Official AKC Standard for the Pointer

Approved November 11, 1975

General Appearance

The Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield: he should unmistakably look and act the part. The ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace: the head noble, proudly carried: the expression intelligent and alert: the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an animal whose every movement shows him to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man.


The Pointer’s even temperament and alert good sense make him a congenial companion both in the field and in the home. He should be dignified and should never show timidity toward man or dog.

Head – The skull of medium width, approximately as wide as the length of the muzzle, resulting in an impression of length rather than width. Slight furrow between the eyes, cheeks cleanly chiseled. There should be a pronounced stop. From this point forward the muzzle is of good length, with the nasal bone so formed that the nose is slightly higher at the tip than the muzzle at the stop. Parallel planes of the skull and muzzle are equally acceptable. The muzzle should be deep without pendulous flews. Jaws ending square and level, should bite evenly or as scissors. Nostrils well developed and wide open.


Set on at eye level. When hanging naturally, they should reach just below the lower jaw, close to the head, with little or no folding. They should be somewhat pointed at the tip — never round — and soft and thin in leather.

Illustrated Standard

The American Pointer Club Illustrated Standard (PDF format) can be downloaded below.

Please visit our store to obtain the Powerpoint presentation illustrating many facets of the breed.


Of ample size, rounded and intense. The eye color should be dark in contrast with the color of the markings, the darker the better.


Long, dry, muscular, and slightly arched, springing cleanly from the shoulders.


Long, thin, and sloping. The top of blades close together.


Elbows well let down, directly under the withers and truly parallel so as to work just clear of the body. Forelegs straight and with oval bone. Knee joint never to knuckle over. Pasterns of moderate length, perceptibly finer in bone than the leg, and slightly slanting. Chest, deep rather than wide, must not hinder free action of forelegs. The breastbone bold, without being unduly prominent. The ribs well sprung, descending as low as the elbow-point.


Strong and solid with only a slight rise from croup to top of shoulders. Loin of moderate length, powerful and slightly arched. Croup falling only slightly to base of tail.Tuck-up should be apparent, but not exaggerated.


Heavier at the root., tapering to a fine point. Length no greater than to hock. A tail longer than this or docked must be penalized. Carried without curl, and not more than 20 degrees above the line of the back: never carried between the legs.


Muscular and powerful with great propelling leverage. Thighs long and well developed. Stifles well bent. The hocks clean: the legs straight as viewed from behind. Decided angulation is the mark of power and endurance.










  • Height– 25-28 inches
  • Weight– 55-75 pounds


  • Height– 23-26 inches
  • Weight– 45-65 pounds


Oval, with long, closely-set, arched toes, well-padded, and deep. Catfoot is a fault. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed.


Short, dense, smooth with a sheen.


Liver, lemon, black, orange: either in combination with white or solid-colored. A good Pointer cannot be a bad color. In the darker colors, the nose should be black or brown: in the lighter shades it may be lighter or flesh-colored.


Smooth, frictionless, with a powerful hindquarters’ drive. The head should be carried high, the nostrils wide, the tail moving from side to side rhythmically with the pace, giving the impression of a well-balanced, strongly-built hunting dog capable of top speed combined with great stamina. Hackney gait must be faulted.

Balance and Size

Balance and over-all symmetry are more important in the Pointer than size. A smooth, balanced dog is to be more desired than a dog with strongly contrasting good points and faults. Hound or terrier characteristics are most undesirable. Because a sporting dog must have both endurance and power, great variations in size are undesirable, the desirable height and weight being within the following limits: