German shorthaired pointer (GSP) is a dog breed that descended from the German Bird Dog breed.
People originally bred them to hunt rabbits and other small game animals, and their other name is the “Pointer Dog” because they point their noses at prey.
Have you been willing to get a GSP but know little about it? We’ll take you through everything you need about this dog breed.
The GSP has become trendy over the years due to its intelligence and trainability, making them great family pets. They are loyal, affectionate, and intelligent dogs, so they fit as excellent hunting companions.
German Shorthaired Pointer dogs are highly trainable and intelligent enough to perform various tasks such as retrieving, pointing out objects, and tracking lost items.
Also, their high energy levels and love for play make them ideal for families who want a pet. Let us look into its history, characteristics, health issues, and care.
Quick Facts About the German Shorthaired Pointer
|Temperament||Energetic, Active, Brilliant|
|Life Expectancy||14 Years|
|Coat Color||Liver, White, and Liver, Solid Liver|
|Height||Male: 23 to 25 Inches; Female: 21 to 23 Inches|
|Weight||59 to 70 Pounds|
|Health||Cancer, Dysplasia, Blindness|
History of the German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP was developed in Germany during the late 19th century and became famous worldwide because of its versatility. Its name derives from “Gesellschaft für Schäferhunde und Pflüger,” meaning “Society for Hunting Dog Breeders.”
This group of hunters began breeding spaniel-type dogs to hunt waterfowl. During this period, many spaniels existed, including the English Springer Spaniel, Water Spaniel, and Gundogs.
During the 1800s, hunters used dogs like the Alsatian and the Great Dane to hunt large game such as bears and boars. However, they needed something smaller to protect themselves against wolves and other predators.
In the late 19th century, German gun clubs began importing the Spanish Pointer, which had become famous for retrieving downed birds. This led to the creation of the GSP, which was explicitly bred for retrieving downed games.
Over the next few decades, the GSP gained popularity throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Today, there are over 500,000 registered German Shorthaired Pointers worldwide.
Characteristics of the German Shorthaired Pointer
German shorthaired pointer puppies come out of a litter with different colors, patterns, and sizes. They were born with their hair growth, making them look like little balls of fluff.
But their unique markings set them apart—they start with three primary colors: black, liver, and white. And the way those colors combine with the pup’s appearance is unique.
The breed standard says that the head should be black with a white blaze across the forehead and a white spot over the eye.
Liver-colored dogs have a light tan undercoat, and the rest of their body is usually black with patches of liver-colored skin. However, white dogs‘ coats are generally pure, and their bodies are typically black with patches of white.
And don’t worry about whether you want a male or female puppy; both sexes are equally adorable.
German Shorthaired pointers can weigh anywhere between 50 to 70 pounds. However, their height ranges from 23 to 25 inches for males and 21 to 23 inches for females.
Many things can affect this dog breed‘s temperament; it’s usually calm and quiet.
German shorthaired pointers are intelligent, willing to please, easy to get along with, and have lots of energy to spend.
This breed is incredibly energetic during the first three years of life. In fact, puppies born early in the spring tend to be even more hyperactive than those born later in the season.
Regarding exercise, German shorthaired pointers love to run around and play fetch. But while this breed loves running, it doesn’t like being left alone.
Moreover, GSPs have a high “prey drive,” meaning they’ll chase down anything that moves across their path. If you live in an area with plenty of squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc., you might consider getting one of these dogs.
However, if you don’t live near wildlife, chances are you won’t find much use for this dog’s instincts. A fenced yard and leashes are essential for this energetic dog.
He needs lots of time outside, and he’ll enjoy long walks with you. If you don’t have room for a big yard, consider getting him a smaller space inside.
You can train him to go into a crate or kennel, but make sure he knows what’s expected of him.
If you’ve got a GSP puppy, you’ll probably notice that he wanders away from home quite often. Don’t worry about it; keep training him to stay close by your side. And remember, if he does walk too far, he’ll come back eventually.
Furthermore, due to the German shorthaired pointer’s intelligence and trainability, they make excellent companions for older people and those with disabilities.
They are highly energetic and thrive on exercise. Their high activity level makes it difficult for them to sit still for long periods.
However, they become bored and restless if left alone for too long.
