Article by Scott Lipe
The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short thick coat that is predominately liver in colour, either solid liver, liver and white, liver patches/liver roan. In some countries their tails are docked, but this practice is now illegal in most countries. They have slightly long ears that lie flat and close to the head. They can stand up to 23 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 70 lbs. they are well proportioned dog with a broad and rounded skull, they have a slight stop and brown open nose. They have almond shaped eyes and compact feet that are webbed, their fur is rough to the touch but softer on their ears and head. They are streamlined dogs, powerful and are able to move and turn rapidly.
History: The German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to be an excellent Hunter as well as a good family companion. It is thought to descend from many German dogs including hunting dog, scent hounds and tracking dogs. They’re an all-purpose dog with an excellent nose and can be used as either a retriever or a gundog both in the field, and in water. They were officially recognized by the AKC in 1930. As well as hunting, this dog has been known to be used in Scandinavia as a sled dog for dogsled racing. Although not much is known about its history, it is thought to have been descended from the old Spanish Pointer and to have come to Germany in the 1600s, however no records were kept until the first studbook in 1870.
Temperament: The German Shorthaired Pointer is extremely energetic breed, they are eager to please and will love their family. They are a faithful dog who tend to have a happy air around them. They do need lots of exercise, and if they do not receive the amount they need they can become highly strung and very frustrated. They enjoy constructive activities, and they need an order and structure to their life. They need a calm yet firm owner, who the dog must know is in charge, without leadership these dogs can become nervous and destructive. They do not cope well with being kept in a kennel, but love nothing more than doing what they were bred to do, which is to hunt.
Health Issues: Overall a very healthy breed, but like many dogs they are prone to hip dysplasia and they can also suffer from epilepsy and genetic eye diseases. They can also get cancerous lesions in their mouth or on the skin in other areas of their body, and similar to other breeds the German Shorthaired Pointer females are prone to breast cancer if they are un-spayed. As with all hunting dogs, they are prone to the spread of fungi and bacteria through contact with the game, this can easily cause infections in their mouth or any open wounds or small cuts. Their life expectancy is 12 to 14 years, though it is not unheard of individual dogs to live up to 18 years.
Grooming: The German Shorthaired Pointers are generally very clean breed so only occasional brushing is required. They are minimal shedders, and normally only shed once a year. They should only be bathed when needed, for example if they are covered in mud.
Living Conditions: The German Shorthaired Pointer is not recommended for apartment life, they are a very active dog and would do best with a large garden. They are also best suited to an active family who can give them the amount of exercise they require. If under exercised they have been known become escape artists, being able to jump fences up to 6 foot high. They are tireless animals and on occasion can be more than a match for even the most active people, however if their exercise needs are not met they can become restless and destructive.
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