Do you need a dog that can do more than just bark, sleep, and eat? How about a dog that can point, track, retrieve, and do your taxes? If that sounds like your dream dog, then you might want to get to know the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP). This breed is a hunting pro, a family entertainer, and a fun-seeker but is unfortunately terrible at tax law. This article will reveal everything you need to know about this awesome dog breed’s history, characteristics, care, and health. And don’t worry; I won’t make any bad puns about pointing fingers or short haircuts.
|Dog Breed||German Shorthaired Pointer|
|Nicknames||GSP, Deutsch Kurzhaar, German Pointer|
|Coat||Short, dense, and water-repellent|
|Coat Colors||Black, liver, white, or combinations of these|
|Coat Patterns||Solid, patched, ticked, or roan|
|Weight||55 to 70 pounds (males); 45 to 60 pounds (females)|
|Height||23 to 25 inches (males); 21 to 23 inches (females)|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Breed Ranking||10th most popular dog breed in the United States (AKC)|
History of the German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930 and is currently ranked as the 10th most popular dog breed in the United States. The breed is also popular in other countries, such as Canada, Australia, and South Africa. The GSP is a member of the Sporting Group and excels in various dog sports, such as agility, obedience, tracking, and field trials.
German Shorthaired Pointers originated in Germany in the 19th century as a multipurpose gundog. The breed was developed by crossing various German and English hunting dogs, such as the German Bird Dog, the Old Spanish Pointer, the English Pointer, and the Foxhound. The goal was to create a dog that could hunt and retrieve different types of game on land and water, as well as be a loyal companion and watchdog.
They were influenced by several factors in its history, such as the changing needs of hunters, the availability of different breeds, and the political and social events of the time. Some of the milestones in the GSP’s history are:
- In the mid-1800s, German hunters wanted a versatile dog that could point at game, track wounded animals, retrieve birds from water, and guard their homes. They experimented with various breeds and developed the first GSPs.
- In 1872, Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels established a breed club and a studbook for the GSP. He also wrote a breed standard that emphasized the working ability and temperament of the GSP.
- In 1897, a group of breeders formed the Verein Deutsch-Kurzhaar (German Shorthaired Pointer Club) and revised the breed standard to include more details on the appearance and conformation of the GSP.
- In 1903, the first GSP was imported to England by Baron von Schorlemer. He also founded the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Great Britain in 1920.
- In 1925, Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana brought the first GSP to the United States. He bred and promoted the GSP in America and helped establish the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (GSPCA) in 1930.
- In 1930, the GSP was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and became eligible to compete in shows and field trials.
- During World War II, many GSPs were killed or lost in Germany due to bombing raids and food shortages. Some breeders managed to save their dogs by hiding them or sending them abroad.
- After World War II, many American soldiers brought back GSPs from Germany as souvenirs or gifts. These dogs helped increase the popularity and diversity of the breed in America.
- In 1951, a GSP named CH Gretchenhof Columbia River won Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, becoming the first of its breed to achieve this honor.
- In 1974, a GSP named DC Erick vom Enzstrand became any breed’s first dog to earn a Dual Champion (DC) title in conformation and field trials and a Master Hunter (MH) title in hunting tests.
Today, the GSP is one of the most popular sporting breeds in the world. It is admired for its versatility, intelligence, and personality. It is also a beloved family member and companion for many people who enjoy an active lifestyle.
Appearance of the German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP is a medium-sized dog with a slim and athletic build. The breed standard calls for a height of 23 to 25 inches for males and 21 to 23 inches for females. The weight ranges from 55 to 70 pounds for males and 45 to 60 pounds for females.
The coat of the GSP is short, dense, and water-repellent. The coat color can be solid liver (a reddish-brown), liver and white, liver roan (a mixture of liver and white hairs), or liver and ticked (small spots of liver on a white background). The coat requires minimal grooming, but regular brushing will help remove dead hair and dirt.
The head of the GSP is clean-cut and well-proportioned to the body. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown, expressing intelligence and friendliness. The ears are broad and set high, hanging close to the head. The nose is large and brown with wide nostrils. The muzzle is long and strong, with a scissors bite. The tail is docked to about 40% of its original length.
