The GSP - a versatile Gun Dog
The German Shorthaired Pointer is often described as perhaps the most versatile hunting dog. The breed has a keen sense of smell, high intelligence, good temperament, stamina and trainability, which make it a staunch pointer and natural retriever on land and from water. Its origins come from the old Spanish Pointer, english Foxhound and local German tracking hounds. Sportsmen in the United States began importing the GSP in the 1920’s. The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1930.
The GSP is an athlete and needs consistent exercise to keep it in condition and to burn off excess energy. The natural and appropriate exuberance of a young Shorthair can make it difficult to live with if it does not get enough exercise. The dog should get a minimum of 30 minutes twice a day in a fenced in area, large field away from traffic or by walking/jogging with its owner. Keep in mind that dogs will not exercise themselves to the point of being tired; that is your job! The other thing to remember is that if you have a young dog, you will want to be careful how much jogging you do with him. Too much jogging too soon can cause problems with bones and joints if the growth plates are not closed. This is similar to not riding race horses until they are two years old. Your GSP should (as all dogs should) be trained at an early age in basic obedience and to come when called. With proper socialization, training, and care, Shorthairs make fine family companions and should relate well to all family members, visitors and other pets.
While GSP’s are most known for their hunting ability, they also excel in obedience, agility, tracking, search and rescue, therapy/service dogs, and as bomb/drug sniffing dogs. The Shorthair is friendly, intelligent, and willing to please. The first impression is that of keen enthusiasm for work without indication of nervous or flighty character. With proper care, an average life span is 12 – 16 years.