German Shorthaired Pointer (Kutzhaar) general features, temperament, health

German Shorthaired Pointer dog breed photo

FCI # 119, Origin: Germany, Group 7.1 Continental Pointing Dogs.

Height: 21-25 in, Weight: 45-70 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Short coat with thick undercoat.

Color: Liver, black (both may come with white).

Ease of training: High, Energy level: High, Span of life: 12-16 years

Breed: The origin of Kurtzhaar is closely associated with the emergence and formation of a short-haired Deutsche Bracke in Western Europe. There are many theories and hypotheses of the origin of this dogs. In many continental European countries (Italy, Spain, France, Hungary, Portugal, Germany) still exist their own breeds of shorthaired pointers, and all of them are called Bracke. These breeds have many similarities in the working abilities and in  the exterior. There are many theories: German, Italian, Greek and even the Armenian one. However, most Western breeders agree on one thing: the short-haired pointing dogs exist for a long time, and they appeared in the Mediterranean countries (primarily in Italy, Spain, France), and from there spread throughout Europe. By the end of XV century, the short-haired pointers began to get their most characteristic features. The old frescoes, paintings and correspondence of the nobles brought us an image of the early Bracke. In the Prado Museum on the paintings of the famous Francisco Goya we can see already a well formed and recognizable Spanish Bracke - Perdigero (from the Spanish word "Purdis" - partridge).

Quite often, the German dog breeders, talking about the Kurzhaar's origin, mention the native German pointers. And as proof is presented the Old German Bracke or his variation from the area of ??????G??ttingen - Spielberg. However, most Western breeders come to another conclusion. First of all, in Germany in XIV-XV centuries there was no native shorthaired pointers. Bracke were most prevalent at this time in Spain and Italy, where they appeared from Asia. Through the neighboring regions Bracke came to Europe. For Germany and Spain such a region was Finland. Bracke were imported to Germany several times. The first wave was a documented delivery of an Iberian dogs, during the 30-years war. The number of these dogs was negligible. The Iberian dogs were often mixed with the local breed - Hanoverian pointer. This dog had a lot in common with the Iberian dog and a brown color allover the body. These crosses served as the basis for the formation of Bracke. Western cynologists now believe that 19% of Kurtzhaars of a solid coffee color born in Germany have a sign of the Hanoverian pointer.

However, the most powerful influence on the formation of a Kurzhaar had another breed of Spanish Bracke - the Perdigero Burgos. Perdigero Burgos had a longer and lighter type, which was called Perdigero Lourdes. But to Germany came, primarily heavy dogs, with strong bones and large heads. They were searching on a trotting, possessed a good, but not very far flair, necessary for closest approach to the bird. These dogs had a brown and gray color. It is believed that 67% of modern Kurzhaars are carrying in their blood the traits of those Spanish dogs especially in color and temperament. Perdigero, imported from Spain, were mixed with Iberian dogs. Thus, a certain type of dog finally resulted in the Old German Pointer.

German Shorthaired Pointer dog breeds

The most significant "wave" of a Perdigero emergence in Germany was in 1814. Importation of dogs from Spain lasted for a very long time. The German dog breeders say that the Old German Pointer, which served as source material for creating a Kurzhaar, was very much similar to Perdigero. Spanish experts say that their dogs were imported to Germany recently. There is the witnessing of Raul Garcia Bengoechea, according to which Perdigero were imported into Germany during the Civil War. There is an oppinion that the Spanish Pointing Dogs came to Germany also at a later date (according to Don Marcelino Martinez Salas), certificate refers to 1950!
It is worth mentioning that in the 70-th of the XIX century in Europe the national interest to the local breeds significantly increased. There was a very active work on the revival of national breeds. In Germany, this role was given primarily to the Old German Wunterberg Pointer. This process was also associated with the fact that in the 1850's in many European countries the island pointers became very popular. However, the English dogs, despite their style and outstanding qualities: their speed, the far and correct flair, stylish movements - could not fully satisfy the demands of hunters.

The island pointing dogs were bred with respect to a large open spaces where the wind force is often permanent. From Setter was needed a strong and rapid course, extremely distant and true flair. And as the rapidity of the course and distant feeling led to fiery temper, there was the opinion, that retrieving provokes the dog to scare the bird. This is the reason why the Setters and pointers were not taught to retrieve - in the opposite, retrieving was not at all encouraged and only a special breeds of Retrievers were used for this matter.

