Table of Contents
Brief information about the breed
|Height range||21-25 in (53-64 cm)|
|Weight range||44-71 lb (20-32 kg)|
|Life span||10-14 years|
|Amount of exercise required||More than 2 hours a day|
|Amount of grooming required||Once a week|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Level of sociability||Amenable|
About the Breed
If you are keen on outdoor activities or adore hunting, or better both…) then the German Shorthaired Pointer (or Deutsch Kurzhaar) is exactly what you need. This is the most popular versatile hunting dog, originated from Germany. German shorthaired pointers are able to hunt any terrain and any game. But mostly birds on land and in water.
Weight varies for males from 55 to 70 pounds, for bitches – 45 to 60 pounds. Height, measured at the withers, is from 23 to 25 inches for males, and from 21 to 23 inches for bitches.
The coat color may be of solid black or brown, in combination with white spots. The hair is short, thick and feels tough and rough. Let’s investigate more in detail the main coat color patterns of GSPs. First of all we refer the official and most respected sources: as shown in “ The Illustrated Standard’ by German Shorthaired Pointer Club Of America The main patterns look as follows: It’s quite difficult to imagine how the dog from the illustrated standard looks in reality. And to define if this is one color pattern or another. Especially if you have your first GSP puppy or in the process of choosing the one. That’s why we have prepared for you a selection of real dogs and puppies to match with standards:
- Solid liver or predominantly liver/ticked areas on chest and feet.
- Clear white with small amount of liver.
- Predominantly bright ticked with liver patches on head and tail.
- More area of body with solid patch/white has some larger ticking
- Liver roan with liver patches on body, neck and head
- Liver patches with white ticked areas more open
- Dark liver roan with patched head
- Light liver roan with patched head/white on tail
- Black and white variants
The German Shorthaired dog is one of three varieties of German pointers. There are also German wirehaired and longhaired pointers. They differ mainly by the type of hair and some hunting features.
German Shorthaired Pointer, due to his versatile hunting qualities, is popular not only at home in Germany. This breed of dogs can be found absolutely in any country of the world, including the USA. The GSPs were bred as any game hunters. They are able to hunt under any conditions and on any game. They feel better in open spaces than in the forest. But they can adapt, and not only to hunting conditions, but also to prey. German Shorthaired Pointers can change the style of hunting, depending on what game they hunt. The dogs are especially good in hunting birds, on land and water. Their coat is tough and tight to the body, and therefore has excellent water-resistant features. The membranes on the paw allow to swim quickly and for a long time. And long claws allow to run on any surface, even over the mountains.
General Hunting Features
Among the qualities you can especially highlight there is endurance, agility, power and speed. Good nose is another advantage. The GSPs have just unimaginable desire to hunt, and only wait for the command. They have a hunting stance in their blood. I.e, the dog lowers his head, raises his paw, straightens the tail and stares at the prey. In this position the dog looks like an arrow ready to hit the target by order. At the age of 2 – 3 months the German shorthaired pointer puppy will already make a stance if he finds a feather. Even without making a stance, the German shorthaired pointers have excellent noble posture. The contour lines are smooth, the head is small, proportional to the body. Muzzle is long, which is a plus for hunting dogs. Great power is in their back legs. Thanks to that they can jump high and overcome long distances. The German shorthaired pointers live on average 13 – 16 years.
Temperament and Character
The German shorthaired pointer temperament is peaceful, friendly, no attacks of aggression present. Although he can serve as a watchdog. He is intelligent and eager to please, hardy and brave. To maintain mental balance, it is necessary to give a dog enough physical exercise on a daily basis.
Home, Family and Everyday Life
These dogs can perfectly live in city apartments. They love company of people, love their home and family. But are devoted to only one owner. They also never show aggression towards children and can be great friends to them. Nevertheless you shouldn’t leave the German shorthaired pointer alone with little kids. He is very active and can push children unintentionally. Older kids may become perfect playmates. Loneliness is painful for them. And they suffer pretty much being apart from the owner. They are wonderful companions. And if you socialize your GSP in a proper way, you can take him even to the office) He will not bother you, but will be happy to spend more time with the master. They love to travel in a car no matter where you go. So you can take your GSP for a family trip. But always remember that their curiosity and active behavior may be dangerous on the road. So take all measures and equip your car with all necessary car safety accessories.
Keep in mind this is primarily a hunting dog. And as such will have a high level of activity and energy to be channeled properly. On a scale of ten the GSP will get ten:). As we mentioned, the GSPs are very athletic and need to burn their boundless energy outdoors. All activities like running, walking, swimming, toys retrieving etc are good for them. Therefore, before you get a dog of this breed, make sure you will be able to give him enough attention and exercise. Pay attention that for running, hiking and other long lasting exercises for German Shorthaired Pointer harness suits best, as it even distributes load over the spine, shoulders and chest.
