English Pointer

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 2, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Svetlana Valoueva/Shutterstock.com


English Pointer Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

English Pointer Conservation Status

English Pointer Locations

English Pointer Locations

English Pointer Facts


English Pointer Physical Characteristics

English Pointer as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
55-75 lbs
Female weight
45-65 lbs

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English Pointers point their tail straight out and lift a paw off the ground when they see a rabbit, partridge, or other small prey.


English Pointers were bred to accompany their owner on hunting trips. When they spot a rabbit, bird, fox, or other game, these dogs stand perfectly still, pointing their tail straight out. This is a clear signal to their owner that they’ve found prey. English Pointers are believed to be descendants of bloodhounds, foxhounds, and greyhounds. They are members of the sporting group.

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Though these dogs were bred for hunting and pointing, they are a great choice for a family dog. They have a sweet temperament and love to be around their family members including children. The only factor to keep in mind is these canines need lots of exercise every day to keep them both physically and emotionally healthy.

8 Different Types of English Pointer Mixes

Here are 8 popular English Pointer Mixes:

3 Pros and Cons of Owning an English Pointer

An easy grooming routine
This canine’s short coat only needs to be brushed every one or two days.
Needs lots of exercise
This energetic canine needs at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.
Low shedding
English Pointers shed very little hair.
Prey driven
These dogs were bred to hunt so they need to be watched around the family’s pet rabbit, bird, etc.
A gentle temperament
These dogs love to cuddle with their owners on the sofa as much as they love to run around outdoors.
A stubborn streak
This dog is known to be independent and even stubborn at times. This can make obedience training a challenge.

Size and Weight

These are dogs of medium to large size with a coat of short hair. English Pointer males can weigh up to 75 pounds full grown whereas females weigh up to 65 pounds full grown. Males can grow to a height of 28 inches while females can reach 26 inches. An 8-week-old English Pointer weighs around 7 pounds. They are considered fully grown at 18 months to 2 years old.

Health and Entertainment for your English Pointer

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Height (Male)28 inches tall
Height (Female)26 inches tall
Weight (Male)75 pounds, fully grown
Weight (Female)65 pounds, fully grown

Common Health Issues

This photo shows an English Pointer before and after getting a wart removed.


Most dogs have some common health issues, and the English Pointer is no exception. One of these issues is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia happens when the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together in the proper way. This causes it to limp, hop, or run in an awkward way. Physical therapy, supplements, weight loss, and surgery are all possible treatments for this condition. The specific treatment needed depends on the severity of the hip dysplasia.

A second common health issue is called bloat. This is when a dog’s stomach fills with fluid, gas, or even food. This brings on a twisting of the stomach that’s very dangerous to the dog’s health. A dog with bloat must be treated by a veterinarian right away.

Another health issue of these dogs is cataracts. Cataracts take the form of cloudiness in one or both of a dog’s eyes. Some dogs live fairly well with cataracts while others need surgery due to severe loss of vision. The most common health issues of this dog include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts

Temperament and Behavior

Red and white English Pointer running in the field.

English Pointers are incredibly fast runners, and they love to do it!

©Anna Pozzi – Zoophotos/Shutterstock.com

English Pointers were bred to be hunting dogs so it’s not an exaggeration to describe their behavior as very energetic! They enjoy running, jumping, and playing with family members. These dogs have friendly personalities and like being around people as well as other dogs.

Intelligence is one of the most appealing traits of this dog. Though these dogs can sometimes exhibit stubborn behavior, they pick up their obedience training lessons fairly easily. A family interested in a smart, energetic dog with a sweet temperament is likely to be pleased with an English Pointer.

How to Take Care of an English Pointer

English Pointer (5 months) in front of a white background.

English Pointers need significant amounts of time outdoors to be happy.


Whether someone plans to buy an English Pointer puppy or adopt an adult dog from a rescue organization, it’s important to learn all about this breed. Being aware of the healthcare, grooming, dietary, and exercise requirements of this dog can help an owner to take the best possible care of their pet.

The Best Dog Food for English Pointers

English Pointer adults and puppies need different types and amounts of nutrients to maintain optimal health. That means, giving an English Pointer a diet that includes certain nutrients can help to prevent some common health issues. So look at some information to keep in mind:

English Pointer puppy food: Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA support brain and vision development in this puppy. Lean protein contributes to healthy muscles, tissue, and joints. Protein is especially important in the diet of a dog prone to hip dysplasia. A high amount of calcium supports the bones of a growing puppy. Fat in this puppy’s diet supplies it with the energy it needs to run, jump, and explore.

English Pointer adult dog food: Lean protein in the form of chicken or fish contributes to maintaining healthy muscles and joints. Vitamin A supports eye health which helps in the fight against cataracts. Calcium is needed to maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C supports an adult dog’s immune system. A limited amount of fat in their diet gives these pets much-needed energy while not adding extra fat to their lean frame.

The A-Z Animals choice for the best dog food for English Pointers is Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food with Real Meat.

The salmon and brown rice recipe is ideal for English Pointers because the real fish provides natural omegas for head-to-toe wellbeing. Also, the food has supplementary glucosamine and chondroitin to keep the joints in great condition and combat hip dysplasia. Finally, the carrots are great for eye health since the breed can suffer from cataracts, and taurine has dual advantages for the heart and eyes.

Click below to see Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Meat Dog Food on Chewy or Amazon.

Best Dry Food
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice
  • Dry food with healthy grains and chicken for dogs.
  • Features real deboned chicken as the very first ingredient.
  • Developed with high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Includes essential vitamins, minerals, brown rice and ancient grains such as quinoa to aid in digestion.
  • Crafted in Hereford, TX and cooked in the USA.

