Are German Shorthaired Pointers Good For First Time Owners?

Are German shorthaired pointers good for first time owners

Are you planning to get your first dog? Then you must be very excited! There are plenty of dog breeds you can choose as your new family member. As a first-time owner, you might be wondering if a German shorthaired pointer would be the right choice for you…

Since German shorthaired pointers are energetic, intelligent, trainable, a bit aggressive, and loud, they are suitable for a first time owner who is energetic, attentive, able to take the lead, committed, and patient. But, they aren’t well suited for people with a strict schedule and indolent.  

What kind of dogs are German shorthaired pointers? What are their needs? And how to train them? Would you have to change your lifestyle if you own one? Could you become a good owner? Stay with me, and let’s find out together!

The characteristics of german shorthaired pointers, and how do they affect first time owners?

As the name suggested, German Shorthaired pointers are known to point at birds or other targets, and it’s such wonderful scenery to all dog lovers.

They are very intelligent and smart with a really high energy level. So if you’re planning to own a German shorthaired pointer as a first time owner, there are numerous things you must consider beforehand.

Here is the outline of their characteristics.

  • They are hunters.
  • Very energetic.
  • Intelligent.
  • They can be loud.
  • They can be a bit aggressive.

They are hunters.

As you know, German shorthaired pointers are bred to be hunting dogs. So they are in constant need to hunt animals. They become anxious and stressed when they are not trained as gun dogs or put into the field to retrieve or point.

As a vet student, I believe that unless you plan to hunt with them or at least keep them busy with fake animals, you think twice about owning a German shorthaired pointer.

They should be raised as what they are because that’s what’s best for them.

They are very energetic.

As you know, German shorthaired pointers’ energy is on another level!

They are hyperactive, and in the owners’ words, they can literally run a marathon and still have the energy to run another one!

They have massive amounts of stamina, so they love activity and basically never become tired. So if you’re planning to own a German shorthaired pointer, you have to be ready for this energy.

You will have to give him the amount of exercise and mental stimulation he needs. By considering German shorthaired pointer’s energy level, adopting one of them as a first time dog owner is kind of a difficult task to do.

They are intelligent.

German shorthaired pointers are known as a very smart breed. Dealing with them is like dealing with five or six-year-old kids. Because of this, they can also be spoiled and a bit stubborn.

In addition, because of their curiosity, they can run away easily. So you should be aware of this trait before you own one!

They can be loud!

Almost all German shorthaired pointers are huge whiners.

They can whine up to hours at a time because that’s how they communicate. If you’re planning to get a German shorthaired pointer, you should get used to being whined at.

Recommended reading: Do German shorthaired pointers like to cuddle?

They can be a bit aggressive…

As I mentioned earlier, German shorthaired pointers are a hunting breed.

So they can be aggressive towards people and other dogs if they are not properly socialized. So if you do get one, you will have to socialize them well.

What type of the first-time owner would be a good match for a german shorthaired pointer?

Well, every dog owner was a first-time owner first! Same as ensuring if the breed is right for you, you have to be sure that you are right for the dog too.

So let’s see the qualities you should have to own a German shorthaired pointer as your first dog.

  1. You have to be active.
  2. You have to be committed.
  3. You have to take the lead.
  4. You have to be prepared.
  5. You have to train them well.

You have to be active

As I said above, German shorthaired pointers are a very energetic breed.

They are really active, and this can be a good thing if you are active too. If you’re really looking for a hunting partner or a running partner, a German Shorthaired pointer would be an excellent fit.

You have to be committed.

Just like every other dog, getting a dog is just like adopting a child.

Owning a German Shorthaired Pointers as a first-time owner can be a lot of work than usual because of their hyperactivity. As a hunting breed, they need purposes and tasks to keep them stimulated.

If you’re dedicated to train them and give them mental exercise, you will be an amazing owner for a German shorthaired pointer!

You have to take the lead.

If you don’t raise a German shorthaired pointer correctly, there’s an excellent chance you can end up with problems as a first-time dog owner.

An out-of-control German shorthaired pointer that doesn’t come back to your call or jumps up at other people is likely to get labeled dangerous.

So, if your ability to become a leader is doubtful, they will take control which can cause many problems.

You have to be prepared.

You should know what you’re getting yourself into and be prepared for their energy.

