Pointer dogs are known for their unique hunting skills and intelligence. They’re gun dogs who help hunters catch birds and other game by pointing with their bodies at where the game has fallen.
They can also be your sports companion due to their energy and strength. Moreover, like any other dog, pointer dogs are loyal to their owners and great pets indoors as much as outdoors.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best pointer dogs, including information about the breeds’ histories, their features, and their special characteristics.
German Wirehaired Pointer
The German Wirehaired is known for its harsh and thick wiry coat, which helps it endure cold weather and water. Their standard colors are liver, liver with white, and black with white, with roan, ticked, or spotted markings.
The male German Wirehaired’s height ranges from 24 to 26 inches while the female ranges from 22 to 24 inches. It weighs 50 to 70 pounds.
These dogs are of medium size, and like most hunting dogs, they have a muscular body as well. They’ve got a long muzzle, shaggy beards, and brows, which are the breed’s primary sensors.
Resilience and determination are two features that this German dog is known for. They’re also for their strong prey drive.
Such characteristics mean that they need daily outdoor activities to practice and stay energetic.
In addition, if kept in the house for long with physical or mental stimuli, they may misbehave.
Yet, the German Wirehaired are loyal and can be excellent watchdogs for your children and family.
The Portuguese Pointer is one of the oldest hunting breeds. It originated in the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal.
The Portuguese Pointer is known to have short sleek coats. They have special standard colors of light yellow, red with yellow, and yellow with white markings.
Their height usually ranges from 20.5 to 22 inches. They’re medium-sized dogs that weigh around 35 to 59 pounds. The Portuguese Pointer lifespan is around 14 years.
Portuguese Pointers are intelligent and energetic dogs. Young ones are especially active. They’re curious dogs that need to train and exercise regularly.
Moreover, they’re known to be dedicated dogs that stick to their owners when hunting, which can make them good sports companions when jogging or biking. This dedication also makes them affectionate pets. They’re friendly with kids and around family.
The English Pointer’s most unique trait comes from its name. It has great pointing and retrieving skills compared to many other pointers.
They’re one of the oldest breeds that appeared in England around 1650, and also one of the first to be registered in the US.
English pointers are sturdy dogs with intense dark eyes and a short smooth coat. Their coats are usually with a sheen and in different colors that can be solid or with patterns.
The life expectancy of an English Pointer is 12 to 17 years. The males usually weigh 55 to 75 pounds and their height is around 25 to 28 inches. On the other hand, the females weigh 45 to 65 pounds and their height ranges from 23 to 26 inches.
Pointers are agile and energetic dogs that need lots of daily exercise outdoors. They’re fast sport dogs, which makes them good companions in running, biking, or jogging.
They can be noisy sometimes when they sense changes or danger. Giving your dog enough physical and mental work leads to them being good pets when indoors. Some outdoor exercise can make them content inside for the rest of the day.
They’re a smart breed, so they’re known for their role in therapy work as well as rescuing and searching services.
The Pudelpointer is also another breed that originated in Germany. It’s a cross between a poodle and a pointer. In 1956, they were imported to the US and Canada.
Pudelpointer dogs have dark amber eyes and a beard that give them their friendly look. They’re wire-haired with a rough coat and a dense undercoat to protect them from cold.
Their colors mostly ranged from light brown to black and could also have white markings. They’re 22-26 inches high and weigh 45-70 pounds with a life span of 14 years.
Pudelpointers are known to be agile dogs, which add to their friendly look and character.
They’re family-friendly and playful, which makes excellent good pets. As they still need a daily let out, you can exercise them indoors and outdoors with some fetching games. They’re very good swimmers and, therefore, sports like swimming and running can be good outdoor exercise.
As for hunting, their coat and their swimming skills give them the advantage of catching and retrieving waterfowl without cold or water being an obstacle.
Also called the Italian Griffon Pointer and the Italian Coarsehaired Pointer, the Spinone Italiano is a breed that originated in Italy a long time ago.
