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German Longhaired Pointer

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

The German Longhaired Pointer is a large purebred dog from Germany developed to be a hunting dog that is versatile so can cover several roles such as following a scent, pointing at the prey and retrieving from both water and land. It is very closely related to the German Shorthaired Pointer and the German Wirehaired Pointer and the Large Munsterlander. It has a life span of 10 to 12 years and as well as being a hunter makes a lovely companion for families who are very active.

The German Longhaired Pointer at a Glance
Name German Longhaired Pointer
Other names Deutscher Langhaariger, Deutscher Langhaariger Vorstehhund, Pointer (German Longhaired), Langhaar
Nicknames GLP
Origin Germany
Average size Large
Average weight 60 to 70 pounds
Average height 23 to 28 inches
Life span 10 to 12 years
Coat type Wavy, shiny, dense
Hypoallergenic No
Color Solid colored brown, or brown and white in many combinations
Popularity Rare – not yet a member of the AKC
Intelligence Above average to high
Tolerance to heat Average
Tolerance to cold Good to very good
Shedding Average – expect some hair around the home
Drooling Average – will be some slobber and drool especially when it drinks but it is not high volume
Obesity Average – measure its food and exercise it well
Grooming/brushing Average – brush twice a week
Barking Low to occasional
Exercise needs High – will need active owners
Trainability Easy – for those with experience
Friendliness Very good with socialization
Good first dog Very good
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs Very good with socialization
Good with other pets Good – needs socialization can have a high prey drive
Good with strangers Good but wary, socialization needed
Good apartment dog No – requires lots of space, exercise and a yard
Handles alone time well No – may suffer separation anxiety
Health issues Quite a healthy dog, some issues might include joint dysplasia, eye problems and ear infections
Medical expenses $485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $270 a year for a a good quality food and treats
Miscellaneous expenses $665 a year for grooming, license, toys, miscellaneous items and basic training
Average annual expenses $1420 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $800
Rescue organizations Pointing Dog Rescue Canada, GLP Rescue and check local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported

The German Longhaired Pointer’s Beginnings

In the 1300 to 1400s much of Europe had their own types of long haired dogs used for hunting. At that time they were used to flush out game, usually birds but when guns became common in hunting hunters began to look for dogs that were good at pointing. The French developed chiens couchants they called epagneuls and the English bred Setters. Germany, where the German Longhaired Pointer comes from actually was late to this change. They started changing flushing breeds to pointing ones in the mid 19th century.

The GLP was the first to come along before the GSP or GWP. It was bred using local flushing dogs but at first it was too slow so then they were mixed with breeds from elsewhere likely including the French and English Pointers and Setters. A variety of results were achieved not just in color but also in look and size. Breeders saw the need to standardize the long haired type so in 1879 people met in Hanover during a dog exhibition. A standard was written and agreed upon and the German Longhaired Pointer should now only be brown and white in color.

Club Langhaar was formed in 1893 and field tests were established and members were encouraged to breed more according to ability not just looks. As a result they allowed black back in. However the club did not gain support in many other parts of Germany and so another club in 1897 was started. This one rejected the addition of back being allowed in the breed. In 1908 the original club also again rejected black dogs and then in 1926 the clubs joined together and called itself the Deutsch Langhaar Verband. Those black and white dogs then became a separate strain named the Large Munsterlander.

New Lease on Life

During the early 1900s as the dog was refined further it began to get a good reputation but it did not become well known outside of Germany until the 1970s. It is known to be a great water worker, a calm tracker of large game and a good forester dog. It was recognized by the UKC in 2006 but is not recognized separately by the AKC. Today it is not as popular as the more recently developed shorthaired and wirehaired pointers. It is rarely kept as just a companion, it is far more commonly kept by hunters. It is doing very well in Germany and numbers are increasing in other countries such as the UK and the US.

The Dog You See Today

The German Longhaired Pointer is a large dog weighing 60 to 70 pounds and standing 23 to 28 inches tall. It is an athletic and muscular dog but is elegant looking not bulky. It is low set with a straight back and deep and broad chest. There is no dewlap, the dewclaws are often removed at birth and the feet are webbed as with all German Pointers. The pads on the feet are coarse and it has a double coat. The under coat is dense and the outer is medium length, a little wavy but not curly and firm to the touch and shiny. The skin is close fitting and the coats colors are various patterns of white and brown. There is some feathering on the body where the coat is longer.

The head is elongated and the skull is somewhat rounded. The muzzle is the same length as the skull, it has a noble appearance with a slightly arched nose, a brown nose and lips that do not overlap by that much. The eyes are dark brown in color with lids that are close fitting and its ears hang down.

The Inner German Longhaired Pointer

Temperament

The German Longhaired Pointer is a kind and gentle dog. It is also intelligent, friendly and affectionate so as well as being a good pointer it is also a great companion in the right home. It does not like being left alone for long periods and can suffer from separation anxiety. At a young age it can be aggressive so make sure you are prepared for that. This is not a sedentary dog, so make sure it is suited to your lifestyle. With enough stimulation your dog should be balanced, calm and friendly but reserved with strangers. It is alert and can be a good watchdog that will bark to let you know of someone breaking in.

