German Shorthaired Pointer Questions

RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
Hi Team,

Request for all those GSP officionados out there. I've finally persuaded the Mrs that 2016 is the year for a new puppy and we've agreed upon a German Shorthaired Pointer on the basis that it's a breed she loves and I'm a regular stalker and game shot so it should be good for both activities.

With that in mind, I thought I'd reach out to you all for suggestions with regards the following questions:

1. Any suggestions for great breeders of working pointers?

2. We'd like some help with training but don't want to send it away for too long at a time. So any suggestions for working dog trainers that'll take us and the dog on for week-long (or long weekend) sessions every four to six months? The aim is that each trip is an intense booster session for the dog and make sure that me and the Mrs are consistent in the way we communicate with the dog.

Thanks for your help everyone!

Jack
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Sure they're will be other decent trainers down there but u won't go far wrong speakig to Rory Major at Bryanscroft, 1 of the top trainers in the country.
Think quite a big HPR scene down the south sort of area with a few FT clubs.Get urself along to a test/trial and watch the dogs work speak t the breeders/trainers, althou sometimes a FT bred dog is not always the best can be a bit fast/ 'hot' prob better with a slower stalker type bred dog.

Not going to say much other than all HPR breeds look far ebtter on paper than they are in the field, yes it should be a perfect choice for u, but in all honsetey (esp if ur a 1st time gundog trainer) u might be beter with a Lab, not always easy to train to a high standard, esp for game shooting and even more so if a peg dog.

It can be done and ur doing the right thing getting pro help early but depending on the individual dog it could be a lot of hard work.
Also depends wot sort of standard u want to get ur dog too?
 

RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
Thanks! Really helpful. Stalking job probably more important than shooting, so will take your advice on temperament and breeding.

Thanks!
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Give Rory a bell he'll give u fairly impartial honest avice, not sure wot he is actually breeding the now, used to be wires but he stopped breeding them a few years ago to get some new blood lines in, never heard if hes started again.
He'll be able to put u onto breeders etc, but u might be better with a dog bred off here by stalkers, some FT folk want there dogs to be fast and hunt hard and rangey not really wot ur looking for i don't think.

U may find a decent bred lab would do all u need and be easier to live with train than a GSP
 

RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
Thanks! That's a good point actually - anyone on here got or know of a GSP that's mainly a stalking companion but can also do a bit on game birds?

As for the lab suggestion - I think you're probably right but the breed decision isn't mine alone. Mrs is in love with the idea of a GSP, which is fair enough - they're gorgeous dogs.
 

mereside

Well-Known Member
I know quite a few who use a gsp for deer and my personal thoughts are get the dog rock steady on deer before you think about doing anything with birds but you still have a huge risk that it will have such a strong drive for birds that will overtake the want to be a deer dog, I know plenty that go this way some are lucky and will do both properly some can't. I spent so much time with my pointer on deer he was very good, very bold with roe and was fearless.
the moment I started to train him on birds he just lived to point and flush birds and never looked back. Training for a deer dog is simple really with a few basics to work on to get the best from them, I would say train yourself with some help the bond will be strong with you both, think what you want from a dog and go from there, a few guys on here will also help owning and using them, Atb Wayne
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Love them ,but they are not the easiest to train slow to mature,great big pups until they are about 18 months,I don't do anything apart from basic obedience until they are that age , really find that they are into their third year
before they come good so don't expect an instant gun dog.

Wanting one for deer and game is quite a big ask, it can be done though if that's what you want start it on deer
and don't work it on game until the deer aspect is just right.

They are pointers not peg dogs so really a rough shooting dog not the ideal dog for either picking up or in the beating line though they can do both , an older well trained dog will adapt to these jobs, though you will more than likely waste a youngster trying to do them,the sheer numbers of birds on a flush point will blow his or her young mind.

Like any breed you will find good ones and bad ones and with the right training they can be brilliant, but expect tears and tantrums before you reach that stage , and thats from the trainer , :rofl:as said a well trained one is a joy a badly trained one is a monster.

Rather than ask if a GSP is the right dog for you ask yourself if you are the right person to own a GSP
 

McKenzie

Well-Known Member
Love them ,but they are not the easiest to train slow to mature,great big pups until they are about 18 months,I don't do anything apart from basic obedience until they are that age , really find that they are into their third year
before they come good so don't expect an instant gun dog.

Wanting one for deer and game is quite a big ask, it can be done though if that's what you want start it on deer
and don't work it on game until the deer aspect is just right.

They are pointers not peg dogs so really a rough shooting dog not the ideal dog for either picking up or in the beating line though they can do both , an older well trained dog will adapt to these jobs, though you will more than likely waste a youngster trying to do them,the sheer numbers of birds on a flush point will blow his or her young mind.

Like any breed you will find good ones and bad ones and with the right training they can be brilliant, but expect tears and tantrums before you reach that stage , and thats from the trainer , :rofl:as said a well trained one is a joy a badly trained one is a monster.

Rather than ask if a GSP is the right dog for you ask yourself if you are the right person to own a GSP


Sound advice above; the dogs come in a considerable range of temperaments & levels of willingness to please. I've had 3, two of them were brilliant, (if hard-headed) rough-shooting dogs with pace & range but it was more trouble than it was worth to try to get them to walk to heel quietly for deer stalking; you almost had to crush their spirit & joie de vivre to make them walk to heel & you could see they hated it.

