The Early Stages of Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer

German_short_haired_pointer
About 7 months ago I decided to get a dog. I struggled deciding what breed I wanted but ended up settling on a German Shorthaired Pointer. I knew these dogs were a hunting breed, and I don’t hunt. However, I did some research on them and realized that they can be great family dogs as well. I made the decision. His name is Bosco and he’s an awesome, well trained dog.

I write about dogs frequently in general, but this particular story is about my very own. I’m inspired to write it because I had a difficult time initially training Bosco, but over the last three months he’s turned into a great companion. It took some troubleshooting in training technique but with some outside help and creativity I think I’ve got it nailed down. This article lists the main ways I succeeded in helping Bosco transform from rambunctious youngster to less rambunctious 7 month old.

 

I stayed active.

 

When I first got Bosco, he was so young that we hung out together a lot around the house. The first few days went well, but as he got comfortable, the motor turned on and he started expressing energy that I’d never seen. He was doing all the wrong things in all the wrong nooks of the house. Each time I got home from work he wanted me to get back on the grind and entertain him. I started throwing a ball for him outside. Quickly I realized, however, this wasn’t enough.

 

Why active?

This breed of dog cannot and should not be contained. They are biologically wired for hunting and have more energy than an 11 year old human. I learned quickly that I needed to take Bosco on extensive runs and other activities just to tire him out enough to sleep. It would get to the point where I would feed him extra just to help keep him distracted for a while. My main advice when it comes to keeping a German Shorthair is to bring him or her along any time you do something active. Some ideas that I utilized:

-Bring along to Frisbee sessions with friends. This long range activity expels tons of energy.

-Take along for a hike (particularly one with a steep gradient to wear him or her out).

-Going for a bike ride around the neighborhood a couple times with him or her before bed.

-If a golf course in your area allows dogs like one in my city take him or her along for a round.

BOTTOM LINE: THIS BREED OF DOG DEMANDS ACTIVITY AND IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITY AS A CARETAKER. IT’S YOUR DUTY WHEN YOU ADOPT A CREATURE LIKE THIS. IT CAN TAKE SOME ADJUSTING, AS IT DID WITH ME. BE PATIENT, IT WILL BE ALRIGHT.

 

I stayed consistent.

 

It’s a broken record argument to talk about how it’s important to be consistent when training a dog, but with this breed it’s specifically necessary to mention. For one, Bosco didn’t listen to me at all until about week six. This was after taking him to a private training facility for a week. He was much more responsive after the trip and I would highly recommend doing so yourself with your dog. It was hard to be away from him during this development stage, but at the same time, it was necessary with the issues I was going through.

 

Why consistent?German_Shorthaired_Pointer_portrait

This breed will not listen if it believes that you are not in complete control. Bosco didn’t think I was the main authority until he got back from private training. At that point it was clear to him that he was brought back to live with me and abide by my rules. He’s developed into such a great dog that it’s interesting to look back at how difficult it was initially. These are some areas where consistency helped me:

-I was told to only use his name for positive reinforcement and it worked. I would highly recommend it. Be consistent here. Any setback will hamper development.

-Be stern without being overly aggressive. Again, consistency helps with your dog’s expectations.

-This breed loves attention and it helped me to ignore him a little bit when he misbehaved. He began to understand that when I failed to give him attention, that meant whatever he was doing was not supported by me.

 

BOTTOM LINE: THIS BREED REQUIRES CONSTANT AND CONSISTENT ATTENTION. IT’S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO PICK AND CHOOSE HOW YOU WANT TO TRAIN THEM. STICK TO THAT STRATEGY UNTIL THE END AND YOU’LL FIND YOURSELF IN A WONDERFUL PLACE.

 

Bosco is my best friend after 7 months. He taught me what it takes to live in mutual happiness with the German Shorthaired Pointer breed. There is widespread published material on how to train a dog, but these tips are meant to be applied to the training of this breed. These broad points of advice are a great supplement to a standard training regimen.

 

Griff Haeger is a dog aficionado. When he’s not taking Bosco for a crazy hike or fixing an air conditioner at work, he writes about natural dog food.

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