You will have to play, train as well as run with them to keep them company. Moreover, be ready to deal with separation anxiety. However, it goes away with time when they grow up.

Suggested Reading: Read this to understand whether German Shorthaired Pointers smell?

You have to train them well.

As any other puppy, German shorthaired pointers should be well trained.

You can do the training yourself or even enroll your puppy in a puppy school. You can do off-leash training, so he learns to come when you whistle.

You can also teach them other commands like sitting, rolling over, lying down, etc.

German shorthaired pointer puppy or adult is perfect for first-time owners?

I know that almost all first time owners want to have a puppy as their first dog.

But when it comes to German shorthaired pointers, you might just have to reconsider this, according to your needs.


Puppies are adorable, so everyone likes to get a newborn pup and raise it as their child.

Training will be easy, and you can train them the way you want. But if you’re looking for a running partner, they might not be suitable yet.

Puppets can be hard to control and very annoying at first. They also can’t run 30-40 miles with you a week.

Grown GSPs.

But as a real dog lover, you should know adult dogs are equally cute and amusing as puppies.

This is more than true, especially when it comes to German shorthaired-haired pointers, thanks to their active and lively behavior. In addition, a grown-up trained dog is the best if you are looking for a running partner.

An adult can easily run miles and miles with you, whereas you have to wait until they’re a minimum of 18 months old for a puppy.

So, what do you think? A grown German shorthaired pointer suit for you as a first-time dog owner?

Possible pros and cons of owning a German shorthaired pointer.

As with every breed, German shorthaired pointers have also got their own good and wrong sides.

Before finalizing your decision to own a German shorthaired pointer, you should consider all the factors first. In order To figure out all the pros and cons, take a look at the following table.

Pros of owning a GSPCons of owning a GSP
They have a lot of energy!They don’t have an ‘Off’ switch!
They got a fantastic coat!They’re hunters!
Snuggle buddies!Obsessed with playing!
They are friendlyMating can be difficult!
They are healthy.They’re notorious escape artists!
German shorthaired pointers are multi-talented!They can be kinda loud!
They are scary enough to scare away the thieves!They can have separation anxiety.
They are kinda prone to get injured.

Pros of owning a GSP

They have a lot of energy!

Energy is their power! They’re so beautiful to watch in the field and when playing. If you’re an active person, a German shorthaired pointer is a perfect partner with whom you can go hiking, swimming, running.

By the way, here is whether German shorthaired pointers diggers?

They got a fantastic coat!

They are proud owners of a very low-maintenance coat. It is naturally great compared to other breeds. You don’t have to commit too into maintaining it. Even washing itself is enough.

Snuggle buddies!

They love being warm and cuddly. They are cute when they sleep under blankets.

They love curling up with you and being lapdogs. There really won’t be something called ‘personal space’ with them, so you won’t actually be lonely at all.

They are friendly…

They are known as generally friendly to people. They like people when they are off the leash and indoors. They are very warm towards their favorite people and make gurgling noises and wriggling movements, which are too cute to see!

In fact, if you are a first-time dog owner, having a friendliest dog like a German shorthaired pointer, is a kind of a blessing, I guess as lack of troubles.

They are healthy.

Overall German shorthaired pointers are a healthy breed. They have low instances of hip and elbow dysplasia Their lifespan is averagely around 12-15 years. As a very active breed, they don’t slow down until they’re very old.

German shorthaired pointers are multi-talented!

You can do ANYTHING with German shorthaired pointers! Hunting? Check! Running? Check! Agility? Check! Play ball? Check!

Some of the fun stuff like dock diving, nose work, hunt trials, joring, canicross, anything is possible with a German shorthaired pointer! They’re so adjustable and are up for anything you want to do!

They are scary enough to scare away the thieves!

Don’t worry! They are not in the banned breed lists, but they have some cool features that will keep your house safe!

They are large and have dark faces. Also, their bark is strong enough to keep any strangers away!

It doesn’t matter whether you are a first time dog owner or not, just by having a German shorthaired pointer, you can guarantee the safety of your house almost 100% isn’t that good?

Cons of owning a GSP

They don’t have an ‘Off’ switch!

 Unlike other breeds, German shorthaired pointers are insanely energetic. They will just keep running or playing without rest if you don’t teach them to settle.

