German Shorthaired Pointer
'Deutsch Kurzhaar'

descriptive textGerman Shorthaired Pointer
Deutsch Kurzhaar
Weight: 55 — 70 lbs
Height: 23” — 25”
AKC Rank 2008 #16
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group Sporting
Origin Germany

Dog Breed Info - German Shorthaired Pointer

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Breed Overview

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most versatile of the hunting breeds. He is gaining popularity in the USA as a companion and house pet quite rapidly.

Crosses of the Spanish Pointer with the Hannover Hound resulted in a heavy, hound-like dog that could both trail and point and was interested in both birds and mammal. When trailing, these dogs would bay, if needed, and they would dispatch wounded game and even fox.

The breed was recognized in the late 1800’s in Germany with the first Shorthaired coming to America in the 1920’s. The German Shorthaired Pointer gained AKC recognition in 1930.


Fairly easy to train. This breed has a difficult streak in it and training takes persistence and patience. They are capable of learning and very intelligent, just give her time. Use of a CLICKER is the best way to go. clicker training works every time, especially with sensitive and high-strung dogs.

German Shorthaired Pointer
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Crate Training

Want to crate train your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some German Shorthaired Pointer puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The German Shorthaired Pointer’s idea of Heaven is a day hunting in the field and an evening curled up by his owners side.

This is an active dog that can become frustrated if not given daily exercise, both mental and physical. It is a devoted family pet, although at times it is overly boisterous for small children. Because part of it’s heritage includes hunting mammals, some can be aggressive to small pets unless raised with them. It is a sensitive breed, responsive to gentle training. Some can whine or bark quite a lot.

Although able to live outside in mild weather, this is a companionable breed and needs live indoors to be socialized with his human family and have a doggie door leading to a fenced yard to roam in. He should be raised with children as a puppy.

If you happen to get a Pointer with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Somewhat. Picks her own dog friends. If she likes another dog, she REALLY likes her.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Not very. Would rather be the main even in the household.

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Friendly Toward Strangers

Moderate. Bring on the relatives… she’ll adjust quite well.


Very playful dog. Lots of energy, needs plenty of play time.


German Shorthaired Pointers are very affectionate.

Good with children

No. Not if the dog is beyond puppyhood.
If the dog is purchased as a puppy and grows up with the child, he will do OK.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise.

Living environment

House with a medium size yard where the dog can chase balls or Frisbee's and get some exercise.

Energy level

Very high energy breed.

Exercise needs, daily

Bred to be an active hunting companion, this breed has a lot of energy and requires a lot of exercise.

Two long walks a day would be good.

The German Shorthaired Pointer thrives on mental and physical stimulation which it can get from both hunting or playing for a long period each day… at least an hour daily; two hours is better.

They love the water and will swim if given the chance. They have web feet to facilitate swimming.



Guard dog

Good. The German Shorthaired Pointer tends to become tightly bonded with his family and very protective of them. As such, he exhibits some natural guard dog characteristics.


Yes, sheds some.


Brush the dog every week or so. The coat is thick and heavy.


Suggested Reading For The German Wirehaired Pointer
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

Note - The two books on the right are very informative Gun Dog Training Books for the serious sportsman.


German Shorthaired Pointer Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Short Haired Pointer puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
Short Haired Pointer Breeders with puppies for sale.

Short Haired Pointer Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a GSP and are looking for a Short Haired Pointer rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Short Haired Pointer Rescue - (Nationwide) At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing 677 Short Haired Pointers for the USA, available for adoption. That number can vary, of course but it is an indicator.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you might want to go online and search for German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue groups (or shelters) for more selections..

You may need to do some web surfing, as this is not the most common breed to find.

Health Issues For German Shorthaired Pointers
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the German Shorthaired Pointer by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Lymphedema—Hereditary disease. Abnormal flow of fluids to the lymph glands causing swelling. Your fingers will leave "dents" in a "spongy" skin if you press the dog's ears, abdomen, legs or tail. The affected skin is open to bacterial infections. Otherwise, the dog will appear normal. The vet will take skin samples for biopsy. You must see a vet - don't fool with this.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acting lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young and adult German Shorthaired Pointers. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem: Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting a factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in dogs living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and scar causing visual impairment.

  • Nasal depigmentation - "Pink nose." Cause unknown. The nose and sometimes other areas like around the eyelids turn from normal black to a pinkish color. There are many theories but no answers. It can affect Siberian Huskies. Use protective sun screen cream on the nose and keep the dog out of the direct sun if you can.

  • Nasal solar dermatitis—Hereditary immune diseases. The skin of the face and nose are involved… it is called “Collie Nose” though many breeds such as the German Shorthaired Pointer have it. There will be rough, scaly skin or ulceration where the nose and skin meet, also, a loss of color on the nose. Sores may be on the skin at the nose. The disease is not a killer but is not easy to look at. If too much sunlight hits the nose area, cancer may develop. That area will sunburn easily. Treatment includes no sunlight or use sunscreen, corticosteroids in cream form, medicine as pills, injections and a vitamin E supplement.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Cardiomyopathy—Heart Disease - Disease of the heart muscle causing the heart to enlarge and not function properly. Cause is unknown. Older, bigger dogs like the German Shorthaired Pointer 4 to 10 years are usually affected. The prognosis is generally about 6 months to 2 years for a dog with this form of heart failure and only a matter of weeks for some severe cases.

  • Otitis externa—Ear Infection - Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Ectropion—Eye problem - A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some German Shorthaired Pointers will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated leads to total blindness.

Other health problems could occur with your German Shorthaired Pointer. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.

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