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


The Pointer is an athletic and graceful kind of dog. 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 English Pointers is not time-consuming. Their coat is very short and needs only a quick rub with a soft brush to minimize shedding


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. The body of the Pointer in Most cou
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ntry’s breed standards prefers 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:


mainly white, but there may be some body markings.





HistoryEdit

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 was 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." 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 q
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uantities of Pointers, Elhew Kennels 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.