German Pointeraner

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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The German Pointeraner is a handsome dog that has been developed by breeding together the noble-looking Weimaraner with the powerful German Shorthaired Pointer. Two working breeds that were original developed to hunt, this cross has resulted in a fine specimen of a dog that is capable of becoming quite the athlete and is impressively muscled and well-built.

Brave and adventurous, the German Pointeraner enjoys being outdoors and discovering new things and is not a fan of being cooped up indoors for hours on end. Requiring at least 90 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day, lazy owners need not apply!

About & History

Two athletic dogs from Germany, the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer actually have quite a lot in common. Not only do they look similar, but the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Weimaraner are thought to share many of the same genes and were developed from similar breeds around the same time.

Breeding these two back to each other seems a natural process and the German Pointeraner was initially bred in the States, probably sometime at the start of the 21st century. To better understand this new hybrid, let’s take a closer look at each parent breed.

The Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is a stunningly attractive dog that is probably best known for its unusual grey-silver coat and regal demeanour. Most experts agree that they descended from the now extinct Chien-Gris, a French dog that was used to hunt in medieval times. The breed first took on a life of its own in the mid 1800s within the city of Weimar in Germany – hence the name!

These long-limbed dogs were well-respected hunters that would pursue the likes of deer and boar. Not typically kept by the ‘ordinary folk’, they were generally owned by the royals and upper classes and have always been a prestigious breed. A big distinction between Weimaraners and other hunting dogs of the time was that they were never kept outside and were instead seen as ‘family dogs’ and always treated well. This almost certainly helped in their development, creating a well-adjusted pet that gets one well with people.

The German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed that was developed in Germany with the intention of hunting it on all terrains and in the pursuit of prey of all sizes; an all-purpose hunter that would never turn a job down.

On top of this, breeders desired an obedient dog that would make a good companion – a real all-rounder! A pointing dog, they will instinctively freeze and point their muzzle and/or leg towards their prey once detected, in order to alert the human with the gun of its position. Today, many breed members continue to be used to hunt though it is not uncommon for them to be kept as pets alone.


A beautiful example of a dog, the German Pointeraner has a large and sturdy body that is built in good proportion and lends itself to work and exercise. They have a long face with a broad and lengthy muzzle that ends in a rather large nose, which may be black or brown. They have piercing eyes that may be blue, amber, grey or brown and portray a character that is both honourable and intelligent.

Their ears are wide and floppy, framing their face and often extending right down to their chin. They may have skin wrinkles and furrows above their eyebrows and under their neck, a feature that only serves to make them more endearing. Their limbs are straight with good muscling and their body is deep-chested and lean. While some may have their tail docked, it should be long and slim, reaching right down to their hocks.

The German Pointeraner has a tight coat that may be the characteristic solid silver of the Weimaraner or completely brown. Many individuals will have ticking to their coat and will be a combination of brown and white or grey and white. Once fully mature, the German Pointeraner will stand at heights of 53cm to 68cm and will weigh between 25kg to 37kg.

Character & Temperament

While both ancestors have been primarily kept as hunting dogs, the German Pointeraner is not necessarily so dedicated to its job that it is unable to make a good family pet. Indeed, this breed makes a wonderful companion, whether used to work or not. Typically an easy-going dog that is happy to go along with whatever is happening, they are adaptable and tend to be well-adjusted. A dog that enjoys the company of humans, they do best when kept inside the home and are not keen on being kennelled or left in the garden alone for prolonged periods.

An undeniably smart dog, the German Pointeraner will need a good deal of mental stimulation to keep them satisfied. This is not a dog to lazily snooze on the sofa all day and is always keen to get in on the action and be involved in what is going on. They relish the opportunity to participate in canine activities and are quick to problem solve. Failing to keep their minds engaged can result in boredom which in turn leads to frustration and bad behaviours.

Lively and active with a strong prey drive, this is not the breed to keep within a small home or around smaller pets. Ideally, they should have access to lots of space in which they can roam and should be housed among dogs of the same size.


Always eager to please their master and with brains to spare, the German Pointeraner can excel at certain tasks – particularly those that it will instinctively take to, such as hunting and scenting. They require a firm approach and trainers must be consistent, not letting them get away with any cheekiness or stubborn tendencies.

Prone to boredom, trainers must ensure each session poses a challenge of some sort or the German Pointeraner will soon zone out and may go in search of their own entertainment elsewhere!


While an overall healthy dog with an average lifespan of 10-12 years, the German Pointeraner may develop a number of inherited conditions over its lifetime which should be closely monitored for.

Hip Dysplasia

Larger dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia, an orthopaedic condition which is known to be hereditary in some breeds, including both the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Weimaraner. Affected dogs may start to show signs as early as six months old and an observant owner may notice that they have an unusual gait, ‘bunny hop’ when run and sit with their knees outwards.

X-rays are sensitive enough to diagnose the condition and can also grade the severity. Hip dysplasia leads to local arthritis and a progressive deterioration in function and loss of muscle mass. Surgeries are available and can be particularly beneficial if the condition is diagnosed at a young age.


Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that mostly affects deep-chested dogs. It comes on quickly, meaning an animal that was normal in the morning could develop bloat during the day and have passed away by the evening. Initial symptoms include an abdomen that is expanding and a dog that is finding it hard to settle and is panting and salivating.

An X-ray will reveal a stomach that is full of gas, that may or may not have twisted over on itself. The gas can be released by passing a tube down into the stomach through the mouth. If the stomach has rotated, a surgery will be required to correct this once the dog has been stabilised.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Only a fool would underestimate the exercise requirements of the German Pointeraner, who needs at least an hour and a half of activity each day to maintain their fitness and keep them content. For many, this will consist of a mixture of jogging, hiking and swimming. On top of this, they appreciate being given time outdoors off the lead when possible.


A short-haired dog with a sleek coat, the German Pointeraner should be brushed once or twice a week to keep their skin and fur in tip-top shape. Luckily, their fur is too short to tangle and does not take long to brush through. Owners should focus their attention on the ears of this breed, which can be prone to infection due to their pendulous nature. They must be checked regularly and should be cleaned of wax and debris several times a month.

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