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German Shorthaired Pointer


General Description:

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a medium size dog with males and females ranging from 45lbs to 65lbs at maturity. The GSP is usually very good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and appreciate active families who will give them an outlet for their energy. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats or rabbits. With training, however, the family dog should be able to discern what is prey and what is not, and they can live quite amicably with other family pets.


Breed standard is 50-75 pounds, and 23-25 inches tall at the shoulder.


Solid liver or a combination of liver and white such as liver and white ticked, liver patched and white ticked or liver roan.

Energy Level:

High for the AKC Sporting Group, Very High for dogs in general.

The GSP is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. The GSP is very good with learning commands and, it is usually very capable of figuring out how to solve problems by themselves.

Life expectancy:

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a longer life expectancy than many breeds of this size; many living 16 to 18 years old (personally I have seen 14 yr olds fetching a ball for hours).


When it comes to everyday family life, the pointer is a recommended addition to the family. They are extremely loyal, friendly and fun.

Other animals:

Compatibility with Other Animals: varies with each GSP

Dogs: generally good w/ other dogs 10 pounds and up (GSP females generally better with male dogs or as only dog).

As for cats: dog savvy cats. Not recommended for homes with dogs less than 10 pounds, cats that are not familiar with dogs, chickens and rabbits – due to prey drive as they are a hunting breed.


All purpose gun dog ( points, retrieves, field trials, hunt tests), tracking trials, Skijoring, dock diving, agility, fly ball, narcotics detection work, search and rescue and loving, active family pet


Shedding can be high, grooming is minimal (ears cleaned, nails)


Generally healthy as a breed

Best with:

A loving home, that can provide mental & physical daily exercise, a regular routine, positive training only, as well as having a yard at the home with a minimum 6 ft solid wooden fence or secure farm fencing.

Not for:

An inexperienced dog owner - inactive home - apartment/condo life.

Thus the breed is not a suitable pet for an inactive home or for inexperienced dog owners. Although these dogs form very strong attachments with their owners, a dog that receives insufficient exercise may feel compelled to exercise himself by escaping the yard or home. These dogs can escape from four foot and sometimes six foot enclosures with little difficulty.

Regular running, skijoring, dock diving, agility or other vigorous activity can alleviate this desire to escape. GSP’s require space to run. GSP's have a lot of energy and if not given the right amount of attention, can become destructive. GSP's are not meant to be left alone and do not make good kennel dogs because of this reason.


Some can be very boisterous when under 3 yrs old.

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs plenty of vigorous activity. This need for exercise (preferably off lead in a safe area) coupled with the breed's natural instinct to hunt, means that training is an absolute necessity. The GSP distinctly independent character and superior intelligence mean that any unused energy will likely result in the dog amusing itself, most probably in an undesirable manner.


Lack of sufficient exercise and/or proper training can produce a German Shorthaired Pointer that appears hyperactive or that has destructive tendencies.

Further Information:

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a member of the sporting group and the American Kennel Club’s (AKC’s) 16th most popular breed in 2009. The GSP was developed by crossing old Spanish pointers with other breeds such as scent hounds and tracking hounds. The combination created a responsive, lean, energetic hunting dog with great versatility; being able to point and retrieve both fur and feather, on land and in the water. The GSP loves interaction with humans and appreciates an active family who will give them an outlet for their boundless breed energy.

German Shorthaired Pointers were accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1930, their parent club holding the first specialty show in 1941.

A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats, rabbits or chickens; but many GSP’s have learned to live with dog savvy cats. The German Shorthaired Pointers thrive on household routine coupled with mental and physical exercise. For training a GSP use positive reinforcement and reward-training techniques ( to read more about positive training techniques personally, I suggest reading about Ian Dunbar or finding a certified professional dog trainer in your area by looking up the certification counsel for professional dog trainers ( CCPDT). Lack of sufficient daily exercise and attention can produce a German Shorthaired Pointer that is an escape artist; or a dog that appears hyperactive and that can have destructive tendencies; regular running, dock diving, agility, skijoring, or other vigorous activity can alleviate this desire to escape the home or yard to release some energy. GSP’s require space to run preferably off-leash in a secure area and should be taken out every day to be exercised as they have internal GSP bred energy that needs to be released (typical urban sized backyard is not enough room for this high energy breed).

Breed Details

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