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Pointer Bay Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Pointer Bay Retriever

Height: 21 – 26 inches
Weight: 60 – 75 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Colors: Black, brown
Suitable for: Very active families with older children and a large yard
Temperament: Loyal, Caring, Energetic, Bouncy, Playful, Boisterous

The Pointer Bay is a hybrid that combines two well-known and highly-regarded hunting dogs: the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He makes an excellent hunting dog that is skilled at everything from retrieving to flushing out prey. He also retains the German Shorthaired’s pointing skills.

As a family companion, he is good-natured and loyal. He will usually do well with children of all ages, but he isn’t always aware of his own strength and can be very boisterous, so he needs to be watched when spending time with very small or young children.

This breed does better in a home with a large, secure yard. He is too energetic to live comfortably in an apartment. In any home, he will need regular exercise, ideally out in fields, and this breed usually takes well to the water as well as to dry land, so expect some muddy incidents. His acuity means that the Pointer Bay will flourish when given mental and physical tasks to perform, and he will take very well to agility and other training and physical games.

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Pointer Bay Puppies


When buying a puppy, you should always ensure that you buy from a reputable breeder. Check with the local hybrid club to find breeders nearby, or join breed groups on social media and in your area. These groups will be able to point you to a good breeder, and they will help you identify disreputable breeders.

When you do find a breeder, be sure to ask questions. Ensure that the parents have been tested for dysplasia and had other relevant health checks. Try to meet the parent dogs. The mother is the most likely to be available. You can tell a lot about a puppy by their parents, and they will pick up a lot of their early socialization and adaptability skills from their mother.

Be prepared for a good breeder to ask questions about you and your lifestyle. They should want to ensure that the breed is a good match for any potential owner so they will want to ensure that you can provide a lot of exercise and may ask about your home and yard.

You may find Pointer Bays in rescues. Their boisterous nature and their high energy levels can prove to be more than most potential owners expect, so a rescue Pointer Bay may simply be typical of the breed. On the other hand, their boisterous nature means that they can cause accidents with small children, so this may be a possible reason for this breed being put up for adoption.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Pointer Bay

1. The German Shorthaired Pointer Is Multitalented

Although it was obviously first bred for hunting, at which it truly excels, the German Shorthaired Pointer has been successfully used for a whole host of tasks. They make excellent guard dogs, have been used for sled pulling and other pulling events, and they are regularly still used as explosives sniffer dogs. The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing was donated one of these dogs by American Legion member, George C. Evans, which is used to sniff out explosive devices.

Despite their utility in many areas, however, it is in hunting that their skills are truly renowned. They have sharp claws to help them over rough terrain, and a water-resistant coat that means they are equally at home in the water. They have been used to hunt animals ranging from squirrels to board.

2. The Pointer Points At Game

The Shorthaired Pointer, like other Pointer breeds, gets his name from the stance that he adopts when he spots any game. They lower their heads so that their spine, neck, and the top of their head are in a straight line, stare in the direction of their quarry, and lift one front paw. When the huntsman sees this pose, he knows that his faithful Pointer has found something worth tracking and hunting.

3. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Was Bred As A Water Dog

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is also a hunting dog and is similarly capable in water, so you should expect your Pointer Bay to enjoy spending time in the ocean, lakes, rivers, and puddles. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever comes from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, where the water is known to be cold and choppy.  Their Newfoundland ancestors enable them to survive the cold weather and harsh conditions. They can withstand icy conditions, and their hunting heritages means that they are excellent trackers. The breed is known for being a highly capable game hunter and retriever.

Parent Breeds of the Pointer Bay
Image Credit: (L) Kerrie T, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Divider 3Temperament & Intelligence of the Pointer Bay 🧠

The Pointer Bay is bred from two renowned hunting parent breeds and, as such, you should expect a strong hunter. As a family pet, the breed will require a lot of hunting-like activity. They require plenty of exercise, will not do well living in an apartment, and will enjoy activities that challenge them physically and mentally. Despite their similarities, there are some differences between the two breeds, and the exact characteristics of your dog will depend on which traits he adopts from which parent.

