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hair and temper

 
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kirkw
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PostPosted: 07/01/03, 6:37 pm    Post subject: hair and temper Reply with quote

Okay like I said I am new here and do not know a lot. Boy all of this talk of tempers has me rethinking my choice of gun dog . How do I get THE FACTS on the anger issue? Also what's up with the coats? I was told by a breeder very little to no shedding. But a keep reading that people are having to cut or shave or strip( what ever that means). I need the truth please. I am not real crazy about biting dogs that shed AND I have to strip or shave. Again help please.
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's start with the "anger" angle....
GWP's were developed to be all around working dogs, from the bird field, to the pond then to the woods. Included in their duties as all around dogs was to dispatch vermin. Vermin being unwanted furred critters. In order to be able to do all of these things, the dog had to be pretty mentally tough, he had to have a strengh of character and a strong will to succeed.
When you have this sort of personality the owner/trainer needs to be just as tough and needs to be the "boss". This is not a Setter, nor retriever whose only quest in life is to lie by the fire and please their people.....

I don't believe the GWP is any angrier than any other versatile breed out there, but it's not the breed for someone wanting a laid back, watch the world go by, I love everyone breed. They are smart, inquisitive, demanding, active, pushy, determined and loyal to a fault.

This is a breed that needs to be socialized out the ying yang when they are puppies. This is a breed that needs to learn that NO means NO at a very young age. This is a breed that has to learn at a young age what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. This is NOT a breed that you can put in the kennel and forget about until hunting season. This is NOT a breed that will be happy living on a chain in the backyard.

Poor temperments can be found in every breed, it is not exclusive to the GWP. Dogs with temperment problems should not be bred and prospective owners need to meet at least the mother of the puppies if they have any fear of problems. If mom is stable, generally the pups have a good shot of being stable as well.

It's my opinion that the breed is in good shape temperment wise (in general) but there are simply too many people purchasing them because they think they are "cute" and forgetting about their heritage. While Wires make wonderful pets, those seeking "just a pet" really should consider wether a GWP will really fit their idea of a "good pet".

In short this is not the breed for the average, lazy pet owner
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 6:02 am    Post subject: what's up with the coat?? Reply with quote

To answer your second question about the coat.....
My first inclination is to suggest that you may not have done enough homework on this breed to purchase one now. Do yourself and the dog a favor and begin talking with other breeders about the breed in general before you buy a GWP. You are going to have this dog for up to 15 yrs... a couple of months of investigation may save you and the prospetive pup a lot of grief.

But, lets see if we can help everyone understand what a Wire coat is.

What's up with the coat? Ok, here's the truth (at least as far as I see it)
All dogs shed. That's the fact. However, dogs with Wirey coats do not shed in the same sense as other furry dogs. Most dogs shed their winter coat (guard hairs and outer coat) in the spring to allow their new thinner summer coat to grow. In most of the double coated breeds this brings out basketfulls of fuzzy undercoat that can be found floating around your kitchen floor. You have to brush, brush, brush, then vacumn, vacum, vacum and you still will never get all that winter coat out of the dog or off of your floor.
Wire coated breeds (most of the terriers and the GWP) have a different type of coat. While their coat does die just like the softer furry dogs, it just doesn't fall out in clumps all over the place. It has to be removed.To do that properly and to maintain a wirey texture, the coat must be pulled out, or stripped out. This allows the new coat to grow in and take the place of the old dead hairs. If this isn't done, sure there will be some shedding, but again, not like a German Shepard or Collie or even a German Shorthair.

Some people with longer coated dogs, or whose dogs have improper soft coats get lazy and don't want to be bothered to remove the coat in the correct way. So they clip the coat. This will cut off the dead hair, but it will not remove it as it should be removed. Cutting this type of coat will leave it softer, fluffier but leaves the dead hair there, just shorter. And you will lose the nice liver color as well and end up with blonde or red coats.
Stripping the coat is part of the breeds care, if you don't want to be bothered doing it, consider another breed.

However, having said that....a dog with a good short harsh coat will need little stripping in it's life, but it still needs to be done from time to time. A dog with a longer harsh coat needs more, and all need to have that dead outer guard hair and dead undercoat removed. It's just a part of dog ownership.

