GWP advice from those into the breed

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Shabz

Well-Known Member
I’ve just started throwing some dummies about for my pup. She’s only five months old and I’m mighty impressed with her steadiness. She’ll sit for a good 3 or 4 minutes waiting for the fetch command. She’s taking directions, stop whistle is pretty good and her recall is the best I’ve seen in any of my dogs over the years. She’s way better than I thought she would ever be after just a couple of sessions.

When you’re done though, see trying to get her back in the car to go home. She absolutely refuses. It must have taken 15 minutes to get her in the car last night. At some point I must have upset her putting her in there and now she doesn’t trust getting in. I’ll sort it out but it’ll take me a couple of weeks. These are the issues, in my experience, that you get with GWPs. They’re pretty clever dogs and they soon work out your weaknesses and ways around your rules in a way that a Lab never will. You need to be on your game with them. Being heavy handed with them doesn’t work either, they just avoid you and you end up with a whole different set of issues. The only easy way to a well trained GWP is to be a well trained and consistent handler. When you’re inconsistent, they’ll punish you for it. I know I get a fair amount of punishment!

I’m pretty sure that, because I did my homework like the OP here is doing theirs. I got the right pup and it isn’t a headbanger like some of them. I’ve seen enough GWPs now to know the importance of the breeding. My older dog is (used to be, she’s retired now) very aggressive when she needs to be and completely placid for the rest of the time but I’ve seen lots of dogs that just want to kill everything. They’re just permanently flirting with the line of kill mode. One of my pals had one that killed all of his four terriers. I would hate to own a dog like this with the intelligence of my pup. I don’t think I would be able to manage it.
 

Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
I’ve just started throwing some dummies about for my pup. She’s only five months old and I’m mighty impressed with her steadiness. She’ll sit for a good 3 or 4 minutes waiting for the fetch command. She’s taking directions, stop whistle is pretty good and her recall is the best I’ve seen in any of my dogs over the years. She’s way better than I thought she would ever be after just a couple of sessions.

When you’re done though, see trying to get her back in the car to go home. She absolutely refuses. It must have taken 15 minutes to get her in the car last night. At some point I must have upset her putting her in there and now she doesn’t trust getting in. I’ll sort it out but it’ll take me a couple of weeks. These are the issues, in my experience, that you get with GWPs. They’re pretty clever dogs and they soon work out your weaknesses and ways around your rules in a way that a Lab never will. You need to be on your game with them. Being heavy handed with them doesn’t work either, they just avoid you and you end up with a whole different set of issues. The only easy way to a well trained GWP is to be a well trained and consistent handler. When you’re inconsistent, they’ll punish you for it. I know I get a fair amount of punishment!

I’m pretty sure that, because I did my homework like the OP here is doing theirs. I got the right pup and it isn’t a headbanger like some of them. I’ve seen enough GWPs now to know the importance of the breeding. My older dog is (used to be, she’s retired now) very aggressive when she needs to be and completely placid for the rest of the time but I’ve seen lots of dogs that just want to kill everything. They’re just permanently flirting with the line of kill mode. One of my pals had one that killed all of his four terriers. I would hate to own a dog like this with the intelligence of my pup. I don’t think I would be able to manage it.
It seems that a few German breeds from German lines have that mix of willfulness/tenacity mixed with sensitivity. Many can also flip, when the red mist comes down, with serious results.
 

Shabz

Well-Known Member
It seems that a few German breeds from German lines have that mix of willfulness/tenacity mixed with sensitivity. Many can also flip, when the red mist comes down, with serious results.

The dogs that I’ve met that are like this are quite clearly a bit tapped. It doesn’t take long to recognise them. They usually have an owner who becomes nervous when you’re around the dog. It may be that most of the dogs that I’ve met are worked on deer but I think I’ve probably seen more dogs that I wouldn’t own than ones that I would. There’s no doubting that they’re good dogs on deer. Crazy prey drive and large stags are no issue to them, but for me, it’s not worth the hassle of having one in my house. Trouble is, most of the folk that own them like these traits and breed them for themselves and their pals and then sell the remaining ones on. Hopefully to working homes but let’s face it, a ‘working’ home can mean anything from two days rabbiting with the dog in the back of the car to full time on a grouse moor or stalking daily.
 

dunwater

Well-Known Member
This isn’t meant as a criticism of the breed but you shouldn’t need a dog thats capable of pulling stuff down more than a couple of times a decade. If you do, and youre not a pro, you need to seriously evaluate your abilities.
I use my dogs primarily for bird shooting, when deer hunting they‘ll indicate live game and find carcasses. I don't expect them to follow old cold scent trails, the need arises so seldom its just not worth the effort to train for it but your needs may vary.
A dedicated deer dog is very much a specialists tool, unless you’re a professional most of us will be perfectly happy with a Jack of all trades and it could take you several life times of stalking before you’d actually needed something more even once.
HPR’s are versatile gun dogs, they can pretty much all do it all, but some breeds are more suited to particular applications than others.
Choose wisely and you’ll reap the rewards.
 

