German Shorthaired Pointer

Temperament: Friendly, Smart, Willing to Please

  • Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-70 pounds (male), 45-60 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Sporting Group 

The versatile, medium-sized German Shorthaired Pointer is an enthusiastic gundog of all trades who thrives on vigorous exercise, positive training, and a lot of love. GSP people call their aristocratic companions the “perfect pointer.”


The German Short-haired Pointer is a versatile hunter, an all-purpose gun dog capable of high performance in field and water. The judgement of Short-hairs in the show ring reflects this basic characteristic. The overall picture which is created in the observer’s eye is that of an aristocratic, well balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation indicating power, endurance and agility and a look of intelligence and animation. The dog is neither unduly small nor conspicuously large. It gives the impression of medium size, but is like the proper hunter, “with a short back, but standing over plenty of ground.” Symmetry and field quality are most essential.

About the German Shorthaired Pointer

Male German Short-haired Pointers stand between 23 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds; females run smaller. The coat is solid liver (a reddish brown), or liver and white in distinctive patterns. The dark eyes shine with enthusiasm and friendliness. Built to work long days in the field or at the lake, GSP are known for power, speed, agility, and endurance. “Noble” and “aristocratic” are words often used to describe the overall look.
GSP make happy, trainable pets who bond firmly to their family. They are always up for physical activities like running, swimming, organised dog sports—in fact, anything that will burn some of their boundless energy while spending outdoors time with a human buddy.

NUTRITION Feed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. A pup under 6 months old will need to be fed more than twice a day; once the GSP reaches adulthood, a meal morning and evening should be sufficient. Because the breed is subject to bloat, they should not be fed immediately after running or other vigorous exercise, nor should they be allowed to run or exercise for at least an hour after eating and drinking. The ideal evening mealtime would be after physical activities are through for the day.

GROOMING The GSP coat is easy to groom most of the year, requiring only a good once-over with a brush or grooming glove every few days. Although the coat is short, it still sheds—especially at certain times of the year, when more frequent brushing will be needed to remove the loose hairs before they end up all over the house. The hairs can become embedded in fabrics and carpet and hard to get out. An occasional bath (using a gentle shampoo) can help. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned, and the nails trimmed short.

EXERCISE The GSP does best with plenty of exercise and things to do, such as running, swimming, and dog sports—in fact, anything that will burn some of their boundless energy while spending time outdoors with a human buddy. Their routine should ideally include ample physical activity twice a day. This might be in the form of brisk, half-hour walks morning and evening or running and playing in a securely fenced area. GSP are smart and athletic and excel in a wide range of canine activities that exercise mind and body, from field eventsto agility, obedience, and dock diving.

TRAINING Early training is essential for the German Short-haired Pointer. Socialisation puppy training classes are vital, continuing with practice in basic obedience commands. This is an intelligent breed that learns quickly with consistent training sessions. GSP need a purpose, and without one they can be destructive if left to their own devices. The breed can be extremely challenging from 6 months to 3 years old. GSP have a very high energy level and a strong prey drive, and they need an owner with an active lifestyle to guide the dog’s exuberance and intensity into positive outlets.

HEALTH Although German Short-haired Pointers are generally healthy, there are some conditions the breed may be prone to. Among these are hip dysplasia, eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy, and certain heart diseases. A responsible breeder will screen their breeding stock for conditions that affect the breed. GSP can also be affected by bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach suddenly distends and often twists as well. Owners should educate themselves as to what symptoms indicate this is occurring and what to do should it occur.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  4. Cardiac Exam
  5. Cone Degeneration DNA Test

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