How Many Breeds Are in a German Shorthaired Pointer?

German shorthaired pointers are often dedicated, bright and mild-mannered pets.
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German shorthaired pointers are distinctly their own breed, but that doesn't mean they don't have an extensive lineage that includes many other kinds of dogs. These midsize sporting dogs have rich heritage from several other canine breeds and varieties, notably German bird dogs. True to their name, they are German natives.

Breed Background

German shorthaired pointers are similar to a lot of breeds in that their specific roots are uncertain. However, they're thought to be a blend of four different varieties of canines, according to Liz Palika, dog aficionado and author of "The Howell Book of Dogs." These varieties are German bird dogs, English pointers, Spanish pointers and local German scent hounds. It is believed that when these dogs were crossed together, the goal was to produce functional and smart dogs with strong scenting skills.

German Bird Dog Starting Point

While German shorthaired pointers are a combination of a handful of different types of dogs, the fundamental footing for the breed was thought to be the German bird dog, according to the "The Complete Dog Book," produced by the American Kennel Club. German shorthaired pointers as a group were bred initially by breeding German bird dogs and Spanish pointers together. Spanish pointers were sluggish, sturdy dogs who possessed admirable and sharp scenting talents.

Breed Goals

The German shorthaired pointer story began roughly in 1600. The point of creating the breed was to produce hunting canines. German shorthaired pointers have strong backgrounds in retrieving animals such as possums, raccoons and pheasant, for example. They also have been highly effective as watchdogs for centuries. In the modern day, German shorthaired pointers frequently do well as companion dogs. They especially appreciate living with energetic owners, as they're extremely exuberant animals. They can manage successfully both in rural and suburban residences.

English Pointer Contribution

English pointers were later additions to the German shorthaired pointer breed. Since the German shorthaired pointer background was made up of several relatively weighty dogs such as Spanish pointers, the English dogs contributed to introducing gracefulness to the breed. German shorthaired pointers are lively dogs largely because of their English pointer roots. English pointers also affected the hunting technique of German shorthaired pointers. English pointers hunt with their noses up, rather than down. Scenthounds, for the most part, are the opposite in this aspect.