Pointers have lean, muscular, athletic frames covered in sleek, shiny coats that come in liver, black, yellow or orange; either solid or with white patches. Their clean-cut heads have long muzzles and jaw-length ears. They have round, alert eyes that come in varying shades of brown depending on the coat color. Their long necks slope down to narrow shoulders, strong backs and thick tails. Overall, Pointers have a sporty yet elegant look.
Pointers may be known as rustic hunters, but around the home they are very mannerly. Protective, alert and extremely loyal, a well-socialized Pointer will mix the best attributes of both sporting dog and household companion. Gentle and playful with children, Pointers also are trainable, intelligent and tidy.
A classic sporting dog, the Pointer has energy in spades. It needs room to run, daily walks and constructive “tasks” to keep it mentally sharp. If you’re a jogger or long-distance runner, take your Pointer along—you’ll tire out long before it does.
Pointers can live as long as 14 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, skin allergies and epilepsy. Pointers are easy to groom: Brush them every few days, and check their ears regularly for infection.
By most accounts, the Pointer was developed in the mid-17th century by crossing various Foxhounds, Greyhounds, Setters and Bloodhounds. The result was the first true pointer, i.e., a hunting dog that stops immediately when it spots game and “points” in its direction.