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The Pointer is a muscular and graceful dog. Their most distinguishing feature is the typical Pointer stance with tail and foreleg raised and head extended towards the quarry. They carry their heads proudly. Their coats are smooth, straight and short with a tremendous sheen and come in several colours.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–17 years
Weight: 26–30kg
Height: 61–69cm
Colours: Black, black and white, lemon, lemon and white, liver, liver and white, orange, orange and white. Pointer’s can also have black, liver and self-coloured points and ticked markings
Size: Medium
Kennel Club Group: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5


As companion dogs, Pointers are friendly and affectionate, and get on well with other dogs and even cats if introduced when young. They are closely bonded to their families and love to be included in everything that is going on. They are sensitive, intelligent and friendly and are welcoming of just about everybody. They are not ideal guard dogs but they will generally bark when someone comes to the door. As long as they are getting the exercise they need, they are quiet dogs in the house.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

The exact origin of the Pointer dog breed is not entirely clear: whether they originate from Spanish Pointers or from Continental Pointers is uncertain. Other breed historians say that their ancestors have always been English. What is certain however is that the English Pointer, a smaller, quicker dog than the continental Pointers, dates back to the 1600s and was used to 'point' game out to hunters. This is done by finding the game and then halting and indicating its presence rather than flushing it out. These are true canine specialists - and this coupled with their gentle disposition and obedient friendly natures has made sure they have always remained popular.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Pointers

Training Pointers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • You can trace the history of Pointers through art. Early pointers have been found depicted on the walls of 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs, as well as French and English painting from the 17th to 19th centuries.
  • Despite still being used as a working breed today, they love their creature comforts and enjoy nothing more than cuddling up on the sofa.
  • Even before guns, Pointers were excellent bird catching dogs. They’d capture the bird and either break their neck or take it back to their handlers for them to finish the job.
  • The name ‘Pointer’ is because when they spot prey, they literally point their entire body to the thing in question.

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