foxhound, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, Spanish and Italian pointers, Setters, and even the Bulldog. It was used for spotting birds and hares and can run for miles. It was first documented in England around 1650, becoming quite popular in the early 1700s with hunters. The Pointer has long been considered to be the "Cadillac" of birding dogs. It was recognized by the AKC in 1884.  


The Pointer is quite intelligent, and active so needs daily, intense mental and physical exercise to prevent this dog from becoming bored and destructive. This dog makes an excellent companion that is easily trained and gets along well with families, other dogs, usually cats, but may be too boisterous for young children.

  • Best suited for: Active families, joggers, hunters.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog is not suitable for apartment living and does best with acreage. Does well in warm climates but doesn't tolerate the cold very well.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care coat needs occasional brushing. A moderate shedder.
  • Exercise needs: Daily long walk, preferably a jog.
  • Life expectancy: 13-14 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia, skin problems, and thyroid issues.

Breed Club Links: Ameircan Pointer Club, Inc. Perfect Pairings: Prudence Nature's Wellness - Complete Skin and Coat - Canine. This supplement is great to keep any skin problems at bay and acts as an internal sunscreen, perfect for lighter-colored dogs!

Have any stories about a Pointer? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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