German Shorthaired Pointers are very athletic and energetic, so don’t leave them getting bored at home all day long. With such an active hunting dog breed, you must be ready to do a lot of physical activity.
But you may wonder how much exercise a GSP needs to be healthy and happy? Well, that’s what this article is all about!
How Much Exercise Does A German Shorthaired Pointer Need?
In general, a healthy adult GSP can require between 1 and 2 hours of exercise per day. This should include daily walks, vigorous activity, and mental stimulation. Sports such as swimming, running, and hiking are great ways to exercise with your German Shorthaired Pointer.
Just as humans, dogs have requirements to meet. If you don’t provide your GSP with proper workouts, there will be negative consequences.
Thus, exercise is essential to care for his well-being. Now here are more details about everything you should know if you own a German Shorthaired Pointer or consider adopting one.
What Can Influence Your GSP‘s Exercise Requirements?
To understand your dog’s needs, I highly recommend you do some research on his breed. But it’s not the only factor you have to consider for figuring out how much exercise you should provide him.
Your German Shorthaired Pointer’s requirements can also vary according to his age, health, energy level, and many other factors.
Age. (Puppy + Senior)
No matter how old your GSP is, exercise is essential for his health and happiness. But puppies and senior dogs won’t need the same type and amount of workouts.
Therefore, your German Shorthaired Pointer’s age can have an impact on his requirements. My first general recommendation of 1 to 2 hours of exercise is only accurate for adults.
Here’s more information to consider if your dog is very young or old.
How Much Exercise Does A German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy Need?
A good rule of thumb for young dogs is to provide them with 5 minutes of exercise for each month of age they have, up to twice a day. Thus, a 4-month-old puppy GSP should get anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. Too much or too vigorous exercise can be bad for them.
|Puppy Age||Exercise Needs|
|3 Months Old||15-30 Minutes|
|4 Months Old||20-40 Minutes|
|5 Months Old||25-45 Minutes|
|6 Months Old||30-60 Minutes|
German Shorthaired Pointers can take around 2 years of age to be fully grown. Before reaching adulthood, intense workouts are not appropriate for them.
As puppies, their bones, joints, and muscles are still growing, so they aren’t ready for strenuous physical activity. That’s why running and hiking are only suitable ways to exercise your GSP if he’s already mature.
How Much Exercise Does A German Shorthaired Pointer Senior Need?
On the other hand, old dogs can also have different requirements than adult ones. As they age, GSPs may slowly become less active and energetic. It’s normal, but it doesn’t mean they should stop exercising.
Physical activity and mental stimulation are still essential for your German Shorthaired Pointer senior. The only difference is that he might need slightly less but more appropriate exercise for his age. Depending on his conditions, between 30 and 90 minutes should be sufficient to keep him healthy and happy after 7-9 years old.
Old dogs are also more prone to health and physical problems, so you should be careful. The best ways to exercise them are generally joint-friendly sports such as swimming or gentle walking. Too much or too vigorous exercise can lead to injuries or severe pain for your old GSP.
Health & Physical Conditions.
Another important factor to consider for providing your dog with proper workouts is the state in which he is. German Shorthaired Pointers are generally healthy, but they can still be prone to certain problems.
That’s why I highly recommend you talk with your vet as soon as possible. An expert point of view on your dog’s health can be useful to care for him properly.
You have to know what his conditions are if you want to understand how much exercise he needs. The veterinarian is also the best person to help you with personalized advice for keeping him in good shape.
GSPs need a great deal of exercise because they are extremely active and energetic. But some of them are more hyper than others, so you have to consider this trait of their personality.
The more energy your dog has, the more exercise he needs. His capacity to sustain physical and mental activity can also help you understand how much time is necessary to tire him out.
Thus, your GSP’s level of hyperactivity and athleticism can influence his exercise requirements.
Most German Shorthaired Pointers are highly active, healthy, and always ready for new adventures. But you still have to remember that all dogs are unique, even if they are of the same breed.
To find out how much exercise your buddy needs, you must take into account his conditions.
How To Provide Your German Shorthaired Pointer With Proper Exercise?
