English Pointer

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    History & Overview

    The exact place of origin of the Pointer is not known, but most authorities agree that it was developed in Spain, France and Belgium about three hundred years ago. But it was the English who developed the Pointer we know today. The first Pointers were used to locate and point hares, after which Greyhounds were brought in for the chase and the kill.

    At the start of the 18th century, the Pointer became the gun dog of England. It was used to find hare and then freeze in a point (an immovable position to indicate the location of the game for the hunter). The ancestors of Pointer include hounds, spaniels, and setters.


    Generally recognized as the best bird-finding dog in the world, the Pointer is intelligent, affectionate and loyal to his owner, but reserved with strangers. This is a fast running dog, well suited to the hunter on horseback. He is untiring and obedient in the field and has an exceptional nose.

    When hunting, it sniffs the air, head held high, and explores the territory systematically, until its fine nose detects hidden prey. It then rapidly slows to a halt, pointing like an arrow at the spot, allowing the hunters to approach, flush the game and shoot. It is a canine specialist. His specialty is finding and indicating the presence of the game, but not flushing, killing or retrieving it.

    At A Glance

    Country of Origin:

    Great Britain


    Pointing dog


    FCI Classification: Group 7 – Pointers & Setters; British and Irish Pointers and Setters, Pointer (with working trial)
    AKC Classification: Sporting Group


    Large (24 – 27 inches at shoulders)


    Usual colors are lemon and white, orange and white, liver and white, and black and white. Self (solid) colors and tricolors are also correct.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    9 – 15 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Basic grooming needs weekly brushing and regular ear cleaning.




    Intelligent, energetic, athletic and very loyal to their owners. They require a lot of personal attention and truly suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for more than 4 hours. Pointers are wary of strangers and make good watchdogs.

    Social skills:

    Pointers are peaceful dogs and get along with other animals, birds and dogs very well, but can chase cats.

    Suitability for Children:

    The Pointer has a stable temperament and is dependable with children of all ages.

    Exercise Needs:

    High. Pointers are not apartment dogs, and they need a lot of room to vent their energy. A fenced yard where they can run freely will be an ideal living environment.

    Train Ability:

    Pointers are versatile and highly trainable dogs. They have been used for conformation (show ring), obedience, field trials, agility, search and rescue, bomb detection, and as therapy dogs. They can be stubborn sometimes and slow to housebreak, but training must be approached gently.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    The most common ailments include:

    Video Credits: all4hunters English


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