The Pointer dog breed is known to “point” game birds and other small game animals like rabbits and they have been pointing for centuries. It is a versatile field dog and a loving and energetic family dog as well. This breed is considered to be the ultimate expression of canine power and grace. It is also an excellent companion for runners and for active families as well. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the Pointer dog breed.
The term Pointer was used to describe any breed of hunting dog that pointed at the game it was hunting. The Pointer dog breed was believed to have originated in Spain but its history is not very clear. Pointing-type dogs are believed to have been known in England as early as 1650 but it was also said that English officers brought Spanish Pointers back from the Netherlands which was under the Spanish control in 1713, participating in the War of the Spanish Succession. These Spanish Pointers were much larger, heavier, and slower compared to the Pointer dogs we know today.
The appearance of the modern Pointers was developed in England by crossing them with the Foxhound, Greyhound, Bloodhound, and later, various setters. The hunters aimed to breed in the scenting ability and constitution of the Bloodhound and the scenting ability, easy maintenance, well-developed rib cage, and endurance of the Foxhound. They were successful and were able to create an ideal hunting dog which became a favorite of a lot of the aristocrats in England. Pluto and Juno were two of the most famous British Pointers and they were owned by Colonel Thornton.
It was believed that the Pointer made its way to America with early colonists but its presence isn’t documented unto the Civil War era. In 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club was founded and Sensation, a handsome lemon and white Pointer imported from England in 1876 became its emblem. People who have been fortunate to attend the Westminster Kennel Club show might have seen Sensation’s silhouette on the cover of their catalog.
In 1879, the American Kennel Club Recognized the Pointer breed. In 1938, the American Pointer Club was founded. In the present time, the Pointer is an uncommon but handsome dog and it ranks 103rd among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club. They are also regarded as one of the finest bird-hunting dogs found anywhere in the world.
Characteristics of a Pointer Dog
Average height: 1 foot and 11 inches – 2 feet and 4 inches tall
Average weight: 45 – 75 pounds
The Pointer belongs to the sporting dogs breed group and they are able to live from 12 to 15 years. Male Pointer dogs can grow from 25 to 28 inches tall and can weigh from 55 pounds to 7 pounds. Females on the other hand, can grow from 23 to 26 inches tall, and can weigh from 45 to 65 pounds.
Pointers have striking coats of liver, black, orange, and lemon with or without a white background. There are also some which have light or heavy speckles called ticking, on the white areas of their coat. There are also rare tricolor Pointers and dark-colored ones that have black or brown noses while light colored ones have light or flesh-colored noses. Their coats are short, smooth, and shiny.
Pointers are described as friendly companions because they are devoted and even-tempered. They have competitive spirit but are also fun-loving and mischievous. They are also very good watchdogs because they are protective of their properties. Aside from that, Pointers are also hard-driving and courageous.
Pointers are great with children and as well as other animals especially when they are raised with them. They can get along with other pets like cats, however, they may be a little too fond of birds since they are hunting dogs.
Caring for a Pointer Dog
Pointers enjoy to be outdoors and they also enjoy being with their families. Therefore, they should not live outside but indoors instead at the same comforts as their families. They are great to take in activities such as camping, hiking, and other adventures. When you want a Pointer as a pet, you will be needing a large fenced yard where they can run and which they cannot escape as well because they can run for long distances but does not have the ability to go back home.
They also need daily exercise and stimulation because they are very active and energetic dogs. Since they’re developed to be hunting dogs, they could work all day long. Giving them an hour of exercise every day and more is needed. Take them running, play Frisbee, and train them for agility and other dog sports.
It’s essential to give Pointers a thorough brushing once a week using a hound mitt. They shed lightly that’s why regular brushing is enough to keep hair off your furniture and clothes. They might need a bath three to four times a year. Clean their ears and brush their teeth as well as you would with other dog breeds. Trim their nails regularly to avoid painful tears and other toe injuries.
When feeding Pointers, the recommended daily amount is 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food divided into two meals. The amount you should give depends on your dog’s activity level, age, size, and metabolism.
The Pointer is another dog breed that is great for active people and active families. If you’re looking for a pet that will accompany you on your outdoor sports and adventures, the energetic Pointer is a great choice for you.