About the Breed

Characteristics

German Shorthaired Pointers have an athletic build.  They are lean in appearance, but strong and tough.  They are built for stamina. They have an alert natural body position, and their heads have a long muzzle with a delicate profile.  Their athletic body and proud head give a calm and stately appearance.  They are very active and loyal dog.  With adorable large floppy ears and soulful eyes, it is no surprise that this intelligent and hard working gundog is becoming increasingly popular as a family pet too.

History

In gundog circles, the GSP is considered a versatile Hunt-Point-Retriever.  They are skilled at flushing and locating game, as well as fetching the harvest.  The German Shorthaired Pointer was first imported to the United States in the mid 1920’s. The GSP’s lineage originates from the Spanish Pointer and Hannover Hound, who were cross bred in the 1600’s.  Later adding the English Pointer into the mix to produce an all purpose hunting, pointing, retrieving breed.

Colors

German Shorthaired Pointers have short, tough coats.  Although GSPs are most commonly recognized as liver and white dogs, they can come in a range of color combinations. These include:

  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Black Roan
  • Liver
  • Liver & White
  • Liver Roan
  • White

Their markings can be patched, ticked or a combination of both.

Sample Color Chart

Size

Adult GSPs will grow to around 25 inches tall at the shoulder, and will weigh around 60 pounds.  They are a medium to large sized breed, with females tending to be a little shorter and lighter than males.

Training

German Shorthaired Pointer training is an essential part of ownership.  Although they are naturally compliant and submissive dogs, they also have a strong drive to seek prey and run.  GSP hunting traits make them fantastic in the field, but can be a problem in a family home if they are not managed.  Establishing a good recall and some basic obedience commands, such as sit and stay, will help you maintain control of your dog, and lead to an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Exercise

German Shorthaired Pointers need a lot of exercise.  Combining this need with their natural instincts to run, hunt, point and retrieve will give you both high levels of enjoyment.  Gundog style training is a great way to get the best out of a GSP, even if you have no interest in actual field work.  Helping them to burn off their energy with long retrieves, or running in hunting patterns across the fields, will increase your bond together and help your dog feel more relaxed and satisfied when at home.