German Shorthaired Pointer


German Shorthaired Pointer

Physical Characteristics

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a large dog with a height at the withers of 62 to 66 cm for males and 58 to 63 cm for females. The hair is short and tight, appears dry and hard to the touch. Its coat can be black, white or brown. He has a proud and clear demeanor which demonstrates his athletic and powerful character. Its head is chiseled and proportional to the body with the ears hanging down.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale classifies the German Shorthaired Pointer among the continental pointers of the pointer type. (Group 7 Section 1.1)

Origins and history

The German Shorthaired Pointer finds its origins in the Mediterranean basin among the ancient breeds used for hunting birds and game birds in particular. Quickly, these pointers spread throughout all the courts of Europe and in particular in Spain, where most European pointers would have common origins.

Towards the second half of the XNUMXth century, after the inventions of the double-barreled rifle, hunting techniques changed and the ancestor of the German Shorthaired Pointer became a versatile dog and no longer just a pointer. The Germanic term brakko moreover means “hunting dog”. But it was only in 1897 that the first edition of the “Zuchtbuch Deutsch-Kurzhaar” (book of the origins of the German Shorthaired Pointer) appeared.

It was finally Prince Albrecht of Solms-Braunfeld who established the first standard of the breed by defining these characteristics, the morphology and the rules of working tests for hunting dogs.

Character and behavior

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a firm, but balanced character. They are described as trustworthy and having contained reactions. Finally, despite their impressive stature, no need to worry, they are not aggressive or nervous. They are also not shy and you will be able to quickly establish a very close relationship with your dog. Finally, like many hunting dogs, they are very intelligent and easy to train.

Common pathologies and diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a robust and generally healthy dog. However, like most dog breeds, it can be prone to hereditary diseases, such as hip dysplasia (hip dysplasia), epilepsy, skin diseases (junctional epidermolysis bullosa), Von Willebrand’s disease and cancers. Unsterilized females are also prone to breast cancer, but this risk is reduced if they are spayed. (2)

Essential epilepsy

Essential epilepsy is the most common inherited nervous system damage in dogs. It is characterized by sudden, brief and possibly repetitive convulsions. Unlike secondary epilepsy, which results in part from trauma, in the case of essential epilepsy, the animal does not show any damage to the brain or the nervous system.

The causes of this disease are still poorly understood and identification is mainly based on a differential diagnosis aimed at excluding any other damage to the nervous system and the brain. It therefore involves on heavy tests, such as CT scan, MRI, analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood tests.

It is an incurable disease and it is therefore recommended not to use affected dogs for breeding. (2)

Junctional epidermolysis bullosa

Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is genodermatosis, that is, it is a skin disease of genetic origin. It is the most frequent skin disease in the German Pointer in France. In the German Shorthaired Pointer, it is the gene encoding a protein called collagen who is mute. This therefore leads to the formation of “bubbles”, erosions and ulcers between the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and the dermis (the middle layer). These lesions generally appear very early in the dog’s life, around 3 to 5 weeks and require rapid consultation with a veterinarian.


Diagnosis is made by histological examination of a skin biopsy at the lesions. It is also possible to detect the absence of collagen or to perform genetic tests to highlight mutations.

To date, there is no cure for this disease. In less serious cases, it is possible to bandage the lesions to protect them from impact and administer painkillers and antibiotics to the dog. However, this incurable and often very painful disease most often leads owners to euthanize their dog before the age of one year. (2)

Von Willebrand’s disease


Von Willebrand’s disease is hereditary coagulopathies, meaning that it is a genetic disease that affects the clotting of the blood. It is the most common of the inherited bleeding disorders in dogs.

The disease is named after Von Willebrand factor and there are three different types (I, II and III) classified according to the nature of the damage to Von Willebrand factor.

Shorthaired German Pointer usually have Von Willebrand type II disease. In this case, the factor is present, but is dysfunctional. The bleeding is profuse and the disease is severe.


The diagnosis is made in particular by the observation of clinical signs: increased healing time, bleeding (truffles, mucous membranes, etc.) and digestive or urinary haemorrhages. More detailed examinations can determine the bleeding time, the clotting time and the amount of Von Willebrand factor in the blood.

There is no cure for Von Willebrand disease, but it is possible to give palliative treatments which vary according to type I, II or III. (2)

See the pathologies common to all dog breeds.


Living conditions and advice

German Shorthaired Poiners are cheerful and easy-to-train animals. They attach easily to their families and are very suitable for environments with children, although they enjoy being the center of attention.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is very eager for physical activity, so it is an ideal companion for an athlete. Regular exercise is essential for burning off some of their boundless energy while spending time outdoors and strengthening their relationship with their master.

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