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German Shorthaired Pointer FAQ
by Karen Miller
Blue River German Shorthaired Pointer's

Antique pictures (Above & Below) found in an antique shop by Mr. Gerald Lamings, Michigan, Both Original Photos are owned by Karen Miller. Below 1880 Circa.

(Note: This FAQ "May Not" be copied without my permission. All Rights Reserved.)


History of the German Shorthaired Pointer in the U.S.

What is a German Shorthaired Pointer.

Care of your German Shorthaired Pointer.

Care of your German Shorthaired Pointer in the Field.

German Shorthaired Pointer Health.

German Shorthaired Pointer. Home, Kennel and Crate.

German Shorthaired Pointer Personality and Temperament.

Thinking of purchasing a German Shorthaired Pointer.

How do I train my new pup, where do I start?

German Shorthaired Pointer, The right type for you.

Information relateing to the German Shorthaired Pointer.

History of the German Shorthaired Pointer in the U.S:

Dr. Charles R Thornton of Montana was the first recorded to import a German Shorthaired Pointer Female from Austria in the year 1925. This Female was the first recorded to whelp a litter in the U.S. This Female was already in whelp when she arrived in the United States. The first German Shorthaired Pointer registered with the A.K.C. was in the year 1930 and by 1938 the breed was consentrated mostly in Minnesota-Wisconsin-Michigan. This permitted enough persons and to make application for Parent Club Status. The application was approved by the A.K.C. and the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America was then formed. It was the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America that compiled the A.K.C. Breed Standard. The American Club held it's first Field Trial in 1944 and the it's first Specialty Show in 1941. Hunt Tests followed.

What is a German Shorthaired Pointer?

The German Shorthaired Pointer coat is short and coarse. The German Shorthaired Pointer comes in two colors, liver and white. At first glance at a German Shorthaired Pointer your first impression might be that they all look alike, but that would be untrue as the variation in coat pattern is endless with no dog being exactly identical to another. They come in all pattern combinations ranging from solid liver, to white with very little liver. "but never solid white". Some have very large patching while others may have little or none. German Shorthaired Pointers have small spots that are not uniformed they range from very far apart to very close togeather, so close togeather that at times they create a salt and pepper effect.

The German Shorthaired Pointer head can be of any combination of the two colors, but solid liver and solid liver with a white blaze down the middle of their heads is most common. Bitches range in height from 20-24 inches, and weigh 50-70 pounds. Dogs range in height from the 22-26 inches and weigh 50-80 pounds. Some dogs and bitches are larger in size and may weigh more while others are may be smaller in size and weigh less. A German Shorthaired Pointer's nose is brown, they have a scissors bite. Their eyes should be brown, but you will sometimes see German Shorthaired Pointer's with lighter brown eyes or some even yellowish in color, yellow however is a undesirable trait.

The nose length should be even with top of the skull, but you will find some that are not in porportion, some being slightly shorter or longer. The ears when pulled forward reach the lip, again some being slightly longer or shorter. A German Shorthaired Pointer neck should be in proportion to the rest of it's body. The neck should be long enough for them to pick up game with ease. Their fronts are straight, not narrow, not wide, in proportion with the rest of their body. Their chest reaches down near the elbow. The chest then tapers gradually up to the hindquarters. The hindquarter is well angulated and muscled when in good condition. They are heavy nailed and their feet should be compact.

Their tails are docked within the first few days of birth. How good you are at docking or your Veteranarian is, determines as to what kind of tail you will get. Length at less then one week of age, 2/5 of the original lenght should be left, in my opinion. At the same time, their dewclaws should be removed. Most German Shorthaired Puppies are born white, with large patching and some are born solid liver. Spotting appears gradually. There is an one exception to the liver and white color rule. A black and white Shorthair, while not seen often in the U.S. does exist, but the coat color is not accepted by the Parent Club or the AKC as part of the American German Shorthaired Pointer Standard. The color however is accepted in other countries.

General care of your German Shorthaired Pointer:

The German Shorthaired Pointer is commonly referred to as a wash and wear dog. The German Shorthaired Pointer needs very little grooming. With its short coat it does shed, but not to the point that it becomes a nuisance or even noticeable. They do come in and out of coat, as do many other breeds. German Shorthaired Pointer's need their toenails clipped regularly, cleaning of their ears and teeth are needed. And a bath when needed. You don't want to bath them too often as it rids them of the natural oils in their coat. Rinsing them down with plain water after hunting works well. They enjoy a nice brushing of their fur with a soft rubber curry brush. Not only does this help in the removal of dead hair, dead skin and dirt. but it also gives them a wonderful massage, which they enjoy very much.

