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Old June 13, 2012, 03:40 AM   #26
MLeake
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I had forgotten about another friend who had a pair of GSPs back on Whidbey Island in the 90's. Very nice dogs, and he hunted with them. A bunch of us (all in the same squadron) also had dogs, and mountain bikes, and we'd take our assorted pack with us camping, hiking, and cycling.

One day, during a hike, my friend ended up having to learn how to rappell in fairly short order. One of his GSPs saw a bird, and jumped for it, and disappeared as it cleared the shrub the bird had been in.

Neither dog nor owner had realized a bluff backed onto the trail just past that bush...

Luckily, no injury to the dog - except perhaps for its pride. It came to rest about 15-20' below the trail, on a small ledge. My friend, and a couple other guys, managed to rig a harness which my friend took down to the dog (via the aforementioned rappelling), then the other guys helped haul dog and owner back up to the trail.

I don't believe that dog ever made another blind leap after that one.

Edit: My friend and his wife used a book called Gun Dog to learn training techniques for their GSPs. Both swore by the book.
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Old June 13, 2012, 12:51 PM   #27
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I actually don't believe I've seen ANYONE badmouth GSPs here. They've all cautioned about some of the things one can encounter with GSPs but then those same concerns are valid for other sporting breeds too. I do believe I've seen quite a few posts saying they're great dogs but beware of this or that.

All in all it comes down to what the owner makes of the dog. If you give the dog proper training and treat it well your dog will be a great part of your family. If you fail on that part your dog will suffer as will your family life.

I understand that its easy to get emotional and defensive about a particular breed of dogs especially if you own one or more of such dogs but this particular breed isn't under attack here. As I've continued to assert its all about the training.

As Hansam has said, the bad behaviors posted here could be about ANY breed of dog, not just GSPs. Rarely, and it is truly a rarity, a dog, just like a person, may have a mental defect/health problem/bad genetics that produce aggression or destructive behavior.....the exception being the fighting breeds that specifically bred for aggression. The majority of the time bad behavior is a by product of bad training and or lack of training or imposed limits. Sometimes the bad habits are learned in the kennel before the pup goes home. Many times it's because the rest of the family has not been trained properly and allows the dog to do things the primary owner does not even know about. If one is upset because they think the breed is being trashed, they have every right. GSPs like all Continental breeds, are fine animals, one reason they are so popular. But being popular means they get breed indiscriminately and that many end up in homes where they should not be. This is the real cause of negative experiences, not the breed itself.
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Old June 13, 2012, 01:35 PM   #28
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Hansam has pretty much nailed it. Nothing to add, except my personal experience with the breed.

I had a GSP for about 16 years until he had to be put down due to old age. It was a male, and I had him neutered as soon as the veterinarian indicated he could do it.

He was never agressive to people or other dogs, but would growl at another dog if they tried to mount him. I only saw this happen once or twice. He was friendly, smart, but a little stubborn. He was easy to train, pointed naturally, and I did bird hunt with him although he was mainly the family pet. He got daily exercise, and was usually fine. He did chew a few things, but nothing really valuable or badly. The DO NOT like to be left alone for long periods of time. They will, like many dogs injest something after chewing on it so watch the dish towels, etc that you have hanging around or laundry hampers.

When mine got bored, I could tell because he would end up bringing be something, basically retrieving, and saying OK I am ready to work. It could be any foreign object lie a sock, shoe, underwear, that he knew he wasn't supposed to have.
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Old June 13, 2012, 07:33 PM   #29
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Coupla things that I tell every person that asks me about gettin' a dog. Hansam touched on some of this, indirectly, so I'd like to give my two cents. Again, this is regardless of the breed.

1.)Get a dog from a reputable breeder. It doesn't have to be a fancy dancy big name kennel, but it needs to be someone that knows dogs and has selected parents for their qualities and minimal shortcomings. Indiscriminate breeding has hurt several popular breeds here in the US in the last few years, Irish Setters, and English Springers are some of the worst case scenarios. Just cause Joe has a female and a guy he works with has a male, don't make for good puppies if the parents are full of bad traits. Do this for several generations and you have a clusterpuck of traits and it's a hit or miss if a pup will be any good or not. This is not only true of behavior and instincts, but of health and genetic disorders. The cost of a puppy, even at hundreds of dollars is minimal when compared to the overall cost of a dog over it's lifetime. Saving a hundred bucks on a pup and then spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for health or behavior problems due to bad breeding is not good economics.

