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All About German Shorthaired Pointers

Updated on August 19, 2012

I love German Shorthaired Pointers!

Yes, I love German Shorthaired Pointers. I have one male named Chipper (Official name: Dyer's Chocolate Chip Cookie). I had a female (my first dog) named Dutch. She was diagnosed with cancer and died about two years ago. This is my tribute to my favorite breed and my beautiful German Shorthaired Pointers.

The German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer

All about German Shorthaired Pointers

The breed is streamlined yet powerful with strong hindquarters that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long flop ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy game. The dog's profile should be straight or strongly Roman nosed; any dished appearance to the profile is incorrect. The eyes are generally brown, with darker eyes being desirable; yellow or "bird of prey" eyes are a fault. The tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries. The correct location for docking for GSP is after the caudal vertebrae start to curl, leaving enough tail to let the dog communicate through tail wagging and movement. The docked tail should not be too long or too short but should balance the appearance of the head and body. The GSP tail is carried at a jaunty angle, not curled under. When the GSP is in classic point stance, the tail should be held straight out from the body forming a line with the pointing head and body. Like all German pointers, GSP have webbed feet.

Did You Know?

The German Shorthaired Pointer was first admitted into the AKC Stud Book in March 1930.

German Shorthaired Pointer Training DVD

GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER DVD: Everything You Should Know + Dog & Puppy Training Bonus
GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER DVD: Everything You Should Know + Dog & Puppy Training Bonus

This DVD contains Everything You Should Know about the breed and covers: History & Development - We'll take you through the early history of the German Shorthaired Pointer. You'll learn the breed's origin and how they were used in the working world. Characteristics - Discover the behavioral characteristics and temperament of the GSHP. Grooming - Learn basic grooming skills that will keep your dog looking great for years to come. Nutrition - Maintain optimum health with this essential diet and exercise information. Health and Aging - Learn about the special attention and love needed to maintain the health and quality of life of your aging German Shorthaired Pointer. Training Tips - Communicate properly with your dog using our helpful tips.

 
VC Indian Brooks Espresso, MH
VC Indian Brooks Espresso, MH

Coat and Color

The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is short and flat with a dense undercoat protected by stiff guard hairs making the coat water resistant and allowing the dog to stay warm in cold weather. The color can be a dark brown, correctly referred to in English as liver (incorrectly called chocolate or chestnut), black (although any area of black is cause for disqualification in American Kennel Club sanctioned shows), or either color with white. Commonly the head is a solid or nearly solid color and the body is speckled or "ticked" with liver and white, sometimes with large patches of solid color called "saddles". Roan coats are also common, with or without patching. Solid liver and solid black coats also occur, often with a small blaze of ticking or white on the chest. While the German standard permits a slight sandy coloring ("Gelber Brand") at the extremities, this coloring is rare, and a dog displaying any yellow coloring is disqualified in AKC and CKC shows. The colouring of the GSP provides camouflage in the winter seasons. When standing next to dead trees and in broken snow, the white and dark brown coat makes the dog difficult to see.

The German Shorthaired Pointer - An Owner's Guideto a Happy Healthy Pet

The German Shorthaired Pointer: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Your Happy Healthy P)
The German Shorthaired Pointer: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Your Happy Healthy P)

At last, a book about your dog that emphasizes total care, training and companionship! You'll not only learn about the specific traits of your German Shorthaired Pointer, you'll also learn what the world's like from your pet's perspective; how to feed, groom and keep your dog healthy; and how to enjoy your Shorthair through training and activities that you can do together.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is written by a breed expert and includes a special chapter on training by Dr. Ian Dunbar, internationally renowned animal behaviorist, and chapters on getting active with your dog by longtime Dog Fancy columnist, Bardi McLennan. Best of all, the book is filled with info-packed sidebars and fun facts to make caring for your dog easy and enjoyable.

