Breed Opinion: German Shorthaired Pointer

First of all, let me say I'm by no means an expert on anything.  So take all of this with a grain of salt.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a fairly large member of the sporting group of dogs recognized by the AKC.  They're generally a combination of liver and white, with a good number of color combinations possible.  I'm not going to go into the specifics of the physical attributes of the breed.

If you're interested, however, here are two good links:

The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
Some German Shorthaired Pointer Pictures

What I'd like to talk about, though, is their personality traits.

When I was showing dogs in the Junior Handling classes back when I was growing up, I actually had the great opportunity to show and own a GSP for a little while.  In addition, I was around them a lot at dog shows.

From my experience, GSPs have some of the coolest personalities in dogdom.  In fact, I'm not sure why they aren't more popular than they are.  Generally, the love everyone, are extremely smart, and are absolutely beautiful.  Their coat is easy to care for, and aside from a few hereditary diseases they're generally pretty healthy.

On the other hand, they can be stubborn sometimes, have an extremely high exercise requirement, and like to chew more than maybe your regular dog breed might -- although being mouthy (i.e. wanting to hold something in their mouth all the time) is a GOOD thing, considering the work they for which they were bred originally.

They're one of the few sporting breeds that still has a good-sized following that actually does field/hunting work outside of a competition arena.  That's because they stay true to their original purpose.  They're smart and aloof at the same time because they were bred to point to game -- finding it by themselves ahead of their owners and using a good deal of individual judgement to determine what to do in a situation to help with a successful hunt.

The dog I had the opportunity to live with for a while, Stacey, was absolutely awesome.  She was just a huge goofball; a huge clown.  In the show ring, she was fairly poised and it didn't take her long to be trained to show her stuff.  At home, though, she'd slobber all over everything, roll on her back in the middle of a mud puddle, or run directly at me until I was either bowled over or covered in dog drool.

She also did not stop moving while she was awake.  Granted, she was a puppy, but even as she got older her high energy was clearly much different than the rest of the American Cocker Spaniels in the house.  She'd run circles around them... and they would watch her as if she was on crack.

When she finally fell asleep, though, she was OUT.  You could pick up her legs and jiggle them around and she wouldn't move.  More than a few times I picked her completely up from a chair to put her on the floor, and she didn't even do much more than grunt at me.

A GSP would be great for an active family with kids.  Or someone who liked doing things outdoors on a regular basis.  I don't think they'd make a good apartment dog... although I suppose anything would be possible as long as they still got enough exercise.

They're one of the coolest, healthiest, and prettiest of the purebred dogs.  You just have to have a sense of humor, and be ready to deal with an EXTREME stream of energy.

If you're thinking about getting one, make sure to do your research and make your purchase from a reputable breeder.  :)  Do you have a GSP?  If so, do you agree or disagree with my opinion?  Let me know in the comments, or email me at sadievlogg at gmail dot com.