Are German Shorthaired Pointers Smart?

If you’re considering bringing a German Shorthaired Pointer into your home and want to know how smart they are, or if you already own one and want to learn more, this article is for you. 

GSPs are included in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the USA and are known for their high levels of activity, devotion, and trainability. But how smart are they? This article will provide the answer.

Determining If Your GSP Is Dumb or Smart

Several indicators can help you determine the intelligence of your German Shorthaired Pointer. There are a few tasks that will give you an idea of whether your dog is intelligent or not. Each task will help you check if:

  • They can quickly escape from situations.
  • They are good at solving puzzle games.
  • They can be secure and safe on their own.
  • They remember commands without much practice.
  • They know when you’re leaving the house.
  • They can quickly learn and master tricks.
  • They know how to get your attention.
  • They comfort you when you’re upset.

Let’s look at the tasks now.

IQ Tests for German Shorthaired Pointers

If you have a German Shorthaired Pointer dog and want to know about its smartness, we have provided you with some tasks that will help you check your dog’s smartness.

These IQ tests will not only help you know their cleverness but will also let you know their problem-solving capabilities and trainability. In the end, you can check where your dog sits in the IQ range from the scoring levels given below.

Test 1

This task will test the problem-solving capabilities of your German Shorthaired Pointer. Just put a towel or a big blanket over your dog’s head.

  • If your dog makes it out within 15 seconds, they will get 3 points.
  • If it takes between 15 to 30 seconds for them to figure it out, they will get 2 points.
  • They will get 1 point if it takes more than 30 seconds.

Test 2

This test will be a bit more difficult for your dog than the previous one. In this task, take three empty bowls and put them upside down. Make your GSP look towards the bowls and then put a piece of snack in one. 

Now randomly move the bowls in a row before letting them find the treat. This will test your German Shorthaired Pointer’s detailed remembering and learning skills.

  • If they get the correct cup on the first attempt, they will be given 3 points.
  • If they find the first cup empty and get the second cup right, they will get 2 points.
  • If it takes three attempts for them to get the ideal cup, they will get only 1 point.

Test 3

This test is a slight variation of the previous task. Again put three empty cups upside down. When your dog will be looking at those cups, put a treat under one. Now, distract them from the cups for a few seconds before letting them find the right one. This will examine their competency in getting and maintaining the information.

  • If they remember the correct cup and get it on the first try, they will receive 3 points.
  • If it is the second attempt when they choose the ideal cup, they will get 2 points.
  • If they get both cups empty and take three attempts to get it right, they will get 1 point.

Test 4

Pick up your dog’s leash and decide to go for a walk at a time when you generally wouldn’t take them out. Make sure you pick up the leash while your dog is looking at you.  This task is to test their capabilities to remember and make associations. 

  • If they understand the hint and get energized quickly, they will gain 3 points.
  • If they comprehend what is going to happen when you start walking towards the door, they will get 2 points.
  • If they do not get what is happening, they will get 1 point.

Test 5

This last test will check your German Shorthaired Pointer’s competencies to think and solve problems. This test will require you to use furniture that is low enough so that only your dog’s paw can fit below it. Now, put a piece of treat below the furniture within range of your dog.

  • If they reach the snack only using their paw within 1 minute, they will gain 3 points.
  • If they first try to put their head on and use both paws and nose to get the snack, they will receive 2 points.
  • If they can’t make it to the snacks and completely give up, they will get 1 point.


  • 12 points or above: Congratulations! You have a genius German Shorthaired Pointer.
  • 10 to 11 points: Though your dog is not a genius, they still come under the category of highly intelligent dogs.
  • 8 to 9 points: They not smarter than all, but they will still manage.
  • 6 to 7 points: If your German Shorthaired Pointer is within this range, they will require help finishing some tasks and detecting some things.
  • Below 6 points: Your dog is not that smart, but it does not need to be the smartest to give hugs and kisses, and this is what really matters.

Ideas To Make Your GSP Smarter

If you wish to make your dog smarter, check out these simple ideas.

  • Appreciate your dog whenever they do something intelligent. Giving a treat at such a time will also be a good idea.
  • Make your dog socialize from an early age. Exposing them to new situations and surroundings will help them to be more intellectual. For this, take them on walks regularly, for at least an hour. This method will still work even if your dog has grown a bit.
  • Keep teaching your GSP puppy new tricks and commands. There is a special urge in all canines to learn new things. Try to search for new tricks and techniques or engage your family pet in organized dog sports. This will help with their temperament. 
  • Start giving your German Shorthaired Pointer obedience classes as soon as possible. Train them from a young age. By doing this, you will make your excellent family dog smarter and more trainable by the time they become a large dog. 


German Shorthaired Pointers belong to the category of smart dog breeds. They get five-star ratings for their intelligence from experts. They are ranked 17th position for their smartness among other dogs. 

However, sometimes, there can be a little variation in the intelligence within the breed. We hope the above-mentioned tasks help you determine if your GSP is smart.

Thanks for reading!

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