German Shorthaired Pointer | Dog Breed Guide

German Shorthaired Pointer | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

German shorthaired pointers are one of the best go-to dogs for hunting on land and water. This breed is perfect for someone who likes to keep busy because they don’t mind working. This elegant-looking breed has an abundance of energy.

Weight - Female: 45-60 pounds; Male: 55-70 pounds

Height - Female: 21-23 inches; Male: 23-25 inches

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Group: Sporting group 

Temperament: smart, friendly, eager to please

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

The earliest versions of the German shorthaired pointer date back to the 17th century. This breed was created as a multipurpose hunting dog during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. The first known German shorthair pointer in the United States was imported by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana in 1925. Five years later, this breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Today, these dogs are known to be friendly, smart, and eager to please their owners.

The German shorthaired pointer is square-proportioned with an athletic build and short back. This breed has a short-but-tough coat that is a solid liver color or liver and white. An interesting fact about this breed is that they are moderately slow to mature. They typically reach adult-level maturity at around two years of age. These dogs also need a lot of interaction with their owners to reach their full potential.

The good news is that these dogs don’t usually bark for no reason; they only bark when they need to. Being an active breed, the GSP needs a spacious home to move around in, including a big yard to relieve their high energy. They are loyal to their owners and always want to please them. German shorthaired pointers are good with children, however, it’s critical to socialize them with kids and supervise interactions. Because of their high energy, they may not be suited for homes with young children that could easily get knocked over. Most dogs of this breed are good with both dogs and cats, but some can be slightly aggressive towards strange dogs and determined to chase cats. Early socialization from puppyhood will help your dog acclimate to life with other pets in the home.

Just like any dog, it’s beneficial to start training while your GSP is still a puppy. Due to their willingness to please their owner, German shorthaired pointers are relatively easy to train. Even though they aren’t fully mature until they are about two-years-old, they still learn quickly, even while they are young. The longer you wait to train, the more difficult it may become.


Luckily, this breed is low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. As mild shedders, they only need to be brushed once per week. A firm bristle brush works best and will keep their coat healthy and under control. Be sure to not over-bathe; you should only give him a bath when necessary.

Energy Level

Bred for hunting, the GSP has high energy and loves having an activity or job to do. This energetic dog does not like being left alone and needs plenty of regular exercise or he could become destructive.

Health Concerns

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Lymphedema
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy 

To monitor or diagnose any of the health conditions, a veterinarian may suggest ongoing regular eye, cardiac, hip, and thyroid exams and tests. There’s no doubt this could become costly. Pet insurance is recommended to help cover unexpected veterinary costs for health conditions that may arise over the course of your dog’s life.