Pointer

Breed History

Pointer

Pointer is a medium to large size Gun Dog. They come from Spain and were once known as a Spanish Pointer historically, but they would transform into the breed they are today in Britain.

Their name comes from what they do when hunting other animals, they point to where the other dogs are located. Speed and their ability to move with agility makes them a great retrieving dog.

Stamina and endurance to keep chasing down any type of prey makes them an ideal gun dog. Intelligence can get them to learn and change their hunting styles.

Although they have great stamina, they would first seek to find the animals while taking a back seat to the hound dogs that would specialize in hunting down the prey.

When hunting down birds when they are in use as a bird dog, they are second to none and can retrieve with the best of them. Mostly in use for the sporting aspect and not actual hunting at this point.

Since the 17th century there has been some documentation about Pointers. However, before this time it is difficult to find hard evidence of the breed and where they came from.

They came to America in the 1800’s and were one of the first dogs to receive recognition in America when the Kennel club first started. One of the original breeds of the Kennel Club.

Registration

In 1884, they would official receive registration form the AKC and were one of the first dogs to get recognition in the 1870s. They have done a great job of maintaining their popularity over a century.

Top 110 in popularity they will remain popular in the country but due to the lack of hunting that owners now have it is less likely they will increase in popularity.

Sporting Group, or Gun Dog, is the only category that any major kennel club would put them in. Here are the major kennel clubs and the breed standards for the Pointer.

Size

Male Height: 25-28 inches

Female Height: 23-26 inches

Male Weight: 60-75 pounds

Female Weight: 45-60 pounds

Litter Size

8 puppies are the average litter size of a Pointer. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect. After having the puppies for at least eight weeks it will be time to sell the puppies to a responsible owner.

Colors

  • Black – and white
  • Lemon – and white
  • Liver – and white
  • Orange – and white

Price

$1,000-$4,000 is the average price for a Pointer. These prices can vary depending on a lot of different factors including supply, demand, championship bloodline, currency and other facts that can change the price of the Pointer.

Registration will track the dog from their homeland until they would start in your country. Keeping the colors and other features in the breed standards fully intact the whole time. Pointers will cost significantly more with papers than without papers.

Dogs without papers are because one or more parents were unable to receive papers. Mostly due to crossbreeding and the puppy became out of the breed standards. That line will never be able to receive papers anymore.

Grooming

Take your dog on a long run or walk before you start the grooming session. Taking this approach will calm your dog down and reduce the energy you will have to relax. Using a leash will increase the control and communication with how you want your dog to behave during the grooming session. Thank me later.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing the coat at least once per week will be all you need for the Pointer.

Coat is too short and will not benefit from combing their hair because there in nothing to comb.

Bathe the dog after a long exercise session of at least one hour before bathing is the best practice. Cooling off with some water from the hose is an excellent introduction to a new process.

Ears can get an infection if they’re not cleaned properly. Costly vet bills can start to add up and when a dog is shaking their head, scratching excessive and an odor is in the area they have an infection.

Trimming the nails will happen during daily exercise which is something we recommend. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, then you will need to cut the nails with clippers.

Professional help is not a recommendation.

Life Span

12-15 years is the average lifespan for a Pointer. That’s a long time for a dog to live and dog owners should be aware of the time commitment they’re making. Great adoption dog because they live for so long and you can still own them for 10+ years after they became adults.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – hips are a big issue with dogs and their kennel club recommends you get one hip screening to determine that they don’t have the condition. Around 24 months of age is the best time to get the examination done. If you notice the dog experiencing physical discomfort during exercise you should get it done earlier.

Thyroid – whenever you notice the dog eating excessively, gaining a lot of weight, and can’t quench their thirst you may be looking at a Thyroid issue. A lot of hair loss is common as well. Bring your dog to the local vet when you see these issues arising.

Eye Examination – many eye problems exist and should be taken care of right away. Cherry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma can all affect this dog. Getting an eye exam will show you what condition your dog has. Some issues are mild while other can lead to partial or complete blindness.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Sporting Group, or Gun Dog Group. One of the original members of the club and a pioneer in how effective a Pointer can be to a hunter.

These dogs specialize in retrieving game with a soft mouth or without causing further damage. Finding prey and not alerting them to their presence is one of the best gifts that keeps giving.

Here are some of the dogs in the Sporting Group

Exercise Needs

Pointer needs a lot of exercise every day and for a long time period. Owners never understand how much exercise will be enough and we can show you how much exercise it takes.

Each dog is different and will show you with their actions if they have enough exercise or if they’re not getting nearly enough. Undesirable behavior will start to show you that you have not met the dog’s exercise needs.

Owners can disagree with how much their dog needs daily. Or they feel like they do exercise their dog with trips to the mailbox and bathroom breaks. This is a simple rule of thumb that can guide you to exercising enough.

Digging, jumping, barking excessively, over excitement, biting, nipping and other bad behaviors are all signs that your dog needs an outlet. I can tell you firsthand once they get enough exercise these behaviors go away.

Once you start getting to the point

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs will need a lot more exercise than their adult and senior dog counterpart. Being the most work you will have to do plan on running a lot on the bike and giving the dog two sessions per day.

Adult dogs will need less exercise as they will show a decline in energy levels. At this point you will be able to skip days and monitor energy levels. It does get easier at this point.

Senior dogs will need the least amount of exercise and they will never need any runs for the most part. Keeping the energy levels low will be the easiest at this point.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

There is no foundation being built on a weak foundation. Every foundation should be solid and the most solid foundation for your dog is an exercise program. Let’s use a homeless man for a great example. They’re not using treats, advanced training methods, toys or anything you will find with someone who doesn’t have a trained dog. Their dog is walking off leash, listening to every command, ears back, tail relaxed, and mouth open without any problems. What they do is use daily exercise and nothing else is essential. Exercise is the one thing that makes everything else easier.

Commands training is great to implement after you start exercising them daily. Repetition is the mother of all teaching and practicing your commands will help gain a true attention from your dog. Telling them to sit in the house, backyard, dog park, while at the vet and other places will start to build reliable commands training.

Socialization is the best when in use after exercise. Before vet visits, parks, dog parks, dog beaches, doggy dates, car rides and many more should start with a vet visit. After getting the dog in a state of exhaustion this is the perfect time to start getting them around other dogs and humans for a proper introduction. Doing this over time will set the dog up for proper socialization.

Corrections should be done verbally, on, or off leash to have a high level of control over the dog. Make sure you understand timing and the follow through. When you time it right you prevent the act from ever happening. If you get this wrong, you will never be able to correct the dog with proper communication.

Are Pointers Good Family Dogs?

Yes, Pointers are great dog for the family, kids, and other dogs. They do have a strong prey drive and will show signs of this early in their life. Become the owner that can exercise daily and train with the proper correction timing. That’s all you need to do consistently day after day to build the dog into a great and calm family companion.

Additional Resources