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German pointer: description, nature and diseases [veterinarian's recommendations

German pointer

German pointer is derived from the so-called. old German pointer. It was a heavy built, slow dog bred approx. Eighteenth century as a result of the crossbreeding of European hunting races and scoundrels. Over the years, German breeders strived to obtain an ideal dog for hunting birds, and so at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, after the association of the above-mentioned pointers with lighter pointers, individuals were obtained much faster and more versatile, the appearance of which corresponded to today's German Shorthaired Pointer. Pointer). They have been described as born retrievers, working both on land and in water, with a great sense of smell and tremendous endurance, and as intelligent and vigilant family guardians. In Europe and in the United States, it was quickly realized how talented the pointer dog was and, as hunting dogs, they were used to hunt rabbits, raccoons, deer and water birds. The GSPs not only loved to swim, they did it excellently thanks to their athletic build and interdigital membranes.
First German Shorthaired Pointer were brought to the United States in the late 1920s, and in 1930. the breed was recognized by the AKC, becoming more popular every year. In addition to the German shorthaired pointer, there is also the German wirehaired pointer, and the less known - longhair and wirehaired pointer. Breeds such as the poodlepointer, the Korthals griffon and the German wirehaired pointer were used to create the wirehaired pointer. Each variety has its own pattern and is considered a separate breed, but this article will discuss the general characteristics of these varieties in aggregate.

According to the FCI classification German pointer belongs to group 7.

  • German pointer character
  • German Shorthaired Pointer breed standard
    • German pointer description of the breed
  • German wirehaired pointer
  • German long-haired pointer
  • Grooming and feeding of German pointers
  • German pointer disease
    • Von Willebrand disease
    • Gangliosidosis I
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Cataract
    • Entropium
    • Dilation and torsion of the stomach
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Pannus
  • Who is the dog of this breed for?

German pointer character

German pointer character

The German pointer is a dog with a well-developed hunting instinct, suitable for work both on land and in water, perfectly tracking and retrieving. On a daily basis, they are dogs with a balanced temperament, non-aggressive, but also fearless. They have excellent manners, are obedient and intelligent. However, they require consistent and patient training and early socialization. They are suitable for watchdogs and family dogs, but due to their size, their games with small children should be supervised. These dogs need a lot of exercise and activities, preferably in the form of daily, varied training, long walks or running in the park. Since they can chase small game, we only let them on a leash in safe places. GSPs do not like to be bored, so as long as we satisfy their need for both physical and mental activity, they spend the rest of the day as quiet household members. However, if we forget about it, the quadruped will take matters into his hands, which most often includes activities such as barking, digging pits in the garden, climbing a fence and other activities involving the broadly understood destruction of property.

German Shorthaired Pointer breed standard

What a German Shorthaired Pointer looks like?

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a dog of proportional build with a silhouette inscribed in a rectangle.

German scale pointerThe body weight of an adult individual is approx. 25 - 30 kg.
German pointer greatnessThe height at the withers of a male dog is 62-66 cm, and a height of a female dog is 58-63 cm.

German pointer description of the breed

HeadDry with a slightly pronounced occipital tuberosity and a poorly pronounced stop.
The muzzleLong and broad with a straight or slightly humped bridge of the nose.
Nose mirrorBlack, brown or flesh colored depending on the color of the dog.
EyesMedium size, dark in color, not too deeply set.
EarsSet high, close to the head.
JawsStrong with a full set of teeth set in a scissor bite.
NeckDry and muscular, slightly curved and widening towards the shoulders.
RidgeStraight with clearly marked withers.
ChestBroad and deep with well sprung ribs.
LoinsShort and wide.
BellySlightly tucked up.
TailMedium length, set high, tapering towards the end.
LimbsStraight and parallel.
PawsRounded with tight toes and strong claws.
German pointer description of the breed

German pointer, coat

The coat is short, hard and dense. Colors:

  • Brown,
  • with brown markings,
  • dark roan, light roan, black or white with a brown head and patches or speckles.

Yellow afterburns, plaques and flecked lips allowed.

German wirehaired pointer

German wirehaired pointer

German wirehaired pointer is slightly taller than German Shorthaired Pointer.

