The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile all-purpose gundog. The head is in proportion to the body. The skull is slightly round on top, broad and arched on the sides. The length of the muzzle should be equal to the length of the skull. The muzzle is long with a slight stop that can be viewed from the side. The large nose is brown with wide open nostrils. The almond-shaped, medium-sized eyes are dark brown. The high-set ears are broad, hanging close to the head. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The chest is deep. The tail is docked to about 40% of its length. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The compact feet are webbed. Dewclaws on the front feet may be removed. The skin is tight. The short coat is thick and rough to the touch. It is slightly longer on the underside of the tail and the back edge of the hips, and softer, shorter and thinner on the head and ears. Coat colors include solid liver, liver and white, liver ticked or patches, white ticked or liver roan.
One of the most energetic breeds, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog by nature. Protective, clever, eager and willing to please, it is very fond of its human family. Happy-go-lucky, it loves nothing more than to engage in some type of constructive activity with its owners such as a long walk, jog, hike, hunt, or a game of Frisbee. This breed is not suited to life in a kennel. Faithful, spirited and friendly, it likes and mixes well with children. Dominancy and energy levels vary slightly from puppy to puppy even within the same litter, however those bred for working in high-performance field competitions usually require more activity than the average Shorthair, but are all still very high energy dogs who need a lot of daily exercise. Best suited for an active family. When they lack in exercise they can become high strung and frustrated. The GSP will not listen if it senses that it is stronger minded than its owner, however it will also not respond well to harsh discipline. The GSP needs an owner who displays a natural air of authority providing firm, but calm, confident and consistent with rules it must be made to follow. The GSP crave order and need structure in its life. If this breed lacks in either exercise or leadership it can develop separation anxiety and possibly become destructive and nervous. Well adjusted, stable minded GSPs who receive enough mental and physical activity along with a balance of consistent leadership will get along with other dogs and cats. This breed likes to bark and can be reserved with strangers. Socialize well. They will be in their glory if they are actually used for what they were bred for and taken on hunting trips.
Height: Males 23 - 25 inches (59 - 64 cm) Females 21 - 23 inches (53 - 58 cm)
Weight: Males 55 - 70 pounds (25 - 32 kg) Females 45 - 60 pounds (20 - 27 kg)
Usually a healthy breed but some are prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hermaphrodism and lymphedema. Some minor concerns are CHD, entropion, gastric torsion, VWD, pannus, OCD. Prone to mast cell tumors.
This breed is not recommended for apartment life and does best with a large yard and an active, athletic family. It may be able to jump any fence that is lower than 6 feet tall. Under exercised, bored GSPs are great escape artists.
Exercise is of paramount importance for these tireless, energetic animals. They are more than a match for even the most active family and they should not be taken on as family pets unless they can be guaranteed plenty of vigorous exercise. They need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. If under-exercised, this breed can become restless and destructive.
About 12-15 years
The smooth coat of the Pointer is very easy to groom. Just brush regularly with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. A rub with a piece of toweling or chamois will leave the coat gleaming. Check the feet also, especially after the dog has been exercising or working. Dry the dog thoroughly after hunting to prevent chilling. Examine the ears regularly. This breed is an average shedder.
While not proven, some think that the German Shorthaired Pointer is a descendant of different types of German hunting, scent hounds, trail and track dogs, such as the Old Spanish Pointer, German Bird Dog, Hounds of St. Hubert (Bloodhound types), and the Foxhound. Later the English Pointer was crossed in to add speed and endurance. German hunters were after an all-purpose utility dog that not only had a good nose, but could point, track, was an excellent retriever and gundog, in both field and water for both feather and fur. They also wanted a dog that was an excellent weekend hunter, but made a good family companion and watchdog. The German Shorthaired Pointer was recognized by the AKC in 1930. The German Shorthaired Pointer contributed in the development of the German Wirehaired Pointer. The German Shorthaired Pointer's talents are show dog, obedience, gundog, retrieving, tracking trials, field trials and hunting tests.