German Shorthaired Pointers are a popular large breed dog here in the U.S. They regularly make the AKC top 10 most popular breeds, likely because of their intelligence and enthusiasm towards life.
German Shorthaired Pointers are known to be excellent family dogs that create strong bonds, exhibit extreme friendliness, and are always ready to join in on physical activities. In fact, it’s their high energy level and athleticism that they’re probably most known for.
GSPs are gundogs that are master pointers, bird retrievers, accomplished swimmers, fast runners, and excellent retrievers. Their intelligence makes them easy to train with lots of positive reinforcement.
If you have a family that loves to do physical activities and can accommodate a dog with high exercise needs, a German Shorthaired Pointer will be the perfect addition to your pack.
Physical Traits and Health of German Shorthaired Pointers
Male German Shorthaired Pointers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, and females are between 45 and 60 pounds. Their life span is between 10 and 12 years. GSPs are either a solid reddish-brown color or have a solid colored head and white and reddish spotted body. Their unique coat markings give them their distinct look.
GSPs have short hair that requires regular brushing to keep shedding at bay, but otherwise, are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Unlike dogs that blow their coat twice per year, GSPs are all-year-round shedders, so be ready to have dog hair in your life if you get a GSP.
Compared to other popular large breeds, German Shorthaired Pointers are not prone to a wide range of health conditions. However, some do develop hip dysplasia and certain heart diseases. Before getting a GSP, the AKC recommends finding a responsible breeder that screens their breeding lines for health risks.
Personality and Lifestyle of German Shorthaired Pointers
Few dogs require more exercise or activity than the German Shorthaired Pointer. They are often described as having “boundless energy” and will need opportunities to exert themselves at least twice a day. Ideally, this would be in the form of off-leash running, swimming, running with their owner, or retrieving. They are not the kind of dog that will chill after a 15-minute walk after work. So be ready for a serious exercise commitment with your GSP.
Because they are so intelligent, GSPs also do very well in agility and obedience training classes which can provide them with mental stimulation. This breed has an intense prey drive due to their hunting lines, which can mean they will wander (okay, bolt) while spending time with you off-leash. Though their noses are equally good at finding their way back to you.
Another defining quality of the GSP is how friendly they are. While their energy abounds, they are always happy, enthusiastic and excited to be spending time with their humans and other dogs.
Thinking about a German Shorthaired Pointer for your family?
All around, German Shorthaired pointers are a wonderful addition to a family with kids, a couple who like to spend time outdoors, a bird hunter, or an individual who wants an active and loyal companion. But, like all breeds, it’s important to understand their needs or they will act out and engage in unwanted dog behaviors.
For GSPs, that means a LOT of exercise. You need to be ready to take the time in your day, every day, to help tire them out and keep them happy. Alternatively, doggie daycare is a great option for this social and active breed.
Do you have a German Shorthaired Pointer in your pack? Any pointers or tips about the breed to add to the discussion? Chime in below! We love to hear from our readers.