Caring For Your German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy

German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy

Caring for a dog of any breed can be quite a concern, especially if it is puppy that is going to grow into a high-energy dog like a German shorthaired pointer. As a puppy they are attractive, but as a breed that comes from German bird dogs, they will have a lot of energy. Therefore, here is a guide to help you in caring for your German shorthaired pointer puppy.

The Right Food

As is true with all puppies, your puppy will need the right high-quality dog food. Because they are a very active breed, they will need a diet high in fat and protein. Having the right food for your puppy will help to keep it active throughout its life.

Basic Care

This breed is prone to ear infections because of its folded ears hampering air flow. This means you need to be sure to keep them clean, and a good way to do this is to begin slowly and reward your puppy along the way so over time it does not resist.

Also, train it to behave well when cutting his nails. Given how active they are, a long nail could get caught on something which could cause a painful injury. You can cut the nails using nail cutters, or you can have a groomer do this.

Also be sure to brush. This will keep its coat healthy as well as keep shedding from becoming a problem. With this breed being a short haired breed a grooming glove will suffice or a brush.

Finally, have plenty of fresh water for your puppy. Being so active is going to cause him to need a lot. This is especially important when it is hot outside, so make sure he does not dehydrate.


This is very important for any dog especially a high-energy breed like the German shorthaired pointer. Not only does it need exercise for its health, but also exercise can help with bad behaviors. If a puppy is tired from exercise, it is not as likely to feel like chewing something up as it will be if it is full of energy.

If you have a fenced in area where you live to keep your puppy from running off, then this is a great way to exercise it. Be sure to be with it so if it tries to dig under the fence you can stop it. Walking your dog is also another great way to drain away excessive energy. Training it to play fetch will also yield success. While you have to do nothing more than throw a toy, your dog running over and over again to pick it up and bring it back to you makes dog exercise easy.

Provide him his own Space

Provide him his own domain in the form of his crate. You need to crate train him in order for him to enjoy being inside of it. The crate will need a comfortable blanket or dog bed inside so he will have a place to retreat to if things inside the house (such as when guests come) cause him to want a place away from everything.
Having him his own space can also be of benefit when it’s bed time. A dog can learn where he is to lie down to sleep at night. Over time, your puppy might learn to go in his crate on his own accord and lie down for the night.

Dental Care

Like us, a dog will need clean teeth to help prevent health issues with his teeth and gums. This can be done by brushing your puppy’s teeth. Although his baby teeth will fall out over time and be replaced by his adult teeth, brushing his puppy teeth will get him accustomed to having them brushed as an adult.

Just like with ear cleaning, this should be done slowly over time. A full brush does not have to be done all the time while teaching your puppy this is not a bad thing. There are also dental treats you can give your puppy that also will help keep its teeth clean.

Training the German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer Training

Loyalty knows no bounds like a German Shorthaired Pointer. This stunning breed of dog is best known for its intelligence, athleticism, and hunting prowess. Their beautiful coats and compact build make for an incredibly attractive companion in the woods, and with fidelity and purpose, owners will find that training this impressive breed of dog results in a devoted, obedient lifelong family member.

Starting Young

It is absolutely essential that owners begin their German Shorthaired Pointer Training regimen the moment they assume ownership of their new pet. Ideally, the breeders have already begun working with the puppies as they prepare them for adoption, but naturally, this will not always be the case. Working with young puppies need not be either complicated, or time-consuming. Positively reinforcing desired behaviors can be as easy as utilizing verbal praise (“Good job” or “Very good boy”) or even non-verbal praise like a pat on the head.


