Dog Breed Series – German Shorthaired Pointer



Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 9 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch tall at the shoulder
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years

This versatile sporting dog breed hunts many types of game, retrieves on land or from water, and is an affectionate companion. He has a striking, easy-care coat, but he needs plenty of vigorous exercise. If you can provide him with the mental and physical challenges he craves, he’ll be your best four-legged friend.

One of the most versatile sporting breeds around, the stylish and regal German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP for short) is a superb hunting dog who also excels as a family companion. He hunts feathered and furred game and will even trail deer. In the evening, he plays with the kids or curls up next to you on the sofa. Not a hunter? The German Shorthair will be happy to hike or jog with you.

Slightly smaller than a Pointer, the GSP has an elegantly chiseled head with dark almond-shaped eyes, an intelligent, good-humored expression, and a large, dark nose. Broad, dropped ears are set high and lie flat against the head. But the most striking aspect of the GSP’s appearance is his short, dense, sleek coat of solid liver or liver and white, which can be patched, ticked or roan. The tail is usually docked, leaving about 40 percent of the original length.

This energetic, intelligent dog is enthusiastic at work and play. He likes being with people and is a good friend to children, albeit a bit rambunctious for little ones. That people-loving personality causes the GSP to be unhappy if left alone for long periods, and he can become nervous and destructive if he’s not provided with regular companionship and exercise. He’ll bark at strangers but isn’t aggressive. Males tend to be more outgoing and are more aggressive hunters than females.

The muscular GSP needs a great deal of exercise. Expect to give him a workout of an hour or two daily. With his webbed feet and water-resistant coat, he’s a great water dog and loves to swim. If you have a pool, expect him to be in it with you.

GSPs like to please their people and will work hard for them, especially if they’re rewarded with praise, play, or food. They typically aren’t stubborn and learn new exercises quickly. The biggest challenge is to keep them focused on training. They can get bored easily.

This is one of the few hunting breeds that can perform virtually all gundog roles. The GSP can be a pointer and a retriever. He can hunt upland birds and waterfowl, as well as rabbits, raccoons, and deer. Whatever you ask of your GSP, he will gladly comply with unshakable reliability.

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