German Longhaired Pointer Dog: An In-Depth Breed Guide

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) is a versatile and athletic dog breed originally developed in Germany for its hunting capabilities. Bred for its agility, intelligence, and keen hunting skills, the GLP has become a popular companion for both hunting enthusiasts and active families alike. Its unique appearance, featuring a long, dense coat and full tail, sets it apart from its cousins such as the German Shorthaired Pointer and the German Wirehaired Pointer.

German Longhaired Pointer Dog

This multipurpose hunting dog boasts a friendly, gentle, and intelligent temperament, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an affectionate and loyal companion. With its high energy levels, the German Longhaired Pointer thrives in an active household and enjoys engaging in various outdoor activities. The breed’s history and its key attributes, such as appearance, personality, and performance in hunting and field trials, reflect its reputation as a reliable and enthusiastic hunting partner.

Key Takeaways

  • The German Longhaired Pointer is a versatile, intelligent, and energetic hunting dog breed
  • This breed is known for its unique appearance, friendly temperament, and impressive hunting abilities
  • Ideal for active families, the German Longhaired Pointer requires consistent exercise and mental stimulation.

Breed History

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP), also known as Deutscher Langhaariger Vorstehhund, has a rich history rooted in Germany. This versatile and athletic breed dates back to the 1800s and is believed to be one of the oldest pointing breeds in Continental Europe.

Originally bred for falconry and net hunting, the German Longhaired Pointer was used to flush game. As firearms were introduced, breeders adapted the breed to become an efficient field pointer. The GLP is closely related to the German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, and the Large Münsterländer, which were once considered part of the same breed.

In the early stages of development, English Pointers were introduced to add speed and agility to the breed. The crossbreeding resulted in the modern German Longhaired Pointer – a breed known for its multipurpose hunting skills and strong pointing instincts. They excel in various hunting tasks such as pointing, tracking, and retrieving both on land and in water.

Today, the German Longhaired Pointer remains a popular choice for hunters in its native Germany, as well as in other European countries. It remains relatively rare in the United States but continues to gain recognition for its versatility, athleticism, and loyal temperament.


The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) is an elegant and athletic dog breed known for its distinctive coat and muscular build. This breed exhibits a blend of both strength and grace, making it the ideal sporting companion.

The size of a GLP usually ranges between 22-28 inches in height, with a weight of 60-71 lbs. Their large build is complemented by a well-defined muscular structure, ensuring they are not bulky or cumbersome. Their overall appearance is a testament to their athleticism, allowing them to move with great speed and freedom.

The coat of a GLP is one of its most striking features, coming in various colors like solid brown, brown roan, and dark brown roan. The wavy double coat provides protection against harsh weather conditions, maintaining its elegance and density throughout. The standard combination of brown and white is commonly seen, often with speckled or roan patterns.

GLPs have moderate bone structure, giving them substance without appearing frail or weak. One distinctive aspect of all German pointer breeds, including the GLP, is their webbed feet, which aid in swimming and navigating marshy terrains during hunting.

Temperament and Personality

The German Longhaired Pointer is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. This breed exhibits a curious and playful spirit, making it a great companion for families and hunters alike. They are often eager to please and tend to approach people or be approached without any signs of aggression.

These dogs are intelligent, which contributes to their versatility and athleticism. Their intelligence also makes them relatively easy to train, though it’s essential to establish a consistent training schedule from an early age. With proper guidance, the German Longhaired Pointer can be a gentle and obedient companion, well-suited for both hunting and family life.

Being affectionate with family, the German Longhaired Pointer forms strong bonds and displays loyalty towards their owners. This affectionate nature makes them suitable for households with children, as they are generally kind and gentle with kids. However, it’s crucial to teach children how to interact with dogs properly to avoid any misunderstandings that might lead to unintended aggression.

Despite their friendly demeanor, German Longhaired Pointers require an active lifestyle and plenty of mental stimulation to keep their energetic personalities in check. If they do not receive enough exercise or engagement, they might become bored and display undesirable behavior such as excessive barking or destructive chewing.

Exercise and Energy Levels

The German Longhaired Pointer is a highly energetic and active breed, requiring consistent and engaging exercise to maintain their health and happiness. As a highly intelligent and trainable breed, they thrive on challenges and activities that keep both their bodies and minds engaged.

