Greyhound Dog Breed

Gemma | August 5th, 2007
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Greyhound dogs and all similar-type dog breeds have been depicted since the early ancient times throughout Greece, Egypt, and Rome. The Greyhound is a member of the sighthound family. In fact, the first type of dogs that were specifically bred by humans were called the Sighthound. Sighthounds were created in order to chase and outrun game, ultimately catching it through speed and agility.

The name Greyhound is said to have come from either the Greek word Graius or the Latin gradus, which denotes high grade. When the times of Saxon had been reached, Greyhounds were very popular and well established throughout Britain. They were valuable to both commoners and the rich. Commoners used them to hunt and put food on the table while the upper class enjoyed them for the sport of chase.

The Forest Laws of 1014 ruled that only the nobility could own and maintain Greyhounds. These laws were in effect for nearly 400 years and although the ruling was changed, Greyhounds still remained as dogs of nobility even though they were not functional anymore for chasing game because of the growing practice of agriculture and alternative food sources becoming available to the people.

Soon enough, sport of chasing hare became the sole activity of the Greyhound, especially with the upper class during the 1800s. Throughout the early 1900s and into the late 1920s, these dogs were enjoyed by people who watched them race at the tracks.

When racing parks started to install a mechanical lure to watch the Greyhounds race at lightening speed after it, this dog’s destiny was sealed. Soon enough, many greyhounds were bred specifically for speed to win these races. This sport continues to this day.

Greyhounds also were entered into dog show competitions and were officially recognized by the AKC in 1885. Greyhounds were then specifically bred for either dog shows or racing. There is even an organization called the National Greyhound Association (NGA) which helps register thousands of Greyhound dogs every year.

Personality

Considering that this dog was specifically bred for racing, you might think that the Greyhound would be a constant wired ball of energy. Ironically, this animal is very calm and laid-back. They have great manners and generally get along with other dogs and pets. However, once he is outside, watch out, our Greyhound is likely to chase anything that moves. These dogs are very independent and moderately playful.

Taking Care Of Your Greyhound

Upkeep of the Greyhound means plenty of daily exercise. Brisk walks are great, but this dog needs to sprint! They absolutely love to be outdoors running around and chasing things. Danger is easily found when Greyhounds are allowed to run free in areas that may prove to cause injury. To counter this, always take your dog outside in the country where there is little chance of getting hit by a vehicle or some other source. As far as grooming is concerned, very little is needed due to the short-haired coat Greyhounds have.

Health Information

Greyhounds have a life span of up to 14 years, with 11 to 12 being the average. There are absolutely no major health concerns to worry about, however, there are some minor issues which include osteosarcoma, esophageal achalasia, and gastric torsion. Due to their genetic disposition to sprint and run at high speeds, common racing injuries may occur, such as toe and hock problems.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Working Group)

Gemma | August 4th, 2007
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The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is an absolute teddy bear. Full of love and affection that makes the perfect house pet, this dog is ideal for families that not only want a dog that can be trusted around children, but also one that makes an imposing watchdog. They are a sensitive breed, extremely loyal to its owners, and gentle with other pets in the home.

A Brief History Of The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Switzerland is the original area of origin for this breed and the first function of the dogs were used as guardians and draft dogs. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is said to be the largest and oldest of the four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs in existence. The other three are the Bernese, Appenzeller, and the Entlebucher.

One theory of the breed’s bloodline is that they were derived from Molossian dogs or the Mastiff, which were used when the Romans crossed over into Switzerland during the Ancient times. Other researchers claim that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog came from the Phoenicians when they brought them into Spain sometime during 1000 B.C.

Regardless of the specific truth behind the dog’s bloodline, we have watched them spread throughout Europe in great numbers to become interbred with various native dogs. Eventually, they developed through independent lines and small communities, still remaining excellent guard dogs, draft dogs, and herders.

