English Pointer vs. German Shorthaired Pointer (Which Are Better Hunters)

Video gsp vs english pointer

When we consider getting a pet for a specific purpose or to satisfy certain criteria, it gets difficult to think we don’t have much expertise. First-time pet owners will have many doubts, but educating yourself will help make the process easier.

A Pointer breed might be the match if you want an active, sporty, or hunting dog. The most popular pointer breeds are the English Pointer and the German Shorthaired Pointer. Read on to find out more about them.

  • English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer
  • History
  • Comparison between the English Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointers

English Pointer vs German Shorthaired Pointer

The English Pointer and the German Shorthaired Pointer are very popular hunting dogs. This breed of hunting and tracking dogs is believed to have cross-bred with each other at a specific point in time, which has now given rise to the species we see today.

English Pointer vs. GSP English Pointer vs. German Shorthaired Pointer (Which Are Better Hunters)

While they are often confused as the same breed because of certain similar physical traits, they are pretty different from each other. They both have unique character traits and personalities.


Both the English pointer and the German Shorthaired Pointer are hunting dogs. They both have their ancestry from Europe. Let’s take a closer look at their rich history.

English Pointers

The exact point of origin of the English Pointers is not documented, but their roots can be traced back to Europe from the 1600s. They are also believed to have been found in different parts of the world, dating back to ancient Egypt, Italy, Spain, and France during the middle ages.

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The modern English Pointers were introduced in the 1800s when the British Army brought some pointer dogs to the U.K. Thus, began the journey of the English Pointer dogs, which we all love today.

When these dogs were first shipped to English soil, they were bred specifically for hunting as they had the unique ability to point the direction of the prey. They became popular among British households and soon started being introduced to other countries. In 1878 the American Kennel Club (AKC) listed the English Pointer among the most highly sought-after ‘charter breeds’ in America 1878.

German Shorthaired Pointers.

The German Shorthaired Pointer has its origins in Germany. They have been around for a long time, since the 17th century, and are excellent tracking and hunting dogs.

Modern-day GSPs came about after many breeding developments with other pointing breeds like the English Pointers and Arkwright Pointers, to name a few. German Shorthaired Pointers first reached America during the 1920s, but it was only in 1930 that the AKC officially recognized the German Shorthaired breed.

Comparison between the English Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointers

Let’s get to know more about these two breeds in more detail.


You can quickly distinguish an English Pointer from a German Shorthaired Pointer by size.

The English pointer is taller than its German counterparts and stands at 26-28 inches tall. In comparison, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a few inches shy and has an average height of 21-25 inches. The English Pointer is also heavier and more significant in size, with the average adult weighing in at 65-75 lbs. The average adult German Shorthaired Pointer weighs roughly between 45- 60lbs.

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The two breeds have similar physical traits, but it doesn’t take a keen to distinguish them if you know what you are looking for.

While they both sport similar black, brown, and white coat colors, the English Pointer has more varying shades. They both have short hair and are often spotted all over the body.

They are both barrel-chested and have long dangling ears, but the English pointer has a significantly larger chest.

The key difference in appearance would be the webbed toes of the German Shorthaired Pointer.


Both dogs are hunting dogs. The English Pointer was first bred for pointing as a guide dog for greyhounds while hunting birds. They would locate the prey and point the hunting party in that direction. They are very agile and quick to sniff out their game.

German Shorthaired Pointers were bred for hunting activities. The GSPs were trained to hunt and help locate the direction of the prey to their humans and, more importantly, help retrieve the game. They differed from English Pointers in this manner.


English Pointers are very affectionate dogs and are even-tempered. Highly energetic and intelligent, these creatures are easy to train. They also get along well with other animals, but it’s recommended not to have tiny creatures like rabbits around hunting dogs, as their primal nature might get the best of them.

German Shorthaired Pointers also have a similar temperament. They are a very bright and active breed that loves playing. They are also very attention-seeking and love interacting with humans and other animals.

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Both breeds are very social and require human contact and attention to keep them happy. In this regard, the German Shorthaired Pointer may be more inclined to be needy and want to be around their humans more.

Living and daily needs

The English Pointer and the German Shorthaired Pointer have high energy and are not ideally made for apartment living unless you can take them for regular walks and play.

At least 40 minutes of activity is required for both breeds. They have low grooming needs, do not drool a lot, and have a very low tendency to bark but shed a lot during shedding season.


The English Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointer slightly differ in their lifespan. Like many other big dogs, the English Pointers have a slight difference in their lifespan. The English Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointer are not the same for all dogs; a healthy lifestyle dictates their longevity.


Knowing facts about your pet’s breed helps in the decision-making process. You might also want to spend some time with them. Volunteer at your local rescue or a dog park, and spend some time with the animals to see them in their natural state and how they behave. We hope this article has provided a wealth of knowledge for you to spend some time with them.

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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 >>