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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE GERMAN SHORTHAIR POINTER  

 

One thing that can truly be said for the German shorthaired pointer is that you will never find a more versatile and complete hunting dog.  Whether it is upland birds, geese over fields, or ducks on water, the GSP will do it all.  Extremely athletic, fiercely loyal, and wonderfully biddable, the GSP excels to the top of the sporting dog world. 
Of course hunting is their natural drive but this same tenacity for perfection can be easily developed in any area you chose to work your dog.  Be it field trialing, agility testing or just having fun with a tennis ball or a Frisbee, you can be sure that your GSP will give all it has to perform like a true champion.  

History of the German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer combined in field-dog requirements those
qualities which have long popularized the various breeds of hunting dogs.
Through judicious crossing of the descendants of the old Spanish Pointer,
English Foxhound, and local German tracking hounds, the breed has acquired a
keen scenting power linked with high intelligence, leading to its reputation as
an ideal all-purpose dog. The breed is proficient with many different types of
game and sport, including trailing, retrieving, and pointing pheasant, quail,
grouse, waterfowl, coons, possum, and even deer.
The origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer, as with most breeds, is not clear,
but the source of basic foundation stock seems to have been the German Bird
Dog, related to the old Spanish Pointer, and various crossings with local German
scent hounds and track and trail dogs (Schweisshunde). When the Germans
finally introduced the fine English Pointers to lend elegance to the German
Shorthaired Pointer prototype, the result was a magnificent utility dog that
combined sporting virtue with clean lines, good looks, sound temperament and
longevity. The German Shorthaired Pointer was first admitted to the AKC Stud
Book in 1930, with the first specialty and field trial sponsored by the parent club held in the same year, 1941.

Conformation

The breed is streamlined yet powerful with strong legs that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long floppy ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy game.  The tail is commonly docked, leaving enough tail to let the dog communicate through tail wagging and movement. The docked tail should not be too long or too short but should balance the appearance of the head and body. The GSP tail is carried at a jaunty angle, not curled under. When the GSP is in classic point stance, the tail should be held straight out from the body forming a line with the pointing head and body. Like all German pointers, GSP have webbed feet and are excellent swimmers.

 

 Temperment

Since the German Shorthaired Pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. The GSP is usually good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and are suitable pets for active families who will give them an outlet for their considerable energy; in this regard some competitively trained GSPs are walking dynamos; they must be avidly run multiple times a week. Most German shorthaired pointers make excellent watchdogs. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats or rabbits. With training, however, the family dog should be able to discern what is prey and what is not, and they can live quite amicably with other family pets.

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs plenty of vigorous activity. This need for exercise (preferably off lead) coupled with the breed's natural instinct to hunt, means that training is an absolute necessity. Failure by the owner to give this active and intelligent dog sufficient exercise and/or proper training can produce a German shorthaired pointer that appears hyperactive or that has destructive tendencies. Thus the breed is not a suitable pet for an inactive home or for inexperienced dog owners.

The GSP can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, an upland bird dog and water dog. The GSP can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound's talented nose. It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities.

The GSP is intelligent and bred for a certain amount of independence (e. g., when a dog is working out of sight or sound of its handler in the field). Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, the intelligence and the obedience of the GSP make it one of the more popular large breeds.

 

German Shorthaired Pointers along with other sporting dogs requires a lot of exercise and space to run. GSPs have a lot of energy and if not given the right amount of attention, can become bored and destructive. GSPs do not do well left alone all day or if relegated to a kennel without plenty of human interaction.

 

 

 Coat

The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is short and flat with a dense undercoat protected by stiff guard hairs making the coat water resistant and allowing the dog to stay warm in cold weather. The color can be a dark brown, correctly referred to in English as "liver" (incorrectly as "chocolate" or "chestnut"), black (although any area of black is cause for disqualification in American Kennel Club sanctioned shows), or either liver and white or black and white. Commonly the head is a solid or nearly solid color and the body is speckled or "ticked" with liver and white, sometimes with large patches of solid color called "saddles".

Care

GSPs are a very clean breed. The short GSP coat needs very little grooming, just occasional brushing. GSPs should be bathed only when needed.Like all dogs with flop ears, GSP can be prone to ear infections and their ears require regular checking and cleaning.

The GSP has a longer life expectancy than many breeds of this size, commonly living 12 to 14 years, with individual dogs living to 16 to 18 years not uncommon.As the GSP is a medium/large, active breed, the dogs can require considerable food. Older or less active GSPs can also become obese if fed more than suitable for the individual's activity levels. A healthy weight should permit the last two ribs to be felt under the coat and the dog should have a distinct waist or "tuck-up".

Due to the short GSP coat, body heat management is not generally a problem. However, the GSP's high levels of activity require the breed to drink considerable amounts of water to prevent dehydration.

 

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