About the Breed – GSP
“The All Purpose Gundog – Hunt Point Retrieve”
Originally bred in Germany, the GSP was developed to carry out the work of at least three specialised Gundog breeds. The GSP comes under the KENNEL CLUB classification of HUNT, POINT and RETRIEVE breeds. (HPR)
The GSP unlike other breeds remains true to its beginnings. Other Gundog types, i.e.; the English Springer Spaniel or the Labrador have a noticeable division within each breed. A Labrador bred purely for the show ring is barely recognizable as the same breed when compared for one bred for the field. Most show dogs will lack the drive and initiative to do a full days working the field and a work bred dog will probably not fit the recommended standard to compete in the show ring.
This is not the case with the GSP. Whether bred for show or field work it can and does compete in both activities successfully. So far breeders of the GSP have been very careful to maintain the Dual Purpose nature of the dogs they have bred, which is why the breed can boast of having several Dual Champions within its ranks i.e.: dogs that are not only FIELD TRIAL CHAMPIONS but also SHOW CHAMPIONS. This is a rarity in many Gundog breeds.
The GSP was bred to work and is, without a doubt, happiest when doing what they were bred for and do need to be kept occupied on a task. They are a highly intelligent breed, but slow to mature, with a strong instinct to hunt. Consequently it is unwise to allow unsupervised exercise. Knowing you are not there to keep an eye on him, he will take advantage and soon find all sorts of mischief to get up to. The GSP does not require huge amount of exercise each day although a certain amount of free supervised running is necessary on a regular basis. Most important to a GSP is MENTAL STIMULATION.
The GSP is bred to work, ideally in a shooting environment but you do not have to shoot over a GSP. There are many other ways to give him the mental stimulation he craves. eg: Obedience, Agility, Working trials, Gundog training or Field Trials.. If none of these appeal to you with a bit of imagination, a ball or favourite toy…the sky is the limit.
A bored GSP can be very trying! The dog may become very destructive and noisy leaving its owner in no doubt that it is bored and frustrated. The first sign that something is wrong may be finding your shoes chewed, or kitchen floor destroyed. So you solve the problem by putting him in the garden…WRONG! GSPs love gardening especially excavation. When tired of digging, weeding, and pruning your plants he may then dig up your lawn before escaping over the fence. You must obviously have a secure garden to contain him. So how do you keep your GSP happy?
He needs to know his place within the family unit and who is the Boss. He ao needs to know that when you say ‘NO’ you mean it. DISCIPLINE and OBEDIENCE are vital to the well being of a GSP. The breed is not only physically strong but also very obstinate and will take advantage of any suitable situation if allowed. He must be taught right from wrong at an early age.
A GSP is not aggressive by nature. If aggression is present it is usually directed from one adult male to another but can be dealt with at an early age. Aggression towards humans is almost unheard of although a large outgoing male can be intimidating to those who do not know the breed. One of their most endearing traits is their love of people and unless brought up from a very small puppy to kennelling will prefer to live as one of the family. They are remarkable for their companionship traits and do not thrive away from people. They can be aloof to strangers but are extremely loving and loyal to their family and friends. They make good house dogs but on the whole are not good barkers.. However if taught to bark at the door, they will never forget.
The average size for a GSP is about 21-23 inches for a bitch and 23-25 inches for a dog.
The GSP is a handsome and noble companion and can be a great source of fun and amusement. They are not the easiest of breeds and need constant supervision, stimulation and companionship. They have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years so obviously need long term commitment.
A properly reared German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the greatest joys in this life and if they are not in the other one then who wants to go?……..