AKC Sporting Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Pointer is named for the motionless stance the dog assumes once he has found game. The direction of the point tells the hunter where the game is hiding. The first recorded mentions of the Pointer in England date from around 1650, when the Pointer was used to find hare for the Greyhounds to hunt. By the early 1700s, however, when shooting became fashionable, the Pointer became the dog of choice. The Pointer is renowned for his scenting prowess. He works very quickly, covering a lot of ground. The Pointer is particularly good on upland birds, but adapts well to other game. The breed has excellent endurance in warm weather, but is not suited to very cold conditions. He is also not comfortable in the water. A very competitive dog, the Pointer still dominates Pointing Field Trials over all other pointing breeds. Today, the Pointer is a family hunting dog and companion.


The Pointer is powerful, graceful, and aristocratic, with a proudly carried head. This breed has an alert expression and a well-muscled, athletic body. The nose is set higher than the rest of the muzzle. The stop is well-defined. The eyes are dark. The medium-sized ears are pendant and somewhat pointed. The teeth should form a level or scissors bite. The neck is long. The tail is straight and tapering; it is never docked. The feet are oval. Dewclaw removal on the front legs is optional. The short, sleek, shiny coat is primarily white, but may be liver, lemon, black, or orange, either solid, patched, or speckled. Tricolor is also permitted.

Key Facts

  • Height:  25 to 28 in. (male); 23 to 26 in. (female)
  • Size:  Large
  • Weight:  55 to 75 lbs. (male); 45 to 65 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, and pointing


Needs to be given a great deal of exercise to be a successful house pet. If under-exercised, this breed can become restless and destructive. Show lines tend to produce better pets. Field lines are often too active and hunt-oriented to make good pets. Dry the dog thoroughly after hunting to prevent chilling. Examine the ears regularly. Hunting instinct develops early. Puppies, even at 8 weeks old, often display pointing behavior. Beware of hip dysplasia. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip-dysplasia clearance . Also prone to thyroid and skin conditions.


Full of energy and go-power. Loyal and devoted. A true friend. Kind to children. A dashing gentleman. An energetic and enthusiastic hunter, yet calm at home. Socialize well at an early age to combat a tendency to timidity. Some can be high strung. Tends to be a bit willful and distractible.


  • Children:  Good only when raised with children from puppyhood
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Fairly independent
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with acreage


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Exercise:  Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Not recommended for apartments
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners

Useful Links

AKC® Pointer Breed Standard


Pointer Breed Club


Search for a Breeder


Rescue Organizations


Books about the Pointer


Pointer Gifts