German Shorthaired Pointers, also known as GSPs, are a versatile dog breed packed with high energy and a natural draw to the outdoors. A beautiful and sleek breed, they are often seen as hunting dogs, but are German Shorthaired Pointers good family dogs? The short answer is yes.

German Shorthaired Pointers are good family dogs for a few reasons, including:

  •     Their temperament is intelligent, friendly, and sociable
  •     They have plenty of energy to keep kids entertained
  •     They are very trainable 

German Shorthaired Pointers indeed make great family dogs. Their boisterous temperament trait is worth noting before it joins a family, as well as many other traits you should be aware of.

German Shorthaired Pointers’ Temperament

German Shorthaired Pointer GSP Happy Are German Shorthaired Pointers Good Family Dogs?

German Shorthaired Pointers are a unique dog breed, and their temperament is unlike no other. They make good family dogs because of it. Their temperament makes them not only natural hunters but excellent family dogs. 

On average, German Shorthair Pointers have a temperament that is:

  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Bold
  • Boisterous
  • Cooperative
  • Trainable
  • Loving
  • Sociable
  • Playful
  • Obedient 

These eleven temperament traits are enough to convince a family to make a German Shorthaired Pointer a part of their family. Temperament traits such as friendly, affectionate, and boisterous are traits of a good family dog.

Like other dogs, loyalty is one of GSPs top traits. GSPs are interesting enough to a point where they’re hunters by nature, yet they have a deep level of affection and loyalty towards their family. On top of that, they have a defender’s mentality meaning they will defend their family at all times.

Temperament with Kids

German Shorthaired Pointers are highly sociable and loving dogs. They are perfect to have around kids. They have high amounts of playful energy, which is enough to keep kids busy. GSPs being a part of the family also teaches kids responsibility at an earlier age.

Good with Other Animals

GSPs are friendly and get along with other pets. Families who have other pets don’t need to worry about whether GSPs will cause problems. GSPs fit right in, thus making them a great addition to the family.

GSPs Can Be Sociable Around Strangers

When asking Are German Shorthaired Pointers good family dogs, you might be wondering how they might behave around your friends and family members who don’t live with you.  Don’t despair! GSPs are sociable and friendly towards strangers. Families don’t have to worry about whether their dog will be hostile or aggressive towards a guest. Some people consider a GSPs bark fierce, but it shouldn’t be regarded as a dissuading factor.

GSPs’ Active Lifestyle

GSPs and family members who love to sweat and push themselves will be best buds. GSPs don’t get along with a sedentary lifestyle as they’re naturally inclined to be on the go.

Training a German Shorthaired Pointer

GSPs are intelligent, obedient, and trainable dogs. They are active dogs by nature; hence they are compelled to be engaged at all times. Families should make sure to train their GSPs at an early stage since they are full of energy and become destructive. Families don’t have to worry about spending numerous hours teaching their GSP. However, a helpful tip to keep in mind is keeping their GSP focused as they can drift their attention elsewhere.

Another helpful tip for families is there are numerous training classes available. It’s vital GSP puppies get a healthy dosage of proper training to relinquish their energy. GSPs are quick learners and are eager to please, so there’s no need to stress over their training requirements. Despite the focus on early training, GSPs are still tremendous family dogs at the end of the day.

A fully trained GSP gives a family a plethora of joy and positive energy.

GSPs Preferred Workouts

GSPs are once again a breed unlike no other. They were crossbred to be ultimate hunters; therefore, they’re active, vigilant, and energetic dogs. Families who enjoy an active lifestyle will cherish a GSPs companionship. GSPs require at least two daily exercise sessions because of their endless amount of energy.

Some standard exercise sessions include:

  • Swimming
  • Long walk
  • Running
  • Fetching
  • Playing in the backyard
  • Playing at the dog park 

Exercise sessions should at least be thirty minutes or more.

GSPs Natural Hunting Instincts

GSP are natural hunters and will tend to pick up on prey. A helpful tip is to make sure to have them on a leash. They have a knack for catching squirrels, birds, rabbits, and raccoons, so it’s essential to be on the lookout as they may run off to pursue their prey. 

Another helpful tip is to make sure the background fence is secure from underneath as they may choose to dig their way out. DSPs love to catch prey, but they won’t escape as long as they are stimulated and fenced. 

In a fully secured area, they have nothing but playful behavior to share with their family.

GSP’s Health Record

GSPs are one of the healthiest dog breeds as they live up to fourteen years. They can participate in numerous types of sports and stay active for hours. This dog breed prefers to be awake rather than sleep. Its high energy gives families countless amounts of joy. 

It’s a dog breed that keeps on giving; however, every dog has their day and GSPs do have some potential health issues, like any breed.

GSP’s Eight Breed Health Concerns

GSPs are dogs that have an infinite amount of energy, and they are made to live. However, no dog breed is spared from health problems, no matter how healthy they are.

DSPs, unfortunately, suffer from the following eight conditions:

  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Eye disease
  • Cancer
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Lymphedema
  • Joint disease

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Shed?

GSP shed heavily, especially in warm climates. Making sure to groom them thoroughly and frequently will help them always feel their best, and you will have less fur messes to clean up.

The History of German Shorthaired Pointers

German Shorthaired Pointers’ origins stem from the 17th century. In the mid-late 19th century, GSPs were primarily bred to be hunting dogs. GSPs’ ancestors were Spanish Pointers and Bloodhounds. German hunters soon recognized the strengths and the hunting abilities of the two breeds and eventually crossbred them. 

German Shorthaired Pointers were at first known as Deutsch Kurzhaars.

GSPs Hunting Strengths

GSPs came to be the enhanced versions of the two breeds and became known for their diligent scenting abilities. Also, their sleek and muscular build aids them in hunting in water. 

Hunters have used GSPs to hunt:

  • Ducks
  • Game birds
  • Possums
  • Rabbits
  • Deer
  • Raccoons 

Since GSPs have a wide range of scent capabilities as well as webbed feet makes them especially good for hunting waterfowl of all types.

GSPs Family Dog Origins

As GSPs gained more attention, two GSPs, Nero and Treff, were a part of the German Derby. The national spotlight caught the eyes of numerous spectators. In 1925, Dr. Charles Thornton from Montana imported a GSP and later became a breeder.

In 1930, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed, which resulted in massive demand. The induction into the American Kennel Club led the breed to become a household favorite. 

Are German Shorthaired Pointers Good Family Dogs?

German Shorthaired Pointers make great family dogs.  Their mission is to bring joy to their humans. GSPs are great with kids of all ages.  Your GSP will be a pup who will provide high octane fun and unconditional love, making it the perfect family dog. 



10 German Shorthaired Pointer Facts (from the AKC)


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