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Pointer Dog Breed

Aliases: English Pointer, Bird Dog

Life Span: 12-14 years, max 16 or older.
Litter Size: 5-7 puppies with the average being 6 puppies
Group: Sporting, Gundog, Gun Dogs
Color: Pointers are a very diverse breed. Even in show, most kennel clubs and breeders accept all colours. If the dog is dark, point are given for a dark nose, and similarly, those with light (or even white) coats should have a lighter coloured nose - often a tan or rose colour. As such the nails may be either dark or light, depending upon coat and skin colour.
Hair Length: Short
Size: Large
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: 25-28 inches (63-69cm)
Male Weight: 55-75 pounds (25-34kg)
Female Height: 23-26 inches (61-66cm)
Female Weight: 44-65 pounds (20-30kg)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Pointer ranks #12 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #12  132  15.9%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Usually a rather healthy breed, some of the larger animals may have hip disorders later in life as a consequence of aging. They are hard running puppies and often injure themselves in the first year of life, though the injury is rarely serious.

Other genetically inherited disorders include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This degenerative disorder presents like arthritis and usually appears when the dog is middle aged. Typically this is carefully bred out of lines, and you should be able to get a certificate stating that both parents and hopefully all grandparents are free from the condition.
  • Skin problems: Scaly skin and lumps are also an inherited disorder that can often be treated but not eliminated.
  • Epilepsy: This may be triggered by certain activities such as driving in the car for more than an hour or so, or just happen randomly. Preventative medication is available from the vet.