The German Shorthaired Pointer developed in the last century in Germany as an all around hunting dog and companion. Breed development continued into this century by combining characteristics from other breeds.
The first known German Shorthairs were imported into the U.S. between 1890 and 1920. Last year more than 12,000 were officially registered with the American Kennel Club.
Color: Color can range from solid liver to a bright white body with a liver head. There are also rare few black and white or black and white ticked GSP's. Most of these are German imports, as the color is not yet accepted as a part of the AKC breed standard.
Pattern: Shorthairs may have blazes or may have solid liver heads, they can be ticked (small flecking with white background), ticked with large patches, or roan (such fine ticking they appear almost solid colored).
Size: Females can range from as small as 35 lbs. to as large as 70 lbs. depending on height and condition. Males may range from 45 lbs. to more than 90 lbs. - though such extremes are less usual.
Tail Docking: It is the rule to dock a shorthair's tail to 40% of original length a few days after birth. This is to prevent injury if the dog hunts or runs in underbrush later in life. Not all shorthairs have docked tails. Call us if you are unsure.
Character and Disposition
In general, GSP's are highly energetic, athletic dogs. They need exercise and fenced yards, or a runner in the family. The older dogs are less active, and are ideal placements with families who want more calm.
They like to self-hunt and, unless they have grown up with cats, can be cat sharp.
Rescue volunteers are generally available to come and evaluate the animal, if you have questions. Ideal placement is with a family who can provide the animal with some attention. GSP's are devoted, often to the point of dependency.
Fencing, invisible fencing and leash running are all suitable. Responsible dog ownership requires no free running dogs, regardless of breed.
GSP's from sheltered situations do not generally do well with avid hunters. They should be placed as house pets. Obedience training is strongly recommended.
In the shelter, lost or strayed GSP's tend to mourn and sometimes suffer kennel shock. Rescue should be called in immediately if that is suspected.