Pointer Pitbulls, otherwise known as Pointer Pits, are a mix of two of the most lovable dogs in the world: Pointies and Pitties!
Like both breeds, Pointer Pits exhibit tremendous energy and impressive hunting instincts. They love the outdoors and spending time with their owners, so they make for fantastic family companions.
There’s surprisingly little information about Pointer Pitbulls online, and I want to fix just that with this comprehensive Pointer Pitbull guide. Here, I’ll discuss the following points related to Pointer Pitbults:
- Training and general intelligence
- Exercise requirements
- Common health complications
If you’re interested in getting a Pointer Pitbull, then this article is for you. Read on to learn more about these stunning beauties!
Pointer Pitbull Mix: A Brief Overview
Though not as popular as other Pointer and Pitbull mixes, Pointer Pits are nothing short of carefree and affectionate. They’re quickly becoming one of the more desirable mixes of dogs out there. Their protective and friendly nature further adds to their lovable persona, which is a blessing to owners with large families.
Unfortunately, not much is known about how Pointer Pits came to be. However, there’s a lot of important info we can divulge from purebred Pointers and Pitbulls. Knowing about their history and personality will help us understand Pointer Pitbulls a bit more!
Pointer Dogs: Strong-willed and Independent
Pointer dogs are a group of hunting dogs that were bred to sniff out and point small game to help a hunter locate it. They come in multiple breeds, including, but not limited to:
- English Pointer
- Large French Pointer
- Auvergne Pointer
- Old Danish Pointer
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Perdigueiro Portugueso
Though each of these dogs has a distinct personality, they more or less share the same traits: they’re intelligent, lively, and obedient. They’re brilliant sporting dogs, but many of them are excellent family pets.
Pointers were first recorded in 17th century England at around 1650. At first, they only assisted Greyhounds and hunters track down hares. But come the 18th century, hunters began using them as gundogs. Once the animal was shot, Pointers would locate and retrieve birds and small game, making them valuable assets to the sport.
Pointers are still used by modern-day hunters to track and retrieve game, but they’re more so used as a family companion and guard dog.
Pointers—especially German Shorthaired Pointers, are a popular breed in the US. They consistently place in the top 20 in the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed popularity ranking.
Personality-wise, Pointers are intelligent, independent, and even-tempered. They’re competitive but also fun-loving, making them well-suited to active homes.
Due to their high energy, Pointers need plenty of space and lots of daily exercises to keep them happy and healthy. Otherwise, they may act out and show destructive behavior, like excessive barking, chewing, and aggression.
Pitbulls: Gentle and Affectionate
Pitbulls are the very definition of don’t judge the book by its cover. They might look “mean” and aggressive, but they’re actually quite gentle and affectionate! They’re victims of bad stereotypes and myths, which have led several parts of the world to ban the ownership of the breed.
Pitbulls were originally bred from Old English Bulldogs and Terriers when the British Parliament enacted the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835.
Since this act prevented people from using Old English Bulldogs for bullfighting purposes, breeders decided to create a “smaller version” of Old English Bulldogs for dogfighting and ratting purposes. They were subsequently named “Pitbulls” because they were placed in pits to fight and kill rats.
When faced with a life-or-death situation, anyone can become aggressive. And back then, Pitbulls were just that: aggressive.
What people don’t realize is that Pitbulls aren’t actually aggressive by nature; instead, they were forced to aggression by irresponsible and abusive owners.
Unfortunately, the belief that Pitbulls were nothing more than killing machines has stuck. However, that couldn’t be far from the truth.
Today, Pitbulls are used for companionship, guarding, and herding. Pitbull-type dogs are the most popular strong breed dogs in the US, totaling around 20% of the US dog population. Despite that, they’re less likely to get adopted due to their bad reputation.
Pointer Pitbull Mix Characteristics: Size, Training, and Temperament
If you’re planning to purchase/adopt a Pointer Pitbull mix, here are some qualities and characteristics to expect:
Size and Weight
Pointer Pitbulls are medium-sized dogs that are built for both endurance and speed. Males stand between 20 to 28 inches in height and around 40 to 70 pounds in weight. Females are slightly smaller, normally around 17 to 25 inches tall and 30 to 50 pounds in weight.
Pointer Pitbulls are a mix of two different breeds of Pointers and Pitbulls, so they don’t have a “one-size-fits-all” description.
They can be as fluffy as a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon or as lithe as a Weimaraner. Alternatively, they may appear as buff as an American Bully or as compact as an American Pit Bull Terrier. It really depends on the hybrid’s parents.
Pointer Pitbull mixes can either resemble one parent more closely or inherit a mix of both parents’ features.
Regardless of the breed mix, one thing’s for sure: Pointer Pitbull mixes are solidly built, muscular dogs. They usually have wedge-shaped heads, half-pricked ears, and wide-set eyes.
As for their coat colors, there’s nearly an infinite amount.
Like other hybrids, Pointer Pitbull inherit the same coat colors as their parents. Pointers come in black, liver, orange, lemon, or any two combinations of these colors.
Pitbulls, on the other hand, come in multiple shades of black, white, tan, brown, gray, red, blue, fawn—the list goes on.
Pointer Pitbulls have even temperaments. They’re friendly and mild-mannered, but can be mischievous and rowdy at times. They’re excellent watchdogs and would protect their family no matter the cost.
