German Shorthaired Pointer Guide

Sporting Dog Breeds

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The shorthaired is an all-purpose close-working gun dog that combines agility, power and endurance. It is square or slightly longer than tall; although it has a short back, it should stand over plenty of ground. It should have a clean-cut head, graceful outline, strong quarters and an athletic physique. The gait is smooth, light and ground-covering. The coat is short and tough.

The German shorthaired pointer's idea of heaven is a day hunting in the field and an evening curled up by its owner's side. This is an active dog that can become frustrated and "creative" if not given ample daily exercise, both mental and physical. It is a devoted family pet, although at times it is overly boisterous for small children. Because part of its heritage includes hunting mammals, some can be aggressive to small pets unless raised with them. It is a sensitive breed, responsive to gentle training. Some can whine or bark a lot.


FAMILY gundog, pointer, versatile hunting dog



ORIGINAL FUNCTION general hunting

TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing, pointing field trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 23-25 Weight: 55-70

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 21-23 Weight: 45-60

OTHER NAME German pointer (shorthaired), Deutscher, kurzhaariger vortsehund, kurzhaar

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Friendly

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Moderately protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

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Bred to be an active hunting companion, this breed has a good deal of energy and requires a good deal of exercise. It thrives on mental and physical stimulation and can get both by hunting, hiking or playing with its owner for a long period — at least an hour — every day. They like water and will swim if given the chance. Although physically able to live outside in mild weather, this is a companionable breed that does best when allowed to live in the house with access to a yard. Its grooming needs are minimal, consisting only of occasional brushing to remove dead hair.
• Major concerns: lymphedema
• Minor concerns: CHD, entropion, gastric torsion, vWD, pannus, OCD
• Occasionally seen: gastric torsion, ectropion, PRA
• Suggested tests: hip, eye, (blood)
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
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The German shorthaired pointer is one of the most versatile of hunting breeds, combining pointing, retrieving, trailing and even game-killing abilities. This versatility arose through the purposeful blending of various breeds beginning as early as the 17th century. Crosses of the Spanish pointer (a heavy type of pointer) with the Hannover hound (a strain of scenthound) resulted in a heavy houndlike dog that could both trail and point and was interested in both birds and mammals. When trailing, these dogs would bay; if needed, they would dispatch wounded game and even fox. Although all the early breeders agreed upon the goal of an all-purpose hunting dog, not all agreed upon how to achieve it. Crosses with the English pointer were controversial but bestowed upon the breed a more stylish look and nose-up hunting mode. It also imparted a dislike of water and an aversion to attacking quarry. Further breeding eliminated these unwanted pointer characteristics. In the early 1800s two Deutsch kurzhaars (as the breed was originally known), Nero and Treff, distinguished themselves against other pointing breeds at the German Derby and, through the success of their descendants, are often credited as the modern shorthaired's foundation. The breed was recognized in the late 1800s in Germany with the first shorthaired coming to America in the 1920s. The German shorthaired pointer gained AKC recognition in 1930. The breed soon attained a reputation as the ideal dog for the hunter who wanted only one dog that could do it all. Besides being a gifted and versatile hunter, it is a handsome dog and obedient companion. These attributes helped the German shorthaired pointer become popular today.
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