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Last updated: Aug 31 2023

The Pointer, or as it is often called, the English Pointer is a fairly large dog breed that was carefully bred through centuries in order to become the ultimate hunting and pointing dog. They were mostly used for hunting small animals and birds but these days they are excellent house and family pets that have plenty of energy and willingness to play. They are truly versatile and are great for both dog sports and show rings.

They are alert and energetic, they have short hair that is quite easy to maintain and that is precisely what makes these dogs great watchdogs and family pets. They will alert you about anyone or anything approaching and they aren’t afraid of many things.

Since they were bred to be active gun dogs, these dogs need a lot of daily exercise and mental activity in order to not get bored and destructive. Like many other breeds, the Pointer can develop bad behavior if they are left alone for too long and don’t have a proper energy outlet. Playing fetch, swimming, jogging, and cycling are some of their favorite activities.



23-28 in (59-71 cm)



45-75 lb (20-34 kg)



Great Britain


Life Expectancy:

12-17 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


Pointer dogs have short and shiny coats. Weekly brushing is required for your dog to look his best. Pointers shed but only lightly and weekly brushing will keep the amount of hair under control.

Pointer coat colors:

  • Liver
  • Lemon
  • Black
  • Orange

All colors can be in combination with white or solid colored. These dogs cant have bad colors.

pointer dog

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs, as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk.

Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.


The Pointer is a highly energetic and active breed. They were bred to work all day, so these dogs need a lot of daily exercise. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping, or jogging.

If you are thinking about getting a Pointer, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend outside playing and training your Pointer. If your schedule can’t allow you that, consider getting some less active breed. Except for daily activity, these dogs also need consistency.



The Pointer is widely known as a true hunting breed, and their temperament might need some adjustment for them to become good pets. Hunting breeds are usually extremely active, and they need a decent amount of daily exercise if you want them to behave like family pets. Only when their activity needs are fulfilled are these dogs ready to train and become obedient.

Like with any other breed, the Pointer reacts best to positive training methods. Their natural hunting instincts are always present, and their hunting skills only need to be sharpened. If you are training them to become house pets, you will need to include many treats and praises.

Make training a fun and interesting experience, and you will start noticing good results pretty soon. Never use punishment as a training method; correct the dog’s unwanted behavior calmly and continue with the training. Negative training methods can result in shy or even aggressive dogs. 

There are many ways you can socialize your Pointer, and the most important thing to do is to get your dog familiar with different situations they can find themselves in. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people. They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs.


Pointer and kids

Pointers are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member, including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Pointer can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age, they will be playing parting, and they will enjoy spending time together.

Pointer and other animals

The Pointer might be a hunting breed, but they can quickly adapt to family living and a beloved family pet’s role. These dogs have become a lot better adapted to house life through selective breeding, and their hunting instincts and working ability haven’t been promoted so strongly. 

If they are adequately trained, the Pointers can become as good a pet as any other breed. They will have a lot more energy than your average lap dog, but if you live an active life, you can have a great companion that will gladly follow you on all your adventures. These dogs can even learn to coexist with other pets


Health problems

Pointers are dogs with a life expectancy of 12-17 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To ensure you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Pointers can suffer from

  • Epilepsy - Brain problem causing mild to severe seizures.
  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye
  • Ear infections - Especially for dogs that love water, you need to check their ears regularly for signs of infections or redness.
  • Entropion - A defect causing the eyelid to roll inward. 
  • Cherry eye
  • Addison's disease
  • Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications.

To be sure that your dog will be healthy always buy him from a responsible dog breeder who regularly tests their breeding dogs to secure that their puppies will be healthy as well.

Pointer breeders

Before you start searching for Pointer breeders, make sure that this breed is the one for you. these are active dogs that need plenty of exercise on a daily basis. Make sure you have enough time to invest and spend with them. Also, try and check if the breeder you are talking to is registered and reputable.

Even if you have to wait some time for your new puppy, it will be worth your while because you will receive a great and stable dog that was carefully bred.

When you bring your new puppy home, start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy. If you have any questions or doubts, any good breeder will welcome your questions because they also want their puppies to go into a good home.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

Canine historians believe that original pointing dogs came from Spain, and the first pointers came to England in 1713 from the Netherlands which was under Spanish control during that time.