Knowing what age your pointer stops growing is important. The same reason we have BMI and growth charts, pointers have healthy levels that they should be staying within. It also helps to know how big the dog you want is going to get and how long it will take them to get there.
A pointer is considered grown at 2 years old. Pointers will stop growing physically around 1.5 – 2 years old. However, cognitive development is usually completed around the 2-year mark.
A pointer’s age can tell you a lot of information about their growth, physical limitations, hunting abilities, and cognitive development. It’s not enough to simply know how many years it takes to get a fully grown dog, but it’s important to know what you can and should do in that time to help them be as healthy as possible.
Pointers Growth Patterns
Pointers have a life expectancy of 12-15 years. They’re strong dogs with lean bodies. Their body shape can be fully attributed to their original use; pointers were bred as hunting dogs.
Pointers will usually reach physical adulthood at a year and a half years old. It has been noted multiple times that pointers are a little slower than some breeds when it comes to development.
They are lean and muscled for speed and agility. Their ears flop on both sides of their head, and their muzzle connects sharply to the forehead creating a characteristic dip.
Their full cognitive development and mental maturity will be reached at around 2 years of age.
As they grow, they are able to pick up new skills and abilities. There are certain ages that they should be doing things due to their point in growth and some ages where they should not do certain things.
Being educated on these little nuances of owning a pointer can help keep your dog happy and healthy. It will also allow you to get the most out of your wonderful pooch.
Know this: a dog’s growth is a lot more than physical. You have to make sure their growth in socialization, training, and cognition is developing at the right times, too.
Pointers Size and Weight
Not all pointers are going to be the same size at the same time. Some may be naturally smaller than another pointer. Some may also develop a little slower or a little faster than another.
Pointers are a medium sized dog breed fully grown. Here is a chart found at thehappypuppysite that maps out the general age-weight relationship of a medium-sized dog. Obviously, this isn’t an exact science to fit all dogs, but it gives us a good idea of how growth works as they age.
|0 months||10 oz|
|2 months||7 lbs|
|4 months||21 lbs|
|6 months||30 lbs|
|8 months||35 lbs|
|12 months||38 lbs|
|Full Grown Pointer||45-75 lbs|
It’s important to know how weight factors into growth since it is easy for dogs to become obese. If they aren’t fed the right kind or amount of food, they can quickly be outside of the healthy range.
Now, don’t take the above numbers as absolutes, but they do demonstrate a general weight that your dog should be around at a certain age. If you have any concerns, consult with your vet.
Every dog is going to be different, but obesity is never good for a dog’s growth or health.
You will find that most female pointers are naturally smaller than their male counterparts. Their cognitive development seems to take slightly less time, too.
Females are typically preferred hunting companions, but there aren’t enough factors that can declare that the gender of your pointer makes much of a difference in the hunting game.
Full grown pointer weight and size differ depending on individual dog and gender. Here are a few ranges that the majority of male and female pointers fit into.
|Gender||Height Range||Weight Range|
|Adult Female||23 – 26 inches||45 – 65 lbs.|
|Adult Male||25 – 28 inches||55 – 75 lbs.|
Pointer Life Events
Certain things can be accomplished by a pointer as they age and grow. For example, pointer puppies aren’t very good at hopping up on a tall couch due to their tiny legs and minimal muscle strength.
However, once they are a couple of months old, they will have little trouble accomplishing this feat.
Growth follows the natural progression of age. This doesn’t just include physical growth, but growth in what they can do in life and in training.
A lot more goes into growth than meets the eye. They have social, mental, and physical growth to consider that all follow the natural flow of aging.
For pointers, and many other dog breeds, growth can be helped along by training. At as little as 8 weeks old, a pointer can begin training and socializing.
At 2 months old, their cognitive growth has reached a point where their natural instincts begin to manifest themselves. Many people have seen pointers actually starting to “point” when they reach 2 months of age.
Since pointers are classically known for their hunting abilities, here is a chart that was made from the OutdoorLife website’s analysis of pointers hunting advancements.
|2-4 months||socialization w/ people and dogs|
|5- 7 months||formal obedience training and learning commands|
|8-11 months||begin true pointing and introducing birds|
|12-16 months||pointing birds in the field|
According to multiple sources, hunting specific training begins between 6 – 12 months depending on your dog’s responsiveness to the exercises and your own personal preferences. Age isn’t always the deciding factor since some pointers can mature faster than others or at least show interest in learning whereas others may not.
For hunting specifically, age, weight, and general growth are not going to dictate when your dog will learn to hunt. This happens through willingness, personality, perseverance by the owner, and physical ability at the time.
If your pointer is receptive and well socialized in multiple settings, you can start trying to train them for hunting.
It’s also important to note that training your pointer will never be done no matter how old they are. Good habits are hard to establish, but they’re easy to maintain through consistency.
It may seem silly to connect life events with a dog’s age, but it can be important in your decision making throughout their lives.
Pointers are very athletic and require a lot of exercise. Some owners find a good way to have fun, exercise, and expel their pointer’s energy is through runs and bike rides. Something that is important to note is that it’s not recommended to do these particular activities with your pointer until they’re at least 2 years old.
This is recommended because their legs and joints are still developing. Running on hard surfaces trying to keep up with someone else (not that it’s hard because pointers could run circles around all of us for hours on end) can damage their joints and cause them problems and pain for the rest of their lives.
This is not to discourage physical activity with your pointer. It is simply to say that between 0-2 years old, you should have your pointer run around and play in organic environments: grass, dirt, forests, etc.
When they reach their full development, pointers are better able to handle the effects of hard surfaces. Know your pointer and keep them safe.
Health Problems that Affect Growth
If you want your pointer to follow a natural growth progression and be healthy, you have to make the right decisions for them.
There are natural health problems that pointers can have with no fault to you. It’s just the nature of the breed. This can include things like hip dysplasia, eye problems, and epilepsy.
Things that you can do to help your dog grow healthily is through their dog food and supplements.
Always consult a veterinarian before introducing vitamins or medications into your dog’s diet.
As for pet food, your vet can help with that decision also. You want to get high-quality dog food that will nourish your pointer’s muscles and brain. Generally, pointers should have 2-3 cups of dry food each day. These should be evenly split up between two meals.
Pointers are very intelligent and athletic. They require physical and mental stimulation as well as good food to support those things. Feeding your pointer good food in correct portions will go a long way to helping them grow at the rate they’re supposed to.