Welcome to Sunup German Shorthair Pointers, Newmarket, Ontario Canada

The German Shorthaired Pointer

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History and General Description

The German Shorthaired Pointer is an active, even–tempered and intelligent breed. Affectionate and friendly, they make wonderful family pets, yet are capable hunting dogs. They are responsive, easily trained and hardworking with no nervous or flighty tendencies. Since they are an energetic breed, German Shorthaired Pointers need exercise and are suited to families who live in the country rather than an urban setting.

German Shorthaired Pointers have a short, flat, dense coat that is coarse to touch and easy to groom. Colouring is dark, reddish–brown and white, speckled and in patches. Fully–grown males stand 58–64cm (23–25”) tall at the shoulders and weigh 25–32kg (55 and 70 pounds). Females generally grow to 53–58cm (21–23”) at the shoulders and weigh 20–27kg (45–60 pounds).

The breed traces back to Germany where it was developed as a hunting dog in the 1600s. Breeders crossed Spanish Pointers with Bloodhounds to create a dog with an attractive temperament and excellent hunting abilities. English Pointers were then mixed with the breed to create a more lean and agile dog. German Shorthaired Pointers, known in Germany as Kurzhaars, are popular with hunters who seek them for their excellent tracking, pointing and retrieving abilities.

Breed Standard per the Canadian Kennel Club

General Appearance

The over all picture which is created in the observer’s eye should be that of an aristocratic, well balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation indicating power, endurance, and agility and a look of intelligence and animation. The dog should be neither unduly small nor conspicuously large. It should rather give the impression of medium size, but be like the proper hunter, “with a short back, but standing over plenty of ground.” Tall, leggy individuals seldom possess endurance or sound movement. Dogs which are ponderous or unbalanced because of excess substance should be definitely rejected. The first impression should be that of keenness which denotes full enthusiasm for work without indication of nervous or flighty character. Movement should be alertly coordinated without waste of motion. Grace of outline, clean cut head, sloping shoulders, deep breast, powerful back, strong quarters, good bone composition, adequate muscle, well carried tail and taut coat, all of which should combine to produce a look of nobility and an indication of anatomical structure essential to correct gait which must indicate a heritage of purposefully conducted breeding.

Head

Clean cut, neither too light nor too heavy, in proper proportion to the body. Skull should be reasonably broad, arched on side and slightly round on top. Scissura (median line between the eyes at the forehead) not too deep, occipital bone not as conspicuous as in the case of the Pointer. The fore face should rise gradually from nose to forehead, not resembling the Roman nose. This is more strongly pronounced in the dog than in the female, as befitting his gender. The chops should fall away from the somewhat projecting nose. Lips should be full and deep, never flewy. The chops should not fall over too much, but form a proper fold in the angle. The jaw should be powerful and the muscles well developed. The line to the forehead should rise gradually and should never possess a definite stop as in the case of the Pointer, but rather a stop effect when viewed from the side, due to the position of the eyebrows. The muzzle should be sufficiently long to enable the dog to seize properly and to facilitate his carrying game a long time. A pointed muzzle is not desirable. The entire head should never give the impression of tapering to a point. The depth should be in the right proportion to the length, both in the muzzle and in the skull proper.

Ears

Ears should be broad and set fairly high, lie flat and never hang away from the head. Placement should be above eye level. The ears, when laid in front without being pulled, should about meet the lip angle. In the case of heavier dogs they should be correspondingly longer.

Eyes

The eyes should be of medium size, full of intelligence and expression, good humored and yet radiating energy, neither protruding nor sunk. The eyelids should close well. The best colour is a dark shade of brown. Light yellow, china or wall (bird of prey) eyes are not desirable.

Nose

The nose is brown in colour and the larger the better; nostrils well opened and broad. Flesh coloured and spotted noses are not desirable.

Teeth

The teeth should be strong and healthy. The molars should intermesh properly. Incisors should fit close in a true scissors bite. Jaws should be neither overshot nor undershot.

Neck

Of adequate length to permit the jaws reaching game to be retrieved, sloping downwards on beautifully curving lines. The nape should be rather muscular, becoming gradually larger towards the shoulders. Moderate hound-like throatiness is permitted.

Chest and Thorax

The chest, in general, should give the impression of depth rather than breadth; for all that it should be in correct proportion to the other parts of the body with a fair depth of chest. The chest in general should give the impression of depth rather than breadth; for all that it should be in correct proportion to the other parts of the body with a fair depth of chest. The ribs forming the thorax should be well curved and not flat; they should not be absolutely round or barrel shaped. Ribs that are entirely round prevent the necessary expansion of the chest when taking breath. The back ribs should reach well down. The circumference of the chest immediately behind the elbows should be smaller than that of the chest about a hands breadth behind elbows, so that the upper arm has room for movement.

Back and Loins

Back should be short, strong and straight with slight rise from root of tail to withers. Excessively long or hog-backed should be penalized. Loins strong, of moderate length and slightly arched. Tuck up should be apparent.

