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GSP vs Labrador?

(26 Posts)
1frenchfoodie Mon 21-Dec-15 17:10:02

We have a change iof work patterns coming up that mean we can consider getting a new dog. Our old labrador (12yo) can be left for long periods but we know it wouldn't be fair with a young dog. DH has, from adulthood, only had labradors that he has successfully trained as gundogs (flushing for beating, retrieval). I'm open to a lab but keen for views on German shorthaired pointers. Consensus seems to be they have higher exercise requirements, can be posessive and are bouncy pups for even longer than labs. Is there much else to bear in mind when weighing up prs and cons?

My reasons for interest are relatively shallow as I don't have any personal experience with them. They are handsome, less shedding than labs and come across as good family dogs as well as strong point/hunt/retrieve dogs (we'd look for working lines). To be hobest our lab is so good in the field, sweet natured and obedient I fear any other lab wont measure up.

ChairRider4 Mon 21-Dec-15 17:40:39

My mum has a GSP only thing I would say they are Velcro dogs do not like being left alone a lot

Shriek Mon 21-Dec-15 21:34:27

there's no reason that another lab wouldn't be sweet natured and obedient, from a good line. I can't comment on gsp.

How long do you leave at the moment, and how much will that change?

will your partner be working it? (if its a GSP i mean) as this will make a difference to its behaviour and need for quiet down-time.

1frenchfoodie Mon 21-Dec-15 22:33:09

We are currently out for 8h daily but at least one of us will be at home daily til oct then there will only be a couple of times a week where they'd be left for 4-5h a couple of times a week so able to pay a walker if that time is a problem. Partner will work it (beating/game shoots in season but then training year round, rabbit and pigeon control etc) - we'd not consider a GSP otherwise. I run too - we live in the countryside so cross country - so not just ambling around the streets. I don't want to rhapsodise about our current dog, he is just so good, 5th lab in a row and all were lovely but he is stand out.

GinIsABreakfastFood Mon 21-Dec-15 22:55:32

My family have a GSP X Lab, and she's amazing, just to throw another option into the mix..... smile she works well on shoots, has incredible recall and great breed characteristics for both sides. Only downside is an utter obsession with retrieving for hours, and the need to jump into large bodies of water.

As a cross, it really does work - definitely worth looking at!

Shriek Tue 22-Dec-15 00:12:35

no two dogs are the same, or labs, but well bred ones are pretty true to type, those bred for temperament and training/working traits. Give another a chance and don't expect 'the same', still great but different perhaps? Can you go back to that breeder/line?

It'll be a long time before you'll be able to leave a dpup at all, certainly not 4-5 hours, you must have had walkers in for the lab all that time (and more as a pup?)

I don't know whether any ddog, given the exercise and good rearing, couldn't be left. Labs are soppy and get attached to blankies and soft toys to carry around and miss company, like any ddog, but yours get lots of work and exercise, and down-time, and you have someone to do the training, managed well it should work really well ?

1frenchfoodie Tue 22-Dec-15 06:31:44

Cheers gin, shreik . Current lab is 12 and we didn't need to leave him alone when he was a pup bar the odd shopping trip. We are prepared to arrange so that is the case with a new pup too. As we are familiar with labs I'm really just keen to know what new issues might come with a GSP. DH would be more than happy with a lab and there are a couple of breeders we'd trust on that side so that is an easier choice - I've just taken a shine to GSPs personally.

We walked a German wirehaired pointer x lab cross (both working lines, 'breakout' mating) and 3x working labs for a while when DH worked on a local estate. Lovely dog, great retriever and eager to please, though prone to dry humping female walkers he took a shine to (bit embarassing that, he's a big beast). Interestingly he had to be practically thrown in water, he definately thought he was doing you a favour by getting in smile

fuctifino Tue 22-Dec-15 06:41:28

I had 2 GSP, only one left now who is rising 15.
We didn't work them but we trained them with a gun dog trainer.
They have been super dogs but they are very high energy. We would walk them for hours off lead and they would still want to go. We'd get them home, a quick 20min rest and they'd be bouncing and twirling again.
That said, they were/are beautiful family pets who our dd's have grown up with.
We would have another one in a heartbeat.

Collaborate Tue 22-Dec-15 10:17:48

GSP is definitely more high energy than a Lab and would need more exercise, though in truth both dogs would need good exercise.

fuckweasel Tue 22-Dec-15 16:31:39

I had GSPs. They are hard work but ever so loving! Agree with the 'velcro dog' comment, they like to be in body contact at all times. They need lots of exercise and also mental stimulation (one went to gun dog training though she wasn't worked and it kept her focused). Separation anxiety can be an issue and they will entertain themselves (see chewing walls, furniture, carpet, shoes....you get the picture). Once I had two, they could be left for a few hours by themselves.

