The dog-lover community is well aware of how gorgeous German Shorthaired Pointers are, and all respect their skills as hunting dogs. But are they good family dogs for people with children?
The truth is that a German Shorthaired Pointer can make a good family dog, but you must research to be sure they are better than other dogs for your loved ones before you head to the local animal shelter.
Since German Shorthaired Pointers are active dogs, it would make sense that your family should be the same. This dog breed requires an active lifestyle with lots of love and disciplined training sessions. And if you have children under 5 years old, never leave them alone until your German Shorthaired Pointer becomes comfortable.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about German Shorthaired Pointers and if they qualify as great family dogs.
Are Good German Shorthaired Pointers Good Family Dogs?
Most German Shorthaired Pointers will be good family dogs if you satisfy their exercise needs, pay for proper training, and give them enough daily attention.
It would help if you got every family member to join in the activities and support you so that your German Shorthaired Pointer will be comfortable with them all. Once it becomes used to you and starts to love everyone in your home, it’s a pleasure to have this hunting breed around.
The American Kennel Club recognized that GSPs would be your child’s best friend into its teenage years, but you must put rules in place in the initial stages for everyone’s safety.
What Is The Temperament Of A German Shorthaired Pointer?
While it’s true that a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy will make a great friend to your family, this dog breed has the hunting gene in its DNA.
This means they were born to run around all day in a large fenced yard or field while waiting to cuddle near you at night after meeting their exercise needs. It’s because of this reason that they have very positive temperament traits. But they will only remain this way if you give them the necessary physical workouts that a hunting dog needs.
This advice is crucial to follow if you want a great experience, and if you can’t, other pets require less care than German Shorthaired Pointers. Lastly, GSPs are smart and get tired of the same routine, so it’s best to change it up by participating in dog sports once in a while.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers Safe Around Infants and Toddlers?
The overall looks and cuteness of a GSP attract very young children, but some parents worry about the dangers of having a hunting breed around and if they have the patience to be around toddlers.
The good news is that German Shorthaired Pointer dogs score high ratings with babies and toddlers. In addition, there are very few reports turned in of aggression and injuries caused to children by these intelligent dogs.
You are more likely to have a problem when your child gets older and more curious than when they are a tiny baby.
Below are some things to keep in mind about your GSP and children.
Back in the day before the supermarket, your German Shorthair Pointers’ sole purpose was to hunt various types of prey, including birds, rabbits, and foxes.
Some traits that made them so successful were their attention to detail, focus, and ability to control themselves by pointing instead of chasing prey wildly.
For this reason, some GSPs still have that prey-drive instinct and will sometimes follow it. If your child likes to run, a situation may occur where your German Bird dog will try to run after and bite your child lightly, which could lead to an injury.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a large and hyper dog. They are intelligent and usually understand how to control their large body without hurting your kid. However, a small percentage of these dogs behave like children no matter how old they are and are overly rough with your toddler.
You can decrease the chances of this happening with strict daily exercise routines because this stabilizes your GSP’s energy levels. But unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t work for all of them because a select few have nearly boundless energy that will leave everyone on edge.
As mentioned above, the average German Shorthaired Pointer is sizeable. Therefore, you can expect a female puppy to weigh anywhere between 50 to 60 pounds, and the males will weigh 60 to 70 pounds.
They are not as large as a Saint Bernard, considered a giant breed but still weigh more and are taller than most. This means when they are bouncing all over your home and running fast, your child will always be in moderate danger if they are in the way.
If you have a house and follow this guide, you should be fine, but if you want to live with your GSP in a small condo or apartment, we recommend you consider another breed.
By training your German Shorthaired Pointer correctly, you can teach them to point at their prey without going for the attack. But even dogs trained by professionals will give in sometimes if it’s tempting enough.
We suggest you never allow your child to walk your GSP because if they choose to run at their prey, it will not end well if they don’t release the leash, and injuries are possible.
How Much Exercise Does a GSP Require?
The more exercise you can give it, the better because they are bred to work 5 to 8-hour days without tiring in fields and forests.
Part of their routine should be to exercise once in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening at a minimum.
The exercise you can choose to do with them includes walks in the nearby park, playing a game of fetch, or learning new techniques. The duration should be no less than 30 minutes for each session.
Other activities you can try are swimming, taking a run, and dog sports like playing catch. One more thing to remember is not to do the same workout every day. Instead, you can change it up and keep your routine choices spontaneous.
How Big Should Your Yard Be At Home?
Before deciding whether your yard is large enough for your GSP, there are two questions you should answer. How much free time do you have during the day? How much of that free time can you dedicate to bonding with your new pet? Below is a short-size guide that should be helpful.
- Ideal Yard: You should have a fence that is large enough for your dog so that your dog can run as much as they want when you’re not around and with your child. These dogs need a lot of attention.
- The Second Best Option: A decent-sized yard, but you should take your dog out on an extra daily walk in the park.
- Least Attractive option: This is if you have a GSP but are in a small apartment. You will need to spend more time with your dog walking it 3 times a day and bringing your kid along at least once during the day.
Summing It Up
Choosing a German Shorthaired Pointer will bring your family happiness and enjoyment as a new family member. They are gentle enough to play with your child but strong enough to keep them safe. First, however, you must take all the advice in this guide seriously, like how to keep your pet’s energy levels stabilized by giving them lots of exercise and attention. Depending on how you handle the advice here will dictate how good your experience with your German Shorthaired Pointer will be for your entire family.