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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Pointer

Posted May 27, 2014 in Dog Breeds

Background
Pointer roots date to mid 1600s England. They got their name from the pointed stance they took when showing Greyhounds where to find rabbits. Greyhounds, which are much faster than Pointers, likely played a role in breeding them as well. The Pointer’s family tree is uncertain but probably includes the Foxhound, the Greyhound, and the Bloodhound.

The Pointer was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 45 to 75 lbs.
  • Height: 23 to 28 inches
  • Coat: Short, dense and shiny
  • Color: Solid colors such as liver, lemon, black, or orange, and sometimes splashes of white
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Pointer like?
The Pointer is an active, devoted, and fun-loving breed. He needs a lot of exercise, if he doesn’t get all of his energy out he could become annoyed and tear through your living room like a typhoon. Once he has his fill physical activity he’ll be happy to curl up with you and relax. Because of his natural protective instincts and love for his family, he is a very alert watchdog. 

The Pointer can be stubborn to train but he has an excellent memory and once he learns something he’ll never forget it. Training sessions should begin at an early age when he can better absorb new knowledge; this breed wants to be trained and will respond well to firm and consistent training which will help him learn very fast.

The Pointer is one of the easiest breeds to groom. All he’ll need is a quick weekly brushing to remove any dead hair and help keep his coat looking beautiful.

Health
The Pointer is generally a healthy breed but watch for a few conditions:

Epilepsy

  • A condition of repetitive seizures. Some cases can be hereditary; ask your veterinarian how you can find out if your dog could have inherited epilepsy

Entropion

  • When an eyelid is inverted causing an eyelash to irritate the eye

Progressive retinal atrophy

Hip dysplasia

  • One of the most common diseases seen in dogs, with larger breeds being the most affected. It is ultimately a malfunction of the hip joints.

Aortic stenosis

  • A condition seen right at birth, when the aortic valve is narrow causing pressure on the blood flow to the heart.

Takeaway points

  • The Pointer would make an excellent companion for someone who loves to go hunting.
  • The Pointer is very high energy

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.