dog logo

German Shorthaired Pointers

"All About The German Shorthaired Pointer"

german shorthaired pointer image

A liver and white German Shorthaired Pointer
with a ticked coat and a patched head.

Alternate Names

Deutscher Kurzhaariger Vorstehhund
Deutsch Kurzhaar
Kurzhaar (short-hair)

Common nicknames: GSP and DK

Known as the "all-purpose dog"


Body: Powerful build with a short, straight back sloping gradually from the base of the tail to the withers, deep chest, sloping shoulders, muscular thighs, well-sprung ribs, powerful brisket and long forelegs.

Coat: Short, flat, dense, coarse to touch and water-repellent.

Color: Black, solid liver (brown) or either color combined with white.

Ears: Moderately long, floppy, rounded at the tip, high set and hang close to the head.

Eyes: Dark brown and almond-shaped with close-fitting lids. Not protruding or too deeply set.

Feet: Compact, tight and powerful with webbed feet. Round to spoon-shaped with hard, thick pads and well-arched toes.

Head: Clean-cut and well-proportioned to the body with a broad, slightly rounded skull, moderately defined stop, long powerful muzzle (not pointed), brown nose and wide nostrils.

Legs: Forelegs are long, muscular and well-boned with laid back elbows, moderately angulated pasterns and tight fitting skin. Hind legs have powerful gracefully lined thighs, and well-bent stifles.

Neck: Moderately long, well-muscled and slightly arched tapering from the nape of the neck to the shoulders with tight, close skin.

45 - 70 pounds
Height: 21 - 25 inches

Tail: Short, set high, thick at the base tapering to the tip and traditionally docked.

Top of page

Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Best with an active, athletic owner
Likely to chase cats and can be aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs

The German Short-haired Pointer is intelligent, athletic, strong and quick. An avid hunter, day or night, with a keen sense of smell and adept at pursuing most any prey. He is robust and highly spirited with a vast amount of energy and stamina capable of working in the coldest of climates but not fond of hot and humid weather.

He loves children and family life but requires lots of daily exercise or he will become bored and possibly destructive. Because of his size and high amount of energy he may be too playfully aggressive around toddler size children who could be easily, but unintentionally, hurt.

Early obedience training and socialization is a must. He enjoys training and will be eager to learn but is best in the hands of an experienced dog handler. He requires an owner capable of training with a firm yet rewarding approach or he will position himself as the "alpha dog" (taking charge) if not taught at an early age that you're the boss.

When hunting, he finds and follows the scent of his prey. Once he has found his prey he stands firm with his nose held high and his tail raised in a pointing stance until the hunter arrives and gives the command to flush the game to flight, which he will do cautiously. Once the hunter has made the kill he will retrieve the prey.

Top of page
Breed Type

AKC Group: Sporting Group (Hunting Dog)

Originally bred as a gun dog for hunting. While used mostly for hunting grouse and pheasant, the German Short-haired Pointer is adept at hunting most any type of prey in fields, swamps, woods, or mountainous terrains.

AKC Standards say, "Indicative of this dog's versatility is its successful work on pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge, jacksnipe, woodcock, duck, rabbits, coon, and possum. It is also used to trail and handle deer. With a water-repellent coat and webbed feet, it retrieves well from rough terrain or icy waters."

Top of page
Care and Grooming

Exercise: He is an athletic hunting dog requiring lots of outdoor activity. An athletic owner willing to take him on sporting expeditions such as hiking and hunting is best suited for this breed of dog.

Grooming: Should be brushed one to two times weekly and bathed four to five times annually. Ears and toes should be kept clean and dry.


Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 Years

Possible Problems:
Addison's disease
Cancer - in some lines
Ear infections
Heart disease
Hip Dysplasia
Genetic eye diseases
Low Thyroid
Skin Cancer
vWD - a blood disorder

Recommended Certificates:
CERF (eyes)
OFA (hips)

Country of Origin

Germany - 1800s

More Photos

german shorthaired pointer
sitting german shorthaired pointer
german shorthaired pointer
solid liver german shorthaired pointer
german shorthaired pointer pointing at a bird
German Shorthaired Pointer pointing at a bird.
older german shorthaired pointer named Henry
Henry is an older dog who does swimming exercises to help his stiff joints. This image was taken at the Canine Country Day School in Manchester, CT. He has since moved to MA.

Top of page
book cover