Breeding wonderful Wire coats consistently is a breeders challenge. Everyone who is not a breeder thinks it's just easy to do, but it's not. In one litter (from properly coated parents) you can have puppies with no coat (smooths, just like a GSP), middle of the road coats (short, harsh easy to keep) and the dreaded fuzzies (long, soft and a pain to maintain). Again, it's the nature of the breed and must be considered in your choices.

If you are looking for a dog that can be groomed with a soft brush once a year... don't get a GWP. Or, look for a breeder who has a smooth puppie for sale. It's still a Wire, just no coat.

If you want your GWP to look like a proper GWP you just have to learn how to do the grooming. It's not that difficult, it just takes a bit of time.

Bottom line... each breed has their own idiosyncransies.... this one has many.

Bernee Brawn
Justa GWP's
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Jon P
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirkw,

I can add nothing to the reply from Bernee - her responses should be saved and catalogued by all as justa'bout the best I've read on the issues.
However, to repeat myself again, you don't buy a puppy, you "buy" a breeder when you get your dog. Research the breeders and ask the hard questions. It really annoys me that buyers think that a dog is a dog, that you can get one from anybody. Do your homework and learn what you have to do after you buy the dog at the same time. I have bred a few pups in my time and can say confidently that the biggest problem that many of my pups had where their owners.
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 9:17 am    Post subject: what to ask a breeder Reply with quote

You know, this brings up a good question.... just what should people looking for a GWP ask a breeder?

Maybe the better question is... what should breeders be telling potential new owners?

I feear that there are more than a couple of breeders out there extolling all of the wonderful virtues of this breed, but forgetting to tell of the down side of this breed.

When someone calls me asking about the GWP, I begin the conversation by telling them all of the negatives of the breed. (and there are negatives for the average person out there). If they havn't hung up the phone after my 15 minute tirade, I will then tell them the good parts. I probably talk more folks into getting a Golden Retriever than into getting a GWP. Why? Because they shouldn't own one!!!!!! I am getting very sad seeing all of these dogs ending up in rescue, being returned to breeders, or being put to sleep just because they are being German Wirehaired Pointers.

So, if you are considering getting one of these dogs, please, please please.... talk to as many breeders and owners as you can. If they "only" tell you about how wonderful they are, politely thank them for their time and hang up! They are looking to sell puppies, they are not concerned about the future of the breed or for their dogs.

I don't care what anyone says, this breed can be obnoxious, pushy, aggressive, destructive and has endless energy. If you don't like a dog that is obnoxious, pushy, aggrressive and determined to have it his way, do not purchase a German Wirehaired Pointer.

But me? I love obnoxious, pushy, determined dogs with an attitude of "I'm the boss around here". But, many of my friends think I am totally crazy as well.

BB
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Keith
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read far more about growling dogs from other breeds than what I have personally experienced with wirehairs. They can be protective but they are a very stable breed. I have raised at least 10 wirehairs to adulthood and have only had one dog ever growl at me and he was not socialized properly as a pup by the breeder. All my dogs have always been around my children and all their friends and there has never been a problem. And out of all of those dogs I have only had one attempted bite at a person the dog thought was threatening me. Even this attempt was half hearted and more of a warning than a bite. The skin wasn't broken. But they are not a breed to ignore. If trained and socialized and not ignored in a kennel or on a chain you will never have any trouble. I have never stripped a coat either. If you buy a dog with a proper coat it will take care of itself. Even a longer coat just requires an occasional brushing. Despite what has been stated on this board by someone that is very misleading the advantages of that coat outway the disadvantages. It is the proper wirecoat that makes the wirehair the most versatile of all the gundogs. It allows you to hunt in any weather and lets you duck hunt in cold weather.
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Beths
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 12:59 pm    Post subject: back to 'stripping' Reply with quote

Can my GWP's coat be managed with regular brushing (weekly) since I am noticing a great deal of hairs on the carpet? We also own what I think is a german stripping knife. Looks kinda like a bread knife with a tight metal comb. How should I be using this? Backwards against the hair?

Thanks for putting up with my 'newbie' self. Confused
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Keith
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PostPosted: 07/02/03, 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pull with the hair not against it. You will just pull out a little at a time. You are just removing the dead hair. I have never stripped a GWP though. Just my airedales to get them ready for show. I have always found that a brushing with a good slicker brush will keep the loose hair off my wirehairs.
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