German Longhaired Pointer
The German Longhaired Pointer
Introduced into the UK in 1993 the German Longhaired Pointer is included in the hunt, point, retriever group. An Interim Standard was accepted by the Kennel Club in May 2000 and the breed can now be shown in Import Register Classes. In 2001 Konan vd Hafkesdell mit Arany ( Imp ) won Best Import ( all breeds ) and in the field Wamilanghaar Drumelzier became the first Field Trial Champion in 2003.
A club has been established with an aim to promote and improve the breed as a working gundog.
Dogs have always worked for mankind and in the large forested areas in Europe they were essential for finding game for food. Some dogs developed an instinct to hold birds while a net ( Tyras ) was thrown over them and those that could became highly prized. All shapes and sizes and coat colours were mated together to keep this standing ( pointing ) instinct and collectively they were known as Vorteshhunds.
As forests were thinned out for pasture land and travel became much easier those dogs which worked well began to be bred to similar types which worked on other large estates and in the 18th / 19th century 3 coat variations were developed, Langhaar (long ), Drathaar ( wire ) and Kurzhaar ( short ) and a rudimentary breeding programme of each variation began.
At this time Langhaar ( longhair ) dogs were brown or black with white but by the middle of the 19th century different Germanic states began to have colour preferences and the majority culled out black puppies from litters but in Westphalia and Munster black dogs were preferred. In 1878 it was decided to hold a show in Hanover where all brown coloured dogs could be examined and the best would be chosen for a specific breeding programme. Those that were became the foundation of a breed standard and the Deutsch Langhaar was registered as a breed the following year. 3 years later black longhaired Vorteshhunds became registered as Grossen Munsterlanders and became a separate breed.
In Germany the Longhair is traditionally the choice of foresters, it was large boned , big and cumbersome and was known as " the slow dog ". As families lived in secluded forests the dogs were taught to guard but this instinct has now been bred out. They were used mostly " after the gun " as a tracking dog for fallen wild boar and deer.
In the Northern states de-forestation turned immense areas into pasture land and game birds became the dominant quarry so a faster air -scenting dog was required.With the invention of fire-arms dogs needed to range over longer distances so setter blood was introduced to quicken the pace.Too much was added and the Longhairs were loosing breed type so a club ( Deutsch Langhaar Klub ) was formed so breeding could be monitored and in the end what was achieved was a dog with " German marmalade with a little English sauce ".
In the Lowlands, Holland and Belgium an even faster dog was required to range over vast open areas so more Setter blood was introduced.
In Germany the breed continues to be used as an all round hunting dog , none are sold to pet homes. A breed master system makes sure only the best are used in a breeding programme. Each dog must earn the right to breed and must score well in both temperament, health, conformation and Prufung ( field trial ) tests.
In Holland, Belgium and France the breed is used more as a pointing bird dog and because game is scarce a far ranging dog with a superb nose is the aim. The Nederlandse Vereniging Langhaar hold trials , pointing and retrieving tests and owners can compete in the show ring too with some kennels winning top continental awards.
There are GLP's in Scandinavia, Canada and the USA . The Jagdgebrauchshund ( hunting dog ) Club ( USA ) is affiliated to the one in Germany and their dogs can be tested and scored by German judges.
In the UK the breed soon gained a respected reputation as a hunt, point retriever both in the trialling and shooting field and, as a good looking gundog , has gained top awards in the show ring too.
Powerful but elegant and excels with it's game finding ability both on land and in the water. A good retriever, biddable and loyal.
Bred for temperament since conception a GLP adores it's owner, is extremely good with children and easily adapts to kennel or home. Doesn't feel the cold, is naturally clean and socialises well with other dogs. Suspicious of strangers, but for the family's sake not their own, can be quite vocal too.
The head should not look coarse with a soft expression and should have a slightly rounded top with equi-distance from occiput to nose and nose to jaw with no pronounced stop in between.Lips should not hang down too long and the nose should be solid coloured.The eyes should be oval and dark.The teeth should have the correct number with a scissor bite.
The ears are one of the most important features of the breed and a correct covering is essential. They should not be set too low, hang slightly forward almost to the mouth.The hair must be wavy and thick with feathering on the outer edge. No dead hair is removed.
The neck is strong and the sternum is prominent
Moderate length of body and front and hind angulations should be the same i.e. 45 degrees.Stifles usually do not have a pronounced angulation.The stride should cover the ground with drive.
The tail is carried horizontally or in line with the back, well feathered and strong.
The coat typifies the breed so should be correct, usually 3-5 cms in length but longer on the sternum, throat and underside.Legs should be feathered.
Colours include brown, brown and white, brown with white brustfleck ( chest ), brownschimmel, hellschimmel and forellenschimmel.
Height is ideally 63-66 cms in dogs and 60-62 cms in bitches.
Living with the Breed
Without a doubt the best working dogs we have ever had in 25 years, they find game and are soft mouthed and quiet. Having worked them on pheasant, partridge , grouse, snipe, woodcock , mallard , geese , rabbit and hare this breed has never let us down. With the ability to air and ground scent they are excellent on " runners" and would make excellent stalking dogs too.Once trained a GLP should make an unbeatable shooting companion
Although their temperaments are superb and would suit as a family pet the prowess of this breed lies in the shooting field and this is where it should belong. They would not adapt to a city environment as they need plenty of space and stimulation preferring the country life instead.
At the moment only one or two litters are born each year.
About the author : With a background in HPR's over 25 years Larry has made up 3 full Champion GSP's,and one the breed youngest record holder at 17 months and 2 Sh Ch's.He has also owned or bred 2 full Champions and 3 Sh Ch Hungarian Vizsla's . With a background in Pointers including a RCC and breeding the sire of the top winning ( 3 years ) Pointer Brood Bitch I have concentrated on the working side including training my working Pointer used by the Castle of May Estate for the late Queen Mother.We imported our first GLP's from Germany in 1999 and they consequently won either Best Import ( all breeds ), Best Imports, Field Trial Awards, Working Test wins (including the Weimaraner Retrieving Challenge) , as well as working on local shoots.We remain the only kennel in the UK with pure German lines.