English Pointer

Other names: The Pointer

English Pointer

Calm within their family group, the English Pointer is extremely energetic when working. They are hunting dogs, famous especially for their speed. They’re always sprinting when hunting, but are able to freeze like a statue. They make very good companion dogs: they’re very gentle, balanced and easy to train; they are sometimes a little shy with strangers. They devote true adoration to their owner.

Key facts about the English Pointer

Life expectancy :





Temperament :


Size :

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Origins and history

The Pointer is one of the most famous, widespread breeds in the world, but their origins remain uncertain. According to some authors, the English Pointer derives from the Italian Pointer, however, according to others, they come rather from the Braque de Burgos or the Portuguese Pointer. It is likely that the Pointer originated in France and that they went to England where their breeding continued and was perfected. The crossing with a Foxhound seems plausible.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs


Section 2 : British and Irish Pointers and Setters

Physical characteristics of the English Pointer

  • English Pointer
    English Pointer
  • English Pointer
    English Pointer
  • English Pointer
    English Pointer
  • English Pointer
    English Pointer

    Adult size

    Female : Between 24 and 26 in

    Male : Between 25 and 27 in


    Female : Between 44 and 66 lb

    Male : Between 44 and 66 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The English Pointer is a medium-sized dog with a square shaped torso; each part offers both great power and extreme ease in movements. The head has convergent skull-face axes; the length of the skull is equal to that of the muzzle. The muzzle is square, with a raised nose; the stop is very marked. The eyes are big and round. The ears droop down; are supple, thin, almost triangular and flat. The neck is elegant, arched, sharp, long and slight. The limbs are well developed and muscular, perfectly level. The tail is wide at the base and thins towards the end, which is very fine.

    Good to know

    Although this dog can make a very good companion dog, pay attention to the very high bloodlines selected for the job. An English Pointer with very strong unsolicited instincts can be very complicated to manage on a daily basis.


    • 66%


      These dogs love their master and would do anything to please the members of their adoptive family. On the other hand, with people they don’t know, they are much less demonstrative with their affection.

    • 66%


      As a puppy, the Pointer enjoys playing; these games are also very useful to perfect their training. As an adult, intelligence games are most interesting for this working dog, and helps them to maintain their focus.

    • 66%


      Overflowing with energy, this dog knows how to adapt to the atmosphere of the house and be calm when necessary, provided that all their exercise needs have been met.

    • 66%


      Lively and passionate at work, this dog is highly appreciated for their many qualities. They are a particularly docile breed that quickly understands what is expected of them.

    • 100%


      The English Pointer (like the Setter) is very popular among hunters thanks to their highly developed flair, great endurance, speed and remarkable adaptability. They are mainly used to hunt game birds. They mark the stop like a stone sculpture.

    • 66%

      Fearful / wary of strangers

      When they haven’t been introduced to others and this dog is not confident, they are very reserved towards strangers.

    • 66%


      This dog can be relatively independent and can even go for a walk in the garden without being seen for hours.
      On the other hand, they can also be very dependent on their master at home. Their desire to do well and win approval creates a certain bond.

      Behaviour of the English Pointer

      • 66%

        Tolerates solitude

        If the English Pointer puppy is accustomed from a very young age to being alone, once grown, they can easily stay in on their own for a few hours. However, absences must not be prolonged, and the dog must be well exercised before and after each period of being alone.

      • 100%

        Easy to train / obedience

        The Pointer is certainly one of the most docile hunting dogs. They have a very rare obedience so are very pleasant to work with.

        Of course, training, as for all dogs, must begin early and respect the principles of positive education to create and strengthen a real relationship of trust between the dog and master.

      • 66%


        This dog rarely barks when unwarranted. A good alert dog, they never bark for no reason.

      • 100%

        Tendency to run away

        Their hunting instinct and incredible flair often push this dog to follow tracks without turning around. Their speed and perseverance sometimes take them far from home. It is therefore necessary to make sure to close off the familiar environment and remain vigilant during walks.

