German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed at a Glance
The German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed, also known as the DK, Kurzhaar, GSP, Deutsch Kurzhaar, and Deutscher Kurzhaariger Vorstehhund, is a hunting dog bred in the 1800s in Germany. It’s fast and able to turn quickly, and has a long, broad muzzle that enables it to retrieve heavy game. The DK is friendly and willing to please, and is a suitable breed for children, but also makes a good guardian, barking and alerting owners should an intruder be present. Training this dog is easy, as it is very intelligent. In addition to that, it is ranked as the 11th most popular dog breed by the AKC, and makes a great companion for an active family.
Breed Group: Sporting
HISTORY of the German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed
Created for sportsmen seeking companions to hunt, this all-purpose gundog has been around since the 17th century, although its exact origin is not clear. However, it is believed that it is a descendant of the German Bird Dog and the Old Spanish Pointer, and likely the English Pointer.
This high energy, medium-sized dog is loyal, alert, and responsive. It is very sensitive, so it does not take well to reprimanding or punishment. It can be very affectionate, but also aggressive, and it is not a cat-friendly dog. Bred for hunting purposes, it has a very high hunting drive and impulse to wander, so always keep it on a leash when out and about.
Socializing must be done early on in life in order to raise a well behaved family dog. It absolutely needs to burn off its energy through exercise to avoid destructive behavior.
Physical Characteristics of the German Shorthaired Pointer
The GSP has powerful hind legs, long, floppy ears, and a long, broad, and strong muzzle. Its tail was commonly docked, however, this practice is now prohibited in many countries. It has webbed feet, which allows it to retrieve waterfowl. Its coat is dense, short, harsh and rough, and also water repellent.
The common colors accepted by the AKC, regarding the GSP are liver and white, or solid liver. Other colors include white, black and white, black roan, or black.
The GSP weighs between 45 and 70 pounds, and stands between 21 and 25 inches tall, depending on gender.
Shedding is extensive, so be prepared to vacuum frequently! It is not a hypoallergenic dog, and it does NOT have a tendency to drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the GSP Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the GSP is between 12 and 14 years, which is about average for large dog breeds.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. Although a healthy breed, the GSP is at risk for developing the following:
- Congenital Cardiac Disease
- Eye Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
- Follicular Dysplasia
- Aortic Stenosis
Provide this dog plenty of exercise, as it is loaded with energy. They enjoy all kinds of exercise, from organized dog sports to swimming and running. It may be destructive if it becomes bored. Experts recommend obedience training to start as early as possible.
The breed is able to handle both hot and cold climates.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. Being a large dog with the average weight of 63 pounds, feed your GSP between 2.5 and 3 cups of kibble each day.
Brush your dog regularly with a soft brush, as well as a hound glove to reduce shedding. The occasional bath will keep it clean. Also, check its ears routinely for any wax buildup or debris which may lead to an infection.
The AKC officially recognized the German Shorthaired Pointer dog breed in 1930.