Pointer (dog) is a breed of large sporting dog that hunts by scent; it is trained in locating game to indicate the place of concealment of the quarry by standing rigid with its nose pointing in the direction of the spot. It was once believed that the breed originated in Spain several centuries ago and then spread into various other countries. It is now known, however, that pointers came into general use in Spain, Portugal, eastern Europe, and the British Isles at about the same time. The first pointers of which reliable records exist date from the middle of the 17th century in England. It is believed that the breed, sometimes specified as the English pointer, was established by crossing the foxhound, greyhound, bloodhound, and probably the spaniel. The English pointer was crossed with the Spanish pointer at the beginning of the 18th century in order to improve the former’s pointing instinct, and during the 19th century with various breeds of setters in order to make it more tractable. The modern pointer is an ideal hunting dog, lean and lithe, with a smooth, shorthaired coat that is white with patches or spots of either liver, orange, black, or lemon. The dog weighs from 20 to 34 kg (45 to 75 lb) and stands from 58 to 71 cm (23 to 28 in). It has a long, moderately wide skull; a long, square muzzle; wide nostrils; long, silky ears that lie flat to the cheeks; medium-sized eyes that are either black or various shades of brown; a deep chest; a strong back; and a moderately long, tapering tail. The German shorthaired and German wirehaired pointers are related breeds.