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The FCI lists the German Shorthaired Pointer in Standard No. 119. As a pointer, it belongs to Group 7 and there to Section 1.1 “Continental pointers of the Braque type”.

German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed Information

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Size: Males: 62-66 cm, females: 58-63 cm
Weight: Males: 25-32 kg, females: 20-27 kg
FCI group: 7: pointing dogs
Section: 1.1 Continental Pointers
Country of origin: Germany
Colours: liver, brown, black and white, brown and white, liver white, liver red-grey
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Suitable as: hunting, companion and family dog
Sports: dummy training
Character: Affectionate, Intelligent, Trainable, Exuberant, Daring, Cooperative
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: rather low
Thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: short, dense, coarse and hard
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather yes

Origin and breed history

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the ancient dog breeds. Breeding of these dogs began as early as the mid-18th century. His first stud book dates back to 1897. In it, Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld laid down the breed standards. The Brown Tiger Club was the founding of the first breeding association in 1880. In 1891 he became part of the Kurzhaar Berlin club.

The ancestors of the German Shorthaired Pointer are pointing dogs from the Mediterranean region. Especially in Italy, Flanders, France and Spain, the native pointers served as reliable hunting helpers early on. When baiting and net hunting, they showed their excellent qualities as pointing and driving dogs.

In addition, other breeds were included in the breeding of the German Shorthaired Pointer, presumably:

  • French Braque
  • Bloodhound
  • English Foxhound
  • Par force dogs

The aim of breeding was a reliable and versatile hunting dog with excellent pointing qualities. He should be powerful, elegant and agile. This corresponded to the crossing of lumbering Mediterranean breeds with elegant, fast dogs of British origin.

Nature & temperament of the German Shorthaired Pointer

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The German Shorthaired Pointer is a distinctive hunting dog. Therefore, he is very active and temperamental. If he can live out this basic need, his many positive qualities become apparent. He is

  • docile
  • child friendly
  • attentive
  • friendly
  • clingy
  • Reliable
  • faithful
  • playful
  • obedient
  • willing to work
  • brave
  • family friendly

A representative of the breed gets along well with other dogs. He might regard cats and small animals as prey. He is very people-oriented and therefore follows his owner with the right education. He reacts shyly and cautiously to strangers. The performance-oriented hunting and working dog always needs recognition and self-affirmation for a happy life.

Appearance of the German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a visually attractive dog. His open gaze and two-tone coat give him a friendly appearance. The breed is characterized by a harmoniously proportioned and muscular physique. Characteristic are a broad chest and a tail reaching to the hocks. The tail tapers towards the tip. If the dog is used for hunting, the tail may be shortened under certain conditions.

The head with a distinctly wide and long muzzle merges into a muscular neck. The friendly face with dark brown eyes is framed by long floppy ears. The nose is colored black or brown depending on the coat color.

True to its name, the German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat is short, dense, and firm. It feels hard and protects the dog from wet and cold. Permissible coat colors are:

  • Brown
  • Brown with white speckles
  • Brown with mottled markings on legs and chest
  • Brown roan with a brown head
  • Brown roan with brown spots or patches
  • Light brown mold
  • White with brown head markings, brown patches, and spots
  • Black with white markings or polka dots
  • Black roan with polka dots and patches of white

Size and weight of the German Shorthaired Pointer

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Female: 58 to 63 cm 20 to 25 kg
Male: 62 to 66 cm 25 to 35 kg

How big does a German Shorthaired Pointer get?

Females reach a height at the withers of 58 to 63 centimeters, males are 62 to 66 centimeters tall.

Training and husbandry of the German Shorthaired Pointer – This is important to note

The hard-working hunting dog’s temperament and urge to move require a home with enough space and exercise. The breed is not suitable for keeping in a big city or in an apartment building. A house with a securely fenced yard where the dog can roam freely is ideal. The place of the German Shorthaired Pointer is in the house with direct contact to the family. The attitude in the kennel is torture for the human-oriented dog.

This dog doesn’t like to be alone and prefers to be with his family. If left alone, he may develop separation anxiety. Bored animals also use every opportunity to run away or look for their own activities. These, in turn, usually bring little joy to their fellow human beings.

