German Pointer Breed Information
German Pointers are a member of the ‘Gundog’ breed group. Dogs in the Gundog group were originally trained to find live game and retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. The group is divided into four categories: Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters.
German Pointers are highly energetic, good-natured dogs. They need an owner who can invest plenty of time in them, and explore the great outdoors together.
Shorthaired pointers will need grooming once or twice a week, with Wirehaired also needing ‘stripping’ occasionally.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that German Pointers are prone to include:
- Lymphedema – swelling caused by improper drainage of the lymphatic system
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Von Willebrand's disease – deficiency in blood platelet function resulting in excessive bleeding.
- Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
- Entropion – inward turning eyelids.
- Cardiomyopathy – enlarged heart due to degeneration of the heart muscle.
- Cherry eye – eversion of the nictitating membrane or ‘third eyelid’ – generally occurs in younger dogs and can be surgically corrected.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
German Pointers have high energy levels and will need plenty of exercise – over 2 hours ideally per day. They have an outstanding ability to scent game so be aware that their instinct to hunt, point and retrieve may kick in if they smell a rabbit when you are taking them out for a walk; for this reason they need to be trained well for recall. German Pointers in general are friendly and fairly easy to train. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a German Pointer are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your German Pointer with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like German Pointers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your German Pointers with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.