Siggy

Well-Known Member
It seems that a few German breeds from German lines have that mix of willfulness/tenacity mixed with sensitivity. Many can also flip, when the red mist comes down, with serious results.
I agree that Germans have bred their dogs - Jagdterriers, Teckels and Drahthaars to be active hunting companions which need a certain amount of drive to tackle everything from wildfowl to boar (where as us Brits historically, have different breeds for each role). For some of the roles the dogs need to be able to work on their own recognisance - e.g. look the duck search in the breed test. But for "flipping" some of the worst offenders are the good old cocker and springer spaniels which have canine rage syndrome

Although, that said, I'd rather have to deal with a psychopathic cocker than an irate 30 kilo GWP!
 

GeoffWood

Well-Known Member
I have had GWPs since the 1980s.
My first was by a German import dog out of a UK/American bitch. She was a good dog but a bit too "sharp" for a first GWP. At the time, there were a fair few dogs that showed a bit too much drive rather than desire to please.
My second bitch was by Danish Ambassador and a different personality from my first, very biddable and much more reliable. My subsequent bitches including my current have avoided strong German lines. My main requirement of my dog thes days is a reliable companion for my walks, birdwatching and beating as I no longer shoot.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
I’m going to disagree with your conclusion that a history of FT awards can be a disadvantage ( no surprises there).
An FT award, under either KC or IKC rules is a strong indicator that the dog is both biddable and has a high drive.
In both cases, FT’s are designed to simulate a typical rough shooting day. Dogs that are out of control, noisy, aggressive, hard mouthed, fail to indicate game or pass game are eliminated.
Which is pretty much as you’d expect and similar to the rules for Labs and Springers
Continental HPR trials are run under very different rules, but would still indicate that the dog was biddable and had drive, but some of the tests involve the dog hunting and killing vermin which doesn’t tend to result in a soft mouthed hound, they also seem turn a deaf ear to the odd whine or yelp, again, not something encouraged here.
I’d very much agree with you that GWP’s are not for the novice or the faint of heart, a fabulous tool in the right hands but a potentially expensive nightmare for the unprepared.
The breed is very much in fashion at the minute, at least it is over here, and a lot of handlers that would be much better off with something a bit less full on are dabbling, particularly during lockdown.
I think the GWP rescue societies may have a lot of pups on their hands before Christmas.

I dont know which Hpr Ft uve went to, but id say they're nothing like a typical rough shooting day I've ever been too, and I used to run a rough shoot, which is ideal for pointers.
They are a fairly good version of a proper shot over day thou, but very few folk are lucky enough to shoot like that in uk

Some of these better Ft dogs will be quartering at 100 or even 150+ m in both directions.
And those will be the dogs winning awards, if anything ud be better of using a poor FT dog if it hasn't too many eliminating faults but a crap/slow hunter, would be a better bet for a normal shooting dog


I would bet 80 or even 90% of gwp or even hpr are never ran/worked the way they were bred for, quartering at distance, running hard in wide open spaces actually pointing and holding game.

Ur average working dog will probably spend more time as a pet than working, and even then working will spend more time walking to heel than anything else so I really can't see by breeding it ith a dog that will cover 150m in the blink of an eye is really beneficial.

I'm not saying u should be breeding from crap but surely it's not that hard to assess a dog without needing h help off an A panel judge.

In my opinion u will get better pups breeding 2 dogs doing exactly wot u want them do well.
Many working shepherds say very hard to find proper decent working collies now as the 1 man and dog crew have spoiled many lines.
And the better dogs are just bred good worker X good worker.

I have a young gwp bitch the now, who if she continues to improve I may think about taking pups of her, despite knowing a couple of folk with ftch I'm going to have to think carefully wot I want from the pups.
Either X to a Ftch, supposedly better bred, chances are a big variation in litter characters and run the risk of some being head strong or go with a decent working dog I've seen work and I like, get a nice even litter a decent workers and easily handled.
Got plenty of time to think on it.
But as I said in my previous post, if I had a horse I wanted to breed for just riding about no one would choose a through bred racing sire for it.
 

