Male vs. Female German Shorthaired Pointer: Which Is Better?

Male and female German Shorthaired Pointer sitting on the snow

If you’re looking to bring home a GSP, you may have already come across the topic of male and female German Shorthaired Pointer. Do you know the differences between the two?

Male German Shorthaired Pointers are bigger, more athletic, and friendlier than their female counterparts. Moreover, males are more suitable as guard dogs. Females, on the other hand, are more slender than males. They are also easier to train, more focused, and less playful than males.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between male and female German Shorthaired Pointers. Essentially, this can help you decide which sex of the said breed is more suitable for you.

Physical Differences

Male and female German Shorthaired Pointer sitting near a river

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

Generally, male German Shorthaired Pointers have a bigger, thicker, muscular body. They can stand anywhere between 23 and 25 inches, weighing around 55 to 70 pounds

Male GSPs mature physically more quickly than female GSPs. At eight weeks of age, male GSPs will reach a height of 12 inches, weighing about 13 pounds. These are the usual measurements of male GSPs for sale in the United States.

Male GSPs’ jowls are also thicker and more noticeable, making them more prone to drooling. This could be bad news for pet owners, but don’t worry! Compared to other breeds, GSPs are generally low-drooling dogs. 

Being more muscular, male GSPs tend to eat more to maintain their physique. They are stronger and more athletic than their female counterparts. Because of this, they may be more suitable for dog agility contests.

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Unlike male German Shorthaired Pointers, female GSPs have slender necks and lighter, more streamlined bodies. They may reach a height ranging from 21 to 23 inches, having a weight of around 45 to 60 pounds.

Female GSPs mature at a slower rate than male GSPs. Female GSPs reach a height of 11 inches and weigh about 12 pounds at eight weeks of age. 

In the United States, female GSPs for sale typically have these physical measurements.

Female GSPs do not also have visible jowls. This means that, naturally, they have a lower tendency to slobber. Due to their slender physique, female GSPs are not as strong and eat less than males.

Temperamental Differences

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

All German Shorthaired Pointers are playful, amiable, eager to please, and affectionate. However, male and female GSPs show little difference in these temperaments.

Anecdotes from several pet parents suggest that male GSPs are more energetic, eager to please, endearing, and attention-seeking. They are also more amiable than female GSPs as they bond with more than one person.

Another noteworthy characteristic of male GSPs is that they are protective of all family members. They will hurry to help if they detect someone or something that poses a threat to any of the family members.

Although they are not inherently aggressive, male GSPs are more prone to aggression than females. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, neutering could reduce dogs’ sexual behaviors and territorial markings.

Sexual and territorial behaviors may cause the intact male GSPs to go into a fight and be aggressive. Hence, in this case, neutering can help in reducing their aggressiveness.

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Female German Shorthaired Pointers are less energetic than their male counterparts. Thus, you could expect that they are slightly less playful than male GSPs. In fact, they prefer to be alone and quiet most of the time.

In terms of their relationship with their owners, they are a bit more self-willed and less clingy. Unlike male GSPs, they only bond with a single person and are slightly reserved with strangers.

Female GSPs are also inherently protective and will react quickly if they feel any threat to their surroundings. However, they would only protect the members of the family they are closest to. 

True to other female dogs, female GSPs mature and learn faster than male GSPs. Aside from that, they are considered more alert and vigilant to their environment, making them excellent watchdogs.

Dominance is another quality that female GSPs exhibit. Despite their slender stature, female GSPs are more domineering than male GSPs. Nevertheless, a male and a female GSP typically have a harmonious relationship. 

Behavior and Training

Male and female German Shorthaired Pointer during training

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

Behavior and trainability also slightly differ among male and female German Shorthaired Pointers.

Specifically, male GSPs are harder to train due to their more energetic nature. They may quickly lose focus while working, especially if they have not been properly trained to overlook distractions.

Leash training could also be quite challenging for a male GSP because of its size. It has a high tendency to tug toward something that catches its attention. 

First-time dog owners should be mentally and physically prepared for this unpredictable behavior.

While it is also true for females, intact male GSPs are more likely to do urine marking to establish their territory. Neutering and positive reinforcement are some of the ways to reduce this unwanted behavior.

Male GSPs excel at hunting and other sports like dog agility, flyball, canicross, and carting due to their size, strength, and stamina. You might want to consider training your male GSPs for these events if you’re into competitions.

Watch the video below to see two lively male German Shorthaired Pointers:

Managing the Energy of 2 German Shorthaired Pointers

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Female German Shorthaired Pointers are known to be more trainable than their male counterparts. They can focus for longer periods of time and learn things more quickly than male GSPs of the same age.

Because of their longer attention span and lighter bodies, leash training would be easier for female GSPs. Aside from that, they are also less likely to do urine marking.

All German Shorthaired Pointers can be motivated by food and treats. However, due to their more focused nature, female GSPs are slightly less food-motivated than males.

They can also swim, hike, retrieve bombs, and perform other tasks that require training and focus. They are suited for these jobs because of their high intelligence and versatility.

You could be thinking that because they are lighter and smaller, they can’t compete in dog events. However, that is an incorrect assumption. Their exceptional trainability makes them ideal for dog competitions as well.