 

Pheasant Hunting with Winnie the German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer - Kennel Club Dog Breed Series

German Shorthaired Pointer (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
German Shorthaired Pointer (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)

Prized for his versatility and hunting prowess, the German Shorthaired Pointer is counted among the most talented of all working dogs, willing to please his master and easy to train. The breed, alert and energetic, understandably has become a favorite pet choice for many dog owners. This sporting dog’s natural intelligence is evident in his soft brown eyes, which harmoniously balance his characteristic liver-colored coat. For the active family seeking an obedient, attentive and protective dog, the German Shorthair will not fall short.

This book provides the necessary information about German Shorthairs and their ancestry in Europe and the US, breed characteristics and standard, as well as puppy selection, feeding, training, preventative health care and behavior of the breed. The new owner will welcome advice about puppy-proofing the home, preparing for the pup’s arrival, housebreaking and preventing puppy problems. In addition to an authoritative, comprehensive text, this book presents over 135 photographs in full color, which prove to be as informative as they are attractive.

 

Dyer's Chocolate Chip Cookie

Dyer's Chocolate Chip Cookie
Dyer's Chocolate Chip Cookie

German Shorthaired Pointer - Complete Pet Owner's Manual

German Shorthaired Pointer (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
German Shorthaired Pointer (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)

Although this aristocratic animal is an all-purpose field dog, its high intelligence makes it ideal as a watchdog, and its good nature makes it a companionable family pet. Like all dogs bred for the hunt, this animal should have plenty of exercise. This manual offers sound advice on all aspects of care for German Shorthaired Pointers, and is handsomely illustrated with color photos.

 

Size

Various breed standards set its height at the withers anywhere between 21 and 25 inches, making this a medium breed. Adults typically weigh from 45 to 70 lbs (22 to 32 kg), with the female being usually slightly shorter and lighter than the male.

A New Owner's Guide to German Shorthaired Pointers

A New Owner's Guide to German Shorthaired Pointers
A New Owner's Guide to German Shorthaired Pointers

Joan Tabor has been involved with German Shorthaired Pointers since 1974 and she and her husband Joel have bred German Shorthairs since 1978. Their first homebred champion, Am. Can. Ch. Tabor's Zephyr of Orion, went on to win multiple Best in Show awards, Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club, and remains an all-time top producer of show and obedience titled offspring. The Tabors have co-bred, owned, and handled over 20 German Shorthaired Pointers to show, obedience, and hunting test titles, and currently own and operate a pet supply store in Montclair, New Jersey.

 

Temperament

Since the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. Shyness, fearfulness, over submissiveness, aloofness, lack of biddability, or aggression (especially toward humans) are all incorrect traits. The GSP is usually very good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and appreciate active families who will give them an outlet for their energy. Most German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent watchdogs. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats or rabbits. With training, however, the family dog should be able to discern what is prey and what is not, and they can live quite amicably with other family pets.

When it comes to everyday family life, the pointer is a recommended addition to the family. They are extremely loyal, friendly and fun. They tend to also be careful and protective of young children.

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs plenty of vigorous activity. This need for exercise (preferably off lead) coupled with the breed's natural instinct to hunt, means that training is an absolute necessity. The GSP distinctly independent character and superior intelligence makes this breed best suited to experienced owners who are confident and capable handlers.

Lack of sufficient exercise and/or proper training can produce a German Shorthaired Pointer that appears hyperactive or that has destructive tendencies. Thus the breed is not a suitable pet for an inactive home or for inexperienced dog owners. Although these dogs form very strong attachments with their owners, a dog that receives insufficient exercise may feel compelled to exercise himself. These dogs can escape from four foot and sometimes six foot enclosures with little difficulty. Regular hunting, running, carting, bikejoring, skijoring, mushing,dog scootering or other vigorous activity can alleviate this desire to escape. The natural instinct to hunt may result in the dog hunting alone and sometimes bringing home occasional dead trophies, such as cats, rats, pigeons and other urban animals. In addition to exercise, especially formal hunting, the GSP needs to be taught to distinguish legitimate prey and off limits animals.

