German Shorthaired Pointer – Everything You Need To Know

German Shorthaired Pointers are purebred dogs making excellent watchdogs and family pets. They are sporting dogs involved in retrieving highly playful and energetic dogs who need a proper exercise regime. On the other hand, an idle German Shorthaired Pointer is a destructive dog. Hence, German Shorthaired Pointers need to be trained and socialized when puppies. The coat colors don’t affect these dogs’ temperament or other traits. So, heartily welcome these energetic companions into your family!  

German Shorthaired Pointer Overview

The German Shorthaired is an all-rounder dog and a great family dog who acts as a velcro dog. Thanks to his protective instincts, he makes an excellent watchdog. Owing to his high intelligence and remarkable energy, he can shine in any canine sport and training. The German Shorthaired is outdoorsy and will love to be an outdoor companion. With proper training and socialization, German Shorthaired Pointers can coexist with other pets. A bored German Shorthaired Pointer will be a destructive dog involved in digging, jumping off the fence, and barking at whatever he sees. Their coats are ticked and come in brown and white, legs are strong and sturdy, and the tail is usually docked. Embrace German Shorthaired Pointers with minimal grooming needs and enjoy their presence around your homes. 

German Shorthaired Pointer Pros and Cons

AffectionateA lot of exercise needs
Easy to groomIntolerant to cold weather conditions
Highly trainableSeparation anxiety

German Shorthaired Pointer Basic Information 

  • Name: German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Origin: Germany
  • Group: Sporting
  • Size: Medium
  • Height: Male: 23 – 25 inches Female: 21 – 23 inches
  • Weight: Male: 55 – 70 pounds Female: 45 – 60 pounds
  • Coat: Smooth and short
  • Color: Liver, liver and white, liver roan, white and liver, black, black and white, black roan with ticked, patched, or ticked and patched markings
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Gundog, pointer, retrieving, and hunting
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Low to medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 8 – 12 puppies
  • Other Names: Kurzhaar, Deutscher, Kurzhaariger, Vorstehhund, Deutsch Kurzhaar.
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Retrieving and Sports dogs.
  • Life Span: 12 – 15 years

History of German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointers are dogs that were not created but perfected by German hunters in the 1800s. A bird dog, the German Shorthaired Pointers are excellently competent in hunting events. In addition, owing to his webbed feet and robust stature, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a top-notch dog in swimming. Currently, the German Shorthaired Pointers rank 19th out of the 155 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Clubs.

German Shorthaired Pointer Highlights

  • German Shorthaired Pointers are vibrant dogs who would require an intense exercise regime.
  • German Shorthaired Pointers have high prey drives.
  • Female German Shorthaired Pointers are very possessive of their puppies.
  • They can be an escape artist when bored.
  • German Shorthaired Pointers are unsuitable for cold weather conditions.
  • They are people-oriented and can suffer from separation anxiety.
  • German Shorthaired Pointers bark at noises and strangers. They are a bit wary of strangers.

German Shorthaired Pointer Personality

German Shorthaired Pointers have patches. They may often have white legs, abdomen, and tail. While sometimes, only their heads will be black, having shorter and softer hair. German Shorthaired Pointers will mostly have ticks on the white parts. The patches will remain throughout their lifetime; however, the number of spots will change. The first spots usually appear when they are around five weeks old. German Shorthaired Pointer is squarely built, with a short back, a graceful topline, a triangular-shaped face, floppy ears that fall on his cheeks, strong fore and hindquarters, webbed feet, and his eyes and nose brown. Their broad and powerful muzzles are used in retrieving. Their physique is athletic, with their tails docked. Their coats are harsh, short, water repellent, slightly longer underside, and at the back edges of the rear end known as the “haunches.” 

