The German Shorthaired
Pointer, a dog bred specifically as a hunting
companion and working dog, is good natured,
friendly, and eager to please. The German breeders
incorporated the Old Spanish Pointer, Hounds of St.
Hubert, the Foxhound, other hounds, and eventually
the English Pointer, which made it a faster and more
Hunters have discovered this breed to be excellent
as a field dog and on the water. Those who own a
calm, well-bred German Shorthaired Pointer have a
good family member but also a dog that loves outdoor
activity. To help answer questions specific to this
breed, we have provided information that could help
you make your decision for buying.
1. What is the
history of the German Shorthaired Pointer?
This hunting dog is the result of efforts by
breeders and hunters in Germany who wanted the best
features from such dogs as the Spanish Pointer,
various hounds, and the English Pointer. In the
1800s, a dog was developed, good at retrieving on
land and water. In addition, this new breed had a
great nose for sniffing out game with the hunter on
foot. Because of this, many hunters enjoy the German
Shorthaired Pointer as an excellent hunting dog and
one that needs little training.
2. What is the size and color is a German
The healthy dog should be lean with tight skin of
liver color or liver and white. Other colors in the
coat are usually considered unacceptable for
competition and show. A male will stand about 23 to
25 inches and weigh about 55 to 70 pounds while a
female should stand about 21 to 23 inches and weigh
about 45 to 60 pounds. The German Shorthaired
Pointer is slightly shorter than the standard
3. Is the German Shorthaired Pointer good with
Although bred for hunting and working in the
outdoors, a well-bred dog can be an excellent family
companion. If the puppy is properly raised to be
comfortable with people and other dogs, it should do
well with children. However, the German Shorthaired
Pointer may not be the best choice for living in an
apartment or very small home, because it needs to be
outdoors and needs plenty of time in the open.
4. Are there differences between male and female
Many experienced owners and breeders report that the
male of the breed tends to be a little more
aggressive, while females tend to be less dominant.
Dogs bred for hunting and competition have more
energy than others, so this may be a good thing to
keep in mind when you are talking to breeders.
5. Are there health problems I should know about?
A few dogs of this breed have developed epilepsy and
the German Shorthaired Pointer can be prone to an
adrenal gland abnormality called Addison’s disease.
In addition, all purebred dogs should be screened at
an early age for hip dysplasia. There are some
vision ailments that you should ask your breeder and
veterinarian about as well, including progressive
retinal atrophy that can affect night vision and
eventually all vision.
6. What kind of exercise should my dog have if we
are not hunters?
The German Shorthaired Pointer needs a lot of
exercise because they are a breed of great stamina
and energy while working with hunters. Therefore,
plan to provide this dog with good exercise,
especially if not used for hunting. Additionally,
this dog does not do well when left alone, often
becoming bored and restless.
7. How long will the German Shorthaired Pointer
This is not an extremely large dog, usually living
between 12 to 15 years with the correct diet and
8. What should I feed my German Shorthaired
If you choose to feed commercial food, use only the
best, top-quality brands – those without a lot of
grain like corn or wheat since some dogs develop
allergies to these grains or are naturally allergic
to them. Many owners and breeders feed fresh food
like lean meats and some vegetables.
9. What should I look for in a mature German
We would normally recommend that you purchase a
young dog, especially a puppy, from a good breeder.
This will give you a chance to grow with the new pet
and make sure that the dog is comfortable with you
and your family. If you choose to buy a grown dog,
it should be fine if the previous owner or breeder
has taken time to socialize and interact with him in
the correct way. Bringing a grown dog to a home with
children or other pets may present a problem if the
dog has not been around them before. Therefore, make
introduction with mature dogs slowly and be patient
while setting boundaries.