ENGLISH POINTER: Energetic Hunting Dog

If you want a working dog who has a more distinctive silhouette like English Pointer which stands stock still, with one paw raised and its nose jutting forwards in the direction of its quarry, the this pointer is unmistakable. Wonderful to watch, they seem to prance elegantly, rather than walk, carrying their heads high the breed standard praises their ‘aristocratic’ bearing.

English Pointer

The English Pointer, also called Pointer, is a well-liked breed of powerful dog that originated in England. It belongs to the sporting breed family that is notable for their excellence in carrying out jobs such as guarding property, sled-pulling, or water-rescuing. Pointers have been bred to hunt birds.

Explore their distinctive appearance, friendly temperament, and learn why they make the perfect addition to active families. Find valuable insights into training, care, and the joy of embracing life with this graceful and versatile breed.


The earliest Pointers were used in the seventeenth century not to point birds, but to point hare, which coursing Greyhounds were then unleashed to pursue. When wing-shooting became popular in the eighteenth century, the Pointer found their place as an adept bird locator. The ideal dog would find game, indicate its location, and remain still until the hunter could get ready to shoot—a task that was somewhat slow with the old flintlock guns.

The early Pointer probably included in its genetic makeup some of the most talented breeds in existence: Greyhounds, Foxhounds, and Bloodhounds, as well as an old type of setting spaniel. Different countries developed different Pointer breeds.

Ideally, two Pointers were used so that the hunter could locate the bird precisely by cross-referencing the dogs’ points. When dog shows came in vogue in the late nineteenth century, Pointers were among the most prominent of the breeds shown; in fact, the Westminster Kennel Club was organized primarily for Pointers.


The English Pointer is a dog with a sleek and athletic appearance. It’s medium to large-sized and has a strong, muscular body. The Pointer’s head is long and narrow, with a defined muzzle. The overall appearance looks elegant and poised, ready for action and outdoor adventures.


Physical Characteristics


  • Male 23-38 inches
  • Female 21-25 inches


  • Male 55-75 pounds
  • Female 45-65 pounds


They have a short, smooth, and dense coat that is easy to maintain.


  • Black
  • White
  • Lemon
  • Liver
  • Orange


They have almond-shaped eyes.


They have long, drooping ears.


He has a straight tail.

Life Span

The average lifespan of an English Pointer is around 12 to 15 years.


These pointers are a playful breed and generally get along well with other dogs. Because of their hunting roots, caution should be exercised around cats and other smaller animals, especially birds.

The breed is considered high energy and will fare better in homes with large open spaces rather than smaller units and apartments. They are great family dogs and are generally good with children, but may be reserved when strangers approach.

All in all, English pointers thrive on exercise, outdoor play, and lots of love and attention.


This breed requires minimal grooming thanks to their short coats that shed lightly year round. Plan to brush the breed just once or twice a week to remove any loose hair and bathe them once every four to six weeks unless they get dirty or muddy.

Because they are prone to tartar buildup and dental diseases, English pointers should have their teeth cleaned and inspected 3-4 times a week.

Their ears should also be cleaned weekly and their nails trimmed monthly to avoid discomfort.


Although these gundogs are highly intelligent, they are also an independent breed which can make them stubborn when it comes to training. As with any dog, it is recommended to start when they are a puppy before they learn undesirable behaviors. Because they’re natural hunters, the breed will get easily distracted by any nearby movement or activity.

Using treats and positive reinforcement will help keep the focus on you. The breed is also incredibly athletic and does well in agility training and dog sports, particularly activities that involve tracking and nose work.



These gundogs are a high-energy breed that will need at least an hour of exercise each day in the form of walking, running, hiking, biking, or mental stimulation. Because of their prey drive, owners should avoid letting their dog off leash outside of a fenced-in area in the event they spot a small animal and take off after it. English pointers are excellent jumpers and climbers, so a tall and sturdy fence is key.

If not properly physically or mentally stimulated, the English pointer will resort to destructive behavior like chewing and digging. Keep in mind that they are a short-haired breed that will need a warm coat in cold climates.


Because of their large stature, these dogs require more calories than most other dogs. As with any breed, owners should consult with their vet to determine how much to feed their furry friend.

Generally speaking, you will likely need to give your pointer anywhere between 2 and 4 cups of high-quality dry food divided into two meals each day, depending on their weight. Because the breed is prone to bloating, owners should consider puzzle feeders and slow-feed bowls to reduce the amount of air they swallow as they eat.

Health Concerns

But like any breed, they are prone to several medical conditions. Some health concerns may include:

Gastric dilatation volvulus

These pointers are deep-chested dogs, they are susceptible to bloating. This condition occurs when gases cause the dog’s stomach to twist on itself and can be potentially life-threatening.

Hip dysplasia

This hereditary condition causes instability in the joint between the head of a dog’s femur bone and the hip socket. These gundogs with hip dysplasia can experience arthritis down the road if the condition worsens.


Like many breeds, they are prone to several eye disorders, including cataracts. Symptoms include cloudiness in the lenses of their eyes, vision impairment, and possible blindness.

Dental disease

These dogs are particularly susceptible to dental diseases that can infect their teeth and gums. This could have a negative impact on vital organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys.


 Up to 26% of English pointers can experience hypothyroidism, a condition where the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, and thinning hair.

Bottom Line

English Pointer is an elegant and athletic breed known for its exceptional pointing skills, friendly temperament, and hunting heritage.

Whether you’re seeking an intelligent and loyal hunting companion, a graceful and energetic family pet, or a dog with a rich history in the world of hunting.

This Pointer is likely to capture your interest with its exceptional qualities and historical role as a skilled retriever and pointer in the field.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Are English Pointers suitable for apartment living?

English Pointers thrive in homes with ample space and access to outdoor activities. Apartments can work if they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

Q. Are these Pointers good with children?

Yes, these Pointers are generally good with children. They are known for their gentle and patient demeanor, making them suitable for families.

Q. Do these gundogs get along with other pets?

With proper socialization, these gundogs can coexist harmoniously with other pets. Early introduction is key to ensuring positive relationships.

Q. Do they have any vocal tendencies?

While not excessively vocal, they may bark to alert their owners or express excitement. Training from an early age can help manage their barking behavior.

Q. What are some common misconceptions about English Pointers?

One common misconception is that their high energy levels make them difficult to manage. With proper training and exercise, English Pointers can be well-behaved and loving companions.

Q. Can English Pointers be left alone for long periods?

English Pointers thrive on human interaction and may become bored if left alone for extended periods. It’s advisable to provide mental stimulation and companionship to prevent behavioral issues.

Q. Are there rescue organizations specifically for English Pointers?

Yes, there are rescue organizations dedicated to English Pointers. These organizations can be a great resource for adopting a dog in need of a loving home.

Q. How much daily mental stimulation do English Pointers need?

These dogs are not only physically active but also require mental stimulation. Engage them in activities like puzzle toys, obedience training, or interactive play to keep their minds sharp.

Q. How do English Pointers behave around strangers?

English Pointers are generally friendly and sociable, making them approachable around strangers. Proper socialization during puppyhood can enhance their comfort with new people.

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