ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

German Longhaired Pointer: The Smart, Friendly, and Energetic Hunter

German Longhaired Pointer standing in the field
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Walking out of a dog shelter with just one dog can be hard to do for many people. We know how hard it is to choose a best friend among many deserving candidates. However, if you really need to choose a dog, keep an eye out for the German Longhaired Pointer or the GLP.

This breed is believed to be the oldest type of German pointers and is known for being an exceptional pointing, retrieving, and hunting dog. As a potential best friend, the GLP is also adventurous, sweet-natured, and loyal.

The GLP originally hails from Germany and was bred as a hunting companion. These dogs are intelligent, eager to learn, gentle, obedient, and devoted to their family. They get along with children and other pets too. Since they were bred to be hunting dogs, they love being outdoors and make great exercise companions for people with an active lifestyle.

If you’re not sure if this dog is for you, this article will talk about the German Longhaired Pointer’s characteristics, personality, and physical traits so that you will have the information needed to find out if this dog is right for your lifestyle. We will also tackle potential health problems, care, and feeding, so that you will know what you’re up against.

Breed Characteristics

German Longhaired Pointer standing

  • Adaptability: Good; very versatile
  • Trainability: Good; they are intelligent and eager to please
  • Health and Grooming: Moderate; their coats require attention and regular grooming
  • All Around Friendliness: Good; but can be shy around strangers
  • Exercise Needs: High; active and needs to be exercised daily
Dog Breed GroupGundog
HeightMales: 24-28 inches
Females: 23-26 inches
Weight60-71 lbs.
Lifespan9-15 years

The three types of German pointers are: German Shorthaired Pointer, German Longhaired Pointer, and German Wirehaired Pointer. The GLP is the oldest of German pointer breeds and counts setters and English Pointers as their ancestors. It was originally called the Langhaar in Germany and was developed to assist falconers and hawkers.

GLPs are versatile animals and are classified by the UKC as multi-purpose gundogs. As gundogs, GLPs are fearless, vigilant, and responsive. The GLP is well known for its hunting instincts and scenting abilities. These dogs are very versatile and can retrieve game from water and land. They can hunt on any terrain and can tolerate working in different types of weather.

Hunting is a passion for GLPs. They love working and being outdoors. GLPs require a substantial amount of exercise, so potential owners need to know that this breed needs 1 to 2 hours of exercise daily in any weather.

Owners who love being outdoors will make good masters for this breed. A long daily walk, a brisk walk, and a jog are good options for this breed. They are more suited for country-living compared to apartment life due to their love of exercise and being outdoors.

If you don’t have the time to exercise your GLP, you can opt to have them play with your children. GLPs are patient dogs that like to play with kids. They can be amusing and entertaining companions. They can work one-on-one, which makes them bond with just one member of the family. They also do well with other pet-members of the household, especially if they are socialized early.

These dogs are devoted best friends to their owners. They make excellent guard dogs and will alert you if there are strangers. They are loyal, calm, gentle, intelligent, eager to please, very trainable, and hardworking. However, they can also be independent and strong-willed, which is why they need a consistent and confident leader.

Main Highlights

German Longhaired Pointer hunting

  • The GLP is a product of a crossbreeding between English Setters and Pointers.
  • GLPs are versatile gundogs that can track, retrieve, and point.
  • They are medium to large-sized dogs with a robust body and elegant appearance.
  • GLPs are gentle, calm, intelligent, and loyal.
  • They are sociable with other dogs and get along with other household pets.
  • These dogs are alert and make good watchdogs, but they don’t bite.
  • They are also very patient, making them good companions for children.
  • GLPs require a lot of exercises. They need 1 to 2 hours of daily exercise to provide an outlet for their energy. They are best suited for country living.
  • Their coats need daily brushing for maintenance. The coat should be brushed after an outing. They shed all year round especially in the spring and the fall.
  • GLPs love swimming and have webbed feet.
  • GLPs have excellent retrieving ability and have a very soft mouth. GLPs are excellent hunting dogs.
  • They are devoted friends and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
  • They are eager to please and are responsive to training. GLPs need consistent and variable training. They also like canine sports.
  • They have the tendency to wander and roam, most probably due to interesting scents in the environment and their adventurous spirit.
  • They need early training especially if they are to become hunting companions. They respond well to praises and positive reinforcement.
  • Breed standard coat colors are white, brown, and combinations of both.
  • They are not yet very popular outside of Germany but are beginning to have a following in the UK and other parts of the world.
  • They are high-energy dogs, making them unsuitable for first-time dog owners.

