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|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|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.|
|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 terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||Pointer dogs do best in a rural setting because they like to range quite a bit. They are not well suited to apartment living because of their exercise requirements. They should never, ever be tied up outside - they will surely go mad and will likely become problem dogs if not allowed in the "pack."
The pointer can be adapted to living in a suburban yard despite being typically given to roaming. The fence should be rather high and as secure as possible, especially if you\'re going to leave him or her out while you\'re gone. If they do get a taste of freedom, it may prove difficult to keep them in since they can hop quite a large fence.
This medium-sided dog with great dark eyes is a true sporting companion and a dedicated family dog that has become very popular in the 20th century, in part because of the breed\'s adaptability to suburban life.
The pointer has been a member of the American Kennel Club since 1975 when all the different pointer sub-breeds were admitted as a single breed. Today, there are several breeds that have arisen from this genetic pool, such as the German Wirehaired Pointer.
Pointers are graceful sprinters and, even when walking, do so in a very smooth manner. Show dogs are to keep their heads held high for use as a sort of forest sight dog. Their hair is close and sheds readily, though not to a severe degree until the bi-annual moulting. They have floppy hears like a hound, but a wider head with a more blunt nose like a bull terrier.
Their flanks tend to be very well developed - this is a very swift dog, even over rough terrain. This ability to cover distance quickly and the fairly good sight their stature allows them means they excel at hunting activities. When trained to follow a full variety of commands, they can be formidable sporting companions.
The Pointer tends to be fearless though polite when well trained. Pointer puppies should be well socialized with other dogs to ensure they get along with other dogs later in life, though it is their tendency to be agreeable with other pets.
Being water dogs, pointers have a short and dense coat that is designed to repel water. They even have a natural sheen that helps keep them dry. They will feel smooth to the touch and be without waves or kinks like some water dogs. Pointers may have solid coats or spots.
There is some debate regarding the origin of the Pointer, but they are known to have been in England as early as the 16th century and bred for use as hunting dogs.
There is a great deal of hound in this breed, with greyhounds, bloodhounds and foxhounds in their genetic past as well as bull terriers. At the same time there was also a Spanish type of pointer that was probably brought to England and used in the breeding lines as well.
They were first brought to the Americas in the 19th century for the very same use and were well established in the Eastern United States by the early 20th century.
The famous dog Sensation is seen today as the emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club.
Pointers have been bred to be a good hunting dog in the woods. They are alert and ready to obey commands. As such, they are very trainable dogs and will tightly bond with a master (or mistress) and family.
Part of the reason pointers are so popular is their ease with children. They are devoted to their packs, and will tolerate all manner of high-pitched noises and ear pulling, while not being so small that a falling toddler could injure them.
Pointer dogs are also very keen to be near their human pack whenever possible and do poorly when left alone for a long time. They can easily suffer from separation anxiety and should be trained with this in mind when they\'re very young.
They are, however, bred to be constantly on the alert with high stamina, so they will always be ready for anything you have in mind and perhaps a bit more. If not exercised enough, they may become restless and sometimes even destructive.
Owners will find that at least two hours of exercise a day will help keep destructive behaviour at bay, but anything less than that and your dog will go a little stir-crazy. Those with wide backyards will be able to leave the dogs out for a while since they\'re typically don\'t bark very much.
Generally speaking, Pointers are among the best dogs for young families. They are gentle and loyal, while also being able to guard the house with a single low, deep bark from behind the door. Should the invader actually get inside your dog may not pose much of a threat, but most pointers will be aware of any incursions and alert you.
With their human families they are just as content to run along on a bike ride as they are to just lie on the couch and watch TV. Their manners are very much like that of greyhounds who when retired from racing are famous as "couch potatoes." Whatever the pack is doing is just fine for your Pointer.
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|
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.