Skip to main content

Highlight on Hunting Dogs: German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is the next hunting dog getting our highlight treatment.

Photo via animalkingdomz00
Photo via animalkingdomz00

A bit different from some of its fellow hunting dogs, the German Shorthaired Pointer is an excellent dog bred recently for the specific purpose of being an excellent hunter’s companion.

A bird dog first, this breed is versatile, good-natured, and truly one of a kind. Although its high energy has made it an uncommon house pet, this breed has won over the hearts of all those who have taken it on.

View the slideshow to read some interesting facts about the German Shorthaired Pointer.

They’re a deliberate breed

Photo via wikimedia

Originally known as the Deutsch Kurzhaar, or German Bird Dog, an early version of the German Shorthaired Pointer was bred in the 17th Century from the Spanish Pointer and Hannover Hound in the hopes of producing a versatile breed with a keen nose, obedient temperament, and retrieving abilities. It succeeded for a time, but still had room for significant improvement.

The breed as we know it today came about in the 19th Century, encouraged by Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld of the Royal House of Hanover. It was his hope to breed an exceptional hunting dog for function over form. Initially, he succeeded.

However, what the breed had in versatility, it lacked in elegance. Ultimately, it was further bred with the English Pointer to address this.

They’re late-comers to the US

The German Shorthaired Pointer didn’t come to the United States until 1925, imported by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana. Five years later, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed and registered its first German Shorthaired Pointer, Greif Fliegerhalde.

RELATED: Highlight on Hunting Dogs: Bloodhound

We almost lost them

Photo via imagejuicy

World War II affected the whole world in ways few might have predicted at the start of the action. As the world drew to a close, people found themselves hiding their treasures; artwork, gold, jewels, and breeding animals.

RELATED: Move Aside Dogs, There’s a New Man’s Best Friend in Town [VIDEO]

Many of the best German Shorthaired Pointers were sent for safekeeping in Yugoslavia. After the war, however, West German breeders no longer had access to the finest bloodlines, and were forced to attempt to rebuild the breed from scratch. By sharp comparison, the breed saw considerable advancement in the United States in the 1950s.

They’ve been featured in literature

Photo via animalkingdomz00

Although a recent breed, German Shorthaired Pointers have already been immortalized in literature. In a Boston-based mystery series by dog lover Robert B. Parker, the protagonist, Spenser, keeps three German Shorthaired Pointers, all named Pearl. Similarly, Rick Bass writes about hunting with the breed in Montana in Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had, as does sports writer Mel Wallis in Run, Rainey, Run.

RELATED: 6 Training Exercises to Turn Your Dog into a Hunting Hound

They are devoted companions

Photo via

Unlike many hound breeds, German Shorthaired Pointers aren’t pack dogs. They prefer the company of their families over other dogs and are, in turn, fiercely protective of them. Shy around strangers, they are devoted companions, good with children, and high energy. As such, they need regular exercise or they are prone to trouble. They will destroy a room given the chance and, because of their excellent hunting instincts, it is inadvisable to keep them with cats, birds, or other small animals.

Check out more hunting dog slideshows

Highlight on Hunting Dogs: Standard Poodle

you might also like

Highlight on Hunting Dogs: German Shorthaired Pointer