2.) If you spend more than two digits to the left of the decimal point for a dog, get a written warranty that within a year you can either get a different pup or get your money back if there is a problem with the pup. Reputable breeders have no problem with this. They want you to be happy, are proud of their pups and the bloodlines they use. They know odds are you are gonna be happy with the pup and because of their selective breeding it will be healthy and perform well. If someone is asking more than $100 for a pup, it means they are selling the pups to make money. This includes the guy at work or your brother in law. You should not have to eat a huge amount of money cause you got stuck with a bad/sick pup and doing so is pure foolishness. This goes for started or trained adult dogs also. If the breeder or owner won't do this, turn and walk away. Odds are he's afraid of gettin' the dog back. If someone sells you a pup for minimal monies, i.e. to pay for shots, worming, dew claw removal and tail docking, then it's a different story. Those costs should be under or around that $100 figure.

3.) Stay away from taking on someone else's adult dog unless your name is Cesar Millan. Very seldom is there a reason someone gets rid of a grown dog unless it's a problem. Sure there are those exceptions where the owner dies, is incapacitated or moves somewhere where they cannot have a dog. But odds are it's up for sale/adoption because the owner cannot handle/control it. If they say he just needs a bigger yard to run....don't believe it. This goes doubly for the professionally trained dogs like Hansam described. Many times folks will send a problem off to a trainer with hopes they will come back a different dog. They generally come back trained to hunt, but also come back with the same behavior problems, many times more aggressive than ever because of the harsh training methods that had to be used. These dogs are many times a accident waiting to happen, especially when brought into contact with children or others that fall below them in their pecking order. The average dog owner does not have the time, experience or the knowledge to rehabilitate a problem dog.

4.) If you need to put down a dog, don't tell the world in graphic verbs about it. 40 years ago it was common for nuisance or unwanted dogs to be taken out to the woods, tied to a tree next to a pre-dug hole and shot. Now you do that and brag about it and odds are you will get a visit from the local Humane/Animal Control Officer. Remember 40 years ago it also was acceptable to spank your own child when they misbehaved. Now you are considered a felon for committing domestic abuse. A close friend of mine works at the local vet clinic, and says they HAVE to report all abuse they see or hear of. This includes the shooting of dogs, even if it's for what the owner believes is a legitimate reason. If you need to put down a dog, make sure you have a legitimate reason and you SSS. Biting or nipping is NOT necessarily a legitimate reason to Animal Control, even tho to most of us here it is.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and it takes time and patience. Some dogs mature early and are a breeze to train. Others want to stay a pup for years and are stinkers. Like kids, the difference between them is what makes each one special. Edward429451, it seems you have thought this out and have a firm grasp of the situation. I wish you and your new pup the best and many years of happy hunting. Make sure you post some pics!
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Old June 13, 2012, 08:05 PM   #30
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GSP

typically a one owner dog- will attach to the one who cares for him.
not really a family dog. needs something to do in life to be happy.
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Old June 13, 2012, 10:27 PM   #31
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@buck460XVR

Well said.

You obviously seem to know a lot about dogs. Either you're an experienced dog owner (in the right way) or you're a trainer of some sort yourself. In any case I appreciate you putting into words I'd touched on and only hinted at but never really posted.

I second what you have to say - definitely ONLY buy from reputable breeders and look for the best qualities in your dogs regarding health, temperament, ability (physical capabilities). Sadly a lot of people purchase only based on looks and frankly that's a horrible idea. You could get a cute or great looking dog but that dog could also be carrying some horrible genetics that could lead to bad hips, bad elbows, blindness, deafness, heart disease etc. I also agree that the cost of the puppy is only a minor cost compared to what the dog will cost you over the course of its life.

I paid $1000 for my newest puppy. He came from a great bloodline on both sides of his lineage though - champions and master national champions on both sides. As such I believe he's worth it and he's proving he's worth it on a daily basis. I have a 2 year health guarantee though on him and that's easily worth the $1000. People need to be aware of the fact that not all puppies that are cute and cuddly at first glance are going to become great dogs. In choosing a puppy you need to look at it as if it were a business deal. You have to decide what traits you want in the puppy and what you want it to be like when its mature. Then look for those traits in the puppy and get the one that best fits your desires. Don't just go look at the litter and pick the one that comes to you first or catches your eye first... that is a horrible mistake many people make every time they buy a puppy. Personally I look for an outgoing temperament, energy levels, eagerness to investigate something new and a willingness to do what is asked of it.

People also make the mistake of getting a puppy just because its a puppy. Some puppies just shouldn't exist. Don't buy an obviously flawed puppy unless you want to be a wet nurse for the dog for the next 10 or more years. Again look for the positive traits in the puppies AND the parents regarding good health, good temperament etc. If its a sickly puppy and the breeder/seller is telling you that if you don't buy him/her the pup is going to die don't buy it. Its a tactic to get rid of a puppy they can't sell. If its really sick let it die... a reputable breeder would have put the puppy out of its misery already anyway rather than trying to sell a sick puppy to someone else.

Most of all if you ARE dealing with a good reputable breeder trust the breeder's assessment of the puppies. If you let them know what you're looking for they'll do their best to accommodate you. They know their future business depends on their customers' happiness. There are some that will lie to you about their puppies but they shouldn't be in the dog business anyway then. Always make sure there is a health guarantee AND don't sign any ridiculous contracts (some breeders think having ridiculous contracts regarding needing to see photos of the dog every few months, needing to have your contact info where ever you may be, demanding that you feed the dog certain foods etc.). There are plenty of great breeders out there that don't require this junk and still sell great puppies.

DO NOT skimp out on training. If you're not an experienced dog trainer I can guarantee you your results will not be on par with those of a professional trainer. You can read all the books you want but you just won't be able to replicate what a trainer can do because you don't have the experience and knowledge to do so properly. Training can cost anywhere from $1500 on up to $10,000. Choose your trainer wisely and invest your money into your dog. Remember that this training will determine how your dog will behave for the rest of its life. The other thing is once your dog is trained you have to maintain that training - in other words get out there and remind the dog what its training is. If you allow the dog to stray from its training your dog will start going downhill quickly.

If I can help you out in any way - giving advice on what to look for in trainers, advice on what to look for in a puppy etc. feel free to pm me. If you let me know where you're at I might be able to recommend some trainers for you that are in your area too.

Good luck!
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Old June 14, 2012, 01:13 PM   #32
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If this is not going to be a hunting dog, go to the pound or humane society. \

No reason to shell out big bucks for a specialized animal when a mutt can do the job just as well.

Quote:
The average dog owner does not have the time, experience or the knowledge to rehabilitate a problem dog.
I'd add that often problems don't show up to the people at the pound. Our latest dog was "cat tested" by the humane society, meaning he got along ok when exposed to cats at their kennel. When we brought the dog home he immediately tried to attacked our cats. It took a lot of time to get him over that.

My wife and I are not experts with dogs. What we do have is lots of time.

Last edited by Buzzcook; June 14, 2012 at 01:26 PM.
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Old June 14, 2012, 02:42 PM   #33
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GSP

gyvel and hansam you guys are right on. If properly cared for they are one of the greats breeds. I see a lot of city dwellers getting Vizlas and it makes me sad. Most will end up at the pound after thier owner ban not keep up with them.
As one trainer told me,"If you don't come up for idea to keep him busy, he will come up with them on his own and I qarentee you will not like his ideas."

My GSP has been a better family member than most of my human family memebers.
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Old June 14, 2012, 03:25 PM   #34
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typically a one owner dog- will attach to the one who cares for him.
not really a family dog. needs something to do in life to be happy.

That wasn't my experience. My GSP was a good family dog and seemed to go along with anyone who would play with him or take him outside. However, I only had one, so maybe others are different.

I do agree that they need a job to be happy.
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Old June 14, 2012, 04:01 PM   #35
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typically a one owner dog- will attach to the one who cares for him.
not really a family dog. needs something to do in life to be happy.
Not true at all. They do tend to favor the Alpha of the house but adjust well to all family members. None of mine have ever been a one person dog.

They want to be included in everything the family does.
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Old June 14, 2012, 05:40 PM   #36
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typically a one owner dog- will attach to the one who cares for him.
not really a family dog. needs something to do in life to be happy.
Absolutely not true at all. Its all about how you handle your dog. People will say this breed is a one person dog/not a family dog or that breed is etc. Frankly that's just ignorance talking. If you allow the dog to be that way he/she will be that way. The same goes for certain dogs not liking men/women etc. Again if you allow them to get that way they'll be that way. Don't let them get that way and you won't have a problem. Again it's all a matter of training and not the dog itself.

Dogs ARE people animals. That's what was bred into them. Some breeds are inherently more independent than others but in the end they NEED people and interaction with people. Over hundreds of years they have been bred to instinctively consider humans part of their pack. Can they survive without people? Yes - well some breeds could, some breeds would just die out. They won't be what we'd consider well mannered examples of dogs though.

Quote:
If this is not going to be a hunting dog, go to the pound or humane society. \

No reason to shell out big bucks for a specialized animal when a mutt can do the job just as well.
I used to support the Humane Society and I do applaud their efforts however I just cannot support them now. Some of their practices are questionable and they're caving into the more idiotic rescues out there that are trying to save EVERY animal from euthanization. Most dogs that end up in the pound or Humane Society have problems - sometimes these problems cannot be found through normal testing methods. Some of these problems are quite severe yet they (Humane Societies and other rescue organizations) are still trying to place them out to new homes. I just can't support this.