Friendliness Overview

Affection level Medium to high
Family-friendly High
Kid-friendly High
Pet-friendly Medium to high
Stranger -friendly Medium

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living Low
Good to new owners Low to medium
Sensitivity level Medium to high
Tolerates being alone Low
Cold-tolerance Low to medium
Heat-tolerance Medium to high

German Shorthaired Pointer Physical Features

Head: The head of a German Shorthaired Pointer is clean-cut. The eyes are medium in size, almond-shaped, with an intelligent expression; desired eye color is dark brown. The ears are broad and floppy. The muzzle is long and strong, enabling it to retrieve things.  

Neck: The neck is of proper length with a medium throatiness. The nape is muscular.

Topline: The topline is short, solid, and straight. The hip and hip sockets are broad.

Body: The chest is deep and bears well-sprung ribs.

Tail: A tail that is set high and should be docked. When in action, it is held horizontally and hangs down when he is quiet. 

Forequarters: Their shoulders sloped down and muscled. Pasterns are powerful, short and almost vertical, and little sprung. Their feet are compact, and their toes sufficiently arched and nailed. The pads are robust, rugged, and thick.

Hindquarters: Thighs are powerful and muscular with well-bent stifles. The hock joints are correctly angled with linear bone structure from hock to pad. 

Coat: The coat is short and dense. Short-haired on the head and ears.

Color: The coats come in the liver, liver and white, liver and roan, and white.

Gait: The gait is agile, smooth, and accessible. The forelegs move independently, while the hindlegs give the power for smooth movements. 

Disqualifications (AKC Standards)

  • China or wall eyes.
  • Flesh-colored nose. 
  • Extreme overshot or undershot. 
  • Markings or patches of black, red, orange, lemon, or tan
  • Solid white coat.

German Shorthaired Pointer Temperament

German Shorthaired Pointers love hiking just as much as they love being by their owner’s side. They are loyal to their family. They can be rambunctious with small children or smaller pets. They are good barkers. German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent, willing to learn, and confidently carry out whatever activity they are given. They are moderately friendly with strangers and other pets. German Shorthaired Pointers are very protective of their puppies. Since they are people-oriented, they should not be left alone for a long time; this can cause them to be destructive by suffering from separation anxiety. Thus a German Shorthaired Pointer’s temperament can be a fusion of the following rolled into one:

  • Calm
  • Affectionate
  • Confident
  • Outdoorsy
  • Loyal
  • Watchdogs
  • Willing to learn
  • People pleasers
  • Gentle

German Shorthaired Pointer Training

German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent, and hence they are easily trainable. They are very active and can keep themselves engaged when pet owners are busy with their schedules. So, early training and socialization are recommended for these dogs. They are mouthy, and hence, they should be trained. Take them on a leash since German Shorthaired Pointers have strong prey drives. A bored German Shorthaired Pointer can jump off the fence. So, you need to build a secured tall wall if you are away on some work. German Shorthaired Pointers are very sensitive and should be trained gently. Their training will include the following:

  • Leash training  
  • Crate training  
  • Potty training
  • Firm training and consistent training
  • Positive training method with rewards and treats
  • Training for obedience
  • Training for prey drive and mouthiness
  • Early socialization
  • Training for wanderlust tendencies

Here are a few dog interactive toys and products that you can use while training:

ASOCEA Dog Extendable Teaser Wand
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Dog Training Collar with Remote
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Ultra Tug & Toss Dog Toy
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Dog Puzzle Toys
Buy at Amazon

Trainability Overview

Easy to train High
Intelligence High
Mouthiness tendencies Medium to high
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium
Prey drive High
Wanderlust tendencies High

German Shorthaired Pointer Exercise Needs

German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to be an agile hunting companion. They are highly energetic dogs and require a great deal of exercise. German Shorthaired Pointer needs to be mentally and physically stimulated to be a good dog. You can meet their exercise needs by engaging them in hiking, or playing fetch and frisbee for at least one hour daily. They excel in swimming, running, and other canine sports. From field events to agility and obedience, the German Shorthaired Pointers excel in any canine sports. Their webbed feet and water-resistant coat can make them excellent water dogs. The German Shorthaired Pointers can be wonderful outdoor companions.

