As the name suggests, German Shorthaired Pointers originated in Germany. Like Weimaraners, they were developed in the 19th century for hunting. Also like Weimaraners, the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a very popular breed for canicross. They are sleek and powerful with a deep chest and long legs. The strength and agility of their long legs allows them to reach speeds of around 30mph and make rapid turns. Being one of the most easily trainable and most high energy breeds, it’s easy to see why they are such a popular breed for canicross.
The GSP stands between 21 and 25 inches tall at the shoulder. They can weigh between 45 and 70 pounds. They have a short, thick, smooth coat that, according to the AKC, can be solid liver or liver and white in distinctive patterns. Most people describe the overall look of the GSP as noble and aristocratic.
Like other breeds that are popular in canicross, the GSP is a very high energy dog. If you consider one as a running partner and team mate, keep that in mind. If you decide to hang up the sneakers, your GSP will still need lots of vigorous daily exercise. The GSP bonds quickly with new people and enjoys constant attention. A bored GSP can become destructive very quickly. If you are away from home for long periods of time every day this breed may not be the best choice.
The GSP is generally a healthy breed. Like most large breed dogs, however, hip dysphasia is not uncommon. Bloat is always a concern for any dog but even more so for deep chested breeds like the GSP. Do not feed your dog immediately before or after heavy exercise. Other concerns for the breed include seizures, hermaphrodism, and lymphedema.
There are several German Shorthaired Pointer rescues throughout the county who are dedicated to finding great homes for members of this great breed. You can also check your local pound or rescue group, as they do sometimes end up lost or just abandoned.
Credit for the beautiful photo goes to Southeast GSP Rescue.