English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer

Video german shorthaired pointer vs english pointer

Which of these breeds should you choose? The English Pointer vs. German Shorthaired Pointer comparison will help you decide which one is the right dog for you. We’ll compare and contrast their size, personality, temperament, grooming needs, exercise requirements, and other details to help you decide which hunting dogs to add to your family.

We’ll also give you some pointers on determining if either of these breeds is suitable for you in the first place. So are you ready to adopt an English Pointer or German Shorthaired Pointer? Let’s get started!

English pointer vs German shorthaired pointer

The English pointer and the German shorthaired pointer have more in common than differences. With lean, muscular bodies, both are exceptional hunting dogs. Among the two breeds, the English shorthaired pointer is primarily a field dog for birds, whereas the German shorthaired pointer was developed to be an all-around hunter.

Even though English pointers and German shorthair pointers are both bird dogs and pointers, they differ in almost every way. The key differences between the English pointer and German shorthair dog breeds are listed below:

English pointer vs GSP in appearance

Upon reaching maturity, German shorthaired pointers stand between 23 and 25 inches (63.5 cm) tall and weigh between 55 and 70 pounds (31.75 kg). It is estimated that female German shorthair pointers stand 21 to 23 inches (58.42 cm) tall and weigh 45 to 60 pounds (27.22 kg). Compared with other breeds of dogs, pointers are slightly larger, with males standing 25 to 28 inches (71.12 cm) tall and weighing 55 to 75 pounds (34.02 kg), and females standing 23 to 26 inches (66.04 cm) tall and weighing 44 to 65 pounds (29.48 kg).

Short coats are common to both breeds, but the German shorthaired pointer is either liver or liver and white. Pointer breed standards state that “a good pointer cannot be a bad color.”. There are four acceptable pointer colors: liver, black, orange or lemon, either as solid colors or mixed with white.

GSP vs English pointer in temperament

Regardless of your preference, either breed makes a great hunting dog. English pointer puppies might have a slight advantage over their German shorthair counterparts if they are primarily kept as family pets. There is no question that both pointers and German shorthaired pointers are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercises, but the pointer is somewhat calmer than the German shorthaired pointer. It is no surprise that both of them make good watchdogs and get along with other dogs.

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Young children might not be able to handle these dogs, but older children can keep up with their activity levels. Although both breeds are incredibly intelligent, the pointer may be a little harder to train since he’s more likely to be stubborn than the German shorthaired pointer.

History of the English Pointer

The history of the English Pointer is highly doubted, as different records refer to different places. According to one source, the Pointer originated in England in the 1650s; another source says it descended from Pointer breeds, including the Old Spanish and the Portuguese pointer, citing Spain as the origin of the breed. Other ancestors believed to be descended from pointers include greyhounds, foxhounds, bloodhounds, and bull terriers. In the 16th century, pointers were used for hunting together with packs of hounds.

image2 1 English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer

Today, the English Pointer is known as one of the best bird hunting dogs in the world. The English Pointer was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884 and then by the United Kennel Club. In fact, Pointer is recognized by the Kennel Club of England.

History of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Because of its unique history, the German Shorthair Pointer is a very versatile dog, perhaps the most versatile of all breeds. As the name suggests, the GSP was developed in the 19th century in Germany as a universal hunting dog capable of catching a game. But the breeders of the time did not want a unique hunting dog. Breeding an all-around versatile, obedient companion and hunting dog was the objective.

It has been suggested that the German Shorthaired Pointer is derived from a German Bird Dog, several German Bloodhounds, and possibly even Spanish or English Pointers. Early versions of GSP were not aggressive enough and did not like water, which led to the correction of this behavior by other hybrids. As a result of this breeding, the dogs were long, lean, and remarkably athletic, with strong noses and big personalities to match.

Careful attention has been paid to creating the perfect hunting dog that is an intelligent and loving companion. The German Shorthaired Pointer works as a hunting dog both in water and on land. Water repellant coats and webbed feet make this breed one of the best swimmers out there.

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During the next five years, the German Shorthaired Pointer was registered with the American Kennel Club. According to the AKC, the breed is currently ranked 11th on the list of most popular breeds of dogs.

Which breed is right for you?

Now we get to the essential part for most dog owners. A breed that is right for me needs to work well with my family. It’s no good finding the perfect dog for me if I have to bring them home to small children and there’s a massive standoff between dog and child.It will be important for me to make sure that my family is right for the dog I am considering.

Almost any family will enjoy owning a GSP. These dogs are some of the most loving and caring you will ever meet, and they are eager to please both adults and children.When they feel a threat approaching, they try to protect children instinctively. There is no better investment than a GSP.

In my opinion, GSPs are more dependable than other types of services, so if I had to choose between the two, I would choose them outright.

Frequently Asked Question

Which breed is better for hunting?

Often called the “king of the field,” the English pointer was bred to point birds and to work alongside retrievers. Despite this, the English pointer can work with the help of his owner if he learns to fetch birds and play with small objects on his own.

image3 2 English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer

In comparison to other dogs, the German shorthair is far more versatile. As an English pointer, the GSP points and retrieves birds, but it can also hunt large game, such as hogs and red deer, when properly trained.

The answer to the question of which is the most effective bird hunter, an English pointer or a German shorthair, is simple. While the English pointer is a better upland and field hunter than the German shorthair pointer, the German shorthair pointer has more versatility.

Which breed is better for obedience training?

You may have a hard time training male English pointers because of their stubborn nature. While both breeds are highly intelligent, German shorthairs tend to be easier to train. Male English pointers are known for their personalities. While English pointers learn commands quicker than GSPs, young dogs will often disobey them, especially in hunting situations. Nonetheless, both breeds can be trained to achieve top levels of performance with hard work. In contrast, GPS and English pointer females are easier to train, more eager to please, and are much less stubborn.

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Which breed is better for families?

As long as they receive plenty of exercise, training, and engagement, both of these dogs can be great family pets.

Rather than a GSP, the English Pointer would be a better choice if you’re not sure whether your family is active enough for this kind of dog.

image4 1 English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer

The English Pointer is better suited to those who don’t require the extreme focus and energy of the German Shorthair Pointer. English Pointers shed less than other breeds, which is an added benefi

Which breed is better with other pets?

Dogs of both breeds tend to get along well with other dogs, especially those raised with them. Their natural instincts often tend to make them unfriendly to cats and other small furry and feathered pets. Even though it is possible to train them to leave them alone and share their home space, their hunting instinct may sometimes interfere with this. It is often possible to raise them successfully if they are exposed to these creatures. Nevertheless, caution should always be used with other small pet companions, such as cats, rabbits, gerbils, birds, and some toy breed dogs.


Hopefully, this comparison article has given you a better understanding of the difference between the two Pointer types. The breeds are both extremely popular, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they’re relatively easy to train. Your final decision largely depends on what you want your dog to be. German Shorthaired Pointers are more suited to those who prefer a dog-like attitude of total reliance on their owners. In contrast, if you prefer your dogs to be more independent and reserved, then an English Pointer will be the right choice for you! After all, it’s just a matter of personal preference.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>