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German Shorthaired Pointer: The Ultimate Guide

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German Shorthaired Pointer dogs are a unique and interesting breed that was originally created in Germany. This breed was used as hunting dogs, and they are a versatile breed that could work on land or in water. They have lots of energy and strong personalities, and they are very intelligent.

If you are thinking about getting a German Shorthaired Pointer, then you will need to do your research to find out everything that there is to know about them. This is the only way that you can truly be prepared for owning and caring for this breed, and it will be really helpful to have this information handy for the future.

German shorthaired pointer

We can understand how time-consuming it can be to search the internet for information from various different sources, which is why we have compiled all of the information that you need into one ultimate guide to the German Shorthaired Pointer breed. So, instead of using up all of your time and energy on research, you can sit back, relax, and just keep reading.

Germain Shorthaired Pointer Key Facts

This article is full of information about the German Shorthaired Pointer, but before we get too far into it, we are going to share some key facts about the breed with you below.

Average Lifespan

On average, the German Shorthaired Pointer will live for between 12 and 14 years.

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

These dogs have high energy levels and they need to be active throughout the day to burn off this excess energy. They will need to be provided with at least 2 hours of exercise per day, which can be split into more than one walk and playtime at home through games like fetch.

Coat Length

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short, thick, and water-repellent coat that is known for being slightly longer on the underside of the tail and the back edges of the rear end, or the haunches. The hair is usually softer, thinner, and shorter on the head. Their distinctive coats are usually a solid liver color, but they can sometimes be a combination of live and white.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

You can expect to pay a minimum of $80 on buying food, essential items, insurance, and other monthly costs. You will need to ensure that this is an amount that will comfortably fit into your monthly budget. 


Of medium size, with a short back standing over plenty of ground. Grace of outline, clean-cut head, long sloping shoulders, deep chest, short back, powerful hindquarters, good bone composition, adequate muscle, well-carried tail and taut coat.


These dogs are typically medium in size but can grow to a medium-large size.

Average Height

Male Doberman Pinschers will usually be between 23 and 25 inches tall at the shoulder, but females will be between 21 and 23 inches tall.

Average Weight

Male Doberman Pinschers usually weigh between 55 and 70 pounds, whereas females usually weigh between 45 and 60 pounds.


These dogs are known for being smart, willing, friendly, and enthusiastic about everything they do without being nervous or flighty. They do not like to be left alone, though, and they can develop separation anxiety.

They are house dogs, not made for living outside or in a kennel. They will love everyone in the family, but they have been known to pick favorites with whom they tend to form a special bond.

One of the best things about these dogs is that they are highly trainable. However, you should know that their temperament can be affected by lots of different things, like heredity, training, and socialization. The puppies that have the nicer temperaments are usually more curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. 

When you are looking at puppies, it is usually recommended to choose the middle-of-the-road puppy that is neither too boisterous nor hiding in fear. It is always a good idea to meet at least one of the parents before making a decision, and the mother is usually available. You will be able to see their temperaments and ensure that this is something you are comfortable with.

It can also be helpful to meet siblings or other relatives of the parents so you can find out what the puppy is likely to be like when they grow up. Although, you should keep in mind that this is not a guarantee. Just like any other dog, German Shorthaired Pointers will need early socialization.

This is when you expose your dog to as many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences as possible when they are still young.

Early socialization will help you to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. It can also be helpful to enroll them in puppy classes, so they get to be around more dogs. You should also try to invite visitors over more regularly, so they get to meet new people, and take them to busy parks.

Apartment Living

Unfortunately for some, it is not recommended that German Shorthaired Pointers live in apartments. They are actually best suited to active people with homes with a large backyard surrounded by a high fence.

German Shorthaired Pointers were originally bred to have energy and stamina to last all day in the field, which is why exercise is so important to them. They can also grow to be quite large in size, which can be problematic for apartment living. 

Good for Novice Owners

It is also not recommended that you get a German Shorthaired Pointer if you are a novice owner with little or no previous dog experience. This is mostly due to the fact that they need a complex and consistent training routine that is combined with extensive and exciting exercise.

This might be a lot for a new dog owner to handle, making them more suited toward owners with more experience under their belts.

Sensitivity Level

German shorthaired pointers are sensitive dogs that you will need to be delicate with. They do not do well with being scolded, and you will need to use positive reinforcement in their training and provide them with a stable living environment where they can thrive.

Tolerates Being Alone

German Shorthaired Pointers are high-energy dogs; without enough exercise, they can become nervous and destructive. You should never leave them alone without getting enough exercise, as this will not end well. These dogs are also very people-oriented and won’t do well being left alone for long periods without something to keep them distracted.

Tolerates Cold Weather

German Shorthaired Pointers can do moderately well in cold weather as long as they remain active, like while on a walk, but they are not typically very tolerant of the cold.

Tolerates Hot Weather

The German Shorthaired Pointer can tolerate hot weather quite well as long as they have access to shade and lots of water.

Affectionate With Family

These dogs are very affectionate and love to be in your company most of the day. They will be highly likely to follow you around the house, and try to cuddle up to you when you are relaxing on the couch. They will show their affection in lots of different ways, and they will miss you when you are not home.


