Canine Breed Menu

German Shorthair

German Shorthair

German Shorthair
Breed Organization
German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
German Shorthaired Pointing Dog, GSP, Deutscher Kurzhaariger Vorstehhund, Deutsch Kurzhaar, Kurzhaar
Life Expectancy
Approximately 14-16 Years
Litter Size
Average 7-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Sporting
Breed Appearance
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunter and an all around gun dog capable of high performance in field and water. German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent watchdogs. They are one of three different breeds of the same kind: German Shorthaired Pointers, German Long-Haired Pointers, and the German Wirehaired Pointers.

Breed Description
Head: Cleanly cut, neither too lightweight nor too heavy. Fairly large, slightly domed skull. Moderately pronounced stop. Slightly convex nosebridge. Long, broad, thick, and powerful muzzle. Nose brown or flesh colored in white-coated variety. Powerful jaws. Tight, well-pigmented lips.
Ears: Set on high, medium in length, rounded at the tip, pendulous but not twisted, flat against the sides of the head.
Eyes: Medium in size, dark brown.
Body: Slightly elongated. Muscular neck without dewlap. Pronounced withers. Chest taller than it is broad. Well-curved ribs. Short, broad, muscular loin. Broad, well-muscled, sufficiently long, slightly sloping croup. Firm, well-muscled back.
Tail: Set on high, thick at the base, tapering gradually. Docked by about half for hunting. At rest, hanging down. In action, carried level to the ground.
Hair: Short (kurzhaar means "short hair"), dense, crisp, hard to the touch.
Coat: Chestnut without markings. Chestnut with white spots or flecks on the chest and legs. Dark chestnut-roan with chestnut head and chestnut blotches or spots (very good camouflage for hunting). Light chestnut-roan with chestnut head and chestnut spots, with or without chestnut blotches. White with chestnut markings on the head and chestnut blotches or spots. Black with the same shades as for chestnut or roan. Tan markings are allowed. A white flare or blaze with spotted lips are allowed.
Size: Dog: 62 to 66 cm. (24.4-26 in).Bitch: 58 to 63 cm. (23-25 in).
Weight: 25 to 32 kg (55-70.5 lb).

The precise origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer is unclear. According to the American Kennel Club, it is likely that the GSP is descended from a breed known as the German Bird Dog, which itself is related to the old Spanish pointer introduced to Germany in the 17th century. It is also likely that various German hound and tracking dogs, as well as the English Pointer and the Arkwright Pointer, also contributed to the development of the breed. However, as the first studbook was not created until 1870, it is impossible to identify all of the dogs that went into creating this breed. Though strangely enough they have appeared in paintings dating back to the late-mid 1700's.

The German Pointing Dog is a vigorous, strong, fast distance galloper with great endurance who is not afraid of the cold and can hunt on any terrain. He is a hunting dog par excellence, a pointer above all. He specializes in feathered quarry in the field or in the woods and can also be used to track wounded game. Bursting with energy but even-tempered and obedient, he is strong-willed and can be stubborn. He is attached to his owner and loves children, making him a good companion. He is a good watchdog but not aggressive. He needs firm training.

Most German shorthaired pointers are tough, healthy dogs, but the breed can be subject to a number of hereditary disorders due to their breeding. A few individuals may suffer from hip dysplasia, genetic eye diseases, epilepsy, skin disorders and cancerous lesions in the mouth, on the skin and other areas of the body. As with other breeds, unspayed female GSPs are prone to breast cancer. But they are less likely to get breast cancer if they are bred.

Like many other deep-chested dogs, German shorthaired pointers are highly prone to gastric torsion. Correct precautions, such as refraining from feeding immediately before or after exercise, feeding several smaller meals throughout the day instead of a single, large one and avoiding the consumption of large amounts of water with dry food, should always be taken.

As with any other hunting dog, contact with game can cause the spread of fungi and bacteria that can easily colonise in the gums or cause infections on open wounds and small cuts from scratching against plants and bushes during a regular hunting session.

He can adapt to city life but needs space and exercise, including long daily outings. He also needs regular brushing and checking of the ears.

Hunting Dog, Companion Dog.

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