What Life Is Like When You Own A Pointer Dog

Man's best friend is like pizza. There are seemingly infinite varieties and they're all awesome. Some are thin, some doughy and others are rather simple but wholesome. At heart, they really can't go wrong. However, some stand head and shoulders above others, and such is the case with the Pointer dog breed.

If you're wondering whether Pointers are lovely animals — all signs point to yes. The American Kennel Club (AKC) proclaims Pointers the "ultimate expression of canine power and grace," with the distinction of being "unquestioned aristocrats of the sporting world."

Pointers come in a variety of patterns and colors, but they're all well-built and broad shouldered, with males weighing up to 75 pounds, and smaller females as little as 45 pounds. As the name suggests, Pointers earned their title by pointing, which they've done since the mid-1600s. First used in Britain for rabbit hunting before firearms were reliable, they would find hares, point and let Greyhounds chase them down. By the 1700s, they were a "devoted and durable gundog."

The finer points of the Pointer breed

The AKC Breed Standard for Pointers describes them as even tempered, dignified and alert, and a "congenial companion both in the field and in the home." While Pointers are well-behaved, they're not lazy, and are best suited to regular exercise that lets them flex their sporting chops. Fenced in yards would be far better for this breed than an apartment.

On that note, their minds require a workout as well. They are well-adapted to training and make great service or therapy dogs. From a grooming perspective, they're pretty low maintenance, too. The short, glossy fur of the Pointer just needs a good brushing every week or so to keep it clean and to reduce shedding.

On the health front, you certainly don't need to be The Dog Whisperer to ensure a Pointer has a good life. Be on the lookout for hip dysplasia, eye disorders and bloat, a condition commonly found in deep-chested dogs which can be fatal. Aside from those concerns and the occasional ear and teeth cleaning, Pointers are not walking health disasters, as some may describe breeds like bulldogs, which are bred with less than desirable characteristics in terms of longevity.

Overall, Pointers are a well-loved and respected type of dog, and among the oldest of official AKC breeds. They are wonderful pets so long as they get the exercise, love and attention they deserve. Treat a Pointer well, and life is great.