Pointer

Lifestyle Needs

Pointer

The Pointer is a large, strong, athletic dog whose job is to ‘point out’ game on the hunting field by.  He is able to run fast over a considerable area and generally needs more than two hours exercise every day.  Ideally he should live a house with a garden with plenty of opportunity to run free in the open countryside.  The Pointer’s smooth, short coat is easy to keep clean, but he will need regular grooming.  Pointers do not make ideal family pets due to their strong hunting drive.  The temperament in this breed can be challenging if care is not taken to ensure a good temperament background.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.9% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS

61.63

EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

Bloat/Torsion (stomach fills with air and can twist causing intense pain and requiring immediate vet treatment.  Common in deep chested breeds.

BVA/KC Health Schemes: www.bva.co.uk/chs

  • Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability):  breed mean score 9.3 (parents should be lower)
  • Eye disease:  Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision) (annual testing)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
www.thekennelclub.org.uk/about-ebvs

DNA Tests Available

  • Von Willebrands Disease (vWD) Type 2
  • Cone degeneration

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Heart disease:  Aortic stenosis (narrowing of aortic valve)
  • Cancer (various forms)
  • Allergic skin disease (can cause intense itching)
  • Hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland, causing lethargy, coat changes, obesity)
  • Epilepsy
  • Wobbler syndrome (lack of hind limb co-ordination)
  • Shoulder osteochondritis (leads to forelimb lameness)
  • Entropion (inward folding of the eyelid)
  • Cataract
  • Deafness

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):  www.puppycontract.org.uk

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:
www.dogbreedingreformgroup.uk/the-standard-for-dog-breeding.html

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds