"The Aristocrat of Sporting Dogs"

Photo of Pointer


Records of Pointers exist from as far back as the 1600s, but like many breeds, their history is not clear. They were brought to the United States in the late 1800s when hunting was popular in the wide-open spaces. Many dog clubs originated as an excuse to have these dogs. One such club is the Westminster Kennel Club of New York City. The Pointer is the aristocrat of all sporting dogs.


These are warm, loving dogs capable of giving members of their family great affection. They bark and do not have the territorial sense for work of a guard dog or watchdog. Pointers are usually overflowing with nervous energy and ready to hunt at the drop of a leash. Only hunting activity, with the freedom to run, will resolve this issue, although a high degree of daily exercise can help. Confinement is the worst punishment for a breed of this temperament; it promotes barking, restlessness, and destructive chewing. Pointers will roam if allowed and can be stubborn. They are very sweet dogs, however, if raised as a house pet from puppyhood.


These are large, imposing dogs, not just for size but also for attitude. They have short, hard coats and are mostly white with black, orange, lemon, or liver patches, speckles, and flecks. Occasionally they are seen is solid black or solid liver. Males stand 25 to 28 inches high from the shoulder and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. Females stand 23 to 26 inches high and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds.


Before starting any training session, you must exercise these powerful, high-energy dogs. You'll have to control their inclination to jump around and disrupt a training session before it starts. You will also have to cope with their stubborn nature and very strong will. This requires a truly firm attitude and use of the leash. The breed requires a great deal of authority on the part of the trainer – when training, you must keep the dog's attention fixed on you – and training must begin as early in the dog's life as possible. Of course, this applies only to those pointers that will be house pets or show dogs. When using the leash, be careful not to get it caught in the dog's long hanging ears.

Grooming & Care

Their short coats shed and require daily brushing with a natural bristle brush to stay ahead of falling hair. Little to no trimming or clipping is needed. An occasional bath may be necessary, depending on what the dog might get into.

Health Concerns

Eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are a possibility, as are hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and a variety of skin conditions.

Famous Pointer

Sensation, champion pointer and emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 32
Schedule 34
Home 46
Children 48
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 60
Challenges Needs a job
Height 23 to 28 inches
Weight 35 to 90 pounds
Life 10 to 14 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 86
With Strangers 22
Availability 23

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

In the News

Contact Us

3070 8th St SW
Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 967-4281
Fax: (515)967-8824

After Hours Emergency
IVS: (515) 280-305
IVRC: (515)727-4872