The German Shorthaired Pointer is streamlined yet powerful with strong legs that make it able to move rapidly and turn quickly. It has moderately long floppy ears set high on the head. Its muzzle is long, broad, and strong, allowing it to retrieve even heavy game. The dog’s profile should be straight or strongly Roman nosed; any dished appearance to the profile is incorrect. The eyes are generally brown, with darker eyes being desirable; yellow or “bird of prey” eyes are a fault. The tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries.
The German Shorthaired Pointer’s coat is short and flat with a dense undercoat protected by stiff guard hairs making the coat water resistant and allowing the dog to stay warm in cold weather. The color can be a dark brown, correctly referred to in English as “liver”, black (although any area of black is cause for disqualification), or either liver and white or black and white.
Since the German Shorthaired Pointer was developed to be a dog suited to family life as well as a versatile hunter, the correct temperament is that of an intelligent, bold, boisterous, eccentric, and characteristically affectionate dog that is cooperative and easily trained. Shyness, fearfulness, over submissiveness, aloofness, lack of biddability, or aggression (especially toward humans) are all traits that can occur. The GSP is usually good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. These dogs love interaction with humans and are suitable pets for active families who will give them an outlet for their considerable energy; they must be avidly run multiple times a week.
Most German shorthaired pointers are tough, healthy dogs, but the breed can be subject to some hereditary disorders due to their breeding. A few individuals may suffer from hip dysplasia, genetic eye diseases, skin disorders and cancerous lesions in the mouth or the skin.