German Shorthaired Pointer

Last updated September 2007

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Noble, steady dog showing power, endurance and speed, giving the immediate impression of an alert and energetic dog whose movements are well co-ordinated. Of medium size, with a short back standing over plenty of ground. Grace of outline, clean-cut head, long sloping shoulders, deep chest, short back, powerful hindquarters, good bone composition, adequate muscle, well-carried tail and taut coat.


Dual purpose pointer/retriever, very keen nose, perseverance in searching and initiative in game finding, excellence in field, a naturally keen worker, equally good on land and water.


Gentle, affectionate and even-tempered. Alert, biddable and very loyal.

Head and skull

Clean cut, neither too light nor too heavy, well proportioned to body. Skull sufficiently broad and slightly round. Nasal bone rising gradually from nose to forehead (this more pronounced in dogs) and never possessing a definite stop, but when viewed from side a well-defined stop effect due to position of eyebrows. Lips falling away almost vertically from somewhat protruding nose and continuing in a slight curve to corner of mouth. Lips well developed, not over hung. Jaws powerful and sufficiently long to enable the dog to pick up and carry game. Dish-faced and snipy muzzle undesirable. Nose solid brown or black depending on coat colour. Wide nostrils, well opened and soft.


Medium size, soft and intelligent, neither protruding nor too deep set. Varying in shades of brown to tone with coat. Light eye undesirable. Eyelids should close properly.


Broad and set high; neither too fleshy nor too thin, with a short, soft coat; hung close to head, no pronounced fold, rounded at tip and reaching almost to corner of mouth when brought forward.


Teeth sound and strong. Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Moderately long, muscular and slightly arched, thickening towards shoulders. Skin not fitting too loosely.


Shoulders sloping and very muscular, top of shoulder blades close; upper arm bones, between shoulder and elbow, long. Elbows well laid back, neither pointing outwards nor inwards. Forelegs straight and lean, sufficiently muscular and strong, but not coarse boned. Pasterns slightly sloping.


Chest must appear deep rather than wide but in proportion to rest of body; ribs deep and well sprung, never barrel shaped nor flat; back ribs reaching well down to tuck-up of loins. Chest measurement immediately behind elbows smaller than about a hand’s breadth behind elbows, so that upper arm has freedom of movement. Firm, short back, not arched. Loin wide and slightly arched; croup wide and sufficiently long, neither too heavy nor too sloping, starting on a level with back and sloping gradually towards tail. Bones solid and strong. Skin should not fit loosely or fold.


Hips broad and wide, falling slightly towards tail. Thighs strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hocks square with body and slightly bent, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns nearly upright.


Compact, close knit, round to spoon shaped, well padded, turning neither in nor out. Toes well arched with strong nails.


Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Starts high and thick growing gradually thinner, customarily docked to medium length by two fifths to half its length. When quiet, tail carried down; when moving, horizontally. Never held high over back or bent.

Undocked: Moderately long, not reaching below hocks. Strong at root, becoming gradually thinner. Carried horizontally or just below line of back.


Smooth, lithe gait essential. As gait increases from walk to a faster speed, legs converge beneath body (single tracking). Forelegs reach well ahead, effortlessly covering plenty of ground with each stride and followed by hindlegs, which give forceful propulsion.


Short, flat and coarse to touch, slightly longer under tail.


Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, solid black or black and white same variations (not tricolour).


Dogs: minimum height 58 cms (23 ins) at withers, maximum height 64 cms (25 ins) at withers. Bitches: minimum height 53 cms (21 ins) at withers, maximum height 59 cms (23 ins) at withers.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.