The German Longhaired Pointer was developed in Germany during the mid-19th century. Originally, it was a rather large slow dog, slim built, long body with a large head and a sharp nose. The original colour was light with patches and the character was self-willed and temperamental. It was a dog that was hard to handle although it was very faithful and it can work in all types of weather. This slow dog hunted alongside the guns and was eventually crossed with the Pointer and the Setter to improve speed and temperament. It was first shown in public during the 1878 Frankfurt Dog Show and also again the following year. It was also at this time that the first breed standard was formalised. German breeders then put emphasis in improving the hunting characteristics of the breed rather than the aesthetic character. Through the years, as breeding become more organized, German enthusiasts began to develop the breed for both field and the show ring. It was recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club in 1997. Today, the German Longhaired Pointer is a multipurpose field dog that combines the best of the pointer, retriever (being able to work on land and on water) and the setter and tracker.
Originally, the German Longhaired Pointer was stubborn and temperamental. However, German breeders have successfully developed the modern GLP that we know today as a kind, gentle, friendly, and intelligent breed. It is one of the most affectionate dog companions that thrives on human companionship. It has a tendency to experience separation anxiety if left alone for a very long period of time. As a fearless hunter and a vigilant and responsive breed, the German Longhaired Pointer makes a good watchdog.
The GLP is a highly intelligent breed and is quick to learn. Bred as a gundog, it is happiest when it is given something to do which is one of the factors why the German Longhaired Pointer loves learning new things. The best results come from early training. A fair and consistent approach will go a long way in training the dog which excels in many canine sports including flyball, agility, and obedience.
The German Longhaired Pointer needs a moderate amount of grooming. Brushing and maintaining the coat in good form requires once or twice a week grooming. A good amount of feathering exists on its ears, chest, belly, legs, and tail which needs the most attention. Check these areas for tangles and remove any dirt and debris that might get caught, particularly after the dog has been out in the open. The GLP is a light shedder but sheds heavily twice a year, particularly during seasonal changes. During these times, a more frequent brushing is required to minimize hair fall and helps remove dead hairs from the coat. The ears need to be inspected and cleaned as necessary.
It is a generally healthy breed with a median lifespan of 12 and 14 years. Due to its rather small popularity with breeders, the German Longhaired Pointer does not seem to be affected with any type of hereditary diseases that are prevalent with other dog breeds. However, the ears are mildly susceptible to infections if not cared for properly. This can be avoided by inspecting and cleaning the ears on a regular basis, especially after the dog has come out from the water.
The German Longhaired Pointer was bred to work in the field for hours on end. This makes the breed highly active so it needs a lot of exercise in order to stay fit. It will not do well to a sedentary life. The GLP will thrive when exercised on a daily basis which makes it a wonderful pet to an active owner who loves the outdoors
The GLP is a sociable animal with a gentle nature which makes it an excellent family pet. It enjoys playing with children and is very sociable with other dogs as well. However, just like any large dog breed, adult supervision is advised when the dog and the children are playing together to make sure playtime will not result in any accident. It also gets along well with felines in the household if it was raised with them from puppyhood, but it will typically chase other cats it is not familiar with.