How is an English Pointer? Characteristics, temperament and care

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Originally, the English Pointer was bred to be a hunting dog, a task he performs with skill and precision. Today, his cheerful character and good demeanor have made him a home companion, even in those houses where children live.

The elegance of this breed is striking, but not everything is appearance. The Pointer loves sports, he is a skillful and energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise. Do you want to know more about him? Let’s go there!

Index of contents

  • 1 Origin of the English Pointer
  • 2 Physical characteristics of the English Pointer
  • 3 Character and personality of the English Pointer
  • 4 What care does an English Pointer need?
    • 4.1 Coat care and feeding
  • 5 Common diseases of the English Pointer

Origin of the English Pointer

The pointer appeared in England in 1650, possibly following a cross that included a Spanish Shorthaired Pointer. In its beginnings, it was used for hunting along with the Greyhound or English Greyhound, the tasks of both were very specific: the Pointer was in charge of pointing out where the prey was, and the Greyhound went after them. Occasionally, the Pointer also served as a retriever.

Today, his skills and gracefulness are appreciated in dog competitions, be it sports or show dog competitions. In addition, it is an excellent companion dog.

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Physical characteristics of the English Pointer

The English Pointer is a large breed dog. Its body is slender and elegant, although not for that reason it lacks strength. Actually, It has muscle and is very agile. According to the standard established by the International Cynological Federation (FCI), the head must be elongated and have a light or dark truffle, depending on the color of the coat. The muzzle features developed lips and a scissor bite jaw.

The Pointer’s eyes are round and the iris is hazel or chestnut. The eyelids are dark in dogs with dark fur, and light in the rest of the specimens. The look is kind and sparkling.

Its ears are thin and somewhat pointed towards the end, they fall to the sides of the head. The tail, meanwhile, is medium and narrows as it moves away from the base.

As for the coat, it is short, fine and very abundant, with a hard texture and a shiny appearance. The colors of the Pointer breed are commonly presented in bicolor combinations (lemon and white, black and white, among others) or tricolor ; there are also some unicoloured dogs.


Height of between 63 and 69 cm in males and between 61 and 66cm in females


Weight between 24 and 34 kg in males and between 20 and 29 kg in females


Short, shiny, pure, bicolor or tricolor hair


Loyal and faithful character


Strong health


Estimated life expectancy between 12 and 17 years



Character and personality of the English Pointer

The best thing about the English Pointer is his character. They have great versatility, so they adapt easily to situations. In all of them, even during work tasks, he shows a friendly and cheerful attitude.

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He loves to play and exercise, so he is a good dog to have with unruly children.. Thanks to his intelligence, he easily learns training orders and games, so educating him will be very easy.

These magnificent characteristics are accompanied by their haughty and protective personality. The Pointer’s skill is such that these dogs often become therapy animals or rescuers.

What care does an English Pointer need?

If you are thinking of having a dog of this breed, you must first know that they are not suitable for living in city flats. It is very active and you need to live in freedom, having a large area where you can feel free or a garden.

Daily exercise is required to keep you happy. This can consist of long walks, and then complement with games in the park or at home. The Pointer needs games that physically demand him, so it is better to do them in a clear area.

Remember that your nature is hunting, so you need to be active. For this, you can enroll him in canine activities, such as Agility, field competitions, rally, among others. Do you get used to running or do you exercise? This dog will enjoy accompanying you in those activities.

The Pointer’s affable personality will make training easier. As in other breeds, it is convenient to start with him as a puppy, like socialization. It will respond easily to learned commands and enjoy learning new things with you.

Coat care and feeding

The English Pointer needs a high quality diet formulated for large breed dogs. It tends to gain weight, so watch the portions. If you will use it as a hunting dog, it is recommended to add more protein to the diet during the high season.

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The Pointer’s coat is wonderful, as it is maintained with little care. A weekly brushing is enough to keep it beautiful, since it dries very little hair. Check your ears frequently, as infections often develop when they are dropped.

Common diseases of the English Pointer

With visits to the vet, good food and exercise, your Pointer can live between 12 and 17 years, it is a very long-lived dog! Despite this, the breed tends to suffer some diseases:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Gastric torsion
  • Hypothyroidism