I was going to volunteer at a nearby Humane Society location - walking dogs, cleaning kennels etc. and when I saw all the dogs with "Do Not Walk" or "No Children" signs on their kennels I had to ask about them. Apparently those dogs are so vicious that they cannot be walked or are dangerous to children because they are aggressive toward children. Many of them had already bitten people. When I asked why they were not euthanized and why they're still trying to place them out to homes the answer simply was, "Every dog deserves a good home!" I walked out of there and haven't looked back since.

I personally advise against getting a dog from the Humane Society. The money you save getting a dog from there or other such rescues (which by the way isn't really that much less compared to getting them from a reputable breeder) won't be worth the headaches you'll have when the dog shows its true colors. Oh and about the cost of dogs from rescues and such - they can go for as much as $600+ dollars! For that amount or even for $300 I'd go with a reputable breeder and get a puppy that I know came from good bloodlines with a good health guarantee.

Oh and a lot of rescues will try to rationalize their high fees by saying that they're a non profit organization and that they are running at max capacity already in fact they have a surplus of pets that need homes. Well frankly that means they're doing something wrong. I once heard a member of one rescue's board state proudly that they deny at least 90% of people who apply for adoption of a pet from their organization. How is that a good thing? Oh and just out of curiosity I applied for an adoption from them and was denied. The reasons: 1. I had young children. 2. One or more adult in the home works outside of the home for more than 8 hours at a time. 3. I had one or more un-altered (not spayed/neutered) dog in the house.

The sad part is that I'm a dog trainer and am more qualified to handle/adopt dogs than most people who apply... just how do they think they're going to get rid of their excess animals since they don't believe in euthanization?
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Old June 15, 2012, 08:04 AM   #37
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LOL, I was beginning to think that my male GSP was prejudice and racist. Didn't know if one day I was coming home to find he'd joined a hate group or something. Turns out, he just doesn't like anyone or anything dressed in brown or brown the color. UPS can't make a delivery to the house without calling to arrange for someone to get him. And the AA kid in the brown sweatsuit, dang you've never seen a kid pedal that fast in his life.

Oh and he doesn't particularly care for camoflage, he bristles at me when I come home from deer hunting if I'm full camo'd.
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Old June 15, 2012, 12:04 PM   #38
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LOL, I was beginning to think that my male GSP was prejudice and racist. Didn't know if one day I was coming home to find he'd joined a hate group or something. Turns out, he just doesn't like anyone or anything dressed in brown or brown the color. UPS can't make a delivery to the house without calling to arrange for someone to get him. And the AA kid in the brown sweatsuit, dang you've never seen a kid pedal that fast in his life.

Oh and he doesn't particularly care for camoflage, he bristles at me when I come home from deer hunting if I'm full camo'd.
Makes one wonder, what experience he had as a pup to turn him against brown? Wonder if he would feel the same way about an all liver female GSP in heat?

Coupla dogs ago I had a GWP that did not like my best friend at all. The hair would go up on his back whenever Dave came around. He never really attacked him, was just always aloof around him and wouldn't come near him. If Dave tried to be friendly, Rufus would just go the opposite direction. One day Dave came over and Rufus acted like they were old friends. This went on for about a year until one day, Dave came over and Rufus would have nuttin' to do with him. I jokingly ask Dave what the hell he was doing different. He said nuttin', but I have taken up smoking again after quitting for a year. From then on it was easy to identify folks that smoked and those than didn't whenever Rufus was around. Somewhere in the dogs past he came to identify the smell of cigarette smoke with something bad. To this day I have no clue.
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Old June 15, 2012, 03:14 PM   #39
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Nothing has ever happened to that dog as far as the color brown goes, I've had him since he was born. I just don't think he registers the color brown well and doesn't like it. He's a big baby in most instances. He intimidates people though, carries a brick around the yard or a turtle if one's available. Heck he piled off into a pond by the house one day after a 4' alligator.

Heck his momma didn't like my Ex-wife from day one. She sat on the couch between us and growled at her. I should have listened to the dog, she was much smarter than I was.
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Old June 15, 2012, 03:41 PM   #40
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A dog that suddenly decides he/she doesn't like a certain person, color or object doesn't just decide for no reason at all. It could have happened without you knowing. The thing is it could be something very simple and subtle that you as a human wouldn't have registered as anything worthwhile but the dog would have.

For example I had a neighbor whose dog HATED the UPS man too. Actually he hated the UPS truck and if he saw the truck he'd go on the attack. My neighbor didn't know why. After some discussion of what happened he just casually mentioned one incident he considered funny but inconsequential - as a puppy the dog was playing in the front yard when the UPS truck came and stopped abruptly in front of their house - brakes screeched a bit as air brakes do. The puppy was freaked out by that and came running back to his master who proceeded to cuddle and comfort the puppy, sheltering him from the truck.

