German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog (Deutsch Stichelhaar)

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
brown (white patches possible), brown roan, light roan
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • excellent gun dog
  • loves children
  • energetic
  • wonderful family companion                
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment
  • more aggressive than other pointers


The German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog is a gun dog with very memorisable appearance and outstanding temperament. It’s reckoned to be the oldest among German Rough-Coated Pointers. The dog is well-known in its native country and it’s still kept there mostly for hunting purpose. However it also deserved the reputation of a loyal and loving family dog.


The necessity of creation the German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog appeared in the second half of the XIX century, shortly after the fall of the feudal system in Germany. The vast territory of this country became available for common people. At the same time industrial progress resulted into the origin of a middle class, which adopted most of the habits of the former aristocracy including hunting sport. This means that German hunters from the middle class required a versatile hunting dog with the ability to operate without failure in circumstances.

The old German Pointer, the English Pointer and Setters, the Water Poodle as well as number of mountain herding breeds were used in the breeding of such an all-purpose hunting dog. The breeders put in years of work to invent three types of sporting dogs with distinct traits and succeeded in this goal at the turn of the XIX century. These types included the long-haired pointer, the short-haired pointer and the rough-haired variety namely the Deutsch Stichelhaar. The latter actually was produced from crossing the Pointer and the Griffon and resembled to a smaller version of the Pointing Griffon.

It’s believed that the German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog has already existed as a separate breed by the end of the XIX century. Actually it’s regarded to be one of the first Rough-Haired Pointing breeds developed in Germany. The dog became an indispensable assistant for hunters since it was endowed with multiple talents and exceled in tracing, pointing and retrieving. Moreover it was hardy and adaptable enough to work both on the land and in the water. The Deutsch Stichelhaar was an expert in hunting a feathered game like pheasants, ducks, snipe but it was also quite capable of tracking down and pointing other species of animals including a wild boar. Nowadays the breed is still highly popular as a gun dog in its native country.

The German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog attained official recognition in Germany in 20s of the XX century. At this time the breed also found its way to the United States. It didn’t gain much following in this country but it was recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1959. The dog is rightly considered to be extremely rare outside Germany.

The Deutsch Stichelhaar is notable for its calm and steadfast temperament and thrives in the roles of both a companion dog and a gun dog. It tends to bond especially tightly to the person it perceives as a master. Nonetheless it stays exceptionally devoted to all family members and craves to spend quality time with them. This breed is quite alright with children and likes to be engaged in their occupations. It’s essential though that it must be exhibited to their company since an early age.

This dog treats strange people with natural suspiciousness and aloofness. When properly trained the German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog is rather friendly to an unfamiliar person but it still remains a little bit reserved and shy. It is very alert and therefore can become a highly capable watchdog. The breed can also be trained into a reasonable guard dog with a well-developed ability to discern the differences between a real and an imaginary threat.

The Deutsch Stichelhaar generally gets along with other dogs especially if it has been socialised with them. However, this breed has a tendency to be dominant and it’s quite ready to fight over the leading position. So it’s advisable to keep it securely leashed while on a walk. The German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog is first of all a multifunctional and robust hunting breed and possesses a well-developed hunting drive. So it’s strongly inclined to chase every street animal it meets. At the same time it’s rather accepting of a household cat or other non-canine animals with which it has been reared since its puppyhood.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• eye problems;
• von Willebrand’s disease
• ear infections;
• skin cancer.


The German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog is fairly undemanding when things concern its maintenance. Its owner should brush the dog’s coat several times a week with a firm bristle brush. The coat also requires seasonal plucking, which should be done manually. There is nothing complicated about this procedure so it can be easily conducted by the owner himself.

This breed needs to be bathed rather rarely since its hair repels dirt as well as water. The dog’s ears and feet must be checked and cleaned after each hunting adventure. The Deutsch Stichelhaar sheds moderately.

The training of the German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog usually requires moderate investments of time and efforts. This dog can be fairly described as workaholic so it should pass through minimal training to become highly effective as a hunting dog.

However it certainly doesn’t live to pleasure and likes to make its own decisions rather than to follow orders. The handler should possess personality of a leader to make this dog fully submit to his commands. The Deutsch Stichelhaar is very sensitive to critiques and learns better if stimulated with plenty of tasty treats and encouraging words.

The German Rough-Haired Pointing Dog is a remarkably vigorous breed and therefore needs to be regularly exercised. It will be hardly satisfied with one potty walk and should be provided with ample space to run and play. It’s an avid swimmer and will never miss an opportunity to swim in some local pond.

If you live in a small city apartment you might actually want to reconsider your decision to adopt this breed. Without intensive physical activity the Deutsch Stichelhaar will most probably manifest some serious issues in its behaviour including being extremely destructive, fidgety, over excited and even aggressive.