The English Pointer is a true example of a beloved canine companion. Their name perfectly describes their job description as English Pointers were bred and trained to point at game birds. This is an activity that they have been doing for centuries and continue to do today. These wonderful family dogs are high-energy and excellent running companions.
English Pointers are incredibly intelligent dogs with lots of energy. They enjoy being active and love to accompany their owners, whether it be on a hike or an outdoor excursion. Below, we will discuss everything related to this popular breed, including grooming, training, common health conditions, history and origin of the breed, and how you can adopt an English Pointer of your own.
Personality Of The English Pointer
Due to their instinctive nature, the English Pointer is a very friendly dog that is excellent with children and other pets; making them a great family pet. They are extremely energetic dogs that are enthusiastic hunters, as this is what they were bred to do. If they do not receive enough exercise, they can develop aggressive behaviors and become stubborn. However, with lots of exercise they are can be calm within your home.
English Pointers are often described as intelligent, devoted, and loyal. They can adapt very well to new situations and love meeting new people. However, if they have not received enough socialization starting when they were young, they can be more reserved around strangers or strange dogs or animals.
Like with every dog breed, English Pointers require socialization starting when they are young in order to stay mentally strong and develop good social skills. In addition, you should ensure your English Pointer receives enough mental stimulation and physical activity to prevent it from developing nervous habits or becoming frustrated.
Young English Pointers begin to develop hunting-like qualities as early as eight weeks old. You may notice that your English Pointer puppy begins to point at objects in its environment. Due to this innate hunting ability, these dogs are often easily distracted by external stimuli as they are always on the lookout for birds or other animals.
Appearance Of The English Pointer
The English Pointer is known for its athletic agility and powerful, muscular body. They have a smooth and powerful gait that allows them to run at fast speeds and cover lots of ground in search of game. These dogs typically stand between 21 and 28 inches in height. The female dogs of this breed tend to be a bit shorter than their male counterparts. The breed standard of the Kennel Club mentions that the English Pointer should be between 25 to 27 inches for males and 24 to 26 inches for females.
The English Pointer, on average, weighs between 45 and 75 pounds. They have a very distinctive head with an elevated nose, raised brow line, and wide nostrils that allow them to smell the scent of what they are tracking. They are known for their floppy ears that hang close to their face.
They have a long and muscular neck with a wide chest and muscular hindquarters. Their coat is short and fine, with smooth hair that lays close to their bodies. These dogs typically have a coat color that is bi-colored; white with orange, black, or lemon color patches.
History And Origin Of The English Pointer
There is debate among historians as to where the English Pointer exactly came from as well as who its ancestors are. The commonly held belief is that the English Pointer descends from the Old Spanish Pointers that were imported to England around the early 1700s. These dogs were first brought to England by soldiers returning from Spain.
There are additional sources that claim that the Portuguese Pointers and French Pointers are the proper ancestors of this breed, not the Old Spanish Pointers. However, one would have to go back in time to properly settle this debated topic.
The early Pointers were used for hunting birds and also rabbits in the 1700s. Wing-shooting grew in popularity in the subsequent century, and the Pointer grew in its popularity as a bird hunting dog. They would find game and alert the hunters to its location and remain still until the hunter was ready to shoot the birds.
These dogs have continued to grow in popularity across the centuries and are still a popular breed of hunting dog today.
Caring For And Training Your English Pointer
It is important to provide you English Pointer with daily exercise, at least an hour a day, to prevent excessive weight and other negative health conditions. This regular exercise can include daily walks on a leash, playing in the yard, or going to the park to play a game of fetch. These dogs are bred to engage in hunting activities and require mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming frustrated and developing aggressive behaviors.
It is important that you socialize your English Pointer starting at around eight weeks of age to ensure it has great social skills and knows how to interact with new people and dogs as well as other animals it encounters.
The English Pointer has a short and dense coat that does not require much maintenance on your part. It is enough to give them a quick brush once a week to ensure that their coat is free of debris and dead hair that has built up. This weekly brushing also helps to distribute oils within the hair, which ensure its skin remains healthy. You should also provide all of the other basic care when it comes to caring for a dog, including nail trimming, teeth brushing, and frequently checking and cleaning its ears to prevent infection.
Common Health Issues Of The English Pointer
Every dog has the potential to develop genetic health problems as well as inherit specific diseases from its parents. This is why it is important to work with a reputable breeder that keeps the health of the dogs in mind while breeding. It is important that dogs are genetically tested for certain diseases and provided with the proper vaccinations before adoption.
There are some health issues that are common within the English Pointer breed. These health issues include hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, epilepsy, and allergies. Additionally, there are more severe health conditions that this breed can develop without proper care; these include hypothyroidism, aortic stenosis, and congenital deafness. With proper care and attention, the English Pointer has a life expectancy between 12 to 17 years as they are a relatively healthy breed of dog and have a long life span compared to other breeds.
As the owner, it is important that you take your dog to the vet on a regular schedule to prevent the formation of preventable diseases and keep your dog in optimal health. This helps to guarantee a happy and healthy existence with your canine companion for years to come.
Adopting An English Pointer
There are many great options to choose from when it comes to bringing a dog into your home. You can check your local shelters, find a reputable breeder, and talk to breeding networks that can put you in touch with a trusted professional who can help you find your dream companion.
As with all purebred dog breeds, seeking a professional breeder is important. A responsible breeder places importance on the mother being able to recover after each birth. This reduces the number of litters per year and the profits made on the brood, but the health and balance of the dog are what is most important to him.
Good breeders do not sell their puppies before 8 weeks, as the imprinting phase of the first weeks is vital for the health and development of the psyche. This ensures that your dog will grow up to be social and able to interact positively with other members of your household as well as other dogs.
Working with a reputable breeder is generally more expensive as responsible breeding costs a lot of money. But this expense ensures that you are receiving a puppy that has been thoroughly cared for and provided with the proper vaccination and socialization prior to adoption. For this reason, you should only trust a professional breeder. Alternatively, you can find many purebred dogs in animal shelters that are happy to find a new home.
We always encourage people to check out their local animal shelters, as there are always dogs there that are looking for a loving family to adopt them. Many dogs at animal shelters are of all ages, personalities, and breeds.