Everything You Need to Know About German Shorthaired Pointers

Posted by Mateja Lane

WATCH NOW: German Shorthaired Pointers Are Built for the Field

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Active dogs built for the field!

German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are super smart hunting dogs that are live wires! These gun dogs are built for the field and their slick, slender bodies prove it. They are ranked the 11th most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) records.

But just because they excel as versatile hunters doesn't mean they don't make great household dogs, even around small pets and small children. Non-hunters will say that GSPs are super friendly and make wonderful companions and family dogs if they get enough daily exercise!

GSPs have a beautiful hunting point and are often described as "regal." The breed was produced in 17th century Germany by crossing Spanish Pointer, English Foxhound, and local German tracking hounds which each attribute to their extraordinary sense of smell. The breed was brought to America in1925 by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana, who began breeding the dogs.

German Shorthaired Pointers are noticeable by their ticking and patches of color that can range from black and white to solid liver to roan and combinations of all four.

While their main health concerns include hip dysplasia, these high-energy dogs are generally healthy dogs. Their life span generally ranges from 12 to 15 years.

They are generally healthy dogs but when talking with a breeder or rescue group it's good to consider any possible breed health problems. One is hip dysplasia and another you should inquire about is entropion, an issue with their eyelid.

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General Appearance

The GSP stands tall and proud and is a great representation of a true hunting dog. The legs are symmetrically long compared to the body and neck and are built for endurance in the field. They are technically a medium-sized dog but can reach 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 70 pounds.


The GSP coat is short and silky smooth. Their short hair makes them ergonomically built to run fast in the field but also swim in the water while hunting for waterfowl. They are distinguishable by their ticking and patches which can range from white, black, liver, and roan.


The GSP head has hound characteristics in that the ears are long in comparison to their heads. The ears are thin and lay flat against the head. Their eyes are almond-shaped and do not protrude; they are usually dark brown in color. Their muzzle is neither long and skinny nor short and flat, complementing the hound characteristics.


The German Shorthaired Pointer is a strong, muscular dog. The chest is wide but not barrel-shaped. The skin lies close to the muscle, unlike the loose skin of other hound breeds. The neck is long and slender to help the mouth retrieve.

The GSP stands regal and is the epitome of a field dog.


GSPs can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye disease, or congenital heart disease like all dog breeds, but are generally healthy.


GSPs have a lot of energy that is great for hunting dogs. They are friendly, super loyal, and get attached quickly. This outdoor dog does best with adequate training and good exercise.

To find out where to get yourself a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy, visit the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America for a list of reputable breeders and resources for adoption.

Do you have a GSP? Show us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About German Shorthaired Pointers