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The German shorthaired pointer (GSP) is a breed of dog developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting. The breed is streamlined yet powerful with strong legs that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long floppy ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy game. The dog's profile should be straight or strongly Roman nosed; any dished appearance to the profile is incorrect. The eyes are generally brown, with darker eyes being desirable; yellow or "bird of prey" eyes are a fault. The tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries. The correct location for docking for GSP is after the caudal vertebrae start to curl, leaving enough tail to let the dog communicate through tail wagging and movement. The docked tail should not be too long or too short but should balance the appearance of the head and body. The GSP tail is carried at a jaunty angle, not curled under. When the GSP is in classic point stance, the tail should be held straight out from the body forming a line with the pointing head and body. Like all German pointers, GSP have webbed feet.


Coat and color

The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is short and flat with a dense undercoat protected by stiff guard hairs making the coat water resistant and allowing the dog to stay warm in cold weather. The color can be a dark brown, correctly referred to in English as "liver" (incorrectly as "chocolate" or "chestnut"), black (although any area of black is cause for disqualification in American Kennel Club sanctioned shows), or either liver and white or black and white. Commonly the head is a solid or nearly solid color and the body is speckled or "ticked" with liver and white, sometimes with large patches of solid color called "saddles". Roan coats are also common, with or without patching. Solid liver and solid black coats also occur, often with a small blaze of ticking or white on the chest. While the German standard permits a slight sandy coloring ("Gelber Brand") at the extremities, this coloring is rare, and a dog displaying any yellow coloring is disqualified in AKC and CKC shows. The coloring of the GSP provides camouflage in the winter seasons. When standing next to dead trees and in broken snow, the white and dark brown coat makes the dog difficult to see.

Temperament

Since the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. The GSP is usually good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and are suitable pets for active families. Most German shorthaired pointers make excellent watchdogs. The breed generally gets along well with other dogs, though females appear to be much more dominant during interbreed interaction. A strong hunting instinct is correct for the breed.
The German shorthaired pointer loves outdoor activity but are also calm in the home especially as they mature.
The GSP’s distinctly independent character and superior intelligence means that they like activities that challenge them intellectually.
Like the other German pointers (the German wirehaired pointer and the less well known German longhaired pointer), the GSP can perform virtually all gundog roles. It is pointer and retriever, an upland bird dog and water dog. The GSP can be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, and in addition has a scent hound's talented nose. It is an excellent swimmer but also works well in rough terrain. It is tenacious, tireless, hardy, and reliable. In short, it is a superb all-around field dog that remains popular with hunters of many nationalities.
The GSP is intelligent and bred for a certain amount of independence (e. g., when a dog is working out of sight or sound of its handler in the field). Along with its superb hunting ability and companionable personality, the intelligence and the obedience of the GSP make it one of the more popular large breeds.


In the Field

The German shorthaired pointer requires early obedience training. They are intelligent and love to work for their owner. As a versatile hunting dog the breed has outstanding scenting, trailing, and retrieving instincts. The GSP’s range and pace are ideal for both wooded areas and big open country. Most are mid range hunters - close enough to their master to check in, and far enough to cover the country.

Trainability
The GSP is a quick learner and matures into a hunting dog earlier than other breeds. They train easily in the manner of Brittany’s, and as a result are often a hunters first bird dog. They have a remarkable memory for marking downed birds. The breeds supporters say they are on par with the average Labrador retriever (an opinion certain to start an argument). The best trained shorthairs are the dogs that get into the field often. They give nothing away in intensity when hunting.

History

The precise origin of the German Shorthaired Pointer is unclear. But began roughly three centuries ago. The breed was developed to point, retrieve, and ground trail all types of game. The shorthair was developed from several descendants of German hunting breeds, Spanish pointers, and a variety of scenting hounds, which to some extent accounts for its hound-like countenance, especially as a puppy. The first German shorthaired pointers arrived in the United States in the 1920’s. As the first studbook was not created until 1870, it is impossible to identify all of the dogs that went into creating this breed.


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