German Shorthaired Pointers


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Kestrel
August 13, 2007, 05:01 PM
We may need to get rid of our current dog, due to some behavior issues. I'm thinking about another breed that is a good indoor dog and was thinking about the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Do they make good indoor dogs?

Are they high strung? Do they require a large amount of exercise?

Do they smell (like labs, etc.)?

Do they shed?

Are they good with small children?

Easy to house break?

Thanks for any help.

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silliman89
August 13, 2007, 05:38 PM
It's been 35 years since my family had a German Shorthaired Pointer. Breeds do change over time. Also we only owned 1, so she may not reflect the entire breed.

She was a great inside dog and great with kids. The problem was outdoors. She would immediately start running as soon as she was outside and then be completely uncontrollable. She was hit by cars 3 times, although luckily always recovered.

Maybe if you exercised her, hard, for a couple of hours every single day then she would listen to you outdoors. My personal opinion though is that the breed is only viable for people with a lot of land. Let the dog run around outside by herself. She'll probably come home for meals and to go to bed at night. If you live in a town or city I would never consider the breed.

Of course this is internet advice and you get what you pay for.

ArmedBear
August 13, 2007, 05:46 PM
Do they make good indoor dogs?

As much as any very energetic hunting dog. After spending enough time running around, chasing stuff, being mentally challenged, etc., they'll be stoked to come hang out with their family.

Are they high strung? Do they require a large amount of exercise?


I hope those are two separate questions.

No, and Yes. A Shelty is high-strung. A hunting dog needs a lot of exercise. A LOT. As in, if you're even asking, you might really want to reconsider.

But a properly-exercised GSP (or other VHD) is not what I'd call "high-strung." On the other hand, if you'd rather have a sixpack than go for a run or swim, and watch TV rather than go to the gym, a GSP will be on a very different page. As a fitness nut, longtime surfer, and outdoor sports type who had to go for a trail run last time I went fishing because I couldn't stand sitting there, and who has had another really hyper dog for 4.5 years already, I have found out that my idea of "lots of exercise" differs greatly from that of others. Do not underestimate what "lots of exercise" means!

I have a friend who's had a GSP for years now; here's a typical story. He took her camping with a bunch of people. She brought a tennis ball to one of them. He threw it. She retrieved it. She kept going to different people, and after EIGHT HOURS straight, she was still begging to go chase the ball some more. She wasn't particularly young at the time, either.:)

Do they smell (like labs, etc.)?


IMO, a bit. They have a thick water-resistant undercoat, so it's hard to shampoo them all the way to the skin. Similar breeds like the English Pointer and Vizsla have much thinner coats and can be thoroughly washed without much trouble, but the GSP is probably more like a Lab. People certainly have them as indoor dogs; they don't tend to reek if kept clean. But some other breeds can be kept clean more easily.:)

Do they shed?

Nothing like a Siberian Husky, but a couple time a year, short-haired dogs do shed. It's nothing a vacuum cleaner won't pick up; you'll just need to clean up a bit extra for a few weeks.

Are they good with small children?

Depends on the dog, as with any breed, but generally yes.

Easy to house break?

A dog is a dog. Smarter dogs are easier, I guess. I don't know anyone who has their GSP pissing all over or anything, past early puppyhood.

Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Shorthaired_Pointer

Find your local chapter and go to some trainings. Meet dogs, owners, breeders, trainers. See what you think. http://www.navhda.org/ There are many similar breeds that vary in one way or another, and all worth a look.

flc
August 13, 2007, 06:24 PM
I second the NAVHDA advice. I have owned German Shorthaired Pointers since 1970 so I'm prejudiced about the breed. Some have been housedogs and some outside dogs. Over that period of time I was transferred all over the country while working for Uncle Sam. I have lived where we had a couple of acres and I have lived in Dallas where the backyard was a swimming pool and not much else. The climate has been from HOT, where I'm at now, to the high mountains of Colorado. They have adapted to it all.

Over the last 37 years the breed has changed considerably. Generally speaking, the breed has gotten smaller, faster, and a little more high strung due to some breeders infusing English Pointer blood into the line to create a faster hunting and better field trial line of dogs. NAVHDA stands for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Assn and the majority of their breeds (and GSPs) conform more to the original lines. NAVHDA is more predominant in the northern states. I am not a member, but subscribe to their training methods. My current GSP is probably my last as I am aging and it gets tougher to hunt each year. He is out of a premier line of NAVHDA dogs called Shooting Starr Kennels. He is a superb hunter, loves the water, and is great with my grandchildren. He, too, is a little past his prime but still does better than me on quail and pheasant. He is also my closest buddy.

I think armedbear pretty well answered most of your questions. My advice:
If you aren't going to hunt him/her - get another breed. If you aren't going to spend much time with him/her - get another breed. They are a people dog. If you want a better indoor dog - I would generally say get a female. However, one of my hunting partners lives on a large farm and his male (Sam) runs loose all day long. About dark each day, Sam will bump the door with his head, come inside, get his teddy bear, and go to bed.

I like them - but you may not. Learn lots before you get one. A good dog is a lifetime investment (it's) in time, energy, $$. If you are just looking to own one, the GSPs are probably not for you.

flc

ArmedBear
August 13, 2007, 06:35 PM
flc-

You've got a chapter in OK, though I don't know if it's near you.

http://www.navhda.org/chaptmap.html

islandphish
August 13, 2007, 06:36 PM
I really like GSP's and have owned several. They are hyper. Not what is generally considered good for a house dog. Also, to have one and not let it hunt would be sad. Their drive is almost unbelievable, you really have to see it to believe it. And you may find, as I have and others have mentioned, that once outside that dog will hardly care about you as it is so busy hunting.

My current GSP is a pain when in the house. Oh, he housetrained really quickly but now when he is in he goes to the door every ten minutes. Not to relieve himself but because he wants to go hunting. He has also never been a really personable dog. Yet I have no doubt he would die for me.

Great dogs for a purpose, in my opinion not the best for a pet.

PS. look at springers and brittanys if you want hunt and pet in a house friendly package.

MarshallDodge
August 13, 2007, 08:10 PM
I had a GSP/Lab mix and he was docile in the house but extremely active outside. When let outside he would make laps around the yard at full speed for about 15 minutes before he would calm down. We had him neutered and that improved things a little. I never hunted with him but he was very happy taking a swim or retrieving a ball. He passed away at 10 years old and everyone including close family members and friends missed him.

We got another GSP last week. This time we went with a female. She seems a little more docile than the males we have had but it's hard to tell at 15 weeks.

The nice part about GSP's is that they don't shed alot and if they do the hair can be picked up by a vacuum cleaner. All dogs have an odor, I usually give ours a bath once a month and it helps keep the edge off.

Kestrel
August 13, 2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like it's probably not a good match for us. We don't have the open land for one to run in and I don't have the time to run one for a couple of hours a day. If it's a dog that is always wanting to hunt, he's going to be frustrated in a house for most of the day.

Thanks again for the info. Guess I need to consider another breed...

Fburgtx
August 15, 2007, 08:59 PM
All the GSP's we had or that I've come across have been a little too hyper/high-strung to make a really good inside dog. Have come across a few Weimeraners that weren't bad. Virtually all the golden retrievers I've come across have been friendly dogs/very trainable.

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