The English Pointer

descriptive textDog breed info
English Pointer
weight: Male: 55 — 75 lbs
weight: Female 45 — 65 lbs
Height:Male: 25” — 28”
Height Female 23” — 26”
AKC Rank 2008 #109
Life Span: 12—15 yrs
Group Sporting
Origin: England

Dog Breed Info - The English Pointer

descriptive text

Breed Overview

Origin: 1600’s. Original function: Pointing. Today, Pointing and Companions.

The English Pointer of today is a product of the Greyhound, Bloodhound and Foxhound, among possible others. After the war of Spanish Succession in 1713, British army officers came home with heavy-boned Spanish Pointers. These were later crossed with Italian Pointers to produce the breed we know today. These dogs became popular for hunting on large estates. Commonly, two dogs were used to the hunter could locate the bird by viewing both dogs and calculating the position of the bird between them. During the nineteenth century, dog shows became common and these dogs were the main attraction. The Westminster Kennel Club was organized mainly for the Pointer. The Pointer is now recognized as both a treasured gun dog and by the AKC.


The Pointer is known to be easy to train end eager to learn. The downside is the dog is easily distracted by birds and anything resembling a bird. They respond well to clicker training and positive reinforcement. It's very easy and effective.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your English Pointar puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

English Pointer puppies are relatively easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

descriptive text


Pointers have the ability to run long periods and are excellent bird dogs. They are superb hunters and must always be kept on leash because if they see a bird they'll take off running once they get something in their sights. This breed can create her own destructive exercise if enough is not provided for her in the way of jogging, games or other activities. The Pointer is basically a gentle and forgiving dog which makes her good with children. That said, she can also be overly boisterous and rambunctious with kids at times. Very small children need close supervision around the Pointer. The “field” type dog is more active and better as a hunter while the “show” type dog may be better around the house and with the children.

If you happen to get an English Pointer with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes—generally the Pointer gets along pretty well with most dogs. Sometimes picks and chooses dog friends, but is usually friendly.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, does well with other pets in the house, except for birds. Remember, she’s bred to hunt birds.

Friendly Toward Strangers

A friendly dog but sometimes reserved with strangers.


Very playful. Be careful around young kids. The English Pointer can be dangerously playful to the point of being rambunctious.


Yes, quite affectionate. Not a couch potato, but loyal and a great companion to be at your side. She’ll kiss you and snuggle up tight.

Good with children?

Yes, A good choice for older kids—children 6 or 7 and up. The Pointer can run and romp with the kids all day if they want. She’s quite tolerant and good with them.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise.

Living environment

House with a large fenced backyard (30 x 100 feet would be nice) or a farm or ranch where she can chase balls, play fetch and run to get plenty of exercise everyday.

The Pointer can not stay in the cold. She must come in to a warm house. She is subject to frostbite.

Energy level

Very energetic. Rate her 8 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

The English Pointer needs LOTS of exercise, like jogging, or very long walks, games of fetch and so on. It will be hard to tire this dog out. This is a strong, energetic breed.


Will let you know if a stranger is around but is not known as the best watchdog in the world. They do bark and announce, usually, when something is going on.

Guard dog

No. Not a guard dog. Not aggressive, not a real killer pooch.


Yes, Sheds moderately.


Brush 2 times a week to remove dead hair, more often when shedding.

After the English Pointer has been out jogging or exercising, towel here off and her coat will have a bit of a shine to it. Clean debris from the toes and ear flaps, especially if she has been in the woods hunting. Check for ticks.



Suggested Reading - The English Pointer

  • At far left - "How To Help Gun Dog's Train Themselves" is an excellent book for the serious outdoors man who demands the most from his 'best friend and hunting partner.

  • 2nd book from the left is "Best Way To Train Your Gun Dog" which is am=another good training book. These two books usually sell together.

  • 3rd book from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog" and gives your pooch some variety and good exercise too. Dogs love games and these are simple, everyday games that are easy to teach and play.

  • Book at far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

English Pointer Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for English Pointer puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
English Pointer Breeders with puppies for sale.

English Pointer Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an English Pointer Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - English Pointer Rescue - (Nationwide) At the time of this writing, Petfinder is showing only 276 Pointers available for adoption in the entire country. This could change, of course.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but this breed seems tobe scarce so you may want to go online and search for English Pointer Rescue groups or kennels.

Dog Health Issues For The English Pointer
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the English Pointer by various vets.

The Pointer is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical probvlems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult English Pointers. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the English Pointer's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the Pointer becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina found in older dogs affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the Pointer and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis and difficulty walking. You may notice the English Pointer “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Corneal Dystrophy—An inherited disease of the eye. A fluid buildup causing the outer part of the cornea to appear white and move inward toward the center.. A very painful and difficult to treat ulcer will develop.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated can eventually lead to total blindness in the dog.

  • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in Pointers living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and scar causing visual impairment.

  • Arthritis - A painful and disabling disease of the joints.

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone in the Pointer. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Hemangiosarcoma—Cancer, Tumors. An incurable tumor in the blood vessels. It is a highly malignant and aggressive cancer that lines the blood vessels. In the early stages, this cancer shows no signs is painless and develops slowly. A lot of dogs die from internal bleeding before there is even a diagnosis. This is one deadly, stealthy disease.

Other health problems could occur with your English Pointer. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


Return To Dog Breeds

Return To Sporting Breed Broup