Assembly of Back Members

The hips should be broad with the hip sockets wide apart and fall slightly towards the tail in a graceful curve. Thighs strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hock joints should be well angulated with strong, straight bone structure from hock to pad. Angulation of both stifle and hocks should be such as to combine maximum combination of both drive and traction. Hocks should turn neither in nor out. The hips should be broad with the hip sockets wide apart and fall slightly towards the tail in a graceful curve. Thighs strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hock joints should be well angulated with strong, straight bone structure from hock to pad. Angulation of both stifle and hocks should be such as to combine maximum combination of both drive and traction. Hocks should turn neither in nor out.

Assembly of Front Members

The shoulders should be sloping, movable, well covered with muscle. The shoulder blades should lie flat. The upper arm (also called the cross bar, i.e. the bones between the shoulder and elbow joints) should be as long as possible, standing away somewhat from the trunk so that the straight and closely muscled legs, when viewed from in front, should appear to be parallel. Elbows which stand away from the body or are pressed right into same indicate toes turning inwards or outwards, which should be regarded as faults. Pasterns should be strong, short and nearly vertical.

Feet

Should be compact, close knit and round to spoon shaped. The toes sufficiently arched and heavily nailed. The pad should be strong and hard.

Coat and Skin

The skin should look close and tight. The hair should be short and thick and feel tough and hard to the hand; it is somewhat longer on the underside of the tail and the back edge of the haunches. It is softer, thinner and shorter on ears and head.

Tail

Is set high and firm, and must be docked, leaving approximately two–fifths of length. The tail hangs down when the dog is quiet, is held horizontally when he is walking, never turned over the back or considerably bent but violently wagged when he is on the search.

Bones

Thin and fine bones are by no means desirable in a dog which should be able to work over any and every country and should possess strength. The main importance, accordingly, is laid not so much on the size as being in proper proportion to the body. Dogs with coarse bones are handicapped in agility of movement and speed.

Weight and Height

Weight:
Dogs – 24.947 to 31.751kg. (55 to 70 lbs).
Females – 20.412 to 27.215kg. (45 to 60 lbs).
Height (at the shoulders):
Dogs – 58.42 to 63.50cm (23 to 25 in.).
Females – 53.34 to 58.42cm (21 to 23 in.)

Colour

Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, liver roan. Any colours other than liver and white (gray white) are not permitted. “Symmetry and field quality are most essential.” “A dog well balanced in all points is preferable to one with outstanding good qualities and defects. A smooth, lithe gait is most desirable.”

Faults

Bone structure too clumsy or too light; head too large; too many wrinkles in forehead; dish-faced; snipey muzzle; ears too long, pointy, or fleshy; flesh-coloured nose; eyes too light, too round, or too closely set together; excessive throatiness; cowhocks; feet or elbows turned inward or outward; down on pasterns; loose shoulders; sway back; black coat or tri-coloured; any colours except liver or some combination of liver and white.

Breed Standard per the American Kennel Club

General Appearance

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunter, an all-purpose gun dog capable of high performance in field and water. The judgment of Shorthairs in the show ring reflects this basic characteristic. The overall picture which is created in the observer's eye is that of an aristocratic, well–balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation indicating power, endurance and agility, and a look of intelligence and animation. The dog is neither unduly small nor conspicuously large. It gives the impression of medium size, but is like the proper hunter, “with a short back, but standing over plenty of ground.” Symmetry and field quality are most essential. A dog in hard and lean field condition is not to be penalized; however, overly fat or poorly muscled dogs are to be penalized. A dog well balanced in all points is preferable to one with outstanding good qualities and defects. Grace of outline, clean-cut head, sloping shoulders, deep chest, powerful back, strong quarters, good bone composition, adequate muscle, well-carried tail and taut coat produce a look of nobility and indicate a heritage of purposefully conducted breeding. Further evidence of this heritage is movement which is balanced, alertly coordinated and without wasted motion.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size: Height of dogs, measured at the withers, 23 to 25 inches. Height of bitches, measured at the withers, 21 to 23 inches. Deviations of one inch above or below the described heights are to be severely penalized. Weight of dogs 55 to 70 pounds. Weight of bitches 45 to 60 pounds.

Proportion: Measuring from the forechest to the rearmost projection of the rump and from the withers to the ground, the Shorthair is permissibly either square or slightly longer than he is tall.

Substance: Thin and fine bones are by no means desirable in a dog which must possess strength and be able to work over any type of terrain. The main importance is not laid so much on the size of bone, but rather on the bone being in proper proportion to the body. Bone structure too heavy or too light is a fault. Tall and leggy dogs, dogs which are ponderous because of excess substance, doggy bitches, and bitchy dogs are to be faulted.

