German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer as it is called (or Deutsch Kurzhaar in its homeland) originated with the first stud book entry in 1872 for Hektor 1in Germany and was developed by German aristocrats and hunters from old Spanish Pointer and Schweisshund (blood scent trailing hounds) to become a hunter/pointer(soft mouthed) retriever capable also of tracking wounded game (such as European deer, wild boar and foxes). Both liver and white and solid liver illustrations of these early dogs can be seen in the historical literature of the breed. The black pigment came in much later as a result of a cross with a black and white Arkwright Pointer, and now GSPs exhibit four versions of coat colour/patterning: i.e. liver and white (the most prevalent) followed by solid liver, black and white and solid black (the most unusual).
The original purpose of the breed was to scent game and indicate to the hunter by the stance referred to as "pointing". The breed is popular with rough shooters, falconers and deer stalkers who take advantage of the superb game finding and scenting abilities of this breed, which has great stamina and perseverance in hunting.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a very intelligent dog of medium size with a get-up-and-go disposition.
Most are quick to learn and willing to please and co-operate with their owners, but some may be a bit stubborn and more independent.
This breed of dog is not a couch potato, much as GSPs love to lie beside their owners on a sofa, after an hour's gallop in the countryside - preferably in woods, on heaths or moors where their natural instincts and abilities can be utilised. Some have strong guarding instincts, but, conversely, love to live as a family member.
The GSP's thoroughbred appearance, combined with a strong hunting instincts and powerful musculature means that the GSPs can and will cover large areas of ground in search of game! You may not require these hunting abilities, but that does not mean they are not present and primed for use at all times!
Firm handling and basic training are vital if you wish to own a breed which is led by its nose, backed up with its brain and powerful physique. However the GSP is not a hard dog for all his attributes and doesn't need or respond favourably to harsh handling.
German Shorthaired Pointers are generally a long lived and a healthy breed.
Hip and Elbow dysplasia can sometimes occur and eye's and hearts should be tested in breeding stock prior to mating.Epilepsy can also be a problem.
The GSP breed has two exclusive generally fatal skin diseases: EBJ (which showed up in France and for which a blood test can indicate carriers - who will then not be used for breeding on the Continent) and Lupoid Dermatosis, for which the University of Pennsylvania have also devised a blood test to detect carriers. The Deutsch Kurzhaar Klub in Germany recently declared that the main cause of death for this breed was cancerous tumours, but the GSP Club of America's health survey indicated that most GSPs live to between 10 and 12 years of age and many live to the middle teens. Many are still working to the gun at 10 years of age.