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German shorthaired pointer

The GSP should always present itself as a self assured, friendly, intelligent dog with a “willing to please” and good time attitude. There should be no hint of a nervous or flighty character. A dog exhibiting this poor temperament should be severely penalized.

General Appearance
The GSP should exude handsomeness. It should be a balanced and symmetrical animal indicating power, endurance, athleticism and intelligence. A dog well balanced in all points is preferable to one with outstanding good qualities and outstanding faults! Symmetry and field quality are most essential. A dog with grace of outline, pleasing head, sloping shoulder, deep chest, powerful back, strong quarters, excellent bone composition with adequate muscle, a well carried tail and harsh tight coat produce a look of nobility and indicate a heritage of purpose. Movement is of primary importance for the GSP to do what it was bred to do.

The GSP should be poetry in motion! A dog moving correctly should look like a dressage horse at a lovely flying trot. As the gait increases from the walk to the trot, a dog made correctly will reach out to pull the ground in under it. There will be no slapping or pounding down but a lovely effortless ground covering pull. Any dog hackneying or “floppy footing” should be penalized. The hind legs should be in perfect synchronization with the front by driving through the ground from the hindquarters. Up and down motion in the rear like a piston is not correct, it is wasted motion, goes nowhere and should be penalized. A single tracking gait is desirable.

Size, Proportion and Substance
Dog Size – height should be from 23 to 25 inches. Weight should be from 60 to 75 pounds.
Bitch Size – height should be from 21 to 23 inches. Weight should be from 45 to 60 pounds.
Height variance of either one inch under or over should be faulted in both dogs and bitches.

Proportion – both sexes should be either square or slightly longer than tall when measured from the fore-chest to the rearmost projection of the rump and the withers to the ground.

Substance – thin and fine bones are not desirable in a dog that must possess strength and to be able to work game, fur or fowl, over any type of terrain for several hours. 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 or dogs which are ponderous because of excess substance, doggy bitches and bitchy dogs are all to be faulted.

The skull should be broad and pleasing, arched on the side and slightly round on top. The GSP should not look like an English Pointer with a perpendicular stop but instead the head has a gentle slope. It is more pronounced in dogs than in bitches.

The head should first of all fit the individual animal. It is to be clean cut and in proper proportion to the body. The eyes are medium size and almond shaped. Round eyes should be faulted. Dark brown is the color of choice, but honey colored is completely acceptable. If the dog has lighter eyes as a puppy but there is a ring around the iris, these will most probably darken with age, usually up to 3 years. Light yellow or green eyes (bird of prey) are faults as are eyes set too close together. China or walleyes are a disqualification.

The nose should be liver and as large as possible to bring in scent. Ears are broad and set fairly high. They should lie close to the head and never hang away. Note: larger dogs will have larger ears and but they should not be overly fleshly.

Neck, Topline and Body
The neck should be of sufficient length to allow the head and jaws to retrieve game easily. The neck should show strength of muscle immediately from where it hinges from the head. There should be a gently sloping curve from the nape into the shoulder. This powerful look should broaden into the shoulders. Moderate throatiness (wetness) is permitted.

The chest should be deep rather than wide. It should reach to the elbows and be tight. The ribs (thorax) should show a rib spring when looked down onto the dog. Dogs should be penalized for no rib spring (flat or slab-sided) and a round or a barrel-chested look. Back ribs should reach well down. The “fill” or circumference of the thorax immediately behind the elbow is smaller that that of the thorax about a hand’s width behind the elbows to allow the upper arm full movement. Tuck up should be obvious. There should be no “sausage” look.

The back is short, strong and straight and can have an ever so slight rise from “connect” or where the loin starts to the root of the tail. The loin is strong and is moderate in length. Excessively long backs and roached or swayed backs should be penalized. Hips are broad with hip sockets wide apart and should fall slightly toward the tail in a graceful curve. A steep or low croup is a fault. The tail is set high and firm and should be docked in proportion to the individual animal to present a pleasing outline. The tail hangs down when the dog is a rest and is carried horizontally when moving. The tail must never be curved over the back toward the head when the dog is moving. This is a gay tail and should be severely penalized.

