The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed of dog developed in the 1800s in Germany for hunting. This gun dog was developed by crossing an older German Pointer breed with the English Pointer to create a lean, athletic, and responsive breed. Some authorities consider it to be the most versatile of all gun dogs and its intelligence and affectionate nature make it a popular companion dog for active owners.
The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is short, flat, thick, and harsh. It is dense enough to be water-resistant. The color can be liver (often called chestnut), black, or either color with white. Commonly the head is a solid or nearly solid color and the body is white that is speckled or ticked with liver or black, with saddles or large patches of solid color. Roan coats also occur and, rarely, yellow coloring.
It has moderately long flop ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy furred game. Its tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries.
The breed is lean, athletic, and graceful yet powerful, with strong hindquarters that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. Various breed standards set its height at the withers anywhere between 21 and 26 inches (53 to 65 cm), making this a large breed. Adults typically weigh from 55 to 70 lbs (25 to 32 kg), with the bitch usually slightly shorter and lighter than the male.
This variety of German Pointer can be shy; however, it is usually good with children and is affectionate and loyal, making it a good companion dog. These dogs crave interaction and have been referred to as "velcro dogs" often needing to be in physical contact with a member of their human family or very nearby, sometime almost underfoot. It needs plenty of vigorous activity, so it is not a good pet for an inactive home. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs. Some Shorthaired Pointers make good watchdogs, but others are too good-natured.
Like the other German Pointersâ€”the German Wirehaired Pointer and the German Longhaired Pointerâ€”this is one of the few hunting breeds that can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, bird dog and water dog, can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound's talented nose. It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities.
This is an intelligent and trainable breed. Like most intelligent dogs, it can have a mind of its own and so the breed requires training to ensure that it understands that the owner is in charge. Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, its intelligence and biddability (trainability) continue to make this one of the more popular large breeds.
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