Drahthaar or German Shorthaired Pointer: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The German shorthaired pointer or drahthaar breed of dog is one of the most complete and dynamic pets that exist. It has a loving, courageous and faithful character. And, thanks to some enviable physical characteristics , it is gaining a place in many homes around the world. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Character of the German Shorthaired Pointer

With a courageous, affectionate, faithful character and extremely devoted to the demands of its master, the German Shorthaired Pointer has everything that is required of a complete hunting dog. In addition, it can be an extraordinary pet or companion animal.

This dog is possessed of a firm, balanced, energetic, docile and trustworthy behaviour, it is never nervous, shy or aggressive. It can be said that the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most dynamic and complete breeds that exist. This dog is an athlete and a working dog by nature, intelligent, protective and with a highly developed desire to please its master.

Race is intimately linked to man and cannot be conceived without the presence of an owner or a family that acts as a reference and center of its existence.

It is always happy and willing to participate in any activity that arises. Regardless of whether it is a hunting day, a long walk in the field or, for example, an agility competition.

Therefore, it is not a suitable dog to live in isolation, as it greatly enjoys the presence of its family and dislikes being alone for long periods of time. This is one of the reasons why dogs cry.

It is, on the other hand, an ideal choice for families with children, since their relationship with them is perfect, since they establish an immediate connection and participate with the smallest of the house in all their adventures.

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs a lot of exercise every day, so it is not suitable for lazy people. Long periods of inactivity inevitably lead them to become an unbalanced animal, both physically and mentally.

Some specimens may show more dominance tendencies than others, so, at first, it is necessary to control their relationship with other dogs. Although in general it is not usually problematic.

However, with other pets you have to be more careful, since if you are not used to living with them since you are a puppy, it is possible that sooner or later your hunting instinct will surface. Unpleasant situations can occur that are always better to avoid.

  • Energy: a Energetic and active, it is a true athlete who needs to do intense exercise on a daily basis.
  • Temperament: closely linked to man, it is obedient, faithful and with a great desire to please. Balanced and vigorous, it is very versatile.
  • Adaptability: It can live in the city, but its ideal environment is the countryside, and it does not tolerate loneliness well.
  • Sociability: It is very attached to its family and does not understand life away from it. With other dogs it usually gets along, but with other species it may bring out its hunting instincts.
  • Health: good. You may have hip or elbow dysplasia.
  • Longevity: a Live for 15 years or more.
  • Utility: versatile. It is an excellent hunting and companion dog.
  • Use: hunting and company.

Characteristics of the German Shorthaired Pointer

It is a dog that has an appearance and looks spectacular. Of harmonious proportions, whose constitution exudes strength, endurance and speed. Its bearing is erect, its lines, fluid, and shows wide movements that underline its nobility.

This German shorthaired pointer is one of the most popular show breeds in the world, primarily due to its ability to perform a wide variety of hunting tasks.

It works well under all weather conditions, on all types of terrain and with game pieces of a very diverse nature. It also carries out a complete job, which ranges from tracking and locating the dam to collecting it once it has been shot down, going through its sample and its lifting.