As mentioned earlier, German shorthaired pointer dogs are known for their happy personalities and easygoing dispositions.
They love people and enjoy being around others. However, while most breeds require a lot of exercises, German shorthaired pointers do best with moderate activity.
They are good swimmers and like to spend time outdoors exploring their surroundings.
The German shorthaired pointer needs a home with plenty of open space for running and playing. An apartment setting might be too small for a dog who loves to explore his world. But a house with enough room to allow him to stretch out and relax is ideal.
A family with children and pets will provide the perfect environment for this friendly pooch. He will learn how to interact with humans and other animals early on.
Also, this breed requires consistent training and discipline. You must teach him basic commands such as sit, lie down, stay and come when called, which must continue throughout the dog’s lifetime.
German shorthaired pointers are intelligent dogs who respond well to rewards. Positive reinforcement works best with this breed. So, praise your fur friend when he does something you like.
Health of a German Shorthaired Pointer
According to the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, there are several health issues you should know about.
Hip dysplasia, blindness, and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) are some health concerns of owning German short hair.
This condition occurs when the hips become misaligned due to malformation during growth. In most cases, the problem isn’t noticeable until later in life.
However, it can cause pain and lameness and can lead to arthritis and even early death if you leave it untreated.
Some breeds of dogs are predisposed to developing cataracts, especially those with light-colored eyes. Blindness is common in German shorthaired pointers because of this genetic trait. However, early treatment can reduce the chances of vision loss.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is prone to heart problems. This includes cardiomyopathy, mitral valve disease, and congestive heart failure. You must understand that these conditions can be fatal if not treated promptly.
German Shorthaired Pointer Care
Feeding a healthy diet to your pet is essential. This includes feeding its quality dog food brands, providing plenty of water, and keeping it active.
If you’re considering adding raw foods to your dog’s diet, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Raw diets are excellent for puppies and older dogs. Young pups require special care because they lack digestive enzymes to break down proteins properly. And older dogs tend to lose weight faster and may experience kidney problems.
- You’ll want to ensure your dog gets enough protein and fat in his diet. Proteins help build muscles, while fats provide energy.
- Ensure your dog eats small meals rather than three large ones throughout the day. Smaller meals mean he won’t feel full as quickly and will eat less overall.
- Choose a brand of dog food that contains no corn or soy products. These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
- Be careful about what kinds of treats you give him. Some treats contain chemicals and preservatives that aren’t good for dogs’ health. Look for natural treats like fruits and veggies.
The GSPs coat is a double-coated type, meaning there are two layers of hair covering the body. So, it’s easy to clean and less likely to shed.
A double-coated coat usually requires more maintenance than a single single-coated, but it doesn’t mean you’ll spend too much time cleaning up after your pet.
Although the coat is short and less prone to shedding, it still sheds significantly when the weather changes at specific points of the year.
Brushing the coat helps keep the hair down; however, it doesn’t always work. The skin tends to grow longer during winter, making grooming even harder.
An occasional bath (mild shampoo) can help loosen the dirt. However, if your dog has been bathing too often, he could develop skin conditions such as dryness and itching.
Check and clean the ears regularly; otherwise, they might become infected. If the ear canal becomes blocked, the dog will start scratching his head and, eventually, the area around the eyes.
Furthermore, keep its nails short since long nails make reaching areas like the feet difficult.
Research shows that the German Shorthaired Pointer benefits from a daily walk of approximately 30 minutes.
They recommend walking three times per week and preferably in areas where there are sidewalks and trails. Dogs must always wear a harness and leash unless you live in an apartment building or condo complex.
A person should never force a dog to run or play; it will tire quickly and become frustrated. If you’re concerned about whether your dog is getting enough exercise, ask your veterinarian or contact a local animal shelter or humane society. Some shelters offer free fitness classes for dogs.
The German Shorthaired Pointers are famous for being both intelligent and trainable. They require early socialization and puppy training classes and continue with practice in basic obedience skills. At around six months, puppies begin to show signs of aggression toward other dogs.
This behavior is normal, and teaching the pup how to interact appropriately is essential. A young GSP needs a purpose; without it, he can become destructive.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is an excellent dog because of its intelligence, loyalty, and friendliness. It takes a lot of patience to raise one, so be prepared to put some time into training them.