Are you confused thinking if you want your GSP friend to live outside or inside? GSPs are medium-sized dogs, and maybe you don’t have much space indoors, so can GSP live outside?
Getting answers to these questions can be harrowing, but keep reading this article, and you will know better!
Given the GSP’s physical structure with long, slim legs, they need a spacious bed and space. Figuring out where your GSP sleeps is as vital as taking care of their health. As a responsible owner, you may have thought of questions like:
- Can a German Shorthaired Pointer live outside?
- How cold is too cold for GSP?
- Do German Shorthaired Pointers do well in cold weather?
- Do pointers need a coat in winter?
- Why can’t I leave a GSP outside?
Yes, GSPs can live outside, but only if the outside temperature is mild! In fact, given the emotional and clingy personalities of GSPs, it is best if you can keep them indoors. But, if that’s not possible, make sure the weather is neither too hot nor cold throughout the year.
Can a German Shorthaired Pointer live outside?
Yes, a German Shorthaired Pointer can live outside if the temperature is mild and nothing too extreme. But why would you want to keep such a lovable dog outdoors?
You must know that GSPs are popularly known as “Velcro dogs.” Why Velcro, you ask? German Shorthaired Pointers are more affectionate than most dog breeds and can become very attached to their owners.
They don’t mind spending their full day cuddling with their favorite human; hence they are rightly called Velcro dogs. Hence, you may have to think twice before keeping a GSP outdoors.
Also, GSPs are highly active and filled with energy, and they will do anything and everything to expel their built-up energy during the day. They will resort to destructive behavior, which may be even more dangerous when they live outside. So, can you imagine a GSP getting bored?
However, here’s the deal! If you really can’t afford to let your GSP live inside, then start the process early. You may not have the heart to do it, but you can start keeping them outdoors once they reach 5-6 months of age.
You need to make sure that the kennel is spacious given the size of GSPs; it is clean and located where the sun doesn’t hit directly. To keep them busy and engaged, try to keep interesting toys or anything they may like.
An important thing to note here is to make sure that you have a high-fenced area. The GSP’s long and slender legs can jump at heights easily. And since GSPs are always super active, they may try to jump off the fence if they see anything intriguing on the outside.
Therefore, keeping your GSP outside requires hard work, given the breed’s personality. It is easier and more convenient to let them live indoors with the family so that you can tame their boisterous personality.
How cold is too cold for GSP?
Maybe you want to keep your GSP outside, but how cold is just too cold for a GSP? Well, anything below 45 degrees Fahrenheit may prove uncomfortable or even dangerous for your GSP.
GSPs or any other pointers, such as the English Pointer or the German Pointer, all have a short coat with a slender physique. Their bodies are not built for the cold weather since they have minimal fat deposits under their skin.
There are high chances of a GSP developing hypothermia if kept in a cold temperature for a long time. If you keep your dog outdoors, make sure no snow or cold drafts are blowing outside.
Regardless of the breed, extreme temperatures are not suitable for any dog breed. Of course, a few breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, thrive in snowy weather, but a GSP? NO, never!
GSPs are happiest when they live indoors, cuddled with their masters. But if you have no choice but to keep them outside, make sure that their kennel is weatherproof.
Weatherproofing the kennel for the winters involves making the kennel well insulated and warm. The cold winds should not penetrate inside through the walls or the roof. Make sure that there are no holes or spaces between the walls, the roof, and the ground.
In fact, GSP owners suggest keeping them in a garage or under a patio for extra protection. But, knowing how active and energetic GSPs are, it is best to keep them inside the house.
There have been instances where GSPs have even dug out earth next to the fence and escaped. If they are not comfortable with the space provided, they are courageous and bold enough to escape. So, always ensure that your GSP is happy and comfortable, wherever you keep them.
But what if you have a GSP puppy? Never make the mistake of keeping your GSP puppy out in the cold! Puppies are more prone to hypothermia and cannot bear cold weather, and GSP puppies are susceptible to both very cold and sweltering weather.
It is advised not to take GSP puppies out to play in the snow, even because such an extremely cold temperature may cause unwanted health problems. A mature GSP always fares better than a puppy in snowy weather.
Do German Shorthaired Pointers do well in cold weather?
Do you live in a cold climate and are thinking of getting a German Shorthaired Pointer? Are you also wondering if German Shorthaired Pointers do well in cold weather? If yes, then my next question is- how cold is your cold weather?