Care of your German Shorthaired Pointer, In the Field:

The German Shorthaired Pointer used for hunting needs extra care. The hunting dog needs to be built up gradually. A dog that has been laying around for months should not be expected to perform well in the field. German Shorthaired Pointer's need exercise and they need to be in top condition before the hunt. A healthy diet and a good exercise routine is a must for a dog that is expected to hunt all day along side his master. German Shorthaired Pointer's also need attention when hunting is over. They should be checked carefully for cuts and scratches, cracked pads, and debris that may have gotten into their eyes during the hunt. Also, ticks may be a problem. A complete check over after a long day of hunting is a good Idea. On warm days, wetting them down first and carrying water for them to drink while in the field is necessary. And it is always a good idea to carry a complete first-aid kit with anti-sting preventative should the unthinkable happen.

German Shorthaired Pointer Health:

Not one particular health problem seems to be prevalent in the German Shorthaired Pointer Breed. German Shorthairs Pointer's seem to be prone to all the possibilities when it comes to health. Some of these are preventable and some are not. These include inherited defects, disease and all other health problems in general. Although the German Shorthaired Pointer seems to be a healthy breed in whole, hip and joint problems do on occasion occur as do heart, skin, eye, ear, sex organ, nerve disorders, temperament, cancers, seizures, lymph problems and bloat. They have all been seen in the breed at one time or another. However, "NOTE": no health problem seems to be a common occurrence based on the breed as a whole". It's rather based on individual animal. The German Shorthaired Pointer's Average lifespan is 12 to 14 years.

Bone and joint problems, such as hip dysphasia should be of the greatest concern when purchasing a hunting dog although it does not seem to be a common occurance in the German Shorthaired Pointer Breed, it does exist. The German Shorthaired Pointer's structure needs to be sound, the German Shorthaired Pointer will be dependant on good bones and good joints to do his job in the field and his body will be put under great amounts of stress. Lameness can end a hunting dogs ability to do field work and may render him useless as a hunting companion. An OFA certification of hips and elbows is your best prevention and greatly reduces the possiblity of this ever happening. Purchase a Dog or Bitch with a OFA certification, It will be well worth the investment.

German Shorthaired Pointer. Home, Kennel and Crate:

German Shorthaired Pointers do well in all three situations. They make wonderful house dogs and work very well as home alarm systems. They have very keen hearing and will make you fully aware of anyone coming to the door. Protector? They can be, but the majority would prefer to wag their tails and greet them as they come in. German Shorthaired Pointer's do excellent with children and other pets, when raised with them. It depends on the personality of the adult dog as to if he will eccept the new circumstances. The only problem with German Shorthaired Pointers and children is that at times they forget their size and strength and may topple a small child accidently.

German Shorthaired Pointers are very clean dogs and most are easy to house train. They also do well in crates and should be made familar with them, as it is the safest way to transport to the field or anywhere in general for that matter. The Crate can be a great source of relief. as you know that your dog is safe and out of trouble, when you can not be there to look after them. However you should never crate for long periods of time. Make sure for the safety of your dog/bitch that proper shade and ventilation is always provided as they may become over-heated quickly in a vechicle or in the Sun, always be prepared.

German Shorthaired Pointer's in an outdoor Kennel do well when provided with adequate protection. German Shorthaired Pointer's with high energy and activity levels are sometimes better off in a kennel as they may be a problem in the home. German Shorthaired Pointer's need a lot of exercise. How you want to house them, depends on temperament and what you prefer. But they do need interaction with humans. They can become insensitive and sometimes shy without that attention they so desire and need. When given that ingredient, a kennel can be a good alternative.

German Shorthaired Pointer's need to be well trained or kept in a fenced situation or under control at all times in open areas, as they do enjoy their freedom, and they are a very active dog. It does not take a German Shorthaired Pointer long to figure things out. They will jump over, crawl under, unlatch, and may possibly run off, but this again is not true in all instances. German Shorthaired Pointer's when given an inch will take a yard, as they are very intelligent creatures "COME" is a very important command and should be taught from puppyhood, and should be reinforced. This is your best prevention of possible injury or possible loss of your dog in the future and it is your best form of control. Teach your dog to "Come".

