The German Shorthaired Pointer may be the most versatile and fun-loving canine partner in the world. Always ready for adventure, he's the perfect training coach to get you off the couch and on the trail. But give him plenty of exercise, and he'll be happy to share that couch with you.
The German Shorthaired Pointer comes by his active nature honestly. Back in the seventeenth century, German hunters needed one dog that could both trail and point mammals and birds---a hunting jack of all trades. But they were also masters of many trades, as two famous GSPs named Nero and Treff proved at an early 1800s hunting trial. They were so good that everyone wanted their offspring, to the point they are now considered the foundation of the modern breed.
Today the GSP is a popular choice among people who want a hunting and family companion. Active without being overwhelming, they are energetic outside but calm inside---as long as they get that outdoor exercise!
As do-it-all dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers are up for any mental or physical challenge you can give them. They enjoy retrieving and almost any active game, and seem to especially enjoy amassing toy collections.
The GSP is technically a large dog, although not a giant one. As such, it has a somewhat greater predisposition to hip dysplasia. Feeding a diet formulated for large breed puppies during the first year of life will help decrease the possibility of hip dysplasia. These diets allow the puppy to grow more slowly, while still achieving the same adult size---just a little later. Joint supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin supplements, are also important for protecting joint health throughout life, especially in active dogs.
Coat care is simple. Brush weekly to remove dead hair, and bathe occasionally. For most GSPs, we suggest a deodorizing or whitening shampoo. If your dog has itchy skin, then an avocado oil or oatmeal-based shampoo can prove helpful.
Check your GSP's ears weekly. Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.
Brush the teeth daily.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a heavy-duty dog nail clipper.
German Shorthaired Pointers hate to slow down for anything, but sometimes age-related physical changes, such as arthritis, make it tough to keep going at full intensity. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in spirit.