German Shorthaired Pointer Progression: Growth Chart, Milestones, and Training Tips

Types of Pointer Dogs
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Written by Tina Page

Published: December 17, 2023

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Good-natured, high-energy, and enthusiastic about everything, German shorthaired pointers are the perfect companion for anyone who can match their activity level and zeal. Originally bred to be hunting dogs who were also companionable family dogs, this athletic breed excels at all kinds of sports. You’ll find German shorthaired pointers dominating field events, agility, dock diving, and flyball competitions. With so much energy to burn, these medium-sized, versatile dogs are known for their speed, agility, and endurance.

German Shorthaired Pointer Growth and Weight Chart by Age

The dog german shorthaired pointer runs on a green field. A dog with a nice expression of the face

A

German shorthaired pointer

has a solid liver (a reddish brown), or liver and white coat in distinctive patterns. Enthusiasm and friendliness shine from their dark eyes.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) calls the German shorthaired pointer an “enthusiastic gundog of all trades” that stands between 21 and 25 inches at the shoulder when fully grown. The average weight of an adult male German shorthaired pointer is anywhere from 55 and 70 pounds. Females tend to weigh in notably lighter at between 44 and 60 pounds. It’s also important to know the average size of your dog at different ages. While individual dogs will vary, the chart below provides a good estimation of what to expect as your German shorthaired pointer grows.

AgeMale WeightFemale Weight
Birth1-1.5 lbs.0.75-1.25 lbs.
1 month5-10 lbs.4-9 lbs.
6 weeks10-13 lbs.6-10 lbs.
2 months15-20 lbs.13-18 lbs.
3 months20-30 lbs.18-27 lbs.
4 months30-40 lbs.27-37 lbs.
5 months37-44 lbs.33-36 lbs.
6 months45-55 lbs.40-50 lbs.
7 months48-58 lbs.42-46 lbs.
8 months50-65 lbs.45-60 lbs.
9 months52-55 lbs.48-62 lbs.
10 months55-70 lbs.50-65 lbs.
11 months58-72 lbs.52-68 lbs.
12 months60-75 lbs.55-70 lbs.
2 years65-80 lbs.55-73 lbs.
This growth chart will help you get a general idea of what to expect as your German shorthaired pointer grows.

When Will My German Shorthaired Pointer Stop Growing?

Like all healthy puppies, German shorthaired pointers’ growth trajectory in the first weeks after birth is impressive. By day seven after birth, a German shorthaired pointer puppy typically doubles his birth weight. Puppies will often triple their birth weight by the two-week mark. Thankfully, this spectacular growth speed slows down when your puppy is around seven months old.

While growth has slowed at seven months, your German shorthaired pointer still has a way to go before reaching maturity. When you hit the seven-month mark, you may be wondering how big your individual German shorthaired pointer will end up. There are a few ways you can estimate the size of your dog beyond the general growth chart.

  1. Paw Size: This is a great excuse to take a look at your puppy’s cute paws. If his paws still seem big for his body at seven months old, he’s likely got a burst of growth still in him in order to fill out to fit his paw size.
  2. Gender: Female German shorthaired pointers are markedly smaller than males. When considering which gender to choose, it’s important to take into consideration how big you want your dog to get.
  3. Parents: If you rescued your new family member, you likely won’t be able to use this method. Breeders, however, should be able to provide you with an estimate of your specific dog’s size based on her parents and previous litters.

There’s only one way to know for sure how big any dog will get, though. You just have to wait until he is done growing! German shorthaired pointers typically reach maturity between one and a half to two years old. At this point, you won’t have to wonder anymore.

Feeding Your German Shorthaired Pointer

dog bowl with peas in it

Because of their high-energy disposition, German shorthaired pointers require a higher level of fat and protein than many other breeds.

While your dog’s height is set by two years old, his weight will fluctuate throughout his life. What you feed and how much you feed your German shorthaired pointer will have a big impact on his health and weight. Because of their high energy, this breed is less prone to becoming overweight than many others. Care should still be taken when determining a feeding schedule as proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight will be a determining factor in your dog’s quality of life.

It’s important to know how much and how often to feed your German shorthaired pointer. Feeding schedules and amounts vary based on age because growing puppies require more food relative to their size than mature dogs. The AKC reiterates an important adage in canine feeding: “Watch the dog, not the dish. Body condition, not the amount eaten or left in the bowl, should determine portion sizes.”

