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i have many questions

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Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 2
Location: south texas

PostPosted: 04/08/03, 8:58 pm    Post subject: i have many questions Reply with quote

i am in college and living in an apartment, but will be in a house with a back yard in the summer and for the rest of my years in college. i have always wanted a huting dog and inparticular a GWP. i plan on getting a dog sometime this summer. here are my questions

1. i live in extreme south texas and was wonsering how a GWP would preforme in the heat.
2. i will have time to train but have no idea how, where can i get info on training a GWP to point quail, retrive ducks and dove, and trail wounded deer and hogs.
3. would i be better off getting a puppy and training it or getting a dog that has already been started?
4. i an sure i will not hunt as much as most of you but i will hunt as much as possible, is there a dog that might be better suited for me?
5. are GWPs better kept indoors, in a kennel, or in a yard?
6. if you know of any respected breeders in texas please let me know through email.

im sure i have more questions but i cannot think of them now. please post any additional information that would help a first time GWP owner.

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Joined: 27 Dec 2002
Posts: 163

PostPosted: 04/09/03, 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have owned at least 10 different wirehairs raised to adulthood. I love the breed and wouldn't hunt with any other. I live in Oklahoma and it gets almost as hot here as in Texas. My first hunt of the season was almost 100 degrees for dove. Last season I used a different dog for doves and it was at or over 100 degrees. They both did a good job retrieving doves. You have to use your brains when hunting with a dog in that kind of heat. Keep the dog in the shad if possible and bring water. I also took them for a swim at midday. Same when quail hunting in heat. Use some common sense and you will be okay. Hunt primarily in early morning and late afternoon when quail are the most active anyway. I am really convinced that they are the best breed available for the species you have mentioned. The little green book used by NAVHDA can assist you in training. It also has a section in it for blood tracking wounded big game. I have also read of people using their wirehairs for tracking pigs or javelina on leash. I start my pups by introducing them to the wing on a string just to demonstrate their pointing instinct. They will usually point the wing at a very early age. Just praise and pet them while they point the wing. Don't let them catch it. You can also start them retrieving at a very early age. Just work them in a confined area, like a hallway where they will be forced to run by you when the grab the thrown object. They have strong instinct to carry and will chase and carry a ball or socks at a very early age. Just praise them when they bring it to you and have them gently release it from their mouth. Don't play tug of war. I also like to have them carry around dead birds when they are very young to let them get used to carrying birds and prevent hard mouth. When they are old enough to run around take them to the field and let them run around as often as possible. I take them everyday until they learn how to hunt. You can also start working on the way they pattern in the field and cooperation. Just let a wirehair have their head. They have an instinct to stay in touch with their owner and it is unsual for them to range to far and get out of touch with their trainer. They are by nature a cooperative breed. At a few months old I also like to buy some quail and let them chase them around the yard to build up bird desire. But don't get carried away. It won't hurt if they catch a poor flying bird once or twice when they are young to fire them up but be careful. If they learn they can catch birds they will not want to point them. They need to learn on wild birds if possible and they need months of chasing wild birds and rabbits to learn that they can't catch them. Any kind of wild birds you can get them in. Then they will start to point in the field on their own. You can go up to them and praise and pet them just like you did with the wing. I introduce the gun while they are young and running in the field chasing a bird. I shoot a 22 blank pistol once at a distance while they are chasing observing their reaction making sure it doesn't bother them. When they love retrieving I will also take a dummy and get about 200 of so feet away from them and throw the dummy in the air and shoot the blank. They like retrieving so much that they soon associate the shot with retrieving the dummy and don't mind it. Then over time I close the distance to the dog until you can shoot the gun right beside them while throwing the dummy. I introduce them to the water a little at a time. First by trying to get them to swim with you, when the water is warm. You can also throw the dummy into the water where they can walk out and get it at first. Over a few days you increase the distance until they have to swim a little bit to get it. Some will refuse to swim. I will take them in carrying them on my side and until they have to swim just a couple of feet. I slowly lower them in the water while holding on praising them as they swim to shore. After a few days of this slowly increasing the swimming distance they will usually go out and retrieve the dummy thrown where they will have to swim a couple of feet. You have to pick your dog very carefully for duck hunting from a breeder that duck hunts. I have had wirehairs that quit on me when the water got icy. But the best ones will go duck hunting in any weather. I use a neoprene vest when duck hunting. It keeps them warmer, protects them from sharp sticks and provides more bouyancy for swimming. I work on their tracking skills with a duck. I don't want them to get in the habit of catching birds, not good for their pointing, so I tie some surveying flagging to one leg then release the duck. At the end of the track I put the duck into a dog carrier and hide it in the brush. The dogs love this and will quickly track to the duck. I then praise the dog and carry the duck to the truck and put it away. When the dog is pointing birds for a while in the field I then teach them to whoa. Once they are good on whoa I put out a pigeon in a spring loaded pigeon thrower. I bring the dog in on a 20 to 30 foot long checkchord and as soon as they point I tell them to whoa. I pet them and praise them for holding point. I then hold the checkchord while I spring the trap making them stand there while the bird flies away. I then move them on to the next bird or put them up. Get the book "the best way to train your gun dog". It has a good section on whoa training and how to teach a dog to hold point. I also force train my dogs after they are about 1 or 2 years old for more advance retrieving training. The little green book will tell you how to do this. I use the ear pinch. For tougher dogs I use the ear pinch on the metal clasp on the collar. You have to follow it through to the end so don't start unless you are prepared to carry it through. When you are finished the dog will happily retrieve on command not just a desire to on their own. Every time I put my pup in the dog carrier I say kennel. Over time they will learn to kennel on their own. I also say here when they come to me and teach here when they are no the leash or checkchord while pulling them to you. Over time they will respond when you call them in. Don't chase the dog. I keep my dogs outside in a chainlink kennel. I let them out to run in a fenced yard in the morning and in the evening. They can't be put in a kennel and ignored like a pointer. They have to have daily exercise and human contact. They also have to be well socialized with other dogs and people while they are young. They are a protective breed and need to get to know lots of people when they are young so they don't become overly protective. They also need early exposure to other dogs to learn how to get along. Keeping a dog inside with you won't hurt their hunting ablility at all.
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
Posts: 106
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 04/16/03, 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand your desire to have a dog and to hunt with him. But as someone who's been through university herself, and knowing the amount of work and time it takes, are you really ready for the huge amount of energy required in raising a GWP, let alone train it? Can you not wait until you finish college?

I'm speaking from the heart here, and don't want to piss anyone off, especially you, but as someone who has always taken in rescues, and someone who really has come to understand and know GWPs needs as far as exercise and training, I can't imagine being in school and raising one of these wonderful dogs at the same time. I just can't. They take a LOT of work, Mike, and require a lot of one-on-one time with you if you want a mannered companion and hunting partner.

Not saying that this would be the case, but I'd hate to see yet another GWP in rescue because someone jumped the gun (no pun intended). For the sake of these lovely dogs, please evaluate your situation very carefully and objectively before getting a pup or a dog.

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