Differences Between German Shorthairs & English Pointers

Cut from the same cloth, the English and German versions of the pointer offer few differences.
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The pointer family of hounds has long helped hunters find their prey, and two versions of the breed offer nearly identical characteristics. The German shorthaired pointer and English pointer both exhibit the long legs and regal stature of their family breed, but do differ in a few areas.

Points for Personality

Although both pointer varieties can become a loyal addition to your family, the English pointer is the more affectionate and fun-loving of the two. The German shorthaired pointer, or GSP, is an intelligent and highly-focused hunter, giving him the impression of being all business. That's not to say he's not a good family dog or aggressive, but his English cousin offers a more affectionate personality when he's not in the field scaring up game. GSPs often like to be nearby without being directly part of things.

Growing Room

Both breeds require lots of leg room, as their high-energy levels dictate plenty of exercise. Size-wise they're an almost even match. English pointers can get slightly bigger, reaching a up to 28 inches tall as opposed to the GSP's 25 inches. The English pulls ahead in the weight category as well, reaching up to 75 pounds with the GSP running a close second at 70 pounds.

You Look Fabulous

Because both breeds are short-haired, a weekly rub down with a rubber mitt helps remove dead hair and spread natural skin oils throughout the coat. One big difference between these breeds is shedding -- the English pointer sheds only lightly, but the GSP is a moderate to heavy shedder. He also sheds heavier as the seasons change, requiring more frequent brushing and bathing to prevent mats in his short coat.

The Doctor Will See You Now

Both breeds are relatively healthy, but like any other dog breed they can develop some health issues. Hip dysplasia and eye problems are possibilities in either pointer breed, and English pointers could develop heart conditions or deafness. GSPs are prone to eye issues, such as entropion, which is when the eyelids turn inward. Regular veterinary visits and care could identify issues before they become a problem.

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