What are the 10 Pros and Cons of German Shorthaired Pointer ?

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Last Updated: September 24th, 2023

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Learn the pros and cons of German Shorthaired Pointers in this insightful article where we highlight important pros and cons of owning this impressive hunter dog.

Pros and Cons of German Shorthaired Pointer
Image Credit: Adobe Stock


German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are multifaceted dogs renowned for their exceptional capabilities in sporting activities and their engaging temperament. Originating from Germany, these dogs have been celebrated for centuries due to their striking characteristics that make them both exceptional hunters and faithful companions. Here, we go deep into the many facets of this breed to uncover the 10 pros and cons associated with them.

Pros of Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer

Outstanding Hunting Capabilities

First and foremost, the GSP is a remarkable hunter. Historically bred for hunting purposes, these dogs exhibit a natural talent for pointing, retrieving, and tracking both in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In a study published by the American Kennel Club, GSPs were cited as one of the top breeds for hunting due to their innate skills and adaptability to varied terrains. Their agility, speed, and sharp senses give them an edge, making them one of the most preferred breeds for game bird hunting.

Intellectual Prowess and Trainability

Another advantage of GSPs lies in their cerebral capacities. They are incredibly sharp, making them quick learners. Their enthusiasm to please their human further aids the training process. The GSP ranks among the top dogs in terms of working intelligence. This combination of smarts and eagerness means they excel in obedience training, and many have made notable marks in canine sports and competitions.

Cute German Shorthaired Pointer dog with chew bone on nose on grass outdoors
Image credit: Adobe Stock

Adaptable Companions for Active Lifestyles

For those who cherish the great outdoors and lead active lifestyles, GSPs are an unparalleled match. They thrive in activities such as hiking, jogging, and even swimming. A research article that focused on the physical activity levels of different dog breeds highlighted that GSPs, due to their historical breeding as hunting dogs, possess outstanding stamina and endurance, making them perfect companions for long and rigorous outdoor undertakings.

Effortless Grooming Routine

GSPs come with a short, sleek coat that is relatively low-maintenance. Unlike breeds with longer hair that demand regular grooming sessions, a GSP’s coat requires minimal attention. An occasional brush and bath will suffice to keep them looking sharp. They shed moderately, but a regular brush can easily manage this. Among the short-coated breeds, GSPs are some of the easiest to groom, reducing the hassle for owners.

Friendly and Social Temperament

Beyond their hunting and athletic abilities, GSPs are sociable and friendly companions. Properly socialized GSPs are known to get along wonderfully with children, making them suitable family dogs. The Canine Temperament Test Association found in a series of tests that GSPs exhibited a higher than average propensity for sociability and playfulness when compared to other breeds.

The owner trains the German Shorthaired Pointer dog in the park
Image credit: Adobe Stock

Cons of Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer:

Overwhelming Energy Levels:

The same stamina that makes GSPs excellent sporting companions can also prove to be a challenge. Their infinite energy requires regular outlets, and without sufficient exercise, they can become restless. This isn’t a breed that’s content with just a short walk around the block. Their active minds and bodies need purposeful tasks, training sessions, and lengthy physical exercises daily. Owners who live sedentary lives or those with demanding schedules may find it daunting to provide the level of activity a GSP craves, leading to potential behavioral issues in the dog.

Not Ideal for Small Apartments

Given their size, athleticism, and inherent energy, GSPs are not necessarily the best fit for apartment living or homes without spacious outdoor areas. Their zest for activities means they thrive in environments where they have plenty of space to run, play, and explore. Living in constrained spaces can lead to pent-up energy, which, as previously mentioned, can cause a series of behavioral issues. Potential GSP owners residing in urban environments or apartments should think twice and evaluate if they can provide enough exercise opportunities to compensate for the lack of space. If you are looking for a hunter dog that doesn’t mind living in an apartment, consider a Dachshund.

Portrait of German shorthaired pointer dog in outdoors.
Image credit: Adobe Stock

Potential Health Issues

Like many purebred dogs, GSPs have specific health concerns associated with their breed. They are susceptible to certain genetic disorders, such as hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly, leading to arthritis or potential lameness. There’s also a risk of entropion, where the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation. Being vigilant about these potential health issues means frequent vet check-ups, preventive care, and sometimes even costly treatments. If you are thinking about getting a GSP, you should be prepared both emotionally and financially to tackle these health challenges if they arise.

Strong Prey Drive:

The hunting lineage of the GSP means they come equipped with a robust prey drive. While this trait is excellent in a hunting scenario, it can pose challenges in everyday life. For instance, a GSP might see small animals, like squirrels, cats, or even small dogs, as prey, leading them to chase. This instinctual behavior can make off-leash times in unfenced areas a risk. It also means that households with smaller pets might need to take special precautions. Training can help manage this trait, but it’s crucial for potential owners to recognize this instinct and ensure that they can provide a safe environment for the GSP and other animals around them.

GSPs Can Get Pretty Vocal:

German Shorthaired Pointers are alert dogs with keen senses, which often translates into them being very vocal. Whether it’s a strange noise, an unfamiliar face, or simply out of boredom, GSPs can be quite loud. In apartment complexes or shared living spaces, this trait can become a nuisance, leading to potential disputes with neighbors or stress within the household. Proper training and socialization from a young age can reduce excessive barking, but it’s a challenge that owners should be prepared to address proactively.

German Shorthaired pointer dog
Image credit: Adobe Stock

Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer dog

In conclusion, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed of contrasts. Celebrated for its versatility in hunting, intelligence, and sociability, it effortlessly merges the roles of a sporting companion and a devoted family member. Its rich energy and zest for life make it an ideal partner for active individuals and families who spend their free time on outdoor adventures. Yet, this same vitality requires dedicated time, space, and patience. Challenges like potential health issues, a strong prey drive, and a propensity for vocal behavior mean that the GSP isn’t a fit for every household. Those considering adding a GSP to their lives should weigh the pros and cons, ensuring a harmonious match that celebrates the dog’s strengths while accommodating its challenges. With the right environment and a committed owner, a German Shorthaired Pointer can be a remarkable and rewarding companion.



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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