Like the other German Pointers (the German Wirehaired Pointer and the less well known German Longhaired Pointer), the GSP can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, an upland bird dog and water dog. The GSP can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound's talented nose. It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities.

The GSP is an intelligent and highly trainable breed, thoroughly capable of working out of sight of its handler. This independence can lead to the dog seeming to have a mind of its own, especially if poorly trained. The dog must know that the owner is in charge and not, as sometimes happens, claim to be the owner of the hunt. Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, the superior intelligence and biddability (trainability) of the GSP make it one of the more popular large breeds.

During hunting sessions, a completely instinctive scent-hiding activity through rubbing against carrion can be observed.

SportDOG SD-1825 SportHunter Electronic Dog Training Collar

SportDOG Brand SportHunter 1825 Remote Trainer
SportDOG Brand SportHunter 1825 Remote Trainer

Stay in confident control of your dog’s training with the SportDOG SportHunter. The electronic remote training collar lets you control your dog using up to 16 stimulus levels and your choice of momentary or continuous correction. Use the various tone and vibration options to customize a training system that works best for your pet. The ergonomic, slim-profile collar design ensures a perfect fit. Range up to 1 mile. Waterproof and submersible with DryTek Waterproof Design Technology. Expandable up to 6 dogs by adding Add-A-Dog collars (sold separately). Includes collar receiver, easy-to-handle remote transmitter, docking station that charges system in 2 hours, adapter, 2 orange collar straps, test light, belt clip, lanyard, long contact points, operating guide, and basic training DVD and manual. Compatible only with SportDOG SD-1825CAMO system.

 

Health

Most German Shorthaired Pointers are tough, healthy dogs, but according to Margo B. Maloney, DVM (NAVHDA Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine, April, 2003) the breed can be subject to a number of hereditary disorders just as any other purebred.due to their breeding as a hunting dog the german shorthair pointer have narrow nose and air passages this can cause the dog to gag and then have trouble breathing especially under confusing circumstances, and a few individuals may suffer from hip dysplasia, genetic eye diseases, skin disorders and cancerous lesions in the mouth, on the skin and other areas of the body.

Unexplained swelling and growth of the nipples in adult males is considered normal in this breed and is fairly common. However, if the nipples become sensitive to the touch, a veterinarian should be consulted. Occasionally a biopsy will be recommended. Bleeding from the nipples may suggest infection or cancer. Female GSP in some lines are prone to breast cancer.

As with any other hunting dog, contact with game can cause the spread of fungi and bacteria that can easily colonise in the gums or cause infections on open wounds and small cuts from scratching against plants and bushes during a regular hunting session.

German Shorthaired Pointers - AKC Rank, No 29

German Shorthaired Pointers (Akc Rank)
German Shorthaired Pointers (Akc Rank)

This book, illustrated with over 175 full-color photos and drawings, presents sensible, easy-to-follow recommendations about selecting and caring for a German Shorthaired Pointer. It concentrates on providing readers with the information they need and want -- all given in an interesting and easy-to-read style.

 

German Shorthaired Pointer Field Training

Training A Young Pointer: How The Experts Developed My Bird Dog And Me

Care

The short GSP coat needs very little grooming, just occasional brushing. The dog should be bathed only when needed.

Like all dogs with flop ears, GSP can be prone to ear infections and their ears require regular checking and cleaning.

The GSP has a longer life expectancy than many breeds of this size, commonly living 12 to 14 years, with individual dogs living to 16 to 18 years not uncommon.

As the GSP is a large, active breed, the dogs can require considerable food; however, they can also become obese if fed too much for individual activity levels. A healthy weight should permit the last two ribs to be felt under the coat and the dog should have a distinct waist or "tuck-up".

Due to the short GSP coat, body heat management is not generally a problem. However, the GSP's high levels of activity require the breed to drink considerable amounts of water to prevent dehydration. Early symptoms of dehydration show itself as thick saliva and urine with an excessively strong and distinct smell.

