German Shorthaired Pointer

  • Overview

    German Shorthaired Pointers are slightly smaller than the just-plain Pointer. The German Shorthaired Pointer is an intelligent, easy-going dog who fits easily into active families with plenty of space outdoors for their dog to explore. They are unobtrusive indoors and energetic outdoors. Their smooth coats require little grooming.

  • Personality

    German Shorthaired Pointers are capable hunters and willing companions. They're responsive to training, but they can be easily distracted. They want to please their owners, but they also want to make sure they pay attention to all the sights and sounds around them. If training is engaging and fast-paced, these quick-learning dogs will pick up commands with little difficulty. German Shorthaired Pointers are athletic dogs who need plenty of exercise to stay happy and well-behaved. Without mental and physical stimulation, they'll put themselves to work causing trouble. They love to fetch, run and sniff outdoors. These dogs are people-oriented, so any activity that allows them to spend time with their owners is ideal.

    Especially if they receive enough activity to wear themselves out, German Shorthaired Pointers are laidback and sensitive indoors. They are content to curl up at their owner's feet for a nice long snooze or to settle down to get their belly rubbed at the end of the day.

  • Coat Care

    The German Shorthaired Pointer's coat is pretty self-explanatory. It's short, of course. It's also thick, protective and water-repellent to allow this hunting dog to preserve through all types of weather. The coat is longer and rougher through the haunches to protect the dog's backside. The hair along the head, face and ears is short and smoother. German Shorthaired Pointers have large, hanging ears that help them respond quickly in the field. Their coat is solid liver (dark brown) or liver and white. The liver and white patter is roan, ticked or patched.

German Shorthaired Pointer
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Brush your German Shorthaired Pointer's smooth coat with a firm rubber bristle brush and rub it off with a towel to help it retain its shininess.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Smooth coated breeds adhere to the general rule of dog bathing: about once every three months. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing.

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Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Check your German Shorthaired Pointer's ears weekly for infection. Those floppy ears attract water and debris, especially if your dog hunts or retrieves frequently

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.