Once you know more precisely how much exercise your dog needs, it’s time to take action and find ways to meet his requirements. As I already told you, there are 3 main categories of workouts:
- Daily Walking
- Vigorous Physical Activity
- Mental Stimulation.
Each type of exercise is essential for your GSP to stay healthy and happy. Thus, let me share with you more useful information to satisfy both his body and mind!
Walking As Exercise For Your GSP!
Daily walks are much more than “potty breaks” for dogs. It’s also an excellent source of moderate physical activity, mental stimulation, and socialization.
That’s why it’s essential for their development no matter how old they are or how much exercise they need. With active hunting dogs such as German Shorthaired Pointers, walking regularly is even more important.
It can help them burn off some excess energy to be less restless and sleep better at night. But one walk from time to time is generally not enough exercise for them.
How Often/Far Should You Walk With Your German Shorthaired Pointer?
For an energetic dog breed like the GSP, the more walking, the better. It will therefore depend on how much time you have to exercise him. Most German Shorthaired Pointers should walk at least 2 or 3 times per day totaling 30 to 60 minutes.
If your pup is not fully grown yet, stick with 5 minutes per month of age. Too long or too vigorous walks can be bad for young and old GSPs. Short-distance walking at a slow pace is more appropriate for their conditions.
How To Tire Out Your German Shorthaired Pointer With Physical Activity?
Unfortunately, moderate walking isn’t sufficient to keep a hyperactive dog in good shape. Bred for hunting, GSPs were used to run and retrieve prey all day long on the field. That’s why providing him with vigorous activity is the way to go to tire them out.
If you don’t have any idea where to start, don’t worry. I’ve selected some of the best ways to exercise your German Shorthaired Pointer. To burn off all the pent-up energy he has, I highly recommend you start…
With their high-energy and natural stamina, German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent running partners. This cardio exercise is, therefore, one of the best ways to spend their energy quickly. With some training and preparation, they should be performant runners for any distance.
You only have to wait until your dog is fully grown before introducing him to such an intense physical activity. After his growth plates are closed, which generally occurs around 18 months old for most GSPs, it’s safe for him to start running.
See you on trails! (In the meantime, you can read the 21 dos and don’t about running with your dog!)
Most dogs can be trained to swim, but it’s generally not natural for them. German Shorthaired Pointers are well-suited to be good swimmers thanks to their water-resistant coat, webbed feet, and muscularly built. Keep in mind that each dog is different, so be careful when introducing your GSP to the water.
Swimming is another efficient way to tire him out without too much effort. It’s also a low-impact physical activity ideal to exercise him even if he’s old, overweight, or suffers from joint problems.
As hunting dogs, Pointers love to spend time in the great outdoors. Thus, hiking and trekking can allow them to get some fresh air, have fun, and exercise. They have enough stamina, energy, and strength to follow you on pretty much any adventure.
Are German Shorthaired Pointers Good Off-Leash?
With proper training, almost any dog can be suitable for off-leash hiking or trail running. However, you should know that GSPs have very high prey drives.
That’s why you will have to work hard on their recall command and self-control skills to enjoy off-leash adventures safely. Even with precautions, their natural hunting instincts might be too strong to stop them from chasing wild animals.
Many other sports can be effective to tire out your German Shorthaired Pointer. If I had to write about every physical activity such an athletic dog breed is suitable for: This article would probably never end.
Thus, here’s a list of exercise ideas you should try to keep him healthy and happy!
- Urban Mushing. (Canicross, Bikejoring & Skijoring)
- Agility Training.
- Dock Diving.
Best Toys For GSPs.
Another simple way for your dog to burn off excess energy is with toys. Whether it’s to play games together or to tire him out as quickly as possible, there are options for everyone. Here are my 3 favorite dog toys to keep a German Shorthaired Pointer in good shape!
- Kong Flyer Disc. (To Play Frisbee)
- Squishy Flirt Pole. (To Tire Him Out)
- Wet Kong Wubba. (To Play In The Water)
Helping your dog to maintain an active lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simply find a tennis ball and throw him in your backyard for hours of entertainment and fun. Chasing and retrieving objects is an excellent way to exercise him.
