What Are The Colors Of German Shorthaired Pointers?

German Shorthaired Pointers are classified as gun dogs as they were bred to assist hunters in the field by locating prey. They are used as bird dogs but will also hunt rabbits, possums, raccoons, and deer.

This article will examine the colors of German Shorthaired Pointers. 

German Shorthaired Pointers are beloved dogs, with some used for hunting and others living as pets in regular suburban homes.

They are affectionate, and their goofy natures endear them to their owners. Many dog owners refuse to own any breed other than a German Shorthaired Pointer.

They have interesting coat coloring with a relatively wide variety available.

German Shorthaired Pointers have two color bases; black and liver. These can be solid colors, or they can be mixed with white to give various patterns.

The patterns can include the black or liver and white, patched, ticked, patched and ticked, or roan. Black and liver never appear on the same dog.  

What Colors Do German Shorthaired Pointers Come In?

German Shorthaired Pointers come in two basic colors. These are liver and black.

These colors are commonly mixed with white to create various patterns which have specific names.

The most common color is liver. 

However, some German shorthair pointer colors recorded have been all-white, all-black, liver-roan and lemon as well!

Are There Chocolate Colored German Shorthaired Pointers?

German Shorthaired Pointers have a brown color which is called liver. The liver may be very dark or vary to lighter shades.

The brown color in German Shorthaired Pointers is never called chocolate. A dog cannot be registered under the color chocolate. So although the color may resemble chocolate, it is still called liver. 

What Are The Various Pattern Markings On German Shorthaired Pointers?

German Shorthaired Pointers can come in solid black or solid liver. These colors are black or liver all over, although some may have a white patch on the chest.

Solid-colored dogs are less common than German Shorthaired Pointers with white mixed into the colors. 

  1. Liver And White German Shorthaired Pointers.

             Liver and white German Shorthaired Pointers are usually white with only a liver-

             colored head.  

  1. Liver And White Patched German Shorthaired Pointers.

Liver and white patched German Shorthaired Pointers have liver-colored heads, a white base coat, and large liver-colored patches at various parts of the body.

When the patch occurs just behind the shoulders, around the mid-back area, it is often referred to as a saddle.  

  1. Liver And Whited Patched And Ticked German Shorthaired Pointers.

These dogs have liver heads and patches on a white background coat. The ticking refers to small brown marks, spots, or splotches that occur separately from the patches. 

  1. Liver And White Ticked German Shorthaired Pointers. 

Liver and white ticked German Shorthaired Pointers have a liver head, and the rest of the base coat is white. The base coat is covered with small brown or liver spots and splotches.

  1. Liver Roan German Shorthaired Pointer. 

A liver roan German Shorthaired Pointer has a liver head and may or may not have liver patches over parts of the body. The rest of the coat has a white base, but liver hairs grow in between the white hairs.

In the same way as the liver patterning, you can also get the same black patterning. So there are:

  1. Black and white German Shorthaired Pointers
  2. Black and white patched.
  3. Black and white patched and ticked.
  4. Black and white ticked.
  5. Black roan.

Nosam Kennels provides a useful chart showing all the German Shorthaired Pointer colors with their names. Click here to view the chart. 

What Is The Difference Between Ticking And Roaning?

Ticking refers to irregular-shaped spots that occur on a white background coat.

The irregular spots have a clear boundary, and there will be many-colored (black or liver) hairs that form a clump to create the spot. 

Roaning is different from ticking in that there are no clear spots. In roaning individual colored (liver or black) hairs grow interspersed with the white base coat hairs.

The effect can sometimes look similar to ticking. Close examination of the coat when it is parted will show the difference. 

Roaning may be referred to as light or dark. Light roans look primarily white with a few colored hairs that break up the white.

Dark roans look much darker as they have many more colored hairs interspersed with the white.  

Can You Register a Black German Shorthaired Pointer With The AKC?

For many years the American Kennel Club did not allow the registration of black German Shorthaired Pointers. They believed these dogs had some other breeds mixed into their ancestry. 

In recent years, testing has shown that black German Shorthaired Pointers are genetically pure. In other words, they are purebred German Shorthaired Pointers.

Black was not a common color in the breed, so it was not often seen. Breeders are now starting to breed more black German Shorthaired Pointers.   

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has now changed its position on registering black German Shorthaired Pointers. It is now possible to register a black German Shorthaired Pointer.

The AKC does not, however, allow black German Shorthaired Pointers to be shown. They can participate in other AKC events or competitions but are disqualified from showing. 

The American Kennel Club does not permit the registration of German Shorthaired Pointers that have black and liver simultaneously in their coat. They can only be liver or black, not both. 

Do You Get Other Colored German Shorthaired Pointers?

People sometimes report that they have an orange, red, or lemon-colored German Shorthaired Pointer.

Kennel clubs or breed registries do not accept these as it is believed that these dogs are mixed with other breeds and are not true German Shorthaired Pointers. 

It is highly likely that any dogs showing lemon or orange have probably been interbred with English Pointers.

English Pointers have many similar coat patterns to German Shorthaired Pointers, but they include orange and white colors in the breed.  

Albinism is also not allowed in German Shorthaired Pointers. The dog cannot be registered, shown, or competed in any kennel club events. 

🚨 More on Lemon GSP’s can be found here! Lemon GSP’s 101

What Color Are German Shorthaired Pointers’ Noses And Eyes?

Liver-colored German Shorthaired Pointers always have liver-colored noses.

Black German Shorthaired Pointers always have black noses. Kennel clubs disqualify any dog that has a flesh-colored or pink nose. 

🚨 More on GSP’s eye colors can be found here! GSP Eye Colors Explained

If I Breed Two Liver-Colored German Shorthaired Pointers, Can I Get A Black Puppy?

Black is a dominant color gene, and liver is a recessive color gene in German Shorthaired Pointers.

This means that for a dog to be liver, it must have two liver genes. In other words, these two-parent dogs do not carry the genes to produce a black puppy.

🚨 More on Black GSP’s can be found here! Black GSP’s 101

Can Two Black German Shorthaired Pointers Produce A Liver Puppy?

As we have mentioned, black is a dominant color. This means that a dog that carries one black gene and one liver gene will be black because the black gene overrides or masks the liver gene.

Two-parent dogs with this genetic makeup can potentially produce a liver puppy as they may each contribute a liver gene, resulting in a liver puppy. 

If the two black parents only carry two black genes each and there are no liver genes, it will be impossible to produce a liver puppy.

A black parent mated with a liver parent could result in a mixed litter of black and liver puppies if the black parent has one black gene and one liver gene. If the black parent has two black genes, then all the puppies will be black.  

🚨 More on Liver GSP’s can be found here! Liver GSP’s 101


German Shorthaired Pointers come in a various coat patterns that include liver and white, black and white, solid black or solid liver.

They are attractive dogs with interesting coat markings. It is vital to remember that you should never choose a dog based on color. A dog’s temperament and health are far more critical than its color. 

It will be much better to get a healthy dog with a good temperament that suits your family and environment. Owners that choose dogs based solely on the color of the puppy are often disappointed in the dog.

A responsible breeder will help you select a puppy based on your personality, family situation, and purpose for buying the dog.   


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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