That incident there was what taught the puppy to hate UPS trucks. Since then the puppy saw the truck as a threat because he was allowed to do that since that first incident. We corrected the dog of the issue (4 years later) and as far as I know the dog is fine since.

I also had a dog that came into my care for training that hated black dogs. I'd wondered why so I called the owner and asked why this was the case and he said that as a young dog he was nipped by a larger black dog and since then he'd hated black dogs. Again the owner allowed the dog to make the association that black dogs were a threat and the dog kept that in its head since. I charged extra to correct the problem and the dog has been fine since.

My sister-in-law and her husband has 2 german shepherds that they got as puppies. First that in itself was a mistake but they made a larger mistake - allowing the dogs to consider the dogs on the other side of the fence (the neighbor's dogs) to be threats. They kept taking their dogs away from the fence and bringing them inside whenever the other dogs came out. As such their dogs came to fear and hate those dogs (and other dogs). These dogs are now not able to come in contact with other dogs without the danger of a dog fight. To this day they don't believe that this is inappropriate behavior and will not allow me to correct the issue.

I had a dog that for some reason HATED (and I mean hated so much she would attempt to attack and kill) all black people. My wife joked that she was a racist dog but I knew there was a reason - we just didn't know what it was yet. One day I decided to put up security cameras in my home (the crime rate in that neighborhood was rising) and instead of catching criminals breaking into my home I caught the reason for my dog's hatred of black people. When we're gone the black kids (teens) in the neighborhood would come onto our back deck and tease our dog relentlessly knowing she couldn't get at them. This must have been happening for months because she'd hated black people for months! I tried to reason with the neighbors but they wouldn't listen. A month later someone attempted to break into my home and according to my camera system looked as though they got attacked by my dog as they tried to get into the house. They never came back and we moved a couple months later. Sadly that dog got into a fight with a couple of stray dogs at our new home and was too seriously injured by the time I came out with a rifle. I shot the strays dead and then after a house call from our vet we put her down too.

Dogs don't just decide to hate a color or a person without something happening to make them decide that first. People who believe that are anthropomorphizing their dogs way too much... giving them characteristics that humans have but dogs do not.
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Old June 15, 2012, 03:47 PM   #41
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We had a dog who didn't like men in particular, and really disliked either black men (though not black women), or men in brown uniforms. My family most definitely did not teach the dog such dislikes.

In that area, the power company meter readers wore brown, as did UPS. UPS guys didn't tend to go into back yards, though, while meter readers tended to take shortcuts through adjacent properties. So, I suspect a meter reader may have kicked or sprayed our dog at some point.
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Old June 15, 2012, 11:55 PM   #42
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Hansam and buck460XVR have given you some very sound advise. The only thing I can add is to look at the pedigree, if it is stacked with lots of field champions you are going to have a very high energy dog, if the pedigree is stacked with AKC show titles you are more likely to get a mellow dog, not certain, but more likely. As a general rule I have noticed this trend with dogs that we breed and have begun to use it to our advantage.

Likes buck460XVR said a quality breeder is of the utmost importance. Nothing is worse than getting attached to a dog only to find out is has a liver disorder and watching your dog have seizures for the rest of its life or wind up having bad hips or some other problem. I have talked with a lot of people who have had this problem and it is hart breaking for them.

You can probably guess from my user name that I breed labs, and we put a lot of effort into insuring that the pup we supply has the best chance of being a happy healthy dog that will fit with you and your life style. If I don't think I can supply what you need and want in a dog I tell you right up front. A dog is a very long term commitment and it needs to be right for both of you.

This last winter I started looking for a upland dog and was seriously considering a GSP until I did some investigating. The first red flag came up when I started talking with the breeders here in Idaho and Utah and all but one had no idea what I was talking about when I started asking about health clearances.
The second and final came up when I consulted my vet and she informed me that the breed is known for having some temperament issues. While not every dog is going to have issues, she has seen enough of it that she felt concerned enough to say something to me. She said the ones that have problems either start out with them or they develop them as they age. I can't help but believe that this is yet another issue resulting from the incredibly poor standards set by the AKC, the only minimum standard is that both parents have papers.
It appears that some of the posters have experienced this range in temperaments from first class dog all the way to having to put one down.

I would not take getting a high end hunting dog lightly. If they are true hunters you will have more issues than you know what to do with.

By the way I settled on getting a Deutsch Drahthaar, they are the German registered version of a GWP. The breeding standards are very strict.