All of these dogs were known as Metzgerhunde Dogs and shared common physical appearances. Therefore, they were assumed to be the same breed type. Up until the latter part of the 1800s did these dogs become separated into four distinct types by the research of Professor A. Heim. He noticed that there were more specific differences in these dogs than what was assumed.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was finally claimed as its own breed in 1908 but it took some time for them to become popular, especially with the disaster of two World Wars. In 1968, the breed made its way to the United States and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1985 as a member of the Miscellaneous Class, then onto the Working Group in 1995.

Upkeep Requirements For The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

As a member of the Working Group, this breed thrives on roaming the great outdoors in search of something to do, particularly in colder climates. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs need plenty of daily exercise which can be met by a vew brisk walks on the leash or long hikes through nature’s trails.

If need be, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can live outside, as they have a high tolerance for cold temperatures, but like all pets that thrive on human companionship, it is best for them to sleep inside with the family at night. Grooming requirements consist of only a once-a-week brushing. When shedding, a daily brushing is best.

Health Concerns

The average life span of a healthy Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is between ten and twelve years. The only major health problem that runs common in the breed is CHD. Minor issues include seizures, panosteitis, gastric torsion, female urinary incontinence, shoulder OCD, distichiasis, and splenic torsion.

Great Pyrenees (Working Group)

Gemma | July 31st, 2007
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The Great Pyrenees is one of the largest members of the Working Group. An imposing animal, one that was bred to be a guardian, is highly devoted to its family and very suspicious of unknown strangers, both human and animal. So long as the Great Pyrenees is not provoked it remains a calm, loving, and very well-mannered canine. Only strong minded, dominant owners should raise one of these dogs.

A Brief History Of The Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs originated from France. It’s function was to guard sheep. Researchers suggest that the breed descended from an original flock of guard dogs. These dogs were all white, from Asia Minor, some 10,000 years B.C.

Nomadic shepherds migrated to the Pyrenees Mountains sometime around 3,000 B.C., bringing their guarding dogs with them, thus creating the basis of today’s Great Pyrenees. These dogs maintained themselves as superb livestock guardians for centuries to come.

Just before the end of the 1600s, the breed became a favorite among the French Nobility and were heavily requested in the court of Louis XIV. In 1675, Louis XIV publicly announced that this dog was to be known as the Royal Dog of France. It was at this same time that the dogs arrived in Newfoundland.

In 1824, the first Pyrenees is documented to have arrived in the United States by General Lafayette. However, over the next 75 years the breed had lost all popularity in France and could only be found working as useful guardians in small, isolated areas. Interest in the breed remained low and they had all but became instinct in England.

Sometimes in early 1930s, enthusiasts of the Great Pyrenees started a heavy breeding program, importing hundreds of dogs to the United States. In 1933, the AKC officially recognized the breed which helped boost the dog’s popularity with new owners.

Upkeep Requirements For The Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees must have plenty of daily exercise to keep in shape. However, these needs are not excessive and can easily be met with a few brisk walks on the leash. They absolutely love to hike so if you live in an area with nature trails or hills, you have the ideal setting for raising this dog.

This breed can live outside if need be, especially in cold temperatures. However, they are not suited to withstanding hot weather. When sleeping it is best to keep them inside at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing, once per week – daily during shedding season. Great Pyrenees dogs also have a habit of drooling.

Health Concerns

The average life span of a Great Pyrenees dog is between ten and twelve years. Major health problems that run common in the breed are patellar luxation and CHD. Minor issues include panosteitis, OCD, osteosarcoma, chondrodysplasia, entropion, skin problems, and cataracts. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get tested for potential eye, knee, and hip problems.

Great Dane Dog Breed

Gemma | July 29th, 2007
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Always an amazing sight to see, the Great Dane is a very large dog that is said to be the result of the Greyhound and the ancient Molossus war dog. These ancestors helped the Great Dane to be a fearless hunter of big game. By the 14th century, these dogs were widely known for their agility and strength to hunt down wild boar. They proved to have the speed, courage, strength, and stamina to take down these tough, large animals.