Another critical component of a successful German Shorthaired Pointer Training program relates to consistency. To truly learn, or come to understand and reach mastery of a desired behavior, your Pointer has to understand what is expected of him or her. Consider this example: Some of you might have friends that allow their dogs to beg for food. Maybe their dog is allowed to sit near the dinner table and watch her owner or other guests expectantly. Further, if her owner is easting a snack while watching t.v., she may plant herself next to him and exhibit the same behavior. If this is something her owner permits, the dog will reach an understanding that this is acceptable behavior. But if the same owner will sometimes speak sweetly to the dog while she is begging, and other times will redirect or negatively reinforce the behavior, the Pointer won’t know how to respond.

In the aforementioned example, the Pointer is never able to establish any consistent meaning; she does not reach an understanding of what behavior is expected of her, due to the owner’s sporadic responses and inconsistency in her response to behavior, and as a result, her German Shorthaired Pointer is unable to exhibit, or demonstrate the desired behavior. That’s where consistency comes in. Rewards and praise, instantaneous feedback, and both positive as well as negative reinforcement all work together to train a Pointer desired behaviors, and for the dog to reach the mastery level, this has to be done with consistency.

Having Purpose

Not wholly unlike humans, the German Shorthaired Pointer has to have a purpose in life. But this purpose can look like many things. For some Pointers, their job relates to hunting, or working livestock. Others may be their owner’s loyal running companion, or beach buddy, and still others are assigned the purpose of watching their families children. Of playing with them, entertaining them, and ensuring that always, their children are kept safe and out of harm’s way. Of these different assignments, not a single one is greater than the other in terms of value, importance, or the overall sense of satisfaction brought to the animal, but the one thing they all share in common is providing that dog with a specific purpose in life that they can focus their attention upon. They know that they have a job to do, and that job allows them to focus their energies; their mental abilities upon. Without such a directive, owners may find that their shorthairs are channeling their massive stores of energies upon more destructive behaviors, and may develop destructive behaviors. Again, this can all be avoided with a little bit of one-on-one training, consistency, and purpose.

Worth their Weight in Gold

The power of a dog’s love, the unconditional limits of loyalty, are what make the species such integral parts of the human experience. They are the friends that ask for nothing but to love you, and that is a rare, spectacular thing, indeed. German Shorthaired Pointers are no different. Their playful, gregarious nature, their incredible stores of energy and their natural desire to please those around them are what make them such incredible canine companions. As owners of this brilliant breed of dog, it is then our responsibility to provide them with the means to be able to make us happy–responding to behaviors with consistency and fidelity, giving them the personal time with us to provide that love. Strive always to take care of your Pointer the way they take care of you. Provide them with an approach to German Shorthaired Pointer Training that will prove successful to both dog and owner, and remember always that you have one of the best friends a man could ever ask for.

German Shorthaired Pointers as Hunting Dogs

German Shorthaired Pointers Hunting

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a perfect dog for hunters. German Shorthaired Pointer hunting dogs are excellent for any type of hunter, and go after both birds and mammals, including deer. They are very versatile and will hunt in both water and land.


The German Shorthaired Pointer originated in Germany in the 1800s. Germans wanted a dog that would hunt on instinct without having to train them. The versatility of this dog comes from the fact that the original breeders in Germany were also hoping that the dog would hunt any type of prey at any size.

The Germans bred these pointers to point out the prey to the hunter. They were also able to bring the prey back to the hunter and track any prey that had been wounded. This dog was bred to work and be useful as well as a family companion.


German Shorthaired Pointers have an easy to maintain coat. This easy level of maintenance allows for the focus to be on the hunting versus grooming. The coat is overall very short, but it is thick to keep them warm.

The fur on this dog is rough in touch, and it can be liver colored or liver and white. It is important to note that pointers do shed. Brushing the dog is the only maintenance that is required in order to keep loose fur at bay.

Intelligence Levels

German Shorthaired Pointers are extremely intelligent. On top of this, they want to please their trainers or owners, making training a breeze. Due to their intelligence, however, it is important that this dog’s minds stay active, even when not hunting.