I do not mean any disrespect to your friend but if he is not a regular breeder then you really need to get a copy of the pedigree and go visit with a reputable breeder before taking a pup. You should also spend some time around the parents and make sure that they acceptable. If you have any questions or concerns please contact one of use and ask away. Its way better to find out know before its to late.
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Old June 16, 2012, 07:00 AM   #43
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Grubbylabs is correct regarding pedigree.

When I'm looking for a puppy to purchase I ask a lot of questions regarding pedigree and health clearances. I also expect that I'll be furnished with these answers in writing - proof basically that what I was told is correct. If these prove to be false later on I have something I can fall back on to correct the issue.

The problem with AKC and other kennel club certs is that for the most part dogs were never really bred to very strict standards. Basically if your dog LOOKS like the breed you claim it to be a you can have "experts" claim your dog is that breed you can get at least a provisional registration for the dog as being purebred. A couple generations later you can start breeding the progeny of that dog so long as you'd bred it with other purebreds of that breed... there is no scrutiny regarding genetic defects, diseases etc. I know that each club has standards that one must adhere to if one is to compete with the dog but there is nothing within those rules and standards regarding the breeding of dogs that are genetically defective. The other thing is that those standards regarding the breeds tend to be nothing more than cosmetic and does not truly address the issue of genetic problems.

That being said I won't purchase a puppy UNLESS its AKC registered or registerable. At least then there's one more layer of assurance that at least the dog is considered a purebred.

As grubbylabs said if you're getting a high end hunting dog there are a whole host of issues you as an average dog owner may not be able to handle. High energy levels is one of them. There's also the very high prey drive. Add a high level of intelligence to the mix and well that's a good recipe for trouble. Be aware of that and know the fact that you will be getting that - and if there are any genetic problems or diseases with your puppy then you can add that to the mix too.
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Old June 16, 2012, 08:25 AM   #44
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That is good info, and confirms what I heard from other people also. I had him give me a few references and I talked to two of them, who both say their dogs are doing well and they have had no problems with them @ 2 & 3 yrs old. Of course I have no way of knowing if the references were legit or not, but for the moment I'll take it as truth and get to see more when I visit him tonight and pick my dog and talk with him.

I will get to meet both parents today too. I should be able to tell how serious he is by his facilities and the look of all the dogs. He isn't my friend, he was referred to me by a colleague of my son whom he works with and has one of his dogs also.

I'm getting the dog with all papers & everything. I wouldn't think of breeding it myself, but it's nice to know that I could and that the papers help to legitimize the transaction.

It's nice to hear the same exact things from you guys that I heard elsewhere about the breeds temperament. I am going to work with this dog a lot. I live about 3 blocks from a park so he'll get plenty of exercise. My goal at first is to get him interested in his job (training) and get him to where I can walk him without a leash (like my Mastiff will). My Mastiff may give me slight problem, he's a big baby and will want to be included in whatever we're doing.

I'll have some pics up pretty quick of him. Thinking of naming him Riggs.
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Old June 16, 2012, 09:48 AM   #45
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Here's a bit of advice about training - keep the dogs separate while you're working with them.

If you're working with the GSP keep your mastiff inside/locked in a different room etc. Don't let them interact while you're training or else your training will not be very fruitful. Likewise when you work with your mastiff.

Having multiple dogs and training them at once can be a handful and even for experienced trainers can be a big obstacle. That's when you have dogs of the same temperament and energy levels. Dogs of such different temperaments and energy levels can be even more difficult.

Don't buy a puppy unless you can see a verified pedigree (3 generations or more) and medical proof that the parents aren't carrying any genetic defects and/or diseases that will come up in the puppy as he/she grows. I'm not an expert on what afflicts GSP but in labs you want proof that they're clear of things like EIC, CNM and PRA and hip/elbow displasia. Also definitely get a health guarantee - 2 years is typically acceptable. This is always a must too when you're paying anything more than a couple hundred dollars for a puppy.

In regards to the pedigree make sure that the pedigree shows plenty of documentable and trackable hunting titles (such as MH, AFC, FC etc) and the like... or whatever titles are used in pointing breeds (as they are somewhat different from flushing retrievers). If you're paying more than a couple hundred dollars for a puppy you'll want at least some titles within the grandparents and at least a SH title in both parents. If you're paying more than $500 you'll want some champion titles (AFC, FC) in grandparents and/or parents and definitely look for MH titles in one or both parents. Anything close to $1000 or more and you'll definitely want lots of championship titles and MH titles throughout the pedigree. Basically you'll want lots of MH titles in parents, grandparents and great grandparents on both sides. Also a bunch of AFC and FC and perhaps Master National Champion in the parents and grandparents. In the hunting field this is quantifiable proof that the puppy has good genetics and is capable of accomplishing what you ask of him/her. Even with all of this you're taking a gamble... just less of a gamble than if you bought a puppy with no pedigree or just a plain jane pedigree.
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Old June 16, 2012, 10:34 AM   #46
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Find out how old both parents are and interact with them. Make sure that both parents have good temperaments, if either one is cranky then you have a high probability that the pup will have problems also. If the dogs pedigree is jammed packed full of field titles and hunting titles then generally speaking, not always but generally they make bad house pets because they have so much drive. We cater to the family guy that wants to hunt the family dog so we have found some good combinations that produce dogs with good hunting drive, but behave well and work great as house pets. Of course they also require lots of training. As Hansam suggested no matter what the health and pedigree say it does not guarantee any thing, it just gives the dog the best chance possible.