Quick Tip: To step up your game of fetch, I highly recommend you invest in the ChuckIt Ball Launcher Kit. It’s the perfect accessory to make this activity more convenient and fun for everyone.
If you are looking for a rope, check out the Mammoth Flossy Chew Toy. As long as you play by the rules, tug-of-war can be very beneficial for your dog.
There are also many other games you can enjoy with your dog that don’t require any equipment. Tag, hide-and-seek, chasing bubbles, and playing with the hose are some exercise ideas anyone can try. Thus, the only things you need to entertain your GSP are free time and imagination.
What About Mental Exercise For Your GSP?
Physical activity is great for your dog’s health, but it won’t satisfy his mind. That’s why cognitive enrichment is also essential for him to be happy.
German Shorthaired Pointers are athletic and intelligent, so they have to be entertained both physically and mentally. Here are some of the best ways to provide them with proper mental stimulation.
Learning new skills is important to challenge your dog’s brain. He doesn’t go to school, so working on useful commands or cool tricks is one of the only ways you can educate him.
It’s also interesting to improve his obedience and provide him with mental exercise. GSPs are eager to please, smart, and want to have a job to do. Thus, they are generally open for regular training sessions.
On the other hand, Pointers can easily be distracted. That’s why it can be arduous to get and keep their attention when it’s time to train them.
Challenging Games & Toys.
Another great way to stimulate your dog mentally is to combine entertainment and fun. For example, the shell game is an excellent activity for mind enrichment, and it’s pleasant for both of you. Tug-of-war, hide-and-seek, and many other games are also good ideas to sharpen his brain.
For toys, my favorite options for German Shorthaired Pointers are the Nina Ottosson Brick Puzzle and the Kong Extreme. Letting them work for food with the Snuffle Mat or the Bob-A-Lot is also good for mental stimulation.
Other Mental Exercise Ideas.
To utilize your Pointer’s acute sense of smell you should consider introducing him to scent work and tracking. If you are not ready to get into this type of sport, you can also let him sniff moderately on walks.
Dog agility is another idea to combine training with physical activity. It will help you satisfy your GSP both mentally and physically. You can introduce him to this activity directly in your backyard by investing in this complete obstacle set!
Why Is Exercise So Important For Your German Shorthaired Pointer?
Stimulating your dog’s body and mind is essential to caring for his well-being. If you don’t entertain him enough, he will get bored. In this state, he’s very likely to develop destructive behaviors such as excessive chewing and digging.
Another risk of inactivity for your GSP is obesity. Even if such an energetic dog breed is generally very skinny, he might gain weight if you don’t provide him with proper exercise. Then, his poor physical conditions will make him more prone to other more harmful health problems.
Overall, physical activity and mental stimulation are the keys to keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Signs Your GSP Needs More Exercise!
- Boredom Symptoms.
- Destructive Behaviors. (Digging & Chewing)
- Difficulty To Focus.
- Excessive Barking.
- Restlessness or Hyperactivity.
- Unhealthy Weight.
Can You Over-Exercise Your German Shorthaired Pointer?
On the other hand, active people might wonder how much is too much. With such an athletic dog breed, the chances of your GSP getting tired before you are very low. However, too much exercise can still be as bad as not enough.
That’s why you have to find the right balance to benefit from physical activity without overdoing it. Anything over 2 hours per day might be excessive for most Pointers. Thus, you should make sure to respect your dog’s conditions and limits.
Signs Your GSP Is Getting Too Much Exercise!
- Excessive panting.
- Exercise-induced collapse.
- Extreme thirst.
- Decreased energy.
- Trouble breathing.
- Trouble walking or standing.
- Sore muscles.
- Damaged paw pads.
- Joint injury.
- Behavioral changes.
Last Thoughts About How Much Exercise Does Your German Shorthaired Pointer Need?
Your dog’s requirements to be in good shape will vary according to many factors. In general, most GSPs should be provided with at least one hour of exercise per day.
But their age, health conditions, and energy level can influence how much physical and mental activity they need. So I hope my article has helped you understand what you should do to care for your dog’s well-being.
Now it’s time to go out and do everything you need to keep him happy and healthy. With all the energy a German Shorthaired Pointer has, be ready to exercise a lot!
Good Workout & Have Fun!