Are Black German Shorthaired Pointers Rare?

German Shorthaired Pointers (GSP) are loving, friendly, and full of energy. For many people, GSP’s are the perfect addition to the family. A GSP’s coat is unique but usually has some type of liver coloring to it, so are black GSP’s considered rare?

Black German Shepherd Pointers are less common than liver-colored pointers, making them more rare. The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize black GSP’s as part of the breed standard because they have to be crossed with another breed to be black.

The rest of this article will discuss why black German Shorthaired Pointers are considered rare, if you can register a black German Shorthaired Pointer with the American Kennel Club, where black GSPs are recognized, and the different patterns of a GSP. I’ll also discuss the color of most GSPs when they’re born and how long it takes for their color to develop completely.

Why Are Black German Shorthaired Pointers Rare?

According to the AKC, German Shorthaired Pointers must be a solid liver color or a mixture of liver and white in order to qualify for the breed standard. Therefore, there are a lot more liver-colored GSPs. However, black GSPs still exist; they’re just not as common.

Since the liver color is considered a recessive gene and GSPs don’t carry the gene for the black color, black GSPs have to have some other breed in their genetic makeup. Therefore, the black GSPs are not considered “purebred” by AKC standards.

However, America is the only place that considers any black GSPs as a disqualification. Many GSP owners and breeders want this to be changed, as they believe color shouldn’t matter and doesn’t change the dog’s temperament or ability to compete.

For people who don’t care to register their German Shorthaired Pointer with AKC, the color doesn’t matter, which is why many people do have black GSPs.

Regardless of what color GSP you have, or elect to go with, one great thing about the breed is their trainability. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend picking up this online based training program that will walk you through the steps to train your dog. At just $47, you get a structured and detailed training program from a professional trainer for just a fraction of the cost of a local trainer.

What Places Recognize Black German Shorthaired Pointers?

While the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize black as a standard color of German Shorthaired Pointers, most others do. For example, the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) both recognize black GSPs, among many other colorings.

The FCI recognizes not only black GSPs but also any yellow or tan markings. The UKC also recognizes tan markings, although they believe any albinism, red, orange, or lemon coloring is cause for disqualification. While the three might differ on coloring, all three disqualify any GSP with a flesh-colored nose, as this is considered undesirable and should only be on completely white dogs.

What Are the Different German Shorthaired Pointer Patterns?

While there are different colors of GSPS, even though liver and white are the only recognized colors by the AKC, there are many different patterns to GSPs that make them unique. Every pattern is recognized by the AKC, as long as the coloring is correct. 

The different patterns include:

  • Solid. Solid GSPs will be either wholly black or liver, or the dog can have a black or liver-colored head with a white body.
  • Ticked. Ticked markings look similar to Dalmatians, where there are tiny specks of color all over the body.
  • Patched. Patched markings include big patches of color over the body.
  • Patched and Ticked. This pattern includes both patched and ticked markings.
  • Roan. Roan is one of the most common patterns of GSPs, and most sought after. This pattern includes patched and ticked markings and a solid color coat with a small mixture of white hair throughout, making the dog close to a solid color, but not quite.

A unique thing about the different markings of a GSP is that they’re genetic! This means, if you breed two dogs with heavy patching, you’ll most likely have heavily patched GSP puppies and vice versa.

No matter the color of your German Shorthaired Pointer, one tip I picked up from a friend is to use a good moisturizing shampoo since they can have dry skin. I recommended Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Pet Shampoo (Available on because its organic, contains natural ingredients and works well for dogs with sensitive or dry skin.

Are All German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies Born White?

While there are many different patterns and GSPs can be liver or black, they’ll look different when they’re first born. The best way to tell the color their coat will be when they’re puppies is to look at their nose, as the nose is an indicator of coat color.

German Shorthaired Pointer puppies are typically born white with liver or black patches. As GSPs age, they grow into their coloring and begin to form the markings of their coats. Therefore, your GSP will look completely different as a puppy than when it’s an adult.

The GSPs nose indicates coat color but not coat markings. Therefore, if your GSP puppy has a black nose, the coat coloring will be black, and the same goes for liver-colored GSPs. 

How Long Does It Take for a German Shorthaired Pointer’s Markings To Completely Develop?

GSPs will begin to show their markings around five weeks old. However, they will continue to develop their markings, whether they will be ticked, have patches, or both, as they get older. This means your mostly white and black-patched GSP puppy could develop into a black roan adult dog, which will make the dog mostly black-colored.

GSP owners and breeders have seen dogs continue to develop at six months old and even up to a year old. GSPs with ticked coats will most likely continue to develop longer than those who only have patched coats.

Can a Black German Shorthaired Pointer Be AKC Registered?

You can register black German Shorthaired Pointers with the American Kennel Club. However, the AKC does not recognize black GSPs as part of the breed standard because the black gene comes from another dog, making black GSPs no longer “purebreds.” 

Although the AKC doesn’t recognize black GSPs, they can still be registered on the website. However, they are not allowed to compete in the show ring.

Final Thoughts

While black German Shorthaired Pointers are rarer than liver-colored GSPs, there are still many of them out there. The American Kennel Club might not recognize this color GSP; however, many others do, including the UKC and FCI. 

Many people prefer liver-colored GSP because the black coloring comes from a different breed, no longer making black GSPs “purebred.” Despite this, many GSP owners and breeders believe the dog’s color doesn’t matter, as their temperament and characteristics don’t change.


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