German Shorthaired Pointer Dogs

Prized by German hunters for their adaptability to the field as well as the home, German Shorthaired Pointers have loving, active and good-natured personalities. They get along famously with the whole family—including children and other pets—and have eager-to-please, can-do attitudes. German Shorthaired Pointers are also eager to learn, being intelligent and cooperative enough to grasp the most complicated commands. And their protective instincts are rock-solid, making them dependable but calm watchdogs.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer Pictures

  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Emma
  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Abigail
  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Sadie
  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Faith
  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Sadie(Over the Rainbow Bridge)
  • German Shorthaired Pointer dog named Cleo
see German Shorthaired Pointer pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 55 - 70 pounds
  • 23 to 25 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Active Singles
    • Families
    • Suburbanites
    • Outdoorsy types

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Trademark Traits

    • Friendly and outgoing
    • Loyal and dependable
    • Intelligent
    • Eager to please
    • Hard-working

What They Are Like to Live With

Being high-energy canines, German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent jogging and running partners. They can even keep up with a bike. Always remember to walk them on a leash, however, since their hunting instincts are very strong.

Things You Should Know

Needing lots of exercise and room to run, German Shorthaired Pointers might not be the best apartment dogs. To stay physically and mentally fit, they need large back yards and vigorous daily walks. Even with a yard or field to keep them busy, German Shorthaired Pointers should not be left alone for hours on end. They are people-oriented dogs and thrive on companionship. Involve them in family picnics, hikes and trips to the beach, and they will reward you with lots of good-natured fun.

A healthy German Shorthaired Pointer can live as long as 15 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, epilepsy and eye diseases. They are very easy to groom, only needing occasional brushing and bathing. Another thing to remember: German Shorthaired Pointers can really put away the food. To prevent weight gain, make sure the portions match their activity level.

German Shorthaired Pointer History

Bred from various hunting dogs including the English Foxhound and the Old Spanish Pointer, the German Shorthaired Pointer combined all the qualities a German hunter could ask for: pointing, retrieving and tracking across land and water. With a keen sense of smell, a dependable intelligence and an outgoing personality, German Shorthaired Pointers were ideal for the casual sportsmen who wanted a family-oriented companion as well. Eventually, German breeders added English Pointers to the mix, giving the breed a sleek, handsome shape.

The Look of a German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers have a beautifully balanced shape, sharp and muscular and tight-skinned. Their sleek heads have long muzzles, keen almond-shaped eyes and broad ears that hang close to the cheek. They have long, lean necks that slope down to deep chests, strong backs and muscular legs. Their thick tails, usually docked, are held high and straight. They have short, rough coats that come in liver, liver roan or various patterns of liver & white. Overall, the German Shorthaired Pointer combines elegance with power.

Talk About German Shorthaired Pointers 

This breed is so much fun!

I have a female German Shorthaired Pointer. She is 13 years now. She has been the best companion throughout the years. She is still happy and healthy and runs around like she is two years old. She loves swimming and playing fetch. This breed is just so much fun! My dog is a great hunter and an even better friend. She is beautiful; they are all beautiful - not one of them looks exactly the same. They all have different markings which is neat to see.

~Liz, owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer

I can't get over what an awesome breed this is

My fur kid is a 5-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer and I can't get over what an awesome dog she is. They're such an incredibly smart and easy to train dog and people are always commenting on how well behaved she is. GSPs are great for the outdoor-active folk. Mine will swim or fetch balls from her Chuck-It for hours and they're great hiking buddies. I'm not sure if it is a breed characteristic or just my girl but she has quite a comedic personality; that of a mischievous 5 year old at times! While it is possible to own this dog in an apartment (I've done it), owners need to make a concerted effort to give them the exercise they desperately need. They love nothing more than being allowed on the couch or bed with you and will curl into a tiny ball against the crook of your legs in hopes of getting as close as possible. I will forever be a GSP owner.

~Mandy B., owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer

Sensitive to scolding

We adopted our German Shorthaired Pointer from the local animal shelter. He is sweet-natured and eager to please and loves to be outdoors. I have worked with him on hunting and he is progressing, although slowly. He loves to run and needs to be set out in a field at least several times a week. I found an e-collar works to keep him from running too far.

He is a great family dog and gets along great with other dogs. He is a little thin-skinned and retreats to his crate if reprimanded for things like getting in the garbage but he is very well behaved.

My wife is a runner, and with a gentle leader he does well on 4-5-mile runs. Without the gentle leader he likes to pull a lot as his nose is always on ground sniffing and ready to follow a scent. All in all, we love our GSP and will adopt another when the time is right.

~Brian C., owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer

Great companions for active people

I have two German Shorthaired Pointers, one is 15.5 years old, the other 10. They are active, faithful companions who are still tennis ball obsessed. The older one has been involved in obedience, agility, and search and rescue training. The younger, adopted at 9 months from a rescue, is content with chasing tennis balls in the offleash park (was a running partner when we were both younger). The breed seems very eager to please and easy to train.

While they are active outside, they are calm indoors. They love curling up somewhere warm, or better yet, being covered with a blanket.

The only health concerns I've ever had with them is that they developed fatty cysts later in life (over 9 years old). These benign cysts sometimes have to be removed due to location or if they get too large.

Lastly, GSP puppies may be the cutest thing since cupcakes. Seriously cute. Enjoy!

~Rachel, owner of two German Shorthaired Pointers

Sweet disposition, but hide your pizza

My German Shorthaired Pointer will soon be five. She is the sweetest girl you could ask for, and has been a great playmate to my grandchildren. She always wants to be in the middle of whatever is going on and is always curious. She is a counter surfer though, and, we have lost a piece of pizza or two left out.

Her favorite activity is playing ball. She is a little hard on them, and we find we have to get her the rubber Chuckits as she likes to roll tennis balls in her mouth and pop them. Our full unfinished basement is great for ball playing on rainy days or during the winter. We couldn't have asked for a better friend.

~Margaret , owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer

A nut about squirrels

I've never had a dog before, and a GSP was my first. We got Sawyer from another family who had two GSPs and they knew that with a baby on the way, they would have to let one go. So we were the lucky new parents!

I wouldn't trade him for anything! I love love love this dog more than anything. He loves to play in the yard and is a nut about squirrels (pardon the pun). He is supersweet and not as crazy wild as I thought he might be. He's made me want another puppy like him, though I think two may be pushing it. I do know, however, that if I ever have to replace him (god forbid), I will be getting another GSP.

~Silvia, owner of a German Shorthaired Pointer