If you have ever seen a cartoon dog discovering something with a quick stiffening of the body into a dramatic point, then you’ve seen the function of a Pointer; or at least a very exaggerated version of it! The German Shorthaired Pointer, or GSP for short, is a sporty hunting dog that was developed in Germany and has been used through generations as an all-around hunting dog. The breed as we know it today was created in the early 19th century and is distinguished easily by its short, spot covered coat, chiseled head, and long tapered body shape from nose point to tail tip. Earlier ancestors of the breed were found in the 1600s, and are known to have played an important part in the development of the canine as he is now. This energetic and playful dog is extremely intelligent and makes an excellent house pet as well as a hunter or sport dog. Thanks to his pointer and bloodhound ancestry the German Shorthaired Pointer is talkative and active, so he’ll need plenty of exercise to keep his energy in check. He may bark at strangers but not in an aggressive way as this breed is very friendly. Although hunting is their main purpose, the German Shorthaired Pointer is used more as a family dog and show dog nowadays.
The German Shorthaired Pointer was developed in Germany during the mid 19th century. These dogs were created by combining German bird dogs and scent hounds, which is where the original body style and personality comes from. Although the German Shorthaired Pointer is similar to its ancestors from the 17th century; this breed brought a bit of elegance to the Pointer sport dogs. Originally, Pointers were stockier and thick, but with the German Shorthaired Pointer, skinny and sleek were the new look. These dogs take their name from their country of origin as well as their sleek, short hair. German Shorthaired Pointers were developed from the get-go to be extremely athletic and intelligent hunters that could retrieve game both on land and the water. They are much loved for their strong sense of smell and affectionate personality. Besides being fantastic at hunting however, this breed is also incredible in the show ring. They are capable of showcasing amazing grace and elegance, and have actually taken Best in Show multiple times since their creation. The first German Shorthaired Pointer was welcomed to the United States in the year 1925. They were then bred by a man by the name of Dr. Charles Thornton in Montana, who helped to grow these dogs in popularity. A short time later, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club and could partake in shows. While the breed is extremely popular now, number 16 in fact, they became quite difficult to find in the years following World War II. This was due to the fact that people began to hide their cherished possessions away, including the German Shorthaired Pointer. It took quite some time for the breed to be rebuilt after this event, but now these dogs are flourishing and used all over as wonderful family pets and hunters to this day.
There is no doubt that the German Shorthaired Pointer has stunning looks. They are of a medium build, with a long body that is wider in the chest (barreled) and tapers itself to a point at the tail. While this sounds odd, it is similar to the idea of streamlining, with a pointy nose and a slim body the German Shorthaired Pointer is a very athletically build dog breed. The tail is usually docked at 40% of its natural length to give it that stumped appearance at the end. German Shorthaired Pointers have a chiseled head with a muzzle that should be equally proportioned. Their eyes are almond shaped, brown, and very intelligent. Perhaps one of the most fascinating features of this breed is their webbed feet. Because of the webbing between their toes, the German Shorthaired Pointer are excellent swimmers, making them perfect for retrieving animals hunted over the water. Color patterns range from a solid liver color to a coat that is ticked or patched in white.
Even though it would seem that as a shorthaired dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer would not shed much, they do tend to shed quite often. Seasonally they will do something that is referred to as “blowing coat” where the average shedding then turns to much larger amounts of shedding. In order to properly care for your dog’s coat, it is recommended to brush this breed weekly with a rubber mitt or firm bristle brush in order to minimize shedding and keep the fur and skin healthy. The coarse hair of this breed can be difficult to remove from furniture and carpet so it may be wise to brush him outside and invest in a good vacuum to clean up any pesky hair. Besides brushing, the German Shorthaired Pointer needs to be bathed only when necessary and can be rubbed with a piece of chamois afterwards to make the fur gleam. Due to their floppy, low ears, the German Shorthaired Pointer does not always have sufficient airflow to dry out any moisture within the ear. Because of this, it is important to clean the dog’s ears frequently in order to decrease the chance of any ear infections. Regular nail trimming should be done to keep the feet healthy and free of any sharp nails that could scratch people or floors.