Pointer.jpg
Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group 11-A: Pointing Dogs
Origin Country England
Weight Males: 55-75 pounds. Females: 44-65 pounds.
Height Males: 25-28 inches. Females: 23-26 inches.
Other Name(s) English Pointer, Pointer
Breed Type Pure
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Pointer

Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group 11-A: Pointing Dogs
Origin Country England
Weight Males: 55-75 pounds. Females: 44-65 pounds.
Height Males: 25-28 inches. Females: 23-26 inches.
Other Name(s) English Pointer, Pointer
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The English Pointer (or Pointer)’s ancestors, like many gundog breeds, were believed to originate from Spain. Originally known as Spanish Pointers, these dogs became popular throughout Southern and Eastern Europe well before the invention of the gun and gundog group. They would accompany sight hounds, such as Greyhounds, by locating rabbits and hares for the sight hounds to apprehend.

The dogs eventually made their way to modern-day England after the War of Spanish Succession in the early 1700s. Originally known as Spanish Pointers, their keen ability to locate and indicate prey caught the attention of bird hunters. From there, their popularity as bird dogs quickly increased. They were crossed with the ancestors of today’s Foxhounds, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, and Italian Pointers, eventually being refined into today’s English Pointer.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, somewhat long in length, moderate in size, rather rectangular in appearance, and in proportion to the rest of the body. It is neither heavy nor light in substance or size. The topskull is only moderately broad, being only slightly broader than the muzzle. In profile, the topskull is long and flat, the occiput is well-pronounced. A faint median furrow starts at the stop and disappears toward the occiput. The brows are well-developed. Although the head is lean, it is powerfully equipped with strong, smooth, well-developed, yet never overly prominent muscle. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and green or amber to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, hanging close to the head, with or without slight folding or rolling. They are somewhat tapered or pointed toward tip, never broad and rounded. They are set on fairly high at eye level, but may be raised when alerted. They should extend to, or just beyond, the lower jaw when hanging naturally. The ears are never excessively long, overly large, or “fly-away.”
Muzzle: Long, broad, deep, full, rectangular, and strongly developed. The plane of the muzzle may be straight or with a slightly concaved “dish-face,” resulting in the nose being set slightly higher than the plane of the nasal bridge. Upper and lower jaws are equal in length, have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nose is broad and nostrils are well-opened. In profile, the tip of the nose may project slightly forward.
Neck: Fairly long neck allows for proud head carriage, powerfully muscled with an slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is dry and clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, sufficiently broad for ample heart and lung capacity, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Body: The body is that of a canine endurance and agility athlete. It is deep, solid, and of moderate substance. The body is never cloddy or heavy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It is carried horizontally to 20 degrees above the level of the topline when working, but also kept in accordance to the dog’s mood and energy level, never tucked or carried curved or up over the back. Tail should be left natural, never docked short. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail is straight.
Movement: The Pointer moves with graceful, powerful, and agile motion. His actions are effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Pointer is an intelligent and friendly dog that loves to work and loves to move. His stable temperament and can-do attitude make him a great candidate as a pet for active families, although he excels in the field and the show ring. He can be trained to use his nose in many disciplines, including field work, search and rescue, or tracking and article search. He excels in other events as well, such as that of obedience and agility. He bonds strongly to his family and is tolerant of other dogs and people. He enjoys a hard day’s work, and daily exercise is necessary for this breed to curb potential behavior issues. He should never appear nervous, shy, or fearful. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 11: Gun Dog Breeds

Proportions: Square to slightly off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being equal to or just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is between 1:1 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with agile, yet sturdy substance, and medium bone, wrapped in hard, sinewy muscle. The Pointer is built for speed, agility, and endurance. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, somewhat long in length, moderate in size, rather rectangular in appearance, and in proportion to the rest of the body. It is neither heavy nor light in substance or size. The topskull is only moderately broad, being only slightly broader than the muzzle. In profile, the topskull is long and flat, the occiput is well-pronounced. A faint median furrow starts at the stop and disappears toward the occiput. The brows are well-developed. Although the head is lean, it is powerfully equipped with strong, smooth, well-developed, yet never overly prominent muscle. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Noble, proud, intelligent, and alert, yet kind.
Stop: The stop is defined and pronounced.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1, with the topskull equal in length to the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel to slightly convergent.
Muzzle: Long, broad, deep, full, rectangular, and strongly developed. The plane of the muzzle may be straight or with a slightly concaved “dish-face,” resulting in the nose being set slightly higher than the plane of the nasal bridge. Upper and lower jaws are equal in length, have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are deep, yet clean, fitting well over the teeth and jaws, just covering the lower jaw, giving the muzzle its deep and rectangular appearance. The lips are never pendulous, yet never to so tightly fit that the muzzle appears tapered.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nose is broad and nostrils are well-opened. In profile, the tip of the nose may project slightly forward.
Cheeks: The cheeks may be smoothly muscled to somewhat chiseled in appearance. The cheekbones should never be prominent.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and green or amber to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, hanging close to the head, with or without slight folding or rolling. They are somewhat tapered or pointed toward tip, never broad and rounded. They are set on fairly high at eye level, but may be raised when alerted. They should extend to, or just beyond, the lower jaw when hanging naturally. The ears are never excessively long, overly large, or “fly-away.”

Body and Tail

General Description: The body is that of a canine endurance and agility athlete. It is deep, solid, and of moderate substance. The body is never cloddy or heavy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Fairly long neck allows for proud head carriage, powerfully muscled with an slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is dry and clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, sufficiently broad for ample heart and lung capacity, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Topline: Straight and may be level or slightly sloped, from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is short, broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is short, taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Broad, powerful, and gently sloped. It should never be steep or tucked.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It is carried horizontally to 20 degrees above the level of the topline when working, but also kept in accordance to the dog’s mood and energy level, never tucked or carried curved or up over the back. Tail should be left natural, never docked short. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail is straight.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are long, and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body and fall directly in line with and below the withers. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate (yet sturdy) bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are long, equal in length, strong, of moderate (yet sturdy) bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Short, dense, smooth, and hard, with sheen.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Pointer breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.

Standard Coat Color Variety: Solid colors in black, liver, red, orange, tan, lemon, or tricolor, all with or without ticking or clear white markings. Black, liver, red, orange, tan, lemon, or tricolor with ticked or clear white markings. White with black, liver, red, orange, tan, lemon, or tricolor markings. Black, liver, red, orange, tan, lemon, or tricolor ticked, with or without markings of the corresponding colors.

Movement

The Pointer moves with graceful, powerful, and agile motion. His actions are effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Pointer is an intelligent and friendly dog that loves to work and loves to move. His stable temperament and can-do attitude make him a great candidate as a pet for active families, although he excels in the field and the show ring. He can be trained to use his nose in many disciplines, including field work, search and rescue, or tracking and article search. He excels in other events as well, such as that of obedience and agility. He bonds strongly to his family and is tolerant of other dogs and people. He enjoys a hard day’s work, and daily exercise is necessary for this breed to curb potential behavior issues. He should never appear nervous, shy, or fearful. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.