What is a Kurzhaar really? Is he any different from a German
The English translation for "Deutsch Kurzhaar" is German Shorthair. In many English speaking countries he is known as the German Shorthaired Pointer. So the difference isn’t as simple as a name. The basic difference is in the registry used to register the dog. A Kurzhaar must be registered with the DKV in Germany no matter what country he lives in. If a dog is registered with the DKV, then the German rules and standards for breeding apply. There are many other dog registries around the world that recognize the Kurzhaar as a breed, usually as the German Shorthaired Pointer. However, these registries have chosen to adopt their own breed standards and either have different breeding requirements or no requirements at all. Because this allows the possibility of dogs being bred that have not proven themselves in the field or that may pass on genetic defects or faults, these registries are not recognized by the DKV.
What are all these breeding requirements about? Well, it begins at birth. Each litter of Kurzhaar puppies is examined by a Breed Warden shortly after birth for any congenital defects or problems and they are given an official tattoo in their right ears that indicates their DKV registration number. If the puppies are born outside of Germany, an official appointed and approved by the Breed Warden who acts on his behalf does the tattooing.
One thing that sets the Kurzhaar apart from many other breeds is that just because he has his registration number now, doesn’t mean that he is eligible to be bred in the DKV. He has to prove himself yet in order to gain that privilege. Every Kurzhaar that is bred in the DKV has passed a certain level of field tests proving his ability as a versatile hunter. In addition, he has been examined for the quality of his form, and has at least a "good" conformation rating as determined by a panel of judges. He also does not have any serious bite, eye or any other genetic problems. And finally, he has been tested to make sure that he does not have hip dysplasia. All of these requirements help to ensure that the Kurzhaar remains a wonderful versatile dog while minimizing genetic problems that can wreck havoc on a breed if perpetuated by careless breeding practices.
B. Salvati, DVM, MS, Dipl ACT