Head

The head is clean–cut, is neither too light nor too heavy, and is in proper proportion to the body. The eyes are of medium size, full of intelligence and expression, good–humored and yet radiating energy, neither protruding nor sunken. The eye is almond shaped, not circular. The preferred color is dark brown. Light yellow eyes are not desirable and are a fault. Closely set eyes are to be faulted. China or wall eyes are to be disqualified. The ears are broad and set fairly high, lie flat and never hang away from the head. Their placement is just above eye level. The ears, when laid in front without being pulled, should extend to the corner of the mouth. In the case of heavier dogs, the ears are correspondingly longer. Ears too long or fleshy are to be faulted. The skull is reasonably broad, arched on the side and slightly round on top. Unlike the Pointer, the median line between the eyes at the forehead is not too deep and the occipital bone is not very conspicuous. The foreface rises gradually from nose to forehead. The rise is more strongly pronounced in the dog than in the bitch. The jaw is powerful and the muscles well developed. The line to the forehead rises gradually and never has a definite stop as that of the Pointer, but rather a stop–effect when viewed from the side, due to the position of the eyebrows. The muzzle is sufficiently long to enable the dog to seize game properly and be able to carry it for a long time. A pointed muzzle is not desirable. The depth is in the right proportion to the length, both in the muzzle and in the skull proper. The length of the muzzle should equal the length of skull. A dish–shaped muzzle is a fault. A definite Pointer stop is a serious fault. Too many wrinkles in the forehead is a fault. The nose is brown, the larger the better, and with nostrils well opened and broad. A spotted nose is not desirable. A flesh colored nose disqualifies. The chops fall away from the somewhat projecting nose. Lips are full and deep yet are never flewy. The teeth are strong and healthy. The molars intermesh properly. The bite is a true scissors bite. A perfect level bite is not desirable and must be penalized. Extreme overshot or undershot disqualifies.

Neck, Topline, Body

The neck is of proper length to permit the jaws reaching game to be retrieved, sloping downwards on beautifully curving lines. The nape is rather muscular, becoming gradually larger toward the shoulders. Moderate throatiness is permitted. The skin is close and tight. The chest in general gives the impression of depth rather than breadth; for all that, it is in correct proportion to the other parts of the body. The chest reaches down to the elbows, the ribs forming the thorax show a rib spring and are not flat or slabsided; they are not perfectly round or barrel-shaped. The back ribs reach well down. The circumference of the thorax immediately behind the elbows is smaller than that of the thorax about a hand's breadth behind elbows, so that the upper arm has room for movement. Tuck-up is apparent. The back is short, strong, and straight with a slight rise from the root of the tail to the withers. The loin is strong, is of moderate length, and is slightly arched. An excessively long, roached or swayed back must be penalized. The hips are broad with hip sockets wide apart and fall slightly toward the tail in a graceful curve. A steep croup is a fault. The tail is set high and firm, and must be docked, leaving approximately 40% of its length. The tail hangs down when the dog is quiet and is held horizontally when he is walking. The tail must never be curved over the back toward the head when the dog is moving. A tail curved or bent toward the head is to be severely penalized.

Forequarters

The shoulders are sloping, movable, and well covered with muscle. The shoulder blades lie flat and are well laid back nearing a 45 degree angle. The upper arm (the bones between the shoulder and elbow joint) is as long as possible, standing away somewhat from the trunk so that the straight and closely muscled legs, when viewed from the front, appear to be parallel. Elbows which stand away from the body or are too close result in toes turning inwards or outwards and must be faulted. Pasterns are strong, short and nearly vertical with a slight spring. Loose, short-bladed or straight shoulders must be faulted. Knuckling over is to be faulted. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. The feet are compact, close-knit and round to spoon-shaped. The toes are sufficiently arched and heavily nailed. The pads are strong, hard and thick.

Hindquarters

Thighs are strong and well muscled. Stifles are well bent. Hock joints are well angulated and strong with straight bone structure from hock to pad. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. Hocks turn neither in nor out. Cowhocked legs are a serious fault.

Coat

The hair is short and thick and feels tough to the hand; it is somewhat longer on the underside of the tail and the back edges of the haunches. The hair is softer, thinner and shorter on the ears and the head. Any dog with long hair in the body coat is to be severely penalized.

Color

The coat may be of solid liver or a combination of liver and white such as liver and white ticked, liver patched and white ticked, or liver roan. A dog with any area of black, red, orange, lemon or tan, or a dog solid white will be disqualified.

Gait

A smooth lithe gait is essential. It is to be noted that as gait increases from the walk to a faster speed, the legs converge beneath the body. The tendency to single track is desirable. The forelegs reach well ahead as if to pull in the ground without giving the appearance of a hackney gait. The hindquarters drive the back legs smoothly and with great power.

Temperament

The Shorthair is friendly, intelligent, and willing to please. The first impression is that of a keen enthusiasm for work without indication of nervous or flightly character.

Disqualifications

China or wall eyes.
Flesh colored nose.
Extreme overshot or undershot.
A dog with any area of black, red, orange, lemon, or tan, or a dog solid white.