The German Shorthaired Pointer was and is bred specifically for hunting. Despite his family and child-friendly nature, he is not a family dog. As a hunting dog, it is dependent on hunting activities. These pointing dogs are ideal partners for hunters. When pointing, the dog freezes in the flowing movement as soon as it smells game. It often lifts a front leg and fixes on the prey. He remains in this posture until his hunting partner gives him another command. Pointing is just as much in his blood as finding and retrieving prey.

Many breeders therefore only give puppies to hunters with whom they can regularly pursue their passion. Occasional hunting missions are not enough for the animal. Non-hunters rarely have the chance to buy a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. This occasionally succeeds if the hunting abilities of an animal are not sufficiently developed. Anyone who wants to keep a German Shorthaired Pointer as a non-hunter must be aware of the associated challenges. The dog needs a lot of exercise and almost constant occupation. He also wants to be challenged. If these prerequisites are missing, the dog quickly becomes imbalanced, destructive and nervous.

A gentle upbringing with absolute consistency

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Training a German Wirehaired Pointer requires an experienced dog owner. For beginners in dog ownership, this breed is not the right choice. Animals shaped for hunting tend to behave independently, which is often necessary during the hunt. However, this is only appropriate if they are given the command to do so. It is therefore important to teach obedience to the puppy with gentle consistency. The right way to do this is through positive reinforcement in the form of praise and rewards.

The dog acknowledges a hard and brutal upbringing with stubbornness and aversion. With sensitive training, he follows his partner all by himself and strives to show the expected behavior. In this close bond, the German Shorthaired Pointer is easy to train.

For good socialization, the puppy should come into contact with other animals at an early age. Visiting a puppy school should therefore be part of the employment program. Then another visit to the dog school makes sense. It strengthens the dog’s bond with its owner. He also learns important rules of conduct.

When is a German Shorthaired Pointer fully grown?

The dogs are fully grown between the ages of nine and twelve months.

Diet of the German Shorthaired Pointer

The powerful and fast hunting dog needs a diet that is as natural as possible. This includes a lot of meat. This can consist of high-quality, energy-supplying wet or dry food. Another method of providing the dog with large portions of meat is BARF. This feed consists of raw meat from cattle, sheep, horses and other slaughter animals with the exception of pigs. Raw pork poses health risks for dogs.

A varied diet combines dry food, raw and cooked meat, and occasionally canned food. The food is supplemented with energy and vitamin-giving flakes. The hunting dog does not need cereals in its feed.

The daily feed ration should be divided into two to three meals. After each meal, the dog needs enough rest to avoid the risk of stomach torsion. Large dogs in particular are prone to this often life-threatening complication.

Puppies require three to four meals a day. Small treats or pieces of sausage are suitable as a reward during training. Rewards and snacks should be included in the total amount of food. The constant availability of water for the dog is also important. Practical drinking bottles with an integrated bowl are available for on the go.

Dogs love bones because they don’t know the danger

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Many dog ​​owners still believe that bones are ideal snacks. Almost meditatively, the animals can occupy themselves for hours with a large bone and they love it. But bones are not healthy for dogs. They cause constipation with side effects that are tormenting for the dog. In addition, when chewing bones, there is a risk of injury from bone splinters in the throat or in the digestive tract. Marrow bones can put their hole over the lower or upper jaw. They are then often difficult to remove and can damage the teeth.

Chews made from rawhide are healthier snacks for cleaning the teeth and tasty activities for the dog. They are available in many sizes and shapes.

How much does a German Shorthaired Pointer cost?

Rarely does a German Shorthaired Pointer get into trouble and have to live in an animal shelter. Buying the dog from a reputable breeder therefore makes sense. Prices for a puppy start from $1,000. Dogs trained for hunting fetch prices between $2,500 and $3,500.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

In good health, a German Shorthaired Pointer can live up to 14 years. Animals from reputable breeders have the best prerequisites for this. Trustworthy breeders make sure to only mate healthy animals, as the association stipulates. They have the parents examined for typical hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia and thus prevent further inheritance.

These precautionary measures make the German Shorthaired Pointer a robust and hardy dog. With its thick fur, it is well-armed against the cold and wet. A reduced activity program makes sense on hot summer days.

