Photo by Geraint Morgan

German Shorthaired Pointer - Breed Profile:

Origin: Germany
Colors: Solid liver or liver-and-white
Size: Large
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Vigorous
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Can be a bit dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a lean, well-balanced dog with an aristocratic, symmetrical look. The muzzle is should be neither pointed nor blunt. It's long enough (about the same length as the skull) to enable the dog to seize game properly. Unlike in the Pointer, the occipital bone is not very conspicuous, nor is there a pronounced stop. The almond-shaped eyes and nose are brown. The broad ears are set high and lie close to the head. The teeth should meet in a scissor bite. The chestgives an impression of depth rather than breadth. The tuck-up is apparent. The back is short, strong, and straight. The topline slopes slightly to the root of the tail. The tail is set high and firm; it is usually docked to approximately 40% of its natural length. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The gait is smooth and lithe.
German Shorthaired Pointers weigh 45 to 70 pounds. The height is 21 to 25 inches. It's slightly smaller than the standard Pointer.


Very energetic, naturally smart and willing to please. Affectionate, loyal, and protective. These dogs love being involved in all types of constructive activity with their owners. Faithful, friendly, and spirited. To stay happy and balanced, GSPs need vigorous daily exercise such as long walks, jogging or running beside when you bicycle. If the dog has no way to burn off its surplus energy, it can become high-strung, destructive, and disobedient. Additionally, bored GSPs are escape artists. A minimum 6 foot high fence is a necessity with these dogs. Along with a sufficient amount of exercise, proper discipline is a must. The dog should have clear rules to follow, and it should realize its place in the pack is below humans. The owners should be calm, firm, confident and consistent. If the dog senses a lack of these qualities, it may become quite wilful and moody. Neither does it respond well to harsh treatment. A dog that receives enough mental and physical activity along with consistent human leadership will get along well with other dogs and cats. Early socialization is necessary to prevent over-reserved attitude toward strangers.

Coat and grooming

The short, dense, sleek coat comes in solid liver or liver-and-white colours. It can be patched, ticked or roan. Any amount of black, red, orange, lemon or tan is a disqualification in show dogs. Solid white dogs are disqualified as well. The hair feels tough to the touch. It is somewhat longer on the underside of the tail and the back edges of the haunches. On the head and the ears, the hair is softer, thinner and shorter. Regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat in perfect condition. A rub with a piece of towelling or chamois will make the hair gleam.


Generally healthy but some may be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hermaphrodism and lymphedema. The lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Other interesting facts

The exact origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer is not clear, but some think the breed's ancestry includes the German Bird Dog, related to the old Spanish Pointer, and various crossings with local German scent hounds and track and trail dogs.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is also know as the Deutscher kurzhaariger, Vorstehhund, Deutsch Kurzhaar, and Kurzhaar.