German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

The German shorthaired pointer is an excellent family dog, but is not content to sit around. Playful and intelligent, this dog needs ample daily exercise and access to a fairly sized yard.

German Shorthaired Pointer at a glance
The German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed

German shorthaired pointers are tougher than most sporting breeds and can hold its own against wild animals.


Weight Range:

Male: 55-70 lbs.
Female: 45-60 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 24 in.

Female: 22 in.


Floppy ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 12-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

General hunting


Length: Short
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: Liver, Liver and white
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Sporting
UKC Classification: Gun Dog
Prevalence: Common

The German shorthaired pointer is a clean-cut dog with a striking outline, every bit the toned athlete.

The medium-build body is square or a little longer than tall and well muscled throughout. The muzzle is somewhat squared, but the stop is not as defined as the pointer's, and, as a whole, the German short haired pointer's head is more moderate than the pointer's. The velvety ears are set high, the eyes are almond shaped and the tail is docked to about 40 percent of the dog's length.

This is a fairly good-sized dog, standing from 22 to 24 inches tall and weighing 45 to 70 pounds (20 to 32 kilograms). The German shorthaired pointer is the ideal size for a good running companion, but still compact enough to fit well into most households.

A hallmark of the breed is the sleek coat that comes in either liver or in liver and white, the latter often profusely ticked.


Above all, the German shorthaired pointer is an active hunter. This is an adventurous dog that likes nothing better than a day in the field, exploring the brush for game and scouting in ever-widening circles. Tougher than most sporting breeds, the German shorthaired pointer can hold its own against wild animals, but because of this, some initial caution should be taken around small pets.

Next to hunting and running, German shorthaired pointers like to be with their family. They are playful and intelligent, and generally are good with other dogs and children. They make fairly good obedience pupils, although at times they are easily distracted by the call of the wild. This is a great dog for a family that likes to share the outdoors with their pet and also have a faithful dog around the house.

Living With:

This is a high-energy dog that will not be content to sit around all day. A long exercise period every day and access to a good-sized yard is needed during the day. Given adequate exercise, life indoors with a German shorthaired pointer can be tranquil; without adequate exercise, it can be disastrous.

True to the dog's alert nature, the German shorthaired pointer is a good watchdog, but only a fair protection dog. The breed tends to like people too much to be really good at scaring them away!

Upkeep is simple; the coat is wash and wear.


The German shorthaired pointer was no accident. The dog's roots trace back to the 1600s, when the heavy Spanish pointer was crossed with the Hanoverian hound to produce a dog that was interested in both trailing mammals and pointing birds. These all-purpose hunters could also kill wounded game if the need arose.

Later crosses with English pointers gave the breed more stylish pointing abilities but decreased the dog's retrieving and killing prowess, so subsequent selection was aimed at restoring these desired traits.

The turning point in the breed's acceptance came with the heralded abilities of two dogs (known as Deustch Kurzhaars) in the early 1800s. These dogs, "Nero" and "Treff," are credited as being the modern German shorthaired pointer's founding fathers. Since that time, the German shorthaired pointer's reputation has expanded around the world as the ideal dog for the person wanting a versatile hunter.

Not content with simply excelling at hunting, the German shorthaired pointer has also proven to be a versatile companion.