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German Shorthaired Pointer

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German Shorthaired Pointer Profile

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The German Shorthaired Pointer (also known as the ‘GSP‘, ‘Deutsch Kurzhaar’, or ‘DK’) is a German breed resulting from careful crosses in the 17th century of the Spanish Pointer, Foxhound, Italian Pointer, and Hannover Hound. Generally bred for function over form, the German Shorthaired Pointer was later crossed with the Pointer to introduce style, speed, and ‘nose up’ scenting capabilities. The end result was an adaptable hunting dog with trailing, pointing, and retrieving capabilities which could kill wounded game when necessary. Two early 19th century German Shorthaired Pointers named Nero and Treff, successful racers who bred many descendants, are sometimes credited as the parents of the modern breed. The German Shorthaired Pointer was first imported to America in the 1920’s and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930. Today, German Shorthaired Pointers are a popular hunting breed and moderately popular show dogs and pets. German Shorthaired Pointers are featured prominently in the books ‘Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had’ by Rick Bass, ‘Run, Rainey, Run’ by Mel Wallis, and Robert B. Parker’s ‘Spenser’ detective novels.


The German Shorthaired Pointer has a shoulder height of 53-64 cm (21-25 in) and weighs 20-32 kg (45-70 lbs). It has a large brown nose, moderate stop (depression where the muzzle meets the forehead), and rounded, highly set ears. German Shorthaired Pointers have webbed feet and a tail docked to less than half its natural length.


The German Shorthaired Pointer has a flat coat with a stiff, water-resistant undercoat. It is liver (dark brown) with possible white, brown, or yellow markings. Some standards allow black or black and white. Most German Shorthaired Pointers have a solid-colored head and white body ‘ticked’ with liver or vice versa.


The German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent, eager to learn, loyal and brave. It will become hyperactive if not properly exercised.


The German Shorthaired Pointer gets along well with children, but caution should be exercised with young children as the German Shorthaired Pointer is quite boisterous. German Shorthaired Pointers get along with other dogs but may have a high prey instinct with cats or other pets, which can be overcome by training and socializing the dog when young. The German Shorthaired Pointer makes a good watchdog.


The German Shorthaired Pointer requires only occasional brushing and cleaning of the ears to prevent infection. Bathe only when necessary. German Shorthaired Pointers have a lifespan of 12 years or longer, some live as long as 18 years. Health risks include lymph edema and obesity (if properly fed and exercised, the stomach should ‘tuck up’ slightly behind the chest). The German Shorthaired Pointer requires a lot of water to prevent dehydration, especially when exercised. German Shorthaired Pointers can live outdoors with a soft bed and warm shelter but prefer indoor life with the family with access to a large yard. German Shorthaired Pointers are frequently killed in road accidents because they can leap over large fences; proper precautions should be taken.


The German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent and has a well-deserved reputation of being highly trainable. German Shorthaired Pointers adapt easily to a wide variety of hunting and field jobs including pointing and retrieving on land and water.


The German Shorthaired Pointer needs a substantial amount of exercise as it was bred to hunt. It enjoys long walks, swimming, and retrieving. The German Shorthaired Pointer is most suited to outdoor activities, and fits best with a sporty family.