The Pointer traces back from 300 years of English history. It is used to catch rabbits and birds. It 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.
Grooming an English Pointer is not time-consuming. The coat is very short and needs only a quick rub with a soft brush to minimise shedding.
The standard colorings of the Pointer are liver and white, lemon and white, orange and white or black and white. Lemon & white dogs have flesh-colored noses, while orange & white, liver & white, and black & white dogs have dark (black or very dark brown) pigmentation on their noses. They may also be any of the above as solid colors; the body of most Pointers is mainly white, but there may be some body markings.
Pointers are even-tempered, congenial dogs, and despite their large size, make good house pets so long as they get sufficient exercise due to their extremely high energy levels. Pointers are intelligent, affectionate, clean and intensely loyal. Their aggression level is very low to non-existent and they normally happily coexist with other dogs and cats. They are not typically territorial and can be reserved with strangers. They are very good with children and fit in well with family life generally. Pups can be somewhat boisterous and their long legs as they grow, make them appear somewhat clumsy in a charming way. They will bark at suspicious noises, but are not a great watchdog breed. While Pointers were bred to be hunting dogs, they are perfectly content to be given adequate exercise by other means. 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. 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.
Pointers are fairly genetically sound as a breed. Some problems that can occur in the breed include hip dysplasia, cherry eye, epilepsy, and allergies.