German wirehaired pointer LibraThe body weight of the animals is approximately 27-32 kg.
The size of the German wirehaired pointerThe height at the withers of a male dog is 61-68 cm, and a bitch 57-64 cm.

Color of the German wirehaired pointer

Medium-length, hard and coarse hair cover with a dense, water-resistant undercoat. Colors:

  • Brown,
  • roan brown with or without patches,
  • roan black with or without patches.

Clear bushy eyebrows and a beard on the head.

German long-haired pointer

German long-haired pointer, greatnessHeight at the withers of a male dog approx. 60 - 70 cm and females 58 - 66 cm.
German longhaired pointer LibraBody weight is about 30 kg.

German longhaired pointer coat

The hair cover is long and straight or slightly wavy, with a dense undercoat. Colors:

  • Brown,
  • brown with white patches or spots,
  • roan dark,
  • light roan,
  • spotted,
  • pure brown or white, or with a few spots.

The remaining construction features are similar.

Grooming and feeding of German pointers

German pointers care

The waterproof coat of the German Shorthaired Pointer, helping to isolate the skin not only from water but also from the cold, it is relatively easy to care for. It is enough to brush it once a week with a rubber glove or a brush with hard bristles, which will keep it in good condition and allow you to remove dead hair, which will fall out in slightly larger amounts during periods of shedding. Hair is tough and easily digested into the materials, making it difficult to remove. Periodically we bathe our pet and check the cleanliness of the ears and the length of the claws.

German Shorthaired Pointer feeding

IN feeding dogs of the German Shorthaired Pointer breed we can use ready-made dog food or prepare properly balanced meals ourselves at home. In the case of adults, the food dose is divided into at least two administrations to minimize the risk of gastric torsion.

German pointer disease

German pointer disease

Von Willebrand disease

Von Willebrand disease is an inherited blood clotting disorder associated with the deficiency of the so-called. von Willebrand factor, which is involved in the adhesion of platelets to damaged endothelium and is a transport protein for factor VIII. In the case of German pointers it is an autosomal recessive disorder that is rare and manifests as severe coagulation disorders.

Symptoms of this disease are spontaneous mucosal bleeding and excessive bleeding following surgery, trauma or in heat in bitches. The final diagnosis is based on the von Willebrand factor ELISA result.

Gangliosidosis I

Gangliosidosis is a disease classified as. lysosomal storage diseases, the essence of which is the excessive accumulation of substances in the body that physiologically should be broken down and removed by enzymes. In gangliosidosis I there is a deficiency of the enzyme galactosidase. The disease manifests itself in puppies aged 4 - 6 months in the form of various disorders of the nervous system and dwarfism. Gangliosidosis is an inherited disease.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a hereditary defect in which the structures that make up the hip joint are not properly shaped. The occurrence of dysplasia is also favored by various environmental factors, such as e.g. improper nutrition during the period of growth, too much exercise and an incorrect balance of macronutrients in a puppy's diet. The first symptoms of the disease may appear in dogs a few months old, and these are mainly reluctance to move, difficulty getting up and a preference for lying down. Hip dysplasia can also be diagnosed only in older dogs, when changes in the joints develop slowly and chronic injuries secondarily stabilize the joint, masking the developing disease. In a clinical trial, painful manipulation in the hip joint (s) and looseness of the knee joints are observed. Early detection of the defect gives much more treatment options, so it is advisable to perform prophylactic X-ray pictures in sedation in puppies without clinical symptoms. Treatment of dysplasia may be surgical or pharmacological, depending on the age of the animal, body weight and the severity of degenerative changes. The most common surgical procedures are: triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO), DARtroplasty, resection of the femoral head and operations on the comb muscle.

In animals that are not eligible for surgery, pharmacological therapies are used.

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a disease involving the incorrect formation of the articular surfaces of the structures included in the elbow joints and is a genetic defect. It includes the following sub-units:

  1. Unfixed accessory ulnar (UAP).
  2. Fragmentation of the medial peak process (FCP).
  3. Osteochondrosis of the medial epicondyle of the humerus (OCD).
  4. Articular Mismatch (EI).

The defect manifests itself most often in puppies from 6 to 12 months of age and mainly affects large and giant breed dogs. There is lameness of varying severity, stiff gait and reluctance to bend and straighten the limbs in the elbows. A clinical examination and an X-ray image are used for diagnostics. Surgery is the treatment of choice, and conservative treatment is used in some cases.


Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the essence of the thyroid gland is reduced production of hormones responsible for regulating the metabolism of the whole organism. The most common cause of this condition is lymphocytic thyroiditis. The symptoms of the disease are diverse and include:.in.: listlessness, weight gain, panting, recurrent skin lesions, increased thirst and urination, heat disorders and others. The diagnosis is made by measuring the levels of thyroid hormones (T4 and fT4) in the blood. Treatment is carried out for the life of the animal and consists of the daily administration of synthetic levothyroxine in the form of tablets. Periodic check-ups are recommended to optimize the dose of the drug.


Cataracts are the progressive clouding of the lens of the eye, causing visual impairment and, over time, complete loss of vision. Hereditary cataract is probably conditioned by an autosomal recessive gene. In the course of the disease, changes occur in the lens, leading to the precipitation of insoluble proteins and a reduction in translucency. Clinically, a cataract is suspected because of the appearance of a whitish disc that is visible through the pupillary opening of the iris. Ophthalmoscopic examination is used for diagnostics. Cataracts are only surgically treated.


Entropion is a defect of the eyelids consisting in rolling the edge of the eyelid inwards, i.e. towards the eyeball. The eyelashes that grow there cause chronic irritation and damage to the cornea. Additional symptoms that can be observed with this defect include:.in. tearing, blepharospasm, and corneal ulcers. Surgical plastic surgery is the only treatment method.

Dilation and torsion of the stomach

Stomach dilation is the enlargement of the stomach by consuming too much rapidly fermenting food. It is also favored by physical activity, performed shortly after a meal. Dilation begins with symptoms such as lethargy or restlessness, shortness of breath and enlarged abdominal outline. When the stomach is additionally twisted, a life-threatening situation arises. The closure of the inlet and the pylorus results in the inability to pass food and it is retained in the stomach. The dog then tries to vomit unsuccessfully, and as a result of the stomach pressing on the vessels and the diaphragm, the pressure drops and shock occurs. In the case of gastric dilatation, probing is performed, while in the case of twisting, surgery is required.

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis, i.e. muscle fatigue, is a chronic disease involving disturbance of nerve conduction within the neuromuscular plates. In the case of congenital form, reduced or incorrect synthesis of acetylcholine receptors is observed. Symptoms include episodic post-exercise weakness, often accompanied by pathological dilation of the esophagus. In diagnostics, a test with the use of a cholinesterase blocker is used, which, by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, increases the stimulation of receptors. The treatment mainly involves glucocorticosteroids. The most common complication is aspiration pneumonia.


Pannus is a chronic superficial keratitis. In the course of the disease, there are 3 degrees:

  1. Grade 1 - a gray-red spot initially appears on the cornea, elevated above its surface.
  2. Grade 2 - pathological tissue spreads to less than half the surface of the cornea.
  3. Grade 3 - more than half of the surface of the cornea is occupied by the altered tissue.

Treatment, depending on the severity, is based on local therapy with steroids, antibiotics, cyclosporine or keratectomy.

Who is the dog of this breed for?

Is it worth choosing a German Shorthaired Pointer??

German Shorthaired Pointer it will be an ideal dog partner for active people who like to spend time on long walks, jogging or mountain hiking. Dogs of this breed, as hunting dogs, are perfect, first of all, when taking part in hunting and it is for this purpose that they are most often purchased. Nevertheless, their popularity as pets accompanying us in everyday life is also considerable, because of them balanced character, intelligence, loyalty and ease of care. Dogs of this breed are not difficult to train and even an inexperienced owner should deal with them with proper help and preparation. Obedience training is quite important in their case due to their hunting impulses. The breed in Poland is also known, especially the short-haired varieties, so there should be no major problems with acquiring a pedigree puppy.

How long does a dog of the German Shorthaired Pointer live??

The dog of the German Shorthaired Pointer lives about 12-14 years.

Whether the dog of the German Shorthaired Pointer likes children?

Yes, German Shorthaired Pointer dogs are very family-friendly, but due to their size, play with young children should be supervised.

Are German Shorthaired Pointer dogs aggressive??

Dogs of the German Shorthaired Pointer are animals with a balanced temperament, non-aggressive, but also fearless.

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