The German Longhaired Pointer, also known as the Deutsch Langhaar, is a tried and true pointing breed with great versatility. Hunters can count on this breed to retrieve waterfowl, point at game birds, or retrieve furred game. When not on the job, the German Longhaired Pointer is happy to be an affectionate family companion.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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Despite being excellent family dogs, you’re more likely to find a German Longhaired Pointer that was bred to be a hunting dog. Unlike lots of other hunting and sporting dogs in the USA, German Longhaired Pointers have really retained their origins and make excellent hunting dogs even in modern times.
The German Longhaired Pointer is a Pointer originating from Germany. They actually look a lot like Spaniels and a lot less like their Pointer cousins! They have long, lovely ears and silky coats. They were originally bred in Germany in the 1800’s as gun dogs, and display the typical “pointing” behavior that other Pointers do. They were originally kind of slow moving, so they were mixed with other, faster breeds to bring them up to speed (pun intended).
Their mixed ancestry and the laborious process that went into making them the wonderful dogs that they are certainly paid off– they are extremely multitalented and are used as gun dogs, hunting dogs, retrievers, and trackers. Not bad for such a pretty looking dog, right?
German Longhaired Pointers are extremely friendly and loving dogs. They make excellent family pets, but they need a good deal of physical activity and mental stimulation. Because of this, they do best in a suburban or rural home. In fact, rural is best: they love to be outside, they love to hunt, they love to swim, and they love accompanying their owner on daily outdoor activities. If given the opportunity, they excel at dog sports and will really enjoy competing. German Longhaired Pointers also have a tendency to suffer for separation anxiety, which is just another reason they aren’t really all that suited to apartment building living (dogs with separation anxiety can make a great deal of noise when left alone).
German Longhaired Pointers love children and get along well with other dogs. They are intelligent, loving, trainable, and gentle and will make a fine addition to a family. They might not be the best pet for families who have rodents or other small animals as pets, because of their strong hunting instinct. If socialized early enough, they can do fine with cats.
German Longhaired Pointers are a pretty rare breed. If you are really interested in adding a German Longhaired Pointer to your family, be very careful to find a reputable breeder. That’s important no matter what breed you are looking to adopt, but especially crucial with rarer breeds that are tricky to find!