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Pointer

 

The Pointer, often called the English Pointer, is a breed of dog developed as a gun dog. It is one of several pointing breeds.

Description

Appearance

The Pointer should be athletic and graceful. The immediate impression should be of a compact, hard-driving hunting dog, alert and "ready to let go." The primary distinguishing features of this breed are the head, feet, and tail. Hound or terrier characteristics are undesirable for show purposes.

Hudson the English Pointer going best winner

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Grooming English Pointers is not time-consuming. Their coat is very short and needs only a quick rub with a soft brush to minimise shedding.

Coat and color

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The standard colorings of the Pointer are liver and white, lemon and white, orange and white or black and white. Lemon and white dogs have a flesh colored nose, while orange and white dogs have dark (black or very dark brown) pigmentation on their nose and around their eyes. They may also be any of the above as solid colours, the body of most Pointers is mainly white, but there may be some body markings.

Size

Most country's breed standards prefer symmetry and balance to perfect size, and most will allow an amount of variation if a dog's size does not encumber it in the field. The approximate measurements in the United States, from the Pointer standard, are as follows:

  Height Weight
Males 60–70 cm 25–28 in 25–34 kg 55–75 lb
Females 58–66 cm 23–26 in 20–30 kg 45–65 lb

Temperament

Pointers are even-tempered, congenial dogs happiest living indoors as part of the family. Pointers are affectionate and loyal. Their aggression level is very low to non-existent and they can happily co-exist with other dogs and often cats. Pointers are typically not territorial, although their size and bark will intimidate most people who come to your door. Pointers are very good with children, although young children and a clumsy young Pointer are often not the best combination.

While Pointers were bred to be a hunting dog, they are perfectly content given adequate exercise in a non-hunting home. Since they are a galloping breed, regular exercise is important for them, as it is for all sporting breeds. A good sized, securely fenced yard is a must to keep a Pointer safe since they are bred to hunt a good distance from their person. When left for the day, they typically do best indoors. Pointers are habitual "couch potatoes" who enjoy relaxing on the family's chairs or sofas. This is a natural part of their desire to feel part of the pack.

Health

The average life span of a Pointer is 12 to 15 years. Pointers are fairly genetically sound as a breed. Some problems that can occur in the breed include hip dysplasia (displacement of the hip joint), cherry eye, epilepsy, and allergies

Skills

The pointer is employed to find upland game. In performing his task as a hunters' aid, there are some skills that may be expected when hunting with pointers.

  • Point The dog should find and point out the location of birds.
  • Honor Honoring is defined as when a dog stops immediately or within a few steps, usually in a pointing stance, upon observing a bracemate on point.
  • Retrieve Pointers are not expected to be natural retrievers, but are often trained and expected to find dead or wounded game.

    English Pointer Dog - can he think ?

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    Can Dogs Think ?

History

The history of the Pointer, like many breeds, is a reasonably debatable topic. (Cavanaugh, 1997). There are records of Pointers in England as far back as 1650 (Cavanaugh, 1997.) According to one source, the pointer came to be in the sixteenth and seventeenth century when pointing breeds including the Spanish pointer were brought from the European mainland to England. (Fergus, 2002).

Through both history and anatomical evaluation we see that at least four breeds were instrumental in Pointer crosses: Greyhounds, Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and Bull Terriers. (Cavanaugh, 1997.) Each of these were established breeds with unique qualities that the Pointer could use to do its job; our forefathers were trying to build a very special hunting dog. (Cavanaugh, 1997.)

Pointers were brought to the United States where the breed flourished in the abundant open hunting land. At that time (late 1800s), the Setter was considered to be the bird hunting dog and pointers were not even permitted to compete in field trials with setters. Around 1910, however, the pointer began to beat the setter at its own game. The pointer has dominated the pointing breed field trials since that time. (Fergus, 2002).

One of the earliest dogs to exert influence on the breed in the US was a dog who was imported from England in 1876 - "Sensation [1]." He is well known as the dog on the emblem of the Westminster Kennel Club.

One modern American kennel, established in 1936, and known for breeding large quantities of Pointers, Elhew Kennels [2] produced a popular and successful line of gundogs. Elhew pointers were well-known competitors at field trials for several decades.

In the southern United States, where the dog is so dominant it is often simply referred to as the "bird dog", Pointers are found in abundance. The bobwhite quail is the primary game bird there and is considered classic English Pointer game as the bobwhite will hold well for a pointing dog. Pointers also work game birds such as the pheasant, grouse, and woodcock with success as well.

Name

While the dog is often called the "English pointer" colloquially, the official breed name according to the British Kennel Club is simply "Pointer". The same is true of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the American Kennel Club, and the Field Dog Stud Book.

English Pointer Dog - Sniffing the Air

Source

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