The German Shorthaired Pointer is an active breed developed to be an active, intelligent hunting dog. Because of this heritage they need exercise and being fit, not fat. Good health care, minimal grooming requirements and a loyal temperament make the German shorthaired pointer an outstanding dog but not a dog for everyone!
Most breed profiles will tell you basics about the breeds. In the case of the German Shorthair this includes that, by the standard for conformation, they are 23-25 inches tall and 55-70 pounds. They’re bred to be a gun dog and family pet. Commonly solid liver colored or, more recognized as liver and white the German Shorthair came from crossing local German scent hounds with the English pointer for a pretty dog that would hunt. Pretty with a good temperament became hallmarks of the breed.
Often thought of as a bird dog the German Shorthair will actually trail, point and retrieve not only pheasant, quail and waterfowl but also raccoon, possum and deer. He should have grace but also power – the ability to go all day in the field. The short coat means grooming is minimal.
However the working nature means he needs exercise! This is a dog to run with, to go camping with and be outside with! The intelligence means he NEEDS training. Without something to keep the mind busy he will get bored and a big, intelligent bored dog can rearrange homes! He can keep the neighbors irritated chasing and barking at squirrels or their cats. This is a dog that knows how to enjoy the simple things in life.
What this means in a non hunting home is plan to include your dog in your active lifestyle or find a breed that fits you better. While there are always exceptions to every description expecting a high energy dog to be a couch potato more often than not sets the dog up to fail. They’re built to cover ground and stride across a field.
While the breed requirement disqualifies dogs that are any color other than liver and white these dogs can still be great family dogs for the right family. Training and activity can’t be stressed enough. As hunting dogs this also means using a leash for pets, as that nose that finds an interesting scent can lead them to trouble.
Health is certainly an issue that is important for selecting a hunting companion and, as such, the breed tends to be healthy, but like most, there are issues within the breed that warrant attention. German Shorthairs can be prone to epilepsy, cancer, heart conditions, hip dysplasia, skin problems, allergies and behavior issues do occur.
Like any dog good quality care and good food help towards insuring a healthy long lived pet. Talk to the breeder or rescue you’re getting the dog from and have a good understanding of the breed and the individual. This makes for a happier dog and a happier owner! It helps the German Shorthair Pointer be all he can be in your home!