German Shorthaired Pointers are hunting dogs widely bred in Germany in the late 19th century.
The otherwise energetic and highly competitive dog makes a beloved family companion as well.
What is probably among the most accomplished sports and hunting dogs in the world can develop destructive tendencies.
Lack of physical activity and inexperienced owners are prime reasons for bad behavior in the GSP.
But when exactly is it okay to start what kind of exercise to avoid stunting growth in your GSP?
Every responsible owner should carefully monitor the pup’s growth rate.
The weekly progress and deviations speak volumes about the dog’s health status.
What could happen if you don’t pay close attention to the pup’s growth rate?
Letting the dog become too large too quickly can open the door for musculoskeletal problems while slower growth can indicate an underlying disease.
German Shorthaired Pointer puppies grow fast and their bodies change quickly.
There are a lot of things to consider when you desire optimal growth so let’s take this tour step by step.
German Shorthaired Pointer Growth Chart
The growth chart is an approximate guide for anyone that wants to know if the puppy is growing as expected.
Don’t be discouraged if your beloved pet is a late bloomer.
Weight and height differences while growing between different litters and between brothers and sisters from the same litter can be massive.
Some dogs grow slower and there’s nothing wrong with it.
While mild differences from the numbers on the chart don’t mean that much, drastic deviations should be evaluated by a knowledgeable veterinarian.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is categorized as a medium-sized to large dog breed.
Since large dogs are more prone to bone and joint development issues, proper growth is essential for your GSP.
Genetics is the decisive (but not only) factor that’ll contribute to your dog.
It’s very difficult to predict the adult size of a small pup.
The runt of the litter most likely won’t be the biggest showstopper later on but you can never say for sure until their bone growth is finished.
Even when the dog is 6 months of age and there are significant individual differences, there’s no guarantee of the outcome.
GSP Puppy Weight & Height at 8 Weeks
The average body weight in female German Shorthaired Pointer puppies is around 10 lbs (5 kg) and males weigh 13 lbs (6 kg) at 8 weeks of age. Male puppies are 12 inches (30 cm) tall and females are 11 inches (28 cm).
The 8th week is smack in the middle of the period during which the German Shorthaired Pointer goes through some drastic change.
The newborn puppies are dependent on their mother and need to snuggle close to her to keep their body temperatures normal.
Up until the third week of their lives, they can barely walk because of their weak muscles.
After the third week and in the next 8 weeks the muscles of the GSP puppies become much stronger.
They are weaned off at 5-6 weeks of age and by that time their set of deciduous (baby) teeth is already completed.
They have little time to lose and that’s why the first 4 months are characterized by rapid growth.
4-Month-Old German Shorthaired Pointer
By the time the intensive muscle growth begins to slow down, the 4-month-old female puppies weigh 23-31 lbs (11-14 kg) and the males 28-34 lbs (13-16 kg).
The difference between the two is already clearly visible at this age.
It’s very unusual for puppies of this breed to have periods of non-proportional growth.
For example, in some large breed puppies, their bodies seem very slim at 4 months of age and fill out with muscle mass afterward.
German Shorthaired Pointers shouldn’t look skinny, but even if they are, don’t worry too much.
When you are very concerned you can always make a trip to your vet (make sure they’re somewhat knowledgeable about this breed).
Don’t increase the food portions when the dog is skinny if you don’t know the reason first.
At 4 months of age, it’s time for your puppy to start teething.
It takes about 2 months for the permanent teeth to replace all of the deciduous teeth.
At What Age is a German Shorthaired Pointer Full Grown
A German Shorthaired Pointer becomes a full-grown adult between 1.5 and 2 years of age.
By the half-year mark, the average weight for male puppies is 39-49 lbs (18-22 kg) and for females 33-42 lbs (15 kg-19 kg).
The growth substantially slows down after 6 months of age.
Many of the puppies can already be near their adult height at this point.
Much of the calories they acquire are going to be used for bulking up in the future.
The puppy will still need a lot of calories but the frequency of feeding can be reduced.
You need to divide the daily amount into three portions before the sixth month and can switch to twice a day at that time.
Generally speaking, the GSP will not continue growing after the 18th month but may pack a few extra pounds.
The cognitive development continues and in some puppies, you can notice a sudden onset of stubbornness, possibly due to their teen phase.
The psychological development is also completed by the dog’s second birthday.
Is My GSP Underweight/Overweight?
German Shorthaired Pointers have very healthy appetites. If you free-feed or overfeed, they will gain extra weight in no time so adjust your GSPs diet carefully if he’s overweight or if the vet told you that he’s a little too light.
Obesity is not your dog’s friend and it’s especially dangerous in dogs engaged in vigorous exercise.
Sports dogs are likely to suffer from all sorts of soft tissue and hard tissue injuries.
Tendon and ligament tears, bone fractures, and joint inflammations are nothing surprising in the world of sporting dogs.
Like it or not, your GSP is a sports breed and even though yours might lean toward the companion side, the dog will show his sporting behavior.
Excess weight can only accelerate the process of joint inflammation in large dog breeds that are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.
German Shorthaired Pointers do develop hip dysplasia – a condition when the structures of the hip joint don’t fit properly.
Instead of sliding smoothly, they rub against each other and the joints deteriorate over time.
Even though hip dysplasia is a genetic condition, most dogs are born with normal hips.
One of the main factors that contribute to the development is improper weight, along with a rapid growth rate and rigorous (or too little) exercise in puppies.
The symptoms of hip dysplasia can appear as early as 4 months of age.
The severity can vary and what most owners notice is limping, hind-end lameness, and decreased activity.
Joint supplements can help some puppies in a preventative way but dysplasia is irreversible. So finding a breeder who tests for this is key.
The extra weight puts extra pressure on the ligaments and the tendons so they are more vulnerable.
Think about the burden on the cardiovascular system that needs to deal with physical activity and obesity at the same time.
If your dog is obese it doesn’t mean you should avoid sports – on the contrary!
Get him on a weight-management plan and along with your vet work on ways to reduce your dog’s weight safely.
You can tell whether your dog is overweight or not if you run your hands along his sides.
When you can’t feel his ribs beneath your fingers and can’t make out a waist, then the dog might be overweight
On the other hand, if the ribs or spine are visible through the coat that usually means the animal is too thin.
German Shorthair Pointer Size
There are big differences in size within the breed considering the weight and height of adult males and females. Full-grown females can have 44-60 lbs (20-27 kg) and full-grown males somewhere between 55-71 lbs (25-32 kg).
Male German Shorthaired Pointer adults are 23 to 25 inches (58-64 cm) tall while their female counterparts are approximately 21 to 23 inches (53-58 cm) high at the shoulder.
If you’d try to categorize a GSP, they’d be somewhere between M and L.
Knowing your pup’s parents is the only reliable indicator of the adult size of your furry companion.
You need to be careful when you choose the breeder that will provide you with a new family member.
Trustworthy breeders are always open to questions and will gladly show you the dog’s parents and pictures of how puppies from previous litters developed.
Besides genetics, another thing that can affect the size of the dog is nutrition. It’s not just the amount of food, but its qualitative values too.
Low-quality food that lacks sufficient proteins, vitamins, and minerals will negatively affect the dog’s development.
Bad food weakens the dog’s immunity and he is left vulnerable to all sorts of diseases that can additionally compromise the growth.
Even though exercise isn’t directly linked to the final size of a dog, it can help a pup boost up his health during the most important stages of his development.
There’s hardly any way you can stop a GSP from being an active beast so use that to your advantage in a healthy way.
How big did your GSP get? Share with us in the comments below!Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.