Pointing Dog Breeds
- Country of Origin: England
- Average Size: 55-65 cm (at the withers)
- Average Weight: 20-35 kg
- Average Life Span: 12-14 years
- Grooming Requirements: Low
- Exercise Requirements: High
The pointer breeds were developed to aid hunters in locating game, such as birds and hares. Classification as a pointer refers to a gundog’s ability to stop in its tracks and position its body in a still manner that directs the hunter towards the prey. The pointer is thought to have originated in England in the 1600s, though it likely has ties to other dogs with hunting roles such as the Bloodhound and Foxhound. Pointers may also have historical ties to Spain.
They are kept mainly as companion pets today, though they are still commonly used among hunters.
Dogs currently classified as pointers include:
- Ariege Pointer (Braque de l’Ariege)
- English Pointer
- German Pointer (Long-haired) – Long Haired German Pointer
- German Pointer (Shorthaired) – German Shorthaired Pointer
- German Pointer (Wire-haired)
- Old Danish Pointer
- Old Spanish Pointer (Perdiguero Navarro)
- Portuguese Pointer
- Small Munsterlander Pointer
- Spanish Pointer (Perdiguero de Burgos)
- Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The pointer group has a strong work ethic and an extreme dedication to their responsibilities. While working as a gundog, the pointer is focused and not prone to distraction. If it is not used in a hunting setting, its exercise needs must be met through another method, such as walking or jogging. Pointers have considerable energy and stamina, requiring daily stimulation in order to remain happy and healthy.
Without proper exercise, these breeds may be unhappy and destructive, particularly if kept indoors for extended periods of time. Pointers are remarkably friendly and easygoing, getting along well with people of all ages, including children when properly introduced. They also tend to get along well with other animals as long as they are trained to recognise which animals are part of the family. They may otherwise try to chase or bark at small animals. So long as they receive sufficient exercise, pointers tend to be happy indoors with their family. They enjoy being part of the home and will gladly sleep on a bed or sofa if permitted.
Pointers are not prone to hereditary problems so long as they are bred from genetically healthy parents.
They may develop common canine conditions such as cataracts, skin problems, hip dysplasia or epilepsy. Depending upon the pointer breed, this type of dog has an average lifespan of 12-14 years.