What is a Pocket Pointer? Here Are The Facts

Keep hearing about pocket pointers and you are thinking you may want one of these pint-sized German Shorthair Pointers? Well, I have good news and not-so-good news about this unique fan-favorite dog breed.


What Is A Pocket Pointer?

If you’re looking into GSPs in general, or you’re thinking about getting a GSP, then you’ve probably already come across the term ‘Pocket Pointer’. Like me, you probably scratched your head the first time you heard it and wondered what exactly a pocket pointer is, right?

Well, today I’m going to clear up a few things about the ‘pocket pointer’ so you can understand GSPs a little better. And believe me, some of the things you read today might be a little surprising. Ready to find out more? Meet me in the next section!

What is a pocket pointer exactly?

Nothing. Seriously, a pocket pointer doesn’t really exist. You probably think I’ve gone mad, but hear me out.

Quick Answer: Pocket pointers are not a distinct breed in their own right, as I’m sure you probably thought they were when you first came across the term whilst looking for GSPs. A pocket pointer is, in fact, just a small GSP.

There’s nothing different or unique about them, they really are just little GSPs. They have the same genetic makeup, their temperaments are broadly similar to GSPs in general, and they would all have the same pedigree line if it was possible to follow it all the way back to the first-ever GSP to walk the earth.

My point is, pocket pointers are just a slang term for small GSPs, and the only difference between them is the size.

It’s important to make this distinction because many people are fooled into thinking that a pocket pointer is some sort of special breed that’s really rare, and some less stand-up breeders will charge more for these pocket pointers than standard GSPs.

I’m not suggesting all small GSP breeders lie (although some blatantly do) others may just suggest that a pocket pointer is a breed of its own when it isn’t, because they’re misinformed themselves.

There are breeders of small GSPs that are perfectly honest too, of course, and I’m not tarring everybody with the same brush by any means, but you do need to be careful if you’re looking at purchasing small GSPs.

Are miniature GSPs the same thing?

Miniature GSPs are just pocket pointers by another name – they’re regular GSPs but smaller.

I’m sure these slang terms sprang up as a way to distinguish small GSPs and larger ones for would-be buyers, but over the years, the waters have muddied a little and it can sound like they’re a special breed.

Just keep in mind that whenever you hear terms like pocket pointers and miniature GSPs, you’re just getting a GSP like everybody else, but one that’s a little smaller than most.

Why are some GSPs smaller than others?

So now you’re wondering why some GSPs are smaller than others, right? It’s simple really; it all comes down to genetics. It’s the same reason some humans are tall and others are short.

Different GSPs have been bred over generations, causing some genetic diversity, but all of them are fundamentally GSPs at heart, regardless of their size.

Many breeders today breed dogs with specific qualities to appeal to the market. So, some GSP breeders specifically breed smaller GSPs so their offspring will be small too, and then buyers can purchase a small GSP as a pet instead of a larger one.

If a GSPs parents are small, then it’s likely that they will be too, and so breeders can be pretty certain that they’re selling small GSPs to new owners.

Why do some people seek out small GSPs?

If, like me, you’re wondering why people are so keen to have small GSPs, then it’s a pretty simple explanation.

Most of the time, people who seek small GSPs are doing so because they know that large GSPs are quite boisterous animals.

Of course, because all GSPs have high-energy and want to be constantly doing something (yes, ALL GSPs, including small ones), you won’t notice any difference in the amount you need to walk them or the amount of attention they need, but it can be a little easier to manage.

I’ve seen families seeking small GSPs because it’s much safer to have a small GSP bounding around the house when there are little ones about than a larger GSP.

Hank is tame around little kids, but I can understand why some people are a little put off by the high energy of a larger dog like him.

And even I can admit that it would be a little easier if he wasn’t so big, but I wouldn’t have him any other way. For me, a GSP is supposed to be big, but I don’t look down on those who prefer their GSPs a little smaller.

I’ve also seen people looking for small GSPs because they don’t have a lot of living space, but they still love the breed.

Whether they’re small or not isn’t going to change the fact that they want to get outside and do things for large portions of the day, but if you have a smaller GSP, then it can be a little easier to navigate around your home with them.

Even I can admit that, as much as I love him, Hank is a nuisance for spreading out and taking up A LOT of space in the home.

I’ll just give a word of warning before I finish: be careful. I’ve already spoken about _some_ breeders being less than honest, but I’ve not yet mentioned how some will claim they have small GSPs just so they can tell you what you want to hear.

Picking up a GSP puppy means you won’t know until much later if they’re large or small. I’ve heard people getting caught out by this a few times, and a few months after picking up a puppy they thought would be small, they’ve got a big Hank-sized puppy bounding around the house.

Make sure you see the parents in person to get a rough idea about how big your potential puppy might end up being, or you may be being tricked.

If you want a small GSP, that’s fine, just be aware that there are no other differences between GSPs and small GSPs besides their size.

You can call it a mini GSP, a pocket pointer, or a small GSP, – the results are the same. You’re still going to get a dog that’s as loveable and excitable and energy-filled as my Hank is, but just a little smaller in size.


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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