German Short Haired Pointer - Doglopedia
How to Care for German Shorthaired Pointers
German short-haired pointers are energetic , medium-sized dogs. They have short coats that are often solid liver color or a combination of liver and white.GSPs were traditionally used as hunting and tracking dogs, but they are also great for people with active lifestyles due to their high energy levels.If you have a GSP or if you are considering getting one, there are several things to keep in mind about how best to care for them.
Feeding and Protecting Your GSP
Choose the proper dog food for your GSP's activity level.German short-haired pointers have a metabolism similar to that of most other species of dog, so a GSP with an average level of daily activity should be fine with regular adult dog food. If your GSP is a working dog or is just very active, look for a high-energy adult dog food.
- You can determine if a food is high-quality is by reading the ingredients. If the first two ingredients listed are meat (not meat by-products), then the food is most likely a high quality food.
- Some dog food companies make dog food that is formulated for medium-sized dogs. This might be a good option for your GSP.
- Check with your dog’s veterinarian or ask your breeder for suggestions if you are not sure what to feed your GSP.
- If the breeder was using a specific brand of food, then it is a good idea to stick with that brand.
Consider your GSP’s age.Depending on the age of your GSP, you may need to choose a special age-specific food. For example, if you have a GSP puppy, then you will need a puppy food. If you have an older adult dog, then you will need to choose a senior food.Your dog’s age may also affect the number of times that you need to feed him. Adult GSPs will need to be fed twice per day, but puppies may need to be fed more often.If your puppy is:
- eight to 12 weeks, then do four feedings per day
- three to six months, then do three feedings per day
- six months to one year old, then do two feedings per day
Develop a regular feeding schedule.Some people choose to free-feed their dogs, which can result in the dog becoming overweight or obese. Therefore, it is better to maintain a regular feeding schedule for your GSP and to measure his food portions. To determine how much to feed your dog, you will need to consider his weight and activity level.
- Check your dog’s food package for a basic guideline on how much to feed your dog according to his weight. If you are still not sure if you are feeding the right amount of food to your GSP, then check with your dog’s veterinarian.
- Most GSPs require between two to five cups of dry food per day. The more active your GSP is, the more food he will need. For example, a dog that is mostly sedentary would probably only need two cups per day, while a GSP that is very active will probably need closer to five cups of food per day.
- Divide your dog’s daily food intake into two meals. For example, if your dog needs two cups of food per day, then you could give him one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening.
Provide plenty of fresh clean water.GSPs get thirsty from all of their physical activity, so they need to have access to a bowl of fresh, clean water at all times. Stainless steel bowls are ideal because these are less bacteria-friendly.
- Keep the bowl of water somewhere that is easy for your GSP to access.
- Clean the water dish and change out the water it at least once per day.
Give your GSP a few treats.Treats are a great way to reward your GSP, but try to keep treats to a minimum to avoid the chance of your GSP becoming overweight. If you want to feed treats try these nutritious, low-calorie foods:
- baby carrots
- rinsed canned green beans
- cooked sweet potatoes, sliced
- a few frozen peas or blueberries
Steer clear of foods that are toxic to your GSP.You will need to avoid feeding your GSP certain human foods that can make them ill or kill them. These foods include:
- grapes and raisins
- macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts
- onions, garlic, and chives
- yeast dough
- xylitol (often found in sugar free foods)
Grooming Your GSP
Brush your GSP's coat with a rubber brush.Even though GSPs have short coats, they will still shed if they are not brushed on a regular basis. To reduce shedding, use a rubber brush to go over your GSP’s coat about once or twice per week.
- Start brushing your GSP from a young age so that he will be used to it. To make it more pleasant for him, try giving your GSP a treat after you finish brushing him.
Inspect and clean your GSP's ears weekly.GSPs are more prone to ear infections than some breeds, so it is important to inspect and clean your GSP’s ears at least once per week. To clean your GSP’s ears, you will need to use a damp (not wet) piece of cotton gauze to wipe out the inside of your dog’s ear flap.
