The breed of dog with the complex name kurtshaar was bred in the 19th century. It is especially popular with hunters, as this dog is an excellent companion and assistant in the game corral.
The German Pointer is a hunting dog that was bred in Germany. The breeders wanted to get not only an outstanding sports and hunting breed, but also an animal with an attractive appearance and a talent for hunting. At the same time, the breed has a surprisingly submissive disposition, is well trained and not aggressive towards humans. The described breed was the result of crossing English, Spanish and German dogs., as a result, she adopted only the best features from them. English blood endowed animals with a sharp sense of smell and quick wit, the ability to quickly respond to the situation. It is these qualities that dogs are famous for in a country where hunting is considered a real art.
German breeders, after much work, were able to get an animal capable of hunting small and large game. This is a universal dog that will help bring home not only a black grouse, but also a deer. The animal perfectly performs the task in water and on land, can move quickly in dense vegetation.
He has well-developed natural instincts, if necessary, the kurtshaar is easy to train, during which the dog seeks to please his master, and not just complete the task.
When cynologists began to understand the pedigree of the breed, they came to the conclusion that kurtshaars existed in Germany for a long time. Based on the facts collected, it was possible to conclude that the ancestors of the described breed were brought to the country from the Mediterranean, where they, in turn, appeared from Asia. Interest in hunting breeds disappeared when a person got a firearm. Before that, the kurtshaars were kept by the nobility, since these dogs helped them hunt on their lands. Representatives of the species under consideration belonged to the cops, that is, those dogs that could look for not only birds, but also large animals in the thickets.
The ancestors of the kurtshaar were also cops. Today it is already known that the breed was the result of crossing the Spanish Pointer and Bracco Italiano. Initially, Bracco appeared in Germany. Then it was decided to cross the brought dog with the Hanoverian hound, from which modern kurtshaars inherited an attractive coat color of a coffee shade and not only. It is from the hound that the representatives of the described breed have natural hunting skills that allow them to catch game of any size.
Another breed, the Perdigero Burgos, also had a great influence on the kurtshaar. These animals were excellent bird hunters, namely partridges. In Germany, they appeared 3 centuries later than the first breed. After crossing the Pointer and the Bracco, the Old German Wurtenberg Hound appeared, which to this day is considered the closest ancestor of the Pointer.
Some breeders believe that many more varieties of dogs participated in the formation of the breed. Including:
- Weimar Hound;
- the Hungarian vyzsla;
- german hound.
In former times, the appearance of a dog was not considered the main indicator of the selection of breeds for crossing. Much more important were the qualities that the dogs demonstrated, since good hounds sometimes cost breeders more than Arabian horses. In the 18th century, due to widespread standardization, breeders began to pay more attention to stud books and develop general criteria for breeding local types of dogs. This is the same time when the Drathaar appeared – a breed that was the result of a mixture of the German Pointer Terrier and coarse-coated dogs. The shorthaired pointer needed a new name in order to be able to distinguish the dog from the smooth-haired pointer.
At the end of the 19th century, active work was carried out to create stud books, in the list of which the kurtshaar was included only in 1872. At the exhibitions one could see the first representatives of the breed, but these dogs played the role of service rather than hunting.
By order of the Hanoverian prince, a shorthaired pointer stud book appeared, where it was possible to find the necessary information about the breed.
The book gave the first detailed description of the appearance, habits, and abilities of such dogs. There was also a list of tasks that the animal could easily handle. Since that time, the dog has not changed at all in appearance, but the breed standard was fixed only in 1912. It was the blood connection with the pointers that endowed the animal with such positive qualities as high speed and a neat physique. Both had a positive effect during the hunt, since the kurtshaar can develop impressive speed even in thickets.
The animal was introduced to the United States in 1925. The first to introduce the breed was Charles Thornton, who was captivated by the appearance of the dog and its qualities. He was the first to start several individuals and began to breed them. Five years later, the kurtshaars were registered with the American Kennel Club. The animal gained great popularity in the twentieth century. Increasingly, one could meet dogs at exhibitions, after their photos began to appear in specialized magazines.
The history of the development of the breed was not so smooth in Europe, where, along with the Second World War, there was a danger of losing breeding individuals from breeders of kurtshaars. During the war, dogs were taken along with money and other valuables to Yugoslavia. Human greed almost caused the extinction of the breed. After the announcement of the Iron Curtain, breeders could not get access to good breeding animals and were forced to cross those who remained.
In 1948, these dogs were included in the category of gun dogs by the English Kennel Club, and only 20 years later they were recognized as one of the best in terms of hunting. In our century, kurtshaars take 16th place on the AKC list. They were able to appreciate the dignity of dogs in our country. Today, few people breed these dogs for hunting, more often these dogs are kept as a good and faithful friend, as hunting is slowly fading away.
