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22 October 2022

Let’s talk about… Pointers: what are they?

  • Pointers are a breed of dog known for their excellent pointing skills, hence the name.
  • They were originally developed in England as hunting dogs, specifically bred to locate game and indicate its presence to hunters.
  • Pointers are often referred to as the "Aristocrats of the Canine World" due to their noble appearance and graceful movements.
  • They have a sleek and athletic build, with a short coat that comes in a variety of colours including liver, black, lemon, and orange.
  • Pointers have an average height of 61-69 cm for males and 57-64 cm for females. They weigh between 20 and 30 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of Pointers is around 12-15 years.
Pointer  Exercise Needs 5/5 Grooming Ease 4/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Pointers like?

  • Pointers have a friendly and outgoing temperament.
  • They are known to be affectionate, loyal, and eager to please their owners.
  • They are generally good with children and can get along well with other dogs if properly socialised from a young age.
  • Pointers are intelligent and highly trainable, making them a great choice for obedience training and various dog sports.
  • However, they have a strong prey drive, so it's important to supervise them around smaller pets such as cats or rabbits.
Archie, the Pointer

How much exercise do Pointers need?

  • Pointers are highly energetic and require a substantial amount of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • On average, Pointers should receive at least 2 hours of exercise every day.
  • This can include activities such as brisk walks, jogging, playing fetch, or participating in dog sports like agility or flyball.
  • Providing them with plenty of opportunities to run and explore in a secure, fenced area is also important.
  • Regular exercise helps prevent boredom and destructive behaviours that can occur when Pointers are under-stimulated.
  • Pointer puppies have different exercise requirements compared to adult dogs.
  • Their growing bodies and developing joints require caution to avoid injury.
  • It's recommended to provide short and gentle exercise sessions for puppies, focusing on playtime and controlled activities that don't put excessive strain on their joints.
  • Avoid long walks or high-impact activities until they are fully developed, usually around 12 to 18 months of age.
  • Consult with your vet for specific exercise guidelines based on your Pointer’s age and physical condition.
Myla, the Pointer

Do Pointers need a lot of grooming?

  • Pointers have short, smooth coats that are relatively low-maintenance.
  • Their coats are easy to care for and do not require extensive grooming.
  • They are moderate shedders, so regular brushing with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt once or twice a week will help keep their coat in good condition and minimise loose hair around the house.
  • They don’t need bathed any more often than ever 2-3 months until they have got themselves dirty.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Olive, the Pointer

Are Pointers easy to train?

  • Pointers are intelligent dogs and generally eager to please their owners, which makes them highly trainable.
  • However, like any breed, they require consistent and positive training methods from an early age.
  • Pointers respond well to reward-based training techniques, such as treats, praise, and playtime as motivation.
  • They excel in various activities and sports that challenge their mental and physical abilities.
  • Early socialisation is crucial to ensure they develop good manners and become well-adjusted adult dogs.
Rhea, the Pointer

What do Pointers eat?

  • A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the overall health and well-being of Pointers.
  • Feed them high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • It's recommended to divide their meals into two portions per day.
  • Puppies should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they reach around 12 months of age.
  • Most puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until they are 6 months old, then twice daily.
  • Consult with your vet to determine the best food, appropriate portion sizes and dietary requirements for your Pointer at each life stage.
  • Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, as Pointers can gain weight easily.

Are Pointers healthy?

Pointers are generally healthy dogs with a few potential health concerns to be aware of. It's important to note that not all individuals will experience these conditions, but they are more prevalent in the breed. Some health concerns that may affect Pointers include:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - over time the back of the eye becomes damaged which can reduce your dog’s vision, eventually leading to blindness


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Epilepsy - A condition of the brain that causes dogs to have fits

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your Pointer or want to discuss specific health issues, consult with your veterinarian.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Pointers

BorrowMyDoggy has 807 Pointer members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.

Pointer Dog Breed Guides


English Setter

German Pointer

Hungarian Vizsla

Irish Setter

Italian Spinone


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