These dogs have high exercise needs, benefiting from daily physical activities such as long walks, runs, or hikes, especially in rural areas where they can explore and utilize their agility. Their love for swimming makes it an excellent activity, especially during hot weather, providing both exercise and a way to cool down. It is essential to ensure these dogs have the space and opportunity to meet their exercise requirements regularly.

In addition to their physical exercise needs, German Longhaired Pointers also need mental stimulation to keep their highly intelligent minds active. Training sessions, puzzle toys, and obedience games can help meet this need. This breed is highly trainable, excelling in activities such as agility courses and advanced obedience training.

When properly exercised and mentally stimulated, the energy level of a German Longhaired Pointer can be manageable, avoiding issues such as destructive behavior and separation anxiety. Providing a balance of physical and mental activities can help you maintain a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted German Longhaired Pointer in your life.

Hunting and Field Trials

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) is renowned for its hunting prowess as a versatile and multi-purpose gundog. Originally bred for hunting, the GLP is a natural fit for participating in a wide range of hunting dog sports, including field trials where they demonstrate their natural instincts and versatile skills.

As a pointing breed, the German Longhaired Pointer excels at pinpointing the location of game, often fronting with setters in the field. They share the trait of a “soft mouth” with other pointers, making them excellent retrievers for both upland game and waterfowl. While pointing dogs primarily indicate the position of birds hidden in vegetation, many longhaired pointers also display strong retrieving instincts for the larger game.

In field trials, German Longhaired Pointers work alongside handlers to demonstrate their agility, obedience, and overall hunting instincts. These events challenge each dog’s capacity for pointing, retrieving, and responding to commands as they navigate a variety of terrain. Field trials simulate real-life hunting scenarios, giving competitors the opportunity to showcase their skills while breeders can observe and evaluate the natural abilities inherent in the breed.

Due to their athletic abilities and strong hunting instincts, German Longhaired Pointers often hold their own against other breeds, such as Brittanys, English Setters, and German Shorthaired Pointers. Participating in American Kennel Club (AKC) events like Pointing Breed Field Trials allows handlers, hunters, and breeders to appreciate the strengths and potential of each individual dog, as well as contribute valuable insights to the ongoing improvement of the breed.

The German Longhaired Pointer’s continued presence in hunting and field trials ensures that the breed retains its original purpose as a versatile, multipurpose gundog. Their well-rounded skills in both pointing and retrieving are evidence of their strong hunting instincts, making them both desirable companions for hunters and successful competitors in the world of field trials.

Health and Maintenance

German Longhaired Pointers are generally healthy dogs but, like all breeds, can be susceptible to certain health issues. Some of the common health problems that may affect this breed include orthopedic issues like elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and osteochondritis dissecans. Additionally, they might experience eye problems such as entropion, ectropion, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and retinal dysplasia. Skin issues like atopy and lipoma have also been observed in some dogs.

To ensure the health and well-being of your German Longhaired Pointer, it is important to stay proactive with your dog’s veterinary care. Regular check-ups and preventative measures like vaccination updates, parasite control, and dental cleanings can help maintain your dog’s health in the long run.

In terms of grooming, German Longhaired Pointers have a beautiful long coat that requires consistent upkeep. Brushing your dog’s coat at least two to three times a week helps prevent tangles and matting, which can lead to skin irritation. Additionally, pay attention to cleaning their ears and trimming their nails regularly to avoid infections and discomfort.

Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining your dog’s health. It is essential to provide them with balanced meals to meet their specific dietary needs and maintain a healthy weight. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and portion sizes for your German Longhaired Pointer.

Regular exercise is also crucial for this energetic breed. Engaging in activities such as walking, running, or playing fetch can help maintain their overall health and mental well-being. By ensuring your dog gets enough exercise, you can reduce the risk of obesity-related health issues and keep them physically fit.

Breed Standards

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) breed standards are set by various kennel clubs, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC). These guidelines cover the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of the breed.

In terms of appearance, the GLP is often described as Continental Europe’s version of a Setter. This pointing dog has a full tail and a long coat with dense guard hairs. Common coat colors for the GLP are brown and white, which can be mixed, speckled, or roan. The breed is known for its strong and muscular build, with flowing lines that exhibit its versatility.

