German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed
Nicknames: German Short-haired Pointing Dog, Deutsch Kurzhaar, Deutscher kurzhaariger Vorstehhund.
|Right Breed For You?||These dogs require an enclosure with a high fence. They are known to jump fences as high as six feet with little trouble. They are great escape artists, and should never be left unattended outside. German Shorthair Pointers develop very strong bonds with their owners, and should be with them as much as possible. Kenneling such a breed all the time could lead to boredom, hyperactivity, and aggression.||Discount Pet Supply Recommendations|
|Height:||21 – 25 inches|
|Weight:||55 – 70 pounds|
|Life Span:||12 – 15 years.|
|Litter Size:||7 to 8 puppies.|
|Color:||The only acceptable color for the GSP is liver or brown. The coat can be solid liver or a combination of liver and white. Combinations being liver and white ticked, liver patches and white ticked, or liver roan. The head is typically solid or almost completely liver.|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
A structurally correct German Shorthaired Pointer is lean, well-balanced, athletic, and graceful, yet powerful, and of medium size. They have moderately floppy ears, soft to the touch and set high on the head. The muzzle is long and broad, making it easier to retrieve game. The muzzle should never be pointed. Eyes are generally dark brown in color, with yellow being a fault.
The eyes should not be set too close and should be almond shaped instead of round. The nose should also be brown and as large as possible, with nostrils broad and well opened. Teeth should form a scissor bite, and any under or overbite is penalized. A powerful jaw with well developed muscles is required to carry game for long periods of time.
The dog should be evenly muscled, and a healthy weight maintained. The last two ribs should be felt under the coat with a distinct waist line. The shoulders should slope, creating a powerful back and strong quarters. Spoon shaped feet should be compact with arched toes and heavy nails. Pads should be hard and thick. Thin or fine bones are not desirable as this dog should possess strength and durability to be able to work over any type of terrain.
Tails are docked 60%, should never be curled, and should hang down when the dog is quiet, horizontal when walking. When sitting down, the dog should be able to sit on his tail. Dew claws are removed as puppies to prevent injury when working as adults. Dew claws have the tendency to be ripped when running in fields. Overall the dog should be well balanced and proportioned.
The conformation of both show and working Shorthair’s should be similar, as the breed description compliments its hunting abilities.
The coat on a German Shorthaired Pointer is rough on the hand, short, thick, and flat. On the ears and head, the hair is softer. Hair may be longer under the tail and the back edges of the haunches, but any long hair on the body is a fault and should be severely penalized in the show ring.
A dense undercoat protected by the stiff body hair makes the dog water resistant and better adaptable to cold weather.
Colors such as black, red, orange, lemon, tan, or solid white are not permitted and are disqualified in the American Kennel Club. However, German standards permit colors such as black and a slight sandy color, known as Gelber Brand, which is extremely rare.
The German Shorthaired Pointer breed was developed in Germany during the 1800’s for hunting. They were created by crossing old Spanish pointers with numerous other breeds such as scent hounds and tracking hounds; Foxhounds, Italian Pointers, German Tracking Hounds, German Bird Dogs, and English Pointers. The combination created a responsive, lean, hunting dog with great versatility, being able to retrieve both fur and feather, on land and water. Breeders focused on the basis of function rather than form, in creating the breed.
German Shorthaired Pointers were accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1930, their parent club holding the first specialty show in 1941.
The efforts of nineteenth century German breeders, has created a dog today that is one of the most versatile of all gun dogs and an ideal weekend hunter. They do well in companion hunting as well as field trials, hunt tests, tracking trials, and the show ring.
This breed was created to be a family friendly dog as well as a hunter. German Shorthair’s should be an affectionate and intelligent dog that is easy to train and willing to please. They are cheerful, friendly, comical and sociable. German shorthair’s love children and do well with them, but sometimes as puppies they can be too boisterous. If taught from early on to be gentle, as adults they can make great companions to children.
Most German Shorthair’s make excellent watch dogs because they are protective and loyal to their family. They love to be with their people, and crave interaction and mental stimulation. A German Shorthair that lacks socialization and exercise could show behaviors such as aggression, destructiveness, and shyness.
