German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed that developed in Germany for the purpose of hunting. This Sporting Dog specializes in bird hunting but is also known to track opossum, raccoons, and deer.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 51 to 100 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

The most common reason for surrender is behavioral problems. The German Shorthaired Pointer will have behavioral problems if the owners aren’t firm enough in their training.


German Shorthaired Pointers have a close-cropped coat and can sometimes be tolerated by dog lovers who suffer from allergies, especially if that person takes medication. He loves to be with his people and will respond to your love with his love. The German Shorthair Pointer can be comical and is extremely intelligent, so she’s a lot of fun to train and to just pal around together.


You need a sense of humor with your German Shorthair Pointer. Some will take things off the counters (counter surf), shred a magazine, or chew a shoe if you’re not watching. You must make a choice about what’s most important—your furniture or your dog? If you can’t tolerate the dog chewing the couch or another valuable piece of furniture, don’t get a German Shorthair Pointer. Because a field dog is outdoors much of the time, you will need to keep a close watch for fleas or ticks. Over-the-counter remedies, such as Frontline Advantage or Hartline, work well to combat these problems.

gsp 11.jpgDiet

The German Shorthaired Pointer does not need a high protein kibble. Under 30 percent is fine as long as you do not use one that lists corn as the first ingredient. She will likely beg for more food, but don’t give in and overfeed your dog. The German Shorthaired Pointer may have a milk bone or a dog biscuit when it’s time to go into the kennel or crate. Don’t feed your dog from the table.


German Shorthaired Pointers love to be outdoors. They enjoy daily walks, swimming, and retrieving Frisbees or tennis balls. The German Shorthair Pointer was bred in Germany to be an all purpose hunting dog, so some people enjoy doing duck hunts, real or clay.

Your German Shorthaired Pointer needs a fenced-in yard or she will chase a squirrel or anything that moves. She should not be left in the backyard for hours.

Possible Health Issues

The German Shorthaired Pointer can suffer from an incurable skin disease called Lupoid Dermatosis, for which there is no successful treatment or cure. Be sure to check the skin of the puppy you are interested in adopting into your family. The disease looks like bad dandruff and gets progressively worse.


The German Shorthair Pointer can live in any home where the owners will take him for walks, exercise, and socialization. Clicker training (Hyperlink to an article or You Tube video on Clicker Training) is recommended in the home to coincide with the obedience training.   


Your dog will need his nails clipped regularly and also needs an occasional bath to remove dead hair. Too much brushing will give the GSP skin irritations, so if she is shedding excessively in the spring, you can take a sponge or damp terry cloth towel and run it over her fur in the direction in which it grows out to remove dead hair without damaging the skin.


german shorthair pointer 6.jpg“Obedience” is a breeder’s buzzword for what’s become widely known as obedience school or dog obedience classes. The German Shorthair Pointer enjoys the mental stimulation of obedience training, and it’s better to start early. At home, even older children are able to work with the German Shorthaired Pointer and teach him tricks or play fetch. The German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent and will not appreciate a lengthy, repetitive training if she “gets it” the first or second time. Do not tolerate nipping or biting, even if the dog is at play.  


German Shorthaired Pointers like to retrieve and carry things around such as shoes or toys. If your dog is young, he may chew the shoes and the toy. If they aren’t hunting birds with a hunter, they’ll try to hunt in your backyard and take apart stone walls to try to get whatever animal for which they are looking.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES                                                                                              

Before you Get your Puppy by Ian Dunbar—preparing your house for a new puppy.                           

We want to thank the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America and AKC Breeder of Merit, Founder of Up and Adam Kennels in Connecticut for help with this profile.






You may wish to view a clicker training video at








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