German Shorthaired Pointers, also known as GSP for short, are a medium-sized dog bred for hunting. They are one of the top breeds in competitive hunting events.
They were developed in Germany in the 19th century. Their exact origin is unclear as the first studbook was not created until 1870. Some of the breeds that went into the making of this breed are believed to possibly be the German Bird Dog (related to the Old Spanish Pointer), various German hounds and tracking dogs, the English Pointer, and the Arkwright Pointer. German hunters crossed various breeds until they perfected the German Shorthaired Pointer for the main job of bird dog.
The average size for a male is 23 to 25 inches tall and 55 to 70 pounds with females a little smaller at 21 to 23 inches and 45 to 60 pounds. Their average lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
They are energetic, intelligent, enthusiastic, and affectionate, with great speed, agility, and endurance. GSPs love to work, play, and be with people and do not like being alone.
They make a great dog for an active family as they need a lot of exercise every day. GSPs are great companions for hiking and jogging with lots of playtime and games of fetch. They may not be suited to apartment living and would do best with a large yard they can run loose in. You may also need a very tall fence as they can escape over 4 to 6 feet tall fences if they get bored. If kept busy and get lots of exercise, they are less likely to attempt escape.
If they do not get enough exercise, they may become destructive, so plenty of exercise is extremely important!
They also love water and are great swimmers with webbed feet. Their coat is water resistant, short, thick, and doesn’t shed excessively.
Since they were bred for hunting and have a great hunting instinct, they may not be good to keep with other animals such as cats or rabbits. It is possible they can be socialized if raised with them as a puppy.
There are several books that feature GSPs. Robert B. Parker’s mystery series, The Spenser Series, is about a Boston detective and throughout the series, the character has German Shorthaired Pointers all named Pearl. Here’s a link to the first book in the series if you want to check it out: The Godwulf Manuscript
The book Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had by Rick Bass is about living in Montana with a German Shorthaired Pointer that was the runt of the litter.
Mel Wallis wrote a book about his German Shorthaired Pointer called Run, Rainey, Run.
The book Bashan and I by Thomas Mann is an older book first published in 1916 that is about his relationship with his German Shorthaired Pointer.
Here’s a cute video — 5 Best Things about German Shorthaired Pointers