Physical characteristics of the Drahthaar

  • General appearance: has a strong constitution and a noble and harmonious figure, with an upright bearing and flowing lines.
  • Size: large.
  • Height at the withers: between 62 and 66 cm for males and between 58 and 63 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 25 and 32 kg for males and between 24 and 31 kg for females.
  • Origin: Germany.
  • Body: with harmonious lines, the German Shorthaired Pointer has an elongated body structure, which is underlined by a long, slightly sloping back, with a moderately marked withers, and a broad and quite long rump.
  • Head: medium in size, a bit broad. The frontal furrow is clearly marked, the muzzle is long and the nose is large and square, domed, with smooth, well-sculpted lines
  • Skull: it is wide, slightly domed, with the occiput not very marked, the frontal furrow not very deep and the superciliary arches developed.
  • Muzzle: long, wide and strong to facilitate the correct collection of the prey, the nasal bridge is slightly convex, more accentuated in males.
  • Nose: large and slightly protruding, with open and mobile nostrils. It is brown, black in black-coated dogs, and roan black or flesh-colored if the coat is white.
  • Eyes: They are of medium size and oval in shape. The eyelids fit perfectly with the shape of the eyeball. The most common color is brown.
  • Ears: they are of medium length, smooth in texture, thin and with blunt tips. They are inserted high. If the two ears come together, they reach the corner of the mouth.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): moderately marked.
  • Jaws: they are robust and have a complete set of teeth with a scissor joint.
  • Neck: length proportional to the body, gradually widening at the shoulders. The nape is very muscular and slightly arched. The skin of the throat does not show folds.
  • Chest: It has more depth than width, with a marked sill. The sternum and the elbow joint are positioned at the same height. The ribs, well arched, are neither flat nor barrel-shaped; the posterior ones are markedly descending
  • Back: with the upper descending line, it has a high withers, a compact and arched loin, and a broad and long rump.
  • Forelimbs: they are straight and parallel, well located below the body. The shoulders blades are oblique and close to the thorax, leaning back, with powerful muscles. Their forearms are straight and endowed with strong bones and their arms are very long, thin and very muscular. With elbows well attached, but not tight against the chest, and placed back.
  • Hind limbs: seen from behind, they are straight and parallel. The bones are strong and the thighs long, broad and muscular. They have a good angulation between the hip and the thigh. Its legs are long, muscular and with very marked tendons. They have a good angulation between the leg and the metatarsal. The knees are strong. And the hocks are powerful.
  • Feet: strong and round, the toes are close together and arched. Neither at rest nor in motion they turn outwards or inwards. The pads are sturdy and hard, and the nails are strong.
  • Tail: of medium length, in some countries where it is allowed it is cut in the middle to favour the activity of the animal in the hunt. If the dog keeps it whole, at rest it carries it horizontally. In motion it raises her a little above the line of the back.
  • Skin: well adjusted and without forming folds.
  • Hair: it is hard, short and tight. It occurs in brown or black, sometimes with white spots or mottling, or in brown roan, black roan, or white, with a brown head and some spots. 
  • Color: There are several color combinations. It can be solid brown with or without small white spots, or mottled on the chest and limbs; dark roan brown, with or without a solid head and brown patches or spots.

Likewise, there are white specimens with a brown head, with solid or mottled areas of this color. It can also be black with the same shades, as well as roan black. Some specimens have yellowish tan markings, or an elongated, streaked white spot on the forehead and mottled lips.

  • Movement: the dog moves covering a lot of ground, with a great impulse of the hind limbs and a strong stride. During the movement the limbs remain straight and parallel, and the bearing is upright.
  • FCI Classification: FCI nº 0119 GROUP 7. Section 1 Continental Pointing Dogs.
  • Other names: German Short-haired Pointíng Dog / Braque allemand a poil court / Deutsch Kurzhaar.

German Shorthair Pointer puppies

If you are thinking of buying a German Pointer puppy from a breeder, or better yet, you are considering adoption, you should know that the ideal is to start education when the dog is still a puppy.

The training of this obedient and intelligent dog is quite simple, as long as its owner knows how to establish themselves as a natural leader, clear and with great confidence in themselves. In this way you can ensure having an extraordinary pet.

It is very important that from a very young age it can have contact with other dogs or other pets, as well as other people. In this way, it is achieved that they have a good socialization with their environment and avoid possible future problems.

Drahthaar education and training

If you are interested in knowing how to educate a German Shorthaired Pointer, you should know that, although its dedication and devotion to its owner are fool proof, this dog needs an authority figure to obey.

In their training it is not necessary to be very strict or use excessive pressure or authority systems. It is enough to show them in a natural, solid and coherent way that the master is the one who occupies the position of natural leadership, so that the pointer does not even think about questioning the orders it receives from them.

Regarding the training of the German shorthaired pointer, this pointer likes an orderly and routine life.

You have to have a very clear idea of ​​what is expected of them and of the place it occupies within the family group.

Anything that deviates from these basic principles can lead to mental imbalance. Giving rise to certain mental and behavioral disorders and turn it into a misfit and unhappy dog, unable to show itself with all the charm and splendour that characterize it.

