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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

Origin: Germany

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 21 - 25 inches (Male)

Weight: 45 - 70 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
21 - 25 inches
Male weight: 
45 - 70 pounds
Short, dense, smooth and hard to the touch.
Liver with gray and white flecking. Solid liver is less common. Eyes are dark. Nose is brown. Tail is docked.

As early as the 1700s, the Germans used dogs referred to collectively as "huehnerhunden"(bird dogs). Specific types did not develop until the 1800s, when individual breeds of versatile gun dogs began to be standardized. In the mid-1800s, Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels wanted to create an all-purpose hunting dog and encouraged breeders to follow "function over form." With this guidance, breeders began crossing the huehnerhunden with schweisshunds (early German tracking hounds), various French hounds and in the late 1800s, English Pointers were added to the mix. These breeds are believed to have formed the basis of the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP). Originally short and heavy bodied with long ears and a slow pace, it was the addition of the Pointer blood that helped create a dog who could excel at water work, retrieving and tracking. American hunters enthusiastically received the breed when it was imported in the early 1900s. The German Shorthaired Pointer was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1940 and has maintained his popularity with both serious hunters and with those who admire his good looks and ready disposition. He is described as "all business and no frills"; the breed boasts one of the most dual champions (field and show) of any breed in the United States.

The GSP has an exuberant personality. He is enthusiastic about just about everything: walks, opportunities to hunt, being with people, going on trips, meals - if his owner wants to do something, he wants to do it, too. He is a bright-eyed, happy-go-lucky fellow whose love of family runs deep. GSPs are versatile and known for their intelligence and loyalty. They also have a very high energy level, and their exuberance spills over into an almost nervous energy that needs creative outlets to maintain physical and mental soundness.
At home: 
Because of their size and the fact that they were bred for outdoor work, German Shorthaired Pointers tend to do better in a suburban or country setting. Although they love the outdoors, they like to be with their people more and should live inside the home, not tied out in the backyard. A 6-foot-high (1.8 m) fence is recommended, as the breed has "escape artist" tendencies.
Like many of the pointing breeds, the GSP needs exercise - the more, the better. He won't be satisfied with a stroll around the block - he needs to run. When properly trained, the GSP should be taken regularly to parks or other open spaces where he can gallop across fields, dive into ponds and work hedgerows for game. He will be grateful, as well as physically satisfied.
GSPs are high-energy dogs, which tends to make them hearty eaters. Feed a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Dogs involved in high-performance activities may need a special diet.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is an eager, responsive breed. Because he is so people-oriented, he aims to please (as long as it's interesting to him). Short, positive training sessions conducted several times a day will accomplish the best results. Combine training with rewards based on his favorite things - time outdoors or tasty treats - and he will be happy to comply.
GSPs are wonderful with children but may be reserved with strangers. They can do well with cats and other dogs if raised with them from puppyhood, but GSPs are hunting dogs who may see other small pets as prey.
The average life span of the German Shorthaired Pointer is 12 to 15 years. Health problems associated with the breed include Addison's disease; bloat; cancer; entropion; epilepsy; hip dysplasia; and von Willebrand disease.
Fun fact: 

The GSP is a true multitasker - he was bred to point, retrieve, trail wounded game, hunt all sizes and types of game, work in low or heavy cover, work in water and be an unparalleled family companion.

Grooming blurb: 
The short, sleek coat of the GSP needs only minimal care to keep it looking great. A good rubbing with a hound glove removes dead hair and massages the skin. Keep the GSP's ears clean because they tend to become infected. Frequent swimming or time spent in favorite mud holes will require baths.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.