German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Indiana

Is A German Shorthaired Pointer Right For You?

They start out cute little puppies that turn into something like a teenager on speed.  If, and it's a "if", you are lucky to get one well bred that comes from stock with health clearances and has been socialized you're only a little ahead of the game.  It doesn't mean they will be easy to train or live with, it just means you won't be adding a new wing to your vet's existing office.

Shorthairs were bred to work tirelessly in the field on both fur and feather, as well as retrieve in water.  As such they are very energetic and in all probability, have a lot more stamina than you do.  They are bright creative clowns that are always one step ahead of you enticing you to catch them, "if you can".  They can dismantle a room, rearrange your furniture and do some creative garding in less than five seconds.  Anything that moves or flits about is fair game and the quickest way to reach it is a straight line regardless of if is across furniture or through your favorite flower bed!  Anything left on the floor becomes theirs to be appropriately investigated via a good chewing or tug of war.  Just becuase its higher up does not mean its safe either; one swift counter surf can take care of anything not previously found on the floor.  They will eat anything that does not bite them first.  Depending on circumstances and their systems tolerance, they will barf or fart worse than any other regardless if you are entertaining guests or not!

If you have small children they will collude with them in ways that are beyond the imagination.  Add another dog or cat to the equation and you have organized chaos.  To add insult to injury, they live longer than you have the energy for and will never get the best of them, in their golden years they will have you waiting on them hand and foot catering to their every whim.  Training them in any particular venue only adds to the excitment and increases the odds that a root canal with no anesthesia is something you would look forward to experiencing.

Commitment to understanding this breed is a "Sporting Dog" is a reality you should come to terms with.  Expectations of 20 minute evening walks or a few games of fetch is not cutting it with a GSP.  This dog was bred for a purpose. Hunting is a Shorthairs primary purpose, versatility in the field brings attention to the fact that these dogs can do almost anything!  Find, track, retrieve, and water retrieve just to name a few; without their energy being channeled in a purposed direction you are sure to have a dog finding his/her own way of channeling energy that you more than likely won't be a fan of.

Don't get us wrong!  Shorthairs are wonderful animals - but they are not for everyone. They are not content to decor5ate the front of your fireplace and be satisfied with an occasional word or ear scratch.  They crave human interaction and need a fair amount of physical activity.  If you fail to provide the requisite amount of either, there is a real risk you will have a schizophrenic nutcase on your hands.  This is not a short term commitment.  Shorthairs tend to live 14 years or so.  If you are considering a Shorthair, then you should carefully and honestly answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have, or are you willing to acquire the knowdge it takes to train and interact  with a dog both highly intelligent and energetic?
  2. Does the family lifestyle allow for regular daily "doggie time" to exercise and play and learn?
  3. Do you have access to an area where the dog can safely romp of lead to condition and blow off steam?
  4. Are all family members committed to surviving the boisterous puppy months (years?) and psyched about enjoying activities with the dog?
  5. Are you willing to commit for years, not days, weeks, or months?
  6. Financially can you commit to the expectation that some type of training classes will not only be extremely beneficial, but more likely necessary to properly channel your Shorthairs energy and learning needs?  

If you can honestly answer yes to the above, then maybe a Shorthair is the breed for you.  If not, then we really believe you should consider another breed.  There are a lot of wonderful dog breeds out there, take time to find the right one that fits your lifestyle.  In the long run, it will be best for both your family and the dog.