The German Shorthaired Pointers, also known as GSP, are affectionate, bold, intelligent and boisterous. They make great family pets and are excellent hunting dogs. They are highly intelligent and affectionate. They are known for being needy for attention. They are a bundle of energy and need lots of physical activity. Before owning a German Shorthaired Pointer, read up as much as possible on the breed.
This breed has been traced back to the Spanish pointer, which around the 1600’s was brought Germany. Germany developed this breed of dog for hunting. GSPs are a very effective hunters in the field and water. Their paws are webbed to make them better swimmers. Their athletic bodies are strong and powerful yet agile. They have the ability to move with speed and turn quickly. The coat is short and feels rough to the hand. Their undercoat is protected helping them stay dry and warm. They are a beautiful species and functional too.
Physical Traits of the GSP
German Shorthaired Pointer males usually weigh between 55-75 lbs and are between 24”-26” in height. The females can weight between 45-60 lbs and are between 23”-25” in height. Their coat color can be a dark brown referred to as liver, liver with white patches, solid liver ticked with white or vice versa. The coat can also be black, black and white patches or black ticked with white. However, a dog with black or any yellow coloring is disqualified in AKC and CKC shows. GSPs coat benefits them in hunting as it camouflages with their surrounding. The head and body are proportioned. Their muzzle is long, strong and usually the length equal to the length of the skull. The dewclaws on the front feet may be removed. The ears are long and floppy and set high on their head. The tail is normally docked leaving 40% of its length. It is now prohibited in European countries to dock the tails. At a classic pointing posture, the body is lined up forming a straight line from muzzle through tail.
German Shorthaired Pointer Temperament
German Shorthaired Pointers are affectionate, very intelligent, tenacious, and loyal. They love and need interaction with humans. This breed attaches deeply to his/her owner. They can become depressed or suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too much. They may express depression and or anxiety through chewing, digging, or excessive barking. They make suitable pets for active families, get along with other dogs and also make an excellent watchdog.
GSPs need a lot of exercise. It is one of the most energetic dogs. Remember this breed was developed for hunting. They need plenty of vigorous exercise like running, playing frisbie, swimming, hiking, playing fetch, etc. Lack of exercise can cause your pet to become high strung and destructive. This breed is not suited for apartment or kennel living. They enjoy participating in outdoor activities with their families.
German Shorthaired Pointers respect authority. They need an owner who displays an aura of authority, who is firm and consistent but calm and loving at the same time. The breed wants to please and given clear order and structure will not disappoint you. If you have never trained a dog it would be a good idea to seek professional training. Once trained, life with a GSP is awesome. If not trained properly, this breed is clever and very intelligent and can be tenacious, boisterous, and destructive.
This breed tends to be overall healthy. They have a lifespan of 12-14 years with some dogs living upto 16-18 years. Of course, like most purebreds, there are a few ailments that may arise due to over-breeding. Hip dysplasia and congenital eye defects are a couple of those ailments. Because of their floppy ears, they can develop ear infections, therefore, ears must be cleaned regularly. One to two hours of vigorous exercise and a high quality dry food is a must to keep this dog lean and healthy. You should be able to feel the last two ribs. They require constant fresh water to prevent dehydration. Using stainless steel bowls is highly recommended because the surface does not harbor germs. German Shorthaired Pointers is a clean breed. Brush at least weekly to control shedding. Yes, they do shed. They are considered medium shedders. You will only need to bathe your pet as needed. Toenails need to be kept trimmed so that they do not get torn off running through fields.