The English Pointer is a delightful dog on so many scores. As a family pet, it is affectionate and friendly with those within the household and visitors coming to call. In the field, the pup is hard-working and driven in their job. The breed brings energy and intensity to all it does. We think that the English Pointer’s motto must be to live life large. It does on so many scales.
23 – 28 inches
45 – 75 pounds
12 – 17 years
orange, liver, black, lemon, yellow, white
Active families looking for an easygoing dog that is easy to groom
Loyal, friendly, playful, hard-working
The breed is an older one, with a history and job going back to the 1600s. It is an active dog that can keep up with the kids. While the English Pointer won’t retrieve birds, it will stay on the task, even finding injured prey to improve the take. Their dedication in the field has put them at 114th out of 197 recognized breeds by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
To clarify, the breed originated in Spain. However, selective breeding in England brought us the pup that we have today. You’ll it listed as either Pointer or English Pointer. It is the same dog, regardless.
English Pointer Characteristics
English Pointer Puppies
It’s essential to balance the activity level of your household with the pet that you choose. It’s also vital to consider the breed’s history. It will have a direct effect on the dog’s personality and temperament. For example, herding breeds are often independent and intelligent because that’s the nature of their job. Likewise, companion breeds often are sensitive and intolerant of being alone.
The English Pointer started life as a companion dog. That explains its loyalty and trainability. Those are vital traits in the field. However, it also underscores the pup’s high wanderlust potential. After all, its instinct is to look for prey. That’s a critical point when considering how you’ll house your pet. Leaving the dog alone in the yard is a recipe for disaster.
Temperament & Intelligence of the English Pointer
It’s vital to consider a breed’s temperament and intelligence. Selective breeding is the typical driving force that determines what you see today. It sets the bar for which ones are the best for you and your lifestyle. That’s why it’s essential to think about these things when homing in on the right ones for you. Purebred dogs offer some consistency in temperament that is worth noting.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The English Pointer makes an excellent addition to any family. It is a friendly dog, which extends toward the children. The pup also welcomes strangers, which is probably a product of its history. They would encounter other people and pets in the field. That helped socialize them on all scales. That can also improve the pup’s quality of life and make it less fearful as an adult.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Again, we have to go back to the breed’s history as a hunting companion. That explains its loyalty to its owner and family. It also comes into play with its interactions with other canines, especially if you introduce them to other dogs early in its life. However, it’s worth noting that this pooch has a strong prey drive, which may come in conflict with cats, birds, and other small animals.
Things to Know When Owning an English Pointer
When you’re dealing with an energetic breed, two things come to mind. You have to feed the pup the right foods and supply the proper amounts of nutrition. You also need to go into training knowing that it will present some challenges, even if the dog is intelligent. It’s not too unlike dealing with children of this mental capacity.
That also means you must take care of some basic requirements. That benefits you, your pet, and your relationship with them. If you keep these facts in mind, you’ll have a better relationship with your English Pointer by providing the vital things that it needs.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
An active dog needs energy-dense food that balances calories with nutrition. You also have to consider the pup’s life stage and breed. Puppies need more fuel and nutrients than adults to support their growth and development. Adults must have enough in the maintenance realm to fulfill their requirements for energy, particularly for hunting dogs.
Puppies need three to four small meals a day. That will supply them with enough energy while keeping their blood sugar levels stable. As they grow, dogs get more efficient at storing and allocating for their nutrient and calorie needs. That’s why you can cut back to two meals daily for adults to reduce your pet’s risk of bloat.
It’s imperative to stick to this feeding schedule because of the breed’s propensity for bloat. It tends to occur if an animal gulps its food or water with a lot of air. That can cause its intestines to twist, leading to a medical emergency. Thereafter, you should balance intake with the pup’s activity to prevent obesity.
The energy needs of any hunting dog are high. They must respond quickly to the changing environment. They must rely on problem-solving skills, which require adequate resources for their brains. In the end, the pup must stay in condition to meet the demands of their jobs. That goes back to meeting their diet requirements.
The lucky thing about getting a hunting dog is that they are smart animals, instinctively. They can act independently, often developing keen problem-solving skills in the process. The Pointer is an alert pup that succeeds in several jobs in and out of the field. However, it’s not a given that it’s a wise choice for a first-time pet owner. That’s the bane of having an intelligent dog. They need someone with experience.
The Pointer is eager to please, but it also needs direction and mental stimulation. It’s also a breed that can be nippy at times. Of course, you have to remember its strong prey drive and wanderlust potential. This dog isn’t overly sensitive. However, positive reinforcement with treats and praise is the best approach.
The Pointer is a low-shedding dog compared to many other dogs of its size, such as Golden Retrievers. Nevertheless, you should plan on brushing it weekly, using a curry brush. Doing so will help you better manage the hair that the pup does shed. It’s also an excellent way to bond with your pet and monitor its skin health.
Health and Conditions 🏥
We strongly urge you to only buy from reputable sellers who conduct pre-breeding testing. That can reduce the risk of congenital conditions, such as hip dysplasia, from appearing in future generations. Overall, the breed is healthy and has a relatively long lifespan for a dog of its size. Regular vet care is imperative to ensure a good quality of life for your pet.
Male vs. Female
There is a noticeable size difference between males and females. Both are hard-working pets that are excellent with children. If you’re not going to breed your dog, we suggest discussing whether to spay or neuter it with your vet. Recent research has shown that the answer isn’t as clear-cut when it comes to other health considerations.
3 Little-Known Facts About the English Pointer
1. The English Pointer Figured Out Its Role Early in the Game.
Of course, dogs know how to hunt out of the box. It was a part of their early history. However, the English Pointer stands out as one of the first to associate it with game in the human companionship perspective.
2. The English Pointer Has Many Desirable Characteristics.
Many breeds have a few unwanted traits, such as barking or nipping. The English Pointer has many characteristics that make it a desirable pet. It doesn’t snore or drool. It isn’t loud nor will it dig up your yard.
3. Calling It English Is Almost a Misnomer for the Breed.
While its name is English Pointer, the origin of the breed is a little farther west to La Piel de Toro or the Bull Skin. They originally hunted alongside Greyhounds before evolving into their present role.
The Pointer is a handsome dog that will make a loyal and loving companion for you and your family. It is an energetic pup that does best in an equally active household. Its intelligence makes this pooch a wise choice for the experienced pet owner who can provide the consistency and positive reinforcement it needs. And if you hunt, you’ll find that it makes a delightful companion in the field.
Featured Image Credit: Jelena Safronova, Shutterstock