The Pointer: A Complete Guide

If you are looking for a dog that brings the traits such as hunting instincts, alertness, and is a great family dog, then the Pointer might just be the breed for you.

The Pointer was bred to be an excellent hunting dog and he truly is that.

However, over the time, he also became a great family dog, as well as an amazing house “alarm” as nothing can get passed him.

This dog is likewise easy to train due to his high intelligence levels, and in most cases, he will be easy going and with nice manners.

The breed is also well known for being great with kids and other pets and animals, and they can adjust to a wide range of home types, whether we are talking about a big family house or an apartment.

Pointer
The Pointer can get along great with other dogs.

However, if you want a Pointer with all the good traits that the breed is known for, you have to find a high-quality puppy.

And, considering that there are many owners who suddenly decided to become “breeders”, this can be a complicated task if you don’t know what to pay attention to.

You can easily find a “breeder” that “seems” to have good puppies, but if you don’t know what to ask, you can easily end up with a dog that will be sick all the time.

To help you avoid such a situation, we have decided to write this Pointer guide and give you an insight into the breed itself.

And, you will also learn how to find a reputable breeder and make sure that the puppy you buy is healthy and with a great genetic heritage.

The Pointer Puppies – Before You Buy…

Before you actually get to the part where you are going back to your home with the puppy, there are some important things you should know.

For example, the first thing to find out is the actual price of the puppy, so that you know your budget can handle it.

What price are the Pointer puppies?

The pointers are not an Ultra-expensive breed. But, if you want a pup that will be healthy and grow up into a great companion with nice manners, you should focus on quality over price.

For example, the average price range for Pointer pups goes from some $400 to $1200.

Of course, the high end of the range is for the premium-quality pups from breeders that breed champion dogs and offer breeding rights.

For a healthy pup with great genetic material and the potential to turn out into a fantastic companion or a family dog with an easy going temperament, the price you should expect is some $600.

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How to find reputable Pointer breeders?

Finding a reputable breeder with plenty of breeding experience and having an insurance that you actually get what you paid for can be tricky if you don’t know which questions to ask and what to keep an eye on.

So, in order to distinguish a reputable breeder from a backyard breeder, or in the worst case, a puppy mill owner, we recommend that you follow our DOs and DON’Ts.

DO buy a puppy from a breeder that:

  • Has all the necessary medical history available (vaccinations, health clearances for the pup’s parents)
  • Knows everything about the breed
  • Offers useful advice on taking care of the pup the proper way
  • Helps you chose the pup that matches your temperament and lifestyle
  • Is clearly in love with the breed and tries to make it even better
  • Is focused on finding a good home for all of his pups not just earning money
  • Offers to connect you with the people who already bought puppies from him so that you can hear their experiences

DON’T buy a puppy from a breeder that:

  • Doesn’t have a medical history and health clearances for the illnesses that are associated with this breed
  • Doesn’t know much about the breed and doesn’t offer any advice
  • Has more than 2 or 3 litters available at the same time
  • Doesn’t offer you to show you the pup’s parents so that you can check their temperament
  • Doesn’t seem to care about his dogs and seems like he is in the business just for the money
  • Unwilling to answer your questions and seems like he just wants to see your back

All in all, you got the idea what you want to avoid, right?

The red flags usually show up when you are dealing with backyard breeders that don’t know much about the breed or when you are dealing with a puppy mill owner who just cares about the money.

In both cases, you won’t be happy with the quality of the pup because there’s no guarantee that he won’t suffer from some genetically heritable diseases later in life.

Also, in most cases, these dogs are not nearly close to the temperament of the breed and chances are great that your dog will be either aggressive and to dominant or hard or even impossible to train.

With a puppy that comes from a reputable breeder, that is not the case and you have all the reassurance that what you paid for is really what you bought.

3 Little-known facts about the Pointer puppies

Pointer
The Pointer puppies need early training.

Okay, now that you’ve armed yourself with knowledge about the choice of the right breeder, it’s time to see if you actually want to live with a Pointer puppy.

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Here are 3 little-known facts about Pointer puppies, which will help you get an idea of what living with one comes with.

  • They are active

Regardless of the breed’s temperament, all puppies are active in their first few months.

However, with Pointers, this is truer than with other breeds. They are extremely active and playful.

You have to realize that they demand energy burning every single day, at least twice a day.

So, keep this in mind before taking one home because you need plenty of energy to keep up with them.

  • They are mischievous

Besides being active in their younger days, the Pointer pups know to be mischievous as well.

So, don’t be surprised if you find your puppy chewing on your slippers or the leg of a chair.

This behavior is especially notable if the pups are left alone. They will display their unhappiness with destructible behavior.

  • They need their human family

The Pointer pups love to be with their family. They are physically capable of living outdoors, but not mentally.

So, keep in mind that this is not a puppy you can put outside in a dog house because it will suffer from separation anxiety.

Physical Traits of the Pointer

In this part of the guide, we will deal with the physical traits of this breed.

You will find out how big will your dog get, how much it will weigh when fully grown, and how long can you expect to have this dog as a part of your family.

How big is a full-grown Pointer?

As with most of the dog breeds, the male Pointers are slightly larger than the females.

The average height range for males goes from 25 to 28 inches, while for females, that range is slightly lower, and goes from 23 to 26 inches.

As for the weight, the males will go from 55 to 75 pounds of weight, while females tend to have a weight range of 45 to 65 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Pointer?

When it comes to how many years you can expect your Pointer to be your loyal companion, the range is actually one of the longer ones because they can live from 13 to 18 years.

Of course, assuming that they have proper healthcare and that they are properly fed and exercised throughout their lives.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Pointer

Pointer
The Pointer can spend hours playing with the kids.

