The German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunter, an all-purpose
gun dog capable of high performance in field and water. The judgement of
Shorthairs in the show ring reflects this basic characteristic. The
overall picture which is created in the observer's eye is that of an
aristocratic, well balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation
indicating power, endurance and agility and a look of intelligence and
animation. The dog is neither unduly small nor conspicuously large. It
gives the impression of medium size, but is like the proper hunter,
"with a short back, but standing over plenty of ground." Symmetry and
field quality are most essential. A dog in hard and lean field condition
is not to be penalized; however, overly fat or poorly muscled dogs are
to be penalized. A dog well balanced in all points is preferable to one
with outstanding good qualities and defects. Grace of outline, clean-cut
head, sloping shoulders, deep chest, powerful back, strong quarters,
good bone composition, adequate muscle, well carried tail and taut coat
produce a look of nobility and indicate a heritage of purposefully
conducted breeding. Further evidence of this heritage is movement which
is balanced, alertly coordinated and without wasted motion.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size--height of dogs, measured at the withers, 23 to 25 inches.
Height of bitches, measured at the withers, 21 to 23 inches. Deviations
of one inch above or below the described heights are to be severely
penalized. Weight of dogs 55 to 70 pounds. Weight of bitches 45 to 60
pounds. Proportion--measuring from the forechest to the rearmost
projection of the rump and from the withers to the ground, the Shorthair
is permissibly either square or slightly longer than he is tall.
Substance--thin and fine bones are by no means desirable in a dog which
must possess strength and be able to work over any type of terrain. The
main importance is not laid so much on the size of bone, but rather on
the bone being in proper proportion to the body. Bone structure too
heavy or too light is a fault. Tall and leggy dogs, dogs which are
ponderous because of excess substance, doggy bitches, and bitchy dogs
are to be faulted.
The head is clean-cut, is neither too light nor too heavy, and is
in proper proportion to the body. The eyes are of medium size, full of
intelligence and expression, good-humored and yet radiating energy,
neither protruding nor sunken. The eye is almond shaped, not circular.
The preferred color is dark brown. Light yellow eyes are not desirable
and are a fault. Closely set eyes are to be faulted. China or wall eyes
are to be disqualified. The ears are broad and set fairly high, lie flat
and never hang away from the head. Their placement is just above eye
level. The ears when laid in front without being pulled, should extend
to the corner of the mouth. In the case of heavier dogs, the ears are
correspondingly longer. Ears too long or fleshy are to be faulted. The
skull is reasonably broad, arched on the side and slightly round on top.
Unlike the Pointer, the median line between the eyes at the forehead is
not too deep and the occipital bone is not very conspicuous. The
foreface rises gradually from nose to forehead. The rise is more
strongly pronounced in the dog than in the bitch. The jaw is powerful
and the muscles well developed. The line to the forehead rises gradually
and never has a definite stop as that of the Pointer, but rather a
stop-effect when viewed from the side, due to the position of the
eyebrows. The muzzle is sufficiently long to enable the dog to seize
game properly and be able to carry it for a long time. A pointed muzzle
is not desirable. The depth is in the right proportion to the length,
both in the muzzle and in the skull proper. The length of the muzzle
should equal the length of skull. A dish-shaped muzzle is a fault. A
definite Pointer stop is a serious fault. Too many wrinkles in the
forehead is a fault. The nose is brown, the larger the better, and with
nostrils well opened and broad. A spotted nose is not desirable. A flesh
colored nose disqualifies. The chops fall away from the somewhat
projecting nose. Lips are full and deep yet are never flewy. The teeth
are strong and healthy. The molars intermesh properly. The bite is a
true scissors bite. A perfect level bite is not desirable and must be
penalized. Extreme overshot or undershot disqualifies.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is of proper length to permit the jaws reaching game to
be retrieved, sloping downwards on beautifully curving lines. The nape
is rather muscular, becoming gradually larger toward the shoulders.
Moderate throatiness is permitted. The skin is close and tight. The
chest in general gives the impression of depth rather than breadth; for
all that, it is in correct proportion to the other parts of the body.
The chest reaches down to the elbows, the ribs forming the thorax show a
rib spring and are not flat or slabsided; they are not perfectly round
or barrel-shaped. The back ribs reach well down. The circumference of
the thorax immediately behind the elbows is smaller than that of the
thorax about a hand's breadth behind elbows, so that the upper arm has
room for movement. Tuck-up is apparent. The back is short, strong, and
straight with a slight rise from the root of the tail to the withers.
The loin is strong, is of moderate length, and is slightly arched. An
excessively long, roached or swayed back must be penalized. The hips are
broad with hip sockets wide apart and fall slightly toward the tail in a
graceful curve. A steep croup is a fault. The tail is set high and
firm, and must be docked, leaving approximately 40% of its length. The
tail hangs down when the dog is quiet and is held horizontally when he
is walking. The tail must never be curved over the back toward the head
when the dog is moving. A tail curved or bent toward the head is to be
The shoulders are sloping, movable, and well covered with muscle.
The shoulder blades lie flat and are well laid back nearing a 45 degree
angle. The upper arm (the bones between the shoulder and elbow joint) is
as long as possible, standing away somewhat from the trunk so that the
straight and closely muscled legs, when viewed from the front, appear to
be parallel. Elbows which stand away from the body or are too close
result in toes turning inwards or outwards and must be faulted. Pasterns
are strong, short and nearly vertical with a slight spring. Loose,
short-bladed or straight shoulders must be faulted. Knuckling over is to
be faulted. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. The feet are
compact, close-knit and round to spoon-shaped. The toes are sufficiently
arched and heavily nailed. The pads are strong, hard and thick.
Thighs are strong and well muscled. Stifles are well bent. Hock
joints are well angulated and strong with straight bone structure from
hock to pad. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to
achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. Hocks turn neither in
nor out. Cowhocked legs are a serious fault.
The hair is short and thick and feels tough to the hand; it is
somewhat longer on the underside of the tail and the back edges of the
haunches. The hair is softer, thinner and shorter on the ears and the
head. Any dog with long hair in the body coat is to be severely
The coat may be of solid liver or a combination of liver and white
such as liver and white ticked, liver patched and white ticked, or
liver roan. A dog with any area of black, red, orange, lemon or tan, or a
dog solid white will be disqualified.
A smooth lithe gait is essential. It is to be noted that as gait
increases from the walk to a faster speed, the legs converge beneath the
body. The tendency to single track is desirable. The forelegs reach
well ahead as if to pull in the ground without giving the appearance of a
hackney gait. The hindquarters drive the back legs smoothly and with
The Shorthair is friendly, intelligent, and willing to please. The
first impression is that of a keen enthusiasm for work without
indication of nervous or flightly character.
China or wall eyes.
Flesh colored nose.
Extreme overshot or undershot.
A dog with any area of black, red, orange, lemon, or tan, or a dog solid white.
Approved August 11, 1992
Effective September 30, 1992
Courtesy of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (GSPCA)