Sporty and Full of Spunk: The German Shorthaired Pointer!Reading Time: 4 minutes
Happy, loyal and rather regal. That’s the German Shorthaired Pointer! This energetic dog breed is well-known for its hunting capabilities, companionship, and über cute expressive eyes.
This breed is good with kids and active families, but to find out if the German Shorthaired Pointer dog is right for your home, read our complete guide…
German Shorthaired Pointers are a Breed of all Trades!
Dog breeds with a reputation for being fearsome hunters don’t strike us as being family friendly!
But the German Shorthaired Pointer (or GSP for short) will prove you wrong. They’re excellent hunting dogs, intelligent thinkers and exceedingly loving. From pointer puppies to retired Pointer companions, these dogs are loyal and very friendly towards humans.
A Brief History of GSP Dogs
The modern German Shorthaired doggie is from… Germany! They’re also known as Deutsch Kurzhaar dogs and shouldn’t be confused with the mustachioed German Wirehaired Pointer or English Setter.
Bred to be loyal companions and excellent hunters for small game, the GSP is a well-rounded, carefully selected breed. These gun dogs are one of several hunting dog breeds to emerge from Europe, including the Wirehair Pointer and Lagotto Romagnolo, but none are as popular as the Shorthaired Pointer.
The breed Pointer has only been around the past 100 years or so, but they’ve already landed themselves at number 11 on the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed popularity rankings.
GSP vs. English Pointer: What’s the Difference?
Spot the difference is not an easy game when it comes to these breeds! Both dogs have Spanish Pointer ancestry, but the main difference between these breeds is their original purpose.
English Pointers were bred to focus on pointing out birds, rather than being an all-round hunter like the German Pointer. This makes the English Pointer a little calmer and more efficient as a watchdog!
The Appearance of German Pointers
Once you lock eyes with a cuddly German Shorthair pup, it’s hard to look away! They have beautiful eyes that sparkle with kindness, intelligence, and curiosity, framed under floppy dark ears. These short hair dogs can have a solid liver coat, which is a dark brown color similar to chocolate, or a spotty mix of liver and white.
Their tiny waists make even supermodels jealous! They are also equipped with sturdy legs, webbed paws and a strong chest for hunting efficiency.
Average Size and Weight!
German Shorthairs can reach 25 inches tall, which is about the same as another famous German dog breed, the German Shepherd, but without all that long fur.
Blue, Black, and Brown: The Beautiful GSP Colors!
From liver to spotted to dark brown/blue, the short-haired coat is pretty to observe, soft to stroke and unbelievably easy to brush… if they sit still for long enough!
Brush their coat once a week with a coarse brush and don’t forget to dry thoroughly after playing in the rain or going for a swim. These pooches are moderately light shedders, but the hairs are difficult to get off the furniture!
If the thought of brushing a curly-coated retriever or flat-coated retriever has you pulling your own hair out, this could be the dog for you.
Temperament and Personality
These dogs are die-hard extroverts, they love spending time with the family and hate to be alone. In fact, leaving them alone too often can cause separation anxiety and turn your loving pooch into an escape artist.
Unless you’re ready to go on an epic adventure called Finding Fido, make sure your yard is dog proof with very high fences and sturdy gates.
Not a Dog for Couch Potato Parents!
Once they’re up, they’re REALLY up! Dawn ‘til dusk, German Shorthairs are up and about, ready for adventure. They’ll race you on your run, search out a good path ahead on your hike, chase your bicycle for hours and even swim laps with you in the pool.
And when you’re totally exhausted, they’ll want to do it all over again!
These Doggos Need Space!
If you’ve got a small apartment, think twice before adopting a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. These pooches need an abundance of space to nosey around while you’re at home. You also need to be near a wide-open space for walks and runs.
Parks are good places but don’t forget the pointer’s ancestry. If they spot a squirrel or neighbors cat, it won’t end well.
National parks and areas of wilderness are great places to take this dog on adventures!
A Look at the German Shorthaired Pointer Lifespan!
The life expectancy of the GSP is around 7 to 10 years. The key to extending that lifespan is a loving home, plenty of exercise and a healthy diet.
GSPs are prone to bloating, where their abdomen expands and they struggle to expel trapped gas in their stomach and intestines. This is potentially life-threatening, so keep an eye out for any change in their chest size or signs of discomfort. Feed them several small meals a day, rather than one large meal.
3 Facts You Didn’t Know About This Breed
- This dog breed is known as a pointer because it points towards birds when hunting! But the German Shorthaired breed is extra special as it can also retrieve and track prey on land and in water. No one multitasks like a GSP!
- Besides bloating, GSP puppies should be pre-checked for hip dysplasia and carefully monitored for entropion (an eye problem that can be fixed with surgery). This dog breed is also susceptible to several cancers and Von Willebrand’s disease.
- Although they go crazy when they spot a squirrel, you can train your pointer puppy to become best friends with your cat and teach them not to fetch your hamster!
German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies for Sale!
Those adorable pups with the floppy ears are super distracting, but there are important factors to focus on before you buy a pointer puppy.
First, make sure you understand the level of exercise that comes with this pooch. Second, make sure your family will love the doggo as much as the doggo will love you!
Always check the temperament of the momma dog before picking a pup from the litter. Early socialization with mom, strangers, and other dogs is essential to ensure they grow up friendly and won’t see smaller dogs and pets as prey.
It’s a good thing they’re so easy to train!
German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy Price!
Expect to pay over $1,000 for a GSP from reputable German Shorthaired Pointer breeders – this is about the same as the traditional family dog, the Labrador Retriever!
You’ll need to pay more to a German Shorthaired Pointer Club breeder, or American Kennel Club (AKC) checked breeder.
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About German Shorthaired Pointer Rescues!
GSP rescue dogs are not only deserving of a kind home, but they’re often a little easier on your budget.
While they may be anxious at first, this dog breed is very rarely dangerous towards humans. Their natural temperament is energetic yet very loving. With some simple training, they’ll be the perfect companion and perfectly fine around your school-age children!
Common Question about German Shorthaired Pointers
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