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German Shorthaired Pointer - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
German Shorthaired Pointer


The German Shorthaired Pointer is a lean, well-balanced hunting dog with a long muzzle, expressive, almond-shaped eyes, a large nose, and broad, floppy ears. They are slightly smaller than a standard Pointer and do not have as pronounced an occipital bone. Shorthaired Pointers have a short, dense, sleek coat liver-colored coat that comes in either solid, or the GSP distinctive patterns of patched, ticked, or roan. Their skin is tight over their lean muscle, and their tails are docked by 60%. Dewclaws should be removed. The German Shorthaired Pointer sports webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers. The AKC standard states, “The overall picture which is created in the observer’s eye is that of an aristocratic, well balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation indicating power, endurance and agility and a look of intelligence and animation”.

Size and Weight

Male German Shorthaired Pointers should ideally stand between 23 and 25 inches at the withers and females should ideally stand from 21 to 23 inches. In the show ring, dogs who stand higher or lower than these standards are penalized. The preferred weight for males is anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds, and for females 45 to 60. Bone structure is also important – dogs with bones that are too heavy or too light are undesirable.

Coat and Color

German Shorthaired Pointers have short, thick, water-resistant coats that are a bit longer on the underside of the tail and the haunches. They have short, soft hair on their heads. They come in either solid liver or liver and white. The coat may be a ticked pattern, patched, or roan. Other colors are not permissible by breed standards.

Grooming Needs

Low-maintenance describes the grooming needs of the German Shorthaired Pointer. They are mild shedders who only need to be brushed once a week with a firm bristle brush to keep the coat healthy and keep loose, dead hair under control. Bathe only as needed – over-bathing can cause the natural, water-repellent oils in the hair to break down. Many owners rub their Shorthaired Pointer with a chamois to make the coat gleam.

Active dogs will wear down their toenails naturally, but if they make a clicking sound on hard floors, it is time for a trim. Check ears weekly for signs of irritation, infection, or wax buildup. Cleanse with a veterinarian-approved solution and a cotton ball, never with a cotton swab. Brushing teeth weekly will keep dog breath at bay and prevent tartar buildup.

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