English Pointer Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

An independent, stubborn and strong-willed dog, the English Pointer is considered a dog best suited for the country because its need for exercise and boundless energy.

English Pointer at a glance
The English Pointer Dog Breed

English pointers are known as gun dogs because of the characteristic pose assumed when they catch the scent of game.


Weight Range:

Male: 55-75 lbs.
Female: 44-66 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 22-24 in.

Female: 21-24 in.


Floppy ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very Energetic
Longevity Range: 12-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:



Length: Short
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: Black with or without white, lemon with white or solid, black with white or solid, orange with white or solid
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Sporting
UKC Classification: Gun Dog
Prevalence: Common

English pointers grow to about 23 to 28 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 45 to 75 pounds (20 to 33 kilograms).

The head has a distinctive, chiseled appearance and the muzzle is long. The ears are set fairly high on the head and hang. The neck is long, and the body is strong, sleek and graceful.

The pointer's coat is short and smooth. Most often it is white with patches of lemon, black, liver or orange; the coat can also be solid in one of these colors. Some pointers are tricolor.

Pointers live about 12 to 14 years.


English pointers are considered more independent than many other breed of dogs. A pointer from a working line may be too active and high strung to make a good family pet. Some are strong willed and stubborn.

Many pointers, however, are raised for show, and dogs from these lines can make great family pets that are patient with children, good with other animals and calm within the home. They are not considered watchdogs, but will warn their guardians if strangers approach.

All pointers have strong hunting instincts, and it is not uncommon to find a 2-month- old pointing.

Living With:

English pointers are working gun dogs at heart and are not suitable for apartment or city living.

Even those who make good family pets still need lots of exercise, because they tend to have boundless energy. Without adequate exercise, they are likely to become unhappy and destructive. Obedience training from a young age is recommended since they can be strong willed.

Because pointers are short-coated, all the grooming usually required is a quick brushing or rubdown two or three times weekly. These dogs are considered average shedders. They need to be protected from frigid weather because their coats are short.


English pointers (or simply "pointers," as they are recognized by the AKC) are gun dogs named for the characteristic pose they assume when they catch the scent of game. They stand motionless with head lowered and the nose pointed toward the game; the tail held horizontally, in line with the head and back. One leg is raised and bent at the wrist. The direction the dog points guides the hunter to the game.

Pointers were used in Europe as far back as the 1600s to locate hare, which were then chased by greyhounds. By the next century, pointers became the preferred dog of hunters and proved to be skilled at pointing and tracking. Pointers are known for being hard workers with great speed and endurance as well as exceptional scenting ability.

Their exact ancestry is not really known, but is thought to include bloodhound, foxhound and greyhound. Some breed historians say that Newfoundland, setter and even bulldog are also in the mix, but no one knows for sure.

Related Pet Care Articles