They’re hunters!

Even with a lot of socialization, squirrels and cats may not be safe from them at all. In their eyes, all they in them is a hunting target! They have no problem murdering any wildlife they come across.

Obsessed with playing!

German shorthaired pointers will play fetch for hours! The ball is literally life for them. So, If you don’t like to play, you should think twice before getting a pointer!

Mating can be difficult!

They don’t like to make love with every dog, especially high drive females. When they’re playing fetch or hunting, they literally don’t have time for other dogs. However, this can vary between individuals inside the breed.

They’re notorious escape artists!

They can literally run away so fast that it’d be too late when they realize they’re lost!

Compared to other hunting breeds, they have a significantly less natural recall.

They can be kinda loud!

Whining is one of their main characteristics! They can keep shouting for hours. But you should know that it is how they communicate with you.

They can have separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety and the behavior of neuroticism can be very challenging in German shorthaired pointers. So even if you’re not hunting or doing dog sports, you should always keep them company.

They are kinda prone to get injured.

Because of their massive energy, they can easily run into accidents. They have a high probability of getting soft tissue injuries like sprains and ligament tears because they’re always like – I’m going to do it but at HIGH SPEED!

How to take care of a German shorthaired pointer as a first time dog owner?

As dog lovers know, taking care of a dog is almost the same as taking care of a baby.

And it’s general knowledge that it’s an extra load of work when it comes to firstborn. In this case, the first dog. So let’s see how to take care of German shorthaired pointers.

You need to give them enough exercise.

As hunters, doing the job they were bred for automatically meets the exercise and mental stimulation they need.

But, just because they are a hunting breed, you don’t need to hunt to keep them happy. There are other ways to meet those needs. Play fetch or ball, run, exercise, hike… These are some of them.

Train them well.

Seek out a training facility and do your research before getting your dog. You can even go to a class to see how they work and get used to it.

But remember, avoid any place that engages in harsh training methods.

German shorthaired pointers are not a dangerous breed, but they should still be trained in positive-based methods. Puppy training classes will help you learn how to work with your dog and bond with them.

Since German shorthaired pointers are highly trainable, that’s a plus signal for you, if you are about to adopt one of them as a first time dog owner.

You should wait before making them your running buddies!

As I mentioned above, puppies are not good for athletic training. You would have to wait till they are fully mature, at least about 18 months.

They’re not orthopedically developed before that, and starting too early would lead to medical issues.

However, the months before the real athletic training will be an excellent opportunity for you to let your dog loose in enclosed areas and play games.

So when it actually comes to training, you can get a good idea of your dog’s energy, the running rate, and their signs of being tired.

Let them run.

As highly active dogs, they have a constant need to exercise. So, ensure you have room for them to run.

It would be amazing if you have a big backyard where they can run loose. Make sure to make a tall fence so they wouldn’t run away and get lost!

It doesn’t matter whether you are first time German shorthaired pointer owner, you should have a quite large backyard to let him play and engage in some activities.

Keep them from running away too!

Some German shorthaired pointers are talented escape artists. But you can train them with crates early to prevent this. You can also try pens, doors, and other barricades as well.

Things to be aware of as the first time german shorthaired pointer owner.

Be prepared.

This is the main point if you want to own German Shorthaired pointers. Do your research, ask other owners, surf through the internet, and get ready for what you’re planning to get into.

You should know their characteristics, their behavior and mainly their needs.

Don’t use harsh training.

Yes, German Shorthaired pointers should be well trained, but he is still your loved one. You should also think about the impact of exercise they are getting.

Repetitive running on rough tracks will be much more damaging to their bones than running through the cross-country pathways.

Lastly, be patient.

This fact is one of the major qualities you should have regardless of the breed you will own. A German shorthaired pointer can be a handful with their hyperactivity and energy. So you should be patient and consistent when taking care of them.


So, now you know everything you need to know about owning a German shorthaired pointer as a first time owner. I know it might sound so exciting as well as a little scary. But if you have the qualities I’ve mentioned that a Pointer parent should have and if you know that you can raise him right, DON’T THINK TWICE! Go ahead and get your dream puppy. As a Vet student, I hope you will be able to decide on getting a German shorthaired pointer and embark on an extraordinary journey ahead with him.

Good luck!

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