The German Shorthaired Pointer

We don’t know the precise origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP), but what we do know is that he was bred to be a prolific hunter. Able to hunt and retrieve all sorts of game, including pheasant, quail, grouse, waterfowl, raccoons, possum, and even deer! 

Developed in 19th century Germany and a descendant of the German Bird Dog (with some English Pointer mixed in for good measure), the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most popular dog breeds in America. 

Sizing Up
The GSP is a medium-to-large-sized breed. Here are some common physical traits of the GSP:

  • Weight: 45-70 lbs.
  • Height: 23-26 inches
  • Coat: Short and flat, with a dense undercoat that is both water resistant and insulating
  • Color: Liver (dark brown), black, with both colors sometimes mixed with white
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years

What are they like?
Energy, energy, energy!

There’s no better dog for someone who loves the outdoors than the German Shorthaired Pointer. Able to keep up on marathon hikes and swift dawn trail runs – and able to give you a sense of security as you forge new paths in the forest – the GSP is the quintessential outdoor dog for active people and families. 

The GSP is a well-mannered, happy family dog. His high-energy ways require consistent exercise, but he doesn’t need all your attention. That is, unless he bolts to chase a squirrel or woodchuck. With some dedicated training, the GSP can be a well-behaved and well-loved dog, comfortable around new people or strange dogs (as long as they aren’t too small). 

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a tough, hardy breed with just a few hereditary diseases, including:

Right for you?
As with any new pet, there are some considerations to make before you welcome a German Shorthaired Pointer into your family:

  • It takes the GSP a little longer to mature: two years, to be exact. When it comes to training, you’ll have to be patient, start early, and stick with it. It will be worth it in the end, trust us.
  • He’s a hunter by nature. That means that he’ll bark at, and chase, everything that moves. He’ll also dig up your yard. With the right training, started at an early age, these behaviors can be addressed pretty easily.
  • Because he was bred for physically demanding work, it is extremely important to keep a GSP active physically and mentally. He needs at least an hour each day for exercise through walks, runs, hikes, or runs alongside your bicycle.  
  • Grooming is minimal. A weekly brushing will keep a GSP happy and comfortable.  

When trained well and exercised thoroughly, the German Shorthaired Pointer can be a great companion for the right person or family.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reviewed on: 
Tuesday, December 16, 2014