German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies

German shorthaired pointers stay energetic and playful their entire lives. As puppies, however, they are especially rowdy and exuberant until anywhere from nine to 18 months old. At this stage, your sleek and loving companion will be growing rapidly. Depending on your dog’s gender and heritage, you can expect to see your German shorthaired pointer gain anywhere from 55-80 pounds.

Very young puppies, eight to 12 weeks old, should be fed four times a day. Puppies six months to a year old should get three meals a day. After a year, puppies should maintain a feeding schedule of two healthy meals per day.

German Shorthaired Pointer Adult Dogs

German shorthaired pointers require a higher level of fat and protein than many other breeds throughout their lives, according to the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America. You should feed your adult dog two to five cups of food a day depending on her activity level.

A dog engaging in rigorous activity every day will need substantially more food than one taking one or two walks during the day. You need to be especially mindful of providing enough food for a German shorthaired pointer that lives outdoors in a cold climate. Because they lack a layer of fat like many other breeds, and as their name suggests, they have a very short coat, they lose a lot of body heat even when sleeping.

Staying Healthy

It is critical to note that all pets should always have free access to clean water. Puppies are “predisposed to rapid dehydration as a result of their higher water requirements,” DVM360 cautions. Water restriction, however, is dangerous to dogs of any age and can result in dehydration, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and water obsessive behavior.

It’s important to maintain regular checkups with your veterinarian to ensure your best friend is eating the correct amount of food and staying healthy. German shorthaired pointer owners want their dogs to live long, happy, and healthy lives. Preventative care means visiting the vet on a schedule rather than when the animal shows obvious signs of illness. Like many animals, dogs are adept at masking illness, so by the time a problem becomes obvious it can be advanced and more difficult to treat.

The chief veterinary officer for the AKC recommends that a vet evaluate every newly acquired puppy. Depending on if the puppy has already received any vaccinations, an eight- to 12-week-old puppy will need to go back to the vet every month to get the remaining vaccines until 16 to 20 weeks of age.

After your German shorthaired pointer gets all her core vaccines, annual wellness checkups provide the next line of preventative care. AKC vet, Dr. Klein, says taking your dog to the vet every year is “a touchstone” that is more important than many owners realize. These visits help dogs avoid obesity and dental disease, two of the top preventable health issues for dogs in the United States, as well as help owners monitor their German shorthaired pointer’s overall health.

How Big Will My German Shorthaired Pointer Be When Fully Grown?

Children run with parents and a german shorthaired pointer dog outdoors on a fall day.

Experts say that it’s not so much the size of a German shorthaired pointer that matters because this breed is stronger per pound than almost any other breed of dog.

German shorthaired pointers are a medium-to-large, sturdy breed. Their size at maturity will vary based on genetics, gender, and diet. Generally speaking, though, males will weigh between 55-80 pounds and reach anywhere from 21-27 inches at the withers. Females will weigh between 40-70 pounds and reach about 20-25 inches inches at the withers.

With German shorthaired pointers, however, their size is less important than the fact that they are stronger per pound than most any breed. According to the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, “They are very lean and muscular and all of their body weight is focused on muscle and energy.”

When Should My German Shorthaired Pointer Be Spayed or Neutered?

Part of being a responsible dog owner is ensuring the best quality of life for your canine companion. One way to do that is to spay or neuter, also known as “fixing,” your dog when they are ready. Spaying, for females, and neutering, for males, means removing the animal’s reproductive organs.

Along with helping fight pet overpopulation, there are serious health benefits to spaying or neutering your German shorthaired pointer. Fixing your dog promotes a longer, healthier life for both males and females.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Life Stages Guidelines, the decision of when to spay or neuter your pet should always be something discussed with your veterinarian. While it’s generally accepted practice to spay or neuter a puppy around six months of age to avoid certain cancers, the recommended window is broad (five to 15 months old). Your vet will be able to take your German shorthaired pointer’s individual health concerns into consideration when helping you decide what age is best for your dog.

Spaying Your Female German Shorthaired Pointer

Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs. Making sure to spay before her first heat at around six months old offers the best protection from these diseases. Unspayed female dogs normally experience heat cycles every six months, lasting between 2-4 weeks.

