German Longhaired Pointers are a large gundog that was bred in Germany to hunt, find, “point to” and retrieve game. Whether it be feathered waterfowl like duck or furred gamed like rabbits, they are known for being intelligent, versatile and loyal hunting companions.
They also make great family dog given their gentle, friendly nature. And they do shed, but not much. Like most Pointers, the molting is minimal and they’re fairly easy to groom.
Shedding overview: German Longhaired Pointers (GLPs) have a long outer coat and thick undercoat that sheds lightly throughout most of the year. However, they do tend to shed more heavily during spring and fall, so you may need to brush more often during these seasons to keep the hair off of your furniture.
Read on to learn more about GLP shedding, what it takes to maintain their coat, and some of the best ways to reduce the amount of hair they leave floating around the home.
Guide to German Longhaired Pointer Shedding
German Longhaired Pointers shed lightly throughout most of the year, but heavier during spring and fall as they blow coat. So, overall, they are considered a low-to-moderate shedding breed.
But because of their long, double coat, they tend to shed a little more than these breeds, twice per year, as they blow their coat. Which ultimately puts them closer to the Small Munsterlander Pointer and German Wirehaired Pointer in terms of shedding.
Blowing coat seasonally is common in dogs with a thick double coat. All that is happening is the GLP is losing his winter coat (typically during spring) because he doesn’t need it for summer. And likewise, he molts his summer coat in (normally in fall) to make way for his winter coat.
So if you notice an uptick in shedding during these times, it is normally due to seasonal shedding. And thankfully, it’s nowhere near as noticeable in a GLP as with dogs like the Malamute or Leonberger. It’s also fairly easy to get under control with a proper brushing and grooming regime.
With that being said, dogs can shed excessively if their diet isn’t ideal, they are pregnant or lactating, stressed, have fleas… and the list goes on. This is less common and even perfectly healthy dogs can molt heavily, just because some breeds shed more than others. But if you are concerned, then it may be worth contacting your local veterinarian.
Are GLPs Hypoallergenic?
No. German Shorthaired Pointers are not a hypoallergenic breed of dog, which means they’re not the most suitable dog for allergy sufferers. But the truth is, no dog is ever 100% hypoallergenic. Not even hairless dogs that shed nothing at all.
And the reason for this is because the hair itself doesn’t cause allergies to dogs, it’s mostly their dander (dead flaking skin) which attaches itself to the dog’s hair.
So, generally speaking, the more a dog sheds, the more they will spread these allergens, and the less suitable they are for people who want a non-allergenic dog.
German Longhairs are far from the most allergenic dog out there. In fact, they are among the better breeds in this respect. But there are more suitable breeds, like the Poodle or Italian Greyhound for example, worth considering if allergies are a concern.
What Are German Longhairs Like to Groom?
Grooming your GLP isn’t difficult, like most pointing dogs, they’re fairly low maintenance.
However, compared to the German Shorthaired Pointer, there is more time and effort involved in maintaining their coat, simply because of the length of it.
German Longhairs have a double coat, which means instead of having one layer of fur, they have two. Their outer coat is made up of coarse, firm and slightly wavy hair that is normally brown or white in color, with markings similar to a GSP. And their undercoat is dense and soft.
Given the overall length of their coat, and the fact that it’s longer in places such as their ears, they tend to get knots and mats which will need to be removed by brushing or carefully trimming them out.
You should never shave him completely though. Like most double coated breeds, they need their undercoat as it protects them from harsh weather conditions (hot and cold) and things like sunburn. Which is especially important for hunting dogs that are outside a lot.
In any case, brushing and bathing are among the most effective ways to maintain his coat and keep shedding to a minimum.
When it comes to maintaining his coat, brushing once per week with a pin brush and metal comb should do the trick. However, more care will be needed to remove any mats and tangles he may have accumulated after playing outside.
And during shedding season, you may want to brush more often to keep as much hair as possible out of your home. During this time it may also be worth using an undercoat rake or similar. Because these are designed to reach down to, and remove, more loose undercoat fur than a pin brush.
It’s a similar story when it comes to bathing. He doesn’t need to be bathed very often, but bathing during shedding season can make a big difference. Not only can this help you remove more loose hair during bath time, but it can boost the effectiveness of a subsequent brushing session. Just be sure to use a good quality dog shampoo that doesn’t dry out his skin and hair.
All in all, German Longhairs don’t shed lots of hair and it’s fairly easy to maintain their coat. So, whether you’re looking for a highly intelligent, versatile hunting companion, or a friendly, family-oriented dog, GLPs fit the bill.
German Shorthairs are lower shedding and easier to maintain though, which would help explain why they’re more popular, so if you’re looking for an alternative, consider the GSP.