Hydration

Fullscreen capture 722014 94544 AM.bmp

 

No matter the season, water is crucial to your dog’s health, but in the dog days of summer, which just so happens to be the height of our dock diving season, it’s even more important.  A dog’s body weight is almost 70% water, so losing just 5-10% of body water means your dog could suffer from severe dehydration.  Monitoring your dog’s water intake can improve their health, prevent illness or injury, and insure proper hydration. While some dogs naturally do this on their own, some either under-drink or over-drink. Too little water can lead to dehydration in dogs, kidney stones, organ failure, and even death. Drinking too much water can lead to stomach bloat, electrolyte imbalances, and water toxicity.

****PLEASE NOTE:  If your dog is under-drinking or over-drinking, it could be a sign of an underlying illness. Under-drinking can indicate Parvo, Leptospirosis, or Pancreatitis. Over-drinking can signify a bladder infection, or diabetes. Be sure to have your vet check your dog if he/she is doing either.

Fullscreen capture 722014 113315 AM.bmp

GSPs are susceptible to bloat, so we have to be sure we keep an eye on our dogs’ water intake, making sure they don’t over-drink right before, during, or immediately after running.  During intense activity, we use a stainless steel water bottle with a roller-ball flow top (acts just like a hamster/rabbit style water dispenser), similar to the one pictured below to ensure our dogs are not gulping large amounts of water.  This type of water dispenser allows us to control their drinking during times when they would normally gulp, or drink too much.  We always provide them with access to water throughout the entire day.

0-drinkware-watersportsbottle-k9_sm

On average, Pets Web MD recommends that dogs should drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.  If you are exercising your dog, you need to take extra steps to keep him/her hydrated. During exercise, give your dog small amounts of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Once activity has ended, don’t put a water bowl down in front of your dog right away. Wait until your dog is calm and has stopped panting before you let them drink. An overly eager dog can swallow large amounts of water and air, which could lead to vomiting, discomfort, bloat, or torsion.

Can-I-Give-My-Dog-Watermelon-300x300

Another great tip we learned from our agility instructor, Kathy Parkin, at Pinelands Dog Training Center, is to offer our dogs small amounts of watermelon on extremely hot days, while at competition events, or during strenuous activity. This is especially helpful if your dog (like our Limoncello) doesn’t want to drink while “working” or competing.  The dogs think of watermelon more as a treat… and what a great treat it is! Watermelon is loaded with minerals, low on calories, and is great for hydration.  For an added bonus, you can enjoy the watermelon along with your dog for some of the same benefits!

Benefits of Watermelon:

  • Contains beta-carotene, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C
    • Great for dogs and their immune system
  • High water concentration – great for hydration
    • 91% water by weight
  • ***THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
    • Dogs don’t digest fruit as well as we do. Practice moderation when feeding it to your dog, especially if you notice a change when they empty their bowels. If your dog has never had watermelon, start out by giving them only a small piece or two, until you know how they will handle it. 
    • Do not feed your dog any part of the rind
    • Remove all seeds before feeding to your dog, or purchase seedless watermelon

Happy Hydrating!

87e6b0983cc6775695f2d85d1084bbb5

 

Information taken from:

Supplements

We are often asked what supplements we give to our pack and why.  Here is a list of supplements we give our pups daily, their benefits, and the recommended dosages we follow:

product_5

Nupro Joint and Immunity: For dosage directions click HERE

-Given daily with AM and PM meals

  • Provides the full range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and essential omega fatty acids, all in their natural raw forms
  • Glucosamine Complex, MSM, and Ester-C® , especially for the active dog
  • Contains no grains or grain by-products, wheat or glutens, corn, barley, fillers, artificial sugars or preservatives, dairy, or by-products of any kind.
  • Fresh, unprocessed ingredients, sourced from easily digestible whole foods
  • Uses a premium quality Pork Liver which is human-grade
  • Researched and developed by a doctor of nutrition
  • Formulated as a powder, and is not a concentrate, which allows it to be easily assimilated into your dog’s system and digested with your dog’s food.

product_9

Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula: For dosage directions, click HERE

-Given the night before a competition, competition day, and for non-competition weeks: for maintenance 1 – 2 times a week

  • designed especially for highly active “working” or “performance dogs”
  • Formulated using balanced ratios of the purest quality natural Trace Minerals that are essential for optimal health and performance during stressful conditions
  • Electrolytes are useful in aiding your dog’s body to sustain, replenish and re-establish the normal fluid balances of blood and tissues which may be upset during periods of high-level stress and/or demanding competition and to continually maintain your “active” dog in optimal health
  • Extremely effective in warmer climates and on hot summer days.

glyco

GlycoFlex Plus:

  • Advanced joint support supplement for dogs of any age
  • Clinically proven to increase hind leg strength up to 41%
  • Combines glucosamine, chondroitin, Perna, DMG, MSM and important antioxidants to support your dog’s everyday motion and comfort

 

 

 

SPT-93451-1

Fresh-Pressed, Unrefined Coconut Oil: 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support

