The German Shorthaired Pointer is an all-terrain dog. German Shorthaired Pointers can do almost any job. These dogs have served in the Air Force to detect bombs, and one was even elected pet mayor of Montclair, California!
This breed is incredibly versatile, but they particularly excel as game hunters and water retrievers: Their webbed feet help this breed move through the water. The “pointer” part of their name refers to the arrow-like stance they assume when they spot their prey. These boisterous dogs have lots of energy and work in tracking, pointing, hunting, and even pulling sleds.
Originally from Germany, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 45-70 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Sporting
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 21
FAMILY gundog, pointer, versatile hunting dog
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN 1600s
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
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
This breed is very intelligent, highly affectionate, and wants to play. They like to be with you but also have an independent spirit. This is a family-friendly dog who'll do better with active older kids; their enthusiasm means they do best with supervised children. Play with other pets is not recommended.
WHAT IS GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
We don't like to use the word “hyper,” but this is definitely a dog on the go. Your German Shorthaired Pointer needs regular, rigorous exercise and room to stretch his legs.
This breed is vigilant and moderately protective. Some tend to be vocal.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER?
This smarty-paws likes challenges and is very trainable but needs lots of exercise and consistent, patient training. German Shorthaired Pointers are athletic and built for jumping, so it's no surprise they excel in dog sports.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
This breed's short, thick single coat is flat and water-resistant which helps to regulate its body temperature.
A German Shorthaired Pointer's coat repels water and dirt which make them relatively easy to groom. However, this dog is a profuse shedder — its hair is wiry and can be hard to get out of clothing and upholstery. They also blow their coat seasonally, at which point there will be even more hair on your clothes and furniture. Brushing weekly and occasional baths will help keep the dust-doggies at bay.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTERS HAVE?
This is a generally healthy breed. Rarely, German Shorthaired Pointers will develop hip dysplasia or joint problems.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list German Shorthaired Pointers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a German Shorthaired Pointer! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER'S BEST DAY?
“Today I climbed the tallest mountain in the world,” is what your German Shorthaired Pointer will think at the end of his best day ever. Maybe that mountain was only a small hill nearby, but nevertheless, it was the tallest mountain in the world.
SHOULD I ADOPT A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER?
These dogs do equally well in warm and cool climates. They're affectionate, playful, and above all, active. German Shorthaired Pointers don't require much grooming, but you'll need to be able to provide the time and space necessary to keep this busy breed satisfied. If you're an athletic person who wants to run, climb, hike, or train with your dog—and you don't mind tenacious and omnipresent hair—the German Shorthaired Pointer could be “fur” you.
Have you decided that a German Shorthaired Pointer is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.