If you plan on spaying or neutering your dog don't let your vet talk you into doing it as soon as possible. For males do it around a year and for females do it shortly after her first heat cycle.
We have been doing some research on this and we are finding that pups have fewer health issues if you let then develop into adult dogs fully intact. Plus if your dog does have a great pedigree and proves to be one that has more good to pass on than bad it will give you the opportunity to work with a good breeder.

All in all it sound like you have been doing some good homework and on your way to getting a good pup.

Good luck and if you have any questions before you commit to a pup let us know.
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Old June 16, 2012, 02:50 PM   #47
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Quote:
That being said I won't purchase a puppy UNLESS its AKC registered or registerable.
My last 5 GWPs were FDSB registered. Never bothered with AKC, altho the last 3 could have been registered thru them also. Thirty five years ago, AKC would not allow continental breed pups that were 1st or 2nd generation in this country to be registered with them. But these dogs(I had a couple) could be registered FDSB. This is the route that breeders that imported their sires or dams from German stock had to take. Kinda why I have a sour taste in my mouth for AKC. I believe this rule has now been changed. FDSB is still preferred by many bird dog breeders the same way UKC is preferred by many houndsmen. Many breeders of hunting dogs feel that AKC dogs are breed more for show than for the hunt. It is also the registry used most by casual breeders as it is the best known, thus being AKC registered does not always ensure selective breeding(but then, none of the registries do). Altho it does ensure being purebred and there are many great dogs and breeders that are AKC. All 3 registries now require DNA samples to ensure pedigree before posting of titles. Years ago it was dependent on breeders word.

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Old June 17, 2012, 10:57 AM   #48
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Hansam, If you could see the goin's on in the hog dog trading you would see how little providence a piece of paper makes...

We want to know the performance of the dam and sire and their ancestors... Papers be danged...

If there was "crossing" in or out going on we want to know what was the traits sought after and how that turned out...

We have so many varying terrains and styles that no one dog breed can excel in all...

For instance we have a style of dog we call a "runnin' catch dog"... Often used 100% solo this dog must find and stop his own hog and stay caught like a bulldog...

One style of cross is "Bird Dog" X Pit... The BD of choice is often a GSP or mostly GSP for the bird dog side...

Many hog doggers have bought bird dogs of proven stock just to use in breeding programs...

But if AKC is mentioned... most hog doggers will have nothing to do with that dog as the AKC is all about watering down performance dogs to look like a real dog but behave like a house mutt...

Also, any TRUE hog dogger does not breed to sell pups... we breed to replace our own yard and if any are left over they may be offered up...

Your previous performance with dam and sire usually sets the price range but many part with dogs for $50 to a real hunter while turning down $1,500 from suspected dog peddler types...

Brent
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Old June 17, 2012, 11:39 AM   #49
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I brought him home last night. He's a little stressed because his family of 20 or more is not here anymore. He smells my dinosaur all over and is afraid and keeps looking for him. I had my son take him for a day or two and then bring them together for the first time in the park and then bring them home together.

He's much better this morning and pretty much sticks to me. He's going to be fine I think. I met the dam and sire and they both look good but the sire is the biggest pointer I've ever seen. He's all stocky and tall and looks like a champion. The breeder has nice facilities and it's real clean and organized. His paperwork was complete. I got a real good impression of it overall. He's had all his shots but rabies and even came microchipped.

I'll put up some pics in a few days after he settles in some more.
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Old June 17, 2012, 11:51 AM   #50
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I think you misunderstood my post Brent. Let me explain.

I won't purchase a dog that isn't AKC papered because I have no guarantee of the dog's pedigree otherwise. That being the case its actually the pedigree (and certification of the pedigree and the accomplishments of the parents - which is tracked, maintained and verified by the AKC) that I'm really interested in.

See I won't purchase a puppy from someone who claims they have a purebred lab/golden/springer etc. and claims they came from great hunting stock but has no proof thereof. I want proof and I want it in paper so if the dog turns out to be worthless I have something I can fall back on to take up with the seller of the dog.

