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The German shorthaired pointer (GSP) was bred to be a hunter as well as a friend, and they are extremely accomplished at both tasks. These lovable, active and energetic dogs are quickly becoming a beloved breed, even rivaling the labrador for family pet status. If you’re considering getting a GSP, here’s what you need to know.

GSPs are Natural Hunters

They’re often called bird dogs; however, GSPs are versatile hunters, adept at pointing and retrieving all kinds of game. Even if you never hunt, chances are you’ll catch your pup at a point, staring down a squirrel. Because of their breeding, GSPs have a high prey drive that causes them to wander off, roam or chase a target. Don’t assume they’ll stay by your side out of devotion, because they won’t. Make sure your dogs are secured in your yard and always walk them on a leash.

They Need A Lot of Training

Whether you get a puppy or a GSP that’s a few years old, begin training immediately. These bundles of energy are meant to be working dogs, and without a job to do, they can be destructive. A strict training regimen will give your dog a purpose, allow them to concentrate on something and let them earn treats by being a good doggo. For your efforts, you’ll get a well-rounded, well-behaved best friend that won’t dig to China in the middle of your mattress. Thankfully for owners everywhere, training a GSP is easy because they’re quick learners and eager to please.

They’re Extremely Energetic

These pups are made for sports, and even the sweet, quiet ones love activity. Even if you don’t hunt or compete in agility or field events, you must exercise them daily. GSPs need way more than a short walk around the block though, so take your red superfood powder supplement and put on your running shoes, because your dog wants to run. If you’re not the athletic type, that’s okay too. You can become an expert ball thrower at the local dog park and your four-legged, furry lightning bolt will love you just as much.

They Love Swimming

With their webbed feet and lean musculature, GSPs are made for the water, and they love it. Invest in a good quality doggie life jacket and pack a cooler for a day at the beach. It’s a good idea to keep a towel or two in your car when you go out for a hike because any pond or stream will be irresistible. Be cautious when the seasons change because shorthaired dogs are susceptible to hypothermia.

They Also Love Snuggles

Once they’re tired and fed, your GSP wants nothing more than to be close to you—as close as possible. These dogs are huge snuggle bugs. They want in your lap and under the blankets. They love to curl up in confined spaces, so a Cozy Cave is the perfect dog bed for them. And of course, there’s your bed. Before you get a GSP, ask yourself how much you like sharing your pillow.

They Are Forever Young

Your GSP may look like an adult dog at six months old, but be aware this breed takes a while to mature. Your dog may not calm down until age five. This breed tends to live a long life in comparison to other dogs, and even the 15-year-old pointers have been known to give the other pups at doggie daycare a run for their money when someone throws the ball.

If you’re up to the challenge of loving a German shorthaired pointer, you won’t be disappointed in your new best friend. 

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