Jon P

Well-Known Member
I have had a few GWP, currently have two, 10 yrs old very calm, work with hawk and half decent deer dog but does have her moments, and a psychotic 11 month old, used mainly on deer. Keeping GWP is like having a long game of Chess ♟, always trying to stay one step ahead of them and there quirks. 😊 but I would not change that.
 

Siggy

Well-Known Member
One of my pals had one that killed all of his four terriers. I would hate to own a dog like this with the intelligence of my pup. I don’t think I would be able to manage it.
Can I borrow your mates dog? there are some really irritating chihuahuas down the local recreation ground...:-|:worried:;)
 

dunwater

Well-Known Member
I dont know which Hpr Ft uve went to, but id say they're nothing like a typical rough shooting day I've ever been too, and I used to run a rough shoot, which is ideal for pointers.
They are a fairly good version of a proper shot over day thou, but very few folk are lucky enough to shoot like that in uk

Some of these better Ft dogs will be quartering at 100 or even 150+ m in both directions.
And those will be the dogs winning awards, if anything ud be better of using a poor FT dog if it hasn't too many eliminating faults but a crap/slow hunter, would be a better bet for a normal shooting dog


I would bet 80 or even 90% of gwp or even hpr are never ran/worked the way they were bred for, quartering at distance, running hard in wide open spaces actually pointing and holding game.

Ur average working dog will probably spend more time as a pet than working, and even then working will spend more time walking to heel than anything else so I really can't see by breeding it ith a dog that will cover 150m in the blink of an eye is really beneficial.

I'm not saying u should be breeding from crap but surely it's not that hard to assess a dog without needing h help off an A panel judge.

In my opinion u will get better pups breeding 2 dogs doing exactly wot u want them do well.
Many working shepherds say very hard to find proper decent working collies now as the 1 man and dog crew have spoiled many lines.
And the better dogs are just bred good worker X good worker.

I have a young gwp bitch the now, who if she continues to improve I may think about taking pups of her, despite knowing a couple of folk with ftch I'm going to have to think carefully wot I want from the pups.
Either X to a Ftch, supposedly better bred, chances are a big variation in litter characters and run the risk of some being head strong or go with a decent working dog I've seen work and I like, get a nice even litter a decent workers and easily handled.
Got plenty of time to think on it.
But as I said in my previous post, if I had a horse I wanted to breed for just riding about no one would choose a through bred racing sire for it.
A UK or Irish HPR FT is a good version of a shot over day because that’s what you’re simulating, a days hunting over pointing dogs that’ll also work cover and retrieve game, the dogs are supposed to vary their pace to suit the terrain.
Some of the most successful FT dogs and handlers work very close, too close for me but God are they successful, I like a pup on the hairy edge of control, but that’s just me and I’ll admit I’m not as successful trialling as I could be if I pulled the dogs in a bit.
Jesus, but a dog like that’s what I love to watch and hunt over ( and I might be an A panel judge ).
Not to denigrate the Europeans but they expect their dogs to work very differently, so before I bought one of European extraction I’d check exactly what any awards or certificates meant, particularly with GWP’S, because they’re right at the upper end of the scale as it is.
There have been 3 wire hairs made up here over the last few years, every one a dog to be proud of and all well tested.
I’ve no doubt that theres been a few made up on your side of the ditch too, they’re the dogs I’d look at first.
Those dogs are actually proven to suit most of our shooting field requirements.
If you want a specialist deer dog, I’d still take home bred stock over some of the more aggressive European lines, you have to live with it and a hard dog is hard work.
 