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Maintenance and Grooming

How much does an English Pointer shed? These pointing dogs shed a low amount of hair. Furthermore, they have a coat of short hair that requires brushing every one or two days. A rubber grooming brush is useful for removing knots or small tangles in this dog’s coat. The rubber bristles of this brush reach down into this dog’s thin coat without scratching or hurting the skin beneath. A grooming glove is another valuable tool that makes it easy for an owner to brush a Pointer’s coat without missing any spots.

English Pointers are prone to a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. This condition can be brought on by an environmental allergy. The dog could be sensitive to pollen, dust, or other floating debris. A dog with atopic dermatitis usually spends a lot of time biting and scratching its skin. Red and dry patches of skin are other signs of this condition. A veterinarian can help an owner determine the source of the allergy and recommend treatment.


English pointer fetching a pheasant on a hunt.

English pointers are one of the best dog breeds to train for hunting.

©VP Photo Studio/Shutterstock.com

The intelligence of an English Pointer is a benefit when obedience training. However, many of these dogs are stubborn which can be a stumbling block during training. So, an owner training an English Pointer must be patient and persistent. The good part is that once this canine learns a lesson, it doesn’t forget it!

A bloodhound is another intelligent canine that can be difficult to train due to its strong, independent nature.


One of the main things to remember about this dog is it needs 60 minutes or more of exercise each day. Getting out in a field or in the woods to run is good for both its physical and emotional health. Going to a dog park or playing a game of chase or fetch in the backyard are great ways to give this dog proper exercise.

This pointing dog is a familiar sight in agility and sports activities and competitions for canines. One of the sports it excels in is called tracking. This sports activity requires a dog to follow a particular scent. Another sports activity English Pointers love is going over agility jumps. Though these dogs are large, they are nimble and light on their feet.

English Pointers are not suitable pets for apartment dwellers due to their size and active nature.


One consideration for English Pointer puppies relates to socialization. It’s best to start socializing puppies so they get used to knowing that the human is boss! This makes it a little easier when obedience training sessions begin.

Cute English Pointer puppy pointing at prey.

Pointer puppies are already able to perform their namesake signal at just a few months old.

©Nathan Claburn/Shutterstock.com

English Pointer and Children

Types of Pointer Dogs

Since pointers were bred to only locate prey instead of retrieving it, they are imbued with a calm demeanor that’s great for kids.

©Anna Pozzi – Zoophotos/Shutterstock.com

Socialized English Pointers are good with children. They have a gentle temperament and are known to be people pleasers.

Similar Breeds

Headshot of a bloodhound lying down on fallen leaves

Bloodhounds are much larger than English Pointers, but have a similar personality.

©Pleple2000, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Dogs similar to the English Pointer include bloodhounds, greyhounds and Labmaraners.

  • Bloodhounds-Like English Pointers, bloodhounds are known for their gentle temperament and intelligence. However, bloodhounds weigh more than English Pointers.
  • Greyhounds-Greyhounds and English Pointers are about the same size, and both have a gentle nature. But greyhounds are not as good with young children because their skin is delicate and can be injured easily.
  • Labmaraner-Labmaraners are smart hunting dogs like English Pointers and have a lot of energy. But, English Pointers have more coat color variations than Labmaraners.

Popular names for English Pointers include:

  • Kimberly
  • Cheyenne
  • Zena
  • Cleo
  • Jett
  • Gizmo
  • Pax
  • Ruby
  • Archie
  • Pepper

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

My name is Corinna! In my profile photo you can see me with one of my two cats, Bisky! The other's name is Yma and she's a beautiful black Bombay kitty. I'm 24 years old and I live in Birmingham, AL with my partner Anastasia and like to spend my free time making music, collecting records and reading. Some other animals I've owned were a hamster, 2 chihuahuas and many different kinds of fish.

English Pointer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does it cost to own an English Pointer?

The initial cost for purchasing an English Pointer puppy from a breeder is around $1100. There are also English Pointer rescue organizations that charge a small adoption fee for their dogs. Contacting a rescue organization is a good option for families that want to get an English Pointer at a lower cost.

The yearly cost for veterinary services ranges from $500 to $700.

Monthly food costs for this pointing canine range from $50 to $140.

Is an English Pointer good with kids?

Yes, socialized English Pointers are good with kids.

How long does an English Pointer live?

Their lifespan is from 12 to 17 years.

Are English Pointers good pets?

Yes, these dogs make good pets as long as they are given proper exercise each day.

Do English Pointers bark a lot?

No. These dogs are not frequent barkers.

Why do English Pointers shake?

English Pointers shake for a variety of reasons. For one, they have a thin coat and are especially sensitive to cold temperatures. This is why they do better in a warmer climate. Alternatively, they may shake because they’re frightened or suffering from separation anxiety. Also, these dogs sometimes shake with excitement. It all depends on what’s happening and the specific situation.

Are English Pointers easy to train?

They are relatively easy to train.

How do you train an English Pointer?

Train an English Pointer in a place with very few distractions. They are prey-driven so if they see a bird or rabbit they are quick to become distracted. Also, these dogs can be stubborn so it’s best to use patience and persistence when training.

What's the difference between the English pointer and the German shorthaired pointer?

The English pointer is larger than the German shorthaired pointer, and the English pointer is also found in more colors overall. Additionally, the German shorthaired pointer lives a slightly shorter lifespan on average compared to the English pointer.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.


  1. Wikipedia / Accessed June 29, 2021
  2. American Kennel Club / Accessed June 29, 2021

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