Can German Shorthaired Pointers Live in Apartments?

Adult German Shorthaired Pointer sitting in front of a large tree.

German Shorthaired Pointers balance the fine line between stunningly beautiful and absolutely adorable.

When you consider that they are also intelligent, trainable, and loyal, it should come as no surprise that they are highly desirable pets, but can a GSP do well in your apartment?

Can German Shorthaired Pointers live in apartments? With a highly devoted owner and plenty to do, it is possible for a German Shorthaired Pointer to live in an apartment, but this is not the ideal home for these highly active dogs. Success depends on the right lifestyle and consistent training.

Life with a GSP in any circumstance isn’t always easy, but living with one in a small space brings special challenges.

Learn what it will take to make it work before deciding if your next four-legged companion should be a German Shorthaired Pointer.

Ideal Living Conditions

The German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to be the perfect companion in the field and at home.

An ideal day for a GSP would entail hunting any number of different kinds of game from before sunrise until well into the afternoon, ideally with a few splashes through ponds and rivers to cool down. 

At the end of the day, the average GSP wants nothing more than a rowdy game of fetch or to play with the family kids.

Given a day of exercise, a GSP can be a calm and stately companion on an evening walk, although you shouldn’t be surprised if they still want to chase down every rabbit they see. 

If you are not a hunter, you’ll need to take active steps to replicate the conditions in which German Shorthaired Pointers are most likely to thrive.

It is extremely difficult to do this under apartment conditions, but for the right person and dog, it is possible.

How to Live With Your German Shorthaired Pointer in an Apartment

Living with a GSP in an apartment is nobody’s concept of an ideal situation, but these devoted and eager-to-please dogs can make it work with the right owner. 

You must be as dedicated to your dog as they are to you if you expect them to do well living under such tight conditions.

Before making the decision to share an apartment with this active breed, consider if the following conditions apply to you. 

You Can Bring Your Dog Everywhere With You

Being able to take your dog with you to work, on errands, and throughout your day makes all the difference if you are living with a GSP in an apartment. 

These dogs are prone to separation anxiety, especially without sufficient exercise.

Being able to keep them with you throughout the day can make a difference in their happiness and decrease the likelihood that they will take out their anxiety on your apartment. 

You Have a Job for Your Dog to Do

The German Shorthaired Pointer needs to feel like he has a job to do, even if it isn’t hunting.

For the right person, they could be great service dogs. GSPs can also do very well as therapy dogs.

Not surprisingly, GSPs excel in agility, dock diving, and all kinds of other active sports.

Strict obedience and active training can also be very helpful in your day-to-day life with a GSP. 

You Enjoy Training

Training isn’t optional with a dog like this. Without direction and guidance, your GSP is likely to get into everything.

These dogs have naturally high prey drive for animals of all different types, from birds to deer.

You will need to work hard at training your dog to show self-control if you don’t want them to fight the leash every time they see a pigeon or furry critter. 

GSPs are naturally curious and clever dogs, so they tend to get into things around your house and be drawn to materials like leather and anything with feathers.

Don’t be surprised to find your GSP digging through your house plants or destuffing the pillows.

This is a breed that responds very well to training, but they need a lot of it.

You Aren’t Very Attached to Your Things

Before you bring home a GSP, accept that you will lose some of your possessions to their teeth and general rambunctiousness.

Even if you are dedicated to watching your dog, keeping him crated when you leave, and providing consistent training, there are bound to be a few mishaps. 

Reacting angrily can be a huge setback for this sensitive breed, so it’s best to accept that there will be a few occurrences like this at the beginning.

You Don’t Mind a Little Bit of Hair

German Shorthaired Pointers are short-haired dogs, so you might not think that keeping up with their coat will be a challenge.

It’s true that these coats require very little maintenance.

However, part of the reason that they remain so sleek without you having to do much about it is because these dogs shed almost constantly. 

They shed consistently year round and especially heavily a couple of times a year.

The short, rough hairs can be very hard to get out of fabric, upholstery, and carpeting.

It’s not a bad idea to invest in a robot vacuum, like the highly recommended GOOVI, along with your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. 

Why Don’t German Shorthaired Pointers Do Well in Apartments?

German Shorthaired Pointers are not necessarily very large dogs. Females weigh from 45 to 60 pounds and males weigh from 55 to 70 pounds. 

With their short hair, stubby tail, and adorable expressions, you may think that they won’t be too much trouble in your home. 

When given sufficient training and exercise, German Shorthaired Pointers can be very pleasant in the house.

However, sufficient training and exercise mean a lot when you’re talking about a German Shorthaired Pointer. 

It should come as no surprise that arguably one of the most effective bird dogs needs a fair amount of exercise.

These dogs have always excelled in endurance. They can hunt possum, game birds, raccoons, rabbits, and have even tracked down deer and boar effectively.

These triathlon athletes of the dog world are competent runners, excellent swimmers, and extremely agile. 

Without the opportunity to exercise their athleticism and endurance, GSPs may turn their intelligence and activity on your home, your family, or themselves in very undesirable ways.

Keep in mind that ensuring that your GSP receives enough mental stimulation on a daily basis is nearly as important as providing sufficient exercise is.

German Shorthaired Pointer History

Understanding the history of the GSP can shed light on why they are a challenging breed to keep in an apartment.

These dogs were bred in the 1800s by German hunters. They were among a number of dog types perfected in this area at the time. 

German breeders were so successful that the German Shorthaired Pointer is still consistently a top winning breed in competitive hunting as well as a favorite of hunters everywhere. 

These aren’t just stellar hunting dogs, however. The GSP was also bred to be an excellent family watchdog and a wonderful companion to the entire family.

These traits also persist in the dogs today. They can make amazing family pets and are often especially wonderful with children.

Don’t miss out on the rest of German Shorthaired Pointer articles if you’d like to learn more about what life is really like with this breed.

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Do Well With Other Pets?

The GSP tends to be a gregarious breed who gets along well with people and other dogs, but their devotedness and sensitivity to their person may make them prone to jealousy or guarding behavior at times. 

GSPs are a hunting breed, which means they experience a strong prey drive towards some other animals.

Because these are versatile hunters, they may have prey drive towards birds, cats, smaller mammals, farm animals, or possibly even smaller dogs.  

That said, these dogs really do strive to please their families, so if you expose your dog to other animals early and teach them consistent, good behavior, he may be able to live with other animals without problems.

Related Question:

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Suffer from Separation Anxiety?

The GSP is an intelligent and sensitive dog who is devoted to his family and eager to have a job to do.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this breed can be prone to separation anxiety. 

Don’t consider a GSP unless you can spend a lot of time with your dog. Train your GSP to tolerate alone time while he is still young to prevent issues from developing later.

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