The GLP is a multipurpose gundog developed in Germany. It shares close relations with its cousins, the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP), the German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP), and the Large Münsterländer. The breed has a history of pure breeding that dates back to 1879, which contributes to its well-established breed standards.

As for temperament, the German Longhaired Pointer is known for its versatility, being descended from a combination of bird, water dogs, and scenthounds. This versatility makes it an excellent working dog and an adaptable companion for its owners. Absolute soundness, both physically and mentally, is considered essential for the breed.

Both the AKC and the UKC provide guidelines and support for the breed. The AKC offers information on the breed standards, while the UKC officially recognized the German Longhaired Pointer in 2006. By adhering to these breed standards, breeders and owners can ensure that the GLP maintains its unique characteristics, qualities, and overall fitness for its intended function.

Training and Obedience

The German Longhaired Pointer, also known as Deutsch-Langhaar, is a versatile and intelligent hunting dog breed. Training and obedience are essential for this breed, as their high energy levels and athletic abilities require structure and guidance to prevent behavioral issues.

Training a German Longhaired Pointer should begin at a young age, preferably starting with puppy obedience classes. These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement and consistent training methods. Using treats and praise as motivation, basic commands such as sit, stay, and come should be introduced early on to establish a strong foundation for further training.

When it comes to obedience, the German Longhaired Pointer is generally eager to please and quick to learn. However, novice owners need to be aware that this breed may exhibit some stubbornness at times. In such cases, patience and assertiveness are necessary to establish yourself as the leader and maintain control throughout the training process.

Socialization is another crucial aspect of training, as it helps the German Longhaired Pointer develop a well-rounded temperament. Exposing your dog to various environments, people, and other dogs from a young age will help them acclimate to different situations and prevent any potential aggression issues.

In addition to obedience, the German Longhaired Pointer excels in various dog sports and activities, such as agility, tracking, and field trials. Their natural instincts and athleticism make them well-suited for these activities, and participating in them can help channel their energy and improve obedience skills.

Coat and Color Variations

The German Longhaired Pointer’s coat is characterized by its length, softness, and slight wave. The coat’s thickness protects the dog from harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain during hunts. Grooming is essential to keep the coat free from tangles and mats. Regular brushing is recommended, focusing on areas prone to matting like the feathering on the legs, chest, and tail.

German Longhaired Pointers have a variety of coat colors. The most common colors include solid brown, brown roan, and dark brown roan. Occasionally, some dogs may have speckled or ticked patterns in their coats. However, it’s essential to note that black coats are not acceptable in the breed standard.

Solid brown coats have a rich, deep color that can range from a lighter hue to a darker shade. This color is believed to provide better camouflage when hunting and is considered more attractive by some breed enthusiasts.

Brown roan coats have a combination of brown and white hairs, with an overall even distribution of colors that gives the coat a distinct bluish appearance. The degree of roan can vary from light to dark, depending on the individual dog and genetics.

Dark brown roan coats have a similar pattern to brown roan, but the brown hairs are more concentrated, giving the coat a darker overall appearance. These dogs may also have some speckling or ticking, adding more depth to their coat pattern.

Compatibility with Families

German Longhaired Pointers are well-suited for families, as they are gentle, loyal, and devoted to their loved ones. These dogs are known for being excellent with children and other pets, making them an ideal family companion. Their affectionate nature ensures that they will always be by your side, providing a strong bond with their human families.

These dogs have a playful disposition, which makes them a great choice for active families that can keep up with their energy levels. However, when they get too excited, they can accidentally knock down small children or elderly family members. For this reason, it is essential to teach them proper manners and obedience training from an early age.

When considering adopting a German Longhaired Pointer, keep in mind that these dogs require regular physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. A family that can provide daily exercise, whether through walks, games, or dog sports, will ensure that their Pointer remains a well-adjusted and content family companion.

Differences from Other Pointers

The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) sets itself apart from other pointer breeds in several ways. While it shares similarities with German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Large Münsterländers, Setters, English Pointers, and Labrador Retrievers, there are distinctive traits that make the GLP unique.

