German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are affectionate and high-energy all-around hunting dogs. Their sizes can range from medium to large, making them especially great for those with larger homes. Suppose you live in a small apartment and want to find a smaller German Shorthaired Pointer—can you get a miniature one?
Miniature German Shorthaired Pointers don’t officially exist, unfortunately. Smaller GSPs do exist and are sometimes called “pocket pointers,” but they aren’t a separate or rare breed. A German Shorthaired Pointer may be small when both its parents are small.
Keep reading as I discuss the common traits of GSPs and how to get a “miniature” GSP. I’ll also discuss other smaller dog breeds similar to GSPs, whether in personality or other characteristics.
There’s No Such Thing as Miniature German Shorthaired Pointers
“Miniature” German Shorthaired Pointers are just smaller-sized GSPs. German Shorthaired Pointers are very rambunctious, which can be challenging to manage when you have a medium-large dog.
So, those who want a miniature GSP want the personality and great traits associated with this breed, just in a smaller package.
Technically, smaller GSPs do exist. Just like there are short and tall people, there can be small and tall GSPs. It all depends on the genes and parentage of your canine. Some breeders have taken smaller GSPs to breed to produce similarly small offspring. So, breeders can confidently offer you a small GSP if both pup’s parents are small.
Smaller GSPs can sometimes be called “pocket pointers,” but know that they aren’t a rare or separate breed from the regular German Shorthaired Pointer. Some breeders tell potential owners this either due to misinformation or to charge more for a “special” breed.
The AKC Doesn’t Recognize a Miniature GSP
Almost 50 dog breed registries exist worldwide. These organizations keep track of recognized breeds and have written “breed standards” for each official dog breed.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is one of the most widely recognized and influential dogs breed registries. As of January 2022, the AKC recognizes 199 official dog breeds.
German Shorthaired Pointers are a breed officially recognized by the AKC, but a “miniature” GSP is not on the list of AKC’s recognized dog breeds.
Officially recognized dog breeds will always “breed true.” It means breeding two purebred dogs of the same breed will always produce offspring following “breed standards” like physical traits and temperament.
GSPs will sometimes produce small offspring, but not consistently so, because “miniature” GSPs aren’t a true separate dog breed.
Common German Shorthaired Pointer Traits
The German Shorthaired Pointer is generally an excellent dog, especially for families. If you’re interested in adding one to your home, it’s best to understand the breed’s characteristics beforehand.
German Shorthaired Pointer Breed Standards (AKC)
German Shorthaired Pointers are high-performance gun dogs with an aristocratic and symmetrical appearance.
They are versatile and work well in both the field and water. German Shorthaired Pointers are medium-sized dogs with short, thick hair that can be a solid liver, white ticked, liver patched, or liver roan.
GSPs have high-set ears that are broad and lie flat. They have dark brown, almond-shaped eyes that aren’t closely set.
A GSP’s temperament consists of a friendly and willing-to-please personality, eager to work. These dogs are intelligent and do not have a nervous or flighty character.
- Height: 21–25 inches (53–64 cm)
- Weight: 45–70 pounds (20–32 kg)
- Life Expectancy: 10–12 years
- Affectionate with family: 5/5
- Good with other dogs: 4/5
- Playfulness: 4/5
- Trainability: 5/5
- Energy levels: 5/5
- Very affectionate and loyal to their family: This breed loves to be part of the owner’s activities.
- Highly energetic: This dog needs ample exercise twice a day and a lot of physical and mental stimulation. It’s great for outdoorsy families.
- Highly trainable, receptive to positive reinforcement, and very intelligent: This breed is always eager to please. It’s recommended that obedience training starts during puppyhood. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend picking up this online based training program (Brain Training For Dogs) 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.
- Versatile all-around hunting dog: It can point, hunt, and retrieve.
All in all, those who want GSPs are looking for an energetic outdoor activity companion. This dog is also intelligent and affectionate with its family.
GSPs are Perfect for Outdoorsy Families
One of the most notable traits of the German Shorthaired Pointer is its high energy levels and need to be around its owners. Not being able to give a GSP enough exercise and social and mental stimulation can lead the dog to destructive behaviors.
This is why GSPs are perfect for families that love to spend time outdoors with activities like hiking and camping trips.
With their energy level, GSPs will be sure to be able to keep up with you during all your activities. They’ll be eager to stay by you, too. You won’t have to worry about someone staying back to watch a dog who’d rather laze by the tent. A GSP will be beside you on the trail, maybe even bounding ahead.
If you’re a person who likes taking long walks and runs very regularly, you’ll be sure to have a furry companion with you too. Going for a jog with your dog just got easier. This hands-free leash (available on Amazon.com) will give you the freedom to focus on your form while your dog is strapped around your waist. It comes with a pouch so you can carry your belongings.
Keeping your GSP well exercised will also help calm its sometimes hyperactive behavior. You can play fetch using this ChuckIt! Ball Launcher (available on Amazon.com). This will get your GSP running fast and far, which can help control their energy levels.
If you take your GSP outdoors, keep it leashed if you’re not in a securely fenced-in area. GSPs have a strong prey drive that can urge them to chase small furry animals.
Smaller Dog Breeds Similar to GSPs
Suppose you wanted to get a small German Shorthaired Pointer but couldn’t find one. You may consider other smaller dog breeds similar to GSPs.
The list below includes smaller hunting dogs and sporting dogs. Small hounds and terriers with similar personalities to GSPs are also listed here.
These breeds were included for being very similar to GSPs in personality, intelligence, affection towards their family, ease of trainability, and energy levels. They are also arranged according to height, from taller to shorter dogs, and all smaller than the standard GSP:
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- English Springer Spaniel
- Wire Fox Terrier
- Smooth Fox Terrier
- Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
- Russel Terrier
Smaller German Shorthaired Pointers exist, but they aren’t a separate breed. If you’re looking for a smaller dog similar to a GSP, one can look at certain retrievers, spaniels, and terriers. They have high energy levels for outdoorsy families and bond firmly with their owners.