As mentioned above, anything below 45 degrees is a big NO for a GSP! Factually speaking, German Shorthaired Pointers adapt best to mild weather, and they are happy and in their best health when the temperature is neither too hot nor cold.
So, if the place you live doesn’t experience extreme weather conditions, then, yes, your GSP can live in mild cold weather. But here are a few things to keep in mind if you want them to adapt to cold weather.
Give them clothing
GSPs do not have many fat deposits under their skin like other dogs. Also, they have a short coat, thus making them susceptible to hypothermia in cold conditions. Ensure that they are kept warm and well insulated by giving them jackets or coats.
There are many thermal jackets available for dogs that live in cold climates. Wrap a woolen scarf or muffler around the neck for extra warmth if needed.
Make the kennel warm
If your GSP lives outdoors, take all steps to keep the kennel warm and cozy. Ensure that the shell of the kennel is weatherproof and no cold winds are blowing through any holes.
Insulate the house by adding layers of straw underneath the bedding. The height between your dog and the ground should be at least 4 inches high.
The extra layer of straw encourages your dog to nest and make a cozy space. The bedding should also be warm with layers of blankets or warmers underneath.
Keep enough food and water
Dogs will not want to search for food and water when it’s cold outside. Always keep fresh water in their house along with some food. But, make sure the weather is not so cold that the water remains frozen.
Check for warning signs
Keep an eye out for any signs or symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia in dogs. They may form blisters or ulcers on the skin and cry in pain if you touch them.
However, remember that no matter how much you do to keep them warm outside, bring them inside if the temperature drops very low!
In the case of GSPs that go out hunting in the cold, they can better adapt to the cold temperatures. One of the reasons is that they are always on the run when they are out hunting.
Since they are always hyperactive, the constant running in the wild keeps their bodies warm.
But, always keep checking on your dog to ensure that they don’t suffer from hypothermia. Hypothermia is a dangerous condition, and it catches on dogs quite quickly. Hunting in the snow can soak them wet; hence carry a dry towel to wipe them off soon after.
It is also important to let GSPs wear boots when hunting in deep snow. Boots will keep their feet warm while protecting them from wounds or cuts.
Likewise, a chest protector is a must for GSPs that retrieve animals from water during winters. These chest protectors will keep them warm and protect them from sharp objects inside the water.
Do pointers need a coat in winter?
Suppose you wonder if your pointer needs a coat in winter, then, of course, YES! Pointers are shorthaired dogs with a streamlined physique without much body fat. They are sensitive to extreme weather and can quickly catch a cold.
Hence, a coat or a thermal jacket is necessary for German Shorthaired Pointers during winter. But, you may sometimes wonder how to know if your dog needs a jacket? The first sign is to observe the dog properly.
If your GSP is shivering or is only cooped up in one warm corner of your house, then it’s a sign that they are feeling cold.
Choosing the right coat for your GSP is essential because an ill-fitting coat can make them feel uncomfortable, and they may try to rip the coat apart. So, how do you do that?
Since dogs come in all shapes and sizes, make sure you take the correct measurements of your dog and choose a coat accordingly. The size is determined using the following measurements:
- Length from the base of the dog’s collar to the tail.
- Size of the girth around his neck, and
- Size of the girth right behind the front legs.
The fabric you choose will depend on how cold the weather is. For snowy temperatures, a coat with fleece material is a good option. It should be water repellent and make sure the fabric is washable.
Finding the right fit will depend on if the coat fits the dog snugly and does not restrict any movements. The coat should not act as a barrier but make the dog feel comfortable.
The jacket should be easy to wear and take off. It should not irritate the dog’s skin. The coat should be able to cover the dog’s neck and belly fully.
The style of the coat should look good on GSPs with long legs and a streamlined body. This factor may not be as important as the others, but who doesn’t want their dogs looking like a star?!
Why can’t I leave a GSP outside?
There are many reasons why you can’t leave a GSP outside. Here are a few:
- Their long legs can enable them to jump off the fence if they are not high enough
- They get bored easily and may start digging up the yard out of boredom
- They are restless and always active, hence may end up eating something dangerous when left freely
- They are people-pleasers and love to be around humans
- They can become depressed if they don’t get the care and attention they need from humans
German Shorthaired Pointers are easy to train and are highly intelligent animals. They love being with people and may become lonely when left alone for long hours. You can crate train them early and safely keep them indoors.
While GSPs can live outside as long as the weather is not extreme, it is always recommended to keep them inside as part of the family. They are low-maintenance dogs and can fit into any size of household.