German Shorthaired Pointer- What You Don't Know

German Shorthaired Pointer- What You Don't Know

Author WDF Staff


The German Shorthaired Pointer is a very well-known hunting breed that originated in the early 1800s, Germany. They are one of the most praised hunting dogs, alongside their German cousins; the German Longhaired Pointer, German Rough-haired Pointer, and German Wirehaired Pointer.

These dogs are known as "bird dogs," which means that they specialize in hunting and retrieving quarry. Not only are they extremely proficient at bird hunting, but they also do exceptionally well in raccoon, deer, rabbit, and wild boar hunting.

If you are the type of person that loves having a loyal, active dog breed as a pet, then the popular German Shorthaired Pointer should be a strong candidate for your future companion. Even if you are not a hunter, these dogs make excellent pets that will keep you occupied 24/7.

Here is a list of fascinating facts about the German Shorthaired Pointer.

1. Versatility 

There are many hunting dog breeds, but only a few breeds are as versatile as the German Shorthaired Pointer. Usually, hunting breeds specialize in one or two tasks like pointing and retrieving and one type of prey like quarry or fox. These versatile dogs are known to hunt different game, and they can do a wide variety of tasks that are not necessarily connected to hunting. The German Shorthaired Pointer can hunt deer, rabbits, quarry, raccoons, foxes, badgers, and much more. They are also proficient in both land and water hunting and retrieving.

german shorthair pointer

2. German Shorthaired Pointer energy

The German Shorthaired Pointer is known for its incredible energy. If they are working, they can spend the whole day running back and forth, pointing, retrieving, and you will never see any tiredness or fatigue.

If your GSP is a pet, you will have to ensure that they have enough time in the open where they can run freely and explore their surroundings. They will be too interested in anything that is going on, and you will most likely witness hunting-like behavior such as pointing even if your dog hasn't had any training. Hunting is in their blood.

3. Dangerous behavior

Because the German Shorthaired Pointer is an energetic hunter with a powerful prey drive, you will need to train your dog correctly. These dogs can develop problematic behavior if they are not properly trained. If you are unsure how to train them properly, take a look at puppy training classes and ask for trainers who have experience working with energetic hunting dogs.

All energetic dog breeds tend to develop bad habits, especially if their daily activity needs are not met. These dogs are as active as they come, and if they don't have a healthy outlet for their energy, they will most likely develop bad habits and unwanted behavior. Make sure you research training techniques or doggy training classes if you are interested in getting a German Shorthaired Pointer.

german shorthaired pointer

4. Artificially developed breed

Dog breeds that naturally occurred are not that often, and most dog breeds we know today were influenced and "directed" by humans. The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of them. 19th-century German hunters wanted to create a versatile dog breed that is capable of hard work but, at the same time, capable of following orders. They set their minds to creating a dog breed that had characteristics just like they wanted, and, as we know now, they managed to do it.

The development of the German Shorthaired Pointer started at the end of the 18th century. It wasn't perfected until a couple of decades later, at the beginning of the 19th century. It is believed that over ten dog breeds were combined to create this breed, although historians are not entirely sure what precisely these breeds were. We know these breeds have been used; the Dalmatian, the English Pointer, the Viszla, the Spanish Pointer, the Weimaraner, and the old tracking hound. Today, we can see the influence each of these breeds had on the beautiful GSP.

5. German Shorthaired Pointer working life

As you can probably imagine by now, these dogs were mostly used for hunting. Even today, the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most popular hunting dogs in the world. However, as the view on hunting started shifting in the world, these dogs started playing and fulfilling different roles in society. Besides being a pet, the GSP showed us how good they are in various tasks such as search & rescue, tracking, explosive and narcotic detection, and different dog sports such as agility and obedience.

6. Fashion and style

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a graceful, elegant, and athletic breed described by many as absolutely gorgeous. It is no wonder these dogs keep winning titles in both conformation and working trials throughout the world. This breed won 3 prestigious Westminster titles, and the latest was in 2016.

Not only are they turning heads wherever they go, but they seem to have a fashion sense as well. These dogs always have their noses paired with their coat color. German Shorthaired Pointers with a black coat - have black noses. Liver dogs have liver noses, and brown dogs have brown noses. How is that for a fashion statement?

german shorthaied pointer puppy

7. Swimmers

Not all hunting dog breeds are good swimmers, and some are just better at it than others. The German Shorthaired Pointer is known to be a proficient swimmer that loves water and being around water. These dogs might have a short, smooth coat, but it also has a layer of thick undercoat that helps protect them from water and the cold. The GSP has webbed feet that make swimming easy, and it is no wonder these dogs are great at hunting in and around water.

8. Royals stood behind them

Like many other breeds, the German Shorthaired Pointer has a bit of a royal background. One of the most prominent breed enthusiasts and lovers who significantly contributed to the breed's development was a German royal called Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld of the Royal House of Hanover. He wanted German breeders to start breeding dogs based on their performance rather than their looks. Prince Albrecht is credited for playing a massive role in this breed's history, and if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have the GSP we know and love today.

World Dog Finder team