191 — Love the Breeds: German Shorthaired Pointer Roundtable | Pure Dog Talk

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German Engineered for Versatility

GSP on point at a Wounded Warrior hunt at Camp Lejeune. Photo By: Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

German Shorthaired Pointers are “energetic and athletic,” “full of vim and vigor” and “need a little room to burn off energy *every* day,” according to the experts.

PureDogTalk caught up with three long time GSP breeders at their national specialty show in Boise, Idaho in May. Char Rutar, AKC Conformation judge, Bob Straight, AKC Field Trial judge and David Nauer, AKC Agility judge, whose wife, Karen, judged the national specialty.

Living with German Shorthaired Pointers

You’re not buying a maniac, the breeders said, but the breed is built to work for a long time with tremendous endurance. They are high drive and high energy. Biddability, the dog’s willingness to work for its owner, is a key quality for which breeders strive.

Bob Straight, AKC Field Trial judge and GSP breeder

“People need to be aware of how they will enjoy life with this breed,” Straight said. Nauer added that owners can choose a variety of venues to vent the breed’s energy. Jogs, hiking, hunting, agility, dock diving, scent work, tracking are all games these dogs like to play.

All three of our experts agreed that a dog’s structure is the key for its longevity in active sports.  “Your pick conformation dog is my pick agility dog also,” Nauer said.

“They are extremely people oriented,” Rutar noted. “While there are differences in bloodlines, they aren’t as needy as some hunting breeds.”

Hunting with GSP

“If I had half the energy these dogs have in the field, I’d control the world,” Straight said. “Talk to the breeder,” Rutar added. “Find out what makes the breeder tick and you will find out what is important to them in their dogs.” Straight, agreed, noting that buyers should ask the right questions of the breeder to get the right match with the type of hunting dog they want.

Char Rutar, AKC conformation judge and GSP breeder.

From “All Age” field trial dogs, those that show the maximum independence when the handler is on horseback, to “meat dogs” that work close to a walking handler, Shorthairs offer a working style for every hunter.

Healthy dogs

“It’s important to deal with a breeder who will guarantee the health of dog,” Straight noted. “The breeder should warrant that the dogs have met the (GSPCA) health testing requirements.”

The national club recommends that breeders test for health hips, hearts, eyes, elbows, and a genetic disease called CD. (http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/Genetic_Disease/CD.asp)

“Shorthairs are relatively healthy,” Rutar said. “We’ve seen some epilepsy. Some cancers pop up. A few heart problems. These are all there at a pretty manageable level. Breeders have religiously been screening hips for at least 30 years.”

A note from your host: The human race is the least inbred mammalian species in the world. WE have all these diseases. Breeders can mitigate the incidence with ethics and responsibility.

David Nauer, AKC agility judge and GSP breeder.

The BEST thing about GSP?

  • Enthusiasm at whatever they do.
  • Versatile hunter, versatile companion.
  • They exude joy.

Parent Club Website:


Notable moments in GSP Conformation history:



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