Affectionate, Alert, Lively, Loyal, Out-Going, Responsive
The actual origin and ancestry of the German Shorthaired Pointer is quite unknown but most breed experts theorised that the development of the breed stemmed from the crossing of the old Spanish pointer, the old German pointer and the French pointing dog Braque Francais. However, these pointers weren’t very good in trailing game, water works, and lack ferociousness toward predators. To enhance tracking ability, soften the temperament, and overcome some of the undesirable characters of these traditional pointers, German breeders further crossed the GSP with the German Bloodhound. To add speed and agility to the breed and reduce the “bloodhound look”, early breeders further cross the breed with the English pointer. The resulting breed was a good-looking, highly intelligent, trustworthy and multipurpose gundog that packs a tremendous amount of energy and stamina, an impeccable sense of smell, an excellent pointing instinct, and an enthusiastic ability to retrieve fallen game in and out of the water.
The German Shorthaired Pointer was first registered into the Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club) in 1872 and its popularity soon spread across Europe, with the exception of Great Britain where much of the hunting was done on horseback which required a different type of dog breed. It was not until after the end of the Second World War that the breed eventually became popular in the UK.
This breed is highly affectionate, alert, lively, extremely loyal, playful and highly responsive which makes it a god watch dog. It loves to please its master and is very cooperative and easily trained. The GSP thrives on human companionship and loves being patted on the head which makes it a wonderful family companion. The German Shorthaired Pointer is a dog that will work in all weather conditions. It has a strong natural hunting instinct that it will occasionally bring dead trophies into the house such as rats, birds, and other small animals.
The GSP should be exposed to different situations, people, places, and experiences at an early age. Like most breeds, early socialisation plays a vital role in training the breed to grow up to be a well-balanced dog. Its natural ability to hunt and follow scent means that training to come when called is an absolute necessity. An improperly trained German Shorthaired Pointer can have a tendency to become hyperactive and display destructive behaviour.
The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short, thick, water-resistant coat that requires low maintenance. It sheds very little and only requires once a week brushing with a stiff bristle brush to keep the coat healthy. The toenails tend to wear down naturally because of the dog’s active lifestyle. The ears should be checked regularly for signs of bacterial infection, especially after getting into the water.
It is a generally healthy breed with a median lifespan of 12 to 14 years. It is prone to minor health issues including gastric torsion, hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia, and entropion. Some German Shorthaired Pointers have been known to suffer from lymphatic edema caused by a compromised lympathic system and usually involves swelling and fluid retention on the affected area.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is highly energetic that loves doing work which makes it a wonderful pet for an active family that can give him an outlet for his tremendous store of energy. Daily long walks are not sufficient for this breed, whereas a good run or jog alongside a bike for several kilometres on a daily basis are good outlets for his considerable energy. Hiking and trekking are also good outlets of energy for this breed. This tremendous need for exercise makes the dog unsuitable to an owner who typically lives in an apartment or condominium and does not have enough time to take the dog on a walk. The GSP will thrive in an urban setting with a lot of open spaces where it can run and spend its energy.
It is generally good with children because of its friendliness, enthusiasm and natural love for human interaction although adult supervision is required because of its lively attitude especially when it is young. The GSP gets along well with other dogs especially if it is socialised well at an early age. Female GSPs tend to be more dominant during interbreeding. However, some German Shorthaired Pointers don’t go along well with other small pets like birds, cats or rabbits.