      • 66%


        As a good working dog, the English Pointer needs to be stimulated regularly, both physically and mentally or regarding their sense of smell.

        If this is not respected, this dog can then adopt "deviant" behaviours such as becoming destructive, for example.

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        This dog has a good appetite, but their lithesome form encourages them not to be too greedy.

      • 33%

        Guard dog

        This hunting dog makes a poor guard dog; however, they can be a good alert dog when they see a danger.

      • 100%

        First dog

        Very good to accompany hunters, this dog is also a very good companion dog for sports masters looking for a companion to go running with, for example.
        In addition, their cheerfulness and great docility make them the perfect dog for a first adoption.

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        • 33%

          English Pointer in a flat

          The city environment, such as being in an apartment, is absolutely not for this dog who needs space to flourish.
          They must live in the countryside or, at least, in a house with a garden and the possibility of going out often for long walks, which are essential to their psychophysical balance.

        • 100%

          Need for exercise / Sporty

          This dog needs to unleash their great energy on a daily basis. Long walks must be taken every day outside of the garden so that their physical and sense-of-smell needs are met.

          If they do not hunt with their master, activities related to tracking are suitable for the Pointer and / or to participating in field trials for example, so that they can unleash their potential, but in a sporting context.

        • 66%

          Travelling / easy to transport

          Being able to reach 66 lbs, their presence on public transport can in some cases be tricky. However, if the English Pointer puppy is well socialised from an early age and their training brings out their good character, travel will be very pleasant.


          • 66%

            English Pointer and cats

            If this dog grows up with cats, they can easily integrate them into his social group. However, one must always be vigilant with hunting dogs.

          • 66%

            English Pointer and dogs

            If the English Pointer puppy is socialised from a very young age and has had good experiences with other dogs, they will have enough canine conduct to communicate with them.

          • 66%

            English Pointer and children

            The Pointer knows how to be patient and play with children but beware, this dog takes no abruptness: children must therefore learn to communicate respectfully with their animal.

          • 33%

            English Pointer and the elderly

            This dog’s energy is too overwhelming to accommodate a potentially sedentary life. Older owners are not compatible with this breed.



            The price of an English Pointer varies according to the origin, age and sex. A pedigree Pointer costs up to around £800.

            Regarding the average budget to meet the needs of a dog of this size, it costs around £35 a month.


            This hardy dog does not need grooming. Only a few regular brushings are useful and especially upon return from great walks in the forest or hunting sessions.
            Also, beware of their droopy ears, which are important to inspect and clean regularly to prevent infection.
            Their fine coat sometimes does not protect them from brambles and other debris: their skin must also be given special attention.


            This dog loses his hair in a moderate way. Losses increase, however, during the two annual moulting periods, where brushing must be more frequent.

            Nutrition of the English Pointer

            The English Pointer is not a difficult dog to feed, they can be content with industrial rations (biscuits) or traditional (B.A.R.F or cooked meals).

            The most important thing here is to consider the age, weight and daily activity of the dog so as not to under or over feed them.

            A single meal a day can be enough, preferably in the evening to, on the one hand, avoid the stomach from flipping, and on the other hand to promote a better digestion.

            If they’re a working dog, specific compositions for them exist, do not hesitate to discuss with a veterinarian to ensure that the dog has the best possible diet.

            Health of the English Pointer

            Life expectancy

            The life expectancy is estimated at around 13 years.

            Strong / robust

            They are a very robust dog that suffers from no particular problem. However, the English Pointer is so impulsive during hunting that they sometimes get hurt.

            Withstand heat

            This dog does not fear the heat, their perseverance and passion allow them to work without problem in any condition.

            Withstand cold

            Their coat allows them to be very resistant to the weather.

            Tendency to put on weight

            This dog is far too active, enduring, lively and athletic to gain weight. They must keep a slender, athletic form.

            Common illnesses

            • Ectropion / Entropion
            • Dislocation of the lacrimal gland
            • Epilepsy
            • Hip dysplasia
            • Cutaneous allergies
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