- Wrap the gauze around your finger and use your finger to gently wipe the inside of your GSP's ear flap and ear.
- Do not try to stick the gauze deep into your dog’s ears or use a cotton swab on your dog’s ears.
- Check your dog’s ears often as well to see if he has any debris or wax buildup in his ears. A good time to check your GSP’s ears is when you are brushing him.
- If you notice lots of wax buildup, discharge, or a bad smell coming from your GSP’s ears, then take him to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can do a deep cleaning, check for infections, and provide medication for your dog's ears if needed.
Trim your GSP’s nails.Nail upkeep is important for GSPs because long nails may pose an injury hazard for these active dogs. If your GSP is active, then you may not need to trim his nails often or even at all, but you should trim your GSP’s nails whenever they start to click on the ground while he is walking. Be careful to avoid the quick when you trim your GSP’s nails. The quick is a blood vessel inside of a dog’s nail and it can be extremely painful if you hit it.
- To avoid cutting the quick, trim a small sliver of nail at a time and check the trimmed surface as you go. If you start to notice a circle on the trimmed surface, stop cutting. The quick is just below this circle.
Clean your GSP’s teeth.Care for your GSP’s teeth by brushing them regularly from the time your GSP is a puppy. You can teach your GSP to like brushing by placing a bit of peanut butter or liver on a dog toothbrush and allowing him to lick the toothbrush. After doing this a few times, he should be more accepting of the toothbrush.
- Never use human toothpaste on your GSP. Human toothpaste contains ingredients, such as fluoride, that are toxic to dogs.
Flush your GSP’s eyes with saline solution if needed.GSPs are prone to droopy lower eyelids, which can make it more likely that dust, dirt, and other particles will get into their eyes and cause irritation. If you are spending long periods outdoors with your GSP, then you may need to flush your GSP’s eyes out with saline solution now and then to remove these particles.
- To flush your GSP’s eyes out with saline solution, you will need to hold your dog’s eyelid open and gently squeeze saline solution into your dog’s eyes from just above his eyes. This is much easier with a friend and you will need to be careful not to allow the bottle tip to touch your dog’s eye or it may cause injury.
- Flushing out your dog’s eyes with saline solution is similar to giving a dog eye drops but more solution may be required to flush out dust particles and debris from your dog’s eyes.
- Ask your veterinarian for some special saline fluid for your GSP’s eyes. Your veterinarian can also demonstrate how to use it.
Entertaining and Training Your GSP
Exercise your GSP often.GSP’s are high-energy dogs and they require at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Two 30 minute exercise sessions per day are even better.That is why GSPs are best for people with active lifestyles.
- Try taking your dog along with you on morning walks or runs. Some dogs can even learn to run beside a bike while you ride.
- If you have a sedentary lifestyle, then consider hiring someone to take your dog for morning runs. You might also consider taking your GSP to a local dog park to play. Otherwise, it is possible that your dog will develop behavioral issues due to boredom and pent up energy.
Play fetch with your GSP.GSPs are great fetchers, so playing with a Frisbee or tennis ball in the backyard can be an excellent way to help your GSP get some exercise.Try heading out to your yard once per day to play a game of fetch with your GSP.
- Playing fetch is also a good way for you to bond with your GSP.
- Make sure that you have somewhere safe to play fetch with your GSP so he will not be near traffic or other hazards.
Give your GSP chew toys.GSPs like to chew, so it is a good idea to provide things like rope toys and rawhide bones for your GSP to chew on. If not provided with something to chew on, your GSP may find an item such as a shoe or something else that is important to you.
- Try alternating your GSP’s chew toys so that he does not get bored of them. Try taking a toy away and exchanging it with a new toy every day of the week.
Spend plenty of time with your GSP.GSPs are bred to hunt and track, so they are used to spending lots of time around humans. Even if you do not plan to take your GSP hunting, you should take him along with you to do other things as much as possible.
- For example, you might take your GSP with you for a hike, a day at the beach, or on a visit to a friend’s house.
Consider crate training your GSP.Crate training is an excellent way to provide your GSP with a secure space to retreat to when he is feeling scared or overwhelmed. If you decide to use a crate, get one that is large enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down in. It should not be any bigger.
