German Short Haired Pointers.(33 Posts)
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
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.
Read up about Italian Spinone's.
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.......
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?
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
Research a border collie a bit more, that would be the hardest first dog breed that I could think of to be honest...
Don't get a border collie.
They aren't a first time dog owner type of dog.
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?
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
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.
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.
What about a rescue dog?
Some dogs are rehomed due to no fault of their own. They can make wonderful pets?
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)!
PS. My experience of Gsps and springers (family has both) are that they are bloody mental. Some springers are fab but others...
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
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!
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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