Drahthaar feeding

One of the biggest problems that the German Shorthaired Pointer can have is obesity. To prevent it and guarantee good general health, apart from exercise, it is essential to take good care of their diet.

This pointer is capable of withstanding long hunting days, it needs a large amount of energy that allows it to keep its entire muscular system in good condition, and endows it with enough glycogen reserves to withstand work for many hours.

So how do you feed a German shorthaired pointer ? It is quite easy, your diet should contain a good proportion of protein.

In addition, a studied balance of carbohydrates and a supply of quality fats , which help strengthen your eyesight and take care of your skin. Also your hair, the natural protection against inclement weather.

It is advisable that the owners of the breed have to divide the food ration into several meals throughout the day.

As a general rule, two may be enough, but dogs in a development period and those that are subjected to extraordinary physical stress (hunting, exhibitions, breeding) can eat three or four times a day to avoid hunger peaks during the day or episodes of hypoglycemia .

However, when dogs have to carry out intense physical activity, it is advisable not to feed them either in the hours before or in the hours immediately after it.

At present it is very easy to control what a dog eats, as there is a wide variety of foods on the market, adapted to all stages of the animal’s life. They perfectly meet the nutritional needs and, in the appropriate doses, contribute to maintaining the good physical condition of the animal.

Health and diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Active and healthy, in good condition this dog is in good health and can exceed 15 years of life without major problems. Even so, some diseases and health problems of the shorthaired pointer affect it with a special incidence.

Although almost always to a lesser extent than other breeds of the same weight and size, for example joint diseases, basically hip and elbow dysplasia.

It is not a worrying condition, but the most conscientious breeders monitor their specimens to prevent the disease from spreading further. As has already happened with other races.

It can also suffer from certain eye conditions, such as cataracts and retinal atrophy. In addition, external or morphological pathologies of the eye, such as ectropion and entropion. Other health disorders , such as epilepsy or stomach twists, can also occur, but to a much lesser extent.

Obesity is one of the great evils that haunt canine breeds in today’s society and the German Shorthaired Pointer is no exception. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the evolution of your weight from day one and adapt your daily food ration to your living conditions.

The fundamental advice is not to deprive an eminently sporty breed of the possibility of exercising daily and intensively , in a way that allows it to develop physically and mentally. In addition, if the owner makes the effort to work with its dog, in the long run it will have a healthier, happier and more suitable animal for coexistence with its entire family.

Apart from the problem posed by obesity for the joints, as it increases the chances of developing pathologies such as osteoarthritis and dysplasias , the accumulation of weight is also the primary cause of many other diseases that affect the skin, kidneys, liver, metabolism , etc., or even various heart ailments.

Therefore, a serious awareness must be taken of the need to keep the German Shorthaired Pointer within its ideal weight throughout its life. Although obesity is always a negative factor, it is especially so during the growth period and during old age. Stages in which the dog’s body becomes much more vulnerable.

Caring for the German Shorthaired Pointer

As for its aesthetic care, it is so simple that it can be said that it is practically nil. As its hair is short, it does not get knots or tangled branches or dry leaves when it goes out to work. You simply need an occasional brushing once or twice a week to remove dead hair.

And the bathroom should be reserved only for when the dog is really dirty, taking advantage of the occasion to check the state of the nails and trim them, although in the dogs that usually work in the field it is not necessary, due to natural wear and tear.

Dogs that regularly participate in activities in which they can come into contact with other dogs and present themselves in different environments (such as the arms that hunt, those that go to exhibitions and even those that frequent parks, as well as the females that are included in a breeding program), they should maintain a routine of regular visits with the vet. Thus, to be able to control and prevent the appearance of any possible infectious disease.

He must be in charge of controlling the weight and growth of the animal, and of completing the program of vaccinations and deworming, both closely linked, since together they strengthen the dog’s immune system.

Other routine actions that the veterinarian should carry out periodically with the German Shorthaired Pointer are checking their oral health, their ears and the general condition of their mucous membranes. As well as, of the skin and the hair, since these constitute the most precise primary indicators of the general state of health of the dog.

In short, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed that is very easy to maintain, with a very good character, excellent, faithful and obedient. It will make the life of the whole family much more active, dynamic and fun.

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