These beautiful dogs are famous for their yellowish-brown, soft eyes, and their tufted beard friendly that gives a soft expression. They’ve got a large triangular nose and muscular bodies.
The coats of the Spinone Italiano dogs are wiry and dense, and their skins are thick. The male’s height is 23 to 27 inches, and the female’s height is 22 to 25 inches.
Some of their standard colors are white, white with oranges, and white with brown. They can also have brown and orange markings.
Their playful and friendly nature makes this Italian breed family-oriented. They don’t need lots of outdoor exercises and can be exercised at home.
When hunting or trained, they excel, as they’ve got a good smelling sense, and their beards and facial hair improve their hunting senses. This hair also protects their faces, just like the thick coats help them endure cold.
Spinone dogs are energetic and don’t tire easily, yet, they can sometimes be stubborn and want to do things their way. Their owners need to be firm, yet not very rough when training them.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Although the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is known as a French breed, it’s originally a Dutch breed but developed majorly in France.
They have medium-sized bodies with a protective medium-length wiry coat, hence the name wirehaired. Yet, their ears covered with short hair.
German Wirehaired Griffon’s standard colors are brown with grey or chestnut, with roan or ticked markings.
Males weigh from 50 to 70 pounds and their height ranges from 22 to 33 inches. However, females usually have smaller bodies and weigh around 35 to 50 pounds. Their height is around 20 to 22 inches.
The Wirehaired Griffon dogs are known to be hardworking and obedient. They’re always willing to please their owners and so in need of attention.
They’re easy to train, thanks to their obedient nature. They need good outdoor training, so they won’t go messing around at home.
They’re good swimmers with a harsh coat to resist water and protect them against the cold. Also, the beard and mustache give them extra hunting sensors and protect their face when retrieving game.
Stabyhoun is a breed that originated in the Netherlands. It’s also known as the Frisian Pointer named after the Frisian forest in the Netherlands. It has growing popularity across Europe and North America.
They’ve got slightly round eyes and long ears. Their coats are of medium-length with a weather-resistant undercoat, but their tail is usually covered with long hair.
Frisian dogs’ colors are mostly black and white, brown with white markings, or with black or brown roans.
The dog’s height is from 19 to 21 inches, and it weighs 40 to 60 pounds. A Frisian dog lifespan is 13 to 15 years.
Frisian pointers are usually patient and obedient dogs; yet, sometimes they can be independent hunters. Therefore, they need good training and exercises.
They have excellent hunting skills as they’ve got sharp smelling sense and sharp eyes. They can also hunt in water.
They’re mostly very inquisitive and need good daily physical and mental stimulation. Still, they’re family-friendly and can be fun and protective dogs to all the family members.
Vizsla is one of the oldest breeds that has been around for centuries. This gun dog is also called the Hungarian Pointer and is famous for it’s hunting skills and silky coat.
These dogs are muscular and strong like most hunting dogs. They’re known for their sleek short coat, long silky ears, and affectionate eyes with a lively expression. Their silky coat is mostly in red or golden rust colors, and they don’t have an undercoat.
Vizsla males are of medium size, and weigh 55 to 60 pounds. Females weigh 44 to 55 pounds. Their males’ height ranges from 22 to 24 inches, and the females’ from 21 to 23 inches. A Vizsla is expected to live 12-14 years.
Whether hunting on land or in water, these dogs are very energetic and like to work with their owners. They can be good sports companions due to their great stamina.
Vizsla dogs are affectionate and family-oriented and don’t prefer being left alone for a long time. Although this can make them more demanding than some other dogs, it also makes them a good company for children and suitable watchdogs.
Pointers make good hunting and sports companions and good pets, whether for individuals or families. They’re smart dogs that are always ready for a new adventure.
However, they can be demanding when it comes to physical and mental exercises, but that adds to the fun of having a loyal and friendly companion. Like any other dog, they need effort and patience.