If a German Shorthaired Pointer is left without a mental task, it may become destructive. Make training a priority to keep the mind stimulated. Engage the dogs in activities and with toys when you are not hunting in order to keep it at its sharpest for hunting.

Physical Activity Needs

Hunting gives German Shorthaired Pointers a great ability to stay active. They need a high amount of activity level as they were bred to be a sporting dog. Even when not hunting, these dogs need some form of physical activity.

Make sure that when hunting, your dog is able to lead and engage in the hunt. This will keep it busy, both physically and on a mental level. It will also provide an appropriate level of exercise that your pointer needs in order to stay as healthy as possible.

Maturation Rate

Your German Shorthaired Pointer will not reach its full-level of maturity until it is at least two years old. It will be strong enough to engage in the hunt at one years old, but it will not be mentally stable as of yet. German Shorthaired Pointer hunting dogs will be at the top of their game at two. This allows them to be completely mentally mature and physically mature in order to focus and train appropriately.

Human Interaction

Though German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent hunting dogs due to their intelligence and physical activity needs, they are also companion dogs. They are loyal to their owners and want to please, even in the home. They need interaction with their owners in order to be their best in hunting.

German Shorthaired Pointers are great with children as well. They are a dog that desires to protect and love, and this includes children. Make sure that they are trained to interact appropriately with your children, however, in order to see the best results. Maybe one day, your children will be able to go hunting with your German Shorthaired Pointer.

Due to their innate, inbred characteristics and abilities, German Shorthaired Pointers are natural hunters. They want to work. In their job of hunting, they are able to be very versatile as well competent.

German Shorthaired Pointer Temperament

German Shorthaired Pointer Temperament

German Shorthaired Pointers are lauded for their versatility in hunting. They are able to hunt both birds and mammals, and the GSP can retrieve felled game from land or water. In addition to his athletic prowess, the German Shorthaired Pointer’s temperament makes him an excellent companion for families and single people alike.

One of the biggest considerations when deciding if a German Shorthaired Pointer has a temperament suitable for your lifestyle is how much time you are able to dedicate to exercising him. As a sporting breed, the GSP has a high need for physical activity and mental stimulation. If this need is not fulfilled, expect a dog who will find an outlet for his energy. German Shorthaired Pointers have a tendency to become destructive within the home if they do not get enough exercise.

The German Shorthaired Pointer’s temperament is especially suited towards active households. Your GSP would love to accompany you on a hike, a jog, or any other outing where he can burn off some energy. Expect to commit at least an hour to exercising your dog each day if you want to open your home to this breed.

Because of the frequent need to work out of sight of his handler on the hunt, the German Shorthaired Pointer has been bred to be an independent thinker. Some might perceive this intelligent willfulness as the mark of a stubborn pup, but this is not true! This just means that you will need to make a commitment to lifelong training. The German Shorthaired Pointer has a temperament that makes for an especially smart companion.

These dogs are very eager to please their humans, but their intelligence means that you will need to find ways to make training fun and exciting to keep the German Shorthaired Pointer’s attention on you during sessions. He can easily be distracted by an interesting sight or sound and lose focus. An assertive, confident, and kind leader who uses positive reinforcement techniques will be successful at unlocking this dog’s full potential.

While this breed would be fine for an active couple or single, German Shorthaired Pointers love children. Some owners even report that their dog bonds more strongly with the kids in the family than the adults! However, don’t fret if you don’t have children and you still want a German Shorthaired Pointer. This sociable dog loves being a part of any sort of family, big or small.

Because the German Shorthaired Pointer has been bred to hunt, consideration for your smaller furry family members should be high on the list when thinking of adding a GSP to your household. Some German Shorthaired Pointers prove not to be cat or other small mammal chasers. However, it is a tendency of the breed to want to pursue a smaller, fleeing creature. If you already have cats or other small, furry family members, consider adopting an older German Shorthaired Pointer who has already proved himself to be tolerant of them.

