German Short Haired Pointer

Grooming Advice

This wonderfully ideal, all purpose field dog, descends from judicious combinations in breeding and has acquired keen scenting power and high intelligence. The breed is a versatile hunter, proficient with many different types of game and sport in both field and water, including trailing, retrieving, and pointing.

The overall silhouette is that of an aristocratic, well balanced, symmetrical animal with conformation indicating power, endurance and agility. He gives the impression of medium size, with a “short back, but standing over plenty of ground”. Symmetry and field quality are most essential.

A dog of noble and balanced appearance, his coat should be taut, short and the texture ought to feel tough. Underside of tail and back edge of haunches is a bit longer. Coat should have good vigour and shine. Whilst hair on head and ears will be softer, the overall body hair must not be long.

The GSP standard for coat and colour states colour can be solid brown, without markings, or brown with white or flecked markings at chest and legs or dark brown with brown head, brown patches or specks, or light brown roan with brown had and patches/specks through to white with brown head markings and brown patches/specks or black with same nuances as the brown and yellow/tan markings are permissable.

For maximum shine use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo with Henna which is a great extract and not to be confused with the old hennas of the past as this is truly water soluble and never builds up on the coat. Use at a ratio of 5:1 for show grooming i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo.

On the white areas if your dog has them, use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo well diluted at 5:1 same as for the All Purpose Shampoo. This is to give the tonal qualities to the white areas by removing any unwanted warm/red tones from the white. You can clean up stained areas too prior to applying the shampoo with the innovative Plush Puppy Wonder Blok, a terrific stain reducing bar which is gentle but gets into the stains and reduces them immensely.

For those needing to protect the dark areas, spray between shows with Plush Puppy Sunshade. The Whitening shampoo will also deepen the unwanted warm tones on a dark coat if the coat is getting too rusty/orange from sun damage. Best to protect rather than try to fix.

As your standard states the coat should be short, dense, rough and hard to the touch, we must avoid fluffy coats for this dog! So scratch any ideas of using a conditioner as that produces fluffiness in the coat texture though it will assist in softening the coat. I recommend instead, that you keep the focus of shine in mind and use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as a rinse after shampooing instead of conditioner at 1 tbspn to 1 gal/4 lt warmwater.

Pour this all over or saturate with a large sponge and work well into the skin and leave in - do not wash out. This also helps keep any scurf at bay and leaves the coat smelling wonderful and with great healthy vigour and shine. It does not make the coat oily.

Personally, I like to blow dry this coat for finish. It’s amazing what a cool turbo dryer will do to blast all the dead hair out. This “rolls” the coat and keeps it regenerating without the holes one associates with coat shedding. He will shed, but it won’t be a moth eaten finish - it will be even as you are regularly getting out the dead hair allowing the new hair to grow. You will have a good even surface to work with and complying thoroughly with your standards requirements to the letter.

Now let the grooming begin - if you thought this was the end of the contribution to show day - you have another thing coming. I believe in the principle of 100 small things to make a great dog rather than any one big thing. I have seen ordinary dogs turned into extraordinary dogs with the right approach and yet they were always good dogs. Unfortunately, no-one else got to see just how good they could be till taken in hand.

Trim the whiskers. This breed looks great with a clean face. Neaten his tuck up with a pair of clippers turned upside down and if you have a wobbly hand, hold your left forefinger and middle finger under the front of the clipper head just behind the blade and, keeping a loose wrist, arc the angle slightly to present a clean silhouette.

Using thinning shears, neaten under his tail and neaten the point of tail by rounding off. Proceed to neaten also the 2 cowlicks where the 2 hair patterns meet at back of stifle. This dog does call for good musculature and to appear powerfully developed with all that power pack of dog showing under the skin. You don’t want to leave any fluffy bits standing out away from the body to detract from the clean line he must present.

Whiten up his whites on show day with a touch of Plush Puppy Coverup Cream applied with a barely damp piece of kitchen sponge and worked against the growth of the coat. Apply to coat a dab of chalk block or loose chalk with a small bristle hairbrush and allow to dry. Comb or brush afterwards for a clean finish. This gives a clean and bright finish to his whites and will within reasonable conditions, last all day. Alternatively, you can use Plush Puppy Chalkestral to hold powder or chalk by a light smearing to coat with hands instead of the Coverup Cream if not needing to cover stains, and apply Plush Puppy Fairy Frost Regular which is a super fine white powder that clings beautifully and never clumps like chalk in wet conditions.

Spritz now with a spray of Plush Puppy Shine & Comb about 30 cms from the coat and allow the mist to fall. This does not give a greasy finish but gives wonderful lustre to the coat. Spray again just before ringtime. I also like a spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for a nice clean smelling dog. It literally deodorises and gives a pleasant fragrance to the dog negating most odours with ease. I also use it on the dogs mats if I am being flamboyant and frivolous. I can be very frivolous when I am away for a cluster of shows and cannot find time nor facilities for another bathing.

Keep on hand Plush Puppy Wonder Wash for those last minute emergencies too as this will clean up the whites, pronto. Just spray, foam with the fingers and towel off. Just what you need for show times when the dog makes a mess of the beautiful grooming you have spent time on.

You can step it up a further notch if you are ready for it, with a light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust. Gee, but I like this stuff! Applied judiciously to your Plush Puppy Pure Bristle Brush and brushed well through, allowing the powder to settle and the shimmer to stay behind on the surface, can look very glamorous. Don’t overuse and abuse this stuff. It is not the aim to turn the dog into the glitter fairy - just to make him shine and shimmer for all to see that wonderfully balanced body of a dog all sleek and clean and shiny.

So, there you are on show day, in the show ring with the judge taking in the overview of this fabulous dog and his capability to move without wasted motion and his great sense of nobility. That is a great hallmark, to have a dog that is capable of working hard but looks regal when he works. Show him to his best - his great endurance, his smart, animated attitude and with good handling, good presentation and your good dog - what else can beat that?

- Cheryl Le Court