German Longhairs’ and Deutsch Langhaars’ sleek appearance and superb hunting
traits are gaining notice from upland bird hunters and waterfowlers alike.
This series of Project Upland hunting dog breed profiles focuses on the hunting characteristics that set one breed apart from another, understanding that within a breed individual dogs may vary in temperament, conformation, instincts and abilities.
Original purpose of the German Longhaired Pointer
Much to the surprise of many German pointing dog owners, the German longhaired pointer came before the German wirehair and shorthair. As with many other continental breeds, the longhair was first bred to flush game for falconers and net hunters, but quickly transformed into a field pointer when firearms entered the picture. The breed’s standard was formalized in the late 1800s, embracing a strong drive for all aspects of hunting versatility including tracking and water work.
color and quality have dictated important aspects of the breed’s identity and
popularity. Way back in Germany, longhaired pointer coats could be brown, black
or combinations of either with white. Believing the brown to provide better camouflage
while hunting big game and a general belief that it was more attractive than
black, designers of the official breed standard excluded longhairs with black
coats. (Subsequently, the black breeding lines formed the large Munsterlander
breed.) Coat quality initially played a role in the longhairs’ lack of
popularity in the U.S. where the resistance and density of the wirehair and
shorthair coats were preferred. Nonetheless, a good longhair coat that lays flat
but has a thorough undercoat holds up fine in the water or in thorny brush.
Hunting style and temperament of the German Longhaired Pointer
many people believe the Deutsch Langhaar (DL) and German longhaired pointer
(GLP) are separate breeds. Owners of DLs generally do not refer to their dogs
as GLPs. On the other hand, most GLP owners feel they are they same breed and
use both names. Because GLPs cannot be bred in the Deutsch Langhaar Verband
program, the lineages of the dogs continue to diverge.
Both the DL and GLP are strong gun dogs, with excellent skills before and after the shot. Staunch pointers with flowing lines, they work at a moderate range and speed. Noted for a stable temperament, DLs and GLPs are known for a strong physical presence yet calm demeanor and stable temperament. Those bred under the German breeding and testing system vocalize on track more than their American counterparts and may be more protective.
Bird Hunting Traits Important to Hunters
23-27” in height, average 60-70 lbs.
The coat should be tight and smooth or
just slightly wavy with longer hair only on the neck and chest. The tail is
feathered. Brown, brown and white, and roan are all acceptable. Coat density
varies; a dense undercoat is important for waterfowling and thick upland cover.
Early point, easy to train, but a bit
softer upon correction than German wirehairs or shorthairs.
There are no specific congenital health
issues associated with the breed.
Finding a Good Breeder
The relative lack of popularity in the U.S. has kept the German longhairs strong in hunting instincts and traits. Breeders can be found through the Deutsch Langhaar – Gruppe Nordamerika or German Longhaired Pointer Club of America.
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