To me AKC registration doesn't mean that its worthwhile just because its AKC registered. The AKC registration means to me that I can actually follow up on the dog's pedigree which is kept and verified BY the AKC and NOT by the breeders. In that pedigree the titles and accomplishments of the parents and other ancestors are kept and recorded. These are not something that can be falsified since these titles and accomplishments must be achieved in AKC sponsored hunt trials and tests. These then are recorded with the AKC and as such a breeder cannot falsify them because the records to not reside with the breeder.

I am also only interested in what a dog can do and what its parents, grand parents and other ancestors did. I really don't care if a dog is AKC registered in itself but that registration brings with it what I REALLY want - verification of a quantifiable history of success within its pedigree.

Now in regards to hog dogging - I fully admit I know nothing at all about it. I don't know how to train a dog for it and wouldn't even dare try. I also don't train dogs for pointing - something I've already pointed out in previous posts. I train specifically flushing retrievers which is a different test and trial than pointing retrievers. As such I only know the basics of pointers and wouldn't consider myself a very proficient trainer of pointers. I could be wrong but I would suspect the same to be true of you and flushing retrievers and their training. Unfortunately though in comparing what you do to what I do we're not really talking about the same thing - more like we're just talking about different types of fruit - say apples and grapefuits. They're both fruits and they both grow on trees but that's about it where the similarities lie. Same with what we each do. Honestly the only things that are similar in what we do (which again I could be wrong but I'd wager I wasn't) are that we use dogs to find our quarry and in looking for a future hunting dog we look for performance based breeding programs rather than show and conformation based breeding programs. Aside from that what we do with our dogs seems quite different. Of course I could say, "Brent, if you could see what goes on in the world of flushing retrievers... etc." Basically what I'm trying to say is that we both are trying to find the best performing dogs however your quickness to throw away the importance of registration with the AKC is considered foolish in the flushing retriever world.

I do wonder how it is then that you quantify the ability of a dog you're purchasing... do you just go by the breeder's word and take a gamble (not saying that the breeder is falsifying the dog's capabilities but really what each person considers to be a good hunting dog is different from someone else) or do you look for something that is verified, quantifiable AND could not easily be falsified? I mean think about it; if I went down the road to Farmer Joe's farm because he has a litter of say purebred labs for sale in search of a hunting dog I'd want a puppy that had the genetics to be a good hunter.

Of course in my mind a good hunter needs to have a really good nose, a keen intelligence so he/she can learn all the commands I want to teach him/her (sit on command despite the proximity of the handler, hand signals to go left, right, back to the left, back to the right, straight back or come in) being steady on the flush and on the shot (which means sitting still after the bird is flushed and shot till ordered to give chase or retrieve) and being able to be called off a mark if the dog is on its way there but there is a different bird we want the dog to get first. Most average hunters don't require this of their dogs and if they can get their dog to find, flush and retrieve a bird (no hand signals, no control of the dog once its off on a search etc.) and do so on a fairly frequent basis for a couple months out of the year then that's a great hunting dog for them. For me if a dog could only do that the dog is worthless. My dogs work every day all year long. They must be trainable to the degree that I need them to get to because I do run trials and tests with them. The other important thing about AKC registration is that a dog without that registration can't earn titles and accomplishments that are trackable and quantifiable. That being the case these dogs and their progeny will be worthless to other trainers and hunters who require the same of their dogs as I do of mine. As a dog trainer I have to be able to show in my dogs what I am capable of training a dog to do. In order to do that I have to have a dog that can do what I require of it.

Without that little piece of paper that you consider worthless I'd be taking a huge gamble that I could make my work pay off. As for doing it for money - absolutely I'm doing it for the money. Yes I genuinely love working with dogs and training them. I love seeing a well trained dog do its work and for me that's a fulfilling experience but I also use this hobby as an income source to supplement my lifestyle and other hobbies. That being the case I can't afford to just take someone else's word on how good a hunter a puppy's parent(s) is/are but I NEED to make sure that this is truly the case. I learned this the hard way in the past doing exactly what you had outlined - purchasing a dog without registration. After working the best I could with the dog I had to sell him off for $50 or $100 as a well trained house pet and nothing else. All the money, time and effort I'd invested had been lost. Make enough losses and you can't stay in business for long.

So in my world that little piece of paper ISN'T worthless and if anyone said to me they couldn't provide registration papers with their dog I would walk away from the deal no matter how good they said the parents were as hunters... even if they were giving me the dog for free I wouldn't take it because I wouldn't have any way of knowing what I could do with it. Its not so much the piece of paper but what it brings with it that is of the utmost importance to me and that is the case with other trainers in this sport - this I can say with assuredness because that is what I've learned from talking with other trainers while I was still learning the trade.
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