Let's talk Pointers

If one had to draw the quintessential field sport dog, the Pointer would be it. They are marked by an incredibly honed physicality with a taut body that equips them to do what they’ve originally been bred for: run alongside hunters and point. Their instinctive specialty, Pointers have been excelling in their particular task for centuries. This is also an amiable breed whose social skills match their energy level. Active owners are best, as is anyone who desires a pleasant breed to welcome into the family.

Official name: Pointer

Other names: English Pointer

Origins: England

Close-up of Pointer in black and white
 Drooling tendencies:

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level: Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Physical activity needs (high, low, medium): High Kid-friendly? 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets: Very high
Can stay alone? Very low

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour.
Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
Inline Image 15
Illustration of Pointer
61 - 71 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
25 - 34 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
58 - 66 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 29 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  from 8 years

Side view of Pointer with one leg up standing in grass


Get to know the Pointer

All you need to know about the breed

The peerless Pointer literally defines “well-bred,” often described as aristocratic by those who know the breed well. Depicted by many a painter over the years accompanying hunters in the field, there are few dogs who do it better. Their impressive instincts are a boon, both on the field and on the homefront.

This sporting group breed is classified as a medium- to large-sized dog, and a scenthound, originally bred to stand game: upon spotting prey, they will stop and stand in place, freeze, and point with their muzzle, one lifted paw, and a stretched-out tail. It’s a sight to see and innate to these types of breeds.

The dog’s recognisable corporeality is defined by a slightly concave muzzle and flowing lines of lithe musculature. To say they need a lot of exercise is an understatement. The Pointer has stamina for days - a great choice for runners but not so much for suburbanites. The countryside or a locale with lots of land is best.

The Pointer makes an excellent watchdog and is wonderful with children, once trained. Supervise them around little ones however since that lively tail is liable to knock over an unwitting toddler. The Pointer’s convivial nature makes them a close-knit member of their human family.

Close-up of black and white Pointer


2 facts about Pointers

1. It’s all in the breeding

The Pointer is renowned as the ultimate field sport dog, and even at a mere two months of age, puppies will display the instinct to point. It’s centuries of breeding that have instilled the impulse in the Pointer breed, their assistance being highly valued by those who own this steadfast dog.

2. Getting up to it

Funny enough, the Pointer can be canine-funny. This is a dog with a reputation as a sober sort but they also have a hugely playful side, and can tend to be mischievous. Even the Pointer realises it’s not all work all the time, and will engage in play with their family and fellow canines where they can.


History of the breed

The earliest Pointer-type dogs were depicted on 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs, but their history since then is ambiguous: The first Pointers are said to have been found in England as early as 1650, but said as well to descend from Spanish Pointers, brought to the U.K. by British Army officers in 1713 after the War of Spanish Succession, then crossed with English Pointers to further define the breed as we know it. Other theories say the dog hails from the Portuguese Pointer, and that the Foxhound, Greyhound, and Bloodhound are also part of the mix.

The Pointer came to the U.S. at the time of the Civil War and was one of the first breeds - among eight others - to be recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1878 and the United Kennel Club in the early 1900s. The English Pointer Club was founded in 1891.

Close-up of Pointer in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Pointers

1. Ears

Distinctive small drop ears, hanging flat, pointed ends.

2. Body

Highly athletic toned body, strong lithe limbs, hallmark “bee-sting” tail and concave face.

3. Coat

Very dense and short-lying coat.

Side view of Pointer puppy standing in grass


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Pointer
Pointer standing in field in front of trees


Caring for your Pointer

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Pointer owners will benefit from an easy grooming routine with this dog’s short and tight coat. They do shed a moderate amount so brush them weekly with a soft bristle brush or hound glove to remove loose hair. Trim nails and clean and dry their ears often, both of which are bound to pick up debris on this dog’s escapades outside. Teeth brushing should happen as often as possible to control the plaque that can cause periodontal disease. The Pointer is a born athlete and must have exercise on a daily basis, and a lot of it. This is a dog best suited to a rural setting, to answer nature’s call for them to run. Frolics can be had in gardens as well, as long as they’re big and enclosed. The breed is also a premiere choice for any sort of canine competition, from rally to tracking to obedience to agility. Pointers also thrive as wonderful therapy dogs and in search and rescue capacities. Eminently trainable, the Pointer is almost programmed to receive and respond to commands. Forever inquisitive, Pointers are alert and amiable dogs whose common sense is just one of their admirable characteristics.


All about Pointers

The Pointer thrives most in a setting that lets them respond to instinct - which is not only to help in the field but to run for hours on end. Pointers will do best in more rural surroundings. A traditional home with a garden can work, although it’s not ideal. The larger the plot of land, the better, for this very vivacious breed.

As a scenthound, the Pointer has been trained to use their nose more than their voice but nonetheless, they will bark on occasion. Know that this is a breed with a docile nature who generally won’t bother the neighbours with an unbridled howl at anything that wanders by.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/