Bowland blades

Well-Known Member
This isn’t meant as a criticism of the breed but you shouldn’t need a dog thats capable of pulling stuff down more than a couple of times a decade. If you do, and youre not a pro, you need to seriously evaluate your abilities.
I use my dogs primarily for bird shooting, when deer hunting they‘ll indicate live game and find carcasses. I don't expect them to follow old cold scent trails, the need arises so seldom its just not worth the effort to train for it but your needs may vary.
A dedicated deer dog is very much a specialists tool, unless you’re a professional most of us will be perfectly happy with a Jack of all trades and it could take you several life times of stalking before you’d actually needed something more even once.
HPR’s are versatile gun dogs, they can pretty much all do it all, but some breeds are more suited to particular applications than others.
Choose wisely and you’ll reap the rewards.
I have had GWPs since the 1980s.
My first was by a German import dog out of a UK/American bitch. She was a good dog but a bit too "sharp" for a first GWP. At the time, there were a fair few dogs that showed a bit too much drive rather than desire to please.
My second bitch was by Danish Ambassador and a different personality from my first, very biddable and much more reliable. My subsequent bitches including my current have avoided strong German lines. My main requirement of my dog thes days is a reliable companion for my walks, birdwatching and beating as I no longer shoot.
There does seem to be two extremes in the breed 1. Way too keen (had one never again ) 2. One that just ain't worth a damb hunting . I have discussed this at length with one of the foremost people in the breed and he had two that where absolutely lovely dogs for a family pet at the time he was looking to rehome .
I just use labs now , you can't beat them for pet dogs , assistance dogs or working dogs ! Although breeding matters its 80% how you bring them up , didn't find this tge case with the GWP and had to seek out the very best help . Cost me a small fortune and it still failed
Finding a great GWP and putting it with the right owner can bring fantastic results . BTW the best gundog man in the county sold his fully trained gwp , it was up for 700 only two years back ! Noisy in the kennel , hopefully whomever took it was able to have the dog in the house and with him 24 /7 . my Labs are happiest in the kennel if I am not out with them
 

Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
I am surprised the 'Verein Deutsch Drahthaar' hasn't been mentioned yet, only last week a writer in The Countryman's Weekly taught us that it is a 'separate breed' from the GWP and I have even been told that 'Verein Deutsch Drahthaar' translates to 'True German Wirehair' and I just thought that they were GWP's bred within the auspices of a particular Society. That reminds me, I once knew a good joke about auspices - something to do with equine urine I believe....I'll get my coat.
 

Siggy

Well-Known Member
I am surprised the 'Verein Deutsch Drahthaar' hasn't been mentioned yet, only last week a writer in The Countryman's Weekly taught us that it is a 'separate breed' from the GWP and I have even been told that 'Verein Deutsch Drahthaar' translates to 'True German Wirehair' and I just thought that they were GWP's bred within the auspices of a particular Society. That reminds me, I once knew a good joke about auspices - something to do with equine urine I believe....I'll get my coat.
DD/GWP - the great debate — my tuppence is that they are not a separate breed, they are just bred separately — I think the VDD does a great job in maintaining the breed and it’s a shame that there isn’t one in the UK, although I think the majority of UK GWP breeders are doing a great job of keeping the breed close to it’s original standard.

What really gets my goat is people selling GWPs in the UK as Deutsch Drahthaars - even if both parents are full DDs, I don’t care, the pups are only DD if they have been breed under the auspices of the Verein (Society!) Deutsch Drahthaar, and ideally been through the working tests.

Slightly contradictory, looking on YouTube, there appears to be more divergence in GWPs/DDs in the USA (where they have a VDD for Drahthaars) - where GWPs tend to look really scrappy.
 

unicorn71

Well-Known Member
We have a 4 year old bitch who is very heavily German bred on the sire line and bitches line and she is a very complicated dog , very predatory but scared of her own shadow and people in general , ok on deer , great on foxes but only if there are no other people present. The strangest thing is her size - she is tiny certainly no bigger than a springer and much smaller than my 2 HWV,s or lab.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
A UK or Irish HPR FT is a good version of a shot over day because that’s what you’re simulating, a days hunting over pointing dogs that’ll also work cover and retrieve game, the dogs are supposed to vary their pace to suit the terrain.
Some of the most successful FT dogs and handlers work very close, too close for me but God are they successful, I like a pup on the hairy edge of control, but that’s just me and I’ll admit I’m not as successful trialling as I could be if I pulled the dogs in a bit.
Jesus, but a dog like that’s what I love to watch and hunt over ( and I might be an A panel judge ).
Not to denigrate the Europeans but they expect their dogs to work very differently, so before I bought one of European extraction I’d check exactly what any awards or certificates meant, particularly with GWP’S, because they’re right at the upper end of the scale as it is.
There have been 3 wire hairs made up here over the last few years, every one a dog to be proud of and all well tested.
I’ve no doubt that theres been a few made up on your side of the ditch too, they’re the dogs I’d look at first.
Those dogs are actually proven to suit most of our shooting field requirements.
If you want a specialist deer dog, I’d still take home bred stock over some of the more aggressive European lines, you have to live with it and a hard dog is hard work.

Alright dunwater.

I think ur missing the point I was trying to make.

It's not the FT I have any issue with but the way most in the UK will work their dogs.

I'd hazzard a guess in UK that outside Ft hopefuls and grouse keepers prob only 10% off gwp will never actually be shot over when pointing.

