Are there any similarities or differences between a German Shorthaired Pointer and an Australian Shepherd? If you don’t have much idea, we can read and learn many things about the two breeds. Besides, we will also find out what happens when they cross and produce a puppy.
When it’s about German Shorthaired Pointer vs Australian Shepherd, what can you expect? The answer is that they’re two different breeds, and they have distinct physical features. But they also share some similarities when it comes to their personality traits.
In the following sections, we will check out the following:
- What are the distinct features of the GSP and the Aussie?
- Are both breeds trainable?
- What are their health Concerns?
- What happens when you cross a German Shorthaired Pointer and an Australian Shepherd?
- Do both breeds shed, and are they hypoallergenic?
What is the Historical Background of the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Australian Shepherd?
German Shorthaired Pointer
Also called GSP or DK, the species came into existence in the 1800s after breeders in Germany tried to develop an all-around hunting dog for a long time. Their efforts certainly paid off because the breed is up to expectations. It’s a pointing dog breed that points to any potential prey when out hunting.
The GSP came from an early breed called the German Bird Dog which also came from earlier species according to the AKC (American Kennel Club). It may also have some genes from Spanish and English pointers and other hunting and tracking breeds.
The GSP breed still works as a hunting dog in many places. But over the years, it has also gained plenty of attention and is now a popular pet in many homes worldwide.
Initially bred and reared as a herding dog, the Australian Shepherd has gained popularity as a pet and companion. Also called the Aussie, its development occurred in the United States in the Nineteenth Century.
The claim is that the species developed from herding dogs brought from Australia and New Zealand, and that’s how it got its name. One part of the breed’s ancestors could also be pastoral dogs, including Carea Leonés, Pyrenean Sheepdog, and Basque Shepherd Dog.
The breed became famous as a working dog, and it spread throughout the whole West. It gained attention in the mid -20th century when a rodeo performer named Jay Lister performed with an Aussie in many rodeos.
What Are the Distinct Features of the GSP and the Aussie?
When it’s about looks, both breeds are different, and you can identify them easily. Let’s look at some of their visible characteristics.
The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short but thick undercoat that is water-repellent and keeps it warm in winter.
The Australian Shepherd, on the other hand, has a long and a wavy coat and a dense undercoat with a rough topcoat.
The GSP is mostly liver, liver & white, liver & white ticked, and liver roan. Some may also be black, tan, white, and others, but they aren’t considered breed standard.
The Aussie comes in many shades, including solid black, red merle, blue merle, and solid red, with or without white or tan markings and points.
The GSP (21-25 inches) is taller than the Aussie (18-23 inches).
The Australian Shepherd can be lighter in some cases, but they’re similar on the heavier side, topping at 32 kgs or 70 pounds.
The GSP lives for about 12-14 years, while the Aussie’s average lifespan is 13-15 years.
What is the Temperament of a German Shorthaired Pointer vs Australian Shepherd?
German Shorthaired Pointer: The GSP is an active breed that loves to play and have fun outside all day long. It’s highly intelligent and needs plenty of mental and physical exercise. It can become frustrated, agitated, and destructive if it doesn’t get sufficient exercise.
It’s a loyal, friendly, and adorable breed and makes an excellent companion and great family dog. However, because of its boisterous nature, it can be a little problematic around small children. The GSP has a natural hunting instinct, and it can go after small creatures at any time.
Australian Shepherd: The Aussie is also a playful breed, and it stays that way even when it’s all grown up. It’s also intelligent with bundles of energy, so you have to keep it active and occupied. Aussies are adorable, affectionate, and make great family pets. You will notice that your pet always wants to please you.
It has a herding instinct, so it may try to herd your other pets or even your children. However, the Aussie isn’t an aggressive dog unless it senses danger when it can become quite protective.
Does the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Australian Shepherd Bark a Lot?
According to the AKC, both GSP and the Aussie are medium for barking level. They score 3 out of five points so that you will notice your pet barking at regular intervals.
Those breeds who don’t bark excessively aren’t noisy when they are well-trained, healthy, and well-fed. So, if they bark, it can be from boredom or alerting owners of some danger.
Are Both Breeds Trainable?
Both breeds rate relatively high when it comes to trainability level as per the AKC standards. Both GSP and the Aussie are brilliant dogs, so they can quickly grasp the commands.
It’s, however, essential to begin the training at an early age for both breeds. Otherwise, you will have to spend more time teaching them things. You can do the following when training either a GSP or an Aussie.
- Make sure to socialize your pet as early as possible to get familiar with people, places, and things.
- Follow a “reward-based training program to boost your pet’s morale and promote good behavior. Offer a treat every time it obeys you and completes a command.
- You can also opt for the clicker training method, where you sound a clicker at the end of every command and reward your pet. Your dog will understand that the sound means it has done its job.
- Start the training with basic things so that your pet doesn’t get confused. Move on to more complex commands as you progress.
- Perform short but consistent sessions for the best outcome.
A GSP will run after any creature while an Aussie will try to herd anything. So, you should also keep these facts in mind and use suitable methods to reduce destructive behavior.
What are their Health Concerns?
Both breeds can live healthy lives, but they can also suffer from diseases. Here are some health issues that your pet may suffer from.
German Shorthaired Pointer
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
- von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
- Gastric Torsion
- Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
- Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Eye Diseases (Cataracts, collie eye defect, distichiasis, progressive retinal atrophy)
- Canine Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Hemangiosarcoma (cancer of blood cells)
- Multi-drug Sensitivity (MDR1)
If you notice your GSP or Aussie has any problem or behaves abnormally, it will be best to take it to a vet. Besides, regular check-ups will also determine if it has any issues. You must also remember that these are ailments that may affect the breeds but not necessarily all individual dogs.
When did the German Shorthaired Pointer and Australian Shepherd get Recognition?
The AKC recognized GSP as a breed in 1930, and it’s one of the most popular, with its ranking at 9th out of 205 in 2016.
The Australian Shepherd gained Recognition as a breed from the AKC only in 1991, even though it had been around a long time. It’s AKC’s 135th breed and one of the most popular, ranks 15th out of 205 in 2018.
What Happens When You Cross a German Shorthaired Pointer and an Australian Shepherd?
You get the Australian German Shorthaired Pointer Mix when you allow a GSP and an Aussie to mate. It’s a mixed breed dog, and it can inherit both its parents’ physical features.
It’s also likely to be hyperactive with full of energy. They will probably be highly intelligent, playful, cautious, and ideal companions.
But each dog is different, and it can even be a lot different from either parent. But you are sure to get the best of both in the mixed breed.
However, it may also inherit genes that cause diseases in both breeds, so if you have one, take it to the vet for check-ups frequently.
Do Both Breeds Shed a Lot, and are they Hypoallergenic?
The AKC gives 3 out of 5 when shedding levels for both GSP. So, while they don’t shed excessively, they both shed a considerable amount, so they aren’t hypoallergenic.
If you and your GSP reside in a region where it’s hot most of the time, it can shed throughout the year.
The Aussie sheds all year round but is likely to shed more during shedding season.
Regular grooming can be helpful for both breeds and also the puppy from their crossing.
We learned a lot about the German Shorthaired Pointer and Australian Shepherd and some facts about the mixed puppy. Both have several similar features and some differences. It’s only natural because they are different breeds.
They are good working dogs and also make great pets. You can keep either one as a pet if you have sufficient space. However, the Aussie fares better with smaller kids, so you might think before adopting a GSP if you have little children.
If not, you can even adopt both breeds, especially if you want to have a mixed breed later. Whether you get one or the other, obtain more information so that you and your pet don’t have to undergo much trouble.