The German Shorthaired Pointer can be the best furry buddy to active, adventurous people. Originally bred to be a hunting dog, this breed loves to go outdoors where it can exercise its innate ability to hunt, swim, and explore. It can go on for hours and hours in the field to trail after small game.
Besides being athletic, the GSP is also quite intelligent. It is considered one of the smartest dog breeds. This dog can respond very well to basic training and can even progress to learning advanced skills. Learn more about the German Shorthaired Pointer and see if this is the breed you want for a companion.
Get to Know the German Shorthaired Pointer
What is a German Shorthaired Pointer?
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a clean-cut, medium-sized hunting dog from Germany. Also called Deutsch Kurzhaar and GSP (among other names), it is considered a sporting dog by the American Kennel Club (AKC). This dog excels in agility events and dog sports related to hunting game both on land and water. It is a fairly popular dog breed which has a lifespan of about 12 to 14 years.
What was the German Shorthaired Pointer used for?
German Shorthaired Pointers were used as hunting dogs, retrievers, and pointers. Although plenty of GSPs have become household companions, many of them are still active hunting dogs. They are among the best hunting dog breeds to this day.
The breed’s history is quite vague but it is known to be primarily developed in Germany. It may have been the product of crosses between the Spanish Pointer and hound type dogs like the Hanover Hound and the Bloodhound. The GSP first entered the United States in the 1920s and it was soon recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930.
What are the colors of a German Shorthaired Pointer?
German Shorthaired Pointers are typically seen with these coat colors: a combination of dark brown (or ‘liver’) and white or solid liver. The liver and white combination can be, according to the AKC, liver and white ticked, liver patched and white ticked, or liver roan. Other colors are black, black and white, and black roan.
The breed’s coat color is its most distinctive quality. But it would also help future owners to know the breed’s other physical traits. Some of these are:
- Medium to large body size
- Male GSPs stand between 23 to 25 inches and weigh around 55 to 70 pounds
- Females stand between 21 to 23 inches and weigh around 45 to 60 pounds
- Water resistant coat
- Short but thick fur (although it is thinner and softer around the ears and head)
- Aristocratic bearing
- Almond-shaped, dark brown eyes
- Broad, pendant ears, the tips reaching the corner of the mouth
- Large, brown nose
- Webbed paws
Why dock the tail of a German Shorthaired Pointer?
Many working dogs like the GSP have docked tails. Breeders and dog owners from many centuries ago began this practice to reduce the risk of the tail from getting injured while the dog is working.
Docking is mostly done for cosmetic reasons these days. Some dog breed standards require the tail of a certain breed to be cut to a specific length—and many owners choose to comply. However, this practice nowadays is flagged illegal in some countries.
What is the German Shorthaired Pointer like?
The German Shorthaired Pointer is an intelligent, friendly, and energetic dog. It loves to be outdoors and enjoys doing vigorous activities. This is not exactly a surprise since the GSP is a hunting dog and its hunting abilities are still quite intact. It has the tendency to go hunting alone and bring home some small, dead animals as trophies.
Although the GSP is adventurous, it really likes to be with its family as well. It is possible it may even suffer separation anxiety when left alone for a long time.
This dog is a good playmate for active and older children. Very young children and toddlers might not be able to keep up with the GSP’s high energy. It can mostly get along with other dogs and animals. But it has the tendency to be aggressive towards dogs of the same sex. It might also associate small animals to the game it hunts and might be aggressive to them as well.
A GSP must be trained and socialized early to curb aggression towards other animals. Early recall training is definitely important for this breed as well.
How much exercise does the German Shorthaired Pointer need?
German Shorthaired Pointers are very active dogs. They mostly require at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily—around 30 to 45 minutes per session, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. While they may be content to walk or run on-leash, they are happier when they’re off leash. They are natural swimmers as well and would surely rejoice when given opportunities to swim.
When the exercise needs of German Shorthaired Pointers are not met, they can become anxious and destructive. These dogs are definitely not the type you can keep indoors all day because they enjoy running and exploring outdoors too much. If you live in an apartment in the city, you might want to rethink about getting a German Shorthaired Pointer.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers hypoallergenic?
No. German Shorthaired Pointers are not hypoallergenic. This breed is short-haired so it seems like it does not shed excessively. But it does shed constantly, which means it produces dander, a common allergen.
While no breed is completely non-allergenic, many allergy sufferers tend to do well around some dogs. Few of the breeds considered hypoallergenic are the Yorkshire Terrier, the Shih Tzu, and the Poodle.
When is German Shorthaired Pointer full grown?
Medium to large dog breeds like the German Shorthaired Pointer may reach their full height by the time they are 12 months old. They continue to fill out in weight until they are about 18 months old.
There are many factors which may affect the growth rate of a puppy. One way to ensure your puppy is growing at a right pace is to feed it good quality food. Beware of cheap, store-bought dog food. It may contain a lot of fillers and preservatives that are unhealthy. Make sure to buy premium dog food specifically formulated for puppies. Or, you might want to prepare homemade dog food and homemade treats for your puppy instead. Whatever your food choice is, it would be better if you get an advice from your puppy’s vet first.
How much do German Shorthaired Pointer puppies cost?
German Shorthaired Pointer puppies can cost around USD $700. But show quality puppies tend to cost more than $1,000, sometimes even more than $2,000. Prices vary depending on the puppies’ bloodline, uniqueness of coat color, and health. The puppies’ location, their living conditions, including the reputation of their breeders affect how much the puppies cost as well.