COMING TO A SHOW RING NEAR YOU: THE BLACK/BLACK & WHITE GSP
“No preference should be given to one coat pattern over another when the conformation of a GSP is being judged.”
BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK Yes, you read that correctly. In addition to liver and liver & white combinations, black or any combination of black and white will be an acceptable coat color for German Shorthaired Pointers. Black and black & white GSPs in the same coat patterns as their liver counterparts will be competing in a show ring together. Speaking of coat patterns, solid, patched, ticked, roan, or any combination are all equally acceptable: • Solid, of course, would be a predominantly liver OR black dog with or without a small area of white ticking or roan found on the chest or feet. • Patched areas of liver OR black present at birth may range in size from large saddle or blanket-type areas covering much of the body to smaller sections, perhaps just on the tail and/or head. The remaining areas of white present at birth can be predominately white or contain some ticking or roan as the puppy ages. • Ticked refers to spotting or flecking of liver OR black and can range from light to heavy. • Roan is a coat pattern and not a color as with other breeds. It is dispersed liver OR black hairs with white hairs. No preference should be given to one coat pattern over another when the conformation of a GSP is being judged. Head markings can also vary widely. Solid heads, heads with a spot, thin blazes, wide blazes, uneven blazes, and even heads being mostly white are all acceptable. As with coat patterns, the Breed Standard does not state that a preference should be given to one over the other when judging conformation. I am going to state that again, because it is worth repeating: Coat patterns and head markings should have no influence when evaluating conformation and type. It is also important to note that a GSP must NOT have both colors of black and liver present. It is one or the other. A BIT OF GSP HISTORY Black has been an acceptable coat color for GSPs in Germany, the country of origin, since the 1930s. In the late 1800s, GSP were brown, black, or red. Brown was initially preferred, so the blacks and reds were no longer used in breeding programs. In 1907, two prominent breeders sought to improve the light eyes, pale pigment, and lack of air scenting abilities in their dogs. They imported a black Arkwright Pointer bitch and bred her to
a GSP stud. From that mating a solid black bitch pup was kept and bred to another GSP stud. This continued with get from each successive generation, as subsequent breeders began to use these offspring to improve quality and field performance as well. By 1934, descendants of that initial Arkwright Pointer/GSP cross were deemed purebred, with the black-coated dogs included in the Ger- man studbook with the liver-coated dogs.
310 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2022
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