German Pointer

German Pointer

22 June 2023

Let's talk about... German Pointers: What are they?

  • German Pointers, also known as German Shorthaired Pointers, are a versatile and intelligent breed originating from Germany.
  • They were developed in the 19th century by crossing various hunting breeds to create an all-purpose hunting dog.
  • They are known for their sleek and athletic build.
  • German Pointers are medium-sized dogs, with males typically standing around 62 to 66 centimetres in height, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 58 to 63 centimetres.
  • Their life expectancy is usually between 12 and 14 years.
German Short-Haired Pointers  Exercise Needs: 4/5 Grooming Ease: 4/5 Trainability: 4/5

What is the temperament of German Pointers like?

  • German Pointers have a wonderful temperament. They are friendly, outgoing, and eager to please their owners. They make excellent family pets and are known to be gentle and patient with children.
  • These dogs are highly intelligent and have a strong desire to work and please their owners. They excel in various dog sports and activities such as obedience, agility, and tracking.
  • Due to their hunting background, German Pointers have a natural instinct to point and retrieve game. They can be easily trained to be excellent hunting companions, but they also thrive in homes where they are given other outlets for their energy and intelligence.
Biscuit, the German short-haired pointer
Biscuit, the German short-haired pointer

How much exercise do German Pointers need?

  • German Pointers are energetic dogs that require a substantial amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They are built for endurance and can accompany you on long hikes, runs, or even bike rides.
  • Ideally, they should get at least 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day. This can include walks, playtime in a secure area, and mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys or training sessions.
  • Pointer pups should get no more than 5 minutes of exercise per month of age per day.
  • By the time they reach adulthood, around 1 year old, they can usually handle the full exercise needs of an adult, if amounts of exercise are increased gradually.
  • Keep in mind that German Pointers are active both physically and mentally, so providing them with opportunities to use their instincts and abilities is important.
  • Engaging them in activities that challenge their problem-solving skills or participating in dog sports can be highly beneficial.

Lyra, the German pointer
Lyra, the German pointer

Do German Pointers require grooming?

  • German Pointers have short, dense coats that are relatively low-maintenance.
  • They are easy to groom and typically require a weekly brushing to remove any loose hair and keep their coat looking shiny.
  • They have a short coat that comes in a variety of colours, including liver, black, and white combinations.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Mylosh, the German short-haired pointer
Mylosh, the German short-haired pointer

Are German Pointers easy to train?

  • German Pointers are intelligent and eager to learn, which makes them generally easy to train.
  • They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards, praise, and treats.
  • Consistency and patience are key when training German Pointers. Start training from an early age and focus on socialisation to help them become well-rounded dogs.
  • Early exposure to different people, animals, and environments will help them develop into confident and friendly companions.
  • Training classes can be beneficial for these smart pooches, particularly for first-time dog owners.
Otto and Odin, the German pointers
Otto and Odin, the German pointers

What do German Pointers eat?

  • Feeding your German Pointer a high-quality, balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Choose a dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • Feed them puppy food 3-4 times a day when they are young, reducing to twice a day at 6 months and feed puppy food until about 12 months old, or as advised by your pet food supplier and/or vet.
  • As adults, divide their meals into two portions a day.
  • Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, as excessive weight can lead to various health problems.

Are German Pointers healthy?

German Pointers are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Some issues that may affect German Pointers include:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint


  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - over time the back of the eye becomes damaged which can reduce your dog’s vision, eventually leading to blindness


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a German Pointer is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves German Shorthair Pointers

BorrowMyDoggy has 2146 German Shorthair Pointers members.

Uno is our much-loved, bouncy, loving, energetic and sweet family dog. She’s small for a German pointer and loves company and strokes and walks and humans and other dogs and food!

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

Pointer Dog Breed Guides


English Setter

German Pointer

Hungarian Vizsla

Irish Setter

Italian Spinone


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