German Shorthaired Pointers are a popular breed and for good reason.
They’re loyal, loving, and intelligent. They were bred to work and couldn’t be happier than when on task with their people.
However, it’s important to remain realistic when choosing a canine companion.
They may seem perfect from afar, but being a hunting dog, they may not be suitable for all families.
Whether it be high prey drive or their boundless energy, you may need to reconsider.
So, if you’re on the fence and aren’t quite sure about this breed being right for you: this may be the post you’ve been looking for.
It can be all too easy to get caught up in the positives of a dog breed. We’re here to be honest and tell you the downsides as well.
That’s why we’ll be focusing on 5 reasons why you shouldn’t get a German Shorthaired Pointer.
5. German Shorthaired Pointers Have a High Prey Drive
This breed was bred to hunt and they are absolutely amazing at what they do. They were bred to hunt small game such as rabbits, racoons, birds, and they’ve even been known to help hunt deer.
This is great if and only if you’re looking for a hunting dog and don’t want to have other small animals around.
Like all hunting dogs, this breed has a very high prey drive. They chase relentlessly and with deadly intent. That’s their job.
It’s not impossible to train them not to chase smaller animals, but it’s a difficult task and must be started at a very early age to have a chance at success.
Even then, accidents can happen. Those Pointers specifically from hunting lines will also have a more ingrained prey drive and struggle more to not chase small animals.
You must also remember that if their prey drive kicks in, they aren’t going to differentiate what is actually prey and what is not.
So, if you have small animals or plan on getting some soon, this breed most likely isn’t for you.
Small animals include things like cats, rabbits and even toy dog breeds.
4. German Shorthaired Pointers like to Jump
Jumping is one of the most common behavioural issues this breed faces.
They’re energetic, excitable and friendly. This is especially true of them when they’re younger.
It can be difficult for them to contain themselves and all of that excitement when meeting new people or when family comes home from work and school.
If you have older children such as teenages, jumping may not be too big of a deal, but small children and even elderly family members can be knocked over by accident and get hurt.
This behaviour can be corrected and worked on, but no dog is without fail. Sometimes they’re just going to be too excited to hold it all in.
So, while they’re friendly and sociable, it may not be the right choice if you need a dog that’s good with children or older family members.
3. German Shorthaired Pointers are Meant to be with People
As much as these dogs were bred for hunting, they were also bred to be companion animals.
They thrive on interacting and working with their people. Add this to their constant energy supply and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
It’s very easy for them to develop separation anxiety. So, if you work long hours or aren’t home often, this most likely isn’t the breed for you.
They have a strong need and desire to participate in family activities.
If left home alone, they can become very destructive. They may chew up furniture, shoes, the carpet, walls. They may even accidentally hurt themselves if they run around in a panic and knock things over.
They also don’t do well in a home where they’re expected to live outside.
They want to be a part of the family even if it’s everyday life. They won’t be happy if left outside on their own while you’re in the house.
This breed is much better suited for those who are active and like to take their dog everywhere they go.
2. German Shorthaired Pointers Take a Long Time to Mature
German Shorthaired Pointers are incredibly intelligent and normally easy to train, but it can be challenging and frustrating when they’re younger.
The puppy years come with many challenges. High energy, attention problems, willfulness and independence. All of these can be navigated with patience and for most breeds it doesn’t feel like it lasts long at all.
With this breed however, those puppy years can last upwards of three years.
German Shorthaired Pointers also never grow fully out of their puppy-like energy either, so energy and attention span can always be an issue if these dogs aren’t trained properly and as soon as possible.
During the puppy phase, this breed can be willful and may not be able to pay attention.
They’ll want to check out any interesting smells and exploring the world will be their favourite pastime. That can make training sessions frustrating for both you and your canine companion.
You’ll want to focus on training and they’ll want to focus on exploring. Taking frequent breaks and keeping calm will be a must.
Even once they’ve reached maturity, Pointers can maintain their independent mindset and may disobey commands if they don’t feel like doing what is asked at the moment.
This can be a very hard mindset to train and it is a big undertaking.
So, while this dog is smart and training can lead to incredible results, they take a lot of patience and time.
They also do very well with structure in their day and proper obedience training is a must.
If you’re impatient or don’t have the time, this breed most likely isn’t for you.
1. German Shorthaired Pointers Have Boundless Energy
This breed has an endless supply of energy and they need an owner who understands what they need. They’ll need a guiding hand to help them find a positive outlet.
A walk around the block and a game of fetch are not going to be enough for these dogs.
They’ll need vigorous exercise every day. You’ll be taking them out on runs, swims, hikes and more.
These are the kind of dog that will find success and enjoyment out of things like agility training, because physical exercise won’t be enough.
They need a task to go with all of that running around they love so much.
If they don’t get enough physical and mental exercise with their owner, they can and will seek out their own jobs and entertainment to try and satisfy their need to do things.
This can include getting into trash cans, climbing fences and even destroying furniture.
They’re a very active breed and if you can’t keep up, or are looking for a less active breed, the German Shorthaired Pointer is not for you.
Don’t get us wrong, German Shorthaired Pointers are amazing companions, they just aren’t for everyone.
It’s easy to romanticise any dog breed and boil them down to only what we consider the good parts, but you need to remember, there are upsides and downsides to everything.
So, even if this dog isn’t for you, that’s okay! There are so many wonderful canines out there looking for a home. You’ll find your perfect match.
Do you own a German Shorthaired Pointer? Have you always loved the breed?
Share your stories with us over social media. We’re always happy to hear from you!
Why might the high prey drive of a German Shorthaired Pointer be a concern?
The high prey drive in German Shorthaired Pointers, stemming from their hunting origins, can be problematic if you have small pets or live in an area with wildlife. These dogs may chase smaller animals instinctively, and while this drive can be managed with training, it requires early and consistent effort, and there's always a risk when instinct kicks in.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers suitable for families with small children or the elderly?
While German Shorthaired Pointers are friendly and sociable, their tendency to jump in excitement can be an issue for families with small children or elderly members who may be accidentally knocked over. Training can help mitigate jumping behavior, but it's something to consider if you have vulnerable family members.
Can German Shorthaired Pointers be left alone for long periods?
German Shorthaired Pointers thrive on companionship and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. They are not suitable for owners who work long hours away from home unless arrangements are made to ensure the dog has company and stimulation. Without this, they may become destructive in the home.
How long do German Shorthaired Pointers take to mature?
German Shorthaired Pointers can take up to three years to reach full maturity. During this extended puppy phase, they can display high energy levels, attention problems, and willfulness. They require patient, consistent training and an owner who can provide structure and engage them in constructive activities.
What level of activity do German Shorthaired Pointers require?
German Shorthaired Pointers have an abundance of energy and require a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Simply walking around the block is insufficient; they need vigorous daily activities like running, swimming, and hiking, alongside tasks such as agility training to keep them mentally engaged. They are best suited for active owners who can match their energy and commitment to training.