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German Shorthaired Pointer: Origin, Personality, Training

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About German Shorthaired Pointer

Country of Origin, History of German Shorthaired Pointers

German hunters of the 1800s wanted a dog with a good nose that would point within a reasonable distance for a man hunting on foot. They wanted a dog that could retrieve both fur and feather on land and in water. They also wanted a tracker. To get such an all-purpose hunting dog they bred Old Spanish Pointers, Hounds of St. Hubert, Foxhounds, and other hounds. After adding the English Pointer into the breeding, they got a faster, more energetic dog.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is the ideal weekend hunter’s dog. He needs little training for hunting purposes and is a great family dog.

These dogs are successful in the show ring and in obedience as well as tracking trials, field trials, and hunting tests.

German Shorthaired Pointer Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the German Shorthaired Pointer the right breed for you?

Is the German Shorthaired Pointer the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your German Shorthaired Pointer's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your German Shorthaired Pointer's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper German Shorthaired Pointer training methods.

Is your German Shorthaired Pointer dominating over you?

Does your German Shorthaired Pointer bark unnecessarily? Does your German Shorthaired Pointer come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your German Shorthaired Pointer and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your German Shorthaired Pointer?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your German Shorthaired Pointer? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

German Shorthaired Pointer Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your German Shorthaired Pointer needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our German Shorthaired Pointer Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a lean and clean hunting dog with a classic pointer head. He has a long, but not pointed, muzzle on a narrow head with large, broad ears. The eyes are almond-shaped and appear intelligent, alert and ready to go. A short tail is desired, so it is docked by 60%. Dewclaws are removed. The feet are webbed. This is a very energetic breed.

Coat Color

The only permitted colors are liver and white - solid liver, liver and white patched, liver and white ticked or roan. A liver saddle is desired in the United States. In all types the ears are lever and the nose is brown.

Coat Type

The German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat is short, dense, and sleek.


Males: 23 -25 inches
Females: 21 – 23 inches


Males: 55 – 70 lbs
Females: 45 – 60 lbs

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German Shorthaired Pointer Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog

The German Shorthaired Pointer is happiest when he is with any member of his family – and that member has car keys, a ball, a Frisbee®, his leash, or a gun. He is very people-oriented, loving, and willing to please. He is loyal and protective. If exercised properly, he is a great family dog.

If raised with cats or other dogs, he gets along very well and loves them dearly.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a barker. They bark when excited, when they see a stranger, when they see a friend, when they want something, etc. Early training will help keep the barking under control.

German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent and can problem solve. They will obedience train if started early. Be aware that they have a short attention span so mix their training with play times and games.

These dogs love to run . . . and run and run. A tall, secure fence is absolutely necessary.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

He is not suited to living in an apartment. He wants to live in the house, but go outside to run and play often. If he gets out, he runs and runs and does not know his way home.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

German Shorthaired Pointers love being family dogs – all members of the family are fine with him. He is loyal and obedient and loves playing with children.

German Shorthaired Pointer Activity Level

How active is the Breed?

This is a very active breed.

These dogs love to run . . . and run and run. A tall, secure fence is absolutely necessary.

Exercise Need

This dog loves to do stuff – play Frisbee®, play ball, hunt, go for long walks, etc., etc. At least two long, brisk walks a day are necessary to be able to handle this dog.


Their short coat takes a quick brushing every other week. After a bath, use a chamois to keep their coat slick.

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Free German Shorthaired Pointer Training Secrets

Free Course on German Shorthaired Pointer Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that the SWD have, just like all other breeds. There are cases of Hip Dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully.

All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam. A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing.

Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. . Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – German Shorthaired Pointer Association –, German Shorthaired Pointer Club –, US – German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America –


Rescue Link:

Group: AKC Sporting Dog Group, KCGB Gundog Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: 9

Also Known As: German Shorthaired Pointing Dog

Train Your German Shorthaired Pointer To Listen To You

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Sign up for our Free German Shorthaired Pointer Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most GSP owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

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  • How to obedience train your German Shorthaired Pointer to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all German Shorthaired Pointers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers GSP information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, GSPs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The German Shorthaired Pointer training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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