Eventually the Great Dane became very popular with the landed gentry because of their hunting ability, combined with its graceful, yet intimidating appearance. These were noble dogs that made the perfect addition to any upper-class family.

The early name for this dog was actually referred to as German Boarhounds by the local British people. When and why the name Great Dane came to define these dogs is unknown and remains a mystery.

Interestingly enough, you would assume that it’s homeland would be with the Danish because of its name. However, it is actually a German breed which, in 1880, the German authorities tried to officially claimed its name as the Deutsche Dogge. However, this name did not stick and by the time these dogs arrived in America during the late 1800s, the name Great Dane has been the official name ever since.

Personality

The temperament of the Great Dane is a combination of dependability, friendliness, and courage. They are generally very friendly towards other household pets, humans, and even children. However, with small kids this dog is typically a bit intimidating. As with any dog, the Great Dane should be supervised when around your young ones.

Taking Care Of Your Great Dane

Upkeep for the Great Dane does not take much; daily moderate exercise in the form of a brisk walk two to three times per day is adequate. Many people assume that because of its large sturdy appearance, Great Danes can live outdoors. But the truth is that it is not suited for outdoor living at all. The best thing to do is to split the dog’s time up between staying outside during the day and inside at night. Care for its coat is minimal, requiring only the occasional brushing. Also, many Great Danes tend to drool often.

Health Information

Great Danes are generally very healthy with minimal health issues that show up. Major health problems often seen are osteosarcoma, gastric portion, and cardiomyopathy. Minor issues include OCD, hypothyroidism, CHD, HOD, and Wobbler’s syndrome (known as CVI). Because of its large size, the lifespan of the average Great Dane is between 7 and 10 years.

Gordon Setter (Sporting Group)

Gemma | July 27th, 2007
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Considered to be one of the most reliable bird dogs in the sporting group, the Gordon Setter can run and hunt for an entire day if left up to him. With seemingly endless energy and always on the looking for a bird, this breed needs constant time outside in large, open land to roam and hunt.

The Gordon Setter not only makes an excellent hunter, they also make fun, enthusiastic pets that thrive on the company of people. This breed may at times be a bit more protective than other setters when it comes to its pack, but because of this trait the Gordon Setter makes an excellent watch dog.

A Brief History Of The Gordon Setter

As early as the 1600s, the Black and Tan Setter was in existence in Scotland. Then, sometime during the late 1800s, we see that the breed established itself as the Gordon Castle Setter. The reason for the name reference was due to the Fourth Duke of Gordon, who was a big fan of the dog and had many of them living in his Castle.

Even after the passing of the Fourth Duke of Gordon, continuous efforts were made to breed only the finest of setters at the Gordon Castle. The breed’s name was soon changed back to its original name, the Black and Tan Setter, at around the year 1900, but the English Kennel Club restored the name Gordon Setter when it made the breed an official member of the organization.

The Gordon Setter first made its way to the United States sometime during the middle 1800s. In fact, they were among one of the first breeds to become recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1892, and remains one of the favorites of the sporting group with hunters that desire a talented, one-man shooting partner.

Upkeep Requirements For The Gordon Setter

Like all sporting dogs, the Gordon Setter must have plenty of daily exercise. Strenuous activity is preferred as this is one dog with an insatiable appetite for action. Gordon Setters also may become overweight quickly if kept cooped up all day. For this reason alone they are not suited for small apartment living.

These dogs are able to live outside if need be, so long as the climate is temperate, but like all loving family pets, they should have ample time to spend with the family; sleeping indoors at night is ideal. And with its long, lustrous coat, the Gordon Setter needs regular brushing every two to three days.

Health Concerns

Major health problems that seem to run common with the Gordon Setter are CHD and gastric torsion. Minor concerns include elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cerebellar abiotrophy, and PRA. Veterinarians suggest that this breed be specifically tested for possible elbow, hip, eye, and thyroid problems. The average lifespan for a healthy Gordon Setter is approximately ten to twelve years.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed

Gemma | July 25th, 2007
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The Golden Retriever is extremely popular among dog owners, especially in the United States. This dog breed is currently listed as the number two most popular registered dog with the AKC. This is not surprising, however, due to the fact that the Golden Retriever maintains the following qualities: high affection levels, friendliness towards strange people and other foreign animals, very easy to train, and always playful.

