If you’re considering getting a dog, then there’s no better option than the German Shorthaired Pointer. These friendly dogs are smart and loyal and have beautiful multi-colored coats. They have everything you could need in a great pet — here, we answer the question, “What is a GSP puppy?”
What is a GSP Puppy?
The German Shorthaired Pointer was created through the mix of the German Bird Dog and the German Bloodhounds, with the possibility of English Pointers and Spanish Pointers as well. These parent breeds excelled as water dogs, scent hounds, gun dogs, and track and trail dogs. The first iteration of the GSP didn’t have the aggressiveness of the parent breeds and couldn’t stand water, so more crossbreeding was needed to get the desired behaviors.
The whole breeding process resulted in lean, long, and high-energy dogs that come with elegant short coats and great personalities. Much consideration went into the creation of German Shorthairs, and as such, they are excellent hunting dogs. They also have a water-repellent coat and are equipped with webbed feet that allow them to swim effectively.
GSP Puppy History
Created in 1925 by Dr. Charles Thornton, the first GSP was introduced in the United States and was soon used for breeding. Only five years later, it was registered with the American Kennel Club — according to the club, the German Shorthaired Pointer is the 11th most popular dog breed. Because of their unique parentage, the GSP is known to be a highly versatile breed and is perhaps the most versatile dog today.
As its name suggests, this breed was created in Germany to be a multipurpose dog that could help to hunt game. However, breeders didn’t want to make them into an aggressive breed. Their goal was to create an all-around companion and an obedient hunting dog, which is how the GSP came to be.
GSP Puppy Traits
Bringing home any kind of dog is a long-term commitment that should be taken seriously. Below are just a few things you may want to consider before deciding if this is the right puppy for you.
The temperament of a GSP puppy can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including the dog’s training, heredity, and interactions with other pets. In general, a GSP puppy will have a friendly yet curious temperament and will eagerly please their families. Meeting a pup’s parents before purchasing it will allow you to determine what its temperament could be like when it matures.
A GSP puppy is a clever and friendly dog — many owners swear that this breed is smart enough to have a sense of humor. While this breed can become well-behaved when given obedience training, it can still develop a boisterous and bold personality at times. Moreover, this breed will stick with you wherever you go but hates being left alone.
Generally, GSP puppies will do well when fed high-quality commercial dog food, but be sure to factor in the age of your dog and choose a formula that’s suitable for their stage of life. While your pup may be high on energy, it’s important that you don’t overfeed them. This includes any treats that you might give them during training — overfeeding your dog could lead to weight gain and obesity.
Despite being athletic dogs, GSP puppies come with a few potential health problems. They have an average lifespan between 10 to 12 years, and some of the most common problems they face include the following.
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly known as bloating, this serious medical condition can quickly turn into an emergency. Symptoms of this condition include bloating, abdominal pain, excessive drooling, and unproductive retching.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: This genetic condition prevents blood from clotting, and results in excess bleeding. This disease can be managed by adjusting your dog’s activities to prevent injuries, along with blood transfusions if surgery is required.
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: GSP puppies are vulnerable to getting hip and elbow dysplasia, a painful condition that occurs when the joints don’t fit properly, causing pain.
- Hypothyroidism: This autoimmune condition is the result of a thyroid gland that isn’t as active as it should be. This may lead to weight gain, slower metabolism, lethargy, hair loss, and more.
The German Shorthaired Pointer has enough energy to be able to participate in dog sports and field events as a result of its athleticism. Because they are such active dogs, you will need to ensure that they get enough activity in their daily routines. As such, be sure to dedicate an hour or two to enough exercise to discourage destructive behavior.
GSP puppies will do well to socialize with different people at a young age — this intelligent dog will be able to interact with various sights, sounds, other animals, and dogs. Doing this will help them become well-rounded dogs, while mental stimulation through obedience classes will also help them along the way. To help them become more familiar with the world around them, be sure to take them to dog parks, walk around the neighborhood, and take them with you on adventures.
German Shorthaired Pointers are smart dogs capable of learning many things but aren’t necessarily the easiest breed to train. Because they’re highly independent, they will need you to show them that you’re the boss. Even so, they’re eager to learn and will generally be open to learning various tricks — the key is to be a confident and firm leader that provides them with consistent effort.
As soon as you bring your puppy home, you will need to start training sessions with it if you don’t want it to become too stubborn. Be sure to enroll your GSP puppy for obedience classes as soon as it has all the needed vaccinations. This breed can be taught a plethora of activities and jobs and are effective in both hunting and field competitions.
These dogs love people and will want to be with their family as much as possible — some might even say they’re clingy. They are known to follow their favorite human’s every move and will make it a point to know where everyone is at all times. It’s best to socialize your GSP puppy early, to get a dog that will protect both its family and home.
They are also great for families with kids but will need supervision around small children since they’re such a powerful bunch. Their playful nature may sometimes cause accidents, especially when a child or visitor isn’t familiar with this dog’s boundaries. While they aren’t a generally aggressive breed, they tend to have a loud alarm bark and can be shy around strangers.
While often known as low-sensitivity dogs, GSP puppies may not do so well with smaller pets or small animals as a result of their hunter’s genes. They will have a strong urge to hunt and chase things, which could make it miserable for other pets in the family. However, they are capable of living in harmony with other pets, especially if they were raised together.
Even so, it’s not advisable to leave them unsupervised, because this breed’s natural instincts could go into overdrive at any moment. If you do leave your GSP puppy on its own, you might be shocked to find that it has collected trophies such as dead rats, cats, birds, and other animals. To avoid unpleasant surprises, be sure not to leave your dog running free around the neighborhood or the local park.
Get Your GSP Puppy Today
If all of the information above appeals to you and have the commitment to raise your very own GSP puppy, then be sure to source a responsible and reputable breeder. Not only will you get yourself a great companion dog, but you’ll also have a highly athletic and intelligent dog that will love you for life.