German Shorthaired Pointing Dog (Deutsch Kurzhaar)

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
brown, dark brown roan, light brown roan, white with brown head markings, black, yellow tan markings
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Recognized by:
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • smart and frisky

  • needs very basic grooming

  • good watcher

  • versatile

  • excellent gun dog

  • wonderful family companion

  • may be aggressive towards street animals

  • can’t be trusted with guarding duties

  • requires a great deal of physical and mental exercise

  • not for a novice owner

  • willful


The German Shorthaired Pointing dog is an all-purpose hunting breed that is praised for its ability to operate both on land and water. German breeders exerted every effort in order to make this dog an equally great hunting and family companion. Remember that it will need extensive amount physical outlets if it’s kept exclusively as a pet.


The immediate forebears of the German Shorthaired Pointing Dog were developed as early as in the XVII century, although a present-day variant of this breed was invented to become a versatile sporting dog in the middle of the XIX century. Its original version was referred as the German Pointer or the German Bird Dog and was produced by crossing the Spanish Pointer with the Bloodhound. The resulting dog was notable for nice scent, heavy build and supreme docility but hunters wished to endow this budging breed with more stylish and handsome appearance. To realise this goal they utilised Pointers, which they brought from England. Thanks to these crosses breeders could also eliminate the dog’s dislike to water so ever since it was capable of retrieving wounded and killed birds both on land and from water.

This dog was held in high esteem by most of German noble people, who also greatly enjoyed hunting. For example, Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfeld of the Royal House of Hanover was one of the most passionate fanciers of the Deutsch Kurzhaar and considerably promoted its development as a biddable all-around hunting animal.

The first specimens of the Deutsch Kurzhaar were brought to the U.S. in 1925 by Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana, who was a beginning breeder. In 1930 the breed attained full recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC). During the Second World War all canine breeding in Germany came to a complete halt and lots of individual breed members were transported to Yugoslavia for safekeeping. But the Iron Curtain made these dogs unavailable for breeders from Western Germany in the post-war years and they were forced to restore the native population of the German Shorthaired Pointing Dog from very restricted gene pool.

The popularity of this breed in the United States topped in the 50s and 60s of the XX century. Its specimens were valued not only for its exceptional hunting talents but also for its aristocratic elegance, which made them tough competitors at conformation ring. Today the German Shorthaired Pointing Dog is still majorly exploited for hunting various type of game including pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge, jacksnipe, woodcock, duck, rabbits, raccoons and possums. Its coat effectively repels water and its feet are supplied with special webs so it easily copes with retrieving tasks in cold water. Moreover this dog commonly excels in the role of a family pet.


The Deutsch Kurzhaar is a classical hunting dog that thrives on hard work. Without frequent and active pastime with its masters it commonly becomes emotionally stressed and may demonstrate destructive behaviour indoors. The best words that describe this breed include loyal, affectionate and complaisant. Remember that it requires appropriate socialisation to prevent nervousness around children but in general it’s totally fine with younger members of its family as long as they treat it gently and respectfully. The puppy of the German Shorthaired Pointing usually can’t hold back its vigorous temper and therefore should never be left one on one with a toddler.

Most of Deutsch Kurzhaars are rather accepting of strange people and like acquiring new friends. Nonetheless an under socialised breed member may exhibit extreme standoffishness around strangers. This dog isn’t endowed with sufficient aggressiveness to make a trustworthy guardian. But due to its inherent and unfailing vigilance it does very well as a watcher and always forewarns its masters about any suspicious activity nearby its dwelling.

The German Shorthaired Pointing Dog is affable with other canines although it may sometimes start a quarrel with unfamiliar dog over an alpha status. That’s why its owner should never release his pet off-leash in public places. This dog is born with highly powerful hunting instincts and no amount of obedience training is going to make this breed tolerate street animals. But master stands a good chance to its peaceful co-existence with non-canine pets if he/she introduces the animals to each other early enough.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· canine hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia;

· eye problems;

· epilepsy;

· hemangiosarcoma;

· lymphoma;

· mammary cancer;

· deafness;

· ear infections;

· arthritis

· gastric torsion (bloat).


The Deutsch Kurzhaar has very low grooming requirements. Its short and coarse coat should be brushed with a firm bristle brush on a regular basis. This breed does shed and lots of its specimens are very heavy shedders. So it can’t be reckoned as an optimal canine companion for allergic sufferers or too extremely neat people.

In other respects this dog requires fairly standard maintenance that should comprise of a monthly nail trimming and periodic ear cleaning. Make sure to examine the dog’s body for injuries (paying extra attention to its feet) after each and every hunting adventure.


You will need average amount of time and efforts to teach the German Shorthaired Pointing Dog basic tricks and commands. Young breed member seems to soak up knowledge like blotting paper so begin training your pup as early as possible. This dog commonly achieves thorough success in agility and obedience trials.

It’s worth to be aware that the Deutsch Kurzhaar will listen to strong and decisive person who has managed to earn its respect with firm yet kind handling. Any interesting scent may divert its attention away from training process so handler should make allowance for such kind of behaviour. It’s totally counterproductive to punish this dog for its infrequent blunders since it can only intimidate it and make it more wilful.


The German Shorthaired Pointing Dog is very spirited and inquisitive breed that should receive lots of both physical and mental stimulation on the daily basis. An hour of vigorous exercise is a bare minimum, which will ensure its well manners indoors. This dog likes all canine games and will never miss an opportunity to swim in a local pond.

The Deutsch Kurzhaar also makes a wonderful companion for those people who love jogging or bicycling. Anyway, the lack of physical activity is the most common cause of such behavioural problems as over excitability, unmotivated barking and even aggressiveness.