Home > Dog Breeds > Pointer
45-65 lbs
English Pointer

The Pointer, also known as the English Pointer, is named as such due to its ability to “point” and aim its muzzle at small game. The Pointer is one of the earliest Sporting breeds, dating to as far back as the 17th century. The Pointer weighs an average of 45 to 75 pounds and grows as tall as 23 to 28 inches high. The Pointer has origins in the county of England in the 1600s with an early purpose of pointing at the hunted prey. It is said that the Pointer originated from a combination of other breeds such as the Italian Pointer, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound, Bloodhound, Greyhound, Newfoundland, Setter, and Bulldog. Described as an even-tempered, fun-loving and loyal breed, the Pointer is an excellent hunter and will accompany you on retrieving small game. Maintaining the Pointer is relatively simple due to its short and thin coat. Weekly brushing is recommended to minimize the shedding. The Pointer fares best in a home with a large enclosed area in order to exercise and work out his energy.

hunting, pointing
Date of Origin
pointer, hound, newfoundland dog, setter, bulldog

Pointer Health

Average Size
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 55-75 lbs
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 45-65 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Congenital Heart Defect
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Hip
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Pointer Breed History

Early records of the Pointer indicate that the breed may have been around since the 1600s in Spain. The current Pointer originated in England and was named after its ability to be able to “point” its muzzle at small game. There is some speculation as to which breeds the Pointer was developed from such as the Italian Pointer, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound, Greyhound, Bloodhound, Setter, and Bulldog. While the exact ancestry is not well-documented, these breeds are commonly accepted as part of the Pointer's ancestry. Early versions of the Pointer were described as less than friendly and vicious creatures bred just to hunt and kill game. One of the Pointer's original ancestors, the Spanish Pointer, was effective at catching game but was slow-moving. When self-loading guns rose in popularity, hunters needed a quick companion in order to be able to catch up to prey. The Pointer's original purpose was to point out rabbits and eventually moved on to the ability to spot birds. In 1884, the Pointer was officially recognized by the AKC. In the 19th century, there were efforts to breed the Pointer to make him easier to train as well to format a friendlier disposition. Before the Civil War, the Pointer was imported to the United States where it gained popularity for hunting quail. Since then, its appearance has been modified. The Pointer was the breed preferred when it came to hunting due to its ability to remain motionless until the prey was shot down. The breed is considered to have an excellent tracking reputation with effective pointing abilities. 

Pointer Breed Appearance

The Pointer's appearance is described as a muscular body with a proud stance. This canine is athletic and remains alert with every sound heard. Endless stamina is used to take advantage of its skill in the field. The Pointer’s head is always pointed upwards when out in the field and its tail is usually moving back and forth. This breed has a full-length straight tail that is posed upwards when in its natural stance. Pendant ears move from side to side when tracking prey. Its coat is described as a short, smooth coat with shine. Official colors designated by the AKC are as follows: black, black and white, lemon, lemon and white, liver, liver and white, orange, orange and white with black, liver, self-colored, or ticked points. The skull of the Pointer is of medium width with a slight furrow between the eyes. 

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Pointer Breed Maintenance

The Pointer's short, dense coat requires minimal grooming. Weekly brushing will allow shedding to be maintained. It is recommended to bathe this breed when absolutely necessary. Bathing under 6 weeks is usually not needed since it can stimulate oils in the skin, causing overproduction of oils. Nails should be trimmed every 2 to 3 weeks to prevent overgrowth. This breed does not have any specific or strong odors. It is a high energy breed which requires intense and vigorous exercise in order to maintain a high quality of life. This breed would not be appropriate in an apartment setting due to its needs out in the field. It would fare best in a large home with a sufficient yard in order to run around. If not provided with vigorous exercise and activity, the energetic Pointer is likely to engage in destructive behavior. The Pointer will be most comfortable in an average climate because of its short coat. It does not have a particular diet but it is recommended to follow an optimum dietary guideline. 

Brushes for Pointer
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Pointer Temperament

The Pointer is known for its mischievous temperament out in the field. It enjoys being able to point and track birds. This breed is highly responsive and independent but also loves to spend time with his family. It has a big heart and is constantly searching for attention from human companionship. The Pointer loves to be surrounded by his family and enjoys being able to spend time with children. Older children may be most suited to this active and physical breed and when treated with respect, the Pointer will maintain his affection for them. This animal family member is flexible and capable of adjusting to many different situations. The Pointer is known to be hesitant towards strangers and may initially bark at them since it is unfamiliar with them. It is not recommended to use this breed to serve as an effective watchdog as it will become easily distracted by birds. The Pointer may chase after other small animals so it is recommended to train the breed early on. The Pointer will alert its family to any incoming visitors as well as anything unusual. This intelligent canine is capable of being trained but be forewarned – it may be difficult. The Pointer is a smart breed and may become stubborn during training sessions. It is recommended to introduce firm commands and reward for proper behavior.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Pointer Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Pointer Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 25 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 17 lbs
12 Months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 27 lbs
18 Months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 60 lbs
Height: 22 inches Weight: 50 lbs

Top Pointer Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Pointer breeders of 2017.
Carter Brittany Kennels
Ambrose, Georgia
Outback Kennels
Kensington, Kansas
Shady Meadows Gundogs
Merriam, Kansas
Rockin' G Kennel
Newalla, Oklahoma

Pointer Owner Experiences