UNRAVELING THE GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER STANDARD
“TO WORK RIGHT, A DOG MUST BE BUILT RIGHT. IT HAS TO BE BORN RIGHT.”
Early German Shorthaired Pointer influencer and expert, and President of the Berlin Stud Club (Stammklub), Dr. Paul Kleeman, once said that the rules of struc- tural engineering also apply to the rules of nature. To work right, a dog must be built right. It has to be born right. So, one must also take angles and pro- portion into consideration. The desired angulation in GSPs is matched, front and rear. Our Breed Standard calls for the lay- back of the shoulder blade, from vertical, nearing a 45-degree angle, and the upper arm (humerus) as long as possible to the elbow (ulna), also nearing a 45-degree angle from vertical. To match, the pelvic bone (ilium to the ischium) and the hip joint to the stifle joint (femur) should also reflect the front angulation at approxi- mately a 45-degree angle for each. Good angulation facilitates a smooth, ground-covering stride, which allows the Shorthair to hunt on all terrains—all day. Dogs with poor angulation, or unbalanced angulation, work harder than a correctly built dog and move with a shortened stride and choppy gait. Despite their great desire to hunt, these dogs tend to be retired early due to injuries, as they must work harder and put more stress on their bodies. Critical to creating a short-backed dog standing over plenty of ground are the overall proportions of the GSP. In the Standard, the wording says: “ Measuring from the forechest to the rearmost projec- tion of the rump and from the withers to the ground, the Shorthair is permissibly either square or slightly longer than he is tall. ” While it is permissible for a GSP to be slightly longer than tall, it is a slip- pery slope. A longer back allows for more angulation in the rear without the associ- ated foot interference or side-winding that would be seen in a shorter-backed dog. These dogs may have a bigger stride and appear “flashier” in the show ring; how- ever, a longer back can be less stable and prone to injury.
4.2a. Overall Height in Relation to Length: A = slightly less than B. D = slightly less than C. Bitches may be slightly longer overall.
4.2b. Skull and Foreface, and Forequarter/Hindquarter Bones/Angles: E = approx. the same length as F; G = H = I (I may be slightly longer); J is to K & L as 1 is to 1.75 (approx.).
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2022 | 315
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