Firstly, the GLP is Continental Europe’s version of a Setter, as its appearance is similar to Setters, with a full tail and a long coat. However, the coat of a GLP is denser with a rich guard layer, making it more suitable for colder weather and providing better protection against harsher environments compared to Setters.

In contrast, the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) and the German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP) both have shorter coats. The GSP has a short and thick coat, while the GWP has a wired, water-resistant coat, better suited for working in dense vegetation. The Large Münsterländer also has a long coat but with a more wavy texture and distinct markings that differentiate it from the GLP.

When it comes to temperament, the GLP is similar to the Labrador Retriever, being described as athletic, intelligent, and trainable. They both excel in activities like agility, obedience, and therapy work. However, compared to English Pointers and Setters, GLPs tend to be more versatile, primarily bred to flush game for falconers and net hunters but quickly transformed into field pointers.

The pointing technique of the GLP might also be unique compared to other pointers. Pointers, in general, track the scent of prey and freeze once they locate it. The typical pointing position comprises a stiffened body, raised paw, tail pointing upward, and the nose indicating the prey’s location. Although these traits are common among pointers, the specific style and intensity of pointing can vary between breeds.

Finding a German Longhaired Pointer

When searching for a German Longhaired Pointer, it’s essential to find a responsible breeder or reputable rescue organization. Start by visiting the American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace where you can locate breeders with AKC-registered puppies. This will ensure that you are getting a purebred dog with a lineage that meets the breed standards. It’s a good idea to research different breeders and ask for references prior to making any decisions.

Once you have identified a breeder, make sure to ask questions about their breeding practices, health checks, and temperament testing. You may also want to visit their premises to see the conditions in which the puppies are raised. A reputable breeder will prioritize the health and wellbeing of their dogs by providing appropriate socialization, nutrition, and veterinary care.

In addition to breeders, you can also check with rescue organizations specializing in German Longhaired Pointers or similar breeds. Often, these organizations have dogs in need of loving homes, and adopting from a shelter can be a great way to give a pet a second chance.

While searching for your German Longhaired Pointer, you should consider the following factors to ensure the dog is a good fit for your household:

  • Size: German Longhaired Pointers are medium to large dogs and will require ample space to move around.
  • Temperament: Purebred dogs have a wide range of personalities, but in general, German Longhaired Pointers are known for being friendly, intelligent, and eager to please.
  • Activity level: This breed is known for its athleticism and energy. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
  • Grooming requirements: The long coat of this breed requires regular brushing and maintenance to prevent matting and tangling.

By considering these factors and relying on trustworthy sources for your search, you can find a German Longhaired Pointer that will be a great addition to your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are German longhaired pointers good with children?

German Longhaired Pointers are sociable dogs, making them a good choice for families with children. They are known to be affectionate and friendly, and they generally get along well with people and other animals.

How much do longhaired pointers shed?

German Longhaired Pointers have a long coat with dense guard hairs. They shed moderately throughout the year, but shedding increases during seasonal coat changes. Regular brushing can help minimize the amount of hair around the house and keep the dog’s coat healthy and tangle-free.

What type of environment suits a German longhaired pointer?

These dogs are well-suited to both urban and rural living, but they thrive in environments with ample space to exercise and explore. German Longhaired Pointers are bred to be gun dogs and enjoy having room to roam and engage in outdoor activities. Having access to fields, forests, or large yards is ideal, but they can also adapt to smaller living spaces provided they receive enough daily exercise.

What is the ideal exercise level for German longhaired pointers?

German Longhaired Pointers are an energetic breed, requiring a high level of physical activity. Daily walks and off-leash play sessions should be part of their routine, along with opportunities for scent and retrieval games. They enjoy outdoor activities and sports, such as swimming and hiking, making them ideal companions for active families.

Are there specific health issues commonly found in German longhaired pointer breed?

German Longhaired Pointers are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain conditions, such as hip dysplasia, eye issues, and ear infections. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help detect and address potential health problems early.

What are the grooming needs of a German longhaired pointer?

Their long, silky coats require regular grooming to prevent matting and keep the coat clean and healthy. It’s recommended to brush a German Longhaired Pointer’s coat at least a few times a week. Additionally, they should have their nails trimmed and ears cleaned regularly to prevent infections and debris buildup.

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