German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP): All You Need to Know

Bred for long days in the wild, the GSPs are powerful, fast, agile and gritty. Typically, a GSP male weighs between 55 to 70 pounds with a height that ranges from 23 to 25 inches; females are a bit smaller. The coat is either solid reddish-brown (liver) or liver with distinctive white patterns. Their dark eyes sparkle with friendliness and enthusiasm. The GSP’s overall look is often described as “aristocratic” and “noble”.

GSPs make gregarious and trainable pets that maintain deep bonds with their family. They love physical activities like swimming, running, and organized dog sports – they are always up for anything that burns their endless energy while exploring the outdoors with human buddies.

This intelligent and energetic dog is passionate both at play and work. GSPs love being around people and are good with kids. When left in isolation for too long, the GSP becomes quite miserable. And if you don’t provide them with regular exercise and companionship, GSPs can become destructive and nervous. Males are usually more aggressive hunters and more outgoing.

The powerfully built GSP needs lots of physical activity – it needs at least an hour of exercise daily. With their water-resistant coat and webbed feet, they are excellent water dogs and love to swim.

GSPs are people pleasers and will work hard for you, especially if you reward them with play, food, or praise. They are usually dogged and learn new skills quickly. They, however, get bored easily so you’ll have to work harder in keeping them focused during training.

Additionally, GSPs are among the few hunting dogs that perform all gundog tasks. They can be both retrievers and pointers. They can hunt from waterfowl to upland birds, as well as deer, rabbits, and raccoons. Whatever challenge you throw at the GSP, he will comply with unwavering reliability.


Friendly, willing and smart, GSPs do everything passionately and without being flighty or nervous. They don’t like being alone, though, and so they can develop separation anxiety. The German Shorthaired Pointer is a house dog, not a kennel or yard dog. They love every member of the family but they may have a favorite. 

Temperament is shaped by a couple of factors including training, heredity, and socialization. Well-adjusted puppies are playful, curious, and will to mingle with people.

Like every other dog, GSP should be socialized while young – you should expose them to different experiences, sounds, sights, and people. Socialization helps your GSP develop into a well-rounded dog.

Living With:

GSPs are not suitable for apartment dwellers. They are suited to people with an active lifestyle and a home with a wide yard encircled with a high fence. German Shorthaired Pointers are energetic and strong; they were bred to withstand the demands of hunting, so exercise is vital for them. Your GSP will take pleasure in a long walk, a game of fetch or a strenuous hike.

When engaged in enough physical activity, GSPs make fantastic house dogs. GSP is great with people but due to their hunting legacy – which regularly requires them to confront various situations while away from hunters – they can think independently.

GSPs should be trained with consistency and kindness using positive reinforcements like praise and food rewards. When treated harshly, GSPs simply become stubborn and less willing to take your commands.

When it comes to diet, you can feed them with grain-free products, for instance, Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Large Breed Puppy separated into two meals per day when they are young. 


The German Shorthaired point didn’t come to be by chance. The dog’s ancestry stretches back to the 1600s when Hanoverian hound breeds were crossed with heavy Spanish pointer breeds to create a dog that’s enthusiastic about pointing birds as well as trailing mammals. These versatile hunters could also trace and kill the wounded game when the need arose. 

Later crosses with the English pointers made the breed a more elegant pointer but decreased the GSP’s killing and retrieving prowess, so successive selection was directed at restoring these desirable traits. The tipping point in the breed’s recognition came in the 1800s with the celebrated capabilities of two dogs, “Treff” and “Nero”. 

The two dogs, referred to as Deutch Kurzhaars, are said to be the ancestors of the Modern GSPs. Since then, German Shorthaired Pointers renown has grown around the globe as the perfect dog for anyone who wants a versatile hunter. Not content with just being excellent hunters, GSPs are also versatile companions.

This resourceful dog hunts various types of game, it is a friendly companion and retrieves from both land and water. He has an elegant, easy-care coat, but demands lost of physical activity. A GSP can be the best dog you ever had, but that’s only if you can provide him with the physical and mental challenges he craves.

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About Simba's Mom

I was born and raised in California, lived in Pennsylvania for several years, and have recently moved to Delaware. I have gone from being a teacher for 20 years to a blogger and now back to teaching but still blogging. I have a great dog named Simba. Simba is a German Shorthaired Pointer. Life with Simba is an adventure every day. I have had dogs my entire life but I have learned most about dogs living with Simba. German Shorthaired Pointers really do become your best friend. They become extremely attached and that is why they say they have the Velcro phenomenon. Simba now has a sister 8 years younger and her name is Gypsy.
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