German Shorthair Pointers: 10 Fast Facts

The first German Shorthair Pointers (or commonly called GSP’s) was bred in Germany within the late 19th Century by breeders who wanted a flexible dog, that was also a friendly companion. GSP’s couldn’t be more successful in this today, the highly active, and energetic GSP is one among the foremost accomplished hunting and sports breeds in the world…… but it’s not always easy! Here is everything you would like to understand about the German pointer:

GSPs are Extremely Versatile Hunting Dogs.

Bred to be versatile instinctive hunters, these multitasking puppies can hunt, point and retrieve, and are wont to hunt quarries of all types, including rabbits, raccoons, ducks, and even deer. I’ve personally hunted with my GSP for everything from rabbits to ducks, pheasants and even tracked a wounded deer, it was pretty darn impressive.

Since they were bred to hunt, GSPs have razor-sharp instincts for love or money, which may be the prey, like squirrels, birds, or rabbits. This prey hunt could cause them to lock up during off-leash exercise or climb fences or walls in pursuit of their careers. They ought to be kept during a well-secured area, and off-leash exercises should be approached with caution and with sufficient awareness of the environment. Want to know if a GSP can hunt? Read this here.

GSP’s Are A Smart Dog Breed

German Shorthairs are known for their intelligence. GSPs watch and examine every move around them. From watching rake leaves, to sniffing everything in sight, GSPs are always taking in data and processing it. Many GSPs are trained easily for both obedience and hunting training as they learn quickly and have a high drive to please their owner.

Yes, German Shorthairs Are High Energy!

Thinking about getting a GSP and “hoping” yours will be calm? It wont. GSP’s as a breed require constant mental and physical stimulation, this isn’t a dog that walks after work with you around the block and is content. GSP requires serious exercise: running, swimming, taking long walks, playing during a fenced area, and anything you’ll do to scale back their energy. Two daily sessions of physical activity are recommended, but with a PSG, there’s not an excessive amount of exercise.

GSP Do Require Some Training

Because they need such a lot of energy and powerful prey, GSPs can become destructive, especially in their early years, and particularly, if they do not get enough activity. Early and consistent training can help master these destructive tendencies. And fortunately, they learn very quickly and are wanting to please, which makes obedience classes fun for both owner and dog.

GSP’s Are GREAT Family Dogs

German Shorthair breeders who developed GSPs years ago, also wanted companion animals as hunting dogs – and in that, they succeeded. The GSP breed may be a very affectionate and loving companion who especially loves children and other dogs, but because they’re so rowdy, some experts advise against having them in households with children under the age of seven.

GSPs Are Excellent Swimmers.

With their webbed feet and slender, muscular build, GSPs love the water! However, beware in winter: with their shorter hairs, GSPs can easily get too cold, even in water that’s compatible with a long-haired dog, sort of a Labrador Retriever. I used a neoprene dog vest but my GSP always seemed cold in the winter months, but, he’s a big baby too.

German Shorthairs Are Athletic!

GSP’s were bred as versatile dogs, and it shows in their everyday drive, from playing fetch, to jumping on your counter at dinner, GSP’s are athletic. You’ll find GSPs play in Agility, Field Events like Sharp Race Course and Field Trials, Dock Diving, Flyball, Rally, and more. With all of this energy to burn, finding the proper sport for your GSP may be a good way for both dog and owner to deal with lots of enegy.

GSP’s Health Issues

Although German Shorthairs are generally a healthy breed, GSPs can suffer from Gastric Dialation (bloat), a medical emergency during which the stomach fills with air. Exercise and activity should be kept away from for an hour on all sides of eating and drinking. The simplest time for GSP’s dinner is in the evening, after the days activities have simmered down.

Yes, GSP’s Shed!

People often wonder if GSP’s shed because of their very short coat. The answer is yes, German Shorthairs do shed. In hot climates, GSPs can shed throughout the year; elsewhere, shedding could also be more seasonal. Either way, their short hairs can get everywhere in the house, from your clothes to your car seats and sofa. Grooming your GSP every one or two weeks with a grooming glove will help keep the worst of them off your belongings.

GSP’s Will Not Slow Down With Age

Although your GSP may appear physically mature by the age of six months, it can take a couple of years for these dogs to mature thanks to puppy behaviors – which is like a puppy with the strength of an adult dog (hence the necessity for training). GSP owners also describe that their beloved pets often remain sharp and prepared to run or hunt even in their adulthood. At 6 years old, most dogs have calmed down a bit, for a GSP? Its go time!


For those looking into a GSP (or any new pet) many questions and concerns get raised. Hopefully, this article was helpful in your decision making process. Bottomline, GSP’s are WONDERFUL companions, hunters and family members, but like all breeds, they do have their quirks.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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