The GSP has a graceful and balanced gait, showing power, speed, and agility. The breed is known for its elegant stance and style when pointing at game. The GSP has webbed feet that help it swim efficiently.
Colors of the German Shorthaired Pointer
One of the distinctive features of the GSP is its coat color and pattern. The GSP can have various combinations of colors and markings that give it a unique appearance.
The GSP can have two solid colors: black or liver. These are the base colors of the breed and are determined by a gene called B locus. A dog with two dominant B genes will be black, while a dog with two recessive b genes will be liver. Depending on which gene is expressed, a dog with one dominant and one recessive gene can be either black or liver.
Solid black or liver GSPs are rare and not accepted by the AKC breed standard. However, they are still purebred GSPs and can be registered with other kennel clubs or organizations.
Black and White
The most common color combination for the GSP is black and white. This is caused by a gene called S locus, which affects the amount and distribution of white on the coat. A dog with two dominant S genes will have no white at all, while a dog with two recessive s genes will be mostly white with some black patches. A dog with one dominant and one recessive gene will have a balanced amount of black and white on the coat.
Black and white GSPs can have various patterns, such as patched, ticked, or roan. Patched means that the dog has large areas of solid black on a white background. Ticked means that the dog has small spots of black on a white background. Roan means that the dog has a mixture of black and white hairs, giving it a grayish appearance.
Liver and White
Another common color combination for the GSP is liver and white. The S locus gene also causes this, but with a different base color. A dog with two dominant S genes will have no white at all, while a dog with two recessive s genes will be mostly white with some liver patches. A dog with one dominant and one recessive gene will have a balanced amount of liver and white on the coat.
Liver and white GSPs can also have various patterns, such as patched, ticked, or roan. Patched means that the dog has large areas of solid liver on a white background. Ticked means that the dog has small spots of liver on a white background. Roan means that the dog has a mixture of liver and white hairs, giving it a reddish-brown appearance.
While black and liver are the standard colors for the GSP, some dogs may have other colors that are not considered standard by the AKC. These colors include red, orange, lemon, and tan. These colors are caused by different genes that affect the intensity or shade of the base color.
Red GSPs have a lighter shade of liver on their coat, giving them a reddish hue. Orange GSPs have an even lighter shade of liver on their coat, giving them an orange hue. Lemon GSPs have a very light shade of liver on their coat, giving them a yellow hue. Tan GSPs have a brownish shade of liver on their coat, giving them a tan hue.
These colors are considerably more rare and not accepted by the AKC breed standard. However, they are still purebred GSPs and can be registered with other kennel clubs or organizations.
Caring for a German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP is not a couch potato but a dog that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. This breed is best suited for active owners who can provide at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day. The GSP loves running, swimming, hiking, biking, or playing fetch with its owner. The breed also enjoys participating in various dog sports that challenge its physical and mental abilities.
The GSP is not a dog that can be left alone for long periods of time or confined to a small space. This breed thrives on human companionship and attention. The GSP is very affectionate with its family and gets along well with older children who can respect its energy level. However, the GSP may not be suitable for homes with very young children or small pets, as it has a strong prey drive and may chase or nip them.
The GSP is easy to train, as it is eager to please and responsive to positive reinforcement. This breed learns quickly and can master various commands and tricks. However, the GSP can also be stubborn or independent at times, so it needs consistent and firm guidance from an experienced owner. Early socialization and obedience training are essential for this breed to develop into a well-behaved and confident dog.
The GSP does not have high grooming needs but sheds moderately throughout the year. Regular brushing will help reduce shedding and keep the coat healthy. The ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infections. The nails should be trimmed every few weeks to prevent cracking or splitting. The teeth should be brushed daily or at least weekly to prevent dental problems.
Interesting Facts about the German Shorthaired Pointer
As a breed, these quirky dogs have many fascinating facts and stories to tell. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the German Shorthaired Pointer that you may not know:
- The GSP has webbed feet that help it swim efficiently and navigate wet terrain. The breed also has a short, water-repellent coat that protects it from cold and moisture.
- The GSP has a quirky sleeping habit that involves curling up into a tight ball and tucking its nose under its tail. This is thought to be a way of conserving body heat and mimicking the sleeping position of their ancestors in the wild.