1frenchfoodie Thu 24-Dec-15 10:20:53

On the 'velcro dog' status - is that the whole family or do they tend to only bond with one half of a couple say?. I will be home most for the next 12 months but DH will do the gundog training and be home more from 2017. We really dont need a dog that considers he belongs to only one of us.

ChairRider4 Thu 24-Dec-15 20:07:33

My mums GSP is very much her dog

weaselwords Sun 27-Dec-15 16:56:04

My Velcro dogs (Weimaraners) love their family, but they love me most. I get followed around a lot.

UndramaticPause Sun 27-Dec-15 18:24:44

My sister has GSP's and they're not only, imo, ugly dogs, but they put labradors and boxers to shame in the hyperactivity stakes. She is able to give them the exercise they need but it is several hours a day. I'd stay away if I were you.

UndramaticPause Sun 27-Dec-15 18:25:19

And yes Velcro dog to the individual is very much the case

Thed0gs Sun 27-Dec-15 19:27:05

We have two dogs, one of which a GSP from working lines...she is a wonderful family dog, excellent overall temperament and very trainable. She will follow me all over the house (but so does our ridgie!) As a pup she had separation anxiety even when we would just pop out for 30 minutes for practice! At the moment (newborn baby) exercise-wise we do at least an hour and a half a day which includes mental retrieving games as there is no way you could wear her out with physical exercise. I'm at home most of the day now and she seems happy with that. When I do go out I try not to be more than a few hours.

Overall, I'd highly recommend them if you already have an established outdoor lifestyle and have the time and patience to invest in training.

imonaplane Tue 29-Dec-15 21:28:27

I have GSPs and they're not only, imo, the most beautiful looking dogs on the planet, but they make fabulous family dogs. They do need exercise every day but not excessively so. Some days mine get 2 hours, somedays just 1 and they are fine. Training is a must, preferably some gun dog training even if you have no plans to work the dog. Pros - they are kind, loving, tolerant, loyal, intelligent and have really funny personalities. Cons - Bouncy, very enthusiastic, are known to suffer from separation anxiety follow you everywhere and like to 'help' with whatever you are doing.

1frenchfoodie Fri 01-Jan-16 08:51:13

Thanks for all the advice. Still musing but at least there were no big surprises needs/temprement wise. To be honest lab or GSP will be a big change from our 12yo, he is a sleepy fella nowadays.

frumpet Fri 01-Jan-16 17:51:39

My old dog was a GSP , they are fantastic creatures, they do seem to love people a little too much in that they want to be with you all the time , although we got ours to the point where he could be left for 4 hours without distress . They are not nearly as biddable as labs though , and they have what I would describe as sighthound qualities , if they spot prey their recall can be a bit dodgy , but I guess that is true of many breeds grin

I would love another sad

frumpet Fri 01-Jan-16 17:55:36

Have you thought about getting an older rescue from the breeds you are favouring ? there is a GSP rescue and a couple of very good lab ones , they usually have a good history of the dogs and have assessed them , so would be able to match you with a suitable hound . A nice 4 or 5 yr old dog that has outgrown the mad puppy stage , is house trained etc , would probably fit in really well to a household with an older dog . Just a thought smile

frumpet Fri 01-Jan-16 18:07:58

They also have a tendency to counter surfing and bin raiding if ours was anything to go by !

1frenchfoodie Fri 01-Jan-16 18:12:00

frumpet we want to train as a working gundog so an older rescue wouldn't, sadly, work and we'd be cautious about getting even a younger dog from non working lines. My DH has brought on semi trained dogs - including a labxGSP as part of rural estate work but it can be a bit hit and miss.

LumelaMme Fri 01-Jan-16 18:22:31

I second the comment upthread about the GSPxLab. I know one (working bred) and she is a lovely dog and stunning to look at... Much calmer than a GSP and not as big, but doesn't shed as much as a Lab and seems to lack the lab=dustbin gene.

Hoolit Fri 01-Jan-16 19:26:10

I have a gsp got him when he was 7yrs and he's wonderful, whistle trained and pretty obedient. He does love company but has no issues being left although very pleased to see you on return! He has a fab temperament and is great with kids and other dogs.
He does get easily into routine and that's not always a good thing and is very food driven. I wouldn't say he's more mine than dh, he follows us both about and likes to lay at your feet touching where possible!
I know a few gsps that do agility and fly ball and love it and are quickly very good at it.

frumpet Sat 02-Jan-16 20:14:21

I see what you are saying french , but most GSP's are from working lines are they not ? unlike labs . You can teach an old dog new tricks though wink

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