Let's talk German Shorthaired Pointers

A superb sport dog full of smarts and speed, the German Shorthaired Pointer is fascinating in their agility as well as their loyalty to the homefront. Very much a velcro dog who follows family members from room to room, they take comfort in knowing what everyone is up to all the time. The breed is better for country than city living, suited more for the wide-open spaces that help them stretch their long limbs and live life to the fullest.

Official name: German Shorthaired Pointer

Other names: GSP, Deutscher kurshaariger, Vorstehhund, Deutsch Kurzhaar, Kurzhaar

Origins: Germany

Black and white close-up of a German Shorthaired Pointer
 Drooling tendencies

Low

Warm weather? High
 Shedding level Low
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy level * High Family Pet? * 
High
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone? * Medium

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a German Shorthaired Pointer
Male
61 - 66 cm Height
25 - 32 kg Weight
Female
58 - 63 cm Height
20 - 27 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age 15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

An adult and a puppy German Shorthaired Pointer sat next to each other in dried field

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Get to know the German Shorthaired Pointer

All you need to know about the breed

Known among aficionados as the “perfect Pointer”, the German Shorthaired Pointer is an endearing and hugely well-liked breed. With their compact body dressed in its lovely liver-and-white water-resistant coat, the dog presents a solid and reserved presence, consistently called noble and aristocratic by those who adore this great-natured sporting breed.

The German Shorthaired Pointer temperament is very even-keeled, except when it comes to sport - then it’s all systems go. The highly bred field dog is an expert at retrieving - mostly birds - and known as the quintessential sport dog for their power, speed, and endurance. They adore being in the field or a body of water doing what they do best. And, true to his name, he really does point! Which happens when game is spotted down in the field, and the dog won’t let it out of their site.

If you’re not the sporting type but an active person otherwise, that’s OK with the German Shorthaired Pointer as their high energy level means they are always up for a run, hike, or swim, with their zest for life. Don’t be afraid to challenge them: With their sleek build and great attitude, they more than likely won’t shy away. A word of caution: With their incredible energy, this breed isn’t recommended for families with children under the age of seven. Not because the pooch would do harm intentionally, simply because they may bowl them over from being too rambunctious.

The German Shorthaired Pointer breed has also become a show favourite over the years, lauded by kennel clubs in the United States and Europe for their superb demeanor and physical constitution.

German Shorthaired Pointer walking through a planted field

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2 facts about German Shorthaired Pointers

1. So demanding!

Such a sophisticated dog can, believe it or not, be whiny and demanding at times. The German Shorthaired Pointer bonds extremely strongly with his family so can at times be clingy and need attention. It’s not a bad problem to have, just shows they are always thinking about you as much as you, surely, are thinking about them. 

2. If it walks like a duck and quacks  like a duck...

It’s a dog! It’s true what you’ve heard:  The German Shorthaired Pointer has webbed feet formed in the shape of a spoon, more or less. Naturally, this makes them great swimmers, giving them the edge over many other  sporting canines peers. That combined with their hard nails, which help them grip rugged terrain on land, makes them the ultimate sporting dog who excel in the field.a

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History of the breed

It’s not a surprise that the German Shorthaired Pointer arose from a noble lineage. The breed dates to the 1700s when noblemen in Germany, including Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels, sought a quick and powerful hunter to help them carry out their sport. For decades before, sportsmen had cross bred several strong hunting breeds to help them carry out the bird-dog tradition in Germany wherein sportsmen used nets to catch birds but failed to create the agile dog they wanted. The very keen German Shorthaired Pointer, with his intelligence and endurance, not to mention top physicality, fit the bill perfectly.

After his rise to popularity, the GSP consistently became the most triumphant dog in German sporting events. The first German Shorthaired Pointer dog came to the United States in the 1920s and was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Black and white portrait of a German Shorthaired Pointer lying down

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of German Shorthaired Pointers

1. Ears

Fairly long ears hanging at side of head, set high.

2. Head

Rounded head somewhat large compared to slim build.

3. Body

Lithe, athletic body, very solid, harmonious proportions.

4. Tail

Long tail in line with the body.

5. Coat

Shorthaired water-resistant coat, fur very tight, hard, and even.

German Shorthaired Pointer puppy sat in long grass

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointer standing in a field of dried hay

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Caring for your German Shorthaired Pointer

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The German Shorthaired Pointer is incredibly easy to groom with their very short hair. That said, they will still need a weekly brushing to ensure that dead hair is dispensed of, and an occasional going-over with a grooming glove will help keep stray fur to a minimum. To say the German Shorthaired Pointer needs lots of exercise is an understatement: This is a breed that was developed specifically for sport so running - and seeking things to run after - is genetic. Taking them along anywhere outdoors, for a hike, jog, walk, is fine with them. The breed excels at sporting events. Training the German Shorthaired Pointer too will be a pleasure as they are very much companion animals and seek to please. This highly intelligent dog learns quickly, however from six months to three years they will need constant discipline to curtail their incredibly intense energy. As with all breeds, instilling good habits from an early age is best.

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All about Shorthaired Pointers

A fantastic all-around breed, the German Shorthaired Pointer is very popular with pet owners and, in turn, adores everyone in their midst - especially children. With their high energy, it’s not recommended that this dog is taken in by families with children under the age of seven. 

This very spirited breed will fulfill so many dog desires - for fun, activity, and pleasurable viewing, but in the security department, nasogood. The dog is very welcoming of newcomers to the house and though they may sound a warning bark if needed and are certainly strong, aggression is not a trait the German Shorthaired Pointer possesses. Other breeds may be better protectors in the long run.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/