German Shorthaired Pointer

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German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed that needs lots of exercises, sized in medium to large. And they are intelligent and friendly that love to work and move, so they can be trained to hunt and retrieve on land or from water. The GSPs is a great family companion, but you need to provide them with the mental and physical challenges they crave.

Other Names GSP, Deutsch Kurzhaar, Vorstehhund
Color Black, Black & White, Black Roan, Liver, Liver & White, Liver Roan, White & Liver
Height Males: 23-26 inches. Females: 21-25 inches.
Weight Males: 55-70 pounds. Females: 45-60 pounds.
Life Span 10-12 years
Personality Friendly, Smart, Willing to Please
Exercise Needs Lots of Activity
Popularity #9
Groom Needs Weekly
Kids Friendly No
Dog Friendly No
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 8-12

German Shorthaired Pointer Pictures

German Shorthaired Pointer Video


They are a fine breed of gundogs with thick, solid liver (or reddish-brown) coats, which are water-repellent. They can be as domestic as they can equally be highly exuberant! The GSP, short for the German Shorthaired Pointer, is well known for its aristocratic disposition and vibrancy. With the combined features of webbed paws and highly developed sense of smell, these dogs are well-suited as hunting, pointing, and tracking dogs. They are notorious for hunting waterfowls in water.

Being large-sized dogs, male GSPs measure anywhere between 23 and 25 inches in height and would weight 55-70 pounds while a similar female weighs about 45-60 pounds and presents a slightly smaller size, approximately 2 inches short of the male’s.

Though versatile gun-dogs, GSPs exude a high spirit of friendliness and fervor around their family. They see service in domestic chores, or as exercise buddies. They make for good pets and would thrive in an atmosphere of care and support. They have a marked life expectancy of about 11 years.

Living with German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer coat is easy to groom and take care of, you can just brush the coat weekly with a firm bristle brush and bathe your dog only as necessary.

Though the GSPs coat is short, they still shed, especially at certain times of the year, and their hairs can be embedded in fabrics and carpet and it would be difficult to get it out. During this period, you need to brush and bathe more frequently to remove the dead hair.

And you need to check your dog’s feet after outdoor walking or exercise, also dry him up after hunting to prevent getting cold. If you see your dog scratch his ears frequently, it may mean that he has an infection. So, the regular ear test is important to prevent the infection.

Additionally, it is suggested that brush the GSPs teeth at least once a week and trim the nails once a month.

GSP is a kind of breed that needs plenty of exercise such as the activity as swimming, running and dog sports to burn some of their energy. Also, they are smart and athletic, and is good at all kinds of canine activities. It can exercise the body and mind, from track and field competitions to agility, obedience and dock diving.

Full physical activity twice a day is suggested, this can be in the form of a long walk, long jog or fetching games in the yard. And if they don’t get enough exercise, they could get nervous and destructive.

GSPs aren’t recommended for apartment residents, and they are best appropriate to active people who have a home with a large yard surrounded by a high fence.

German Shorthaired Pointer puppies should be fed more than twice a day, and once they reach their first birthday, a meal morning and evening should be sufficient. Furthermore, your dog may need to take a higher fat content diet during the winter hunting season.

Premium-quality dry dog food ensures a well-balanced diet for grown GSPs and may be mixed with canned food, broth, or water. If your dog likes to eat cheese, fruits and vegetables or cooked eggs, you need to guarantee these foods shouldn’t be over 10 percent of his daily meal intake.

More importantly, the GSPs shouldn’t be fed after running or plenty of exercises because it can cause bloat to them, neither should they be allowed to run immediately and exercise strenuously after drinking or eating. There must be at least one hour between meals and exercise.

GSPs tend to stay in good weight, and adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Although the GSPs are generally a healthy breed, there are still some health issues happen to them:

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) – a potentially life-threatening problem commonly called ‘bloat,’ which can occur in a deep-chested dog who is fed one large meal per day or who rapidly consumes large volumes of water; the stomach becomes distended with gas and then may twist, resulting in a life-threatening condition called gastric torsion.

Hip dysplasia – a deformity of the hip joint where the ball joint of the femur, or femoral head, does not fit properly into the hip socket, or acetabulum. Mild cases can be addressed through diet and exercise, but more severe cases may call for surgery.

Entropion – a condition of the eyelids usually detectable by six months of age; the eyelid rolls inward, irritating or injuring the eye. This condition can occur in one or both eyes, and can be corrected surgically.

Von Willebrand’s disease – an inherited blood disorder caused by a clotting deficiency. Signs are excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. Most dogs with von Willebrand’s lead normal lives.

Lymphedema – a valvular blockage of lymph flow or twisted lymphatic ducts cause tissues to swell.

Suggested tests:

Cardiac Exam

Hip Evaluation

Elbow Evaluation 

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Cone Degeneration DNA Test

Total Annual Cost: $3100

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Early training is essential for the German Shorthaired Pointer, they are enthusiastic learners and reasonably easy to train, but because of the hunting dog heritage, they are also independent and thoughtful, you should be patient and kind during the basic training with consistency and positive reinforcement, like food, treat and praise. If you are too strict to treat your dog, it may refuse to execute your request. So it is suggested to keeping training courses interesting and short because they are easy to get distracted.

GSPs are always energetic so they need an owner with and active lifestyle to guide the dog to consume their exuberance and intensity. Besides, they are excellent at advanced training, especially for working in the field and in the water, they can also participate in search-and-rescue operations.


The German Shorthaired Pointer has a winded origin. It is believed to be a hybrid of multiple crosses between diverse breeds of dogs, which could be traced back to the 17th century. Quite frankly, it would be difficult to trace every breed of dog that went into developing the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) hybrid. While the American Kennel Club suggests that the German Shorthaired Pointers might be descendants of the German Bird Dog, (itself a hybrid between Bloodhounds and the Spanish Pointer), some authors also link their bloodline to that of the English Pointer as well as of several tracking dogs. Yet, it originated in Germany.

The first German Shorthaired Pointer in America was probably recorded in 1925, bred by Dr. Charles R. Thornton. It was a female dog imported from Austria. Before then, the GSP wasn’t recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club until 1930 when it gained full recognition in the United States.

In the build-up of World War II, heightened tension in West Germany for fear of rampage and conquest prompted many breeders to ship their finest dogs and choice valuables over to Yugoslavia. The era of the Iron Curtain after the war changed everything when Yugoslavia merged with the Eastern Bloc.

The story was quite different in the U.S after the World War. The German Shorthaired Pointer caught America’s attention as breeders deliberately set a standard for its breeding, while several novelists keep featuring the breed in their works.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue

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