Check out the video below to see Jade, a female German Shorthaired Pointer who won in the sporting category at the 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show:

Jade, the German Shorthaired Pointer, wins the Sporting Group | FOX SPORTS

Health Differences

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

Regardless of sex, the German Shorthaired Pointers are relatively healthy dogs. However, this doesn’t exempt them from acquiring some conditions that affect most dogs.

Male GSPs are more predisposed to some bone and joint diseases due to their larger body build. These include hip dysplasia, panosteitis, and osteochondritis dissecans.

Their vulnerability to these orthopedic diseases also causes them to have a slightly shorter life span compared with female GSPs.

Due to their larger jowls, male GSPs under two years of age are prone to lip fold pyoderma. Responsible pet parents could prevent this by cleaning their jowls dry at least two to three times a day.

Although rare, male GSPs may also acquire testicular cancer and prostate tumor. Specifically, these are more common in older intact male GSPs.

Castration or neutering may reduce your dog’s risk of having these health issues. Neutered male GSPs also have a longer lifespan than unaltered ones. However, there are some downsides to neutering your male GSP.

For instance, male GSPs that are castrated before the age of one year are more prone to hip dysplasia and other joint diseases than intact ones. This is generally true for medium and large dog breeds.

Hence, it is essential to consult first your trusted veterinarian before deciding to neuter your male GSP.

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Just like the male German Shorthaired Pointer, female GSPs may also acquire orthopedic diseases. However, they are less prone to these conditions due to their lighter bodies.

Since female GSPs lack heavy jowls, they are also less susceptible to oral papillomavirus and oral fungus infection. Heavy jowls are ideal breeding grounds for many pathogenic microorganisms.

Despite this, female GSPs can still be infected by some microbes in other areas of their bodies. For example, after their estrus cycle, some bacteria may enter their uterus, causing pyometra. This usually occurs in intact female dogs.

Intact female GSPs are also more prone to some form of cancer and tumors. Among these are breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Fortunately, spaying could reduce the risk of female GSPs acquiring these conditions. 

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male German Shorthaired Pointer with another dog

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

According to the American Kennel Club, German Shorthaired Pointers are generally good with other dogs. Specifically, dogs of similar size could play and get along well with them.

However, pet parents should still be vigilant, especially if they own male GSPs. Due to their inherent hunting instinct, poorly socialized male GSPs may chase or even attack small dogs and other pets.

Moreover, they may become hostile and territorial to other male dogs. Male GSPs get along well with female GSPs. It may seem ironic, but their opposing personalities complement each other perfectly.

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Female German Shorthaired Pointers can also form good relationships with other dogs and pets, especially if they are well-socialized during their puppyhood.

However, female GSPs may become hostile to other female dogs. In fact, two female GSPs are not an ideal pair of dogs, as they often compete for dominance.

Female GSPs are more dominant than male GSPs. If you choose to own two male GSPs, they may compete at first. But, over time, they will get used to each other’s presence.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for female GSPs. Two female GSPs will always compete for dominance, and they won’t easily get used to being around each other.

Typically, this competition would last for a long time until one of them is rehomed. Still, you can have two female GSPs in your home if both are trained to get along.

With Children

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

German Shorthaired Pointers are generally excellent with kids. However, male GSPs are more suitable for households with active children. This is due to their inherently playful and sociable personalities.

However, a little caution must be observed when they are with toddlers. Because of their high energy level, they may lose control of their movements while playing and may accidentally knock the toddlers to the ground.

Giving your dog enough activities or jobs to perform could help your male GSP to calm down. Aside from that, you may also do clicker training to reinforce your dog’s desirable behaviors.

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Like their male counterparts, female German Shorthaired Pointers are also friendly towards children. They can safely interact with them without fear of them becoming aggressive.

However, they are slightly less playful and sociable than male GSPs. Also, since they are more independent and they value their alone time more, female GSPs may not be ideal for households with overly active kids.

Therefore, if you have a female GSP in your home, it’s not only your dog that must be trained. Teaching your kids to be less rowdy is essential for them to have a good relationship with your female GSP.

Meanwhile, this reminds me of a client of mine who also owns an adult female German Shorthaired Pointer. This husband and wife couple got their GSP right after they got married. After their first child was born, their GSP was not really interacting much with the baby.

However, as time passed, they noticed the closeness of the toddler and the GSP. There were no hints of jealousy, and the dog grew protective of their child as well. This is due to the innate maternal instinct of the female GSP.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Male and female German Shorthaired Pointer sitting side by side

Male German Shorthaired Pointers

There are benefits and drawbacks to owning a male German Shorthaired Pointer. For active people, male GSPs may be advantageous because of their extremely energetic nature.

Their big, muscular physique and protective personality make them excellent guard dogs for a household. If you’re into competition, male GSPs are fantastic for dog contests that need strength, stamina, and agility.

Male GSPs are also more affectionate and fine with kids aged seven and up. They are generally good with other dogs, and they can easily socialize with other pets.

However, some of the foregoing traits of male GSPs may also bring disadvantages. For example, due to their larger body build, they are more prone to orthopedic diseases, which may shorten their lifespan.

