German Shorthaired Pointers are medium-sized dogs with a short, thick coat that feels tough to the fingers. The coat can be solid liver or some combination of white and liver, whether ticked, patched, or roan. The hair on the ears and head is softer and thinner, while the hair on the underside of the tail is a bit longer. German Shorthaired Pointers have dark, almond-shaped eyes and broad ears. They measure 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 45 to 70 pounds.
German Shorthaired Pointers are devoted family pets. They are intelligent, friendly, and eager to please; they are not typically nervous or moody.
Loyal, intelligent, and even-tempered dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers make great family companions. They enjoy being active and require a considerable amount of exercise, which makes them ideally suited for active, outdoorsy families. These dogs are highly adaptable and get along very well with children and other pets.
German Shorthaired Pointers possess a keen scenting power that makes them highly proficient at trailing, retrieving, and pointing grouse, possum, pheasant, raccoons, quail, waterfowl, deer, and other game.
German Shorthaired Pointers are devoted family pets. They are intelligent, friendly, and eager to please; they are not typically nervous or moody. These dogs are loving and good-natured, but they may be too active and boisterous for small children. They do best in homes with older children and other dogs. The German Shorthaired Pointer's natural hunting instincts make them a poor choice for homes with small animals.
These dogs prefer to play and hunt during the day and then curl up with their human family members for some bonding time at night. They should live inside the house, with regular access to a large yard or field, and they have great fun when accompanying their family on hikes, picnics, bike rides, and trips to the beach.
German Shorthaired Pointers are naturally very active and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them out of trouble. These dogs should be exercised for at least an hour every day, with additional time given to free play in a securely fenced yard. They also love swimming and thrive when given regular access to water. Because of their high exercise needs, this breed is not a good choice for small apartments.
German Shorthairs are a generally healthy breed, but they are prone to certain health conditions that can negatively affect length or quality of life. Congenital hip dysplasia, lymphedema, gastric torsion, von Willebrands Disease, OCD, pannus, and certain eye diseases, such as entropion, ectropion, cone degeneration, and progressive retinal atrophy, are all known to affect these dogs. Cancer, epilepsy, and some skin conditions are also more common in these dogs than in some other breeds.
Additionally, German Shorthaired Pointers love to eat, and they will do a lot of it if allowed. Because being overweight or obese increases the risk of diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and some other conditions, it's essential to monitor the diet and activity level of these dogs. Low-calorie treats, regular exercise, and a nutritious diet will all help prevent obesity in this breed.
With regular veterinary checkups, timely vaccinations, proper nutrition, and attention to weight management, German Shorthaired Pointers can live a full life of 12 to 14 years.
German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent dogs, and most learn commands and limits quickly and early. Because this breed is slow to mature, though, some may require extra patience. These dogs do not reach maturity until two years of age.
This breed can have a mind of its own. For this reason, it is essential to begin training and socialization very early in life. Training should focus on controlling hunting instincts, teaching these dogs when it is appropriate to bark, and training them to be gentle around small children and animals. Frequent walks around town and play sessions at a dog park should continue throughout life to ensure these dogs remain friendly and outgoing.
When not given sufficient exercise, German Shorthaired Pointers may become bored and destructive. This may result in climbing fences, excessive barking, digging, and chasing small animals. These behaviors must be dealt with promptly to keep these dogs safe. Firm and consistent training techniques are more effective than harsh criticism or punishment.
The German Shorthair's coat is short, thick, and water-repellent, and it works to protect them from cold temperatures and sharp brush. Fortunately, it is also easy to care for; a weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush or rubber hound mitt is usually sufficient to keep the coat and skin healthy. Regular brushing will also remove loose hair to control shedding, which is essential when living with a German Shorthaired Pointer because their coarse hair is difficult to remove from carpet and furniture.
Bathing is rarely necessary, but a good rinsing is important after these dogs swim in salt, chlorine, or algae. If the coat becomes sticky or stinky, a quick washing with a pH-balanced shampoo will clean the coat without causing skin irritation.
The nails should be trimmed regularly, and the teeth need frequent brushing to protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Because these dogs have droopy ears that prevent proper air circulation, they are at risk for bacterial and yeast infections. The ears must be checked frequently for redness, odor, bacteria, and other signs of infections, and they should be cleaned and dried using a veterinarian-approved otic cleanser.
The German Shorthaired Pointer's origin is not clear, but the breed was likely developed from crossing German Bird Dogs with various German scent hounds. Whatever their origin, these dogs proved to be attractive, intelligent, dependable, and outgoing with a keen sense of smell and superb pointing, retrieving, and tracking abilities.
In addition to being versatile hunters, German Shorthaired Pointers were perfect for casual sportsmen who wanted a part-time hunting dog and full-time companion. Their even temperaments and tolerance for children made them excellent family dogs.
Today, German Shorthaired Pointers are beloved for their personalities, although they are still popular hunting dogs. They are also standouts in the show ring.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the German Shorthaired Pointer in 1930.