English Pointers are a true sporting dog who should not be confined indoors for a long period of time. They are athletic and energetic, and are happiest when they are running. They are sweet, gentle animals who are polite and welcoming to strangers and shouldn't be relied upon to be watchful guard dogs. They are best suited for active families, preferably those who enjoy hunting.
English Pointers are rowdy and rambunctious and need a lot of exercise; and just when you think they've had enough, they'll probably want more. This breed was not designed to be a household pet, but rather to be a sturdy, reliable hunting companion in the field, and the modern Pointer has not lost this desire. For owners who do not hunt, a commitment should be made to enroll their pointer in tracking or agility activities in order to satisfy their need to run and think. If a Pointer does not get enough exercise, they will resort to barking and chewing which may develop severe anxiety.
Training a Pointer in basic obedience can be difficult, but is an absolute necessity. They suffer from sporting dog ADD – they will be distracted by sights, sound and smells and will want to abandon training to chase after something more interesting. For this reason training should involve a lot food and should be conducted in short spurts. The two most valuable commands you can teach a rowdy pointer is “down” and “stay.”
House training a Pointer is a long process and many breeders and trainers recommend crating a Pointer until he gets the hang of it, which can unfortunately be several months.
Chasing is the Pointers biggest problem. Unless they are hunting in the field, they should be kept in a fenced-in yard or on a leash at all times. They will chase after anything that moves, and once they give chase, they are completely deaf to your calls to return home.
Rowdiness and hyperactivity are common in Pointers, even those who are properly exercised. They are always brimming with energy and love to greet everyone they meet, which usually involves a lot of jumping. Teaching a Pointer “down” and “stay” can save you from alienating your friends and neighbors.