- The GSP is very affectionate and loyal to its family, but it may not realize its own size and strength. The breed may try to cuddle or play with its owners as if it were a lap dog, which can be overwhelming for small children or elderly people.
- The GSP is very energetic and youthful, even in its old age. The breed may retain its puppy-like behavior and enthusiasm for life until its final days.
- Various celebrities and famous people have used the GSP as their companions or hunting partners. Some of them include President Dwight D. Eisenhower, actor Clark Gable, singer Taylor Swift, author John Steinbeck, and astronaut Alan Shepard.
These are just some of the many interesting facts about the GSP that show how amazing and unique this breed is. If you own or plan to own a GSP, you can be sure that you will never have a dull moment with this versatile and loyal companion.
The health of the German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP is generally a healthy breed with a 12 – 14 years lifespan. However, like any dog breed, it can be prone to certain health issues that may affect its quality of life. Some of the common health problems that may affect the GSP are:
- Hip dysplasia: A genetic condition that causes abnormal development of the hip joint, leading to pain, lameness, arthritis, or even disability.
- Bloat: A life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach twists or fills with gas, causing pressure on the diaphragm and other organs.
- Entropion: A condition that causes the eyelid to roll inward, irritating the eye and causing infection or ulcers.
- Ectropion: A condition that causes the eyelid to droop outward, exposing the eye to dust or injury.
- Von Willebrand’s disease: A blood disorder that affects clotting ability, causing excessive bleeding or bruising.
- Lymphedema: A condition that causes swelling of the limbs due to fluid accumulation in the tissues.
- Epilepsy: A neurological disorder that causes seizures or convulsions.
- Cancer: A disease that causes abnormal growth of cells in various parts of the body.
To prevent or reduce these health risks, buying a GSP from a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for both parents is important. It is also advisable to visit a veterinarian regularly for check-ups and vaccinations. A healthy diet and exercise routine will also help keep your GSP fit and happy.
Where to Adopt or Buy a German Shorthaired Pointer
If you are interested in adopting or buying a GSP puppy or adult dog, there are several options you can consider:
- You can contact local animal shelters or rescue groups that may have GSPs available for adoption. You can also search online databases such as Petfinder.com or Adoptapet.com for available dogs near you.
- You can contact reputable breeders who are registered with the AKC or other national kennel clubs.
- You can contact local breed clubs or national breed organizations, such as the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (GSPCA), for referrals or recommendations.
Before you adopt or buy a GSP, make sure you do your research on the breed’s characteristics, care requirements, and health issues. You should also prepare your home and family for welcoming a new member. You should have enough time, space, and resources to provide your GSP with a happy and healthy life.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed that has many talents and qualities that make it a great companion for active owners. This breed can hunt and retrieve different types of game, be a loyal and affectionate family member, and enjoy various physical and mental activities. The GSP is intelligent, friendly, and energetic but also requires regular exercise and attention. The GSP needs proper training and socialization to become a well-behaved and balanced dog.
More Dog Breeds
If you’re interested in learning about similar dog breeds, check out:
Or, browse our entire dog breed collection!
Do German Shorthaired Pointers shed?
Yes, GSPs shed moderately throughout the year. They have a short, dense coat that requires regular brushing to remove dead hair and dirt.
How much is a German Shorthaired Pointer?
The price of a GSP puppy can vary depending on the breeder, the location, the pedigree, and the demand. The average cost of a GSP puppy is between $800 and $1500. However, some GSPs can cost more than $2000 if they come from champion bloodlines or have rare colors.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers hypoallergenic?
No, GSPs are not hypoallergenic. They shed and produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people. If you are allergic to dogs, you may want to consider a different breed or consult your doctor before getting a GSP.
How fast can a German Shorthaired Pointer run?
GSPs are very fast and agile dogs that can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They are built for speed, power, and endurance and can run for long distances without getting tired.
How to tire out a German Shorthaired pointer?
GSPs are very energetic and need plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. You can tire out your GSP by providing at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day, such as running, swimming, hiking, biking, or playing fetch. You can also enroll your GSP in various dog sports that challenge its physical and mental abilities, such as agility, obedience, tracking, or field trials.