GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER VS GERMAN SHEPHERD
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The German Shorthaired Pointer was bred and developed in, well you guessed it, Germany. They were bred to not only retrieve downed fowl for hunters but to also track mammals, like deer, on land. At the end of the day, the sleek German Shorthair Pointer went home with its hunter and resumed its role as a loving member of the family. The German Shepherd dog was also bred and developed in Germany, but with a different role in mind. The German Shepherd was originally bred to protect farms and herds of sheep. They originally were not thought of as companions or brought into the house and stayed with the livestock all the time. That being said, they have excelled off the farm and in the home full-time.
Both the German Shorthaired Pointer and German Shepherd are high-energy working breeds that love having a job to do. The Pointer excels at tracking, and literally pointing out game for hunters as well as retrieving downed fowl from watery areas thanks to its water repellent double coat. Because of their energy level, they are prone to escaping the yard and will wander wherever their nose takes them. The German Shepherd is similar in that it is an extraordinarily gifted scent dog like the Pointer but tends to stay close to home as it is a guardian breed. German Shepherds are well known for the police and military work they've done in both protection and scent detection as well as being service dogs to those with disabilities.
German Shorthaired Pointers were bred to work independently and away from the hunter as it attracts and retrieves game, they are highly intelligent and will make decisions for themselves. That being said they are extremely willing to please but can be bored easily and become stubborn if not given the proper mental stimulation. The German Shepherd is also very eager to please and intelligent but will not become stubborn or willful out of boredom so much as they will if they don't see you as their calm consistent canine leader.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is 20 - 30 pounds smaller than the German Shepherd weighing in between 45 and 70 pounds depending on male or female with males being larger. They have a very dense undercoat and a sleek water repellent outer coat along with webbed feet that make them excellent swimmers. For a double-coated breed, they have some of the most minimal grooming requirements out there. We see the biggest contrast between the breeds in their coats and grooming requirements since the German Shepherd is known for its very long, dense, fluffy coat and undercoat. The German Shepherd will require brushing daily and quite a bit of care in the grooming department compared to the Pointer. They are also bigger and range from 75 - 95 pounds, and of course the bigger the dog the more fur they have to shed all over your house.
The Pointer is a rambunctious and energetic breed so they do best with older children that they aren't as likely to knock over. They are a loving and loyal family dog but do tend to bond more closely to the person that works with them most often. They are a decent watchdog because they are wary of strangers but they are typically not unfriendly. The German Shepherd on the other hand is good with all children and once they mature have a good sense of when they need to be gentle. The German Shepherd is very protective and known for its excellent guardian and protection instincts.
The Pointer loves to be around its family, like most canines, and though it is an independent thinker because of its original purpose, they can be prone to separation anxiety. The German Shepherd is similar in that they tend to bond closely with one person, but they are affectionate with the whole family. Both breeds are loyal and steadfast companions who will generally look to you for guidance.
Depending on your lifestyle you may find that the German Shorthaired Pointer or the German Shepherd fit better into your home. The biggest differences between the breeds being the grooming requirements and guarding instincts. For an experienced owner that wants a highly trainable dog with low grooming requirements then you can't go wrong with the German Shorthaired Pointer.