10 things you need to know about the German shorthaired pointer before you buy one
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10 things you need to know about the German shorthaired pointer before you buy one

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

The German shorthaired pointer is a handsome and distinctive looking dog that has a very noble appearance and a great personality to match.

They are one of several pointer dog types that collectively have a lot in common but also naturally have their own distinct individual breed-specific traits too, and finding the right choice for you and ruling out any dog breeds that might potentially be unsuitable is naturally very important.

If you are considering buying a German shorthaired pointer, are trying to choose between different pointer breeds, or are simply scoping out a broad selection of medium-sized dog breeds to narrow down your options, this article may help.

Read on to learn ten things you need to know about the German shorthaired pointer before you buy one, as the basis of your more detailed research.

1. German shorthaired pointers are a type of gundog

The German shorthaired pointer falls within the Kennel Club’s gundog group, and this encompasses a variety of different dog breeds with skills that are applicable to shooting and country pursuits.

Whilst dogs of the breed (like most breeds) are much more commonly kept as pets rather than working dogs today, the still retain many of the core traits that made them a good fit for working roles, and this needs to be factored into their care and management.

2. German shorthaired pointers are very intelligent

The German shorthaired pointer is a highly intelligent dog breed – in fact, they’re ranked as the 19th most intelligent dog breed of all, out of a total number of 138 different dog breeds considered for classification.

This means that they are incredibly fast learners, will often learn simply from observation, and are capable of learning and following a wide and diverse range of commands.

3. They also have very high energy levels

Like many highly intelligent working dog breeds, the German shorthaired pointer’s high intelligence is also matched by very high energy levels, and this is absolutely not a dog breed that will thrive within a very sedentary lifestyle or with an owner that doesn’t enjoy spending plenty of time outdoors.

A German shorthaired pointer needs at least two hour-long walks each day in order to thrive, and these should be varied and lively.

4. The breed is a touch on the expensive side to buy

According to our Pets4Homes statistics, the average asking price for pedigree German shorthaired pointers for sale in the UK as of August 2019 is £825 per dog, and for non-pedigrees, around £690 per dog.

This is a touch higher than the average across all dog breeds and types, but isn’t generally enough of a difference as to potentially price out a lot of would-be German shorthaired pointer owners.

5. Their health can be complex

The German shorthaired pointer’s average lifespan is between 12-14 years, which is quite respectable and towards the slightly higher end of the average spectrum for dogs of this size.

However, there are also quite a number of hereditary health challenges that can be found within the German shorthaired pointer dog breed as a whole, and which can affect the quality of life and longevity of individual dogs of the breed.

Learn more about these in detail and talk to breeders you are considering buying from about their health testing protocols before you commit to a purchase.

6. German shorthaired pointers have low-maintenance coats

The German shorthaired pointer coat is short and single layered, and requires very little effort to take care of and keep in good condition.

On the flipside, they do tend to shed hair quite heavily and even though the hair is short, this can make quite a mess around the home.

7. The breed is outgoing, personable, and generally good with children

German shorthaired pointers are loving, loyal and personable dogs that have open and honest personalities and that tend to be social with both other dogs and people.

They are also notably usually very good with children, and make for excellent family pets for families that like to spend lots of time outdoors.

8. They may be a good choice for canine sports, and are generally a pleasure to train

German shorthaired pointers are very versatile dogs that tend to be a pleasure to train and that generally very much enjoy training that is fun, varied and interesting, and they are often a good choice of dog for people who are looking to get involved in canine sports.

9. They display typical pointing behaviour

As a type of pointer, the German shorthaired pointer displays typical “pointing” behaviour when they spot what they consider to be prey; they will stand on point facing the direction of their target to alert their owner or handler of its location.

This is an innate and instinctive behaviour within the breed, and not one that they have to be trained to perform!

10. German shorthaired pointers require an owner who can provide clear direction and plenty of exercise

The German shorthaired pointer can be a hugely rewarding dog breed to own, and they are highly versatile and capable of a lot of things in the right hands.

However, they need an enthusiastic and engaged handler who can motivate and get the best out of the dog, and they also need a huge amount of exercise too, which not everyone is able to provide for easily within a domestic home and lifestyle.

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