Though unclear, the Pointer’s lineage likely can be linked to Greyhounds, Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and a type of setting Spaniel. Pointers were first used in the mid-1600s in England to point hares for Greyhound coursing. Pointers later became popular for recreational bird hunting and, in the 19th century, as show dogs. Today’s Pointers still have the stamina, determination, and skill of capable hunters, but are also treasured as family dogs and companions.


Large; females 23 to 26 inches, 35 to 65 pounds; males 25 to 28 inches, 55 to 90 pounds. (Field-trial lines tend to be smaller than show lines.)


Liver, lemon, black, orange; all with or without white.


Alert, independent, and dignified. Happiest with a job (obedience, agility, field trials); can be destructive if not exercised enough. Exuberant but tolerant of children.

Energy level:

Medium to high.

Best owner:

Hunter or active, outdoorsy owner.


Vigorous physical and mental exercise every day, fenced yard, plenty of outside time, companionship, regular brushing.

Life expectancy:

Field lines 10 to 12 years; show lines 12 to 14 years.