German Short Haired Pointers.

(33 Posts)
IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 00:46:54

We are looking to get a dog. I seem to have a passion for gun dogs and am looking at German Short Haired Pointers and Weimariners. W's are apparently a bit crazy and not a good first dog.

We want a dog that is good with kids (2 boisterous boys age 5 and 9 who need lots of exercise too), we have a reasonable size house and about 1/2 acre of land, semi rural. I will be working p/t. I want a dog that is fun, we can all walk together but also one that can guard our house as I am a bit scared on my own when alone or DH is away on business.

mrslaughan Thu 30-Jan-14 06:40:22

All the pointers I know are a bit mad , and v challenging......
My experience of them is they are a v high energy working breed, who need a lot of mental stimulation...if they don't get this they are v naughty.
Personally not a breed I would have unless you planned to "work" it in the true sense of the word, and not if it is your first dog, and not particularly youngish kids...

Your probably thinking "how hard can is be" I would say from the 3 in our puppy class, all bought as pets - v hard and v challenging

everlong Thu 30-Jan-14 07:18:39

I agree with MrsL.

They are a lovely breed, good with other dogs, children etc but are a dog that needs a lot of physical and mental stimulus.

I meet one a couple of times a week on my walk. He is gorgeous and I have a big soft spot for him, he comes bounding up for a cuddle but his owner can't get him to come back to her until he decides.

He goes off. All the way while walking round the park he's not really with the owner. She whistles, bribes, calls him. Nothing.

I would talk to real owners. Meet the dog in the flesh. Read up a lot.

Don't rush in.

everlong Thu 30-Jan-14 07:20:01

<whispers>

Read up about Italian Spinone's.

Best.Dogs.Ever.

IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 07:40:45

Oh gosh. Someone please recommend me some dogs hmm to research. Since I am the one looking after it all the time, I plan on getting a dog I love plus it's my 3rd baby. I just don't like Labradors, Labrapoodles or Staffies even though everyone keeps telling me they are great for families.

imonaplane Thu 30-Jan-14 09:01:23

Gsps are fabulous dogs. Loving , kind, loyal,funny, great fun to be with and can make great pets. (I have them as pets and would not consider any other breed). BUT, they are a very intelligent and energetic breed. They need several hours exercise per day and firm and consistent handling. They are notorious food thieves and if left alone in the house can suffer from Separation Anxiety and be very destructive. I would not recommend that you get one unless you are absolutely certain that you are able to meet their needs. If you are able to provide a suitable home where your dog would be living as part of the family with plenty of exercise and stimulation such as Agility or Gun Dog training then you will have the best friend you can imagine. If not.......

LadyTurmoil Thu 30-Jan-14 09:05:54

You can do online questionnaires which recommend which dog suits your lifestyle. There are also many, many cross-breeds which you can choose from. Are you thinking about a rescue dog, a puppy or an older dog?

Any dog, even small, can prove a deterrent as it will probably make a noise if someone was around. However, getting a dog who will be a guard dog is a completely different thing.

Google your local rescues, explain to them what sort of lifestyle you have, they will be able to look out for the sort of dog that they think will suit you. It may take some time but it's not the sort of decision to rush anyway. You can also look at bigger rescues who have foster homes all over the country, like Many Tears or Dog's Trust.

I can only speak for Labradors, but they have their reputation for a really, really good reason. Shame you don't like them (none of them? Not one?). Is there a specific reason for that?

IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 09:32:21

I just did a questionnaire and the result was a Border Collie. I have actually always liked them, but thought they were not a good recommendation for some reason.

Trying to think of a good reason why don't like labs and not coming up with one...

Can you explain what you mean by 'guard the house'?

I know your kids are busy and active. But any dog, especially a GSP would need about 90 minutes MINIMUM, plus a lot of other stimulation of the brain. That's in the wet, the cold, the snow. Would your 5 year old be ok with that, tramping through the fields when it's sheeting it down? What about if the DC are poorly etc? Do you have family that would help?

Dogs have enhanced my life no end, my DC are 12 and 14, so I can walk and leave them at home, and they can help with training, walking and household chores. But they are massively restricting too. How would you manage after school activities?

I currently have a 9 week old puppy, I have got nothing done for nearly 2 weeks!! Don't mind at all but something to consider. Puppies nip and chew and wee and poo and need training (all dogs do to be fair) but these are all considerations.

We have a springer and a working cocker, their temperaments are wonderful, gentle and friendly so perfect for a family. They do need a lot of exercise and stimulation though.

How about a show cocker, same temperaments as above but need less exercise?

Not trying to put you off, I wouldn't change this for the world, but it's good to have the reality too smile

Research a border collie a bit more, that would be the hardest first dog breed that I could think of to be honest...

everlong Thu 30-Jan-14 09:52:35

Don't get a border collie.

They aren't a first time dog owner type of dog.

LadyTurmoil Thu 30-Jan-14 10:10:11

Don't get a border collie, need specific owner who knows what they're doing - what sort of answers did you give?

You need a dog who will enjoy your two boys but also one that's flexible. I assume you have days when you're taking boys to friends, activities, cinema etc. You'll need someone to look after the dog if you want a full day out at a museum, theme park etc. You'll need a dog who won't go bonkers if you're not able to go out on a walk one day because your kid is ill, your DH is away and you can't leave kids alone for an hour or two.

What about a spaniel type, Westie, schnauzer, that sort of smallish dog that's fairly robust? A Jack Russell type if you want a more feisty character?

IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 10:22:08

Hi everyone, thanks of the responses.

I am not intending on getting a border collie. I am here because I think that the dogs that I like perhaps are not the best option. I am not looking fora guard dog to protect my scrapyard grin more a dog to kick up a stink if there is an intruder. I have been burgled before and I have been saved from being burgled when I was a kid by the dog we had then, a mongrel. FYI I am not fussy about a breed only dog as I have had a mongrel in the past and loved that dog to bits. I think the dog I had, is smaller than I want now, it was about a 15 kg dog. I think I can dedicate an hour to and hour and a half walking the dog a day when the kids are at school and at the weekend longer. We will have an acre/ half acre of land so can take it out to poo there and get the boys to give it a good run around in the garden weather permitting.

Labs, it's not that I don't like them. I think I am put off because my SIL used to have one and had to give it up in her divorce and I think that having a lookalike will upset her quite a lot. It will be a bit like, well there are hundreds of dogs and you had to get THAT one!!!!

Guard dog - I mean bark if there is an intruder and perhaps put someone off coming near me if the dog is quite big. I have had a few incidents in the past and I feel unsafe when my DH is away and I am alone with the kids. Where I live 2 men broke into my house in the middle of the night. They didn't come upstairs as I had a stair gate and my bag was downstairs. My DH was away and I was alone with the kids. We will be living in a rural place so I know that having a dog that picks up on noises will make me feel safer plus I am a city girl.

I'm confused, are you trying to put me off getting a dog, or just certain breeds? I really want a dog for my family.

IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 10:22:49

By the way I know someone who lives in an apartment and they have a Great Dane.

Personally not trying to put you off, just that you are aware of the realities and thought it through, if that's not TOO patronising smile

Seems like you have though, good luck. I love my dog and puppy.

ps, my Springer is 15kg, small for breed and slight if that helps giving you and idea? Easy enough to lift into car etc.

imonaplane Thu 30-Jan-14 10:52:12

Not trying to put you off - just giving a GSP owners perspective. I got my first one when I had three kids under 7 - it can work, you just need to be aware of the time they need. I was a SAHM so had all day when kids were at school. They can make great family dogs.

everlong Thu 30-Jan-14 11:09:08

What about a rescue dog?

Some dogs are rehomed due to no fault of their own. They can make wonderful pets?

RabbitRabbit78 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:13:27

Greyhound? Lots in rescue, lovely natured, don't actually need much exercise. They look big and intimidating like a guard dog but are soft as anything.

We would have one if it wasn't for the bunnies (they don't mix well with cats or other small furry things)!

RabbitRabbit78 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:14:26

PS. My experience of Gsps and springers (family has both) are that they are bloody mental. Some springers are fab but others...

Aylish1993 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:34:10

They are not the most well known breed of dog but have a look at a German spitz, we have one and he's is the most loving loyal dog you can have. He barks as soon as somebody is outside as well. They have great temperaments as well very cuddly they love to go out for hours as well unlimited energy smile

LadyTurmoil Thu 30-Jan-14 12:11:32

Whereabouts in the Uk are you? Lots of MNers work with rescues and can help you with rescues nearby. Then you could go and visit (without your kids), explain what you're looking for. Also getting on FB and finding pages for rescues would be good - they are often more updated than websites.

There are lots of lovely mutts around - have a look at Four Paws , Many Tears , too many others to mention but if the rescue has dogs in foster, then you'll be able to find a dog that is used to children more or less the age of your children, which is important as many dogs find the sudden and unexpected movement of small children quite daunting... Good luck!

IEvenBurnToast Thu 30-Jan-14 12:20:03

Essex.

LadyTurmoil Thu 30-Jan-14 17:43:00

OK Essex. Then there's

Many Tears In Wales but may have something suitable fostered nearer to you. Can search by postcode.

Pro Dogs Direct In London and Surrey mainly but not too far. Most fostered, some in kennels.

Heathlands They foster all their dogs so many will be in homes with children.

Enfield Dog Rescue

Lea Valley Dog Rescue

Ravenswood I think they're more into Cambridgeshire but perhaps an acceptable distance from you. They have a few nice ones like Jake or Monty

It sounds like you can offer a great home, it would be worth getting on their "lists" and discussing your lifestyle/type of dog and then, hopefully they'd let you know. Most if not all have Facebook pages, keep an eye out as I've found that website pages aren't always very up to date, as they usually don't have the time, so FB is much better.

Talk to your SIL about your plans and see what she thinks - and as a one time dog owner who knows you, she might have some valuable input.

I'd also avoid a collie - I don't think they're cut out for the setup you have. And find the breed associations for the two breeds you originally thought of and talk to them. They will be the most knowledgable about their chosen breeds.

With regard to the dog and intruders - you can't determine which dogs will bark by breed if you choose a gundog type. I've had many Gundogs (labs and golden retrievers) and although I am now down to two labs, one of them will bark her head off and the other will rush up and try to love an intruder to death. A guarding breed would be more predictable in that regard, but of course less suitable for a family set up.

TBH, regardless of breed, if you choose gundog type, you will end up with a fun, biddable, energetic, trainable dog. The key to getting a suitable dog for your family is to find the best breeder you can for your circumstances. The one who has bred the dogs with the two best temperaments they can find, in a home environment, with children of a similar age to yours, with as much love and care as they can manage. I can't stress enough the importance of that. And one who is willing to offer you support once you have your puppy at home.

The rest of turning out a fabulous companion dog is up to you.

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