How to Train a German Longhaired Pointer

A good way to describe the German Longhaired Pointer is that, in appearance, it’s Continental Europe’s version of a Setter: a pointing dog with full tail and a long coat with dense guard hairs and a moderate undercoat. One noteworthy difference is the GLP’s affection for swimming and, therefore, waterfowl hunting. Coat color reflects the mixture of markings similar to a German Shorthaired Pointer.

German Longhaired Pointers are a gun dog and as such, they are expected to search, point, track and retrieve game. They can excel in all types of hunting situations: waterfowl hunting, searching for upland game birds, or retrieving furred game in the woods or prairies, typically rabbit and squirrel in North America. They have a unique ability in being able to switch from a calm household pet to a fiery, passionate hunter. Having been bred for hunting for over a century, they are a superior, tried and tested hunting companion. 


The German Longhaired Pointer (Deutsch-Langhaar) is one of the oldest of the continental Pointers and combines the bloodlines of a bird-, hawk- and water dog as well as of Bracken (Scenthounds). He, therefore, has scope for great versatility. Many dogs of the Langhaar type can be seen in European oil paintings and copperplates featuring hunting, being used by falconers prior to the advent gun hunting. The first kennel associations were founded by breeders in the 1870s. Since 1879, pure breeding has been carried out and the main characteristics of the breed were established. In 1897, Baron von Schorlemer wrote the first standard for the German Longhaired and, thus, laid the foundation for today’s pure breeding.

Quick Facts

Temperament: versatile / calm / family-oriented

Height: 22 to 28 inches

Weight: 55-8- pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Foundation Stock Service


German Longhaired Pointers are a robust breed, with no known congenital problems to date. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a German Longhaired Pointer can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


The German Longhair requires regular upkeep, especially if he is hunting through various terrain and heavy cover. His long coat attracts burs afield, which may require trimming to remove, and the base of his ears are prone to develop knots. When hunted in heavy cover, his full tail can develop abrasions. Otherwise, the occasional brush and bath will keep him looking his best. His nails can be trimmed, if needed, with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. His ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.


GLPs are, indeed, high energy with good breeding and have tremendous hunting drive and desire. They need a considerable amount of exercise and attention and need to be in the households of avid bird hunters. They are not suitable for occasional hunters. Besides hunting, other options for exercise could include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Other outdoor activities like swimming and hiking can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.


With good breeding, German Longhaired Pointers are eager to please, intelligent and very trainable. They possess a high energy and, therefore, need and deserve lots of attention and exercise.


GLPs have the same kind of nutritional needs as all other sporting breeds: a recommended twice daily ration of high quality food. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. German Longhaired Pointers are a medium-large breed and may have a lifespan ranging from 12 to 14 years.  What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.



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