The described dogs should be considered large, but, despite their size, they look elegant and have an athletic body. If you look closely, it is difficult not to notice the strong muscles of the animal, while moving, its steps seem light, airy, all due to the fact that the dog has excellent body control. In every movement, the nobility with which this dog was born is noticeable. There is a difference in height between male and female, but it is insignificant. According to the characteristics, the male should be from 62 to 66 centimeters at the withers, and the female – from 58 to 64 centimeters. There is an established indicator for the dimensions of the body. A male usually reaches a weight of 29-32 kilograms, and a female – 20-27 kilograms.
The head of a representative of this breed looks proportional to the existing body, with clear outlines. Its structure is a little dryish, has a wedge-shaped shape. The skull is made up of broad bones, so it looks rounded.
The occiput is not prominent, but there are well-defined superciliary ridges and a shallow forehead furrow.
The muzzle tapers towards the nose, and the skull is broad at the back of the head. In females, the shape of the muzzle is more pointed, but males have a hooked nose, which does not stand out much. Stop flattened. The nose can be black or dark brown, if it is a white dog, then it is beige. If there is marbled pigmentation on the muzzle, this is not considered a defect of the breed, it is acceptable by the standard. The ears are set high. They are at a great distance from each other, flat and hanging. The tips are not pointed, but round, reach the corners of the mouth. They are neither fleshy nor thin. In front they are adjacent to the muzzle, if the dog is calm, they bounce in an excited state.
The eyes of the dog are small, obliquely spaced, with tight-fitting eyelids. The cut is oval. If you peer into the iris, you can see dark brown pigmentation. Juveniles may have lighter eyes. The kurtshaar has a scissor bite, so the jaws of this hunting breed are very strong. The teeth are vertical, when both jaws are closed, they are tightly closed.
Representatives of this species can boast of a long neck that looks harmonious with the rest of the body. It is set at an angle of 40 degrees and slowly expands towards the shoulder blades. The nape is slightly convex, a slight curve towards the skull can be seen on it. There is no loose skin on the throat.
If you look at the back of a kurhaar, it’s hard not to notice a large amount of musculature, due to which the spine is almost impossible to feel, provided that the animal is well fed and healthy. The croup is long and sloping, the chest is well developed. The joints on the elbows are located at the level of the long sternum, an arch is formed under the ribs, at the bottom the line bends smoothly and passes into the stomach.
The tail is thick at the base, then narrows towards the end. It stands high, after birth it is cut off in half, so that it is more convenient for the dog to hunt and climb through the thickets. If the dog is calm, then the tail hangs when it runs, it is in a horizontal position. The front legs are parallel to the hind legs. The shoulder blades fit snugly to the chest, they are rather muscular. If we consider them together with the shoulders, then the forelimbs form an angle of 100 degrees.
In front of the animal, a dense skeleton is provided, the muscles are well developed. Paws are oval or round, at the ends there are pads and claws. The articular angles are strongly pronounced on the hind limbs. The hips of the dog are also muscular, widely spaced. The shorthaired pointer walks with a sweeping gait. The main load falls on the hind limbs, so the animal leans on them and pushes away, while the front ones simply throw it in front of it. Proud posture is maintained when running.
A purebred kurtshaar cannot have long hair. The hair evenly covers the entire body, the average length of the hairs is 1.5 mm. On the head and ears, the hair is slightly softer and shorter.
There are 6 officially accepted colors that are recorded by breeders:
- chocolate speck and white coat color;
- coffee shade with a little gray hair;
- speckled with a coffee tint;
- completely coffee;
- piebald and coffee;
- white with black.
Describing representatives of this breed, it is worth mentioning possible defects, which occur most often:
- incisors may be missing;
- lips sometimes too thick or thin;
- ears do not correspond to the size, may be shorter or longer;
- light pigmentation remains near the eyes, even when the puppy has grown;
- color completely white;
- chest too deep set;
- hunchback is visible;
- croup short;
- there is a clubfoot.
Individuals with some defects are rejected. These include curly hair, yellow or green iris, aggressiveness or cowardice of the dog. Also, breeders pay special attention to the teeth – they should not have a modified formula, undershot or overshot.
Short necks, poorly developed chests, square feet and cryptorchidism are also reasons for culling puppies.
