What is a German Shorthaired Pointer?
German Shorthaired Pointers are suitable dogs for family life although they can also be versatile hunters when trained to have the right temperament. Ranking 17th in The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren, a German Shorthaired Pointer is classified to be good with children and interaction with people in general but care must be taken because it can be quite energetic, most especially when it is young. Because they thrive in lively environments, German Shorthaired Pointers make great companions to active families for they are given great outlets for their energy.
The American Kennel Club categorizes dogs into seven groups:
The German Shorthaired Pointer is categorized as a sporting dog by the American Kennel Club, an all-purpose gun dog and versatile hunter with a keen sense of smell and high intelligence that allows it to keep up with a number of game and sport, including the trailing, retrieval, and pointing of waterfowl, grouse, pheasant, quail, possum, raccoons, and even deer. One of the characteristics of German Shorthaired Pointers that make them excellent hunting companions is their smooth, lithe gait, allowing them to move from walking to something faster with swiftness and grace.
As for general temperament, the German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent, friendly, and very much willing to please. First impressions of it are usually of keen enthusiasm for working sans any indication of flighty or nervous character.
Those who own German Shorthaired Pointers shared a number of attributes beloved of the dog breed, some of which include:
- Eagerness to please
German Shorthaired Pointer history
Where the German Shorthaired Pointers originated is not clear. However, the basic foundation stock of the breed is believed to be from the German Bird Dog, a relative of the old Spanish Pointer, and a cross with local German scent hounds and Schweisshunde, or the track and trail dogs. When the Germans finally introduced English Pointers to the prototype of a German Shorthaired Pointer, the result was an excellent utility dog that brought together sporting virtue with good looks, clean lines, longevity, and sound temperament. The German Shorthaired Pointer first made its way to the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1930. The first Licensed Specialty Show by the American Kennel Club for the German Shorthaired Pointer was held in 1941 in Chicago at the International Kennel Club Show. The first Field Trial licensed by the American Kennel Club for the breed was held in 1944 by the German Shorthaired Pointer parent club.
Versatile, energetic, and loyal dog
German Shorthaired Pointers are versatile hunters, all-purpose gun dogs capable of performing highly both in the field and water. Basic characteristics are judged in the ring, with overall picture expected to be of a well-balanced, aristocratic, symmetrical animal with a conformation indicative of power, agility, endurance, and intelligence. The German Shorthaired Pointer is neither too big nor too small. It is medium-sized, built like a proper hunter with a short back and a stance that covers plenty of ground. A clean-cut head, grace of outline, deep chest, sloping shoulders, powerful back, good bone composition, strong quarters, well-carried tail, adequate muscle, and a taut coat are also indicative of purposefully conducted breeding.
German Shorthaired Pointers grow up to heights between 23 and 25 inches measured at the hithers, while the bitches grow up to be smaller at 21 to 23 inches measured at the hithers. As for weight, the males can be expected to reach 55 to 70 pounds upon adulthood while the bitches will again be smaller at 45 to 60 pounds. In terms of proportion, a German Shorthaired Pointer must be either slightly longer than its height or square. Heads must also be proportional to the body, clean-cut and neither too heavy nor too light.
A German Shorthaired Pointer is not meant for apartment living. Hence, it will be best for active and athletic families with large yards. Fences lower than six feet will easily be vaulted by a bored German Shorthaired Pointer so they either need to get out a lot or you need to have fences or walls higher than six feet. Because of their seemingly boundless energy, this dog is sometimes no match for a very active family. If you cannot guarantee a lot of vigorous exercise, best to choose another dog breed. Exercise will also have to be done on a daily basis because otherwise they get restless and destructive with all that pent-up energy they have inside. If you can actually take them out on hunting trips, that would even be better because you will be using them for the exact purpose they were bred for. With proper care and affection, German Shorthaired Pointers live for up to 12 to 15 years.