The Pointers can be described as even-tempered, congenial, and devoted companions.

They have an independent nature and a competitive attitude, and they also love being mischievous and love the good old fun.

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You will also discover that this breed is great for keeping an eye on the house and making sure no harm comes to their family.

Though they are not ferocious like other, bigger breeds, they will let you know something is not right with their loud bark.

They can also be great with the kids and other pets and dogs, but for that side to appear, you need to start with the socialization and the training early.

This includes exposing your puppy to many experiences, sounds, animals, and people.

When it comes to how good they are with people, they are great.

However, since they are hunting dogs, meaning they are meant to find the prey while being away from the hunter, their independent nature is present even when they are regular home pets.

This further means that they can be stubborn at times and do things on their own.

Whenever you give a command to a Pointer, he will first make an assessment to see if what you are asking is reasonable, and then make the decision to obey or refuse.

To make a Pointer less independent, you need to start the training early, and you need to have a positive attitude, to be consistent, and praise your dog and give him treats for a job well done.

If you are harsh and treat your Pointer bad, he will just become even more stubborn and won’t follow your lead at all.

They tend to have a selective hearing, so sometimes if they hear something that they don’t like, they will act like they haven’t heard you and do what they want.

Therefore, besides praise and treats, you should also make the training interesting, so that your Pointer doesn’t lose interest.

Speaking of being interested in something, the Pointers are well known that they get bored if they don’t have a job to do.

So, if you have a yard, each time he is out, make sure you give him an assignment or he will find one on his own.

And, believe us, you don’t want that because it usually turns out to be creating a mess in your garden.

When it comes to making him realize that there are certain rules he needs to follow when inside the house or an apartment, it will take a while.

So, we recommend crate training if you want to avoid accidents around the house. You will need to be patient, but once they are house trained, there won’t be a problem whatsoever.

And, most of the time, he will just want to sit beside you on the sofa and watch TV.

But, remember, your Pointer will agree to crate training and sitting peacefully on the sofa only if he has enough exercise outside.

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All in all, these dogs are loyal, devoted, and with proper training and socialization, they can be fantastic family pets.

But, if you have small children, you might want to wait with the purchase of the puppy because their liveliness can be too much for a toddler and they can get unintentionally knocked down during playtime.

With older children that know how to behave and play with a dog, there will be no problem at all and they will wear each other out and sleep like angels afterward.

Pointer Diet

When it comes to your Pointers diet, you will need to make an effort to provide a variety and keep it with proper nutrient levels for a healthy development.

Their original diet, from the time this breed appeared, included wild game meat, brown rice, vegetable, and fruits.

But, you can also include couscous, goat milk, pasta, a raw egg, goat cheese, chicken necks, and raw venison bones. Just don’t give them cooked bones.

Such a dietary plan will keep your Pointer interested, and he will gladly lick the bowl each time you serve him. Also, there should be a bowl of fresh water, available all the time.

How much Exercise does a Pointer need?

By now, you have definitely realized that this is quite an active breed and that these dogs need plenty of exercises.

To be more precise, they need a minimum of one hour of hard exercise (walking not included).

Our recommendation would be one hour of walking (half an hour if you are jogging or 15 minutes if you are riding a bike), and a one-hour exercise session in the dog park.

The exercise time can include Frisbee, playing fetch, or some more advanced exercises such as agility, or other physically demanding dog sports.

All this is for dogs that are fully developed, which is around their 18th month of age.

Until then, you should keep the training lite, and allow him to play and sleep as he wants.

The Pointer Health and Conditions

The Pointers are generally a healthy breed, but just as with any other dog breed, there are certain health conditions that are known to trouble them and can be passed from generation to generation.

In their case, what you should keep in mind (and ask the breeder to show you health clearances for) are the following conditions.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Congenital deafness
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Aortic stenosis

If your pup’s parents have been cleared for these conditions, the chances that he will not suffer from them are much higher.

My final thoughts on the Pointer

As always, the health section marks the end of our guide.

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We hope that our Pointer guide helped you get a great insight into the breed, and what’s more important, to help you realize if this is the breed for you or not.

Also, now you have the knowledge to find a reputable breeder and make sure that the puppy you buy is healthy and with great genes.

But, just to be on the safe side and make sure that your final choice is the right one, let’s take a look at our short summary of everything we talked about today.

In general, the Pointers are dignified and sensible dogs, but they also have a mischievous and fun-loving side.

They are well known for being highly active and energetic when it comes to field training and activity, but when they are home, you will see them mostly on the sofa, relaxing and watching the TV or taking a nap.

But, to get there, your Pointer needs early training so that he shapes his well-mannered side, and you need to provide him with plenty of outdoor exercises so that his high-energy levels are depleted.

They are also excellent watchdogs and will spend hours playing with the kids, and alert you if there’s even the slightest chance of a problem or if they sense a stranger near your home.

With proper socialization, the Pointers will get along great with other dogs, or pet cats even, but if you have pet birds, you should keep an eye on them or they might easily lose their tail feathers.

House training and training, in general, can be slightly complicated due to their stubbornness and independence

But, with plenty of patience, love, praise and a generally positive attitude from your side, you will have a great companion that has great manners and is willing to follow you into any adventure you may have.

So, what do you think of the Pointer breed now? Did we help you in deciding to be a Pointer owner? If yes, then our mission was a success.

If no, then we are glad that we helped you make the right choice.

Whichever the case is, thank you for reading our guide and feel free to share it on social media so that other people can get to know how great these dogs are, and perhaps decide to own one as well.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

6.5
Cost to Buy
8.5
Cuteness Level
9.5
Family Safety
8
Friendliness
8
Health Concerns
9.5
Life Span
5
Exercise Required
5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 7.5 / 10

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