Most uk gwp as with other hprs will either be meant to sit on a peg, sit in a pigeon hide, walk to heel when stalking ideally indicating deer and bit of tracking, or in a beating line ideally at heel possibly with hundreds or even thousands of birds in front of it.
Possibly a mixture of all of the above mibbe only once weekly or even monthly and most off its time will be a pet.

That's why in my opinion a full hard hunting FT dog brings little positives to the mix for its most likely work/shooting scenerios.
It doesn't take much drive to do any off the above and in many case too much drive will just make life harder, all th more so with novice/poor handlers
I know I've yet to see a poor gwp ( or any other breed) in the normal shooting field and thought that dogs main problem is too slow or not enough drive, usually basic obedience or steadiness are main problems.

A mate was a hobby trainer who occasionally took dogs in to train for others.
He once took on 2 gwp, weren't particularly badly trained or hot/driven, but he only kept them 2 weeks and have them back.
With most gndog packs u walk into a open field and give them their free run command, most wil instantly run 20 or even 50m before stopping pee, look where u are then, then settle down and come closer, never really that far from u and always coming in for a clap
Most gwps will run 100 or even 200m effortlessly without even drawing breath or looking back.
He had be around a lot of different gundogs all his life and trained them to a decent working test level never seen dogs run so far and so fast.
Said it gave him nightmares they were never actually going to stop!! ;) :rofl:
That's just wires for u.
 

dunwater

Well-Known Member
Alright dunwater.

I think ur missing the point I was trying to make.

It's not the FT I have any issue with but the way most in the UK will work their dogs.

I'd hazzard a guess in UK that outside Ft hopefuls and grouse keepers prob only 10% off gwp will never actually be shot over when pointing.

Most uk gwp as with other hprs will either be meant to sit on a peg, sit in a pigeon hide, walk to heel when stalking ideally indicating deer and bit of tracking, or in a beating line ideally at heel possibly with hundreds or even thousands of birds in front of it.
Possibly a mixture of all of the above mibbe only once weekly or even monthly and most off its time will be a pet.

That's why in my opinion a full hard hunting FT dog brings little positives to the mix for its most likely work/shooting scenerios.
It doesn't take much drive to do any off the above and in many case too much drive will just make life harder, all th more so with novice/poor handlers
I know I've yet to see a poor gwp ( or any other breed) in the normal shooting field and thought that dogs main problem is too slow or not enough drive, usually basic obedience or steadiness are main problems.

A mate was a hobby trainer who occasionally took dogs in to train for others.
He once took on 2 gwp, weren't particularly badly trained or hot/driven, but he only kept them 2 weeks and have them back.
With most gndog packs u walk into a open field and give them their free run command, most wil instantly run 20 or even 50m before stopping pee, look where u are then, then settle down and come closer, never really that far from u and always coming in for a clap
Most gwps will run 100 or even 200m effortlessly without even drawing breath or looking back.
He had be around a lot of different gundogs all his life and trained them to a decent working test level never seen dogs run so far and so fast.
Said it gave him nightmares they were never actually going to stop!! ;) :rofl:
That's just wires for u.

I couldn’t agree more with you, but it’s a shokin waste of good dogs. It’s not just the wire hairs, it’s pretty much all the HPR’s, they’re just too good looking for they’re own good. They are primarily rough shooting dogs, bred to find scarce game in big acreage, so of course they get out there and are highly driven.
Again on training you’re spot on, it’s basic training that’s missing most of the time, you can pretty much take the working ability as a given but if you’re used to a dog that doesn’t get outside of 20 meters away a dog at 150 and running hard is pretty terrifying, particularly if you forget to install the brakes and recall first.
But that’s your job, train it.
Horses for courses, most people would be perfectly well sorted with a 12gauge Sporter, a .308 and a .22 bolt action rifle and a black lab on or off a string, but that’s boring, no one wants to be “boring “ so nothing like a kipplauf in an odd caliber, a 28 bore side by side and a GWP or Weimaraner on the string to spice it up.😊😊.
 

Keith Edmunds

Well-Known Member
There’s always a balance.
You need to be able to stop or recall a dog for whatever reason. When you have a dog that will track or give chase into the next county that’s even more important.
I hate to see dogs that their owners won’t ever let them off a lead because they don’t have the control.
We are always honest, when ours are hot on scent and 'the blood is up', you won't stop them - not with their lines. If they are 50/50, reasonably excited, you can, but not when they are on a screaming scent. In fact, I would say, if they are giving voice the chances of stopping them are, realistically, minimal. That is why we breed the way we do, to get something more suitable for the UK culture and landscape.
 
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