Can German Shorthaired Pointers Thrive as Family Dogs?

Active dogs built for the field!

German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are super smart hunting dogs that are live wires! These gun dogs are built for the field and their slick, slender bodies prove it. Jam-packed with energy and excitement, GSPs are ranked the ninth most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) records.

Are German Shorthaired Pointers Good Hunting Dogs?

GSPs have a beautiful hunting point and are often described as "regal." The breed was produced in 17th century Germany by crossing Spanish Pointer, English Foxhound, and local German tracking hounds, each of which attributes to GSP's extraordinary sense of smell; the breed was brought to America in 1925 by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana, who began breeding the dogs.

However, these versatile hunting dogs can make great family pets, even around small pets and small children. Non-hunters will say that GSPs are super friendly and make wonderful companions and family dogs as long as they're socialization is regular and that activity level stays high! Like most sporting breeds, active families are best suited for GSPs!

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Shed?

German Shorthaired Pointers are noticeable by their ticking and patches of color that ranges from black and white to solid liver to liver roan—regardless, that coat is typically easy to maintenance. The American Kennel Club recommends dog owners giving "a good once-over" regularly with a brush or grooming glove to avoid heavy shedding. Though it's not much, GSPs will shed, especially at certain parts of the year as the warm and cold weather rotates, but shedding can be handled with regular care.

How Long Do GSPs Live?

German Shorthaired Pointers's estimated lifespan ranges from 12-14 years with regular veterinary check ups, high-quality dog food, and that much-needed energy level being met throughout its life. While their main health concerns include hip dysplasia, these high-energy dogs are generally healthy dogs.

They are generally healthy dogs, but when talking with a breeder or rescue group, it is good to consider any possible breed health problems—one is hip dysplasia and another is entropion, an issue with their eyelid. Conditions like gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), are also known to affect some GSPs.

To find out where to get yourself a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy, visit the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America for a list of reputable breeders and resources for adoption.

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This article was originally published February 1, 2019.

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