Pointer Pitbulls get along well with everyone in the family except for young children. They’re not necessarily bad with children, but they can unintentionally hurt them by swiping them with a wagging tail or knocking them down due to their excitement.
Pointer Pitbulls are muscular dogs, so they’re not suited for homes with toddlers. But generally, Pointer Pitbulls aren’t bothered by rough play or small hands hugging or pulling them. This is especially true if socialized at a young age.
Pointer Pitbulls have inherited the independence of their Pointer half and the affectionate nature of their Pitbull half. They make good family pets due to their fun-loving and loyal personalities.
Training and Intelligence
Pointer Pitbull mixes are intelligent dogs, so they’re relatively easy to train.
Most of their trainability and intelligence come from their Pointer parent, since Pointers are the 19th smartest dog breed in both obedience and working intelligence. Pitbulls lag a bit behind at 94th and 48th place for obedience and working intelligence, respectively. This makes Pointer Pitbulls average to above average intelligent dogs.
Though sometimes stubborn, Pointer Pitbulls are fast learners when given firm, consistent training and rewards. Obedience training and socialization must start at an early age as this is when they pick up on a lot of behaviors—some of which are destructive.
Pointer Pitbull mixes need lots of exercise; perhaps more than the average dog. They’re just as active and energetic as their parents, if not more so. They need to be taken out on daily walks for at least 80 minutes.
On top of that, they must regularly partake in mentally stimulating games like dog puzzles, hide and seek, and treasure hunts.
If they don’t receive the exercise they need to release pent-up energy, they can develop behavior issues that can become destructive. As such, Pointer Pitbulls aren’t suited for busy, inactive, and “lazy” owners.
Pointer Pitbull Mix Grooming Needs
The grooming needs of Pointer Pitbulls depend on the thickness of their coats.
Pointer Pitbulls with thick, long hair needs to be brushed daily to prevent excessive shedding, tangles, and mats. Short-haired Pointer Pitbull mixes don’t need as much brushing, but doing so regularly is still beneficial to eliminate shedding.
Pointer Pitbulls don’t need to be bathed all that often. Unless they regularly roll in mud and soil, bathing them once every month is more than sufficient.
Like other dogs, their teeth need to be brushed a few times a week and their nails clipped once a month. You’ll know it’s time to clip their nails when you hear their nails tapping on hard surfaces.
Also, be sure to check their ears and eyes weekly. Most Pointer Pitbulls inherit the hanging ears of their Pointer parent, which are prone to infection. Regular cleaning is a must to prevent the development of ear complications.
Common Pointer Pitbull Mix Health Issues to Watch Out For
Pointer Pitbulls are generally healthy dogs. They have a lifespan of between 10 to 15 years, with some even reaching 17. Nonetheless, they’re not immune to health issues and complications. These are some of the most common:
Hip dysplasia is a common hip deformity that occurs during growth, usually around five to six months of age. It can cause swelling, stiffness, pain, and arthritis if not treated early.
Though mostly hereditary, hip dysplasia can occur due to improper or tough exercise, unbalanced nutrition, and rapid growth rate. Symptoms to look out include:
- Decreased range of motion and activity
- Difficulty running, climbing, jumping, or rising
- Swaying gait
- Reduced muscle mass in the thighs
- Chronic or occasional lameness
- Limping despite the lack of injury or trauma
- Cracking and popping sounds from the joints
Both Pointers and Pitbulls are at risk of eye problems as they grow old. This is further exacerbated with Pointer Pitbulls, as they’re a mix of the two breeds.
Common eye problems with Pointer Pitbulls include:
- Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
If left untreated, these issues can lead to irreversible blindness. Surgery is possible but they’re expensive and oftentimes ineffective, so care and prevention are key.
Protect and maintain Pointer Pitbull’s eyesight by visiting the veterinarian for eye checks at least once a year. These visits should increase in frequency as the dog grows old.
Like most dog mixes, Pointer Pitbulls are prone to allergic reactions. However, they’re genetically at risk to develop skin allergies and atopic dermatitis more than any other breed of dog.
Repeated exposure to allergens such as dust, pollen, grass, shampoos, mold, fleas, and the like increases the risk of skin allergies in Pointer Pitbulls and thus should be avoided as much as possible.
They’re also at risk for food allergies, so owners need to pay close attention to how they react after eating a certain food. Food allergies can ruin a dog’s digestive system and cause unfavorable symptoms, such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
Pointer Pitbull mixes are full-loving dogs with an independent streak. Though not quite as popular as other crossbreeds, Pointer Pitbull mixes are nothing short of phenomenal. They’re basically the best of both worlds: as affectionate as Pitbulls and as protective and alert as Pointers!
Pointer Pitbull mixes aren’t too challenging to train, but they can be stubborn at times. As such, they need a firm, consistent hand to guide them. They must be socialized at a young age to let them get used to people and young children, lest they show destructive behaviors like barking, chewing, and aggression around strangers.
Should You Get a Pointer Pitbull Mix?
Pointer Pitbull mixes are suitable for any family. Even so, you might want to skip them if you have young children or toddlers in the house, as they can intentionally injure them or knock them down due to their high energy and compact build.
Pointer Pitbull mixes are intelligent and independent, but that can manifest in stubbornness if not properly trained. For this reason, only get this crossbreed if you have experience with dogs.
Finally, this crossbreed is only suitable for active households that can regularly go out on long walks. Pointer Pitbull mixes are high-energy dogs so they must partake in daily activities and dog sports.