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The English pointer is a perfect combination of athletic grace and power with a lean, muscular body, alert expression and noble carriage. He is a sporting dog breed and like other sporting breeds, he has a protective nature and is a brilliant watchdog. He is friendly with other people and dogs, and he is little reserved but seldom timid and not inclined towards aggression. The English pointer is much more than a hunting dog or a field trailer. He can become a devoted companion if you give him a chance. If you are considering this breed, this is a must read article for you as it explains you all important information regarding this dog breed.
|Breed Name||Pointer Dog|
|Other Names||English Pointer, Bird Dog|
|Breed group||Sporting Dogs|
|Weight||39.7- 75 pounds|
|Temperament||Alert, Courageous, Loyal|
|What to Feed||2 to 3 cups of nutritious dry food a day, divided into two meals.|
|Litter size||5-8 puppies|
|Living Conditions||Pointers are not recommended for the apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and they do best with acreage.|
|Coat Type||Dense, Short Coat|
|Coat Colors||Black, Brown, White|
|Health Concern||Prone to Hip dysplasia, Cherry eye, Epilepsy and Allergies|
|Space Requirements||House with Yard|
|Trainability||Moderate Effort Required|
|Energy Level||High Energy|
|Grooming||Brushing Once a Week or Less|
|Protective Ability||Fairly Laid Back|
|Tendency to Drool||Low|
|Tendency to Snore||Low|
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Tendency to Dig||Low|
The English Pointer is a powerful hunting dog whose head is as wide as the muzzle is long. The neck of this breed is long and its muzzle is deep. Their stop is well-defined and nose is black or brown in color in the darker coated dogs and may be flesh-colored in the lighter dogs.
The teeth of this dog breed meet in a level or scissors bite. Their eyes are round and dark in contrast with the markings on their coat. The hanging ears of these dogs are somewhat pointed at the end and their front legs are straight. This breed of dogs comes in short, smooth and dense coat and its coat colors include primarily white with lemon, liver, black and/or orange markings, either patched or speckled.
The ancestors of English pointers are thought to have originated in the Spain a few centuries ago, but the pointer itself was originated in Britain, therefore, referred to as the English Pointer. Breeds that were used to create the English pointer were the Foxhound, Spanish Pointer, Bloodhound, Greyhound, various setter breeds, and maybe even a Bulldog somewhere along the way. The first records of the English pointers date to 1650. These dogs would find the prey, usually hare, and then the Greyhound dogs would be sent to kill it. When the firearms came into use for the hunting of bird, this breed of dogs became the premier hunting dogs and has never looked back.
Early English pointers were depicted as ferocious dogs, which are a far cry from the dogs we know today. The setter crosses were likely an attempt to improve the temperament of this breed of dogs. This breed of dogs was brought to the USA before the Civil War and it became quite popular in the South for hunting quail. These dogs have changed little since that time apart from becoming a bit more refined in their appearance. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the English pointers in 1884, and today this breed of dog rank 111th among the dogs registered by the AKC.
The English pointers are known for their high energy, and they are very enthusiastic hunters. They are appropriate for home if enough exercise is provided to them. This breed is known for its intelligent, loyal, and devoted temperament. Further, these dogs are patient, affectionate, friendly, love children and are true friend to the family. The English pointers adapt new situations very well, and they can be reserved with the strangers. You should socialize well this breed at an early age. Being an owner of the dog, you should make sure to stay mentally strong so he can feed from your energy to avoid timidity. Remember that the nervous humans are likely to have nervous dogs because the dogs can feel your emotions.
If you do not provide enough physical or mental exercise to your pointer, he will become distractible and high-strung, and can become neurotic. The English pointers bark at suspicious noises, but they are not a watchdog. The Pointer puppies will start to display pointing behavior as young as eight weeks old. This breed of dogs is generally good with other pets and is not usually dog-aggressive.
This breed of dogs is extremely energetic and tireless; therefore, it is quite important that they get daily vigorous exercise in order to prevent extreme indoor impatience. These dogs are more than a match for the most active families and they should not be taken on as a family pet unless they can guarantee bounty of vigorous work out. They need to be taken on a brisk, daily, long walk, jog or run beside you when you bicycle.
The English pointers are excellent jogging companions, and they love to swim although they were not bred for that task. You should teach your dog to enter and exit doors after the humans. When they are taught to work as hunting dogs it must be taught to them the difference between when it is time to work and when it is not.
