The Pointer is also known as the English Pointer. This dog is one of the more aristocratic breeds and displays its power and grace in its build and carriage. The Pointer has a body that is athletic and well-muscled, perfectly formed for its reputation as a hunting dog. Coat colors for the Pointer are primarily white but may also include black, lemon, liver or orange. The coat color may also be patched, speckled or solid. Eye color typically depends on coat color and may be chestnut or hazel. The coat of the Pointer is short and is typically sleek and shiny when well cared for.
An energetic dog, the Pointer is also devoted and loyal to its human companions. This is a dog that is full of patience and is well suited to families with children. This dog commonly displays intelligence and kindness and adapts well to various situations. This dog does have a tendency to be somewhat timid, but can overcome it when socialized at an early age. They are usually not overly aggressive with other dogs and do tend to get along with other pets. Owners should understand that the Pointer may also be somewhat reserved with strangers and is known for barking at noises deemed to be suspicious. Even so, the Pointer is not a watchdog and should not be relied on to protect a property. Owners should also understand that there are two lines which are produced, show lines and field lines. Field lines make excellent hunting dogs while show lines are typically better for pets.
Pointers, like most dogs, have been known to have some problems with hip dysplasia, so it is important for prospective owners to fully research parent lines in order to avoid problems. The Pointer breed may also experience problems with dwarfism as well as thyroid issues. When given a healthy diet, regular check-ups and taken on daily walks, the Pointer has an average life expectancy of around thirteen years.
Most historians who have studied the breed agree that the Pointer was originally developed two hundred years ago through a cross between the Foxhound, Italian Pointer, Greyhound, Bloodhound, Setter, Bulldog and Newfoundland. While most breeds do not contain such a large mix, the result was obviously a breed with numerous excellent characteristics that are still valued today. The Pointer as we know it today has only been in existence for about 80 years. The breed takes its name from the position that it takes once game has been spotted. The dog will ‘point’ in the direction where the game can be found hiding. Historical references of Pointers date back to 1650 in England, at which time it was used to locate hare in hunts. By the early 18th century the Pointer had become a popular breed that was often used for hunting due to its keen scenting abilities. The Pointer is known for being able to cover a large amount of ground quickly and works particularly well with birds, although it is capable of adapting to other forms of game as well.
In terms of maintenance, Pointers require daily walks that are long and brisk. They make and excellent bicycling and jogging companion. The smooth coat of this breed makes the Pointer very easy to groom. All that is need is a regular brushing using a brush with firm bristles. The Pointer will only need to be bathed as necessary. The coat of the Pointer typically gleams and can be kept in good condition by rubbing with a piece of chamois or some other toweling. The Pointer is an average shedder. It is important to check the feet of a Pointer on a regular basis, particularly after the dog has been out working or running. The Pointer should be dried completely when exposed to the weather to prevent it from developing a chill due to its inability to cope with cold conditions. It is also important to examine the ears of the Pointer regularly, especially when it has been out working.
Pointers do not do well in apartments. They require plenty of exercise and the opportunity to hone their pointing skills. When indoors they do tend to be somewhat active and will perform best when they have acres of land to run on. Due to the fact that this dog is so energetic, owners frequently describe it as being tireless. As a result, the importance of receiving daily exercise cannot be stressed enough. Pointers are that are restricted indoors will become extremely restless. Although the Pointer may enjoy an occasional swim, this is not a dog that is renowned for its comfort in water. The Pointer does best in warm weather and is not generally suited for cold conditions.
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