A Hunter’s Best Friend – The German Shorthaired Pointer

Through volunteering at Manchester Dog Care I’ve been introduced to a wonderful breed called a German Shorthaired Pointer and here is everything you need to know on owning one. They are powerful, streamlined dogs developed in 19th century Germany as hunting companions. Their strong legs allow them to move quickly and a broad muzzle allows them to catch large game. GSPs have webbed feet that make them strong swimmers, granting them the ability to catch water fowl as well.

eddyThe breed has an intelligent and bold temperament, developed to be a part of family life and be a prized hunter. GSPs are easily trained and affectionate to their owners and are good with children. They can be boisterous so keep that in mind when they are around young infants. Their hunting instinct is strong, so keeping them clear of smaller pets like cats and rabbits is recommended. Their intelligence makes them ideal watchdogs and they generally get along with other dogs.

A GSP needs plenty of exercise so be sure to take that into consideration. A dog that hasn’t been properly trained will result in destructive tendencies and lead to him or her amusing themselves. They will become hyperactive and therefore aren’t suitable for inactive of inexperienced owners. GSPs are athletic and can easily escape from four or six foot enclosures without any difficulty. You can keep them occupied with regular activities such as running and carting to make the most of their energy.

The GSP is able to fulfill all the roles of a gundog, as it’s both a pointer and retriever. They’re able to hunt small and large prey in water and over rough terrain. This tenacity makes them perfect for sports like grouse hunting and trailing.eddy2

With a hardy nature, the breed can live for up to 17 years and is generally very healthy. However, they can suffer from hereditary diseases like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cancerous lesions of the mouth and skin conditions. As a deep-chested dog they also suffer from bloat which can be protected against by feeding them several small meals throughout the day. GSPs are a clean breed with a coat that requires a small amount of maintenance. Brush their fur occasionally and bathe them when necessary.

The breed is a perfect family dog because it’s protective, friendly, loyal and affectionate. Anyone looking for a strong and energetic companion will find exactly what they’re after. All a GSP asks for is plenty of love, exercise and a good home.

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