What you’ll learn in this episode:
- The history of the German Shorthair Pointer
- The variety of traits that have been bred into GSPs
- Why GSPs make great family dogs in addition to hunting dogs
- How some lines of GSPs have different traits than others
- What to look for in a GSP depending on your needs
Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs
In this episode, Web speaks with David Gowdey, author of a definitive book about German shorthaired pointers. David grew up with GSP and his love and affection for this breed has stayed with him throughout his life and informed his research on them.
David discusses the history of the development of the German shorthaired pointer, which started in 1870 when the separate independent states of Germany united into one nation. The development of the GSP was a patriotic endeavor to create a hunting dog that would be superior to the French Bracques and the English Pointers and Setters.
The breeders identified the ideal traits they wished the dog to embody and set about creating a dog that would meet the needs of a hunter who could only own one dog and yet needed that one dog to be versatile in its abilities. It was essential that this dog be a life companion as comfortable living in the house with a family as it would be out in the field.
Today, the GSP is America’s most popular pointing dog and is also found throughout the world. David speaks to his personal experiences hunting with GSPs in Europe, South America, and South Africa. As they were bred to be versatile hunting dogs, they are used to hunt a variety of birds but can also be utilized to retrieve ducks and geese and to track “fur.”
Once the GSPs began to flourish in the United States, some breeders continued to experiment with the breed’s genetics. This is the source of some controversy as some dogs have been bred with pointers to be utilized in field trials, while others prefer the old-school GSPs for use when hunting quail and other birds. When looking to add a GSP to your family, you are encouraged to be clear on your purpose for the dog (hunting vs field trialing) and to do research to choose the best dog for yourself and your lifestyle. For example, be sure to see the parents of the dog; look at the history of their activities; and look at the physical conformation of your choice.
The rest will be up to you and your dog!
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE:
Author of: The German Shorthaired Pointer: A Hunter’s Guide to the Selection, Care, Training & Handling of America’s Most Popular Pointing Dog
(found on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com)