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Home Adoptable Dogs Volunteer to Help Need Our Help? Partners & Friends Success Stories Support Pointer Rescue Contact Us

Thinking about adopting a Rescue Pointer?

Should you decide to apply to adopt a Rescue Pointer once you've read this page,
click here to fill out an adoption application form

Note that some dogs listed on our Website for adoption/rescue may be "referrals" from individuals and shelters/pounds not directly affiliated with our group -- we, therefore, consider all information listed on our Website about any dog to be "as is, where is, with all faults." Information provided through our Website is simply offered in the spirit of helping Pointers in need!

Color: Black, Liver, Orange or Lemon either solid or in combination with white. All colors can include "ticking" (little speckles), either light or heavy, on the white areas of the coat. There are also tri-colored Pointers, but are very rare and (as of yet) never available through Rescue.

Size: Including field lines (as show lines tend to have slightly more standardized sizes) Pointers can range from 25 pounds to 80 pounds. Generally, dogs are 55-75 pounds and bitches* are 40-65 pounds. Height is usually in the neighborhood of 21"-28" at the shoulders.

Temperament: Pointers in general are very sociable, both with people and other dogs. A large percentage of the rescues available are from working (hunting dog) bloodlines which gives them a slightly different look and temperament. Pointers are bred to work alongside their human companions. It is of the utmost importance that a Pointer be given contact with his** family, and that he be socialized outside the home so that he will readily accept new people and new situations. Pointers are usually good with children and other animals, particularly if they are raised with them. Care should be taken that both dog and child are taught the proper behavior toward one another, and no dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Exercise Requirements: While Pointers do need, and love, regular exercise they are quite settled in the house. In fact, if you don't allow pets on your furniture, you might need to consider another breed -- Pointers are couch potatoes!!! They are quite content with you sitting on the floor while they are spread out across the couch or bed! Even some people who have said "Oh that won't be a problem we don't allow animals on our furniture" have chosen to soften their stance after their fist glimpse of a content sleeping Pointer curled up on the couch.

Pointers love to run and many of the stray or pound dogs we have are runaways who have not found their previous owners. Pointers can be great jogging companions and although an hour's walk may be plenty of exercise for you and us, Pointers generally prefer to run. The perfect situation is a place where it is safe to let your dog off leash and you can walk for an hour and they can run. We do not recommend allowing a newly adopted Rescue dog off leash for at least six months outside of a fenced area unless you have done some serious obedience work, especially recall training or have taught the "Come" command. Remember Pointers are bred to hunt wild birds and range over a large amount of ground so the hunter doesn't have to do all that work. Until they are trained to stay on point when they initially stop to point, they will more likely try to catch the bird and chase it further away from you. Which, if you are not a hunter, only presents the problem of having your dog further away and less interested in you than the bird.

All dogs benefit from formal obedience training, and this will be particularly helpful with your Rescue Pointer. You and the dog can work through some of his bad habits, and you can make clear to him what is now expected in his new home. Most Rescue Pointers take surprisingly well to obedience training, being eager to please, and we have been amazed at how quickly many of these dogs pick up the basics.

Many behavioral issues can be either resolved or made significantly better with at least 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise such as a run at the state park, throwing a ball in your back yard or jogging with the dog.

Care of your Rescue Pointer: Pointers have a short, dense coat which does not often need to be brushed -- however, a hard rubber curry comb brushing once a week often helps with shedding.

We make it a practice that all rescued Pointers which have been fostered through our Rescue effort will be spayed or neutered before becoming available for adoption. These dogs will have received Rabies and distemper vaccines. We also test dogs fostered through PointerRescue.Org, Inc. for heartworm, but you will need to get the heartworm preventative medication. If there are any other medical concerns discovered during the dog's physical examine while under our PointerRescue.Org, Inc. volunteer's care you will be notified -- we cannot offer any guarantees regarding health, temperament, suitability, etc. as often we don't know the whole history of the dog. We make our best effort to evaluate a dog fostered through PointerRescue.Org, Inc. regarding health and temperament before it is available for outside adoption.

