GSP Dog Breed Information

Can German Shorthaired Pointers be used for duck hunting?

As part of their bread qualities, GSPs have been bred to be versatile—they can find small birds in tall cover on large tracts of land and point them out for us, as well as retrieve ducks and geese from water and land from the blind’s side. It seems that almost every one of them lives to serve and makes wonderful companions. Take a look around and see if you can find anyone with a GSP who only has one if you search hard enough. This breed is truly incredible to watch and be around, whether in the blind or the field. We discuss their ability to hunt ducks further below.

What were GSPs bred to do?

It was originally German bird dogs and Spanish pointers that were bred together to produce German shorthaired pointers. In order to herd sheep and protect flocks from predators, GSPs were bred for traits that assisted them. 

As a result of their power, speed, agility, and long-lasting endurance, GSPs are ideally suited for long days in the field or on the water. The GSP is capable of doing any activity you can imagine, from sitting on your sofa to swimming in the lake.

There’s one problem with the GSP breed in particular: they develop quickly and have a lot of natural instincts like pointing, honouring, and retrieving. Since these dogs learn most of their training on the job with little training and considerable experience, when it comes to foundational training, it is quite easy to overlook a lot of it. 

Can a German Shorthaired Pointer hunt ducks?

Water fowling and retrieving are excellent tasks for German Shorthaired Pointers, as well as many other versatile hunting breeds. The German Shorthaired Pointer is not the best dog for retrieving; they are the best natural retrievers, which means they don’t need the training to retrieve waterfowl. They cannot swim in water under 40 degrees because they don’t have much muscle mass in their bodies. It is due to the fact that they are not very fond of cold water, and the fact that their skin isn’t very oily and that their skin dries quite quickly. When it’s warmer or duck season, you can take it then.

GSPs and Cold Temperatures 

GSPs are often questioned about their ability to handle cold weather and water retrieves. Even though they cannot withstand frigid temperatures, most well-bred versatile dogs have the drive to retrieve long icy water. On a winter morning when we are hunting over cold or icy water, our GSPs wear easy-to-adjust, fitted neoprene vests, which are easy to adjust, to keep their core temperatures as high as possible, and we also have heaters and towels in the blind from the days when we are hunting in subfreezing temperatures in or around water on the morning of the hunt. It is not uncommon for us to hunt large feed fields, and we are fortunate to have many opportunities to hunt on dry land as well. Know your dog’s body language; pull him out at the first sign of trouble. All sporting dog owners should know that. The fact that they can and will do something does not mean they should.

Whenever you are planning on hunting with your GSP in freezing temperatures in a non-heated blind, you will want to ensure they consume a lot of calories, so they will be able to remain in shape and hunt as long as you do. Despite the fact that their minds will keep them out, their bodies will need substance.


The power, speed, agility, and long-term endurance of GSPs make them ideal for long working days in the field or on the water. You can take GSPs anywhere you want to go, from your couch to the lake; they can handle anything you put in front of them.

To most of us, these dogs are way more than just tools; they are part of our families. For your dog to succeed in the field, you must give them the time and training they need, and remember that you are the only person who can stand up for them. They can live long and happy lives with you if you give them the attention, time, and structure they need.

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