Neutering Your Male German Shorthaired Pointer

For males, neutering prevents testicular cancer if done before six months of age. Along with preventing cancer, you can help avoid problems with marking with strong-smelling urine. Many aggression problems can also be avoided by early neutering.

When Should My German Shorthaired Pointer Be House Broken?

Close-up black and white german shorthaired pointer puppy

German shorthaired pointers make great family dogs and do well with children.

German shorthaired pointers are extremely intelligent and eager to please. They will work hard for positive reinforcement. Like with any training, housebreaking your puppy will take patience and dedication on your end. It’s important, however, to start the process of potty training your German shorthaired pointer when he is capable of being successful.

According to WebMD, experts recommend that you start house training German shorthaired pointers when they are between 12-16 weeks old. Training a puppy not to go to the bathroom in the house involves a few simple, but vital steps. You will need to take him outside often, give him treats and praise immediately, have a routine for everything from mealtimes to going outside, and most importantly, you will need a lot of patience. Your goal is to instill good habits while solidifying a loving bond with your new family member. Staying consistent is key to setting your German shorthaired pointer up for success!

Steps To Potty Train Your German Shorthaired Pointer

Take Your Puppy Outside on a Consistent Schedule

The younger the puppy, the more they will need to be brought outside. Take your German shorthaired pointer puppy outside first thing in the morning and then again every 30 minutes to an hour when you are first starting out. Make sure they get outside after meals or after waking up from a nap.

Part of being consistent is also taking your puppy to the same place to relieve himself. Their scent will prompt them to relieve themselves and create an association. Until they are completely housebroken, it’s a good idea to stay with them while they are outside as they are less likely to rush back in the house looking for you.

Reward Your German Shorthaired Pointer Immediately

While all puppies have short attention spans, German shorthaired pointers are known for being distracted easily. Rewards must be given as soon as they display good behavior. The longer you wait, the less likely they will connect the good behavior with the reward. Treats, praise, pets, and a walk together are great ways to show your puppy you are proud of them.

Stock Up on Patience

Housebreaking a puppy can be seriously frustrating. It takes time for puppies to remember that the bathroom is outside. For most puppies, they need anywhere from five months to a year to fully understand their side of the bargain.

Punishing your puppy for having an accident will only teach him to fear you. Positive reinforcement is always the best approach. If you do catch your dog in the act, clap loudly so she is aware she is doing something you don’t like. Call her or gently lead her outside and praise her when she goes to her spot. Puppies will never connect your anger with their accident if you find their mistake after they did it. It’s best to just clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleaner and move on. Inevitably, there will be some mistakes you will need to clean. Luckily, your German shorthaired pointer’s love and affection will make it all worthwhile

When Should My German Shorthaired Pointer Stop Eating Puppy Food?

German Shorthaired Pointer in the Woods

German shorthaired pointers require rigorous activity every day to stay happy and healthy. They are best suited to owners who enjoy an active lifestyle.

The AKC recommends that sometime between six to 12 months, or after they are spayed or neutered, dogs should switch to adult maintenance food. Be sure to err on the side of caution. It is always better to be on puppy food for a bit too long than not long enough. The AKC says that bigger breeds can switch later than little dogs.

Caninebible.com ranks the best dog food for German shorthaired pointers. Being such a high-energy breed, it’s vital that these dogs get nutrition that meets their specific needs.

Caninebible’s choice for Best Overall is Ollie, which is made with fresh, human-grade ingredients. The website’s choice for Best Dry Food is Spot & Tango, described as “a new kind of dry dog food with the flavor and benefits of fresh food with the convenience of kibble.”

The vote for the Best Puppy Food went to Open Farm. “This formula is designed specifically for German shorthaired pointer puppies and has a purposeful blend of three proteins to help prevent allergies. It also has added collagen for healthy joint development,” according to Caninebible.

There are many high-quality options for food appropriate for German shorthaired pointers of all ages. Just make sure that whatever food you choose is AAFCO-approved, has a high-quality protein as the first ingredient, is made in the United States, and is something your dog enjoys.

When Will My German Shorthaired Pointer Start Losing Teeth?

