German Shorthaired Pointers

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Short Haired Pointer is a medium-sized dog belonging to the Sporting Group in AKC categories. It has traditionally been used in hunting and continues to be popular for that use. The German Short-Haired Pointer is ranked nine of 195 breeds in the AKC in terms of popularity. It has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

German Short Haired Pointer History

The German Short-Haired Pointer was perfected by German breeders as a hunting dog in the 1800s. This dog is extremely capable in the bird-hunting field and is often among the top breeds in winning hunting competitions. German breeders wanted a dog that excelled at tracking but also had pointing skills. The result was a pointer with a keen nose who could track well on land and retrieve fowl in both land and water. They also wanted a dog with handsome markings and strong intelligence to be a family dog and watchdog. The GSP doesn’t just excel at bird-hunting but has also been tested with great success in hunting rabbit, deer and possum among other game animals. The GSP was admitted to the official AKC stud book in 1930.


Male pointers are 23 to 25 inches tall at the withers, and they typically weigh between 55 to 70 pounds. Female pointers are 21 to 23 inches tall and typically weigh between 45 to 60 pounds. According to the AKC standards, the GSP should have a graceful outline, clean-cut head, deep chest, strong back and sloping shoulders. The dog should not have an overly heavy bone structure, nor should it have one that is overly light. The GSP should not be tall and leggy, but instead, streamlined and powerful. GSP dogs should also not be overly heavy or squat. A medium-size is the most desirable. In terms of proportion, the GSP can be square or a bit longer than its height. The GSP projects power and endurance with its size and shape, which is ideal for working many types of terrain.


The GSP is a striking dog with a handsome array of colors. It has several AKC standard colors and three allowable marking patterns. The standard colors are as follows:

– Black
– Black and white
– Black roan
– Liver
– Liver and white
– Liver roan
– White and liver

Markings within these colors can be patched, patched and ticked or ticked. Dogs with solid red, orange, tan or lemon are disqualified per AKC standards. The GSP should also not be solid white. The GSP generally has dark brown to amber eyes. They should not have light yellow eyes, wall eyes or China eyes. The GSP has a short and thick coat that has somewhat of a rough feel. The coat is waterproof as well.


The German Short Haired Pointer is known to be energetic and intelligent. His temperament is enthusiastic with a distinctly people-loving aspect to his personality. This dog doesn’t like to be left alone for a long period of time and may become anxious and destructive if left to his own devices too often. The GSP is known to be a good watchdog who barks at strangers but isn’t aggressive towards them. Males are typically more outgoing and hunt more aggressively than females. The GSP wants to play and work as much as possible. They need a lot of exercise to the tune of about one or two hours per day. It’s also best if some of this exercise can be off-leash as they love to run. The GSP also loves to swim and should definitely be given that opportunity when available. Training typically goes well with these dogs as they are not stubborn and love to please. However, they may get bored if not provided with new challenges and exercises on a regular basis.


The German Short Haired Pointer is a generally healthy breed, but it is susceptible to several different health conditions. Buying a puppy from a reputable source goes a long way in ensuring that the adult GSP will also be healthy. The parents should have health clearances for the following conditions:

– Hip dysplasia
– Elbow dysplasia
– Hypothyroidism
– Von Willebrand’s disease

The GSP is also susceptible to certain types of cancers with the most common being mammary, mast cell and lymphosarcoma. Another condition is called entropion. It usually becomes visible by the time the puppy reaches six months. It causes the eyelid to roll up and irritate the eyeball. As a larger dog with a deep chest, the GSP is also susceptible to bloat. It’s usually caused by the dog eating a large meal rapidly, then drinking a lot of water and then exercising.