Breed History

German Longhaired Pointer head

Early hunting dogs during the 4th and 5th century were referred to as “bird dogs” or “hawk dogs.” However, these dogs were not trained to flush games. Early hunting dogs stood still and pointed game while other dogs were used to flush prey out.

During the 19th century, German hunters began a breeding program to produce skilled gundogs. In the middle of the century, a dog with a good sense of smell, a long slim body, and a large head was produced.

Although these dogs were good to look at, they were also strong-willed and stubborn, which made them hard to handle or train. Over time, breeders began to mix English Setters and pointers to various German dogs, and the GLP was developed along with its Wirehair and Shorthair cousins.

The exact date of this breed’s origin is not known. However, purebred German Longhaired Pointers have been appearing since around 1879.

The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club (2006). The American Kennel Club has allowed the GLP to be recorded into its Foundation Stock Service in 2011. This means that the breed is allowed to compete in AKC performance events but is not accepted into a specific group.

Size

The GLP is an athletic and noble-looking dog. Male GLPs are around 24-28 inches at the withers while females are slightly smaller at 23-26 inches. On the average, GLPs weigh 60-71 pounds when they fully mature.

Like its closest relative, the Shorthaired Pointer and the Wirehaired Pointer, the GLP has a strong, muscular, and streamlined body with a noble-looking head. This breed has a shiny and wavy coat that makes it look more like a setter than a pointer.

GLPs are high energy dogs and require a lot of exercises. Bored and unexercised GLPs are destructive and can become obese.

Like other pointer breeds, GLPs have webbed feet and love being in the water no matter the weather. GLPs can work in almost any kind of terrain.

Personality and Character

German Longhaired Pointer brown puppies

GLPs are probably best described as intelligent, loyal, and friendly. They can form strong bonds with their owners, which is probably why they sometimes suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long. They are best suited in family settings where one member stays home when everybody is out of the house.

See Also: Music for Dogs: Calming and Relaxing Tunes for Your Pets

As a high-energy dog that loves the outdoors and bred for hunting, the GLP needs a lot of exercises. One to two hours of daily exercise is needed to release their energy. They love space where they can explore and run.

Training your GLP should start early. They are eager to please and intelligent, so they learn quickly. GLPs respond to positive reinforcement and praises.

However, GLPs also have a stubborn streak. If they are left unattended or untrained, they can become willful and stubborn. Leaders need to be consistent and firm with their training, especially if the GLP is going to be a hunting companion.

GLPs are very intelligent and trainable. However, their intelligence also means that they can pick up bad habits. This is why early training is needed for this dog breed. GLPs should be taught what is expected of them. They are always happy to learn new things.

It is not recommended for first-time dog owners to adopt a GLP mainly due to their high exercise needs; but if you think that you can cope with their endless energy, this dog can be your new best friend.

They love one-on-one attention and training, love mental stimulation, and are fiercely loyal to their masters. GLPs that have their needs met and have proper training are happy and well-rounded dogs.

This breed has a playful side. They want to please you so they will want to entertain you with their crazy antics. Playtime can become very boisterous especially when they are puppies, so owners have to teach them that playtime should be conducted outside to prevent damage to the interior of your home.

GLPs love the sound of their own voices so they will bark when they want to. The good news is that they are trainable so they can be taught to curtail their barking. They bark at strangers and people they don’t know. They can be aggressive but will usually keep their distance.

