German Shorthaired Pointer

Lifestyle Needs

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a fairly large hunting dog.  He has an abundance of energy and stamina and ideally should have more than two hours exercise every day with plenty of free running.  He has a strong hunting drive and will need very firm and experienced handling.  Some GSPs are good natured and friendly and would be suitable as a family dog but others do have temperament issues.  He can also suffer from separation anxiety.  His coat is short, and easy to keep clean but he does need to be groomed regularly.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.3% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) Bloat/Torsion

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed 5 year mean score 9.8 (parents should be lower)
  • Eye disease: Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) (annual testing)
  • Elbow dysplasia

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • von Willebrands disease (vWD) type 11
  • Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB)
  • Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • Bitches not to produce litters under two years of age
  • Bitches not to produce more than 4 litters in their lifetime

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)


  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Osteochondritis – shoulder
  • Cancer: various
  • Bloat/GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus)
  • Entropion

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information