The German Shorthaired Pointer is a dog breed that is very unique. Like all dogs, they need to be taken care of by their dog parent. You must care for their needs from the day you get them whether through adopting or buying the
So, How to care for a German Shorthaired Pointer so they grow up healthy?
To care for a German Shorthaired Pointer, you must take good care of their dietary, health, exercise, living environment, grooming, and training needs.
You must be available for them and build a strong bond with them so they don’t get depressed and lonely.
What’s a German Shorthaired Pointer?
German Shorthaired Pointer (GPS) is a sporting dog breed that has been around for a time. They are hunting dogs who can hunt very easily and, at the same time, can be family dogs.
If you were to look at the GSP appearance, they have dark almond eyes, an intelligent expression, and a large dark nose.
The most unique feature about the GSP appearance is their short, dense liver or liver and white coat.
This is a very energetic and intelligent dog who likes both work and play. When they are working, they work hard. When they play, they like being around people and children.
If they aren’t provided with companionship, they will become destructive in their behavior where they do need to be with people.
They have a smart and friendly personality where they have lots of energy to do many things; they aren’t a nervous kind of dog.
So, you will need a yard for them to exercise and release their energy.
However, they need companionship, or else, they will develop separation anxiety.
Due to their need for companionship, they love living in houses and don’t like living in a yard.
Being open to learning new commands, they are highly trainable and will obey your commands.
Also, they are active hunters who have strong prey instinct so you have to watch out if your GSP is around other small pets at the beginning.
However, you can train them so they don’t get to hunt after your pet. This needs to be done early on so they get used to never chasing off them.
Like any dog, GSP needs socialization so they can learn how to interact with other people and animals.
You can start taking them to a puppy training class where they will learn all that they need to learn.
As for their appearance, they have a medium build body that is muscular in shape. They also have a squared muzzle. The ears are set high on their head.
As for their size, this is a fairly balanced sized dog with a height of 22 to 24 inches tall while weighing between 45 to 70 pounds. This size allows them to be strong enough to run as your companion while jogging.
German Shorthaired Pointers are generally healthy but can be prone to many diseases such as:
Hip dysplasia: Many factors that contribute to hip dysplasia such as genetics, environment, and diet.
In mild cases, you can actually treat hip dysplasia with proper diet and exercise.
In very severe cases, you will need surgical intervention to help treat hip dysplasia.
Cancer: This is one of the most reported problems in German Shorthead Pointers in which they get different types of cancer.
Entropian: This is a defect in which it causes the eyelid to roll inward injuring the eyeball. This causes serious damage to your dog’s eyelid.
They may suffer from many of these health problems which will cause them to be ill and need treatment.
The typical cost of care for German Shorthaired Pointer
It costs a lot to take care of a German Shorthaired Pointer. Typically, it costs from $420 dollars to seven hundred dollars for taking care of everything such as nutrition, treats, toys, and medical treatment.
You got to be positive that you have all the supplies needed before getting a German Shorthaired Pointer.
How to care for a German Shorthaired Pointer?
To take care of a German Shorthaired Pointer, you have to take care of aspects of their lives that they need to be taken care of.
You have to take care of different things such as their living environment, diet, exercise, health, and grooming.
This breed forms deep bonds with their families and friends; they need to be around them most of the times.
Their nature is very sensitive so they need to be treated with love and care. So if you are planning on buying this dog, make sure that you treat them with respect and care like any other dog.
But can they live in any place? The GSP can live in apartments; however, this isn’t the ideal living condition.
The reason is that they are very highly active dogs who need to have a space big enough for them to run and exercise in.
So it’s better to have a spacious house for this type of dog so they can run and exercise as easily and freely as they can.
Their bodies are better suited and can handle to live in weather that is warm than cold. Thus, they aren’t a great match for people who live in colder areas.
These are all major things to consider when thinking about getting a GSP. They are lovely dogs but they require special care.
To have a healthy GPS, you have to provide them with a diet that is a mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates.
All three have different benefits to your German Shorthead Pointer.
- Protein: It provides the building blocks for strong muscles as your puppy is growing and later helps maintain lean muscle mass.
- Fat: It provides a concentrated source of energy which is particularly important for high energy breed like German Shorthead Pointer.
- Carbohydrates: It provides a highly digestible and readily available energy source. It also provides fiber and nutrients that your dog needs.
Some of the best sources of protein will be animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish. These sources contain essential amino acids that your dog needs in their diet.
Sources of carbohydrates that are healthy for a GSP are whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and beans.
As for fat sources, there are many sources such as chicken fat and salmon oil.
All these sources will help your GSP when you want to give your GSP healthy food.
But what if they are in different stages of growth? What exactly do you give them as food?
Puppy German Shorthaired Pointer diet
The best diet for a GSP puppy is one that has a minimum of 22 % protein and 8 % fat in their diet so it can increase their metabolism and growth.
Your best option to ensure that they grow effectively is to choose a high-quality food that gets your puppy all the nutrients that they need.
You have to choose wisely the best puppy food because you could lead to problems such as overgrowth which can later cause them joint problems.
Adult German Shorthaired Pointer diet
As for adult German Shorthaired Pointer, you have to switch to a large breed size dog food that provides them a minimum of 18 % protein and 5 % fat.
It is necessary to give your German Shorthaired Pointer a diet that contains this so they grow healthy without any nutrient deficiencies.
Senior German Shorthaired Pointer diet
As your German Shorthaired Pointer gets older, they will definitely need to switch from a high-calorie diet to one that is low in calories.
At this stage of development, you will need to switch to a low-fat formula diet with low calories so you can adjust to your German Shorthaired Pointer needs.
All stages are different in their requirements; you will need to watch your dog while growing up and give them the proper diet in their development.
