The Pointer dog, commonly called the English Pointer, belongs to a breed of dog that was originally used as hunting dogs in England a couple of centuries ago. The name “Pointer” comes from the behavior of the dog at the time of hunting: with its muzzle, together with its whole body, it pointed to the burrow or hiding place of the prey and, in this way, the hunter was able to aim and shoot effectively.
- Size: Medium.
- Weight: Between 16 and 34kg.
- Hair type: Very short and smooth.
- Character: Calm, Affectionate, Kind, Friendly, Loyal, Active
- Health: Healthy
- Life expectancy: Between 12 and 17 years.
The pointer falls into the category of mastiff dogs, which means that they are considered a large breed. Beyond this, the English Pointer has become an excellent family dog, thanks to its kind temperament, its great tolerance towards children and other animals, and the loyalty it shows towards its family members.
When choosing a new member of the family, there are not many that match the English Pointer in all its qualities, since it will go from being a restless and playful animal, to a calm companion with whom we can relax on an afternoon of Sunday. Learn more about this breed and learn how to care for it before taking one of these specimens to your home.
History of the Pointer
We can trace its history several centuries back, thanks to the fact that the English have always liked to include their pets in their writings and artistic works. There are several theories about where the English Pointer comes from, most agree that they come from Spain from the Pointer dogs of this country, others, however, seek their origins in countries like Italy or France.
However, it cannot be said that the current English Pointer comes only from this breed, in the 17th century the Spanish pointers arrived in England, at the same time as the Italian pointers. It is believed that the fusion of both species gave rise to the dog we know today as the English Pointer, one of the best-known hunting dogs.
From the beginning, these dogs were given the task of guiding hunters to their prey, and they did so using every part of their slim body, leaning slightly forward, their long legs and muzzle forming the perfect arrow.
The English Pointer is a beautiful specimen of a competition dog, in fact, the Westminster Kennel Club has had the image of a pointer as its logo since its inception. Currently, the Pointer is not only used as a hunting dog or a competition dog, many families prefer them as companions in their daily lives. His personality is calm, even when his energy levels are high, he is content with daily exercise, a long walk, and some games.
How can we recognize the Pointer?
The Pointer has one of the most stylized figures in the entire canine world, attracting attention wherever it goes, thanks to its long legs, its slender silhouette, and its head, which always points as if it wanted to point to a specific place. Seeing it is a sight to behold, as not all dogs have as elegant a profile as a Pointer.
When a pointer finds the prey it maintains this firm position, its whole body acting as a messenger pointing towards the place. Its leg is raised, revealing the place it wants to show the hunter, and this makes the hunt much more effective than if the hunter did it without the animal’s company.
Physically, the Pointer is covered in a short, soft coat of hair, ivory-white on the bottom with spots that can be black, brown, or reddish-brown, sometimes with freckles on the lighter coat.
A male of this breed can measure 70 centimeters in height and weigh up to 35 kilograms, while a female in height can measure 60 centimeters and weigh up to 30 kilograms.
The English Pointer will always present an alert image, aided by its stylized, muscular, and athletic body. His expression shows nobility, intelligence, and agility. His nose is usually black and will always stand out on top of his entire body using a beautiful long neck. His ears are long, and wide, and hang down on each side of his face like wings, these are usually triangular in shape and darker than the rest of his body.
Aspects of his behavior
These dogs are true athletes, they are capable of staying in the field all day, being the indispensable part of long hunting days. Although not all of their world revolves around hunting, they are also very good family dogs and will be happy as long as they can have space to exercise, whether running or playing, for this, it is important that their owner has the time and willingness to meet these needs.
They are not the best watchdogs. Pointers have a friendly and peaceful personalities, so they can become affectionate with strangers. While they are quite open with strangers, they are just as jealous of their territory and will alert their owners immediately if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
They do best in open spaces: A large, fenced-in yard is the best option for keeping a Pointer. Due to their strong hunting instinct, when they see something moving, be it a squirrel or a bird, they will chase it until they reach it. In this sense, it is important that their playground is fenced to prevent them from escaping in pursuit or from getting hurt.
It is essential to train them from puppies, their high energy level can become a problem if you do not know how to control it at the moment. They have the energy to spare and are jumping up and down, greeting each new person that arrives. In those moments, knowing how to keep the dog still will make a huge difference.
Pointers need a lot of exercise on a daily basis, not only physically, but also mentally. At least two hours of exercise will keep you healthy and as “calm” as possible, it’s vital that you have something to do when you’re home, or your hyperactivity could act in unproductive ways.
On the other hand, if he receives good training, he will be a happy and obedient companion, and he will rest calmly next to you, enjoying a good hour of leisure watching a movie and shaking his strong tail.
Health and food
Pointers are not a breed that stands out for their health problems. In fact, they are very healthy, although this does not mean that they do not suffer from any ailment. Like any animal, they are also prone to certain conditions.
It is a sporty dog, very active, and its life expectancy ranges from 12 to 17 years. Regarding the medical conditions to which they are more prone, we can find: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, allergies, and cherry eye, a condition in which the eyelid moves downward and a red mass begins to protrude from the animal’s eyelid. , is a defect that can be corrected.
One point to keep in mind when choosing our dog’s diet is that each one of them has its own characteristics and needs. The amount of food they need will be strictly connected to their size, weight, physical activity, and metabolism.
The main thing is that the food we give our pets is of the highest quality and that it is accompanied by all the nutrients that the dog needs to grow and stay strong and healthy. Two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon, is what dogs of the size of the Pointer generally eat, however, their size must be taken into consideration, and it is possible that they need a third daily meal distributed throughout the day. throughout the day.
In large dogs, obesity usually represents a latent risk. The most effective way to avoid this is by giving our pets the right amount of food and exercise, and in the case of the English Pointer, this is one of the activities that he needs the most to maintain his vitality and happiness.
Unlike adult dogs, puppies don’t need as much physical activity. And although training is an essential part of their development, while they are small it is good to let them act spontaneously. Like adults, they have a lot of energy, but in a small frame so they can hurt themselves by jumping or running too much. This aspect of their behavior must be taken care of and thus avoid possible problems in their bones and joints.
If we talk about their diet, puppies eat more times than adult dogs. They must eat three or four times a day. His food must be of high quality, and when he is growing, commercial brands usually enrich puppy food with vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins, in order to help his growth.
They should always receive the amount of food necessary to grow healthily, taking care not to “overfeed” it and avoid health problems such as obesity. With the passage of time and the growth of the puppy, the food portions must be reduced, when it reaches six months of age its food portions change, and the change must be periodic, finally, the growing puppy will begin to eat two daily portions like its adult counterpart.
It is essential to offer the puppies a comfortable environment to grow, training begins from the cradle where they are taught to relieve themselves. For Pointer puppies, it is essential to have a wide and open play area, such as a large patio, in order to fully develop their physical abilities and train their mental agility.
Aspects to take into account when adopting a Pointer
- Apartment life is not the most suitable for an English Pointer.
- They are an extremely active breed. They need a lot of daily exercises to stay calm and happy. When adopting a pointer, it must be borne in mind that the dog will require a lot of our time and effort.
- When they don’t drain their energy through physical activity, they can develop unfavorable behaviors like digging, biting, and destroying.
- From a very young age, they must be trained. This in order to control their temperament, hyperactivity, and the habits that may develop over time.
Over the centuries, the English Pointer has proven to be an agile, loyal, friendly, and intelligent companion. Whether he’s serving as a hunter’s guide, showing off at a dog show, or keeping us company at home. In every facet expressed by the Pointer, he shows himself to be a true winner.