Probably the greatest pointing breed, the Pointer's job is to quarter the ground, air scenting, and when it locates a bird to point to it by lining up its entire body, with the tail extended, neck stretched and one foreleg held up. It marks the bird for a long time, its body quivering with concentration.


Some authorities believe that Pointers have existed in Britain since medieval times and were improved by the introduction of Spanish. Portuguese and French dogs in 1713 after the War of Spanish Succession. Other experts think it was the imported dogs, modified by the introduction of English Foxhound and Greyhound blood, that make up today's Pointer. This dog is a fast worker, and it is capable of scenting a sitting bird at distances of up to 200-250m. Although primarily a pointing breed, it can be taught to retrieve.

Pointers are muscular yet very graceful in appearance. They need a lot of exercise to keep them fit.


The Pointer has a gentle, non-aggressive disposition not given to quarrelling with other dogs. It likes children but. because of its size, you must be careful about leaving one unattended with little ones. It is easy to train but has a stubborn streak and reacts badly to harsh treatment.

must know

This breed is free of serious hereditary faults but there is some hip dysplasia in a few lines.


A Pointer will point at an unseen bird with such concentration that it vibrates - every dog lover should witness the sight. It is a very handsome dog, muscular, symmetrical in form and gracefully curved, in lemon and white, orange and white, liver and white, or black and white (self colours and tricolours are fully acceptable). Dogs are 63-69cm (25-27in) in height; bitches are 61-66cm (24-26in).

Strangers 3/5

Very big bark, afterwards friendly

Temperament 5/5

Gentle, affectionate, benign

Exercise 5/5

Needs plenty but free running essential

Grooming 2/5

Once or twice weekly; shed hair all the time

Other dogs 4/5

Aloof but not unfriendly


Good gundog and pet

General care

Condition is of the essence with this Olympic-style athlete and it is achieved with correct feeding by owners who are committed to giving their dog plenty of exercise. The Pointer's thin coat is "easy care", requiring only a twice-weekly polishing with a hound glove.

The breed does not thrive in cold, wet conditions, much preferring to be inside the house in the company of its owners.

Gallery of Pointer