About German Shorthaired Pointer
Aside from being a very reliable hunting dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the best family dogs you can ever wish for. They are very intelligent and easily trainable, making them a good candidate for any type of service dog or guard dog, while their mild temperament and cooperative nature would make this breed one of the best emotional support animals there is.
This Pointer is a fairly large breed, with male specimens going up to 75 pounds, meaning that this dog will require more space and possibly easy access to the outside. Additionally, they can eat quite a bit and need a diverse diet to develop properly and stay healthy.
Despite the issue of size, any dog lover that opts to bring this dog home will learn that there was never a family member so loyal and so loving as the German Shorthaired Pointer. According to the American Kennel Club, the GSP is in the 12th most popular breed of dog in the United States.
Shorthairs are hunting dogs, and they will prefer eating poultry and beef, as well as venison. While some of these foods might be hard to come by to feed raw food to your GSP, canned dog food is a good option here as it will provide the dog with enough protein and fat, as well as other ingredients, that they will not require you to hunt as to feed them properly.
As with most dogs, the basis of the dog’s diet is animal protein, and Shorthair owners should ensure that the dog gets suitable amounts of novel protein every now and then. As there are such products readily available on the market, completing such a feat should not be as hard now as it once was.
The rest of the dog’s diet should be comprised of fat and a few carbs. While oats and whole grain are acceptable, Pointer will have trouble digesting any corn, wheat, or grain. If you are feeding you GSP with dry kibble, ensure that none of these ingredients are used as fillers, and that meat is always the dominant ingredient.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is probably one of the easiest breeds to groom, as they don’t require any specialized grooming aside from weekly brushing and an occasional bath if they start to smell.
While not considered grooming as much as hygiene, you should check the dog under the ears quite often, as that is the usual source of infection.
For both German Shorthaired Pointer puppies and adult GSP dogs, you will need to check their teeth often and inspect if their gums have any inflammation. No daily brushing is required, but you should supply your dog with dental sticks and sometimes give a gentle brush over their teeth with a specialized brush for dogs.
Finally, some GSP owners use chamois cloths to make their dog’s fur shiny and sleek, but this has no effects except aesthetic ones, and maybe a bit of bonding.
This breed needs a lot of vigorous workouts, and unless you have enough space to let it run around fetching chasing, you will probably lack the energy to walk it as much as it needs. In running terms, they would need about two hours of heavy jogging each day to be satisfied, and short for those who are preparing for a marathon this will be too much effort.
The best course of action is to find a nice tennis ball, as well as a large park, and to play fetch for a couple of hours. Also, you can use a laser pointer to make the dog try to catch the dot, not knowing that that is much harder than it seems. These methods will take as much time as would jogging, but significantly less energy on the owners part.
In the end, this original German hound can be trained to run on their own, with you only making a starting point.
Training of a GSP should start as soon as they are puppies with basic obedience training such as recall, sit, stay, and leave it. The last one is particularly important as young Shorthairs will want to taste everything, and there are a lot of things that are very toxic to them which they should avoid at all costs.
Once you bring the puppy home, give it an opportunity to sense your scent, as well as the smell of other members of the family. This is very important for both the dog’s training and their general psychology as they will remember those scents as familiar and always be friendly when they are around.
Both with pups and adult dogs you should only use positive reinforcement and treats that are not a part of the dog’s usual diet such as cheese or some other doggy treats.
While specialized training is more than possible for this dog, you should be totally certain that you will not give the dog to the wrong trainer as there is still an active practice of docking tails to make the dogs better hunters, which is not only factually incorrect but cannot be described in any way but as animal abuse.
German Shorthaired Pointers are considered to be a relatively healthy breed, as they don’t have any ingrained health issues. As is common with larger dogs, some hip dysplasia might happen either during birth or later in life, and if you see your GSP walk unevenly, you should get a hip x-ray as to be certain nothing of the sorts is happening. Similarly, older dogs can have osteochondrosisdissecans or other skeletal issues which should be relieved with some minor medication and proper nutrition.
Finally, as the years pass, your boy puppy will get some issues that have to do with old age, but Shorthairs have no overwhelming problems that are doomed to cause the medical problems.
The Bottom Line
While German Shorthaired Pointers are primarily hunting dogs, this is far from the limit of their abilities. They are very good service dogs, excellent guard dogs, will be perfect for an emotional support animal, and most of all they consider themselves a part of the family.
If you have enough space to house this dog, and enough time to exercise it, you will find that there are few breeds that will take as good care of you and those close to you as a Shorthair would.