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  • Temperament: Loyal, Hardworking, Even-Tempered
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 117 of 192
  • Height: 25-28 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-75 pounds (male), 45-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-17 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Pointer standing in a field of tall grasses
Pointer head and body is just visible over a field of tall golden yellow grasses
Pointer trotting over wet sand on a beach
Pointer head and shoulders facing left
Pointer

Find a Puppy: Pointer

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield; he should unmistakably look and act the part. The ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace; the head noble, proudly carried; the expression intelligent and alert; the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an animal whose every movement shows him to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man.

HEAD

Ears-Set on at eye level. When hanging naturally, they should reach just below the lower jaw, close to the head, with little or no folding. They should be somewhat pointed at the tip-never round-and soft and thin in leather. Eyes-Of ample size, rounded and intense. The eye color should be dark in contrast with the color of the markings, the darker the better.

BODY

Neck: Long, dry, muscular, and slightly arched, springing cleanly from the shoulders.
Shoulders: Long, thin, and sloping. The top of blades close together.
Back: Strong and solid with only a slight rise from croup to top of shoulders. Loin of moderate length, powerful and slightly arched. Croup falling only slightly to base of tail. Tuck-up should be apparent, but not exaggerated.

FOREQUARTERS

Elbows well let down, directly under the withers and truly parallel so as to work just clear of the body. Forelegs straight and with oval bone. Knee joint never to knuckle over. Pasterns of moderate length, perceptibly finer in bone than the leg, and slightly slanting. Chest, deep rather than wide, must not hinder free action of forelegs. The breastbone bold, without being unduly prominent. The ribs well sprung, descending as low as the elbow-point.

COAT

Short, dense, smooth with a sheen.

HINDQUARTERS

Muscular and powerful with great propelling leverage. Thighs long and well developed. Stifles well bent. The hocks clean; the legs straight as viewed from behind. Decided angulation is the mark of power and endurance.

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About the Pointer

The noble Pointer is the ultimate expression of canine power and grace. Unquestioned aristocrats of the sporting world, Pointers carry themselves proudly and are capable of great speed and agility. The coat comes in several colors, solid or in patterns—but as the breed’s devotees like to say, a good Pointer can’t be a bad color. A large male can stand 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 75 pounds; a small female might weigh as little as 45 pounds and stand 23 inches.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Pointer

Find a Puppy: Pointer

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Pointer Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Pointer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Pointer’s short, dense, glossy coat requires minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a hound glove will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed with soft gauze and an ear-cleaning solution—your veterinarian can recommend a good brand to use. The nails should be trimmed often if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort and problems walking and running.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

The athletic, exuberant Pointer is a very active sporting breed and requires lots of exercise every day to keep him healthy and happy. This can come in the form of long daily walks and vigorous play sessions with his owner. Providing a securely fenced yard where the Pointer can run full out and burn off some of his renowned “hunt all day” endurance is beneficial and will make for a calmer, more contented companion inside the home. The breed also exercises mind and body by participating in canine sports such as field events, obedience, tracking, agility, rally, and other activities that can be enjoyed by dog and owner.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Pointer’s amiable, even temperament and alert good sense make him a congenial and trainable companion both in the field and in the home. Pointers are versatile! Many have multiple titles before and after their names, indicating their ability to perfect their inherent talents and happily learn new ones. Pointers have also been known to excel at service and therapy work, as well as in search-and-rescue.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

Pointers are generally very healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders. Like other large and deep-chested dogs, Pointers can experience bloat, a sudden, life-threatening stomach condition. Owners should learn what signs to look out for, and what to do should they occur. The Pointer’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

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Pointer
Pointer
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History

The breed’s name is also its job description: Pointers point, and they’ve been pointing for centuries. In the days before rifles, British pointing dogs hunted hares in tandem with coursing hounds. The Pointer would find and indicate prey, and the hounds gave chase. In the 1700s, with the rise of wing-shooting, the Pointer became a devoted and durable gundog. In pointing and retrieving game birds, Pointers have few peers—and their fans say that no dog does it better.

Did You Know?

The first Pointers appeared in England about 1650.
Pointers seem to display the hunting instinct at around 2 months of age.
Pointers were originally used in conjunction with Greyhounds in the 17th century.
The Pointer was the first dog used to stand game.
The Pointer has always been bred for type as well as field ability, and today they are also eagerly proving their versatility in other performance sports.
Pointers were one of the first eight breeds registered in America in 1878, and were recognized by the AKC when it was founded in 1884.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield; he should unmistakably look and act the part. The ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace; the head noble, proudly carried; the expression intelligent and alert; the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an animal whose every movement shows him to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man.

HEAD

Ears-Set on at eye level. When hanging naturally, they should reach just below the lower jaw, close to the head, with little or no folding. They should be somewhat pointed at the tip-never round-and soft and thin in leather. Eyes-Of ample size, rounded and intense. The eye color should be dark in contrast with the color of the markings, the darker the better.

BODY

Neck: Long, dry, muscular, and slightly arched, springing cleanly from the shoulders.
Shoulders: Long, thin, and sloping. The top of blades close together.
Back: Strong and solid with only a slight rise from croup to top of shoulders. Loin of moderate length, powerful and slightly arched. Croup falling only slightly to base of tail. Tuck-up should be apparent, but not exaggerated.

FOREQUARTERS

Elbows well let down, directly under the withers and truly parallel so as to work just clear of the body. Forelegs straight and with oval bone. Knee joint never to knuckle over. Pasterns of moderate length, perceptibly finer in bone than the leg, and slightly slanting. Chest, deep rather than wide, must not hinder free action of forelegs. The breastbone bold, without being unduly prominent. The ribs well sprung, descending as low as the elbow-point.

COAT

Short, dense, smooth with a sheen.

HINDQUARTERS

Muscular and powerful with great propelling leverage. Thighs long and well developed. Stifles well bent. The hocks clean; the legs straight as viewed from behind. Decided angulation is the mark of power and endurance.

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Pointer

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Black & White Check Mark For Standard Color 019
Lemon Check Mark For Standard Color 114
Lemon & White Check Mark For Standard Color 115
Liver Check Mark For Standard Color 123
Liver & White Check Mark For Standard Color 125
Orange Check Mark For Standard Color 133
Orange & White Check Mark For Standard Color 134

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 019
Liver Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 444
Self-Colored Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 445
Ticked Check Mark For Standard Mark 013
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