German Shorthaired Pointers are bred to help with hunting. They are called a 'pointer' because they will point out any game that their masters have killed. Since they are bred for hunting and work, they are very strong and athletic. Their builds are dense and graceful, as well as powerful. They have a medium body that consists mostly of muscle and has very little fat.
The German Shorthaired Pointer's ears are floppy and sit high up on the head of the dog. These ears are fairly small and end in softly rounded points. Their tails are also usually docked at about 60 percent. They are never curled and they hang down when the German Shorthaired Pointer is at rest, and horizontally when the dog is walking.
German Shorthaired Pointer's coats are very flat and coarse. The hair is short and thick, which is very densely packed. Although most of the fur is very coarse, some areas are softer than others. For example, the hair on the head and ears is softer than the rest. The hair may also be longer at the back of the haunches and underneath the dog's tail. When you are showing this dog in a breeding competition, you will get points deducted if there is any long hair on the body of the German Shorthaired Pointer.
There are many different colors that are common with the German Shorthaired Pointer, including white, black, red, orange, tan, lemon, and brown. They are very rarely one solid color and are instead a splotchy mix of colors. They often have a solid color on their head with spotted fur on the rest of the body.
As the name suggests, German Shorthaired Pointers originally came from Germany. They were developed in the nineteenth century for the purpose of work and hunting. It is hard to tell what the exact heritage of this breed is. Historians do know that they consisted of Spanish Pointers, but what they were mixed with is non one hundred percent known. People speculate that there is the blood of Italian Pointers, German Bird Dogs, and Foxhounds, to name a few breeds.
Although the German Shorthaired Pointer's purpose is primarily for hunting, they also make a great pet. They have a very loveable demeanor and they are sweet and nice to everyone in the family. They love to be affectionate to their owners and tend to be very sociable with other animals and humans. They especially love children and like to play with them and have fun. They will often become more attached to their children owners than to the adults.
Since they feel very attached to their owners, they do a great job at protecting the home. If they feel any danger, they will fight back in order to keep their family from harm. This is one of the best parts of owning a German Shorthaired Pointer. Since they are hunters, it is best to keep other pets that are as large as the German Shorthaired Pointer. If you have smaller pets, such as birds, they may attack them because of their hunting instincts.
Dogs, no matter what the breed, tend to have many different health problems that they are prone to. The German Shorthaired Pointer is no exception to this rule. They have many different afflictions that you need to watch out for.
These are some of the more common ailments that the German Shorthaired Pointer can acquire:
Since the German Shorthaired Pointer has floppy ears, it also tends to be prone to ear problems, such as infections. You should make sure that you clean the dog's ears on a regular basis in order to avoid any problems. Contact a veterinarian if you notice a change in your dog's behavior as this could be indicative of a health problem.
German Shorthaired Pointers shed a lot. This can be rare for dogs like this that have short hair, but it's true. Their coarse, rough hair gets all over the house if you aren't careful. A good way to limit the amount of hair that is shed is to groom your pet German Shorthaired Pointer on a regular basis. Brushings should occur every week. This will limit how much hair ends up on your furniture and clothing. This will also be a fun bonding experience for you and your dog.
Working and hunting dogs need a lot of activity, and that is definitely the case with the German Shorthaired Pointer. They are bred to be very active, so they need to stay that active whether or not they are actually used for hunting. Because of this, it is important that they are placed with a very active family. Be sure to take them out on walks and runs every day. Hiking and camping trips are perfect because the dog will get to run around and have fun in a free and open environment.
If they don't get enough exercise, the German Shorthaired Pointer can get unhappy and unhealthy. They may mope around the house and even destroy furniture in their angst. Make sure that you are willing to put in the effort if you want a dog like this.
German Shorthaired Pointers are not as easy to train as many other breeds. They need formal training in order to be good at what they do. This may require that you hire a professional dog trainer. It helps if you, as the owner, already have experience training dogs. Then you can do this on your own. If you plan to use your German Shorthaired Pointer as an actual hunting dog, you will need even more formal training.