A few Words about Fencing: Having a fenced yard makes owning any dog much safer and easier, but is nearly essential with a Pointer. Pointers enjoy being outdoors and exercising their considerable stamina and speed, and as they are bred to cover more ground than their human companion (to save effort when hunting with your Pointer), your Rescue Pointer might be inclined to follow his nose and stretch his legs more than might be good for you and him. A rescued Pointer will not be familiar with your home and boundaries and rarely understands traffic or roads, and must be safeguarded from his own instinct to hunt when not in a suitable place to do so. Keeping your Rescue Pointer inside a fence or kennel or on a leash will protect him from becoming lost or injured when outdoors enjoying the open

Many adoptive homes have opted for invisible fencing which has been known to work very well for many breeds of dogs as long as training is not rushed. Invisible fencing is also a cost-effective alternative to conventional fencing and disallows digging and jumping.

A few words about Obedience Training: Pointers generally love to work for their owners. All Rescue dogs need to establish a relationship with their new owners, and a positive group obedience class is a great way to do it. Pointers need fair, consistent, positive training. They will shut down if you are too harsh with them. We recommend that you watch a few classes before signing up and don't be hesitant to travel a little farther to a great class, than save a few minutes and not get help or support. A six- or eight-week class can be beneficial after initial adoption, as it gives you a regular forum for questions you may be having. You and your Rescue Pointer should feel comfortable in the class and feel that the instructor is available to answer questions if necessary. Don't be afraid to change classes if you are displeased with the instruction, but remember that what you learn in class must be reinforced at home.

A few words about Crate Training: We have several VERY STRONG suggestions for prospective homes -- and crate training is one of our strongest recommendations. Many of these Rescue dogs have been picked up as strays. Many lived their lives before they came to your house as outdoor dogs. We try very hard to get these dogs into foster (temporary) homes whenever possible, in order to better evaluate their housemanners. At least one of our volunteers has fostered nearly 60 Rescue Pointers and she states that all, without exception, adapted quickly and well to the house. Crates give your dog a safe, quiet private place to be when you are not home, too busy to supervise, or simply when the dogs decide they need their own time out. Many dogs will voluntarily go to their crates and love to sleep and rest and store their toys in them. Furthermore, as this is a national organization it is likely that your dog will be shipped to you via airplane, which requires you to buy (or send) a crate. Most everyone who fosters uses crates, so it is very likely that the dog will already be used to the crate. Until your Rescue Pointer knows the rules at your house, it is a good spot for him to rest while you cannot supervise his investigation of his new home.

What to expect with a Rescue Dog: The information we have on Rescue dogs runs the gamut from a full history from a previous owner or breeder, to nothing beyond when the dog was picked up from the shelter. Lots of early life experiences will affect how each dog reacts to new situations. We try to evaluate each dog in its foster home with kids, cats, other dogs, men, women etc. You may find a situation that your dog has not encountered, or had a bad experience with, that you will need to work through. Sometime 'triggers' might be baseball caps, canes or umbrellas, or man with a beard, that causes a dog to react unexpectedly. The first few months with your Rescue Pointer will be spent discovering foibles and working with those behaviors you find unacceptable, and accepting those that are OK. Remember to be fair and consistent in handling your Rescue Pointer, and feel free to contact the dog's previous foster home/Rescue contact if you have questions or problems. Around 3-6 months after a dog goes to a new home you may find it testing your resolve as "leader of the pack" and it might regress a bit on its training -- back up a few steps either in training or in restricting freedom for a few weeks and then move forward again. Again, your foster home and the Rescue contacts are available to answer questions, even long after the dog has been adopted. We want you and the dog to be happy, and we are happy to be available to help you and your Rescue Pointer adjust to his new home

Interesting Reading:

Footnote 1: In the "dog world" the terms dog and bitch refer to male and female dogs, respectively
Footnote 2: References to the male gender in discussing Pointers throughout this document are used strictly for convenience, and in no way imply preference for one gender over another.