In rare cases, the German Shorthaired Pointer shows a tendency to the following diseases:

  • Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • epilepsy
  • cancer
  • lymphedema
  • Entropion (curled eyelids)
  • Willebrand-Jürgens syndrome (blood clotting disorder)

In the case of retinal atrophy, the retina slowly progressively dies, which can lead to blindness in the dog. Cancer is observed predominantly with breast tumors, mast cell tumors and lymphosarcoma. In lymphedema, tissue swells due to a blockage in the heart valve due to fluid accumulation. Entropion can be surgically corrected.

How old does a German Shorthaired Pointer get?

On average, dogs of the breed live 12 to 14 years.

Grooming of the German Shorthaired Pointer

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The breed is notable for its ease of care. Grass or shrub parts rarely get caught in the short-haired fur. It is enough to brush the dog with a curry comb once a week. This loosens dirt and hair. If you brush out the loose hair in a targeted manner, you will have to remove less hair from the apartment later. The German Shorthaired Pointer sheds the normal amount of hair for a short-haired dog.

The ears should be checked regularly. Floppy ears are prone to infections. It is therefore important to keep them clean at all times. It is sufficient to wipe the outer area of ​​the ears with a soft, damp cloth. If the dog scratches its ears conspicuously often and if these are red from the inside, a visit to the vet is necessary.

After long walks and especially after hunting, ticks and other parasites can nest in the fur. It is therefore important to check the coat and skin thoroughly. The paws also require regular checks. This makes it easy to determine whether there are stones, small branches or awns between the balls.

The German Shorthaired Pointer does not need a shower or bath. A bath only makes sense if your dog is extremely dirty. If mud and other dirt can no longer be brushed out, a bath is necessary. To protect the skin and fur, only a mild dog shampoo is used.

How do you groom a German Shorthaired Pointer?

The short-haired dog needs brushing about once a week to clean its coat.

German Shorthaired Pointer – Activities and Training

The extremely agile hounds need sufficient daily exercise and challenge. He enjoys walking two hours a day. In order to be fully utilized, he also needs catching and retrieving games. The accompaniment while jogging or cycling also corresponds to his urge to move.

This classic hunting dog should receive hunting training. She challenges him and brings out his qualities. If he doesn’t go hunting every day, dog sport is a good idea in between. Ideal sports for the breed are:

  • Agility
  • Dog Frisbee
  • Working-dog sport
  • Mantrailing
  • Tracking

Good to know: Special features of the German Shorthaired Pointer

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In several novels, German Shorthaired Pointer dogs are among the main characters. Among other things, detective Spenser owns three dogs of the breed in the mystery series “A Job for Spenser” by Robert B. Parker. Author Rick Bass describes life with his German Shorthaired Pointer in his book Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Owned. Another author who dedicated a book to a dog of the breed is Mel Wallis. The book is entitled Renn, Rainey, Renn and is about the author’s relationship with his German Shorthaired Pointer.

After the Second World War, there were only a few German Shorthaired Pointer dogs left in Germany that were suitable for breeding. The animals were so valuable that their owners hid them during the war. Many were taken to Yugoslavia. Since Yugoslavia was part of the Eastern Bloc at the end of the war, the dogs could not be brought back. The breeding of the breed then had to be rebuilt in Germany.

How many puppies does a German Shorthaired Pointer have?

A bitch usually has between three and seven puppies. Litters with ten or more puppies are rare.

Disadvantages of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Strictly speaking, the German Shorthaired Pointer has no disadvantages. Some lovers of the breed without their own passion for hunting may regret that the dogs cannot lead a life as companion dogs. However, this is not a disadvantage of the dog, but the wrong choice of the animal lover.

Is the German Shorthaired Pointer right for me?

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Only hunters can answer this question unequivocally in the affirmative. The dog lives for the hunt. His needs are optimally satisfied when used for hunting. Choosing the breed, hunters should not live in a city apartment. Since humans and dogs cannot hunt continuously, the dog also needs sufficient exercise and freedom of movement at home.

Hobby hunters who go about their business during the day may not be able to spend enough time with the dog. A German Shorthaired Pointer always needs a caregiver close by and takes up several hours a day. Passionate and sporty senior hunters, on the other hand, can be good partners for a German Shorthaired Pointer. It is usually possible for them to spend the necessary time for the animal.