When I was about 12 years old, I got my very first dog…a Dalmatian. Being a kid, I didn’t really know much about what set each breed apart based on characteristics, what their true needs were, or anything other than it was a dog and it was mine. Looking back, I am so incredibly thankful for the 16 years I had with that Dalmatian because he ultimately prepared me for the patience I would need for the breed I’d later fall in love with…German shorthaired pointers.
WHY A GSP
Rewind back to about 7 years ago, we decided it was time for a dog. My boyfriend grew up with German shorthaired pointers and he was looking for a hunting companion, so we agreed that was the breed. Going in to this, the only things I knew about the breed were based on my readings. I had never seen or met one in person…until the day I laid eyes on our Gordie.
I’ll be completely honest, in those first few months I often asked myself, “what were we thinking?!” He was A LOT to handle. He never wanted to sleep and had more energy than the Energizer Bunny himself. However, his crazy quickly became the calm to my storm and we both started to get our routine down. This proved to be key!
After getting through those trying times with Gordie, it taught me so much about this breed. And because of him, we have Lylle and we foster other GSP’s. It’s a breed that I can’t imagine my life without one…or two…or maybe three some day (wink, wink).
THINGS TO KNOW
German shorthaired pointers are an incredibly intelligent and active breed. Some may say “high maintenance” due to their level of needs when it comes to physical and mental stimulation. They’re bred to be sporting and working dogs — they thrive when they have a “job.” Most often, GSP’s are used as hunting companions. They’re known to be versatile hunters. This is one of the few breeds that can perform all gundog roles. The GSP can be a pointer and a retriever and hunts a wide variety of game.
If you’ve been to an airport lately, you may have noticed that this particular breed is often used by TSA or law enforcement agencies as working K9’s — most often as Explosive Detection Dogs.
They’re used in agility, as therapy dogs, in dog sledding, as marathon training companions, show dogs, but above all else, this breed makes an amazing all-round companion. They’re incredibly loyal, affectionate (almost Velcro-like), eager to please and respond well to training.
We often have people tell us they want a GSP. A few things to keep in mind…if you’re looking for a dog to take around the block a time or two, this is not the dog for you. They need extensive exercise. They need a lot of mental stimulation — training is HUGE. They thrive on pleasing their owners and are quick to learn new commands. They get bored VERY easily, so recognizing and preventing this is key. They’re great family dogs, however, they may be a little too rambunctious at times for little children. Although they’re high maintenance in activity, they’re rather low maintenance in the grooming department. And if you’re not a lover of the outdoors, this may not be the breed for you…they love outdoor adventures, laying in the sun, playing in the snow, etc..
This breed is definitely not for everyone, but for those that are lucky enough to own or know one, you’ll feel love and loyalty like no other.
What breed do you own that you’re passionate about informing others on?
Hi! I’m Krystle, a 30-something yr old Dog Mom living in the ‘burbs of Minneapolis. An Advertising Creative Strategist with a slight Pointer obsession, addiction to coffee, eye for interior design and need for travel. I’m a rescue supporter and breed advocate, on a mission to help inform and educate while providing daily smiles through our Instagram feed, @PointerProblems.