Do GSP Have Health Issues?

It’s important to understand the unique health history of any breed. This applies to all furry-related matters – whether you’re looking for a furry companion or simply looking after your furry companion. 

Fortunately, if you’re out here looking to resolve any health-related debates about GSPs, we will guide you through it. 

We’ve covered you from common GSP health issues to nutrition and diet. Some other questions we’ll cover include: 

  • How long do German Shorthaired Pointers Typically Live? 
  • How to Improve a Pointer’s Lifespan? 
  • Are German Shorthaired Pointers High-Maintenance?

Like all dogs, GSPs are also prone to minor health issues & concerns. Some include CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia), gastric torsion, pannus, entropion, and major problems like lymphedema (which we will be expanding on below). 

How Long Do German Shorthaired Pointers Typically Live? 

For any GSP parent or soon-to-be parent(s), it’s crucial to understand their lifespan to get a general idea of the breed. 

It’s unfortunate to know that our furry babies won’t live forever, but we can estimate how long they may stay around based on their average life expectancy. 

So, for a German Shorthaired Pointer, the average lifespan is around 12 to 14 years. But, several factors such as size and general health can contribute a lot to their overall lifespan. 

Generally, GSPs are known for their cognitively slow maturity, meaning Pointers don’t normally possess intellectual maturity until they reach the age of two. So, despite their size, they’ll probably be very puppylike for about a year if you have a pointer. 

Now, relating to the lifespan and maturity of a GSP, these adorable dogs also commonly face certain health conditions, such as:

  • Cleft palate
  • Canine Heart Disease
  • Central Diabetes Insipidus
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Blood-clotting
  • Canine Epilepsy
  • Lymphedema
  • Von Willebrand Disease
  • Nasal Cavity Tumors
  • Entropion

Additionally, some other less prominent conditions include ectropion, bloat or emergency gastrointestinal syndrome, canine cardiomyopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy.

How to Improve a Pointer’s Lifespan? 

GSPs are known for their ability to thrive around an active lifestyle. They are also very intelligent and well-tempered, thus, making them excellent and loyal watchdogs. 

But, aside from stating the obvious, these traits are also helpful in maintaining the physical activities of GSPs, which remain crucial in improving their lifespan. To understand more, let’s look further into how you can help improve your Pointers lifespan. 


Proper nutrition and high-quality food are essential in ensuring a quality life for your GSP. Given their medium sizing, their body will respond best to breed-specific formulas that serve their current age & size. 

Most Pointers often benefit from eating about 2-3 nutritious cups daily dog food. Additionally, suppose you’re feeling a little confused with the nutritional routine of your dog. In that case, you can also consult a veterinarian or a breeder to figure out a set meal routine to improve your dog’s longevity. Plus, make sure you keep them hydrated at all times. 


Grooming & bathing your German Pointer regularly is meant to have them look clean & fresh. First of all, it makes your furry babies feel good, and most importantly, it contributes to their overall well-being. A relaxing bathing hour is also a great way to bond with your dog, which helps promote vitality. 

Also, keep their nails trimmed regularly as they have fast growth. Nail trimming can also help avoid cracking, overgrowth, and splitting. It’s also good to inspect and clean out ear wax or any buildup to prevent infections.

Physical Activity 

German Pointers are naturally active breeds, and they require tons of activity and thrive in such an environment. Hence, they love any outdoor activity, from running to swimming and playing at the park. 

Due to their boundless energy and love for the outdoors, GSP owners are allowed to direct this energy by adopting healthy physical exercises, which helps form a healthier lifestyle. 

As is common with all breeds, German Pointers can also risk several health issues. But most Pointers are generally healthy dogs, given they’re being taken care of well. 

Hence, taking care of your Pointer by providing quality food, regular grooming, daily checkups, and exercise gives them a better chance to lead a long and healthier life. 

Are German Shorthaired Pointers High Maintenance? 