Kurzhaars are unique – they are not only man’s best friends, but also great helpers during the hunt. These dogs quickly become attached to humans and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. The animal is ready to take part in any activity. Even if the owner will just sit and read a book, the dog will lie next to him. Some breeders never tire of reminding that such devotion of a dog becomes a problem for some, because if you leave it alone for a long period of time, then out of boredom the animal will begin to spoil furniture, shoes, just to keep itself busy with something. That is why busy people are not advised to opt for representatives of this breed.
If the animal is not in society for a long time, playing with other animals, going for a walk, this will lead to some problems in character and behavior. Dogs turn into cowardly animals, which is completely unusual for kurtshaars.
A shorthaired pointer may not accept a new member of the family for a long time. He will not show aggression towards a person, but will try to ignore him. It takes time for the dog to get used to it. The same applies to complete strangers who often appear in the house. There will come a time when the dog simply stops responding to such a guest as a threat. This is why kurtshaars are not very good guards. They can bark loudly, but rarely bite.
But if there is a choice between security and a true friend for the child, then this is an ideal option. This dog is ready to play all day long, frolic with the baby, being very patient with his pranks.
You should always remember that although the dog tries to behave as carefully as possible, it has great strength and can inadvertently push the child, so you should not leave them alone.
Other pets for the kurtshaar are also not a problem, unless it is a poorly socialized individual. Dogs of the breed in question do not seek to show their superiority and will not try to take the main place in the house. The only exception is when two males live together and growl at each other in an attempt to prove the right to the available territory.
If the dog is well-bred, then it can not be afraid to leave it with a cat or a smaller dog in a room alone. But rabbits, rats and other animals that the dog is used to hunting are not the best option for the neighborhood, although you can teach your pet to them from childhood. You must always remember that from time to time instincts laid down by nature appear in a dog, this also applies to hunting skills. Sometimes such small animals are perceived by them as a toy or prey.
Shorthaired Pointers are energetic and active, so they need daily exercise to be completely happy. It is advisable to spend several hours with them in the fresh air, choose a small clearing for a walk, where the dog can run and play enough. It is best to keep the kurtshaar not in an apartment, but in a private house and be sure to take it with you to the forest. A restrictive leash is not the best solution for a walk, the dog will not get any pleasure from such a walk workout.
It is not necessary to keep the animal in the house, they can withstand bad weather very well and can do well in a warm booth if they are provided with a regular balanced diet. The opportunity to run around the property at any time gives the dog frantic pleasure, so chaining the dog is not worth it.
If you limit her freedom, then you can harm the psyche of the animal. As a result, the pet will show unbalanced behavior. In this case, health also suffers.
If you leave the dog in the yard unattended, then be sure to close all possible manholes, since representatives of this breed love to run away from control. As soon as the animal smells the game, it will not be too lazy to find its source, in this case, even a good fence does not always stop the dog, which can quickly dig itself or simply jump over the barrier.
Even if the area is well fenced, it doesn’t cost anything for the dog to develop his own escape plan., which he must implement at the first opportunity. Of course, the dog will return home having walked, but it is better to avoid such situations.
When a person chooses a friend, assistant and partner in the form of a dog, he is always interested in how long the animal can live. As for kurtshaars, on average they live up to 14 years. The main condition for their long life expectancy is high-quality nutrition, constant exercise, care and a visit to the veterinarian.
Food plays a huge role in the life of an animal. If it is not balanced, consisting of quality ingredients, then the kurtshaar will begin to suffer from some of the diseases inherent in large breeds. Therefore, their food should be rich not only in proteins, but also in vitamins and minerals. The activity of the dog also affects the duration of his life.
Dogs that regularly have the opportunity to walk in the fresh air live longer than those kept in the apartment.
What to feed?
The kurtshaar must have cereals in the diet. Porridges should be cooked in meat broth, but pearl barley should not be given to them. In any feed, salt should be absent, since it does not bring any benefit, the animal can do just fine without it. If it seems that the food is too bland, then you can add carrots, pumpkins or even zucchini to it.from which there are more benefits due to the content of not only fiber, but also vitamins and microelements.
If you want your dog to be healthy, then you should not give her grapes and raisins – they have a bad effect on the intestines, causing increased gas formation. It is also worth excluding any kind of fruits with bones, chicken bones, since they can stick into the esophagus and stomach of the dog when chewed.
A bad addition to the diet will be yeast dough, onions and garlic. The list of non-recommended foods also includes raw eggs, fatty meats and minced meat. River fish is also not suitable for kurtshaars, as are sweets. Although some dogs love chocolate, it is extremely unhealthy for them. Until the puppy is 6 months old, he needs to be fed about 5 times a day, but portions should be strictly limited. After food is given only three times, but the dog should always have access to clean water.
