German Short haired pointer
As the name suggests, these dogs have an extremely flat and short coat. The German short haired pointer is also known by other names such as Deutsch Kurzhaar, Kurzhaar or simply GSP or DK. Their country of origin is Germany and they fall under the category of Gundogs or Sporting dogs. The exact history of the GSP are not known, however, it is hypothesized that the GSPs have probably descended from the German Bird dogs and was therefore related to the Spanish pointer. Their identity was first recorded in books that were published in the 1700s and they were originally used as guard dogs.
German Short haired pointer (GSP) – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you get familiarized with your GSPs: –
• Breed type: Pure breed. This group is registered and recognized by the American Kennel Club, Kennel Club of UK, New Zealand Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, FCI and others.
• Height: They are tall sized dogs and the males have an average height of 1 ft. 9 inches to 2 ft. whereas the females have an average height of 1 ft. 7 in to 1ft. 9 inch.
• Weight: The average weight of males is about 40 70 75 pounds whereas the average weight of females is about 40 to 55 pounds.
• Life Span: These dogs have an average life expectancy of 11 to 15 years.
• Available coat colors: Liver (chocolate, chestnut or dark brown color), black, or either a mixture of Black and white or Liver and white.
• They have dark brown eyes, the tail is docked and they have a long muzzle with floppy ears and webbed feet.
Temperament and Personality traits
The German Short haired Pointer generally gets well along with children and other pets, especially if they are raised with them since puppy hood. Most of the times they will behave good with children but never leave your children totally unsupervised with these dogs. However, male GSPs may be aggressive towards other male GSPs.
Use of positive reinforcement techniques can help them learn better. These dogs have hunting instincts and are therefore sometimes independent thinkers. They would simply not listen to you and do what they feel is right. Never treat your dog harshly, use rewarding methods (such as with food or praise) which will make him feel better and will develop a potential to obey your commands.
These dogs are best suited for active people and not really for lame owners and small sized homes. They would require a highly energetic family that can keep pace with his exercise needs. They will obey their master only when they know that their master is much stronger than they are. A prior knowledge of how to handle dogs shall be necessary to keep GSPs as pets. If you want your GSPs to be socially well mannered, then they should be given training right since puppy hood. You may enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class for improving his physical and mental ability.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
Recommended daily nutrition comprises of 2 to 3 ¼ th cups of premium quality dry dog food divided into two separate meals every day. Never overfeed or under feed your dog as this may lead to deviation from optimum weight conditions and thus paving way for various diseases. It is recommended that the food product that is chosen for your GSPs shall at least contain some anti- oxidants that will purify their blood and help them strengthening their immune system. You must be aware of food stuffs that shall never be fed to you dogs. Food stuffs like cheese, cashews, raisins, chocolates, apple core, apricots actually act as poison for your dog.
Adult dry dog food from Acana and Taste of the Wild shall be the best choice for your adult GSPs. Feed with puppy formula for puppies (6 months to 1 ¼ years).
A 30 to 45 minute daily walk can keep your dog healthy and will help to keep several diseases at bay.
Health and Immunization
The GSPs are prone to variety of infections such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, lymphedema (a condition wherein the tissues are accumulated with fluids due to blockage in the lymph), Entopion, Von Willebrand’s disease, Gastric dilation- volvulus or Bloating or torsion, cancer and diabetes.
Your short haired pointers should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
You know by now that the GSPs have extremely short hairs and therefore they are easier to groom. You would probably require grooming them once in two weeks. You need not use a brush; just wipe them off with a wet towel or a chamois. Remember, that since they have a short coat, they are more vulnerable to getting hurt as they can absorb shock at a lesser extent compared to other dogs that have fluffy coats. Therefore, try your best to protect these dogs from getting external injuries.
Cut your GSP’s toe nails at least once a month if they don’t wear naturally. Examine his ears for any signs of infection and clean them with pH balanced ear cleanser solution that is soaked with a cotton ball. Look for any possible signs of redness, erythema, discharge or others while grooming.
You can rescue or adopt a pet according to set guidelines by organizations that give German Short haired pointer recognition such as the American Kennel Club, Kennel Club of UK, New Zealand Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, FCI and others. You can go to a local or a national breed club for adoption of these dogs. Some of the good rescue groups are – the Mid – Atlantic German Short haired pointer rescue, NorCal GSP Rescue, German Short haired pointer rescue Pennsylvania, GSP Rescue New England, GSP Rescue of Wisconsin and many others.