Pointer Dog Breed Profile

The Pointer is a powerful dog breed with a gracious gait, that is characterized by its ability to point. The strong, even-tempered breed is known for pointing game birds.

This extremely active dog is capable of running at great speed and is very loyal, which makes it a wonderful family pet.

Table of Contents

Breed Overview

  • Group: Sporting
  • Height: 17.5 – 20.5 inches
  • Weight: Male pointers can weigh 55 – 75 pounds, while females weigh 45 – 65 pounds
  • Coat and color: Short coat, color combinations could include white with liver, orange, lemon, or black markings. Solid colors may appear in any of these colors.
  • Life expectancy: 12-17 years


  • Affection Level: High
  • Friendliness: High
  • Kid-Friendly: High
  • Pet-Friendly: High
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Playfulness: High
  • Energy Level: High
  • Trainability: High
  • Intelligence: High
  • Tendency to Bark: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium


The Pointer is regarded as a noble breed that dates back to the seventh century. Pointers are believed to be related to the foxhound, greyhound, bloodhound, and a spaniel that existed back then.

Although widely regarded as bird-dogs, the primary assignment given to them was to point hares for greyhounds to chase. The dog adapted to point for games when gun use during hunting became more accepted; they’ve remained popular as bird dogs since then.

Before guns were developed, pointers were just as important, since birds were netted instead of being shot. Pointers maintained their role when gun use was introduced, as they also were used to retrieve the birds.

The shape of a pointer is quickly recognizable, as both its head and pointed tail helps hunters know the direction of their game.

Pointers generally would stand firm and still with one of their foot off the ground, pointing the hunters in the right direction. Even though they have always been focused and alert in the field, pointers are also playful, mischievous, and loving companions, making them adorable pets.

Presently, pointers consistently win some of the world’s most prestigious competitions for pointing dogs. Credit can be given to the breeds’ heritage, love of attention, and competitive nature.

Naturally, the breed is a sport dog and excels in field trials, agility, rally, and obedience. The breed gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1884.


Like several sporting breeds, pointers are also obedient, loyal and loving to their family. The love they share with their family is also extended to strangers and people around. Pointers are not aggressive, meaning they are good with other pets and children.

The breed likes to be in the center of the action, especially when it’s family is involved. Because pointers are very alert in the field, they can equally make good watchdogs.

While this active breed enjoys spending time outdoors, most of them prefer being indoors, hanging with their owners on the couch. Pointers are dogs that require regular exercise. So if you don’t have enough time on your hands, maybe this isn’t the breed for you.

Their active history means that the breed loves to run and play around. Owners should provide enough space for their dogs to stretch their legs and play off-leash.

When they aren’t provided with play around and burn off energy, pointers could become destructive and restless, especially if they are left alone for too long.

Owners don’t need to put in too much work into grooming their Pointer. They have a short coat and are average shedders. Regular ear checks and cleaning is, however, required to avoid possible ear infections.

Because pointers are brilliant, they are easily trainable. Like most sporting dogs, pointers can become sensitive. They may not respond well to harsh methods of training. They do better with positive reinforcements like treats, praises, and other rewards.

Common Health Problems

While naturally a healthy breed, the pointer breed can be prone to some common health conditions such as:

  • Canine dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Eye disorders
  • Bloat

Diet and Nutrition

The pointer dog needs to be fed high-quality dog food. Owners can feed their pointers home-prepared or commercially-made foods with the supervision of a vet.

Owners should do well not to overfeed their dog, and also to ensure their diet is appropriate for their age.

Because Pointer is highly active dogs, owners should make sure they don’t overfeed their dogs, as this may lead to obesity. Regular exercise must be maintained to keep them in shape.


  • Highly-trainable and intelligent dog
  • Reacts well to positive reinforcement
  • Ideal family dog


  • Needs a considerable amount of daily exercise
  • Loves plenty of attention
  • Can get sensitive to harsher training

Adopting or buying a pointer

Although not a very popular breed, but breeders are not hard to find around. Be sure to check with reputable breeders that can present proper medical records.

If you are interested in adopting a pointer, you can also check with the American Pointer Club. The club has a list of breeders that are in each state.

There are also pointer organizations like the Pointer Rescue. Prospective owners can check up with them to inquire about adopting a pointer.

When trying to determine if the Pointer is the right breed for you, you can meet with other pointer owners to get more information about the dog.

You can also meet with breeders as well as rescue groups to find out more. You can also check out other dog breeds similar to the pointer breed:

Do you own a pointer? Is the dog a breed you’d readily recommend to family and friends? If yes, kindly drop tips or suggestions to guide prospective dog owners in the right direction.

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