- Place some comfortable bedding and a favorite toy in your GSP’s crate to make it a comforting space.
- Keep the crate open for the first couple of weeks and allow your GSP to investigate the crate and use it as he pleases. After a couple of weeks, you can start to close the door when your GSP is in his crate.
- Do not keep your GSP in his crate for more than a few hours. Dogs are not meant to be kept in crates for long periods of time.
- Never use a crate to punish your GSP. Crates are meant to be safe places and your dog should not be afraid to go into his crate.
Teach your GSP basic commands.Teaching your GSP some basic commands is another great way to stimulate his mind and enhance your bond. Start by teaching your GSP how to do things like sit, stay, shake, lay down, and heel. You can teach your dog these commands on your own or take a class with your GSP.
- Use positive reinforcement to train your GSP. Never hit him or yell at him if he disobeys. Instead, provide your GSP with treats, praise, and petting when he does something well.
- Keep training sessions short and regular. Your GSP will be more likely to maintain his concentration if sessions are kept between five to 10 minutes long. Try to do at least one training session every day.
- After your GSP has learned these commands, you can teach him some more advanced ones as well. GSPs are intelligent dogs so they are easy to train.
Socialize your GSP.GSPs tend to have even temperaments and do not act aggressively towards people, but a poorly socialized GSP may be frightened or confused by new types of people or children. Make sure that you socialize your GSP well from the time he is a puppy. Take him out with you and invite people over so that your GSP puppy encounters all sorts of things such as:
- children and babies
- men and women
- other dogs
- people in hats, holding umbrellas, wearing boots, etc.
- loud noises
- cars and bikes
Keeping Your GSP Safe and Healthy
Keep your GSP indoors.GSPs do best when they are around people, so housing your GSP indoors is ideal. Make sure that your GSP has a soft bed and that his sleeping area is free from drafts. Due to the short coat of these dogs, they can become cold in the winter.
Place a collar with an ID tag on your GSP.GSPs are athletic tracking dogs, so there is always the chance that your GSP will run off if he catches an interesting scent. To ensure that your GSP is returned safely to you, make sure that your GSP is always wearing a collar with tags that provide your address and phone number.
- You may also want to consider having your GSP implanted with a tracking chip so that he will be identifiable even if he loses his collar.
Take your GSP for regular veterinary check-ups.As with all dogs, it is important to take your GSP to see a veterinarian at least once per year for a check-up and to get vaccinations and tests as needed. If you do not already have a veterinarian for your GSP, then find one as soon as possible and take your dog for an initial check-up. Your GSP will need to get vaccines and medicine for:
- Lyme disease
- Fleas and ticks
Spay or neuter your GSP.If you don’t plan to breed your GSP, then you should have your dog spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering help to control the pet population and it can also prevent your dog from developing some negative behavioral issues. Spaying and neutering may even protect your dog from certain types of cancer and some other health problems.
- Spayed female dogs are less likely to get certain types of cancer and infections.
- Male and female dogs that are not fixed are more likely to roam, be aggressive, or engage in other territorial behaviors.
Request tests to watch for breed-specific diseases.GSPs are healthy dogs, but they are susceptible to a few diseases. These include hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, entropion, and gastric torsion. To keep your GSP healthy, your veterinarian may perform regular tests on your GSP, but you can also request them. These tests include:
- thyroid test
- hip exam
- heart exam
- eye exam
- tests for von Willebrand’s disease
QuestionHow do I make my dog happy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo make your dog happy, take care of their basic needs such as food, water, toys, beds, etc. and give them love and comfort. Try to spend as much time as you can with them and make sure you get them to socialize with other dogs and get lots of exercise outside. Training your dog to do tricks can also make your dog happy. Praise your dog and/or give him/her a treat when they do tricks.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best age to neuter my German Shorthaired Pointer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWait until they're at least 2 months old. After that, the younger the better, as the recovery will be easier for them.Thanks!
Video: Breed All About It - German Shorthaired Pointer
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