My 3rd & current one worked as a bird dog until she was about 7 and now spends more time stalking with me than shooting; she is very biddable & desperate to please & to be with me & walks to heel just about perfectly & seems to understand what's required of her depending on whether I'm carrying a shotgun or rifle. No issues about doing the bird training first, apart from the occasional point on a pheasant when we're stalking.

Choose a soft, quiet bitch for your first one & make sure it's from working rather than show stock!

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RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
This is all great food for thought.... Despite being adamant about a GSP (and not being keen on labs) I suspect the Mrs could be pursuaded by a Hungarian Vizla. Is that a better solution for a dog that I primarily want for walking to heel as I stalk but would also like to take shooting with me, or am I jumping out of frying pan and in to the fire ...!?

Really appreciating all your thoughts here guys. J
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Wot type of game shooting do u do? And how much?

Any of the hpr breeds are capable of doing both with the right training but u might find it easier just to train to deer if u don't really need a gundog as u have obviously coped up til now. Hpr breeds are breed to be active and hunting, so while they will happily sit under a high seat quietly its a very different thing to ask an hpr to sit on a peg quietly with gunshots going of and birds falling everywhere, often start to whine. Generally not that quietiest of dogs full stop if u live in a town
Just so much variation in temperments within the breeds it's hard to advise.

I always think if ur not using a hpr to point ur far better of with a lab, there was another recent thread on here were a few folk changed from labs to hpr's but spent the whole time wishing they had their good old reliable lab back.
 

RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
Hi - thanks for this .... Definitely some consistent feedback here!!

So, to elaborate on the situation. Stalking is all lowland woodland stalking for fallow, muntjac and roe. I stalk most weeks and cull about 50 beasts a year. It's definitely my main activity and the ideal dog would walk happily to heel and would indicate when it scents a beast because (particularly with the muntjac) I often end-up spooking them before I see them.

I'm also a member of a fairly casual shooting syndicate and shoot 6 days a season with a bag of about 100 birds. We have a great team of dedicated pickers-up but it would be nice for the dog to accompany me on these days even if only to retrieve the occasional bird but I'm now concerned about this job confusing him and ruining him as a stalking companion .... Hmmmm .... Tricky!

Any more thoughts, feedback or suggestions of people to talk to ...?

J
 

cookingfat

Well-Known Member
Hi Jack,

sorry i I missed your call earlier but have been a busy day,
i can't really add to much to what has been said as its all good advice.
i will try and ring you tomorrow.

Tony
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
So, I have kept and trained GSPs for some years and I was fortuneate to know some great dog men before that.
Here is py tupence worth: Firstlt GSPs are slow to mature as already said and most are spoilt by early training and entering.
Once the dog is mature I always train for birds first and deer second not the other way round, Deer training is easier if the dog has already slowed up a bit 3years +, doing it that way round I have never had problems.
I have owned five different strains of GSP and all made good all round dogs, not let me down on Peg, Field, Moor or Deer.
If you find someone who breeds for falconry work, get one as they tend to be steady.
Just my thoughts.
 

RuralLondoner

Well-Known Member
So, I have kept and trained GSPs for some years and I was fortuneate to know some great dog men before that.
Here is py tupence worth: Firstlt GSPs are slow to mature as already said and most are spoilt by early training and entering.
Once the dog is mature I always train for birds first and deer second not the other way round, Deer training is easier if the dog has already slowed up a bit 3years +, doing it that way round I have never had problems.
I have owned five different strains of GSP and all made good all round dogs, not let me down on Peg, Field, Moor or Deer.
If you find someone who breeds for falconry work, get one as they tend to be steady.
Just my thoughts.

Really helpful - many thanks!
 

Tackleberry270

Well-Known Member
Watching with interest. Have been to look at a few GSPs. If leaving training for 3 years or even half that amount , how do you dissuade from chasing deer without giving them the wrong message in the meantime?
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
Watching with interest. Have been to look at a few GSPs. If leaving training for 3 years or even half that amount , how do you dissuade from chasing deer without giving them the wrong message in the meantime?
So, again my theory, the natural instinct of all canines is to chase and kill deer, I have owned and trained Terriers, Lurchers, Various Gundogs inc HPRs, Shepherd Dogs and Collies, all barring none would chase deer given chance.
Now what I dont want them to do is chase deer, so they are trained not to chase them, exactly the same as they dont chase rabbits, hares etc.
That does not mean that they dont have an interest in them, to do that they would be broken to those animals.
They are trained to hunt birds, then rabbits and finaly when they are rock solid I take them stalking.
My dogs Point deer in a completely different manner to birds or rabbits, but they track them the same as any animal.
If they come across an injured deer and it runs, they have sense to get hold, a young dog that hadnt settled/ matured call it what you will, will chase the first one, become wedded to doing so at every available occasion and become an gsp cousing hound, something that is very difficult to stop whilst retaining a useful stalking dog.
I dont think its easy to train a GSP properly, thats why there ARE a lot of ruined dogs about, but if trained properly they are brillient.
I used to watch masters like our own Derry Argue and some German trainers to get ideas on how to succeed in my own training, you can try the same or read books by people who ACTUALY work their dogs and check on that point.
I am not saying all dogs need to be left until they are 3 years of age before Deer training, but I havnt owned a GSP that was mature enough before that age! other dogs mature earlier.
 

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