See Also: How to Train a Dog Not to Bark

They are happiest when they have something to do. Aside from being loyal companion and hunting dogs, they also excel in canine sports like flyball, agility, and obedience training.

Health and Potential Problems

German Longhaired Pointer nose

Average life expectancy for the GLP is 9-15 years. They live long if they are well cared for and have access to proper diet, vaccines, and daily exercise. This breed is known to be a healthy dog and does not have any of the expected hereditary diseases of some dogs.

However, problems like hip dysplasia, eye degeneration, and joint pains are common across all breeds, and your GLP might develop some of these problems later in life.

Care Features

Brown German Longhaired Pointer face

  • GLPs don’t have hereditary health problems, but regular visits to the vet should still be observed to monitor vaccinations and overall wellbeing.
  • This breed has a lot of energy, so lots of daily exercises is needed. Long walks, brisk walking, or a jog are ideal forms of exercise for this dog.
  • Their coat is not very high maintenance, but daily brushing is ideal to keep their coat healthy.
  • Trimming of the coat should be done when it gets too long.
  • Daily brushing of the teeth is also recommended. Once a week is better than nothing to prevent dental problems.
  • Nails should also be clipped regularly.
  • GLPs should be monitored for joint problems since they like to run and jump.

See Also: Best Joint Supplement for Dogs

Feeding Schedule

Consult your veterinarian for the recommended dog food for your GLP. Generally, high-quality dog food will suffice for a GLP. The appropriate amount for their age and size should be given at regular intervals two or three times a day.

GLPs respond well to positive reinforcement through praises and treat-giving. However, GLPs can become overweight if they are overfed and under-exercised.

Coat Color, and Grooming

German Longhaired Pointer standing in grass

Breed standard colors for the GLP is brown, chocolate, white, roan, ticked white, brown and white, and trout-colored roan. A solid black or a black and white GLP is undesirable.

GLPs have setter blood, so they shed, especially around spring and fall. GLPs do not have very long coats, but they do get a bit long on their ears and legs, so regular grooming is recommended.

Ideally, this breed should be brushed after your outing to maintain a healthy coat and get rid of any debris stuck to their coat. Daily brushing will help you keep a handle on their shedding hair. If you’re too busy, a once-a-week brushing will suffice to prevent matting.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

two German Longhaired Pointer lying on grass

These dogs are patient and calm but playful, making them ideal companions for children. However, they like to play and love to indulge in boisterous games, so it’s best to watch them especially with young children.

Games like fetch, hide and seek, and sniffing games are some of the GLP’s favorites. They are very trainable, so kids can teach them tricks or new games very easily.

Toward strangers, a GLP can come off as standoffish and aloof. While they are not shy dogs, they are wary of strangers. They make good watchdogs and will alert you to strangers. But over time, they will become friendly as they get to know the person.

They also do well with other dogs in the household especially if they are socialized early. However, GLPs were originally bred to be gundogs, so they have a high prey drive.

They do well with cats and even smaller animals, but they need early socialization and training so that they understand that these animals are not their prey. GLPs are also very trainable and intelligent, so they can be commanded to “leave it” when it comes to other pets and animals. GLPs that are raised with other pets from babyhood play well together.

See Also: How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat

Wrap Up

German Longhaired Pointer walking in grass

Their love of the outdoors and their intelligence can make the GLP your new best friend especially if you lead an active lifestyle. Many people can find their high exercise requirement too daunting, but if you end up with a loyal companion, the hours of exercise will be worth it. Besides, you will become fit and healthier by indulging your dog’s need for exercise.

As a bonus, the GLP is also a playful family pet that loves children. This dog is a quick learner and is eager to please you. In the end, all GLPs need is a devoted owner who will train them, exercise them every day, play with them, feed them, and keep them warm.

Do you think that the GLP will be a good addition to your family? Will you be able to cope with their need for long hours of exercise? Tell us by leaving your comments below. If you prefer dogs that don’t need to be frequently exercised, our article on dogs for lazy people will serve you well.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

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