A black and white English Pointer.

Meet the English Pointer

The English Pointer, also known simply as a Pointer, is a friendly and intelligent dog in the sporting group that excels at hunting. With a strong athletic build and high energy levels, this graceful dog bears an elegant carriage, but remains even tempered around children and other dogs.

Overview of the English Pointer

The Pointer stands about 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 44 and 75 pounds, with males tending to be larger than females. The average lifespan of an English Pointer is 12 to 15 years, and they come in a variety of colors including liver, white, lemon, orange, and black. Most English Pointers are bi-colored, with a small percentage being either solid colored or tri-color.

The exact history of the English Pointer is unknown, with records of the breed dating back to the 17th century, when they were commonly used to track hare. In the 18th century, when wing-shooting became popular, the English Pointer was used as a locator, finding game, indicating its location, and remaining still while the hunter got ready to take a shot.

It is believed that the English Pointer breed was developed from four breeds with strong hunting characteristics: the Greyhound, the Foxhound, the Bull Terrier, and the Bloodhound.

The English Pointer is also known as a “gun dog,” because of the characteristic pose they strike when they catch the scent of game. They stand motionless with their head lowered and their nose pointed toward the object of the hunt. They also hold their tails horizontally in line with the head and back, and one leg is raised and bent at the wrist.

Personality of the English Pointer

Because the English Pointer was bred for hunting, it is a rowdy, high energy dog that needs a lot of daily exercise. These playful pups are happiest when running, and need at least an hour of exertion every day. Without vigorous daily exercise, the English Pointer will become unhappy, frustrated, and destructive in the home, or may develop other behavioral problems like excessive barking. They also need plenty of space to exercise outdoors and are not suited for apartment or city living.

They are, however, very affectionate with youngsters and an extremely amiable addition to the family. They love to spend time with their owners, and enjoy playing with children when they are raised together from a young age. While they are gentle and sweet, the English Pointer can also be a bit rambunctious, so they may need to be supervised around toddlers, if untrained. In general, the English Pointer gets along well with other dogs and household pets when they are raised together, but birds can be a bit of a problem.

English Pointer puppies are one of the best breeds to train at a young age, as their intelligence level allows them to retain commands with ease. English Pointer puppies hold the same levels of energy—if not higher—than their adult counterparts.

They’re also more independent than most dog breeds. Some are strong-willed and stubborn, but others make great family pets that are patient with children and compassionate toward other pets in the home.

A pointer likes to greet everyone they meet, and is welcoming to strangers. They are not considered to be watchdogs, but they will bark and warn you if strangers approach your property.

What Families Love About the English Pointer

The English Pointer is a friendly dog and a loving member of the family. This breed loves sitting on the sofa and playing with children, and is very friendly and affectionate with their family members.

If you are a runner, hiker or bicyclist, you will find that your English Pointer is a wonderful exercise companion.

The English Pointer is also very easy to care for, due to a short, smooth coat that requires limited grooming, and the infrequent bathing schedule (three to four times a year).

To learn more about the pointer breeds, go to All About the Different Types of Pointer Breeds.