German Shorthaired Pointers: A Breed Guide
Dappled Beauties: A Breed Guide to German Shorthaired Pointers
Pointing breeds take a regal stance when they catch the scent of their prey: motionless with one paw lifted and nose pointed in the direction of their goal. German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are one of the popular pointing dogs, along with breeds like the Brittany, Vizsla, English Pointer, and English Setter. What makes the GSP special?
A History of the GSP
German Shorthaired Pointers originated, unsurprisingly, in Germany. They were bred specifically as hunting dogs, and they have a touch of royalty in their lineage. Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels is an important figure in the early development of the breed, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The AKC first recognized GSPs in 1930, according to Pheasants Forever, and the breed remains a popular hunting dog to this day. German Shorthaired Points are hailed as versatile dogs with a high level of drive for field training.
A Sleek Sporting Breed
GSPs are medium-sized dogs. Males of the breed weigh between 55 and 70 pounds, while females are slightly smaller at 45 to 60 pounds, according to the AKC. The breed has the fairly typical lifespan for medium-sized dogs: 10 to 12 years.
As the name indicates, GSPs have short coats. Their fur has a sleek feel and a shiny appearance. The coat is either liver (a reddish brown color) or liver and white. Liver and white spots on a GSP’s body often create a beautiful dappled effect.
Though their coats are short, you can still expect some shedding, which can be alleviated with a light brushing schedule. With this curious and active breed, you can also expect the need for semi-regular baths.
The German Shorthaired Pointers high levels of energy and willingness to learn are hallmarks of its hunting legacy. These characteristics remain prominent in the breed today, whether it is being used to hunt or lives as a family pet.
Training and Lifestyle
GSPs are smart and eager to please, but their high levels of energy mean you’ll need to keep a close on eye on them around small children. They have a high level of trainability. Spend plenty of time teaching them how to behave at home, and give them the exercise they need every day to ensure they are happy and calm at home. An unexercised GSP is likely to be bouncing off the walls when stuck inside.
Given their versatility, you can take your pick of exercise. GSPs love to swim, go for runs, take hikes, and participate in agility training.
Whether you are looking for a hunting dog or a companion, GSPs are an excellent fit for those with active lifestyles. You can do your research to find a reputable breeder, or you can consider adopting a GSP from an organization like Illinois Shorthair Rescue.
Written by Carrie Pallardy