Unlike England, the hunting sport in Europe has been more democratic, especially after the revolution of 1884, small estates, which, however, were unable to keep many dogs, could still hunt. All hopes were given to one dog, from this dog - mostly owned by rangers - the hunters were expecting the full obedience. With the increased urbanization of hunting areas, cultivated agriculture and forestry, the demands to the dog became quite different - rationality and attentiveness at work, the right senses, the ability to use upper and lower flair, retrieving and exceptional calmness and obedience. This could only be achieved with a balanced nervous system of a dog that is directly related to the phlegmatic behavior, relatively low speed and heaviness in the exterior. Pointers were primarily used for collective hunts. The dog had to be obedient (to work for any hunter), behave calmly while working, even in the presence of a game, be able to gather wounded game.

However, nobody was in a hurry to get rid of the influence of the island pointers. The Old German Bracke needed a more elegant look, a better flair and better speed of the movements. It is with this purpose the blood of an English Pointer was added to a Deutsche Brecke. This became evident in 1890, when the first lightweight Kurzhaars appeared. Pointer gave German Bracke a better flair, agility in coursing, and brought a contrasting white color with spots, usually brown. The Western dog breeders claim, that this can be traced with 0,5% of Kurtzhaars, born nowadays.

The next notable interbreeding with the Pointer happened in 1910. This made the Kurtzhaar even lighter than before, and also gave him some more speed in coursing. Appeared the Kurzhaars, searching at the Pointer's gallop. It is believed, that at this time there was poured the blood of dogs from the well known English breeder Ackright. However, it brought from the Pointers to a Kurzhaars also the black color, which is manifested in 14% of puppies, born in Germany.
In 1872 there was introduced a stud book of the Kurzhaars (now it is called "a pedigree book"). First recorded Kurzhaar was a dog called Hector. Hector was very much reminiscent of Spanish Perdigero, especially in his head, and also of a good Pointer. He was in the Pointer color - white in spots, with uncropped tail and fairly tall - 67 cm at the withers.

German Shorthaired Pointer dog breed photo

German Pointing Dogs of a new type began to attract attention of hunters in many European countries. They were taking prizes at the exhibitions and competitions: Frankfurt (1878), Hannover (1879), Magdeburg (1880). One of the first who developed a method for testing this breed, were Albert Solms and Paul Clement. These people are so honored, and their contribution to the breed is so great that some of the most prestigious competitions in Germany are called by their names.
Since 1860, there began the association of German Clubs and directing them breeding in a single path. This association was held in 1878, and in 1879 was adopted a single standard for the breed "Kurzhaar".

Their second homeland Kurzhaars found in the U.S. For the first time the Kurzhaars came here in 1925. First bitch of a Kurzhaar was brought by Charles Thorton from Austria. In 1947 the first club of a Kurtzhaar's fanciers was established, where there were more than 4 thousand dogs, and by 1955 their number exceeded to 15,000.

General Features: Kurzhaar is proportioned, with well-developed withers, elegant dog with beautiful forms of composition, with a strong but not coarse, bone structure, with well-developed elongated muscles and free easy movement. Type of the constitution - strong and dry. Skeleton and musculature are well developed, prominently outlined - the contours are well shown through the skin.

The coat of a Kurtzhaar is short with the undercoat. Colors: liver, black, liver and white, black and white.

Temperament: Kurzhaar - is one of the most famous German hunting dogs in the world, he is the oldest and most basic form of the German pointers from the existing three varieties: Kurzhaar, Drathaar and Langhaar, differing mainly by the type of their coats. As a hunting dog, Kurzhaar has the power, speed and stamina, a fine flair, assertive stand and constant willingness to search, he is energetic on the hunt, is interested in working and always willing to do the job. Retrieving of the game is also very well developed in this dogs. If you will give your Kurzhaar enough work corresponding to his natural inclinations, the dog will become mentally balanced, and his behavior will not cause any troubles with your family and neighbors. In the house the Kurtzhaar is an affectionate, calm and pleasant animal, that does not require any special grooming and is convenient for maintenance in the apartment. The Kurtzhaar has a peace-loving, friendly, yet pretty strong character, quiet, reserved temperament, he is obedient and responds well to training. With the family Kurtzhaar is gentle and affectionate, very loyal to his owner, he loves children, and sometimes is able to perform the functions of a guard dog, although in fact Kurtzhaar is not aggressive.

Best of all the Kurzhaar manifests himself during a hunt in the field, taking advantage of a place among the other breeds in this kind of work, so in the hunting season he would more likely be seen on the plains, rich with the small game, than in the forests. This dogs leisurely on a slow gallop and trot with German thoroughness are searching the area not only with lower (on the trail), but also with the top flair and, finding the bird, they make a point. Along with this, Kurzhaar is one of the most versatile hunting breeds, which has been successfully used for hunting for all types of game and, in particular, works very well for waterfowl. In addition, the Kurzhaar can be perfectly used in the blood trial. And at home he is always a great friend and a wonderful companion dog.

Health problems: The Kurtzhaar is generally a very healthy and hardy breed.

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