Are Pointer Bays Good for Families? 🏡

The Pointer Bay is generally considered a friendly dog that will get along with just about everybody. The German Shorthaired Pointer is known to be very good with children. However, the Bay Retriever can be boisterous, doesn’t know his own strength, and will need close supervision when spending time with very young and small children. Both breeds can be high-energy, so it is a good idea to supervise time between the hybrid breed and children. With that said, the Pointer Bay will adore spending time playing with any member of the family. They are smart and have boundless energy. They will especially enjoy time spent in the yard, chasing a ball or playing with some other toy.

Do Pointer Bays Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

This is another area where the two parents differ. The German Shorthaired is dog friendly and will get along with almost any household dog. On the other hand, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a lot more cautious around other dogs, and he may not mix well with other canines within your home. Introduce your new dog to existing pets slowly and calmly, and separate them if there is any sign of trouble.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Pointer Bay:

The Pointer Bay is a strong and courageous dog that loves exercise and usually loves his family. However, his high energy levels and smart mind mean that he is not suitable for all families and all living situations. Before buying one of this breed, consider the following factors.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Pointer Bay is an energetic dog and has food demands to match. He will eat approximately 2.5 cups of food a day, and this should be a high-quality food with a good quality protein source. Be sure to measure the amount of food you give, separate the daily allowance into two or three meals, and feed more or less depending on whether your dog has high or low energy expenditure.

Exercise 🐕

When it comes to energy expenditure, this hybrid has a lot of it to expend. They require a lot of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy, and you should expect to provide an absolute minimum of 90 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. If you can offer agility, rally sports, and water sports, then they will benefit from this even more.

Training 🦮

The Pointer Bay’s mind is as active as its body, and it requires just as much exercise. This can come in the shape of agility and other competitive classes, but it should also involve training. Training susceptibility will depend on whether your Pointer Bay inherits the traits of the Pointer or the Retriever.

The Chesapeake can be stubborn and independent, while the German Shorthaired Pointer can be easily distracted. In either case, you should try to make training fun and ensure that it is consistent. Both dogs are considered friendly with people, but early socialization is still advised because this will help teach the dog that new situations are nothing to be afraid of.

Grooming ✂️

Weekly brushing will help keep the Pointer Bay comfortable and looking good. It shouldn’t be necessary to have the hair groomed or cut, but because the breed loves to spend time in water and muddy puddles, you may have to provide occasional baths. Bathing should only ever be done when absolutely necessary because bathing too frequently can strip the dog of protective oils.

With that said, dogs that spend a lot of time in the fields, and especially those that go in the water, should be checked for skin irritations and parasites when they get home.

You will have to help maintain your dog’s teeth and gums. You will need to brush his teeth three times a week, and it is best to start this when they are a puppy so that you both get used to the process.

Their nails may also need clipping, although this breed uses its sharp claws to help get over rough terrain, and this is worth bearing in mind if you intend to take him hunting or over rough ground. Clipping is usually necessary for a companion dog about once every month.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Pointer Bay is prone to a number of genetic health conditions from both sides of its lineage. In particular, keep an eye out for symptoms of the following conditions, and seek veterinarian assistance if any are showing.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Third eye
  • Lupoid dermatosis
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Lymphedema
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Male vs. Female

The male Pointer Bay will usually grow around 2 inches taller and a few pounds heavier than the female. However, generally speaking, the particular characteristics of a Pointer Bay will be derived more from its parents than from its sex.

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Final Thoughts: Pointer Bay

When it comes to revered hunting breeds, the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Chesapeake Retriever are both very well-known and respected. The resulting hybrid, the Pointer Bay, is equally effective in the field and can be used for hunting and retrieving on land and in water. At home, he is a friendly and loyal dog that will usually get along with all family members, although it may take careful introduction for him to live with other dogs and animals.

Training can go either way with this hybrid. He could be stubborn and difficult, or intelligent and eager to please. In either case, he will benefit from training classes, agility, and competitions, because this will give him physical exercise while also working him mentally. Expect to provide a lot of exercise, do not expect him to take to apartment living, and be sure to check him over after he has spent time wading and swimming in the local lakes.

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Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

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