Males tend to be dominant and outgoing, while females tend to be less dominant. Both genders need a strong owner with the knowledge of being a pack leader and staying in charge of their dog. An owner that is too easy going will find their dog overpowers them and will not be controllable. They tend to be a “one-man” dog.
This breed is extremely smart. Intelligence, combined with energy, creates a dog that needs to keep his mind and body occupied. Teaching the dog commands such as sit, stay, down, come, etc. keeps the mind occupied and satisfied, as well as vigorous exercise.
If raised with other pets, German Shorthairs can do well with other dogs and cats. However, they are a hunting breed and small pets such as birds, small mammals and reptiles may be considered game to them.
If left alone too long, they can become destructive. It is recommended to crate or kennel them when being left alone. Crate training can begin when they are young puppies and can be a valuable tool for the rest of their life. However, over-crating can be destructive.
The GSP is one of the more noisy hunting dogs. It should be taught when they are young when barking is acceptable and when it is not, to prevent nuisance barking.
German Shorthairs are generally considered a healthy breed, but they can be prone to disorders such as:
- Hip Dysplasia, an abnormality of the hip joints
- Epilepsy, a disease causing seizures
- Entropion, a hereditary eyelid disorder
- Hermaphrodism, the presence of both male and female genitals
skin disorders, such as cancerous lesions, especially on the mouth.
Disorders such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and entropion can be weeded out of lines by doing health examinations through OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals), PennHip and CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation). Dogs with abnormal results or poor hips should be altered and never bred, so as not to pass on such traits to their offspring.
As all dogs with floppy ears, the German Shorthair Pointer is prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning of the ears is necessary. The ears should be dried out after swimming to prevent the moisture from forming bacteria or yeast in the ear canal. Cleaning the ears can be done with a cotton ball and ear wash or vinegar. Weekly cleaning is ideal. It is not recommended to use q-tips to clean the ear; as such a tool could damage the ear canal.
GSP’s can easily gain weight if not exercised enough. They require a lot of food when worked, but should not be overfed. If left overweight, the dog is prone to injury when working or exercising.
Although German Shorthair Pointer has a short, rough coat, it does shed a lot. Weekly brushing will help to lessen the shedding, especially with a dog brush that will get to the undercoat, like a slicker dog brush. Proper diet will also help reduce shedding, and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil. Bathing should only be done when necessary and the dog should always be dried off after hunting, to prevent chill.
Feet should be checked after working in fields. Burrs, sticks, pickers, and other foreign objects can become embedded into the pads.
The ears should be kept clean and dry to prevent infection.
Because the German Shorthair is a hunting dog, they naturally have a lot of energy to burn and can be tireless. They need to be with an active family that can provide lots of outdoor activities, preferably off lead.
They should not be taken on as a family pet if the family does not hunt. It is possible to exercise them in forms other than hunting, but it requires a dedicated family.
Besides hunting, some other activities the breed enjoys are swimming, running, agility, tracking, mushing, carting, scootering, and obedience. They will take as much exercise as you can give them. Their natural instinct to hunt will lead them to exercise themselves if not provided by their owner, which could lead to hyperactivity and destructiveness.
They need to be taken for walks, preferably off lead, at least twice a day. A walk around the block on a leash will not cut it for this breed, and if that is all that can be provided, the owner will find a dog that may overwhelmingly hyperactive.
German Shorthaired Pointers require an owner with an experience with dogs, since they require a lot of formal training. It is in their nature to work in far distances from their handler, and such a dog needs to be trained to know the handler is in charge and to come when called.
These are one of the few hunting breeds that can perform in almost all gundog roles; pointer, retriever, water and upland bird dog, and scent hounds. They are easily trained to do such activities, but it takes time to perfect.
If not being used as a hunter, they still require formal training. Puppy classes, obedience, agility, or other forms of training are all desirable for the breed. A dog left untrained will not be a manageable dog, as his mind will become bored.
German Shorthair’s should be taught early on a method called NILIF, Nothing In Life is Free. This means they must work for and earn everything. Before they eat, play, go outside, come inside, go for walks, etc., they should perform a command. The command can be something as simple as sit or down, just as long as they earn what they are getting. This will help the dog realize it’s place in the pack and know he is not in charge.