Golden Retrievers were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 1927. Initially valued for its hunting abilities, it soon became an extremely popular household pet, obedience competitor, and show dog winner.

This dog is known as everyone’s friend and is widely appreciated for its companionship towards family. Golden Retrievers are highly physical animals and have been known to lead towards behavior problems when there is a lack of activity. In fact, poor breeding practices have produced Golden Retrievers who are overly boisterous and excitable when left in house. However, a properly bred Retriever is one that will remain calm when trained, yet energetic when given the opportunity to play outside.

Upkeep And Maintenance

Upkeep of the Golden Retriever must include daily physical exercise. Runs through the sand, long walks on the leash, and of course retrieving games are all highly recommended to keep this animal happy. Human interaction and social events are also desired by the Golden Retriever.

This dog can live both indoors and outdoors. However, indoor living is what best suits the Golden Retriever. Because of its need for human interaction and companionship, it is best to make room for your Retriever inside the house so that he can love and be loved by the rest of family as much as possible.

Health Information

If you own a Golden Retriever or plan on raising one from puppyhood, major health concerns that you should know about are various skin problems (such as hot spots, ear infections, and allergies), CHD, lymphoma, and hemangiosarcoma. Minor issues include hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, potential eye disorders, mast cell tumors, and seizures.

Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of up to 13 years when living a life of good health. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs be specifically tested for thyroid, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cardiac issues, and potential eye problems.

Glen of Imaal Terrier (Terrier Group)

Gemma | July 22nd, 2007
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The Glen of Imaal Terrier makes the perfect pet for anyone that desires an active terrier, yet knows when to slow down and relax. These adorable little dogs are courageous and spirited, yet calm and easy-going. They are easy to train and enjoy learning new tricks.

The Glen is one of the most playful members of the Terrier Group, and always on the lookout for new friends. They are friendly towards other dogs and pets in the house, and equally nice towards strange people. Not the most dependable of watchdogs that you might expect from a terrier, the Glen of Imaal Terrier makes up for it in love and affection.

A Brief History Of The Glen of Imaal Terrier

Ireland is not only known for its lush vistas and fabled leprechauns, this country is also the home of an important member of the Terrier Group the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The Glen was the type of dog needed to work various tasks in the harshness land of the Glen area, which was rough and full of rocks.

So how did these feisty little terriers earn their keep? They did so by being focused hunters, going after rats, badgers, and fox. At night these dogs were also the center of entertainment and wagering bets for the men, as fighters against one another. Women also used these terriers during the day as turnspit dogs, turning wheals to help with making food and clothing.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier was left alone as far as breeding was concerned, keeping their bloodline preserved and its natural traits in place. The breed was recognized in 1934 by the Irish Kennel Club and during the 1980s had started to become popular in the United States. In 2001, the AKC officially recognized the Glen of Imaal Terrier as a member of the Miscellaneous class , then moving into the Terrier Group in 2004.

Upkeep Requirements For The Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen is a dog of perfect size: small enough to carry around anywhere you go, yet large enough to enjoy all of the fun activities with the family. They thrive on human companionship and never seem to get enough playtime in. Therefore, daily exercise and fun games with your Glen Terrier is a must.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is at home in just about any climate so long as the temperatures do not reach extreme cold or high heat. They have a higher tolerance for cooler weather. These dogs should not live outside, but at the same time have plenty of time to roam in a safe area. They tend not to wander when walking off-leash. Grooming requirements call for a good brushing about two times weekly and a full stripping two to three times per year.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Glen of Imaal Terrier is between ten and fourteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is PRA. Minor issues include CHD. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get specifically tested for eye and hip problems.

