German Shorthaired Pointer

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German Shorthaired Pointer

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The German shorthaired pointer is a hunting dog that was bred in the 19th century Germany. The breed is a muscular medium sized dog. Its most characteristic feature is the rough water resistant coat and beard-like hair in the face.

There are three different variants of the German shorthaired pointer, which all resembles each other a lot: German wirehaired pointer, shorthaired pointer, and longhaired pointer.

Character and behaviour
The German shorthaired pointer is loving, active, and intelligent. This breed is eager to learn and loyal toward its family. It needs an owner that is consistent and consequent in training the dog.

The German shorthaired pointer is a working dog that loves activities and enjoys doing different tasks for its owner. It is friendly toward familiar people, but somewhat reserved toward strangers, thus making early socialisation very important.

The German shorthaired pointer is an independent dog that loves to stray. It is a strong and energetic breed that easily gets bored and difficult to handle if it does not get enough exercise. It is a versatile hunting dog that can hunt any kind of game in all kinds of terrain.

The German shorthaired pointer has a good nose and scents and retrieves game both in water and on land. Given that the dog is steady, lively, and energetic it is best suited for older considerate children. All three kinds of German pointers can get along with other pets or dogs and be trained to be an excellent watchdog.

History of the breed
The German pointer can be dated app. 120 years back. It was originally bred in Germany where the breeders wanted to develop a robust and versatile hunting dog capable of working closely with one person or a small group of people hunting on foot in varying terrain; from mountain areas in the Alps to dense forests or open areas with farms and small villages.

The breed, which the Germans had in mind needed a solid coat that could protect the dog in all kinds of weather. Exactly what types of dogs were used in the development of the German shorthaired pointer is uncertain, but it has most like been other types of pointer dogs.

Here are some of the characteristics that the Germans strived to include in the German shorthaired pointer:

  • Search for and localising game.
  • Retrieve both birds and fur-bearing animals – also in water.
  • Easily trained.
  • Track and find wounded game.
  • Be fearless toward live game – e.g. a fox.
  • Be a devoted companion and pet.

A good watchdog capable of protecting the owner’s family and property.

Appearance, grooming and health
The German pointer exists in three variants: Wirehaired, shorthaired, and longhaired. Generally speaking the wirehaired and the shorthaired are the most popular breeds.

The functional coarse coat is the most characteristic feature of the dog. The coat is water and weather resistant. The undercoat is dense and isolates the dog against the cold in winter. However, it appears thin and hardly visible in the summer. The outer coat is short, straight, coarse, cord-like, and flat. On the lower legs the coat is shorter and between the toes it is also softer.

The coat on the head is short and close to the skull. On the shoulders and around the tail it is very dense and heavy. The eyebrows consist of sturdy straight hairs. Beard and whiskers are medium long. The paws are webbed, which makes it an excellent swimmer.

Outside Europe, the tail is often docked only leaving 2/5 of the actual length. However, a non-docked tail should reach the back of the knees.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Functions well as a family dog.
  • Excellent hunting dog.
  • Requires a lot of exercise and activation.
  • Is relatively easily trained.

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