THE GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER
(The American Kennel Clubs Standard and Description)
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a
versatile hunter, an all-purpose gun dog
capable of high performance in field and
water. The judgement 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Approved August 11, 1992
Effective September 30, 1992
We have included links and pages to help you find a Puppy or Breeder
or to simply help people learn more about this breed.
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SPORTING BREEDS CENTRAL
Sporting Breeds Central GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER Breeders Directory and Litter Ads
The GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER Parent Club
GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER Kennel Clubs
GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER Rescue Organizations
Tillie's Place: A Safe Haven For Rescued German Shorthaired Pointers
GSPCA NATIONAL RESCUE North Eastern States
GSPCA National Rescue Michigan Web Site