The German Shorthaired Pointer, is a versatile hunting dog.

Dependable retriever on land or in icy waters.

Breed picture

Breed History:

  The breed is often referred to as the German Shorthair Pointer, German Shorthair, or even as the German Shorthair. In Germany it is known as the Kurzhaar. ("Kurz" means short and "haar" means hair, in German. The official breed name, in North America, is the German Shorthaired Pointer. For short, it is often written as the "GSP". The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but it was developed somewhere in Germany, about mid 1800s. The right to hunt game in Germany, by the 19th century, was no longer restricted to the nobility. The average German hunter however, could not afford several specialized sporting, hunting dogs. They needed one, all purpose, hunting dog. It had to have a good nose, and be a reliable water retriever. It had to be aggressive towards predators, and very obedient. Several German, and perhaps French, scenthounds were crossed to Spanish Pointers. The initial results were mixed. The advice of the day, was to forget about good looks, and to concentrate on how the dog worked. This advice was followed by the most successful breeders. The most significant new addition to the breed, although highly controversial, was the introduction of English Pointers. This would give a more stylish look, and a nose-up hunting mode. This also introduced however, a dislike of water, and an aversion to attacking its quarry. These were considere negative traits. Careful breeding, eventually eliminated those negatives. Breed type was standardized by 1911. News of the "Kurzhaar" spread. It had met the goal of being a versatile gundog, a superb hunting dog. It had a keen nose, sharp eyes and intelligent mind. It was obedient. It liked the water and had webbed feet. It willingly trails, points, and retrieves, on land or in icy waters. The first US imports began arriving by 1925. There being sufficient interest, the AKC admitted the breed into the Stud Book, in March, 1930. The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America held its first specialty show, at the International Kennel Club show, in Chicago, in 1941. The Canadian Kennel Club, the CKC, registered the breed three years later, in 1933. Since its introduction, the Shorthair has won numerous Dual Championships. These are dogs that have qualified in Field Trials, as well as, in the Show Ring. The breed thus refutes the claim that brains and beauty cannot be found in the same dog. It is a very handsome dog, and an obedient companion, attributes that have made it one of the most popular breeds in North America, for several years.
Male Height:  23 - 25 in. (58 - 64 cm) at withers.
Male Weight:  55 - 70 lb. (25 - 32 kg).
Female Height:  21 - 23 in. (53 - 58 cm) at withers.
Female Weight:  45 - 60 lb. (20 - 27 kg).
Activity Level:  High.
Exercise Needs:  Very high.
Affection:  Quite affectionate.
Playfulness:  Quite high.
Shedding:  A little.
Grooming:   Minimal required.
Trainability:  Quite high.
With Other Dogs:  Quite good.
With Other Pets:  Somewhat intolerant.
With strangers:  Quite tolerant.
With children:  Good.
Bonding:  Bonds to one person.
Protection:  Quite good.
Function:  Versatile hunting dog - Companion
Other Names:  German Shorthair Pointer; German Shorthair
Watchdog:  Excellent.
Life Expectancy:  12 - 14+ years.

Shorthair Appearance:

  A GSP is a medium size dog. It is a graceful looking hunting dog, a well-balanced, symmetrical, animal. Its conformation indicates power, endurance, and agility, with a look of intelligence. It has a clean-cut head, sloping shoulders, deep breast, powerful short back, and strong quarters. It is blessed with good bone, adequate muscle, well-carried, docked tail, taught coat, all of which produces a look of nobility. Its movement is balanced, and without wasted motion. The attractive coat can be solid liver color, or a combination of liver and white, such as liver and white ticked, liver patched and white ticked, or liver roan. In Britain, the color black is permitted, but not in the United States. It coat is short, flat and coarse to the touch. It sheds a little, and therefore, should be groomed at least once a week.


  A German Shorthaired Pointer’s temperament is gentle, affectionate, even-tempered, and active. It is "people friendly", good with children, although perhaps a bit boisterous for very young children. It is affectionate, playful, and very loyal. It is very intelligent, and willing to please. It is not nervous, or flighty. German Shorthaired Pointer puppies are quick to learn. Obedience training at an early age is a wise move. They are sensitive, but respond well, to gentle training methods. It makes a good choice for a companion dog, and versatile hunting dog. Because of its heritage however, it can be a bit aggressive towards small pets, unless raised with them. If it is frustrated, or bored, it can be noisy. For certain, it needs to be indoors, with the family, not outdoors alone, nor alone in a kennel. A larger size home and considerable daily exercise is needed, without which, it could become mischievous.

Finding other breeders:

Do you need more information on the German Short Hair Pointer dog, and German Short Hair Pointer breeders who have German Shorthaired Pointer puppies for sale? See the breeders section. If there are no nearby GSP breeders, see the Canadian GSP Club, German Shorthair Pointer rescue. See also the USA GSP club, German Shorthaired Pointer rescue, to find more puppies.

German Shorthair Health Issues:

GSP Major concerns:   Lymphedema, (In lymphedema, there is abnormal lymph flow, so that lymph fluids accumulate and cause swelling in the affected tissue.)
Minor concerns:   CHD, (CHD is the acronym for Canine Hip Dysplasia); Entropion, (This is the turning inward, of all, or part of an eyelid, such that the eyelashes come into contact with the corneal, and conjunctival surfaces of the eye. It causes corneal irritation, and potentially more severe damage to the affected eyes.); Gastric Torsion, (A twisting of the stomach, after gastric distention, occurs. This is a life threatening problem. Immediate Veterinarian help is required!); vWD, (This is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, of both man, and animals.); Pannus, ( Pannus in dogs, is a condition where your dog's immune system attacks the cornea of the eye.); Hypothyroidism, (In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is underactive, and unable to secrete enough thyroid hormone. This, in turn, decreases your dog’s metabolism.
Occasionally seen:   Ectropion, (This is a defect of conformation, in which there is a sagging, or rolling-out, (eversion) of the eyelids. This results in abnormal exposure of the eye, which often leads to irritation.); PRA, (This is a recessively, inherited disease. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a deterioration of both retinas simultaneously, and which leads to blindness.); Cardiomyopathy, (Dilated cardiomyopathy means that the heart muscle, especially the thick muscle wall of the left ventricle, becomes much thinner than normal. The pressure of the blood inside the heart then allows this thinned wall to stretch, resulting in a much larger left ventricular chamber.)

GSP Suggested Tests:

All breeding stock should be tested, prior to breeding, for the following: Hips, Eyes, DNA for vWD, Cardiac, and Thyroid.