The shoulders should layback or slope into as close to a 45 degree angle as possible. They should be strong and well formed and muscled. The upper arm (the bones between the shoulder and the elbow joint) should be long and equal from the 45 degree ideal to form a triangle. They should stand away somewhat from the trunk so that the straight and closely muscled legs are parallel when viewed from the front. Loose, short-bladed or straight shoulders are to be faulted. Elbows that stand away from the body or are too close result in toes turning inward or outward and are to be faulted. Pasterns are strong, short and nearly vertical with a slight spring.

Feet that knuckle over are to be faulted. Dewclaws should be removed but this is not faulted if left on. The feet are compact, tight and round or spoon-shaped. Toes should be sufficiently arched and heavily nailed. Pads should be 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. Angulations of both stifle and hock joint are such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. Hocks should turn neither out nor in but drop straight. Cow hocked legs or too much hock is a serious fault.

The correct coat should feel course to the touch especially from the withers to the rump. It should be tight to repel water. The head, ears and neck are softer, thinner and shorter. Any dog with long hair should be disqualified.

The coat may be solid liver or liver and white or liver and white ticked or liver patched and white ticked or liver roan or solid white with a liver head. Any combination of ticking, patching or plating is correct. A dog with any area of black, red, orange, lemon or tan or a solid white dog is to be disqualified.


  • China or wall eyes
  • Completely Flesh Colored nose
  • Jaws-overshot or undershot
  • Color deviations of black, red orange lemon, tan or solid white
  • Long Hair

Serious Faults

  • Shy Temperament
  • Incorrect Movement-hackneyed or piston
  • Bird of Prey Eyes
  • Gay Tails
  • Over Angualated Hocks
  • Bad Toplines
  • Bitchy Dogs and Doggy Bitches
  • Lack of Bone


German wirehaired pointer

General Appearance

Medium-sized hunting dog, with wire hair completely covering skin. Overall should be slightly longer in body, compared to shoulder height.


Powerful, strong, versatile hunting dog, excels in both field and water. Loyal, intelligent, sound temperament and alert.


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

Head and Skull

Balanced in proportion to body. Skull sufficiently broad and slightly rounded. Moderate stop, skull and muzzle of equal length with no overhanging lips. Nose liver or black.


Medium-sized oval, hazel or darker, with eyelids closing properly, not protruding nor too deep-set.


Medium-sized in relation to head, set high, when brought forward should reach corner of lips.


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


Strong and of adequate length, skin tightly fitting.


Shoulders sloping and very muscular with top of shoulder blades not too close; upper arm bones between shoulder and elbow long. Elbows close to body, neither pointing outwards nor inwards. Forelegs straight and lean, sufficiently muscular and strong but not coarse-boned. Pasterns slightly sloping, almost straight but not quite.


Chest must appear deep rather than wide but not out of proportion to the rest of the body; ribs deep and well sprung, never barrel-shaped nor flat, back rib reaching well down to tucked-up loins. Chest measurement immediately behind elbows smaller than that of about a hand’s breadth behind elbows so that upper arm has freedom of movement. Firm back, not arched, with slightly falling back line.


Hips broad and wide, croup falling slightly towards tail. Thighs strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hocks square with body, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns nearly upright. Bone strong but not coarse.


Compact, close-knit, round to oval-shaped, well padded, should turn neither in nor out. Toes well arched, heavily nailed.


Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Approximately two fifths of original length docked. Continuing the line of back, carried horizontally or slightly upward. Neither too thick nor too thin.

Undocked: Continuing the line of back, carried horizontally or slightly upward. Neither too thick nor too thin. Reaching to the hocks and carried straight or slightly sabre-fashion.


Smooth, covering plenty of ground with each stride, driving hind action, elbows turning neither in nor out. Definitely not a hackney action.


Outer coat thicker and harsh, no longer than 4 cms (11/2 ins) long with a dense undercoat, (undercoat more prevalent in winter than summer). It should not hide body shape but it should be long enough to give good protection. Coat should lie close to the body. Hair on head and ears thick and short, but not too soft. Bushy eyebrows, full but not overlong beard.


Liver and white, solid liver, black and white. Solid black and tricoloured highly undesirable.


Ideal height at shoulder: dogs: 60-67 cms (23½-26½ ins); bitches: 56-62 cms (22-24½ ins). Weight: dogs: 25-34 kgs (55-75 lbs); bitches: 20.5-29 kgs (45-64 lbs).


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.

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