This dog can form very close bonds with its family and is very loyal and faithful. Some can be closer to one owner over another but it will still be affectionate with everyone in the family. It can be demanding for attention so needs owners who not only have time to give it exercise and stimulation but also can give it other forms of attention and affection. It is a low to occasional barker so expect some noise but it should not be constant.

Living with a German Longhaired Pointer

What will training look like?

The German Longhaired Pointer is easy to train with the right approach, and that approach is to keep is positive and interesting. Offer it treats, praise and encouragement while being firm, consistent and patient. It can excel at training going past basic obedience, it does will at athletic events, obedience and field trials. It does not obey blindly but is it is smart and can focus when motivated to do so. Being easily distracted make sure you train where distractions are not common and keep sessions short and fun for it. As well as giving it at least basic obedience training it should have good socialization from a young age too. Let it learn to get used to different people, places, sounds, animals, situations and such to help it be happier, more confident and trustworthy.

How active is the German Longhaired Pointer?

The GLP is a very active breed and loves to work. It needs to be busy with plenty of mental stimulation and it needs physical activity too, walk it long and brisk walks at least twice a day and give it some play sessions with you daily too. It is not a canine suited to living the city life, it needs rural settings, a large yard, space so is also not an apartment breed either. Owners will need to enjoy being active for at least a couple of hours a day. It would also prefer to be with people who hunt with it on a regular basis. It likes to swim, it can join you for hikes, jogging and so on. If it is kept too confined and is not exercised enough it will become hyperactive, restless, bored, destructive and hard to live with.

Caring for the German Longhaired Pointer

Grooming needs

German Longhaired Pointers need a moderate amount of maintenance and grooming. It sheds an average amount so there will be some hair around the home to clean up too. Regular brushing can help with that loose hair and will keep the coat healthy, at least twice a week. Be prepared for heavier seasonal shedding where for a short time it will need daily brushing. Avoid giving it a bath too many times, most dogs should be cleaned as needed not by a set schedule. Too often or using incorrect products can damage its natural oils.

Its ears should be checked and cleaned weekly as it can be somewhat prone to ear infections. After swimming they should be cleaned and dried again too. Just use a damp cloth or cotton ball with dog ear cleanser to clean the parts that are reachable. Never insert something into the ear, it will hurt the dog quite a bit and causes permanent damage in some cases. The nails should be clipped if its level of exercise does not wear them down naturally. Do not cut too far down the nail into nerves and blood vessels as that hurts it and bleeds a fair amount. Oral hygiene is also important with your dog, it should have its teeth brushed at least two to three times a week and only use a dog toothpaste and dog toothbrush.

Feeding Time

The GLP will eat about 3 to 4 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The amount changes depending on how large the dog is, its level of activity, age, health and rate of metabolism. Make sure it has access to water that is changed regularly.

How is the German Longhaired Pointer with children and other animals?

This dog is very good with children being playful and affectionate and putting them together is a great way to get both of them to burn off some of the excess energy kids and this dog has. Make sure you teach the children how to play and touch it appropriately. It gets on well with other dogs and enjoys having opportunities to socialize with them, it can get along well with other canines in the home. With other pets socialization and care should be taken as being a hunting dog it has a high prey drive.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The life span of this dog is about 10 to 12 years and it is generally a healthy dog but some issues could include eye problems, joint dysplasia and ear infections.

Biting Statistics

The GLP is a hunting dog so has the potential for focus and aggression when chasing down prey but is not people aggressive. In reports of dogs attacking people and causing bodily harm in the US and Canada over the last 35 years there is no mention of this one. There is no dog that is 100%safe at all times, certain things can trigger them and dogs have off days just like us. As its owner some things that can help lessen the chances your dog reacts like this include good socialization and training, being well exercised and mentally challenged, good level of attention and care and feeding.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

The German Longhaired Pointer puppy will cost about $800 from a decent breeder with experience. As this is more rare than its close relations there may be time spent on a waiting list, and there are less breeders in the US. For a top breeder you can expect to pay more. Do not be tempted to turn to less respectable options like pet stores, backyard breeders or puppy mills, these are not places any of us should be encouraging to stay in business with our money. If you can take in a mixed dog consider looking at shelters or rescues where there are so many dogs in need of new owners. Adoption fees are just $50 to $400.

Once you have found the puppy or dog you are ready to look after for at least a decade there are some things to get it, and some medical tests and concerns to take care of. Items it will need include things like a crate, carrier, collar and leash, bowls, bedding and such and these come to around $240. Then medical needs include a proper physical exam by a vet, deworming, shots, blood tests, micro chipping, spaying or neutering. These will cost about $190.

Ongoing costs are another factor of dog ownership. Miscellaneous costs like a license, basic training, grooming, miscellaneous items and toys come to about $665 a year. A good quality dry dog food and treats will cost about $270 a year. Health care, just the basics like shots, flea and tick prevention, check ups and dog insurance will be around $485 a year. This gives an estimated yearly starting figure of $1420.

Names

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The German Longhaired Pointer is a great hunting dog and a great companion, and it does best in a home where it gets a chance to be both. It needs a lot of activity and mental challenge, it is best in homes with active owners who will give it good training and socialization, and the attention it needs. It is very loyal and affectionate and can bond very closely with one owner in particular.


Featured Image Credit: Hebi B., Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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