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German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

If your ideal canine companion is an athletic sidekick who’d happily accompany you on an all-day trek through the wilderness, then a German shorthaired pointer puppy might be right for you!

Developed over generations by German hunters, the GSP is a versatile and all-purpose gun dog. These dogs have a unique zest for life that shines through their friendly expression. 

With looks that are often referred to as “noble” or “aristocratic,” German shorthaired pointer puppies are simply stunning creatures. Their intelligence makes them a trainable breed, and they bond closely with their families. 

Still intrigued? If you think you have what it takes to keep up with this highly energetic watchdog, check out the rest of our review. You may learn a thing or two that could sway your decision one way or the other.

German shorthaired pointer puppy facts

If you’re on the fence about adopting a German shorthaired pointer puppy, research is essential. While they have many great traits, these enthusiastic dogs certainly aren’t for everyone. Read on to see if a GSP is missing from your life. 

Size Medium. German shorthaired pointer males will reach a height of 23-25 inches, while females will usually be 21-23 inches tall. Typically, males weigh 55-70 pounds, and females weigh 45-60 pounds.
Breed Characteristics The handsome GSP has an athletic build. He’s a symmetrical, well-balanced dog with an even gait. Their “ticked” (spotted) coat is water-repellant and usually comes in shades of brown and white. They also sport large ears that flop down.
Temperament The German shorthaired pointer is known for being intelligent and cooperative—two traits that make him fairly easy to train. If you prefer peace and quiet, though, A GSP might not be for you—this breed is bold and boisterous. They’re also affectionate and protective of their families. 
Grooming and Health Needs GSPs have minimal grooming needs. A quick weekly brushing to remove loose hair should suffice. 

Unfortunately, the breed is prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, and heart disease. They can also suffer from sudden stomach bloating, which can be fatal, so a responsible GSP owner will educate himself on the symptoms and proper course of action ahead of time.

Training The highly intelligent German shorthaired pointer is easily trained. Bear in mind, though, this is a breed that needs a role to fill. You’ll have to be up for plenty of training sessions to help channel his extreme exuberance. If you enjoy outdoor activities or hunting, you’ll be happy to hear GSPs are driven competitors and natural hunting aficionados. 
Energy Level German shorthaired pointers definitely aren’t couch potatoes! These athletic dogs are constantly on the go. They enjoy running, swimming, exploring the outdoors, and participating in competitive dog sports. As a GSP owner, you’ll need to help them burn some of that excess energy. Vigorous exercise twice a day is critical to keeping a German shorthaired pointer happy and healthy. They particularly like activities that challenge their minds as well as their bodies, such as agility courses and field events.
Life Expectancy On average, you can expect a GSP to live between 10-12 years.

Who is the best human for a German shorthaired pointer puppy? 

Since a German shorthaired pointer will be miserable without adequate exercise and mental stimulation, one of the main requirements of a potential GSP puppy owner is an active lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to keep up with this pup!

You’ll also need major patience during their adolescent years, around 6 months to 3 years of age.

Vetstreet reports, “The young German shorthair may not fully gain control of his brain until he reaches maturity at two years of age.” This means that those interested in raising a GSP should be prepared for an extended period of mischevious puppy behavior.

What about cats and other pets? Unsupervised, the GSP doesn’t mix well with unfamiliar animals because he sees them as prey to be hunted. If, however, a GSP is raised alongside other pets, there shouldn’t be a problem. Just keep a close watch on any interactions.

German shorthaired pointers can make an excellent “alarm system.” They’ll sound their alarm bark the moment someone steps foot on your property, but they shouldn’t be aggressive once you’ve made it clear everything is ok. 

If you think you can deliver the staggering amount of activity that this breed requires, then a GSP might make a terrific canine companion for you. These dogs are attentive, affectionate, and love spending time with their families. 

Getting a German shorthaired pointer puppy

The decision to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new German shorthaired pointer puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or a breeder who offers healthy, ethically-sourced German shorthaired pointer puppies. 

Adopting a GSP puppy

It may come as a surprise, but adopting a German shorthaired pointer puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most shelters report that the majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender due to a lifestyle change or an incompatibility with the dog. What this means for you: there may be many adoptable dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.

The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered.

This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a German shorthaired pointer mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.

Finding a German shorthaired pointer rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. Check out the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America to find a good breeder. It’s a good idea to search for a breeder who participates in canine activities like hunting, showing, or obedience training. 

Finding a German shorthaired pointer breeder

The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.

Be sure to ask questions, and make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother. In the end, you must follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the German shorthaired pointer puppy seems too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.

Knowing what you’re in for when you get a German shorthaired pointer puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find an ethical breeder or are planning to adopt, prepare yourself for an affectionate and friendly addition to your household.

GSP puppy resources

After you find the right German shorthaired pointer puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.

Featured image via Flickr//Harold Meerveld

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