Giant Schnauzer

Gemma | July 20th, 2007
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The Giant Schnauzer is categorized in the family groups: Livestock Dog, Schnauzer, and the Herding group. This breed originally came from Germany, out of the the lands of Wurrtemburg and Bavaria.

Cattlemen were quite fond of the smaller standard-sized Schnauzer and thus wanted to breed a larger-sized version of the dog for specific jobs. They needed a bigger dog to drive cattle and so the Schnauzer was mixed with larger, smooth coated cattle driving dogs. The attempt was done to create a wire haired drover.

Although the exact breed crosses are not documented and cannot be accounted for first-hand, theorists have come to the conclusion that other dogs were added to the mix. These dogs are said to have been the black Poodle, Wolf Spitz, Wirehaired Pinscher, the Bouvier des Flandres, and even the Great Dane.

The end result was a dog referred to as the Munchener. It was smart, capable of handling cattle, and sported a weather resistant coat. In time, the breed became more and more popular and were used as stockyard dogs, guard dogs, butcher dogs, and brewery dogs.

Eventually the name was changed to the Giant Schnauzer and the breed was used as police dogs around the time of World War I. They excelled rapidly as a service dog but still remained unpopular around the world except for Germany.

Personality

As the name implies, the Giant Schnauzer is just that, a giant, therefore, it may be a bit too rambunctious and rough for small children. But their playful character and protective loyalty to its family also makes this breed an excellent house dog. They may be a bit reserved with strangers and aggressive towards other dogs, but this is what makes them a top-rated watchdog with the ability to defend its family through force if needed.

Taking Care Of Your Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzers need daily physical exercise but has more fun playing vigorous dog games. Long walks and hikes through the hills are a perfect activity to match this breed’s active lifestyle.

Giant Schnauzer dogs can live outdoors during cold temperatures but prefer to sleep inside with its family. Grooming requirements are 2 – 3 thorough brushings his each week to keep its wiry coat clean. Professional shaping, clipping, and scissoring are also recommended.

Health Information

The average lifespan for a healthy Giant Schnauzer is between 10 and 13 years. A very healthy dog breed, it has only 1 major health concern; CHD. Minor health issues include OCD, hypothyroidism, and gastric torsion.

German Wirehaired Pointer (Sporting Group)

Gemma | July 17th, 2007
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The German Wirehaired Pointer is both an amiable companion and a tough bird dog. Like all sporting dogs, this canine has seemingly endless energy and can roam the land and run for hours. Because of this high energy out-put, the German Wirehaired Pointer must have daily exercise and live with a family that enjoys spending time outdoors.

Considered to be a bit stubborn (in a good way), the German Wirehaired Pointer makes an excellent watchdog and guard dog. Because of these qualities, the breed tends to be quite overprotective of its owners and does not fare well with people it doesn’t know. The same goes for strange dogs that crosses paths with a German Wirehaired Pointer.

But despite it’s protective personality and aggressive attitude towards strange people and animals, the German Wirehaired Pointer makes an excellent family pet that can be playful with children (so long as the children are not overly aggressive during play).

A Brief History Of The German Wirehaired Pointer

There was a time when game bird hunting was not accessible to the average man. But soon enough all levels of society were able to freely hunt and spot birds for prey. For such a day’s hunt, an excellent hunting breed was needed. The quest for a talented and versatile hunting dog made its popularity known in Germany, which produced the German Wirehaired Pointer – one of Germany’s most successful sporting breeds.

The German Wirehaired Pointer was created out of the hunter’s desire to have a dog that could find and point to upland game, track injured game, face tough prey, retrieve from land or water, all the while making an excellent watch dog. In addition to function, the breed needed to maintain a rough, durable and wiry coat that could protect the dog when hunting through heavy brush and bristle.

The most heavily influential ancestor of the breed was the Pudelpointer, which was a combination of the Pointer and the German Pudel. It was then crossed with the Griffon, the early German Wirehaired Pointer, Polish Water Dog, and the Stichelhaar. Although officially recognized in Germany during the late 1920s, the German Wirehaired Pointer did not make its way to the United States for recognition until 1959.

