GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER 101! Everything You Need To Know About The German Shorthaired Pointer
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Where does the German Shorthaired Pointer come from? The German Shorthaired Pointer originates – you guessed it – in Germany, where the breed was developed as a gundog in the course of the 19th century. Its specialty lies in its excellence both in the water and on land. Now, what exactly does that mean? German Shorthaired Pointers would retrieve waterfowl shot down by the hunter from lakes, marshlands and rivers – much like a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. But with equal accuracy, these keen workers would point out hidden game to their owner. Up to this day, the dog’s signal for nearby quarry is them standing very still, sometimes with one paw lifted in the classical Pointer pose. Over the centuries, the breed was further refined, but has always been used predominantly in its capacity as hunting companion. But history and talents aside: It is impossible not to acknowledge the sheer beauty of the German Shorthaired Pointer. Its elegant, well-muscled and athletic body speaks of great endurance, agility and speed. And its characteristic short, often spotted, coat is a sheer joy to look at. The German Shorthaired Pointer is of medium size, has dark brown eyes, relatively long, floppy ears and a long, strong muzzle designed for retrieving heavy game. Similar to other dogs bred to working in the water (like the Newfoundland) German Shorthaired Pointers have webbed feet which make them particularly powerful swimmers. What is their temperament like? These beautiful dogs come with an immensely kind and gentle nature. They make superb family dogs who are best suited as playmates for older children, as they can accidentally knock over younger kids due to their boisterous temperament. Curious and playful, they are always up for action. When socialized from an early age, German Shorthaired Pointers not only get along well with other dogs, but also with other pets in the household. These loving and mellow dogs love to cuddle with their people and tend to follow them around like shadows. When exercised enough, they are very calm in the house and can be easily trained to adhere to house rules. German Shorthaired Pointers form extraordinarily strong bonds with their people and are deeply devoted to them. Therefore, even if you are working your Pointer as a hunting dog, you should allow them to live with you in the house. How intelligent and trainable are German Shorthaired Pointers? These dogs are quite easy to train, intelligent and always keen to please their handlers. If you yourself are a passionate hunter, and you need a highly trainable and versatile dog to assist you, the German Shorthaired is an excellent choice. Their extremely high levels of energy and endurance make them ideal for working in the field for many hours on end. In their working attitude, these highly intelligent dogs are enthusiastic, reliable, and highly driven: This is not a dog to give up easily on any given task – for example, when asked to search and find game, he will persevere until he is either successful – or you call him off. In their role as hunting dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers are used for “fur and feather”, in other words, they assist in the hunt for game (like rabbits, wild boar and deer) as well as in the hunt for birds (like quails, ducks, geese or pheasant). Are German Shorthaired Pointers healthy dogs? German Shorthaired Pointers are very healthy and robust, and can easily live up to around 12 – 14 years. However, some dogs can suffer from diseases such as dysplasia, epilepsy and entropion. Other potential health threats include Van Willebrand's Disease, cancer and bloat. Therefore, it is advisable to only buy your German Shorthaired Pointers puppy from a reputable breeder who performs pre-breeding health testing as a matter of course (in other words, a breeder who performs health-checks on both parents of your puppy). And who provides you with a health certificate for your puppy. How much exercise does the German Shorthaired Pointer need? German Shorthaired Pointers are serious working dogs who need several hours of exercise on a daily basis. If you are a nature lover yourself, who likes nothing more than to spend lots of time outside, this breed could well be the perfect choice for you. After all, the great outdoors is the natural habitat of a hunting breed like the German Shorthaired, and these dogs will absolutely enjoy exploring nature along with you. As these dogs are highly trainable, you can easily teach them to accompany you on your bicycle rides, or mountain bike excursions. Of course, they will be just as happy to engage in trail runs with you, or to come along for hikes. If you like camping – all the better: These dogs adapt quickly to new situations and requirements. As the German Shorthaired has been bred to be a skilled Retriever, swimming comes to them quite naturally, especially when encouraged to do so at an early age. Therefore, your dog will gladly jump into the water with you, or retrieve sticks and toys for you. What are their grooming requirements? German Shorthaired Pointers have short, smooth coats that hardly get dirty, which makes these beautiful hunters extremely easy to groom. They shed moderately throughout the years, but you can easily pre-empt their hairs getting everywhere in the house – simply by brushing them twice or three a week with a firm bristle brush. For shedding season, I recommend using a Furminator for short-haired breeds. As their long, floppy ears are prone to infection, check and clean them once a week.