German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer was developed by German hunters who wanted a versatile hunting dog who could retrieve on land or in water, work with birds of all kinds, and trail at night. As with so many breeds, the exact origins of this pointer are unknown, but experts believe that the German Bird Dog, Spanish Pointer, English Pointer, and local German scenthounds were all used to create an intelligent, attractive, utilitarian dog with excellent scenting abilities.
The natural exuberance of a young German Shorthaired Pointer can make him difficult to live with if he is kept confined and not exercised.
The German Shorthaired Pointer appears well-balanced, is muscular without being bulky, and gives the appearance of a fine athlete. He has a broad head with a long muzzle, dropped ears, and almond-shaped amber eyes. His tail is docked. His coat is short and tough and is solid liver, liver and white, or patched, ticked, or roan. This coat can be cared for by brushing twice weekly with a soft bristle brush or curry comb.
The German Shorthaired Pointer breed is active and needs vigorous daily exercise. Although these dogs enjoy daily brisk walks, they do better with a good run. The breed is also good at many canine activities, including obedience competitions, field trials, search-and-rescue work, agility, and more. Early training is very important for this breed – both to teach him household rules and to establish some control over a rowdy young puppy. The German Shorthaired Pointer needs structured, firm yet fun training.
Young German Shorthaired Pointers can have very short attention spans. If the training is in short sessions, interspersed with some playtimes, he will be more apt to cooperate. This breed does best with an active owner. He is good with older children; German Shorthaired Pointers puppies may be too rowdy for small kids. He’s good with other dogs. The primary health concern in this breed is hip dysplasia.
Since the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. Shyness, fearfulness, over submissiveness, aloofness, or aggression (especially toward humans) are all incorrect traits. The German Shorthaired Pointer is usually very good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young.
The German Shorthaired Pointer dogs love interaction with humans and are suitable pets for active families who will give them an outlet for their energy. Most German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent watchdogs. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed, which is not always good for other small pets such as cats or rabbits. With training, however, the family dog should be able to discern what is prey and what is not, and they can live quite amicably with other family pets.
The German Shorthaired Pointer’s distinctly independent character and superior intelligence mean that any unused energy will likely result in the dog amusing itself, most probably in an undesirable manner. Failure by the owner to give this active and intelligent dog sufficient exercise or proper training can produce a German shorthaired pointer that appears hyperactive or that has destructive tendencies. Thus the breed is not a suitable pet for an inactive home or for inexperienced dog owners. Although these dogs form very strong attachments with their owners, a bored German Shorthaired Pointer that receives insufficient exercise may feel compelled to exercise himself. These dogs are athletic and can escape from four foot and sometimes six foot enclosures with little difficulty.
The natural instinct to hunt may result in the dog hunting alone and sometimes bringing home occasional dead trophies, such as cats, rats, pigeons and other urban animals.
In addition to exercise, especially formal hunting, the German Shorthaired Pointer needs to be taught to distinguish legitimate prey and off limits animals. Like the other German pointers (the German wirehaired pointer and the less well known German longhaired pointer), the German Shorthaired Pointer can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, an upland bird dog and water dog. The German Shorthaired Pointer can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound’s talented nose.
It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities. The German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent and bred for a certain amount of independence (e. g., when a dog is working out of sight or sound of its handler in the field). Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, the intelligence and the obedience of the German Shorthaired Pointer make it one of the more popular large breeds. During hunting sessions, a completely instinctive scent-hiding activity through rubbing against carrion can be observed.
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