This is one of the few hunting breeds that can perform virtually all gundog roles. The German Shorthaired pointer (GSP for short) can be a pointer and a retriever. He can hunt upland birds and waterfowl, as well as rabbits, raccoons, and deer. Whatever you ask of your GSP, he will gladly comply with unshakable reliability.
Most German shorthaired pointers, unlike some other breeds of gun dogs, can hunt right out of the “box”. Many breeders will introduce live quail for their 7 to 8 week old pups to point and retrieve! This means that the average bird hunter with an average well-bred German shorthair can take a pup under a year old and, with a minimal amount of training and a maximum exposure to gamebirds, produce a competent and productive gun dog. This doesn’t always happen with many other breeds because they don’t have the early-blooming talent and innate hunting instincts produced by breeders with a broad genetic base from which to choose in creating gun dogs with strong natural hunting abilities.
Everyone loves a striking picture of a hunting dog on point. In most instances what you’re aspiring for is to capture that intensity your dog has when he or she locks up. Their tail is up high, foot bent hard, eyes locked into position and sometimes their body is quivering.
The breed is streamlined yet powerful with strong legs that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long floppy ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy game.
The muscular GSP needs a great deal of exercise. Expect to give him a workout of an hour or two daily. With his webbed feet and water-resistant coat, he’s a great water dog and loves to swim. If you have a pool, expect him to be in it with you.
GSPs like to please their owners and will work hard for them, especially if they’re rewarded with praise, play, or food. They typically aren’t stubborn and learn new exercises quickly. The biggest challenge is to keep them focused on training as they can get bored easily.
One of the most versatile sporting breeds around, the stylish and regal German Shorthaired Pointer is a superb hunting dog who also excels as a family companion. He hunts feathered and furred game and will even trail deer. In the evening, he plays with the kids or curls up next to you on the sofa.
The German Shorthaired Pointer’s exemplary scenting ability and powerful endurance make him a highly coveted versatile hunting dog. He is a pointing bird dog used to hunt all types of upland game. He is also a natural retriever on both land and water. For the AKC Hunt tests their purpose is to hunt, find game, and retrieve birds in a stylish and efficient manner. The objective of the hunting test program is to help the hunter develop a useful hunting companion by providing a means to gauge a dog’s ability against three standards of accomplishment-Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter and Master Hunter.
Hunting tests are designed to evaluate the abilities of various types of dogs by testing them against a standard. Dogs are tested at various levels and when the requirements of a level are met, the dog will be awarded an AKC title. In the case of the sporting breeds, these titles would be the Junior Hunter (JH), Senior Hunter (SH) and Master Hunter (MH).
Getting started in hunting tests is easy. Assuming you have a dog you want to enter in a test, join your local German Shorthaired Pointer dog club or a pointing breed club. Check on the AKC web site for clubs in your area and contact that club’s representative. Attend club meetings and training sessions and become involved in the club functions.
Next, if at all possible attend an AKC Hunting Test Seminar. You can find a listing of the various seminars, when and where they will be held. These seminars will provide you with the standards that dogs will be judged on, the requirements to acquire a title and other related information. It is of the utmost importance that one understands the regulations and standards before entering an event. Regulations pertaining to the hunting test can also be downloaded from the AKC web site or you may order a regulation book from the AKC.
Last would be to attend a hunt test and observe as many dogs as possible. There will be some walking involved so be sure to wear the proper footwear. Also there will be game harvested by official gunners. It is mandatory that a blaze orange article of clothing be worn in order to follow the dogs into the field. A vest or jacket is the minimum. Be sure to attend at least one hunting test before you enter your dog.
The procedures for running a hunting test are contained in the Regulations. Committees are responsible for providing sufficient help to conduct good events, securing good grounds for sufficient size and cover, obtaining healthy flying birds and securing experience, safe gunners. The Committee is also responsible for selecting knowledgeable Judges who are thoroughly familiar with the Regulations.
Committees and judges will design tests and courses that will simulate hunting conditions as close as possible. With some dedicated time and knowledge on what is expected from both the dog and handler the end result will be a title that one can be proud of!
A Junior Hunter (JH) test title can be obtained with four qualifying runs, with most clubs having two hunt tests in one weekend, it’s quite possible you can have a new Junior hunter title on your dog in two weekends!