The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile all-purpose gundog.
While not proven, some think that the German Shorthaired Pointer is a descendant of different types of German hunting, scent hounds, trail and track dogs, such as the Old Spanish Pointer, German Bird Dog, Hounds of St. Hubert (Bloodhound types), and the Foxhound.
Later the English Pointer was crossed in to add speed and endurance. German hunters were after an all-purpose utility dog that not only had a good nose, but could point, track, was an excellent retriever and gundog, in both field and water for both feather and fur.
They also wanted a dog that was an excellent weekend hunter, but made a good family companion and watchdog. The German The
German Shorthaired Pointer contributed in the development of the German Wirehaired Pointer.
The German Shorthaired Pointer's talents are show dog, obedience, gundog, retrieving, tracking trials, field trials and hunting tests.
One of the most energetic breeds. A hunting dog by nature. Protective, clever, eager and willing to please. Happy-go-lucky. Loves long walks, jogging, hiking, hunting, or a game of Frisbee. Faithful, spirited and friendly. Mixes well with children. Best suited for an active family. When they lack in exercise they can become high strung and frustrated.
If this breed lacks in either exercise or leadership it can develop separation anxiety and possibly become destructive and nervous. Good with other pets if introduced properly. This breed likes to bark and can be reserved with strangers.
This breed is not recommended for apartment life and does best with a large yard and an active, athletic family. It may be able to jump any fence that is lower than 6 feet tall. Under exercised, bored GSPs are great escape artists.
This breed was created to be a family friendly dog as well as a hunter. German shorthairs should be an affectionate and intelligent dog that is easy to train and willing to please. They are cheerful, friendly, comical and sociable. German shorthairs love children and do well with them, but sometimes as puppies they can be too boisterous. If taught from early on to be gentle, as adults they can make great companions to children.
Most German Shorthairs make excellent watch dogs because they are protective and loyal to their family. They love to be with their people, and crave interaction and mental stimulation. A German Shorthair that lacks socialization and exercise could show behaviors such as aggression, destructiveness, and shyness.
Males tend to be dominant and outgoing, while females tend to be less dominant. Both genders need a strong owner with the knowledge of being a pack leader and staying in charge of their dog. An owner that is too easy going will find their dog overpowers them and will not be controllable. They tend to be a "one-man" dog.
This breed is extremely smart. Intelligence, combined with energy, creates a dog that needs to keep his mind and body occupied. Teaching the dog commands such as sit, stay, down, come, etc. keeps the mind occupied and satisfied, as well as vigorous exercise.
If raised with other pets, German Shorthairs can do well with other dogs and cats. However, they are a hunting breed and small pets such as birds, small mammal's and reptiles may be considered game to them.
If left alone too long, they can become destructive. It is recommended to crate or kennel them when being left alone. Crate training can begin when they are young puppies and can be a valuable tool for the rest of their life. However, over-crating can be destructive.
The GSP is one of the more noisy hunting dogs. It should be taught when they are young when barking is acceptable and when it is not, to prevent nuisance barking.
German Shorthairs are generally considered a healthy breed, but they can be prone to disorders such as:
As all dogs with floppy ears, the German Shorthair Pointer is prone to Ear infections. Regular cleaning of the ears is necessary.
These Pointers can easily gain weight if not exercised enough. They require a lot of food when worked, but should not be overfed. If left overweight, the dog is prone to injury when working or exercising.
Although German Shorthair Pointer has a short, rough coat, it does shed a lot. Weekly brushing will help to lessen the shedding, especially with a brush that will get to the undercoat, like a bristle brush.
Proper diet will also help reduce shedding, and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil. Bathing should only be done when necessary and the dog should always be dried off after hunting, to prevent chill.
Because the German Shorthair is a hunting dog, they naturally have a lot of energy to burn and can be tireless. They need to be with an active family that can provide lots of outdoor activities, preferably off lead.
They should not be taken on as a family pet if the family does not hunt. It is possible to exercise them in forms other than hunting, but it requires a dedicated family.
Besides hunting, some other activities the breed enjoys is swimming, running, agility, tracking, mushing, carting, scootering, and obedience. They will take as much exercise as you can give them. Their natural instinct to hunt will lead them to exercise themselves if not provided by their owner, which could lead to hyperactivity and destructiveness.
They need to be taken for walks, preferably off lead, at least twice a day. A walk around the block on a leash will not cut it for this breed, and if that is all that can be provided, the owner will find a dog that may overwhelmingly hyperactive.
German Shorthaired Pointers require an owner with an experience with dogs, since they require a lot of formal training. It is in their nature to work in far distances from their handler, and such a dog needs to be trained to know the handler is in charge and to come when called.
These are one of the few hunting breeds that can perform in almost all gundog roles; pointer, retriever, water and upland bird dog, and scent hounds. They are easily trained to do such activities, but it takes time to perfect.
If not being used as a hunter, they still require formal training. Puppy classes, obedience, agility, or other forms of training are all desirable for the breed. A dog left untrained will not be a manageable dog, as his mind will become bored.
German Shorthairs should be taught early on a method called NILIF, Nothing In Life is Free. This means they must work for and earn everything. Before they eat, play, go outside, come inside, go for walks, etc., they should perform a command. The command can be something as simple as sit or down, just as long as they earn what they are getting. This will help the dog realize its place in the pack and know he is not in charge.