German Shorthaired Pointer Personality and Temperament:

German Shorthaired Pointers have a wide array of temperament and personality, Some are calm, while others may be busy or active. Well bred German Shorthaired Pointer's "ARE NOT" high strung or hyper. Temperament depends mostly on the breeding and the enviroment that they are raised in. They are very intelligent and more then willing to please their master, although you may on occasion come across a stubborn one. But in general most German Shorthaired Pointers are very affectionate. German Shorthaired Pointers love a warm bed, especially if it is yours. They love to play and running in fields or open places are a few of their favorite past times. They also swim well and love water if introduction is done correctly. But what they love most is hunting. German Shorthaired Pointers know when it is time to go, the site of a gun sends a German Shorthaired Pointers tail into instant wagging action and excitment as he knows it is hunting time.

The German Shorthair Pointer can be possessive with anything they think belongs to them, this also applies to their masters attention at times. German Shorthaired Pointers do share well with other dogs, while some, don't believe in giving up what is "theirs". The males can be especially dominant, you should take great care in owning two dominant males. You should look to the breeder and their breeding program to see if dominant male problems exist. As this is not always the case. It is normal for males to display dominance to some degree in all breeds. but the hunting dog should never exibit over dominance or aggressivness towards other dogs, as you take the risk of injuring someones elses dog should you run across another hunter in the field with a male. If you have several dogs, they will display pecking order as in a pack. The most dominant of them all, being leader of the pack. Most likely the female.

Thinking of purchasing a German Shorthaired Pointer?

A German Shorthaired Pointer should be an investment for life so make a smart, well informed choice. First, it all depends on what you expect and want from your new dog. Are you buying it for the sole purpose of hunting? Or is it more for companionship. German Shorthaired Pointer's make great companion dogs. As a person owning 8 German Shorthaired pointer's, many which were purchased from other people, my first and best advice would be this: "Find a reputable breeder". I'm sure you have heard that old saying, "You get what you pay for." I find this to be the truest statement when it comes to purchasing a German Shorthaired Pointer. I know that it is tempting to pay that cheaper price and in some cases it works out well and you may get a great dog, but in the majority of cases, you are getting exactly what you pay for, a dog that will most likely cause you frustration and possible problems in the future. Look for an OFA certification, be aware of what ratings mean on that certification. Look for Hunting Titles in the pedigree and if the the Sire or Dam (parents) carry them, even better. You should be able to view the pedigree before the purchase.

(CH)(Champion)or Obedience titles by themselves are not proof of hunting ability. Here are some examples of hunting titles: JH, SH, MH, KS, DC, FC, NFC, AFC, NAVHDA and there are many others. What do hunting titles prove? That the dog has "proven" to at least have instinct and the desire to hunt. I'm sorry to say this, but in all honesty, not all German Shorthaired Pointer's have great hunting instinct and not all are good hunters. So, if you are specifically looking for a dog that will be expected to perform in the field, look for hunting titles.

Another indication of what type of dog you will get is to look at the Sire and Dam, Both if they are available. Look at their temperaments. You might ask the seller if you can see the Sire or Dam perform in the field on birds or in a hunting situation ask them to use a wing if birds are not available. What you are looking for is basic instinct and desire. Keep in mind that dogs have bad days, especially a female just out of whelp, but basic instinct should be there. If you are looking for a companion dog look into the Champion or Obedience titled. These dogs are bred for conformation and temperment and many breeder's have pet quality animals available for a reasonable price out of their Champion litters. This is not to say you can't get hunting also, because in most cases, Champion titled dogs can hunt and many good conformation breeders emphasize hunting as part of their program. Once again, ask to see the dog perform. You want to be happy with the dog you are purchasing, as a dog that is a pleasure to own, that meets your expectations. Is the lifetime keeper. You also might want to look for a heath garantee, be sure to get everything in writing. The reputable breeder will stand behind the dog he produces and will want to see that dog succeed and live a healthy and long life. A backyard breeder in most cases will not be concerned after the passing of the dollar. Also keep in mind that Rescues exist and this may be the way for you to find that wonderful German Shorthaired Pointer that is just right for you.

How do I train my new pup. Where do I Start?:

What makes a good hunting dog? A combination of natural inbred hunting instinct and good training. Some dogs are better hunters then others, some need very little training while others need lots of intervention. I won't try and tell you which way to train your dog is the best, as there are so many different opinions and different methods. Which way is the right way? Basically the one that works best for you and your dog.

What age to start? once again alot of different opinions, when you feel the dog is ready, but you should take great care as to not push a young puppy before it is ready, that mistake that you make in puppyhood may follow you into the future and make your training job much harder, as some mistakes are hard or impossible to reverse without the intervention of a professional trainer. Proper introduction to whoa, game, and gunfire are very important steps. So where do you start? Before you purchase that puppy, it is the best to read up on the breed itself and on the different training methods. Stop at your nearby bookstore, arm yourself with the numerous books that are available on the German Shorthaired Pointer and Gun dog Training. All books introduce some similar and some very different methods.