Exercising German Shorthaired Pointer is essential mainly for three reasons:

  • To keep the pet mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Avoid any other destructive behavior.
  • To keep the pet away from obesity.

Here are a few puzzles and dog toys to keep German Shorthaired Pointers engaged:

Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
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TOMAHAUK Snuffle Mat for Dogs
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TRIXIE Dog Activity
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LOOBANI Dog Food Puzzle
Buy at Amazon

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level High
Exercise needs High
Intensity Medium
Playfulness High

German Shorthaired Pointer Grooming

The smooth and short coats of the German Shorthaired Pointers are easy to groom since they do not shed profusely. Pet owners must regularly brush their coats with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when required. Pet owners are suggested to check their pet’s feet after exercises. German Shorthaired Pointers should be dried after hunting sessions. In addition, you should check their ears for infections such as lousy odor or rashes. Their grooming regime will include the following:

It is enough to bathe him once in a while with a mild bath shampoo for dogs. However, excessive bathing can remove the natural oils from your canine’s skin. Some grooming product suggestions for your pet:

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs
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Grooming Kit
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Dog Shampoo
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WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Earth Rated Dog Wipes, Plant-Based and Compostable Wipes for Dogs
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Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Buy at Amazon

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmers
Buy at Amazon

Grooming Overview

Easy to groom High
Drooling tendency Low to medium
Amount of shedding Low to medium

German Shorthaired Pointer Health

German Shorthaired Pointers are generally active, energetic, and healthy dog breeds. Their average life span is 12 to 15 years. However, some health conditions can be seen depending on their parental genes. They are listed below:

Health Overview

Overall health Medium
Weight gain tendencies Medium
Size Medium

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a painful, life-threatening condition caused when the bones of the rear legs don’t fit properly in the joints. Hip dysplasia is primarily hereditary, but injuries, excessive weight gain, and wrong exercises can cause hip dysplasia. This condition causes defects or damage to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment. 

Some dogs might exhibit symptoms, while some might not. Treatment ranges from medication to replacement of the hip through surgeries. To avoid this problem, do not crossbreed with a parent who has the issue of hip dysplasia. Regular checkups are suggested.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include: 

  • Reduced activity and movements 
  • Reluctance to rise, jump, run or climb 
  • Lameness in the hind limbs 
  • Reducing thigh muscle mass 
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait 
  • Grating in the joint during movement 
  • Enlarging shoulders 
  • Pain 
  • Stiffness

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: A life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested dogs, especially if they have an overfed meal, eat rapidly, drink excessive amounts of water, or exercise vigorously after eating. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus leads to bloating in the stomach. Your dog cannot vomit to get rid of excess air in his stomach, and blood flow to the heart is prevented. Blood pressure lowers, and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog may die. Suspect bloat if your dog is drooling excessively and is not throwing up. He might be restless with rapid heartbeats. If you notice the above symptoms, take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a hereditary blood condition that inhibits the blood’s capacity to clot. Excessive bleeding following an operation or surgery is the primary symptom. Some signs and effects include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, and intestinal or bowel bleeding. There is still no solution; the only remedy is a blood transfusion from normal dogs. New therapies, including medication, are being researched. The majority of dogs with Von Willebrand’s disease can live everyday lives. Your dog should be tested for the disease by a veterinarian. 

Lymphedema is a disorder that causes tissues to swell due to the collection of fluids because of valvular blockage or lymphatic ducts getting twisted. 

Entropion: This condition is caused due to the facial shape, which is acquired genetically. It is more prevalent in short-nosed, brachycephalic dogs. This genetic condition builds up tension on the ligaments of the inner eye that causes the eyelids to roll inward.

Signs of Entropion in Dogs: 

  • Squinting 
  • Excessive tearing 
  • Eye discharge 
  • Swelling around eyes 
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes 
  • Eye redness 
  • Excessive blinking 
  • Corneal ulcers

Cancer: Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier. Various cancer types affecting your pet are:  

  • Lymphoma: A severe illness that affects lymphocyte cells. 
  • Hemangiosarcoma: This is a hazardous form of cancer that originates in the lining of blood vessels and the spleen. It most commonly happens in middle-aged and elderly dogs.   
  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone cancer common in large and giant breeds. 

