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Working Wednesday Breed Focus: The German Shorthaired Pointer

This week we will be looking at the German Shorthaired Pointer, a dog which is in the HPR ( Hunt, Point & Retrieve) category of the Gundog group. The exact origin for the GSP is unclear, however it is thought that there were many different breeds involved - including German Tracking Hounds, English Pointers and German Bird Dogs to create the versatile dog that it is today.

German Shorthaired Pointer 'on point'

GSP's are used in many different fields, they make great shooting companions, very good active family pets, agility, obedience, Service dogs for the Police, RAF, Royal Navy, British Army and therapy dogs.

Working and show/pet GSP's both look very similar, however a working GSP tends to have a docked tail for when they are hunting for game in thick cover, The tail should be docked 40% of its length before it curves to prevent it from getting caught in brambles.

German Shorthaired Pointer Fun Facts :

  • They have a water resistant double coat to keep them warm in the cold weather.

  • They have 4 coat colours (Liver & White Ticked, Solid Liver, Black & White Ticked and Solid Black).

  • They have webbed feet to help them swim.

  • They love interaction with humans so are very loyal dogs.

  • They are very keen and willing to learn, therefore can be easily trained.

  • GSP's point fur and feather, with a rule of 'front for feather, and back for fur'. Lifting and pointing their front leg for a bird and their back leg for Rabbits, Hare, fox, Wild Boar, and Deer.

Working German Shorthaired Pointers

GSP's are very versatile dogs and are good 'all-rounders', used largely in the shooting field. They can cover a vast amount of ground in a speedy and stylish manor, making them ideal for being on the moors or for rough shooting. For extra work, these dogs also make good picking up dogs along-side Labrador Retrievers also good beating dogs along side spaniels. When hunting, they should work in 'quarters', to hunt either side of the handler, ensuring they cover plenty of ground - unlike the spaniel breeds which should quarter close to the handler. When the dog picks up scent of game it will follow until it gets stronger and then immediately stop still and lock 'on point' which is when the handler should walk over to the dog, release it for a flush then once the bird has been shot the dog will retrieve...Hunt, Point and Retrieve.

"Unexaggerated, his conformation and coat equip him to be the perfect hunting machine." - UK Kennel Club

"A properly reared German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the greatest joys in this life and if they are not in the other then I don’t want to go." - Diane Gossage

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