German Shorthaired Pointer

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Females: 21 - 23 inches; Males: 23 - 26 inches.

Weight: Females: 40 - 60 lbs.; Males: 55 - 70 lbs.

Life Span: 14 - 16 years.

Litter Size: 8 puppies is average.

Country of Origin: Germany

Activity: Very High

Watch-dog: Very High. German Shorthaired Pointers are very alert.

Guard-dog: Medium. Although aware, German Shorthaired Pointers can be timid and unwilling to fight or protect.


Description: The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunter and an all around gun dog capable of high performance in field and water. German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent watchdogs. They are one of three different breeds of the same kind: German Shorthaired Pointers, German Long-Haired Pointers, and the German Wirehaired Pointers. They prefer to live with people and should not be left alone. If they have to be kenneled, they should have a playmate. They are reliable with children and make good family pets. Exercise is vital for a well balanced dog of this breed, as they are very active and may become destructive if not exercised enough. German Shorthaired Pointers are friendly, hard working, and live long lives. They get along well with family, including children, and is quite easy to train. They love to learn and are eager to do so. German Shorthaired Pointers enjoy the water as much as the land. They can be timid, but careful breeding should solve this problem. They are expressive with their stubby tail, and enjoy their master's attention. German Shorthaired Pointers sometimes do not realize what boundaries are, and may resort to destructive behaviors if not given enough attention or exercise. They are comforting in heart and spirit, and are a good pet if given a job to do.

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Other Names: German Pointer (Shorthaired), Deutscher, Kurzhaariger Vortsehund, Kurzhaar

Colors: Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked; liver and white ticked, the same variations with black instead of liver, but not tricolor. Coat can be ticked, patched, or roan.

Coat: Short and flat, dense, hard, and coarse to the touch. They have a double coat.

Temperament: German Shorthaired Pointers are active, responsive, gentle, affectionate, and even-tempered. They are friendly to friends and families, although some strains are timid. They are excellent working dogs, and love more than anything to go out with their master and hunt. They enjoy water or land equally. German Shorthaired Pointers are exuberant at times, with their energy abounding. They get along well with children, and are adaptable to many different kinds of life. They are good natured, sad if you leave, and excited when they know they've pleased their master. They are also very alert to their surroundings.

With Children: Yes, loves to play with children but may be too exuberant with younger ones.

With Pets: Yes, but may chase the cat due to their hunting instincts.

Special Skills: Field sports dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Minimal grooming of the German Shorthaired Pointer should consist of brushing with a firm bristle brush and bathing only when necessary. German Shorthaired Pointers need plenty of vigorous exercise to keep in shape, and any prospective owners should be aware of this. They may become destructive if bored. German Shorthaired Pointers love to learn and are very trainable. They should have some form of obedience training. Patient, firm leadership is essential.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Exercise, fenced yard, job or activity, leash and training.

Living Environment: German Shorthaired Pointers are generally unsuited for city life as they are not the type of breed to curl up in front of the fireplace all day, they need activity that a hunter can provide. A house with a fenced yard is mandatory. The best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced family or individual with a job for this breed to do, living in a rural environment. These dogs are not suitable for an apartment.

Health Issues: Health problems are rare but may include hip dysplasia, entropion and epilepsy.

History: German Shorthaired Pointers were known as early as the 17th century where they were developed as a hunting dog. It is said that the German Pointer was produced by crossing the Spanish Pointer with the native scent hounds of the time. Some are thought to believe it was a Bloodhound they were crossed with, but in fact "bloodhound" back then was simply a term to describe a dog that tracks a blood trail. The breed also is believed to have come from English Pointers, English Foxhound, and other local native breeds. In 1872 they were registered in the German Kennel Club. The German Long-haired Pointers, the same breed except with a different coat, were first shown in Hanover in 1879. They didn't arrive in the United States until 1925 when Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana set up a kennel of the breed. In 1930 they reached their place in the American Kennel Club, and in 1951 a club similar to this was set up for the German Shorthaired Pointer in Britain. German Shorthaired Pointers were used for their excellent hunting abilities as well as being eager to train. They have been described as "all business, no frills." German Shorthaired Pointers were and still are successful in the AKC field trials. In the United States and Great Britain they are more popular than their cousin, the German Wirehaired Pointer. Today the breed is still popular among hunters, and is being used as a family pet as well.

First Registered by the AKC: 1930

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gundog

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 7), KC (GB), UKC