German Shorthaired Pointer

AKC Group: Sporting

The German Shorthaired Pointer was a cross between Spanish pointers and scent and tracking hounds. These combinations created a responsive, lean hunting dog with versatility from the kind of prey that they can hunt to the type or terrain they hunt on. Breeding was to focus on function, rather than form. Today, the German Shorthaired Pointer is still one of the most versatile of gun dogs.

Size: 21 to 25 inches high; 45 to 70 pounds

Color: Liver or combinations of liver and white.

Life span: 14 to 16 years

Health problems: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, thyroid problems, cataracts, epilepsy, entopion and von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD).

German Shorthaired Pointers are active, agile dogs that are tolerant, obedient and intelligent. They are quick to learn and some can have a stubborn streak, while others are overly submissive. Both temperaments can be improved by proper socialization. With an abundance of energy and a love of play; you’ll need to provide your German Shorthaired Pointer with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stave off boredom and destructiveness. They can get along with children though they may be “too big” for small kids. They get along with other pets when socialized properly. If not, they’ll chase cats and may be aggressive with other dogs. Depending on their own innate personality, they may be friendly or reserved with strangers. German Shorthaired Pointers are a dedicated,
protective dog that are well suited for families or active singles/couples who can be confident and assertive.

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short, close-lying coat that has a harsh texture. They are a sturdy, athletically-built dog with alert, intelligent expressions. They do shed seasonally and will require more grooming time during those periods. Otherwise, brush them occasionally to keep the coat in good condition.

Historically, German Shorthaired Pointers would work far distances from their handler. They need to know that the handler was in charge and to come when called. These dogs are easily trained for the gun dog role they used to play. If they aren’t being used for hunting, you may need to seek out formal training techniques, including puppy classes, obedience, agility and the like. If he is left untrained, he will probably be unmanageable because he’ll be bored out of his mind. It’s best to employ the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) method. Make him work to earn everything. Before mealtimes, play, go outside or walk him, then have him perform a command. This will help to reinforce that you are the pack leader and help to give his non-hunting life meaning.


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