Osteochondrosis Dessicans is an inflammatory condition that occurs due to the cartilage’s abnormal development, leading to its separation from the underlying bone. Although it most prominently affects the shoulder, it may be prevalent at the elbow, hip, or knee.  

Symptoms of OCD  

  • Limping in the affected leg   
  • Extremely painful when the affected leg is manipulated  
  • Swollen or warm joint  
  • Treatment generally involves following a strict rest schedule, medications, supplements, and surgery if necessary. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Many eye infections involve the retina’s slow deterioration. In the initial phases, puppies become night-blind. As it progresses, they lose their eyesight during the daytime as well. However, most canines slowly adapt to their slight or complete sight loss as long as their home surroundings remain the same.

Epilepsy: This is the most prevalent neurological disease in canines, concerning about 0.75 percent of the population. Epilepsy is a broad name for disorders characterized by repeated, uncontrollable seizures caused by a brain defect.

Skin Problems: The continual scratching and licking paws can be worrying, but don’t blame your dog for his bad behavior; it’s because of skin allergies and diseases. Parasites, allergies, and underlying sickness can be the reasons. Symptoms of skin problems include:  

  • Skin Sores  
  • Dry Skin  
  • Rashes
  • Lumps  
  • Redness  
  • Dandruff  
  • Bumps  
  • Sunburns  
  • Hair Loss 

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It eliminates the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer. 

Recommended Tests for the German Shorthaired Pointer

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Eye Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cone Degeneration DNA Evaluation
  • Cardiac Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

German Shorthaired Pointer Diet and Nutrition

German Shorthaired Pointers are high-energy dogs and would require two to three cups of high-quality dog food that is divided into two meals. Several commercial kibbles are high in proteins, but consider supplementing the kibbles with rich quality lean meat and canned dog food. Depending on his size, age, weight, and activities, consult your veterinarian and feed him the amount of food he will need. You can divide his meal time into two or three per his veterinarian’s suggestions. Here are a few nutritious suggestions for your German Shorthaired Pointer:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Buy at Amazon

IAMS Minichunks Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken
Buy at Amazon

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food
Buy at Amazon

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food
Buy at Amazon

German Shorthaired Pointer Living Condition

  • German Shorthaired Pointers are suitable for hot weather conditions. 
  • They need a lot of exercises to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. 
  • They are unsuitable for apartment living. 
  • A tall fence with a vast area can suit German Shorthaired Pointers. 
  • A family that affords to spend a lot of time with dogs is best suited for German Shorthaired Pointers. 
  • They are unsuitable for houses with small children.

Did You Know?

  • Some famous personalities who own the German Shorthaired Pointers include – Tim McGraw, Bradley Cooper, and Ben Stein.
  • The United States of America Air Force relies on a German Shorthaired Pointer to detect explosives.
  • There is a book written on the German Shorthaired Pointers by Rick Bass named Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had. It is about his experience hunting and living with a German Shorthaired Pointer in Montana. 

  • The Westminster Kennel Club has recognized the German Shorthaired Pointers thrice as “Best In Show” in 1974, 2005, and 2016. 
  • The German Shorthaired Pointers are both retrievers and pointers. They can hunt on land and retrieve underwater.
  • A book named Run, Rainey, Run written by sports writer Mel Wallis depicts the relationship of his German Shorthaired Pointers.
Run, Rainey, Run
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  • Male GSPs are more outgoing and aggressive hunters than female dogs.

German Shorthaired Pointer Club Recognition

Adding a German Shorthaired Pointer to Your Family

Adding German Shorthaired Pointers to your family will need proper research about their parent breed, cost, breeders, health, and certificates. Then, get your German Shorthaired Pointers from a reputable breeder who will provide you with vaccination and genetic testing certificates. Also, make sure to check the health of the puppy’s parent breeds.

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