If ready-made dry food or canned food is purchased, then all attention should be paid to the composition, in which preservatives, dyes, flavors must be absent. A bad product will contain corn and offal. The good ones use rice and natural meat. The amount of protein in it should be at least 40%. Among other things, it is desirable that the manufacturer take care of the mineral and vitamin supplement of the feed.
How to care?
Regular grooming is not required for the dog, as it belongs to the short-haired breeds. In order for the animal to feel good, it is necessary for the owner to comb out the old wool every few weeks. A massage mitt or brush with bristles is ideal for this. If the dog begins to shed, then you can carry out the procedure more often so that his hair does not remain on upholstered furniture and carpet.
Bathing your pet is not necessary often, you can once a month or even less often when the need arises. Keeping a dog in the bath is not so easy, so if you teach him to the procedure, then from early childhood. You need to understand that if you repeat such hair care too often, then it can become dull, as the natural protective layer of subcutaneous fat is washed out.
All cosmetics must be specialized. You can not use shampoos familiar to humans to wash a dog.
After the dog is bathed, the windows in the house should be closed to exclude drafts. Often the animal catches a cold if this advice is neglected.
Not only the coat requires care, but also the ears of the animal, inside which dirt often accumulates. They must be kept clean and dry for the animal to feel good. It is enough to take a cotton pad or stick to remove the dirt, without having to clean too deeply. As an aid in pet stores, special ear solutions are sold at an affordable price. To avoid infectious diseases in a dog that often walks on the street, cleaning the ears is required every day.
If the pet’s eyes began to water, and dirt appeared in the corners, you need to wipe them with a cotton swab dipped in strong tea leaves. If there are serious problems, you should contact your veterinarian. As for the claws, they grind off naturally if the dog leads an active lifestyle. If the dog is kept in the apartment, then you will need to buy an additional nail cutter. Too long nails in a dog will cause him discomfort, so the sharp edges need to be cut off, and the pads on the paws should be greased regularly with oil.
Particular attention should be paid to the oral cavity and teeth, which need to be cleaned every 2 weeks. To do this, in the pet store you can buy not only a brush, but also a special paste. When a dog is accustomed to grazing hygiene from a young age, there are no problems with cleaning it.
Training a kurtshaar at home is a complex process, but if you approach it correctly, you can raise the animal correctly. It is worth noting that kurtshaars are good students and are considered one of the smartest breeds. It is easy to train them, the main thing is to follow the rules developed by specialists. You need to start training your dog as early as possible. After getting to know the puppy, you will first need to establish contact and trust with him. He should learn as much as possible about the world around him, get acquainted with unfamiliar smells around, other animals in the house, explore the area. With the right approach, the animal will grow up balanced, fearless and will obey the owner.
In the process of training, it is worth adhering to the principle from simple to complex, then the dog will understand what they want from him. First, start with the simplest commands, then smoothly move on to more complex ones.
Each time you will need to repeat the material covered, because at first the dog may forget the commands.
To achieve a result, you need to show the kurtshaar who is the boss and leader in the house, the only way the dog can be forced to do something. They rarely show stubbornness, but they like to obey those from whom they feel strength. Because this breed is a hunting breed, its representatives during the training process can be distracted by extraneous smells, sounds, and this inattention will interfere until the person establishes his leadership position.
Every day you will need to come up with new tasks for the dog and change the tactics of training. If you focus on monotony, then the dog will soon get bored with training and refuse to perceive the information. You need to imagine that you are working with a child who should be constantly interested. It is better to prepare in advance or look at the network a set of exercises, which then change after a certain period of time. The pet should manifest itself not only physically, but also mentally – representatives of the described breed like logical puzzles no less. When a dog is trained specifically for hunting, most of the standard teams are replaced with steeplechase, that is, they teach him to be hardy, to overcome obstacles without slowing down. A treat is given to a dog only after it has earned it.
Numerous owners and breeders single out strong immunity from the positive qualities of this breed, so there are not many problems with kurtshaars in the process of keeping them. However, there are several diseases that are most often detected in representatives of this species. Among them are ear infections. Often the sink remains closed, so it is poorly ventilated, bacteria multiply in it. Like all large dogs, kurtshaars have to deal with joint dysplasia and a lack of iodine in the body. Also among the most common diseases they have are volvulus, eye problems, epileptic seizures and arthritis.
If we talk about ailments that are transmitted genetically, then there are few of them. Of great concern to breeders is von Willebrand’s disease, which is associated with blood. You must always remember that these dogs cannot stand being alone, and if they have nowhere to spend energy, then home interior items are used, namely upholstered furniture, pillows. Very often, the owner’s shoes also suffer from this feature of the character of the dog.
In the next video, interesting facts about the Kurzhaar dog breed are waiting for you.