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Help! Is this breed right for me?

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Joined: 26 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: 04/26/12, 5:17 pm    Post subject: Help! Is this breed right for me? Reply with quote

My boyfriend and I are looking to purchase a GWP, not for hunting, just as a family pet. I was very sure this was the breed I wanted until I started receiving negativity from some breeders when I told them the dog would not be used for hunting, and some were just down right rude. We live on 2.5 acres along a shallow river in the country. We spend much of our time doing outdoor activities and want a dog that would enjoy these with us as well as enjoy playing in the river and spending many summer weekends in the Wisconsin north-woods at a cabin on the lake. I understand this breed requires a lot of exercise, which we are prepared to provide. Why the negativity when I say the dog will not be used for hunting (yes I know that is the main reason this dog is bred)? Should I be looking at a different breed?

Last edited by Booth82 on 05/14/12, 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 27 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: 04/30/12, 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Is this breed right for me? Reply with quote

I cannot speak specifically to why the breeders you have contacted were rude about you wanting a GWP for a pet rather than hunting partner, but I will say that as far as dogs go, I find the GWP to be an excellent companion dog. Sure, there are other dogs that are better suited to a family situation, such as the golden retriever (I've raised both over the years), but part of what makes a dog part of your family is finding a breed that you are attracted to, then finding the puppy that will fit you. I current have three GWPs and a litter arriving in just a couple of days. One of these is simply a companion dog, one is a good hunter but would prefer to be a companion and the third, my female, is a hunting machine. Any dog of any breed can have a personality suited to many different jobs, whether it be companion or work. The wirehair does require a great deal of exercise, as a general rule, but it sounds as if you are prepared to offer this. They aren't known for being the ball-retrieving, swimming fools that a Golden Retriever might be for you, but if you ask any GWP person to describe the personality of these dogs and one thing that will always be on that list is "Clown". They are clowns. They have great personalities and they can be the silliest, goofiest dogs you've ever seen. They do shed some, but not like a shorthair or a golden. Grooming is fairly minimal. You will find a wide range of haircoats from short, slick coats to really long, soft coats. Ideally, the wirehair would have a shorter, harsh coat with good facial furnishings. I am a fan of many breeds, but I do love the GWP!
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Joined: 19 Oct 2002
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Location: New Hope PA

PostPosted: 05/21/12, 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry if some breeders were rude to you - that's not needed to get the point across.
This is a breed who needs a job, a serious job! And training, serious training!

First and foremost, this breed is a working gun dog who has very high energy levels, and tons of prey drive. This drive can, and does, get it into trouble if the owners are not prepared for it.

A simple walk a couple of times a week is not sufficient exercise to keep the GWP happy and healthy, and trust me, if you do not tire them out, you will end up hating the dog.

Maybe some breeders aren't all smiles and rosey with new prospective owners is because they know what the breed is, and isn't... who they should and shouldn't live with. The last thing most breeders want is that dreaded phone call in a year- WE HATE THIS DOG AND HE NEEDS TO GO!

Unfortunately, this call comes because the new owners didn't heed the warnings, didn't listen to others who have been involved with this breed for many many years, they didn't train the dog, they don't exercise the dog, and then the poor dog ends up in a shelter.

There are so many breeds out there who are suited to be just pets and companions.... I love my GWP's, but they are not suited for the feint of heart! Think long and hard..... also consider an older dog from our rescue. That way you know what his temperament is... and isn't.
visit my page to learn about German Wirehaired Pointers
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