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Canadian Pointer
Canadian pointer.jpg
Canadian Pointers may vary in color
Other names Adirondak Pointing Dog
Country of origin United States
This breed is accepted by the American Rare Breed Association

A Canadian Pointer is a breed of dog, developed as a gundog from the northeastern United States in the late 19th century. The Canadian Pointer is used primarily in hunting upland game.





Canadian Pointers are medium-sized dogs of muscular stature and a narrower gait than their English Pointer counterparts. Their front quarter and hind create a narrower stance than most pointers and they are traditionally less agile than other gundogs. The ears of the Canadian Pointer are shorter than those of both the English Pointer and Portuguese Pointer and the tail is of fuller coat and not straight as that of the English Pointer. The tail will traditionally measure 10-12 inches and will appear with a curl approximately three-fourths the length of the tail.

Coat and Colour

The coat of the Canadian Pointer is short and course, traditionally maintained at 1 1/2 inches. The thicker coat is the single most distinguishable trait of the dog from the English Pointer as the Canadian Pointer was specifically bred for game pointing in colder climates of the northeastern U.S. and Canada. There are three accepted variations of colour in the Canadian Pointer: black & white, brown (dark) & white, brown (light) & white. Spotting of the coat's specific opaque colour will appear throughout the body, but most especially upon the legs. Spotting on the face and nose is typically frailed upon in the standard of the breed.

Size and Age

Size of the Canadian Pointer is approximately 22-30 inches in height and approximately 45-60 pounds in weight. The average lifespan is 12-15 years.

Breed Average Height Average Weight
Male 30 inches or less 48-60 pounds
Female 22-28 inches 44-54 pounds
  • While this table provides averages for Canadian Pointer height and weight, variations may occur due to health issues or diet.


Canadian Pointers like most gundogs are of even temperament and are congenial as house pets. Though originally bred for the outdoors, they are perfectly content as a house dog lounging on the family sofa. They will insist on being part of the pack and do well in family settings with small children.

They are noted for their observance and keen sense of smell. They are extremely intelligent dogs and are prone to getting out of tricky situations. They are also noted for their protective nature of the owner and property. Socialization and integration with other dogs at a young age is essential for proper training of the dog for use as a house pet.


A healthy 3 year old brown & white Canadian Pointer.

Although most Canadian Pointers are healthy, they can suffer from certain problems including: hip dysplasia, cherry eye, epilepsy, allergies, and a luxating patella is a common occurrence in the knee where the leg is often bow shaped,

Like many floppy-eared breeds, Canadian Pointers can be subject to ear infections.

The average lifespan of a Canadian Pointer is about 12-15 years in length.


Canadian Pointers were originally bred in parts of Maine and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York in the late 1880's as a longer-hair version of the popular English Pointer. Despite its name, the breed was not developed in Canada, though many believe the origin of the name is taken from the fact that early developers of the breed used Labrador Retrievers (indigenous to Canada) in cross-breeding with English Pointers and Portuguese Pointers. The breed fell almost into complete extinction by the 1930's until it was revitalized by a few breeders in Connecticut. Today, the Canadian Pointer remains one of the smallest of breeds with only 114 registered dogs in the U.S.

AKC Recognition

The American Kennel Club has refused to recognize the Canadian Pointer since 1937, due mainly to the fact that early breeders admitted to cross-breeding of the dogs with Labrador Retrievers and the keeping of poor pedigree records to authenticate the breed. The Canadian Pointer Club of America maintains that the breed is now "bred true" and therefore deserves recognition in the AKC. Despite recent efforts to bring the breed into mainstream recognition in the AKC, it remains an obscure and small breed with less than four kennel clubs in the United States breeding the dog.

External links


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