(aka: English Pointer, Bird Dog)
The Pointer is a large dog with a sturdy build, long legs, and a handsome appearance. He has an eager and intelligent expression, and his coat his short, smooth, and dense. The coloring of the Pointer can vary and includes lemon and white, orange and white, black and white, liver and white, tri-colored, and solid. In terms of weight the Pointer reaches around 40-65 pounds for females and around 5-0-75 pounds for males. The height of the Pointer is around 23-26 inches for females, and around 25-28 inches for males.
Lively and independent, the Pointer is an alert and courageous animal that can make a fine family pet and companion. These dogs love to work, and are determined, enthusiastic, and have plenty of stamina. Full of energy, the Pointer is a dog that loves to play and join in with various family activities, and thrives on the love and affection of his family. These dogs are not suitable for inactive families, as they do need a lot of exercise. He also needs attention, as neglect can lead to boredom and destructive behavior. He can sometimes be stubborn and hard headed, which can make training more challenging, but with the right attitude using assertive and positive methods you will find that training this breed shouldn't prove too much of a problem.
The Pointer will get along well with gentle children and when brought up with kids, and also tends to get along well with other pets. They can be a little reserved around strangers, but will usually be polite. The Pointer is a responsive dog that is eager to please, and does not normally display dominance over other animals or people. The Pointer can make an excellent pet and companion for those with gentle children, other pets, and enough time on their hands to dedicate to a loving and affectionate pet.
The grooming requirements for the Pointer are minimal, and you simply need to brush the coat regularly in order to keep it sleek and to get rid of dead hair. He is medium shedder, which means that he may not be best suited to those with allergies.
There is some debate regarding the origin of the Pointer, but they are known to have been in England as early as the 16th century and bred for use as hunting dogs.
There is a great deal of hound in this breed, with greyhounds, bloodhounds and foxhounds in their genetic past as well as bull terriers. At the same time there was also a Spanish type of pointer that was probably brought to England and used in the breeding lines as well.
They were first brought to the Americas in the 19th century for the very same use and were well established in the Eastern United States by the early 20th century.
The famous dog Sensation is seen today as the emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club.
The Pointer is well known for its ability to take commands in the field, as long as the commands are well known. Puppies are often started from a very early age with running around and following verbal orders, though you shouldn't expect results until you've really drilled the point home, since they are not the smartest dogs out there.
For those who want to keep a Pointer as a companion animal only, the most important training involves housebreaking and socialization with other people and dogs. The same devotion to early and consistent commands is important.
You don't want to confuse the dog, and positive reinforcement is certainly best. It's up to you to give your pointer all possible opportunities to be a good dog and conversely, remove the chance for error, when very young.
Housebreaking can take awhile no matter how willing and eager your dog is to please. For that reason, it is, vitally important that you're around constantly during the housebreaking process to take cues from your pup and keep an eye on his or her behaviour. Many people use crate training successfully and the dogs derive great comfort from having a space of their very own. Be sure you get a sufficiently large crate to give your dog space to stand and turn around.
There should be no need to shout with a pointer-shunning the dog from your company is often more than ample punishment, though it is imperative that you never punish a dog for something if there's been any amount of time between the deed and your discovering it. They simply forget what they've done immediately after doing it.
You should begin socialization training as early as possible, giving you new Pointer pup plenty of chance to play, off leash if possible, with other dogs. They are very rarely aggressive with other dogs, preferring instead to run and play. The same is true of new people whether in or out. However, if a family member is threatened your dog will respond with an impressive defensive display.
Keeping them well exercised is the key to successful training. They have a great deal of energy, especially when young, and will take to their education far more readily of they've had a chance to blow of steam. Hyperactivity in dogs, as well as children, can make learning very difficult.
Pointers love to hang out with their packs and will take commands from any member of the family as long as you all agree to a set of commands. As with any breed of dog, consistency is the key to effective training.
The life expectancy of the Pointer is 11-14 years, and there are a number of health problems associated with this breed. This includes cataracts, entropion, epilepsy, HD, PRA, and thyroid problems. The parents of the Pointer puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.