Critter Culture
The Noble German Shorthaired Pointer

The Noble German Shorthaired Pointer

Critter Culture Staff



German shorthaired pointers are excellent hunting dogs that also make an ideal family companion. This breed can track deer, hunt birds, and track down rabbits, but a German shorthaired pointer is also happy to curl up next to you on the couch. These dogs are a nice size, measuring between 21 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 70 pounds.


German shorthairs make great family dogs

German short-haired pointer standing on grass and looking away. Alexandra Draghici / Getty Images

German shorthaired pointers love to be outside, but at their core, they're house dogs. They develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long, and they should never be kept in a kennel or pen. They may choose a special person in the family to bond with. This breed is enthusiastic about everything, whether it's work or play.


German shorthairs are a little too much for toddlers

Walking a big dog without a muzzle Serhii Ivashchuk / Getty Images

German shorthaired pointers do well with children, especially if they're raised with them. Because they are so full of energy, they're great playmates for older kids, but this same enthusiasm makes them a poor choice for a home with toddlers. A German shorthaired wouldn't hurt a younger member of the family on purpose, but could easily knock them over.


They may be aggressive toward other pets

other pets animals WilleeCole / Getty Images

With proper socialization, German shorthaired pointers can get along with other dogs, but they can be aggressive, especially toward members of the same sex. Keep in mind that these are hunting dogs, and they don't always get along with smaller animals and might see pets like rabbits and guinea pigs as prey.


They need a lot of exercise

exercise activity run heartbar / Getty Images

German shorthaired pointers are very physical and will join you in just about any type of exercise. They make great running, walking, or hiking partners and are even likely to jump into the swimming pool with you. If they don't get enough exercise, German shorthairs become anxious and can get destructive. Plan on excising them for at least an hour every day.


German shorthaired pointers are highly trainable

german shorthaired pointer thegoodphoto / Getty Images

Although German shorthaired pointers are loving and loyal, they have a bit of an independent streak because they often have to perform independently when out on the hunt. Consistently and kindness are the best approaches to training. When this breed is treated harshly, it's stubborn side comes through, and it's less likely to be receptive.


This healthy breed can live as long as 15 years

healthy dog lifespan jjMiller11 / Getty Images

This breed is generally healthy and has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. German shorthaired pointers are prone to some health conditions, though, including hip dysplasia, eye defects, bloat, and a bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease. Certain cancers are also more common with German shorthairs, including mammary tumors, mast cell tumors, and lymphosarcoma.


They love to hunt

hunting forest companion parys / Getty Images

The German shorthaired pointer is a rare sporting breed that excels at just about every aspect of hunting. They work as both a hunter and retriever and are suited to hunt birds, raccoons, rabbits, waterfowl, and deer. This breed is willing to do whatever you ask of it, making it an ideal companion for any hunter.


The pointer's distinct markings

German shorthaired pointer standing outside

German shorthaired pointers are rather distinctive looking. Their short, thick coat is water-repellent and slightly longer along the rear, legs, and the tail. The most common color is deep liver red, often with patches of white. Their coats can also be marked with isolated areas of black hair on a white background or roan with white hairs mixed throughout, lightening the overall color.


Grooming is easy

grooming easy brush npage / Getty Images

Grooming this breed is easy. Use a firm bristle brush once a week, and bathe when needed. Depending on how often your German shorthaired pointer gets outside, the bathing frequency can vary significantly. If they spend a lot of time in the woods or fields, check their paws frequently for injuries, and examine the floppy ears regularly for signs of infection.


Pointers are not apartment dogs

German Shorthaired Pointer dog running in field

German shorthaired pointers are not suitable for apartment living. They need plenty of room to play and exercise, and a home with a big backyard and a high fence is preferred. They're also not suited to being left at home for long periods and may get destructive with the combination of not enough exercise and too much time at home alone.


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