In addition, their high energy level requires them to have a lot of exercise and activities. If they do not use this energy, they might become destructive.

Their highly energetic nature also makes them unsuitable for living in an apartment. Male GSPs require a lot of space to exercise. They are more likely to become rowdy and clumsy, especially if they are not taught how to calm down.

Due to their extreme clinginess, male GSPs are more prone to separation anxiety. Aside from that, they may still become hostile and aggressive without early socialization, particularly with other male GSPs.

Below is a table that summarizes the pros and cons of having a male German Shorthaired Pointer:

Suitable for active peoplePredisposition to bone and joint diseases
Excellent guard dogsHigh maintenance in terms of exercise
Extremely affectionateMore prone to separation anxiety
Suitable for children aged seven and upMore likely to become rowdy and clumsy
Easier to socialize with other petsHostility to other male GSPs

Female German Shorthaired Pointers

Being more slender than male German Shorthaired Pointers, female GSPs are less susceptible to bone and joint diseases. Thus, if you want a healthier GSP with a longer lifespan, a female GSP might be suitable for you.

Female GSPs are also less prone to separation anxiety. This is because they are relatively less clingy than their male counterparts. Nonetheless, they are still loyal to their fur parents. Also, they’re known to be calmer than male GSPs.

In terms of training, female GSPs are noted for their ability to quickly and easily pick up new skills. They are also resistant to distractions while working. Because of this, they are considered more trainable and adaptable.

In addition, female GSPs are more suitable for younger children. They are less energetic and more careful in action than males. 

Amid these advantages, there are still some drawbacks to having a female GSP. For example, because of their less amiable nature, they typically bond with one person only. Hence, they are more suspicious of strangers.

If they are not trained and socialized properly, they might show aggressiveness to strangers. They are also less affectionate and find it a little difficult to socialize with people other than their pet parents.

Female GSPs are also known for their dominance, as mentioned in the previous section. They have the tendency to be very hostile to other female GSPs, and their hostility typically lasts for a long period of time. 

In addition, female GSPs have slight difficulty socializing with other pets.

Check out the table below for a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of having a female German Shorthaired Pointer:

High trainabilityMore suspicious of other people
Less prone to separation anxietyLess affectionate
Calmer dogsOnly bond with their pet parents 
More focused while workingTendency to show dominance
Suitable for younger childrenSlightly difficult to socialize with other pets

Should You Get a Male or Female German Shorthaired Pointer?

There is no set rule for determining which gender of German Shorthaired Pointer to get. It is dependent on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and household status.

You should consider getting a male GSP if you want a more affectionate and energetic companion. Just make sure that if you choose to get this dog, you’re ready to provide a lot of stimulation on a daily basis.

Furthermore, if you want a dog that can guard the entire family, male GSPs may be the best choice. Males are also better for families with older children who can be more playful.

However, you should get a female GSP if you want a more trainable, less playful, and less energetic dog. Since they mature mentally faster than male GSPs, teaching them new skills and good behavior will be rather easy.

A female GSP is also ideal for you if you have a toddler in your home, as they are more cautious in their actions. They can also tolerate other dogs in your home, especially male GSPs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female German Shorthaired Pointer running outdoors

Are Male or Female German Shorthaired Pointers Calmer?

Female German Shorthaired Pointers are generally calmer than male GSPs due to their less active disposition. Female GSPs are also less likely to get too rowdy, while male GSPs are more likely to be clumsy.

If you have a toddler at home, female GSPs may be a better option because they are more cautious and delicate in their actions. Nonetheless, if properly trained, male GSPs can be just as cautious as their female counterparts.

Are Male or Female German Shorthaired Pointers More Affectionate?

Male German Shorthaired Pointers are more affectionate than their female counterparts. In fact, their clingy and amiable personality makes them loved by many pet parents.

However, their extremely affectionate temperament makes them more prone to separation anxiety, as previously mentioned. Gladly, there are various ways to prevent this unwanted psychological condition in your dog.

Are Male or Female German Shorthaired Pointers Easier to Train?

Female German Shorthaired Pointers are easier to train than males. This can be attributed to their extraordinary intelligence, concentration, and ability to learn new things easily.

Also, female GSPs mentally mature more quickly than their male counterparts of the same age. Hence, you don’t have to worry if your male GSP puppy slightly lags behind his female sibling in training. This is quite natural.

Final Thoughts

The differences between male and female German Shorthaired Pointers may not be obvious to some. However, no matter how little they are, these dissimilarities should be kept in mind before getting a GSP.

If you want a muscular and athletic companion dog that is more affectionate, active, friendly, and family-devoted, then get a male GSP. 

On the other hand, if you want a smaller dog that is more trainable, self-willed, intelligent, and serene, then the female GSP is the best option for you.

Just like any other breed, both male and female GSPs may also exhibit some unwanted behaviors. Nonetheless, early socialization and sufficient training can prevent these undesirable tendencies from manifesting.

Now that you’ve learned the differences between the two, you can now make an informed decision. Let us know your side on the topic of male against female German Shorthaired Pointers in the comments below!

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