From time to time, your dog can also benefit from vegetables and fruits in which they will provide them with key nutrients and minerals needed for their bodies.
However, you got to give them a specific small portion of fruits and vegetables. If you give your dog too many fruits or vegetables, it will definitely cause them digestive problems.
The GSP is a very highly active dog breed; they will need to get exercise every day. Consequently, they will need at least two hours a day of daily exercise.
There are many different activities that your GSP can do. Because of their love of water, you can easily teach them how to swim and enjoy their time in the water.
You could also walk them every day through long walks that will make them very happy. They are very suitable for hikes in different areas such as mountains and roads.
To make them engage with other dogs, you can let them roam through dog parks so they can enjoy their time with other dogs and people.
For their high activity levels, you can run beside your German Shorthaired Pointer.
Other sports that you can train your dog in are agility, tracking, and flying disc.
Do German Shorthaired Pointers shed? They aren’t considered heavy shedders; they shed mildly to a medium amount during the year.
They mostly shed in the Spring and Fall. In warmer climates, a German Shorthaired Pointer will shed consistently throughout the year.
The best solution for helping your dog when they shed is through grooming them.
This breed isn’t a heavy shedder so you will only need to brush them once a week with a bristle brush or metal toothed comb.
This will keep their coat healthy while removing any loose hair.
To brush your dog’s hair, you have to start by slowly combing through different sections of your dog’s coat.
Never rush brushing your dog’s hair as this will cause them sensitive skin and tangling.
There are three benefits of brushing your dog’s hair. The first benefit is that it helps remove your dog’s loose hair so you don’t have any loose hair thrown throughout your house.
The second benefit is that it will move the natural oil throughout their coat. The third benefit is that it will increase the bond between you and your dog.
As for bathing, your German Shorthaired Pointer should be bathed whenever they get dirty from playing outside.
However, it is important to not over bath your GSP as this will cause them skin irritation and cause their skin to become dry.
Take caution if your dog has sensitive that you use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo.
After bathing your German Shorthaired Pointer, let them do their natural shake to get water off from their body.
Next, use a towel to dry the rest of your dog’s coat. It’s important in this step to dry out their head and ears effectively.
There is also another option that you can do; you can use a blow dryer to dry their coat. However, you got to make sure that it is at a temperature that is warm and not too hot.
You also got to make sure that you hold the dryer a foot away from your dog’s skin so it doesn’t hurt them.
Basically, you should have a regular routine schedule for grooming your dog so they stay clean.
Cleaning their ears
You can clean your German Shorthaired pointer ears once a week by squeezing a few drops of dog ear cleanser into their ear canals.
Using a dry cotton ball, wipe away any ear discharge and extra cleanser. Because these dogs have floppy ears that restrict airflow to their ear canal, they are prone to getting ear infections.
Cleaning their teeth
It is recommended to brush your dog’s teeth daily; however, if you can’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, then brush their teeth once a week using a dog toothbrush and a dog toothpaste.
You can also give them special treats and toys that will make their gums and teeth clean. It will also be fun for your dog to chew on toys and treats; it makes them happy.
Trimming their nails
Depending on how fast their nails grow, you may need to trim their nails every few weeks.
You can use different tools such as a guillotine clipper or scissors clippers depending on how comfortable is your dog with either one.
To trim your GSP nails, you got to first make them comfortable before you start. First, let them get used to you touching their paws. Second, let them get used to the sound of the clippers. Combine both actions when you are ready to trim their nails.
You have to be careful so you don’t trim that you accidentally cut into the quick. If you trim the quick, your dog will begin to bleed from their toenail.
If your dog happens to bleed, apply pressure using styptic powder.
To ensure that they are kept healthy and free from any medical conditions, you have to take your German Shorthaired Pointer to the vet so you can prevent or treat any underlying medical condition that your dog may have.
As mentioned above, they may have some of these medical conditions. Also, they may be prone to problems such as epilepsy and gastric torsion.
These problems can only be treated using your vet’s consultation, prescription, and sometimes surgery.
Due to their high activity levels, you have to train your dog both mentally and physically. To do so, you got to give them exercise but also train them other times.
You could train them using basic obedience commands that will teach them how to perform commands such as sit, stay, down, and many others.
If you find it hard to train them, you can enroll them in a basic obedience commands training class. Through the dog trainer, they will learn many obedience commands.
To challenge their minds, you could train them in different activities such as scenting, tracking, trailing, and retrieving.
Important Tips when taking care of your German Shorthaired Pointer
- Don’t kennel a German Shorthaired Pointer outside because they get so attached to you and need their families with them.
- Start at a young age getting your dog used to brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and nail trimming. The younger you start, the more likely your dog will get used to it.
- When bathing your German Shorthaired Pointer avoid getting water into their ears, eyes, or nose to avoid harming your dog.
- Because German Shorthaired Pointer is prone to gastric torsion, a condition in which their stomach bloats, you have to avoid exercising your dog after they have just eaten. It is best to wait at least an hour after they have eaten.
- If you are going to trim your dog’s nails, you got to make sure that you have been trained by your vet or groomer before attempting to do so as a way to not hurt your German Shorthaired Pointer.
- Don’t adopt or buy this dog if you aren’t going to take care of their exercise, diet, health, and grooming needs. If they don’t get the exercise and attention that they need, the German Shorthaired Pointer becomes depressed.
A German Shorthaired Pointer needs to be taken care of through providing them with their needs, love, attention, and care.
By doing all of the above tips and steps, you ensure that your German Shorthaired Pointer grows healthy.
To know more about whether German Shepherds can live in the backyard alone, check Can German Shepherds Live in the Backyard Alone?
Share your experience. How do you take care of your German Shorthaired Pointer?