As one may expect from looking at the English pointer’s coat, this is a dog breed with low grooming requirements. These dogs never require professional grooming. All that English pointer will need is a regular brushing of coat, which should not take very long time. A rubdown with a soft cloth or chamois will make the coat gleam. In addition to this, this breed of dogs is naturally clean and only requires infrequent baths. After a day in the field, these dogs should be cautiously checked for the potential injuries, especially around the feet. The ears of this breed of dogs may collect dirt and grime; therefore, it should be cleaned on a regular basis. The English pointers are considered as average shedders and they will leave a fair amount of hair on your furniture, clothing, and carpets.
Health Issues of English Pointer:
The English pointers are known as a fairly healthy breed of dogs. These dogs are primarily bred as working dogs; therefore, genetic issues are not tolerated by most breeders. They also benefit from being comparatively less inbred than is the case with other purebred dogs. It does not mean that this breed of dogs is immune from the genetically inherited conditions, but it means that this breed tends to suffer from them at lower rates, and the health conditions that this breed suffers tend to be less serious. The average life expectancy of the English pointers is between 12 and 15 years, and with proper care of these dogs it can exceed by several years.
The common health issue experienced by the English pointers is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common health conditions suffered by the purebred dogs. It is caused by a malformation of the hip joint. This malformation causes the hip bones to move incorrectly, and this condition worsens over time. Furthermore, depending on the severity of this condition, it can result in pain, discomfort, arthritis, and even lameness. Although this medical condition is genetic, several environmental factors can impact its severity and onset. Once hip dysplasia develops in your dog, there is no cure for this. Though, there are various promising surgeries that may prevent the onset of this medical condition. Some other health issues which are known to affect the English pointers include:
• Elbow Dysplasia
• Hunting Injuries
• Ear Infections
• Thyroid Problems
• Cherry Eye
• Skin Allergies
The English pointers enjoy outdoors and being with their families. They do quite well in active homes where camping, hiking, and several other outdoor activities are enjoyed by all. Further, they need a large fenced yard where they can run. When these dogs are given the training and exercise they need, they are quiet and mannerly house dogs.
These active and intelligent dogs need daily exercise and stimulation. They were developed to be hunting dogs who could work all day long, and their exercise needs do not change just because they are family companion. Give your Pointer at least an hour of exercise every day and more if possible. Moreover, Pointer puppies are still growing and do not need the hard exercise that an adult can take. Let your Pointer puppy nap and play on his own schedule throughout the day, and restrict jumping until your puppy reached his full growth at about seventeen months of age. Further, running and jumping on hard surfaces at an early period can stress the joints of puppy and cause various orthopedic problems.
For proper care of Pointer, a fenced yard is required because Pointers are bred to follow their nose and to run for long distances. This breed of dogs does not know about cars, and they do not know how to find their way back to home after running for many miles away from home. Keep your English Pointer inside a securely fenced yard for his safety and your peace of mind.
Some Facts about English Pinter:
• An English Pointer’s hunting instincts develop at early stage, and he retains what he learns throughout his life.
• This breed of dogs is very active and they require vigorous exercise every day. If you do not have the energy and time for exercise of your Pointer at least one hour each day, then you should not consider this breed.
• The English Pointers can be very destructive when they are bored or do not get sufficient exercise, especially when they are at young age. This can result in digging, chewing, and many other negative behaviors that can lead to costly vet bills.
• They are great family dogs who thrive when they can spend time with their owners. This breed of dogs should not live outdoors but they should enjoy the same comforts as his family.
• Although the English Pointers do very well with children and other pets, especially when raised with them, these dogs are not best suited for the homes with toddlers.
• The English pointers are not suited for the apartment dwellings, and they do much better in homes with large fenced yard where they can spend some of their energy.
• The pointers may, however, be very interested in the pet birds, and these two should be protected from each other. You do not want your dog to get injured by a parrot’s beak, and you do not want your dog trying to retrieve your canary or finch.
• The English pointers are energetic and strong with a mind of their own. They are not best suited for the first-time dog owners or people who are not strong enough to handle highly energetic dogs and give them the appropriate exercise.
• Training is a must with this breed of dogs as this breed has a will of his own. Furthermore, training can take time, but once the foundation is there, there is no limit to how far your English Pointer can go in various dog competitions.
• The best part of pointer is that they are average shedders and require only minimal grooming.
• The first English Pointer was entered at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in the year 1877. Three English Pointers have won best in show at Westminster. Their names are Ch. Nancolleth Markable in 1932, Ch. Governor Moscow in 1925, and Ch. Marjetta National Acclaim in 1986.
• The Pointer’s coat comes in lemon, liver, orange or black and can be solid or combined with white. The breed standard says that a good English Pointer can’t be a bad color.