The German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) aren’t aggressive by default.
They’re neutral or friendly, even with strangers. Moreover, these hunting dogs get along with other pets. However, some GSPs can act aggressively towards unknown dogs, while others enjoy chasing cats.
Overall, GSPs aren’t naturally evil dogs. On the contrary, they have many positive traits, such as enthusiasm, intelligence, and obedience, among many others.
You can easily train these dogs. Therefore, they make excellent family pets.
Below, I will discuss the temperament of this dog breed, explain why they’re sometimes aggressive, and share possible solutions, so let’s jump right in.
Why is My GSP Dog Aggressive: 3 Possible Reasons
GSPs aren’t aggressive dogs by nature. On the contrary, they’re well-behaved pets, but some things can irritate this dog breed, such as unfamiliar animals, past traumatic events, and lack of exercise and mental stimulation.
Here’s a breakdown of the triggers for aggression in a German Shorthair Pointer.
1. Lack of Physical and Mental Exercise
If your German Shorthaired Pointer doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can display aggressive behavior out of boredom.
Moreover, GSPs can become destructive when looking for objects they can play with at home. Common signs of boredom in this dog breed include digging holes, tearing things apart, and chewing on household items to burn off energy.
Additionally, these dogs can escape their home if they put their mind to it. They typically run away to explore their surroundings or chase away other animals on their territory.
You can easily prevent aggression in your dog by providing enough physical and mental stimulation.
2. Past Traumatic Events
If your German Shorthaired Pointer has experienced any abuse or trauma in the past by people, they can act aggressively out of fear.
Signs of fear in a GSP include dilated pupils, raised hackles, standing still, stiff wagging movements, pinned ears, bared teeth, and a wrinkled nose.
If you notice these signs in your canine, try to determine what triggered their aggression and ask a dog behaviorist or GSP trainer for help.
3. Unfamiliar Animals
Some people use these dogs for hunting because they have a powerful prey drive and a desire to chase after unfamiliar animals.
Therefore, if you own a small animal, you should think twice before buying a GSP.
Otherwise, your German Shorthair Pointer might chase your smaller dog, kitten, or bird. Don’t leave your smaller animal alone with your new dog if you have already brought a GSP home.
You can train a GSP to get along with other small pets if they’ve been raised together in most cases. However, you should never leave the two animals alone, just in case.
The hunting instinct of your German Shorthair Pointer could kick in randomly and result in unfortunate events because you have a hunting dog at your hands.
How to Prevent Aggression in GSP: 3 Helpful Methods
You can prevent aggression in your GSP with enough training at a young age, physical and mental stimulation, and supervision when around other pets.
Let’s discuss these preventive methods in detail.
1. Enough Obedience Training At a Young Age
You should train your puppy at a young age, so they know what they can and can’t do in your household.
You can train these dogs easily because they are intelligent and open to training as long as there’s a reward, such as food, play, or praise.
These dogs also like tasks. Therefore, if you teach your GSP that you’re the boss while they’re still young and provide tasks, you won’t have problems with your pet.
Most GSPs enjoy field and hunting competitions. They also like agility training and can work as sled and therapy dogs. These dogs can also detect bombs and drugs if trained appropriately by professionals.
Lastly, these dogs love learning new things and tricks throughout their life. It would help if you kept your GSP entertained all the time.
Your dog will thrive if you provide leadership and consistent structure. Otherwise, your canine will think they are in charge of your home and misbehave.
2. Physical and Mental Stimulation
German Shorthaired Pointers have been known as the triathletes in the canine world for their high energy levels.
Therefore, you will have to provide mental and physical exercise to keep your adult dog content and relaxed. If you have a German Shorthair Pointer, you should ensure at least one hour or two of extensive activity.
These dogs were bred with hunting in mind. Still, they don’t need to hunt to remain calm and happy.
Other ways to keep your GSP in good shape physically and mentally include long hikes, bike rides, running and swimming with your dog, agility training, etc.
3. Supervision in Certain Situations
Although GSPs get along with other pets if they’re raised together, you should still keep a close eye on your pets at home.
Never leave your adult GSP unsupervised with other pets, even with ones they’ve lived with for years. Remember that your adult GSP might see smaller pets as prey because of their hunting instinct, which can turn on at any time.
Lastly, some German Shorthaired Pointers don’t get along with other dogs, especially if they’re the same sex. Therefore, keep your dog away from other animals if they haven’t been exposed to other animals at a young age.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers Difficult?
Experts suggest some GSPs can be “difficult” because they’re full of energy and need a lot of regular exercise.
Typically, these dogs can be hard to handle between six months and three years of age. Luckily, GSPs aren’t difficult to train because they’re obedient and accept commands at a young age.
Do German Shorthaired Pointers Bite?
There’s a difference between aggressive and playful biting. Sometimes, GSPs bite their owners during playtime.
However, you can easily tell if your dog has ill intentions or bites out of happiness. Most dogs send warning signs before biting, such as stiff body posture, growling, etc.
Therefore, leave your dog alone if your GSP shows these signs because they might bite you. Also, never punish your pet for these signs. Otherwise, your canine might bite your hand without warning in the future.
Lastly, if you believe your German Shorthaired Pointer has a behavioral issue, contact a dog behaviorist for help.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers Hyper?
German Shorthaired Pointers have a lot of energy. So, they need regular vigorous exercise, such as long walks for about 1-2 hours daily.
You can also incorporate swimming or running into their weekly routine to help your dog battle excess energy.
Is the German Shorthaired Pointer a Good Family Dog?
German Shorthaired Pointers make great family dogs if you’re willing to exercise with your pet daily and provide enough attention.
Let’s learn more about GSPs and families, including children.
GSPs and Families
You won’t have issues as long as you and your family can keep your canine active with walks, games, runs, swims, and hikes.
Your GSP will enjoy swimming in the pool and even take a liking to some people in your home. Sometimes, GSPs can be stubborn. However, if you train your canine at a young age, they will listen to your commands in adulthood.
Remember that these intelligent dogs don’t like being left alone at home, especially without toys or tasks. If you leave your GSP alone at home, they might become destructive.
In a nutshell, if you train your dog and show love, you will love your time together. Some GSPs even become clingy and follow their favorite people around the home.
GSPs and Children
GSPs usually get along with small kids. However, they’re strong dogs, so they shouldn’t be left unsupervised with small kids.
Canines aren’t aware of their strength, so they can accidentally hurt your young children during playtime.
You can prevent accidents by teaching your children and your dog to remain gentle with each other. Typically, GSPs don’t pose a threat to people if they’ve been socialized at a young age. Still, never leave your dog alone with your kids, just in case.
German Shorthaired Pointers Aggressive: Final Tips
German Shorthaired Pointers can develop aggressive tendencies for various reasons, such as past traumatic experiences, lack of physical exercise, and unfamiliar animals.
If you have an aggressive dog, don’t worry. You can identify what triggers their behavioral aggression and act accordingly.
If you can’t pinpoint the exact cause of your puppy’s aggressive behavior, visit your vet. They can cancel out medical issues for the aggression and help you find a qualified dog behaviorist.
Dog aggression isn’t something you should take lightly. You can prevent future aggressive behaviors and dog attacks if you act quickly.