Try to keep in mind that "Whoa" and "Come" will be two of your most important commands. Pick the method that makes the most sense to you. Join an interactive dog club that offers hands on training. N.A.V.H.D.A is an excellent one. Join your breed club, as some people involved in breed clubs are involved in hunting events. Everyone has been where you are now. Breed Clubs can offer advice and knowledge on training and starting your dog. Also they are very informed on the breed in whole.

There are also professional trainers that train your pup or train you to train your pup. Also, there are Videos and Seminars, plus, you have the Internet at your fingertips filled with all kinds of good training methods and information. Basic Obedience is another good start. If you are lucky you will hook up with someone who has a seasoned hunting dog and is willing to help you or at least give you some good advice. If you are interested in showing your dog, go to a dog show and talk to the exhibitors. Find a Conformation class in your area. One word of advice if you are a a first time owner : Listen more then you talk. and Read, Read, Read. The gathering of knowledge is your best training tool.

The German Shorthaired Pointer, The right dog for you:


Has it's purpose: A Field dog is bred for stamina and endurance, bred for the all day hunt. The Field Dog can cover large areas and can be followed on horseback. The Field dog hunts in open and on difficult ground. The Field dogs can cover large areas of ground and can range out of sight while other Field Dogs will cover moderate amounts of ground and yet another can range fairly close. The Field Dog does well in Open Plain.


Has its purpose: A Close Hunting Dog, is bred to stay within close shooting distance and rarely ranges out of sight. It does well in Small fields and closed areas and does not venture far. It is a great dog, for the hunter on foot.


Has it's purpose: It conforms to the breed standard, It's emphasis is on conformation and temperament, hunting? what you will find in most cases of conformation owned dogs, is that responsible breeder's are concerned with both and through very selective breeding programs, the conformation hunting dog is being produced.

What would the ultimate German Shorthaired Pointer be:

A combination of all three Dual Champion (Show Champion + Field Champion) with a Close Working Hunting Title. And they do exist. but they are not being produced in great number or as often as they should be. The problem at hand being, It is very hard to train a dog to Range and Stay Close all at the same time. Also the Field Dog/Bitch is built differently as Some Dogs/Bitches conform to a Field Standard rather then the AKC comformation Standard. this makes it difficult for them to compete in the Conformation Show Ring.

Information relateing to the German Shorthaired Pointer:

The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
Breed Referral-315-626-2990
GSP Rescue of America-309-7874266


The New Complete German Shorthaired Pointer By: Robert H McKowen
German Shorthaired Pointers Today By: David Layton
German Shorthaired Pointers By: McCarty
Der Deutsch Kurzhaar By: Georgina Byrnes
The New German Shorthaired Pointer By: C. Bede Maxwell
The German Shorthaired Pointer(Short & Wirehaired) By: Anna Katherine Nicholas


"Gun Dog" By: Richard A Wolters
"Gun Dog Training" "Do it yourself, Do it right" By: Len Jenkins
"Wing & Shot" By: Robert G Wehle
"Best way to train your dog" "The Delmar Smith Method" By: Bill Tarrant
"Qualify" By: Mark Powell
(Conformation)-"Dog Showing an Owners Guide" By: Connie Vanacore


N.A.V.H.D.A-North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association at-1-847-253-6488


The German Shorthaired Pointer News-(518)761-6763
Pointing Dog Journal-(800)-447-7367
Wing & Shot-(800)-800-7724
Gun Dog-(800)-800-7724


Cabellas Dog Training Supplies-(800)-428-1995
Scotts Dog Supply-(317)-966-3647


(All Available in Scotts Catalog)
"Training Gun Dogs" with Delmar Smith
"Wing & Shot" By: Robert G Wehle
"Gun Dog training" By: Dan Mar
"Common Sense Bird Dog training for Hunters" By: Greg Koch and Jim Reid
"How to Train Hunting Dogs" with Sigbot "Bobo" Winterhelt


German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America:
German Shortaired Pointer Rescue of America:
American Kennel Club:
German Shorthaired Clubs:-Listed By State
National List of Show and Obedience Clubs:
The A.K.C. GSP Breed Standard:
GSP Home Page
N.A.V.H.D.A Home Page:
The GSP News:
The Checkcord:
The Field Trial Magazine:
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Home Page:
Bird Dog and Retriever News:

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