German Longhaired Pointers are calm, intelligent, and hardworking dogs. This breed has a unique ability to switch from relaxed household pet to tenacious hunter.
The German Longhaired Pointer—also known as the Deutsch Langhaar—is one of the oldest versatile gun dog breeds.
As their name would suggest, they originated in Germany in 1879. Hunters crossed bird and water dogs with scent hounds to develop the breed. In 1897, Baron von Schorlemer wrote the first standard for the breed, thus laying the foundation for the modern purebred program.
The German Longhaired Pointer's adaptability to work in the field, water, or forest makes the breed adept at tracking a variety of game in different settings.
Fun fact: German Longhaired Pointers are among the few major gun dog breeds for which black is not an acceptable coat color.
Though the American Kennel Club does not currently recognize the breed, it has been a member of the Foundation Stock Service since 2010.
German Longhaired Pointers have strong, muscular, low-set bodies, and flowing lines.
The coat of the German Longhaired Pointer is precise—not too long and not too short. On the back and sides of the body, the hair is close-fitting. On the neck, chest, and belly, the coat may be longer. The hair on the head is much shorter, whereas hair on the ears is wavy and feathered. Feathering on the back of front and hind legs forms breeches.
The German Longhaired Pointer's coat is a rich brown, sometimes with white or roan speckling.
German Longhaired Pointers have slightly rounded heads with a gently rising stop. Their folded ears turn forward slightly, and they carry their tails horizontally—with the last third curving slightly upwards.
German Longhaired Pointers are calm and sweet-natured—very affectionate and people-oriented. These characteristics make them an ideal breed for families, provided they can be part of an active household where they get plenty of physical and mental exercise.
German Longhaired Pointers are usually good with children and get along with other dogs. But due to their background as hunters, they may chase or hunt small animals, including cats or wildlife.
German Longhaired Pointers need a high-quality food that's appropriate for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior) and activity level. To prevent them from becoming overweight, monitor the amount of food and treats they eat each day. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
Brush German Longhaired Pointers occasionally to remove loose hair and dirt from their coats. Additional upkeep may be required after these dogs hunt in heavy cover, as their long coats can attract burs.
Long ears can make German Longhaired Pointers more susceptible to ear infections. Routinely check and clean their ears to prevent infections from developing. And as you should with all dogs, clip nails regularly to prevent splitting or cracking.
In addition to professional dental cleanings, establish an at-home dental care routine that includes regular teeth brushing. Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for the overall long-term health of all dogs.
German Longhaired Pointers have a higher exercise requirement than most dogs. Since they have a very strong prey drive, hunting and retrieving are their preferred ways to stay active.
That said, other excellent options include long daily walks, running in enclosed yards, hiking, and swimming. Activities such as agility, competitive obedience, and rally are also great ways to provide exercise and mental stimulation.
The German Longhaired Pointer is an extremely intelligent, trainable breed. Positive reinforcement and a firm, consistent approach help keep stubborn tendencies at bay.
As with all breeds, German Longhaired Pointers benefit from Early socialization to help them develop into well-adjusted adult dogs.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Cindy Elston, DVM, MPH