The English Pointer is a “sofa dog” at heart – at least when he’s done his day’s work as a hunting dog. The large, well-trained hounds from England need a real job and are best looked after in the hands of passionate hunters. In their free time, they enjoy being with family and are very careful with the children of the house.
Hunting dogs with a long tradition
The English Pointer likely evolved from various European pointers imported to England in the Middle Ages and crossed with existing gundog breeds. These dogs gained prominence when gunpowder fundamentally changed their owners’ hunting habits. Dog breeding adapted and in the early 19th century brought about the English Pointer. While it has evolved since then, it remains one of the most popular gun dog breeds in the world today.
Nature of the English Pointer
The English Pointer is a confident, courageous hunting dog that is always ready for action, but never jittery. The dogs, which are considered very social and well-balanced, bond closely with their owners and bring a large portion of “will to please” with them. They are easy to train and extremely interested in working with humans. English Pointers are patient and tolerant towards children.
The serious hunting dog breed has a noticeable hunting instinct, but little interest in guarding, reporting, or even protecting. They are reserved and almost arrogant towards strangers. Because of their strong bond with humans, many pointers have problems with being alone. This should be practiced early on. The socialization phase plays an important role with this large, confident dog. However, it is important to be careful: Pointer puppies are often small break pilots.
Education and keeping of the English Pointer
The English Pointer is not a city dog. It is far more appropriate to be kept in the country with a large garden and plenty of room to exercise. However, the Englishman who is interested in hunting is less suitable for open farms because he is hardly awake and prefers to go on a trip to the forest. When you consider all of this, the optimal husbandry comes naturally: the English Pointer is a perfect match for a hunter who spends a lot of time outdoors with his dog. At home, a family and a cozy sleeping corner are welcome to wait for the hunting dog.
The pointing dog is easy to train and is literally looking for clear rules. If these do not occur, English Pointers can also develop creative ideas and keep themselves busy. Especially when they are young, these dogs will chew on everything and every one – so always keep your favorite shoes in the closet. Not every dog training school is geared towards this working dog breed. If you are not a hunter, it is, therefore, advisable to look for a trainer who has experience with hunting dogs and can show you how to properly use your pointer even without hunting.
Care of the English Pointer
As demanding as the English Pointer is when it comes to keeping and exercising, it can score points with little effort when it comes to caring. The short, robust coat does not require any special treatment. Regular brushing gives the fur a great shine and strengthens the bond. Also check the claws, teeth, and ears. The hardy working breed has some potential hereditary diseases, which are tested for in serious breeding. These include joint, eye, and ear disorders. Epilepsy and cancer also occasionally occur. On average, English Pointers live to be twelve years old.