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.
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.
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.
GSPs excel at field trials, hunting, agility, obedience and tracking. Becoming involved in these activities can also provide an excellent outlet for the GSP's almost endless energy reserve.
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.
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.
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