Upkeep Requirements For The German Wirehaired Pointer

As mentioned in the beginning of this breed profile, owning a German Wirehaired Pointer means providing the dog with tons of daily exercise. Typical walks on the leash will not be enough to expend the energy this canine needs each day.

The best living situation for the German Wirehaired Pointer to have is plenty of property to run around on during the day. This dog can do quite well when living outside. Because of its rough, wiry coat it can far well in colder temperatures, but as with any dog, sleeping inside with the rest of the family is advised.

Health Concerns For The German Wirehaired Pointer

Occasionally seen in the German Wirehaired Pointer is CHD, but overall this is a very healthy breed. Minor issues that could show up are hypothyroidism. Rarely seen, but possible, are elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, entropion, seizures, and heart disease. Veterinarians suggest having your German Wirehaired Pointer tested for potential cardiac, elbow, hip, and thyroid problems. Healthy German Wirehaired Pointer dogs show an average lifespan of between twelve and fourteen years.

German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Breed

Gemma | July 16th, 2007
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The German Shorthaired Pointer is probably the most skilled hunter of all dog breeds. It is versatile and has the ability to trail, retrieve, point, and even kill game if necessary. These attributes are the result of specific blending of breeds during the 17th century.

The first mixes produced a large hound-like dog from combining the Spanish Pointer with the Hannover Hound. The dogs that came from this mixture had the natural ability to trail and point at the same time. They also showed a heavy interest in birds and various mammals. When trailing, the dogs would bay and dispatch wounded prey (and fox).

Early breeders all had one thing in common: they wanted to create a Pointer that could be an all purpose hunter. However, not everyone agreed on the best way to do it. Many crosses were made with the English Pointer, although controversial, but it did bestow upon a breed with very stylish physical characteristics which also hunted nose-up.

One of the downsides to this mix was that the dogs had a dislike of water and avoided attacking quarry. In time, however, further breeding of the dogs help eliminate these unwanted characteristics of the Pointer.

Sometime during the early 1800′s, at the German Derby, there were two specific Deutsch Kurzhaars (the name that the Pointer was originally called) that had distinguished themselves from all of the other pointing breeds. Their names were Treff and Nero. These two Pointers are said to be the parents of today’s German Shorthaired Pointer. Their descendants helped get the breed recognized in Germany in the late 1800s.

The first German Shorthaired Pointers started to show up in the United States sometime in the 1920s. The breed gained recognition by the AKC in 1930. Soon enough, the dog’s reputation as being the ideal hunting dog grew in popularity. Due to its hunting skills, combined with its aesthetic look, this dog has become quite popular.

Personality

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one dog that could live its entire life, day in and day out, simply running around hunting in the field. The temperament of this animal is one that makes an excellent watchdog, has an abundance of energy, and requires heavy exercise. It is a devoted and loyal family pet that may prove to be a little too boisterous for small children. And because of its genetic design for hunting, the German Shorthaired Pointer may get a bit aggressive with other household pets, especially those that are smaller in size.

Taking Care Of Your German Shorthaired Pointer

As you can probably guess, upkeep and maintenance of the German Shorthaired Pointer requires lots of exercise on a daily basis. This dog thrives on mental stimulation is much as it does physical exertion. You can achieve these things by taking your Pointer hunting, running, hiking; anything that gets the animal to play outdoors with its owner. This is one dog that is not suited for small apartment living. The ideal situation would be access to a fenced-in yard at all times.

Health Information

German Shorthaired Pointers has an average lifespan of around 13 years, with some living is high as 15 to 16 years old. Major health concerns to lookout for with the Pointer is lymphedema. Minor issues include pannus, vWD, CHD, gastric torsion, OCD, entropion, and hypothyroidism. Very rare health problems that are occasionally seen include thyroid issues, cardiac problems, and hip dysplasia.