In many aspects, German Pointers are considered the ‘happy medium’ among the pointing dogs. They’re also not the strongest retriever, although, as far as pointing dogs are placed at, GSPs are right up there. It’s one major reason why GSPs are considered a popular pointing breed among hunters. 

German Shorthaired Pointers also rate quite high in terms of the heat-tolerance index. Plus, they also can handle rocky and rough terrain quite easily. 

Whatever it may be, they get the job done. This makes a good case that GSPs have the lowest maintenance among all pointing dogs. 

Once a GSP learns its trade, it will rarely backslide. 

How Old is the Oldest Living German Shorthaired Pointer? 

Generally, GSPs have an average lifespan of 12-14 years. However, a UK survey taken on the lifespan of GSPs revealed that about 1 in 8 German Shorthair lived to 15 years, while the longest-lived GSP is about 17 years. 

Does GSP Have Sensitive Stomachs? 

The worry of considering whether a GSP is having stomach issues or not is high among GSP owners. So, how does one figure it out? 

Compared to other dogs with similar body types and sizes, German Shorthaired Pointers don’t necessarily have sensitive stomachs. However, they are prone to bloating, a life-threatening stomach issue. 

Fortunately, GSP bloat is completely preventable (which we will get to in a bit). As a GSP parent, the best thing one can do in case of stomach issues is to educate and learn more about adequate canine nutrition and avoid dangerous stomach conditions through proper measures. 

Although GSPs don’t particularly have sensitive stomachs, they have high-energy levels, making them prone to dangerous stomach issues like bloat. 

What Should I Feed My GSP? 

As GSPs are high energy breeds, they can benefit well from a rich diet composed of protein with carbs to sustain long-lasting energy. 

But before setting up a nutritional routine, always make sure to do research and consult breeders or vets if you’re not feeling confident. 

That said, you can put your German Shorthair on a diet containing rich, healthy oils to get that silky and shiny coat. However, it’s essential to ensure the oil content isn’t too high or above the required limit as it can contribute to bloat. 

While dogs do chew on basically anything, it’s important to know what needs to go inside your Pointer’s tummy and what needs to stay out. Remember, instead of buying bulks of seemingly high-quality food without any knowledge, it’s always better to consult a pro to set up a healthy diet & routine that caters to your dog. 

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Bloat? 

There’s still no specific reason why dogs may bloat, but it’s quite common that this stomach issue is more prevalent among deep-chested and large dogs like GSPs. 

So, if you’re a GSP parent, it’s highly recommended that you stay on guard for any potential bloat symptoms your German Shorthair may give out. It’s also important to be on high alert when your GSP is only a pup, as they may not be well-accustomed to normal digestive habits when young. 

Here are some symptoms that may indicate bloat in your GSP:

  • Visibly Large Abdomen: If your dog is completely experiencing bloat, it will look visibly bloated. Hence, you’ll be able to notice the abdomen expand as the bloating slowly takes place. 
  • Restlessness & Discomfort: From the beginning to its final ordeal, bloat can be very painful. And so, you may find your dog exhibiting restless behaviors and discomfort as a result of the pain. Sensitive GSPs may even look up at you with painful eyes for help. 
  • Abdomen Pain: If your GSP is going through bloat or about to, they will feel pain around the abdomen, especially if you place pressure on that region. They may even whine or snap at you when picked up with their arm under their belly. 
  • Retching: If your German Shorthair is in the process of experiencing bloat, they will likely try to gain pressure relief by either vomiting or burping. However, they may be unable to do so. In such cases, you’ll be able to notice excess saliva on their mouth as they struggle to vomit. 

Final Thoughts

German Shorthaired Pointers are highly energetic and lively dogs. However, that doesn’t mean they are free from health conditions. As with any breed, health risks and conditions are common, so it is important to learn and take proper measures to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your GSP right from the beginning. 

As your GSP may always be at the risk of some health issue – be it minor or major, it’s up to you to ensure their physical and mental health is at its peak to improve their lifespan and lifestyle.

We hope our article has helped uncover the various factors behind the health of GSPs and hopefully even save your furry buddy.


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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