You should begin socializing and training a puppy as early as possible, it’s essential. These dogs are intelligent enough and perfect in training with consistent training sessions. They absolutely need some obedience commands.
If you do not begin to discipline a puppy on time, it will be quite difficult to correct his behavior later. When training the German shorthaired pointer you should follow some basic rules:
- Start training as early as possible and patiently make sure commands are fulfilled
- Pronounce the commands shortly, clearly and calmly
- If a ban has been determined for a dog, then never allow it to be violated
- No cheating to achieve the best result
- Train a puppy systematically, without long breaks
- Encourage him with delicacies
- Lessons should not be too long for a puppy in order not to make him tired
- Do not apply physical punishment.
- When you are done with basic commands, the dog is taught hunting behavior. The main working qualities of the German shorthaired pointers are hereditary, so all you have to do is to reveal and reinforce them.
- You should better not allow the German Shorthaired Pointers to hunt pets. If you do, the problems may occur in the future.
The GSPs do not show aggression towards humans. If they feel that a person is unfriendly, they will simply pass him by.
Here we would like to mention that crate training is another important aspect necessary for GSP. First of all this way you indulge discipline at home, provide for GSP its own safe place, train him for further car travelling. It is not complicated to define GSP crate size. Choose the one suitable for a grown-up dog with a divider. This will save your money, as puppies grow fast.
Caring for this breed is simple. Particular attention should be paid to clean ears and teeth. Cut the nail short regularly. Hair does not need frequent washing, only buy the best brush for German Shorthaired Pointer or grooming glove, and use them every few days. Although the German Shorthaired Pointers are short-haired, they shed pretty much. Luckily their hairs do not stick to clothes and furniture, which is another advantage for urban apartments. In fact, GSP grooming is not that complicated.
German shorthaired pointer is easy to feed. The only thing that is not recommended is to feed him with human food from the table. There are 2 options:
- You decide to feed your pet dry dog food. Then choose more expensive, high-quality food, appropriate to age and level of activity.
- You make your own diet. In this case 50% of the diet of the German shorthaired pointer should consist of meat. It can be given raw or cooked. Vegetables, eggs and dairy products must also be present. Never feed them immediately after activities or at least one hour before.
How to Feed the German Shorthaired Pointer if You Make Your Own Diet
The health and strength of GSP directly depends on s diet and feeding regime, especially at his early age. As soon as you take a puppy, you need to consult with the previous owner: what kind of food he fed the dog, and first adapt to this regime and diet, in order to avoid stormy rearrangements in the body of the puppy. And the change of housing and adaptation will be much easier for the puppy if you feed him with the usual food and from its own bowl, which ideally moves together from the previous owner.
Basically, the first months of life a puppy should eat from 5 to 7 times a day. Further, this breed will feel great if you gradually reduce the number of meals to 2 or 3, depending on season. If the dog is on the street for a long time or lives in an open-air cage, then during cold winters it is necessary to feed him more often with nourishing food.
- The German shorthaired pointer’s daily menu should consist of 50 percent meat products, as it is a hunting dog by nature and his body needs animal food. Raw or boiled beef and pork, fresh chicken or rabbit meat, as well as offal.
- The dog first of all receives energy from useful substances which are in meat products. Sausages or similar should not fall into the dog’s mouth. Such food reduces the life of the dog due to complications of the liver, through the presence of stabilizers and nitrates, as well as many other harmful chemical components.
- Fresh homemade vegetables should be included in the daily menu of these pets. Pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes, some types of cabbage, carrots, greens, beets, sweet peppers may be added to dog dishes.
- Vegetables are finely chopped, both raw or boiled. But radish, peas, pasta, potatoes should better be permanently eliminated from the diet of your pet.
- Twice a week the German shorthaired pointer should receive calcium, phosphorus, protein, and other beneficial substances. They are found in eggs and dairy products. Milk and cottage cheese must be included in the pet’s diet.
- Buckwheat, oatmeal, rice porridge will be useful. With their help the dog’s body is saturated with the necessary iron, protein, fat, carbohydrate, lecithin and many others.
- Fish oil, river or sea fish must be in a dog’s menu at least once a week. Only be careful with bones or choose appropriate kinds of fish.
Choosing a Puppy
The dog is your friend and part of a family for at least 10 years, and with GSP – even up to 16 or even 18 years! This is great part of your whole life! And the way you choose your lifetime partner should be the way you choose a puppy…otherwise you risk to spend the life with just anyone…)
If you are a hunter, study carefully your puppy’s parents, especially their hunting qualities …as like mother, like daughter…)
We are sure the GSP has ONLY advantages!
Natural hunting qualities combined with excellent protective talent and loyalty of a true friend, make the German shorthaired pointer a welcome pet. Bring this smart and tender dog to your house – and your life will change forever! First and foremost GSP is a hunting dog, and for his full life hunting is not a must, but rather desired. In between the dog will make the entire life of your family brighter…) Watch this video and think twice before you agree that GSP is as perfect for you as for us!))