German Shorthairs can do well with children if they are raised with them. They have lots of energy and make excellent playmates for active older children. However, they might not be well-suited to a household with young children, as they are very rambunctious.

Adult German Shorthairs that are not familiar with children may do best in a home with older children who understand how to interact with dogs.

You should always teach children how to properly approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and young children. This will allow you to ensure that there are no displays of unwanted behavior from either the dog or the child.

Your child should be made aware that they should never approach any dog while sleeping or eating, and they should never try to take their food away.

Dog Friendly

German Shorthaired Pointers can get along well with other dogs, but they can sometimes become aggressive toward members of the same sex. Due to the fact that they are hunting dogs, they might also become aggressive toward small furry animals, like cats or rabbits. Although, they can get used to them if they are raised with smaller animals from puppyhood.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Doberman Pinschers are often very good with strangers, to the point where they will jump all over them if they come into the house. These dogs are very friendly and good natured and they are unlikely to be weary around new people.

Health And Grooming

German shorthaired pointer

Now that we have gone through everything that you need to know about the personality and appearance of the German Shorthaired Pointer, we are going to take a look at their health and grooming requirements.


In warm climates, the German Shorthaired Pointer will typically shed quite a lot, all year round. In other climates, the shedding is likely to be seasonal. Either way, you will notice that their short hairs can be found all over the house. If you groom your dog on a regular basis, it will help to keep the hair in your home down to a minimum.


This breed is not typically known to drool a lot, but they will drool quite heavily when they eat or drink something. Apart from this, you won’t notice them drooling much.


The coat of a German Shorthaired Pointer is smooth and short, which means that it is easy to groom and it doesn’t shed in excess. You should brush their coat on a weekly basis with a firm bristle brush, and only bathe them when they are dirty or smelly. You can then rub their coat with a towel to make it shine. You will need to dry them thoroughly to ensure that they don’t get a chill.

You should also check their feet after they have been exercising or working outdoors. It is also really important to check their ears regularly for signs of infection, like a bad odor, redness, or tenderness. If you notice that your dog is frequently scratching their ears, then they might have an infection.

General Health

German Shorthaired Pointers are generally healthy. However, just like any other breed, they are prone to certain health conditions. While they are not guaranteed to develop any of these conditions, it is important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed.

Common Health Problems

Some of the more common health problems for German Shorthaired Pointers to develop are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Lymphedema
  • Entroption
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus

Potential For Weight Gain

These dogs are only likely to gain too much weight if they are overfed, so you should avoid giving them food scraps or too many treats.


These dogs are at their most challenging from 6 months to 3 years old. It is really important to try and start their training early, so they don’t become a handful when they are older. It is going to require someone with patience and lots of time to train a German Shepherd Pointer.

Easy To Train

German Shepherd Pointers are not the easiest breed to train, even though they are really clever. It can be difficult to keep their attention for long and they can get very easily distracted.


These dogs are very intelligent, which is one of the things that makes them easier to train. However, their intelligence can also be a downside, as they pick things up quickly, but they can also get bored very easily. You will need to try and keep their training fresh and interesting in order to keep their attention.

Potential to Bite

These very friendly dogs are unlikely to bite anyone unless they feel threatened.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

German Shorthaired Pointers will tend to bark at anything that they see that is unfamiliar to them. This could be a sound, person, animal, or anything else that is considered to them to be out of the ordinary.

They are pretty much prone to barking and howling at even the most minor of disturbances so that you can expect a lot of vocalization from them.

German Shorthaired Pointer History

Some early versions of this type of dog date to the 17th century, but the German Shorthaired Pointers that we know and love today were originally created to be multipurpose hunting dogs in the mid to late nineteenth century.

The first known German Shorthair in the United States was imported in 1925 by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana, who began breeding the dogs. 

After just 5 years, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed. The first German Shorthaired Pointer to be registered with the AKC was Greif v.d. Fliegerhalde.

The breeding of these dogs was affected by World War II, and as the end of the war was approaching, many breeders hid their dogs. The best of the dogs were sent to Yugoslavia for safekeeping. However, as Yugoslavia was behind the Iron Curtain after the war, West German breeders no longer had access to the dogs.

German breeders then had to rebuild their beloved breed from a limited gene pool. Meanwhile, the breed was progressing nicely in the United States, especially during the 1950s. In 1968, the top 4 finishers at the American Kennel Club National Field Trial Championship already had their conformation championships.

As well as making excellent hunters, these dogs have inspired modern-day writers to immortalize the breed in their works. Robert B. Parker wrote a popular mystery series that featured three solid-liver German Shorthair Pointers that were all named Pearl.

Rick Bass, who wrote a book called Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had, is about living and hunting with a German Shorthaired Pointer in Montana.

Today, the German Shorthaired Pointer ranks 19th among the 155 breeds and varieties that are recognized by the AKC.


When it comes to purchasing a German Shorthaired Pointer from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay anywhere between $800 and $1500. However, a top-quality puppy can cost upwards of $3000.

Fun Facts

  • German Shorthaired Pointers are highly versatile hunting dogs
  • These dogs have a lot of energy and need lots of exercise
  • They are very good swimmers
  • These dogs can take a few years to grow out of puppyhood

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.