German Shorthaired Pointer Gundogs: What You Need to Know
Shorthaired Pointer Gundogs One of the most popular hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) gundog breeds, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is the perfect example of an all-rounder: excellent on point, a soft-mouthed retriever and thorough when searching for game. Their shape, size and coat make them a wonderful choice for a gundog, and they are also an excellent companion dog for an outdoorsy and active family.
Why a German Shorthaired Pointer?
First and foremost, GSPs are versatile and have a natural drive to hunt out prey. They learn fast and early, are easy to train and fairly easy to source from breeders. They are also one of the main dog breeds used in many types of field trials and contests.
The GSP is a popular gundog breed and has been for over 100 years. Mid-19th-century breeders in Germany set out to create a versatile gundog that would hunt all species of game birds and waterfowl, along with small game animals. Also, the canine would scent track big game such as deer and find and dispatch predators like a fox when necessary.
Genetic sources for this dog come from around Western Europe, such as the English pointer and possibly the English setter. By around 1870 the breed was established in Germany. By the 1930s the breed’s genetics were well recognised, and the German Shorthaired Pointer had become the dog seen today in form and function.
It could almost be said the GSP is ready made. Like with all gundogs, it is often better to get them as a puppy, and you can expect great results on their retrieving and other skills within less than a year. As the dogs have a strong hunting drive and instinct, owners need to make sure they train their dogs well to recall to the whistle, by stopping, in addition to the usual basic obedience commands.
Different lines of GSPs have a variety of hunting drives and methods. Some are fast running dogs who work well with big plains or fields. Others with a slower pace are happier in wooded areas or around hedgerows. However, being a versatile breed, GSPs will happily hunt for game in all terrains, from woodland and heath to marshes and wetlands. GSPs also enjoy swimming and retrieving from water.
For a breed that has been designed to do all of the above, it needs a body to match. GSPs have strong bones and powerful muscles which are combined with an elegant outline. Heights range from as small as 53cm, to tall as 64cm, the smaller being bitches and larger being dogs.
Many people when choosing a puppy, no matter the breed, will use coat colour and markings as a defining factor. German Shorthaired Pointers come in a variety of colours and markings; the most usual are liver and white. These may have ticking, patching, spotting or roaning markings, and the liver colour can be pale or dark. Another popular coat colour is solid liver, with a little white on the chest or feet. In the last few decades, imports from Germany have also meant there have been some black and white and solid black GSPs.
The short hair of the coat also makes GSPs practical, in a way other gundogs like spaniels are not. Their short hair means it is easy to pick out bugs and remove ticks, along with locating and treating cuts or abrasions. Another advantage of their short hair is that they dry fast after getting wet and the short coat means GSPs stay cool in hot summer temperatures. Click Here…