Just like human children, puppies have baby teeth that need to fall out. By five to six weeks, your German shorthaired pointer’s 28 baby teeth will have grown in. At about 12-16 weeks, around the time most breeders send off their puppies, German shorthaired pointers start losing their baby teeth.

Anyone who has ever cared for a teething human baby knows this process can be painful. Babies and puppies find relief in chewing on things. You should offer your puppy safe chew toys so he doesn’t resort to using your shoe instead. At this point in his development, a Kong chew toy is a great option.

By the time your German shorthaired pointer is around six months old, all of her adult teeth should be grown in. Adult dogs have about 42 teeth, 10 more than humans! At this point, if any baby teeth remain, be sure to let your vet know as they may need to be removed.  

When Should I Start Training my German Shorthaired Pointer?

German shorthaired pointers are exceptionally intelligent dogs. Their intellect, coupled with their extreme energy levels, means they can be destructive if they are not provided with sufficient stimulation and exercise. German shorthaired pointers are happiest with active owners, and most well behaved when they have opportunities for little adventures.

While making sure your German shorthaired pointer gets enough exercise and stimulation outside of the house is key to a well-behaved best friend, training is also vital to you and your dog’s happiness. Training for a German shorthaired pointer should begin as soon as you get him home.

“When you bring a shorthaired home, you should start training them right away,” according to Belinda Venner, whose dog has been the top-ranked German shorthaired pointer for obedience. “They’re really, really smart. Whether it’s hunting, obedience, or agility, they can do anything.”

What Cues Should I Teach My German Shorthaired Pointer First?

Gorgeous young German Shorthaired Pointer dog running in field and sitting in a meadow with a blurred background while hunting birds. Purebred with a happy and excited friendly personality.

German shorthaired pointers are not generally stubborn and are eager to please.

Venner, who has had three top-ranked competitive German shorthaired pointers, recommends you start teaching your puppy these basic commands:

  • Name recognition
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Leave it
  • Go in the kennel or crate

Name recognition is your first goal. Your German shorthaired pointer will pick this up right away if you use his name every chance you get. “You should be calling them all the time,” Venner says. “Call them. Give them a treat. That’s the best.”

Crate training should be a positive experience. To get your puppy to enter the kennel, throw a treat inside, making sure your German shorthaired pointer saw you do it. Say her name and guide her inside.

The AKC recommends starting with five basic cues:

  1. Recall — start by training a recall (to come when called) in a distraction-free area or indoors.
  2. Loose-leash walking — teach your Samoyed puppy to walk next to you on a leash without pulling.
  3. Sit — the two options for teaching your dog to sit are capturing and luring. Capturing means holding a treat in front of them, waiting for them to sit, and then rewarding them when they sit. Luring means putting a treat in front of your puppy’s nose and lifting it slowly higher while they watch. They will likely sit as they lift their head. Allow them to eat the treat when their bottom touches the ground.
  4. Down — teaching a dog to lie down can be done similarly to teaching them to sit. “Capture” your dog lying down on his own and reward him while saying “down.” Alternatively, you can lure them by bringing a treat lower onto the floor.
  5. Stay — when teaching a dog to stay, the AKC instructs trainers to first teach their dog their “release” word. This is the word they will use to tell the dog they no longer need to stay.

Work on all of these basic commands daily, in short five-minute bursts throughout the day. With plenty of practice and positive reinforcement using treats and praise, your puppy should learn them within a few weeks.

Pictures of German Shorthaired Pointers (Puppy, 6 Months, Adult)

German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy Running

The American Kennel Club calls German shorthaired pointers “noble and aristocratic.”

Cute German Shorthaired pointer puppy. Puppy pointer barks. Puppy dog on a walk.

By six months old, your German shorthaired pointer will weigh 40-55 pounds.

Types of Pointer Dogs

Bred to be hunters who also make loving companions, German shorthaired pointers are all-around great athletes in a range of sports.

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About the Author

Tina Page is a journalist and teacher from Los Angeles with more than 20 years of experience writing for newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. She runs an animal rescue that's changed the lives of all kinds of creatures. From dogs and cats to hawks, skunks, racoons, opossums, sea gulls, and lizards, no animal is left behind. Along with her many animals, Tina is a homeschool mom to three kids that are just as passionate about helping animals. If they are not rescuing animals, they are surfing at their local beach or hiking in nature.

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