Meet the Breed: Sporting Sensation

Sleek and athletic, the German Shorthaired Pointer makes an eager and handsome gundog.

A sporting dog of amazing versatility, the German Shorthaired Pointer combines good looks with a hunting instinct that has made it one of the premier field dogs in the world.

Lucretia Coonrod of Wamego, Kan., co-bred Ch. Kan-Point’s VJK Autumn Roses (“Carlee”), the 2005 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best-in-Show winner, and she loves to quote the bumper sticker often seen on the vehicles of GSP owners: “Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog.”

This sleek and graceful breed has proven itself many times over at hunt tests and field trials, where GSPs often earn most of the top placements.

GSP history
Known in Germany as the Deutsch Kurzhaar, or simply, Kurzhaar (Shorthair), the exact origins of the German Shorthaired Pointer are lost in the mists of time. The basic foundation stock almost certainly came from the braques (pointing dogs), particularly the now-extinct Spanish Pointer, and the schweisshunds (dogs used to follow blood trails) found in Germany several centuries ago.

The original Spanish Pointers and schweisshunds had superb noses, but were slow and heavy-set. In the 19th century, dog breeders were noblemen and sportsmen who thought that improvement was badly needed in their hunting dogs. They had a specific goal in mind: to create a multi-purpose field dog that could also be a sociable family dog. They began to refine their stock by incorporating other breeds.

Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels (1841 to 1901) of the House of Hanover encouraged breeders to create an all-purpose hunting dog. The prince owned a number of the local schweisshunds, as well as Pointers he obtained from England. He urged breeders to aim for a dog that worked well, rather than concentrate on how the dog looked. Once good working ability was developed, he claimed, good structure would follow naturally.

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