German Shorthaired Pointers, aka GSP, are a popular breed, mainly due to their adaptability as both pets and field dogs.
So, are you wondering about the coloring of your GSP? Your GSP may be changing color, or perhaps you’re wondering to which extent they may change.
Worry not. We’re here to answer all color-related questions to GSPs. We will be answering various questions, including:
- How do I know if my GSP is purebred?
- What is the rarest GSP color?
- Can GSP have blue eyes?
Although there are many discussions surrounding the eye color of a GSP, the preferred color of a purebred German Shorthaired Pointers is dark brown. And the reason for this is pretty simple: GSPs carry a dominant pigment i.e., the brown-eyed gene (not to worry, we’ll be discussing this in detail below).
How do I know if my GSP is purebred?
Various factors can pinpoint the legitimacy of a purebred GSP, including:
The dominant and most common coat of a purebred German Shorthaired Pointers is liver & white or black & white. However, it cannot be a combination of the three. Moreover, the liver coloration of a GSP can vary from light milk chocolate to a darker chocolate coloring, with the shades varying in between.
GSPs can have any combination of liver & white and aren’t simply limited to the depicted ones. Meanwhile, its coat pattern can range from roan and ticked to patched and solid.
Size & Proportion
When it comes to height, a male purebred measures 23-25 inches at the withers while its weight stands at around 55-70 lbs. Female purebred measures at 21-23 inches while weighing about 45-60lbs.
Your GSP should be either square or slightly longer when measured from the forechest to its rearmost rump projection and from its withers to the ground. The head will also be very clean cut and will be neither too light nor heavy and remain in proportion to its body.
The eyes of GSPs tend to be medium-sized, and it neither protrudes nor sinks. It carries a good-humored yet radiating energy. The eye of a purebred will mainly be almond-shaped rather than circular, while brown is considered the preferred eye coloring. A well opened & broad nostrils is another notable trait of a purebred. Normally, the nose tends to be brown and larger sizing is considered best.
What is the rarest GSP color?
From a genetic view, black may be simple coat coloring resulting from a dominant gene. However, black German Shorthaired Pointers are considered quite rare.
For many years the AKC did not consider black GSP as purebred as they believed they carried the DNA of other breeds, hence, being a mixed breed.
However, further testing has revealed that black GSPs are genetically pure in recent years. To put it simply, they are purebred and are known to be one of the rarest colors among German Shorthaired Pointers.
Can GSP have blue eyes?
It’s common for breeders to try and have the blue eyes gene in GSPs eliminated, but the trait is still persistent and comes up now and then. So, the simple answer is yes, GSPs do have blue eyes. But how?
German Shorthaired Pointers have hidden genes lying within their genotypes. But the brown-eyed gene (which is the dominant gene) hides the blue-eyed recessive gene.
This is because dominant genes tend to repress recessive genes, meaning a pair of recessive genes is needed to bring out a change in your German Shorthaired Pointer’s eye color.
Hence, a blue-eyed GSP can result from two brown-eyed GSP with a “hidden” blue gene mating together. This results in the puppy being homozygous, meaning it will have copies or a pair of the genes responsible for the blue eyes.
Why are My GSP’s Brown Eyes Turning Blue?
Not every dog with blue eyes is born with blue eyes, and no, it has nothing to do with magical eyes. Unfortunately, most dogs with changes in the eye color (especially blue) are mainly due to sickness from underlying health problems.
It can also result from an injury such as blows to the face, eye, or head, which can induce structural eye injuries. Once the injury starts healing, the formation of scar tissues can make the eye have a murky blueish color. This can also result in the dog being partially or wholly blind.
Here are some disease processes that can cause milky/cloudy blue eyes in dogs:
- Anterior uveitis
- Corneal dystrophy
- Nuclear sclerosis
- Hereditary & acquired cataracts
- Scars through corneal ulceration
Now, it’s not that difficult to differentiate between non-pathological and pathological eyes by looking at the color clarity. Eye color that appears to be milky blue or blurry are due to diseases/trauma and have to be taken care of by a vet. In contrast, blue eyes with piercing quality are healthy and normal blue eyes.
Blue Eyes Vs. Brown Eyes In GSPs
When it comes to your GSP’s color of skin, eyes, and coat, it comes down to one factor, i.e., “pigments,” the chemicals in charge of changing the color.
And if you haven’t guessed it already, GSPs only carry one pigment, the brown melanin, since there are no cyan or true blue pigments found in their iris.
Generally, the level of melanin present determines eye color. Thus, the higher the level of melanin, the darker shade of brown the eyes will be of GSPs.
Less melanin means lighter color, which is the case of blue-eyes German Shorthaired Pointers as their eyes contain the lowest level of melanin than brown or topaz yellow-eyed GSPs.
Do GSP puppy’s eyes change color?
The short answer is yes, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. When GSPs are younger, their eyes can be lighter with darker brown color around the iris.
Such dark-rimmed eyes will likely change into a darker brown, which is also the preferred eye color for purebred GSPs. The change can occur for the first 2-3 years of their life. However, a GSP puppy with slightly greenish or light yellow without any brown rimming will not darken.
When do German Shorthaired Pointers develop their spots?
GSPs, especially in the case of puppies, usually develop their spots/ticking during the first five weeks after birth. The puppy will likely keep changing, thus, developing more ticking/spots as it grows into an adult GSP.
Although you may begin with a full white & liver dog, you’ll have a full liver roan GSP after a few years.
What is the Color Genetics of GSP?
When trying to understand the coloring of German Shorthaired Pointers, it’s essential to also look into its color genetics to understand its creation fully.
As such, here is a look at the color genetics of GSPs:
- Black dominates liver
- Roan dominates white
- Solid dominates patched
- Two livers can’t produce black
- But two blacks can create a liver if either or both the parents carry the gene (liver).
Coat Color & Grooming of GSP
German Shorthaired Pointers normally have a short, thick, and water repellent coat that seems to be longer around the tail’s underside area and black edges of its rear end (called haunches). Meanwhile, the head region has softer, shorter, and thinner hair.
Its smooth and short coat makes the grooming process a lot easier as GSPs tend to shed less. You can simply brush the coat of your GSP using a firm bristle brush about once a week and bathe them only when necessary. Make sure to rub the coat and check its feet if your GSP does regular exercise or works on the field.
If your GSP has gone on a recent hunt, dry him off thoroughly to prevent chills and colds. Always examine the ears regularly as the area can be prone to infection, odor, or redness, especially if your GSP has been scratching lately.
What Are The Living Needs of GSPs?
German Shorthaired Pointers are intelligent and energetic dogs, so they need room to explore by running and playing. This means apartment life may not be the best option for a GSP due to limited spacing for outdoor activities.
GSPs normally require an owner with ample space and an active lifestyle to accommodate their energy. First time owners may also find it difficult to manage their high energy levels.
GSPs are very sensitive dogs that need positive reinforcement and stability to thrive apart from their energetic spirit. GSPs don’t do well when left alone, so GSPs may not be the best option for interested yet busy dog enthusiasts. Patient owners make the best pair with GSPs as they need dedication and attention from the owners’ end.
So, there you have it. A complete 101 of GSP coloring. We hope our article has helped you understand the coloring aspect of your GSP. Given they carry very specific traits, it’s also not as difficult to trace the look of a purebred GSP.
That said, German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent companions as they are very intelligent and friendly. So, if you’re looking for a low-key pet with a thirst for adventure, a GSP is your best bet.