German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed
The German Shorthaired Pointer is probably the most skilled hunter of all dog breeds. It is versatile and has the ability to trail, retrieve, point, and even kill game if necessary. These attributes are the result of specific blending of breeds during the 17th century.
The first mixes produced a large hound-like dog from combining the Spanish Pointer with the Hannover Hound. The dogs that came from this mixture had the natural ability to trail and point at the same time. They also showed a heavy interest in birds and various mammals. When trailing, the dogs would bay and dispatch wounded prey (and fox).
Early breeders all had one thing in common: they wanted to create a Pointer that could be an “all purpose hunter”. However, not everyone agreed on the best way to do it. Many crosses were made with the English Pointer, although controversial, but it did bestow upon a breed with very stylish physical characteristics which also hunted nose-up.
One of the downsides to this mix was that the dogs had a dislike of water and avoided attacking quarry. In time, however, further breeding of the dogs help eliminate these unwanted characteristics of the Pointer.
Sometime during the early 1800’s, at the German Derby, there were two specific Deutsch Kurzhaars (the name that the Pointer was originally called) that had distinguished themselves from all of the other pointing breeds. Their names were Treff and Nero. These two Pointers are said to be the parents of today’s German Shorthaired Pointer. Their descendants helped get the breed recognized in Germany in the late 1800s.
The first German Shorthaired Pointers started to show up in the United States sometime in the 1920s. The breed gained recognition by the AKC in 1930. Soon enough, the dog’s reputation as being the ideal hunting dog grew in popularity. Due to its hunting skills, combined with its aesthetic look, this dog has become quite popular.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is one dog that could live its entire life, day in and day out, simply running around hunting in the field. The temperament of this animal is one that makes an excellent watchdog, has an abundance of energy, and requires heavy exercise. It is a devoted and loyal family pet that may prove to be a little too boisterous for small children. And because of its genetic design for hunting, the German Shorthaired Pointer may get a bit aggressive with other household pets, especially those that are smaller in size.
Taking Care Of Your German Shorthaired Pointer
As you can probably guess, upkeep and maintenance of the German Shorthaired Pointer requires lots of exercise on a daily basis. This dog thrives on mental stimulation is much as it does physical exertion. You can achieve these things by taking your Pointer hunting, running, hiking; anything that gets the animal to play outdoors with its owner. This is one dog that is not suited for small apartment living. The ideal situation would be access to a fenced-in yard at all times.
German Shorthaired Pointers has an average lifespan of around 13 years, with some living is high as 15 to 16 years old. Major Health Concerns to lookout for with the Pointer is lymphedema. Minor issues include pannus, vWD, CHD, gastric torsion, OCD, entropion, and hypothyroidism. Very rare health problems that are occasionally seen include thyroid issues, cardiac problems, and hip dysplasia.