If you’re looking for a watchdog, the German Shorthaired Pointer might alert you to a visitor, but this good-natured breeds tends to be generally friendly or only slightly wary of strangers.

In short, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a lovable bundle of energy, but his needs do not suit every household. If you’re the outdoorsy sort, who is looking for a buddy to come along on every adventure, this athletic breed likely would fit right into your household, provided that you give him a solid foundation of training. If you’re a couch potato who is looking for the same in a dog, perhaps consider a lower energy breed. Given the correct amount of exercise and training, this breed’s intelligence and loyalty will make him a wonderful companion for singles, couples, and families.

The History of the German Shorthaired Pointer: The Jack of All Trades

History of the German Shorthaired Pointer

In the late 1800s, the German aristocracy joined with the rising middle class in the search for the perfect dog. They wanted a lot from this dog. This superlative animal had to be a great hunting dog, but not just a bird hunter or a deer hunter or a wolf hunter or even a boar hunter. This dog had to be able to hunt all the wild creatures that lived in the vast forests that covered the land that had just recently become Germany.

These perfectionists wanted a dog who could find and follow a scent and when the game went to ground, would stay on point until the hunters arrived and then flush on command. In addition, they wanted a pointer who would retrieve the fallen prey in dense cover, field, forest or water. And they wanted a loyal, loving dog who would help protect their families and homes. In short, they wanted the German Shorthaired Pointer.

The Background of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Pointing dogs have been documented as far back as the thirteenth century, but they came in all sizes, colors and shapes. By the eighteenth century, the pointers had been somewhat standardized. They were called braques and were large dogs with wide chests, long ears and a brown spotted white coat. Guns were becoming popular for hunting and the braques were used all over Europe and in Britain.

In 1848, there were several revolutions in the kingdoms and princedoms of Germany, and in France and Austria. But at the same time that the students and liberals were demonstrating to bring about reforms in the governments, the peasants were rising in revolt. Ninety per cent of the population of Europe were peasants and many of those were serfs. The revolution led to the abolition of serfdom. It also led to the development of a keen interest in hunting dogs by the former serfs as they began to acquire guns and hunt for food.

The pointers began to evolve. Breeding included German dogs, along with Italian, French and Spanish stock, as well as the German Bloodhound and the French Gascon and finally the English Pointer. The breed became popular, especially as the middle class expanded. Breeding was done mainly by people only one generation away from serfdom. The German Shorthaired Pointer is the dog of the common man.

Then came two world wars and kennels and dogs were destroyed, stolen and lost.

In between the wars, several Americans became interested in the new breed and imported dogs to Montana and Wisconsin, where they started agitating to get the breed acknowledged by the American Kennel Club, which recognized the breed in 1935.

During WWII, the Nazi government controlled all hunting and the breeding of hunting dogs. Hermann Goering was in charge and had all pure white and liver spotted dogs destroyed because they didn’t meld into the background in the woods like the other colors.

As the Allies closed in on Germany, the Germans sent many of their best dogs into Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, where they disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. Breeders were forced to open their kennels and let their dogs loose as war swept across the land. They gave the dogs the only chance they could and many, if not most of the dogs were lost.

Toward the end of WWII, an important breeder, Gustav Machetanz, was able to escape the eastern part of Germany with some of his dogs just ahead of the Russians. He settled in West Germany and started breeding pointers again. After the war, it took over a decade for the German breeders to recover.

In the 1950s, American breeders had been lovingly developing the breed. They started importing German dogs and introducing new genetic material into their dogs. The breed
flourished through the next decade.

In the later days of the twentieth century, however, hunting became stigmatized in the developing social climate. Hunting has largely vanished in the countries that contributed to the development of this elite breed. The United States and Canada are the only countries where the German Shorthaired Pointer still prospers.

These wonderful dogs need to be cherished and the lines of champions continued despite the decrease in hunting. What a companion to have for a walk in the wilderness!