Three German Shorthaired Pointers

Three German Shorthaired Pointers
Three German Shorthaired Pointers

History

The German Shorthaired Pointer is descended from the old Spanish Pointer, which was taken to Germany in the 1600s. From that time until the first studbook was created in 1870, however, it is impossible to identify all of the dogs that went into creating this breed. Most-likely candidates for its ancestors include local German breeds such as the schweisshund, an early German tracking hound, the Foxhound, various French hounds, assorted Scandinavian breeds, the German Bird Dog, and the Italian Pointer. It is generally accepted that no Bloodhound was used as foundation material. In the late 1800s, breeders included the English Pointer to the foundational breeding program, adding style and run to round out the breed's all-around versatility as a hunting dog. Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld of the Royal House of Hannover is credited with encouraging breeders to select early specimens on the basis of function rather than form. It is believed that this enlightened guidance was instrumental in making the breed what it is today.

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    • JohnVShaffer profile image

      JohnVShaffer 4 years ago

      That is a good looking dog. Maybe some day we will cross paths in the field. God bless

    • ggruden2 profile image

      ggruden2 4 years ago

      Nice lense!

    • KANEsUgAr profile image

      KANEsUgAr 6 years ago

      Such beautiful dogs

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      Pointers are really nice dogs, and very beautiful. You brought this out very well here.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Lovely dogs - you're on the button.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I loved watching Winnie at work! What a magnificent animal! My Dad had a German Shorthaired Pointer before I was born and we still have pictures of her. I was sad to hear about Dutch, even animals are subject to this fallen world we're in. A wonderful tribute to your favorite dog and lensrolling to my I Want a Dog lens.

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      I used to have a GSP named Cajun. Your lens brought back some great memories!! Absolutely loved that dog! Thanks for sharing!!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I enjoyed this very much. What delightful dogs. I always wanted one, but we are inexperienced dog trainers in our house.We have all we can handle with a small Jack Russell. Very good collection.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      These are beautiful dogs. I don't own one, but I can certainly appreciate the breed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great description of the GSP!!! Your right on...I love the "taking home trophies part" lol! So true...my friends GSP got out when we were gone and we came back home to a blood bath. 12 dead turkeys 4 geese 5 cats and lost count of the chickens. They need to be well kenneled when not supervised!

      These dogs are definitely not for suburbanites or city dwellers! They are only happy with lots of room to roam and need to be hunted!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I had pound puppy mutts my whole life. Shortly after I got married in 2005, my dog Scout's health started to decline - he was almost 16 years old. My husband (who grew up with purebred Huskies) and I decided it was time to get our first dog as a couple to ease the pain of inevitably saying goodbye to Scout. Michael convinced me to consider a pure breed, and after doing some research in the AKC book, we decided on a GSP. We brought Jaeger (aka "Yaggie") into our lives in early 2008. Scout died this past summer, and Yaggie is now 2 1/2, and I cannot wait until our children are a bit older so that we can get a second GSP -- I have fallen head over heels in love with this amazing breed!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ever seen a white one?

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • profile image

      WhippetTalk 8 years ago

      I always wanted a GSP but when I grew up and was able to get a dog for the first time, I researched and realized that my lifestyle at the time was not appropriate for this dog. Maybe someday though! 5*s for a great lens and the purple paw award!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      These dogs have some gorgeous markings. Well done!

    • AslanBooks profile image
      Author

      AslanBooks 8 years ago

      They definitely can have spots just about anywhere on their body.

    • profile image

      youhavegottobekidding 8 years ago

      Great Lens. I have a question regarding the second pic above do they really have a spots between their absomen?

      5 stars for your Great Lens.

    • ltraider profile image

      ltraider 8 years ago

      I once read a magazine refer to the GSP as the suv of dogs. We have a lab but I admire this breed as well. good work

    • profile image

      Coppertop 9 years ago

      Hi there - 5*'s from a fellow GSP owner!