Animal stories: pointers

Pointers are graceful dogs that carry their head nobly and proudly. They have an alert expression and a well-muscled, athletic body. Pointers are also known as English Pointer. They have the ability to cover the ground smoothly and at good speed. Their coats are perfectly smooth, straight and short with a remarkable shine. Their nose is set higher than the rest of the muzzle. The colour of the nose should be the same colour as the marking on the coat. The eyes are hazel or chestnut depending on the colour of the coat. The ears are set on high, lying close to the head, medium length and slightly pointed at the tips. The neck is long. The tail is straight and tapered and is never docked. The feet are oval.

Pointers are full of energy and are loyal and devoted as a true friend. They are more popular as working dogs than as pets though they are ideally suited towards home life. They are affectionate and obedient dogs who get on well with other dogs and household animals if introduced to them at early age. They get along well with children and they love to be included in all family matters. Because of their friendliness, they are not ideal guard dogs, greeting everybody in the same welcoming manner, but they will bark when someone comes to the door. Pointers are known for their even and kind dispositions but will become prone to behavioural problems if left alone for too long.

Average size: Pointers are 21-24 inches tall and weighs 20-30kg.

Coat colour: Pointers come in orange and white, lemon and white, liver and white and black and white either solid, patched or speckled. Tricolour is also seen.

Intelligence: Pointers learn reasonably quickly. Because of their sensitive natures, training should be done with kindness and rewards. They do not like to be dominated.

Food requirements: As puppies, this breed must be fed on high-quality food. The breeder’s diet sheet should be followed carefully. But the cost of feeding will reduce as they reach maturity.

Lifespan: They live for about 13-14 years.

Pet grooming: The smooth coat of the Pointer is very easy to groom. A regular brush with a firm bristle brush is enough. A rub with a piece of towelling will leave the coat shiny. The feet and ears should be examined regularly. They should be given a bath only when necessary.

Country of origin

England: The exact origin of the Pointer is not entirely clear: whether they originate from Spanish Pointers or from Continental Pointers is uncertain. But it is certain that English Pointers date back to the 1600’s, a native breed to the British Isles. They were used to ‘point’ game out to hunters. These early dogs worked with Greyhounds in hare-coursing, the Pointers being used to point out hares for the Greyhounds to seize. In the early 1700’s, wing shooting came into fashion and this was when their true skills became apparent. A competitive dog, Pointers still dominates Pointing Field Trials over all other pointing breeds. Today, Pointers are a family hunting dog and companion.