A Pointer is a dog breed originally developed in England as a gun dog. It is classified as a medium to large-sized dog and people also often refer to it as an English Pointer. This dog is often described as being energetic and fun loving. They are smart and can excel in various fields and can perform in dog sports and dog shows.
Beside only pointing to and showing you the prey, this dog is very versatile and can be used for many different things. Most people keep it as a family dog now.
History & Origins
By all accounts, the modern version of a Pointer dog draws its origin from England. It is still debatable how the dog came to be as there are various theories which explain its origin. By many, the Pointer appeared in England somewhere in 16th or 17th century. The first official record of this type of a dog was found in 1650. It is most likely that the forefather of the Pointer was brought from the European mainland to England, most likely from Spain or Portugal. The pointing breeds brought to Brittan were then further developed and were mixed with, most likely, Greyhounds, Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and Bull Terriers. Their original purpose was the same as it is today, hunting and pointing towards the prey.
After a time, numerous breeders were established and everybody started to gain interest in this dog. Once Pointers were introduced to America, they increased their numbers immensely. Due to vast hunting grounds available there more and more Pointers were needed and a lot of breeders soon started breeding these dogs. The Pointer was originally introduced to America in 1876 while their Kennel Club was established in 1936.
Pointer Characteristics & Temperament
Pointers are characterized for being affectionate, intelligent, clean and also by being very loyal. They are not at all aggressive and they do not mind the company of other dogs and even other animals, cats even. They can fit into a family home quite easily and will also enjoy the company of your children. As far as strangers go, they can be a little bit reserved at times but it is because they are not really territorial animals. This does not make them good watch dogs even if they have a tendency to bark at noises.
If you keep a Pointer inside your home, get ready for it to occupy your chairs and beds. They like relaxing and this way feel like they are part of the pack. But it is always better to keep these dogs out of the house mainly because of exercise. They have very high energy levels and need to run. With their hunting background they will need a big space to run around and enjoy the time when they are not laying down.
Appearance, Colors, Size
By standards, the appearance of a Pointer needs to be balanced and many dog breeders prefer symmetry. But being off by a few inches is acceptable and some competitions will allow it. According to standards, a male Pointer should be between 25 and 28 inches tall and weigh somewhere between 55 and 75 pounds. Females, on the other hand, are accepted at 23 to 26 inches of height and they can weigh between 45 and 65 pounds.
Their coats are usually short, smooth and dense. Generally speaking, a Pointer is usually white with spots. Spots can be liver, lemon, orange or black. Pointers can also have solid colors but they are predominantly white. It is also worth to note that lemon and white dogs have noses with flesh colors but dogs that come in orange, liver or black markings possess dark noses.
According to the survey done by the UK Kennel Club, Pointers have an average life expectancy. It is calculated that their lifespan is up to 12.5 years. Luckily, Pointers are very healthy dogs when you look at the conditions that can affect them. They suffer from a number of illnesses, but with good care and regular visits to the vet you can avoid them. Just watch for such problems like hip dysplasia, cherry eye, epilepsy, and allergies. They can also suffer from a syndrome called Acral mutilation syndrome which is a hereditary conditions that the Pointers are prone to.
Grooming & Shedding
A Pointer is also very easy to maintain. They are average shedders and do not require a lot to keep them clean. They are actually very clean dogs themselves and will avoid getting dirty or in some cases clean themselves. What you can do is brush the dog once a week using a hound mit.
As they have short hair it does not take much but it will certainly help to provide them with a brush like this from time to time. That way you reduce shedding and remove the dead hair. Baths are needed only when absolutely necessary. Brushing your dog’s teeth is also necessary as well as clipping their nails.
Pointer Price and Breeders
A good Pointer dog is easy to get. This breed has spread all around already and there are a lot of breeders interested to expand it even further. As far buying one, you will only have to spend somewhere between 400 and 600 dollars for a single puppy. It is a good investment, no matter how you decide to use the dog.
Many people are opting to adopt a Pointer. This is a great way of helping dogs without a home and also an easy way for you to get a dog without paying large sums of money. One of the leading rescue groups now available is certainly Pointer Rescue and they have a stellar cast of dogs that they want to find a home for. Check them out if you are interested in finding out more about it.