The German Shorthaired Pointer is a top-notch hunting dog that requires almost no training!
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a sporting dog that was carefully developed by German hunters. Crossbreeding of the Old Spanish Pointer and a number of fine hunting dogs resulted in this superb dog breed. It is a pointer that hunts well on land and in water, requires little training to do so, and can thrive in a variety of climates.
German Shorthair Pointers have cheerful and loyal personalities. They have lots of energy, making them a good choice for active types. They make fine companions for both the hunter and non-hunter. The breed loves children and has become increasingly popular over the years as a family pet. They are wary of strangers, though usually not aggressive, and may chase unfamiliar animals. With proper training the German Shorthair Pointer can make a good watchdog. They do need human companionship and plenty of exercise.
When choosing a German Shorthaired Pointer, check bloodlines for hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye and skin problems, and cancer.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus: Canis
- Species: lupus familiaris
The German Shorthaired Pointer is the result of crossbreeding of a number of fine hunting dogs by German hunters. Its most certain descendent is the Old Spanish Pointer, and its lineage may also include French and Scandinavian breeds, the Foxhound, and the English Pointer. These breeding efforts produced a dog that hunts well on land and in water, requiring little training to do so.
German Shorthaired Pointers have sleek, well-balanced builds. They have long muzzles, brown, almond-shaped eyes, a brown nose, and broad, fairly long ears that sit high on the head. The coat is short and smooth, and comes in solid liver, liver and white, patched, ticked, or roan. No colors other than liver and white should be found in the coat.
Male German Shorthaired Pointers measure 23 to 25 inches tall and weigh 55 to 70 pounds. Females are 21 to 23 inches tall and weigh 45 to 60 pounds.
Care and Feeding
German Shorthaired Pointers will do well on a diet that includes poultry, fish, lamb, avocado and wheat. This breed is somewhat prone to bloat, so it is best to feed two or three small meals per day instead of one large one. This pointer requires very little grooming. Regular brushing and as-needed baths are all that are needed to keep the coat looking good. The feet and ears should be examined regularly. Dewclaws should be removed from this breed at a few days of age. The tail is usually docked by 60%.
A German Shorthair Pointers needs annual checkups to stay healthy. Vaccinations are due on the following schedule:
- 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
- 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
- 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
- Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster
This breed sheds moderately. If kept indoors, regular vacuuming is important. Due to its narrow nose, this breed is rather susceptible to breathing problems. Minimizing dust in the dog’s environment will help prevent serious problems.
Housing Your Dog
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a very active breed, and is best suited to living in large spaces with plenty of room to run outdoors. If bored, the German Shorthaired Pointer may try to escape. A high fence is important if this breed is to be kept outdoors.
This breed loves human companionship and does very well with children. It can do well with other pets if raised with them, but may chase unfamiliar animals. The German Shorthaired Pointer is wary of strangers, although not usually aggressive.
Handling and Training
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a willful breed, and it may be easily distracted. This can lead to difficulties during training. The trainer must be firm and persistent. Housebreaking is often difficult for this breed.
German Shorthaired Pointers need lots and lots of exercise. Daily walks are essential, and they should also have ample time to run off-lease in a fenced area. Lack of exercise may cause this breed to become bored and destructive.
When selecting a mate for your German Shorthaired Pointer, check bloodlines for hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye and skin problems, and cancer. Breast cancer is particularly common in females of certain lineage.
Common Health Problems
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a generally healthy breed. It is, however, important to take your dog in for regular checkups due to the prevalence of cancerous lesions in the breed, and to monitor for other health problems.
“German Shorthaired Pointer“, Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
“English Cocker Spaniel“, Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., “What to Feed a German Shorthaired Pointer“, Referenced online, 2008
“German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies for Sale“, Copyright PuppyFind.com, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
“German Shorthaired Pointer“, Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
Featured Image Credit: Burry van den Brink, Shutterstock