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German Shorthaired Pointer


German Shorthaired Pointers trace their origins back about 120 years. They originated in Germany, where breeders wanted to develop a rugged, versatile hunting dog that would work closely with either one person or a small party of persons hunting on foot in varied terrain; from the mountainous regions of the Alps, to dense forests, to more open areas with farms and small towns. The breed the Germans desired had to have a coat that would protect the dogs when working in heavy cover or in cold water, yet be easy to maintain. The goal was to develop a wire-coated, medium sized dog that could:

  • Search for, locate and point upland game
  • Work both feather and fur with equal skill
  • Retrieve water fowl
  • Be a close-working, easily trained gun dog
  • Be able to track and locate wounded game
  • Be fearless when hunting 'sharp' game such as fox
  • Be a devoted companion and pet; and
  • Be a watchdog for its owners family and property.

GSP's are extremely devoted dogs. When raised in a home with one owner, they become very definite one-person dogs. When raised in a home with several people, including children, they become devoted to the whole family, although some dogs may attach more strongly to one member of the household.

Young GSP's are typically fun loving and playful and with proper supervision for both children and animal, GSP's and kids do very well together. On the other hand, an adult GSP that has not been raised with children may need strict supervision if sold into a home with young children.

And, as with any dog, very young children should be taught to properly handle a puppy, as well as to understand the difference between playing with a dog and hurting it.
GSP's make superb companion dogs and pets. In fact, they crave human companionship, doing best in a home where they are permitted a very warm, close relationship with 'their people'. They are one Sporting Breed that does not make a good kennel dog, nor a dog that lives all its life in a backyard with little contact with humans.

The GSP is a complex breed. Intelligence, strong desire to please, sharpness are all qualities that make up the typical GSP. Many, GSP's have have a clown-like side to their personalities. They can be active, busy dogs that amuse themselves with various games. However, they are not 'hyper' dogs. In general, there are few more loving or interesting breeds.

It is their intelligence, however, that can become the GSP's downfall. Without interaction with their family, GSP's can become easily bored. Without mental stimulis, they can become destructive and noisy in their attempt to "find something to do."
Because of their desire to please, the GSP does not require nor respond well to harsh or heavy-handed training. Most truly do not like to be 'on the outs' with their people, and can be corrected with a sharp 'NO!' A GSP that is treated harshly or roughly may completely turn off, becoming fearful, sulky and/or remote, or may become a biter.

On the other hand, when permitted to develop a close relationship with one or more people, and when trained with respect for his intelligence and desire to please the GSP is a willing and able partner who will continue to amaze you with his quickness to learn and his desire to perform.

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