We offer the following activities for club members and other pointing dog enthusiasts.
History of the German Shorthaired Pointer and
The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Minnesota, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of Diane Roghair
In the 17th and 18th centuries, most hunting privileges in Europe were limited to the wealthy and landed gentry. The common working man was limited to driving game and fowl for his employer, or poaching the landlord's estate (with fear-some penalties if caught). Because of the limited and specialized methods of hunting, specialist dogs were developed by the wealthy €¦flushing dogs for pheasants, the setters and pointers for the grouse moors, the pack hounds for the foxhunt, and so on.
Times changed; the working class now enjoyed the same hunting privileges as their wealthy counterparts. However, the working man could not afford to keep a kennel full of specialist dogs, so an all-purpose gun dog was clearly needed. Three Germans were prominent in the creation of several of the Continental Pointing Breeds: the German Shorthaired Pointer (Deutsch Kurzhaar), the German Wirehaired Pointer (Deutsch Drahthaar) and the Weimaraner.
The German Shorthaired Pointer was developed over 100 years ago, to serve as the all-purpose gun dog for the foot handling "rough shooter". He was expected to hunt and point both fur and feather, track the blood-scent or wounded large game and bay the kill, retrieve fowl on both land and water, kill and retrieve small game as necessary (typically fox, raccoon and so on). The German foot hunter wanted a super dog, and con-scientious breeders developed on through judicious blending of the Old Spanish Pointer, speed hounds, and blood/scent hounds of the 18th and 19th century. By the late 1800's a recognizable type of dog had been created, which showed promise of fulfilling the hunter's many requirements.
In the mid 1920's Dr. Charles Thorton (of Montana) imported several German Shorthairs into the United States, among them a bred bitch named Senta. He whelped the first litter on record here, and became the breed's pioneer and premier enthusiast. However, the skill and the versality of these dogs in the field, ensured it wasn't long before they became a recognized and valuable hunting breed.
As an interesting footnote to the breed's US development, the breed founders here wanted the American Kennel Club list to the breed name as the German Shorthaired Pointer and Retriever. However, since AKC organized the existing breeds into pointing, flushing, and retrieving classifications for show and field trials, they said NO! To the breed name. In their wisdom (and never before having faced a "versatile" dog) the AKC reasoned that a dog could either point or retrieve but could not do both. So the founders had to decide how our breed would be known €¦. Hence the name and classification. As such, The GSP, the GWP, and the Weimaraner all compete in field trials under the pointing dog classification.
Within the next few years, the major breed activity centered in the Minnesota Wisconsin area. Many of the prominent national bloodlines originated through our local breeders, and the quality of the German Shorthair was not bettered anywhere in the world. In 1938 local breeders in this area applied to the AKC for Parent Club (national club) status and it was eventually granted with one of the first tasks to be the establishment of a breed standard. This was accomplished and in accepted in 1945.
We (the GSPC of MN, Inc.) held the first licensed field trial in Anoka, Minnesota, also in 1945 and in that regard, Jack Shattuck's Rusty V Schwarenburg (Minnesota bred) became the breed's first Dual Champion (Field and Show titles). As time went by, other regional clubs grew, and soon there was truly a national organization, with the Minnesota people giving up Parent Club status to become a member club.