-Given Daily with PM meal

  • Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
    • Provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance
    • Help balance the thyroid
    • Have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs
  • Capric, caprylic acid, and lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
  • Improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
  • Skin Conditions
    • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
    • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
    • Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
    • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
    • Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
    • Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
  •  Digestion
    • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
    • Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
    • Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  • Immune System, Metabolic Function, Bone Health
    • Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
    • Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
    • Helps prevent or control diabetes
    • Helps reduce weight, increases energy
    • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems

23744-504

Salmon Oil:  1/2 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight

-Given daily with AM meal

  • Improves the coat and skin
  • Reduces inflammation due to conditions such as arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Regulates the immune system, boosting those that are suppressed and calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies or autoimmune diseases
  • Aides in mental development of fetuses and puppies, and improving cognitive function in older dogs
  • Lowers blood pressure and triglycerides
  • Provides support for dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer
  • Helps in producing more collagen
  • Helps prevent skin allergiesSOG-18525-0

Organic Turmeric: 15 to 20 mg per pound of body weight

-Given daily with AM and PM meal

  • Anti…everything!
    • Powerful antioxidant
    • A natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent
  • Heart Health
    • Has been found to lower LDL levels,  which support both heart and liver health
    • Helps to thin the blood, reducing the risk of deadly clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. It’s important not to thin your dog’s blood too much, but the right amount can be helpful. ***If your pet is on medication, especially those that thin the blood, check with your vet for the appropriate dosage
  • Powerful Detoxifier
    • Great for the liver – Our dogs are susceptible to toxins in the environment and in their food, especially some of the commercially produced kibble and treats
    • Believed to stimulate bile production necessary for the digestion of fat in the liver.  Active dogs need at least 20% fat in their diet; therefore, bile production is critical for good health
    • Boosts the liver’s ability to metabolize fat and remove waste from the body.
    • PLEASE NOTE: As with any pre-existing condition, if your pet already suffers from liver disease, you should consult your vet before treating with turmeric as some studies indicate that turmeric may aggravate existing problems
  • Anti-Cancer Properties
    • This powerful antioxidant plays a significant role in preventative medicine, and there are now reports coming out claiming that turmeric may help in the fight against cancer!
    • In a study at The Department of Small Animal Clinical Scientists, they found that curcumin (the bio-active compound [or active ingredient or healing properties] of turmeric) may even shrink existing tumors. This has to do with the spice’s amazing ability to shut down blood vessels that feed tumors.
    • Antioxidant properties are also helpful in reducing the negative side effect of chemotherapy
  • Other great things about Turmeric:
    • Aids in the treatment of epilepsy
    • Helps relieve allergies
    • Helps in preventing the formation of cataracts
    • Used in treating depression (Yes, dogs can get depressed too)
    • Kills parasites
    • Heals stomach ailments, aids in digestive disorders, and reduces gas and bloating
    • Acts as a binding agent and therefore great for treating diarrhea (****Make sure you have lots of water available for your pet to drink!) 
    • Aids in fat metabolism and weight management
    • High in fiber and rich in vitamins and mineral
    • PLEASE NOTE:
      • Turmeric is a bright orange color: be careful and mix it in well with your pets’ food, because your pets might end up with turmeric mustaches 🙂
      • Turmeric is a binding agent, so ensure that your pet has lots of water to reduce the likelihood of constipation

doggie

We are on the road often, with exposure to many things that could cause sudden stomach-upset in our dogs.  Therefore, we keep the following supplement on-hand in case of an onset of diarrhea:

NWY-17100-4

Slippery Elm: Capsule form:  Give a ¼ capsule twice daily to small dogs, a ½ capsule twice daily to medium dogs, and one capsule once or twice daily for large dogs. Mix contents of capsule into your dog’s kibble, or mix with plain live-cultured yogurt, or pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Slippery elm is recommended for acute cases of diarrhea, as well as for conditions like colitis, stomach irritations, constipation, and coughing.

  • Diarrhea
    • Helps by reducing inflammation and lubricating the digestive tract with the help of the mucilage, or oily secretions that make up slippery elm
    • To read about other natural remedies to help with diarrhea, see information at bottom of post.
  • Constipation
    • It might seem strange that slippery elm can help two seemingly opposite conditions like diarrhea and constipation… but, because of this wonder-herb’s soothing, lubricating properties, Slippery Elm can help to relieve and even prevent constipation
  • Coughing
    • Kennel cough is always a concern since we are around hundreds of dogs from all over the country at dock diving events.  Much in the same way slippery elm reduces inflammation and lubricates the digestive tract, it works to help the upper respiratory system, making it of great benefit in easing discomforts from painful coughing associated with conditions like kennel cough.  (***Note: this is not a remedy for kennel cough.  Kennel cough is highly contagious and can be very aggressive.  If you feel as though your dog has been exposed to kennel cough, isolate your dog immediately, contact your veterinarian, and notify other people your dog may have had contact with.)
    • ALSO NOTE: In rare cases, a dog may be allergic to slippery elm and it shouldn’t be used in pregnant animals, otherwise the herb is generally safe

 

More natural remedies for diarrhea:

When this happens to our pups, and anything serious (like an obstruction) is a ruled out, we first pull their food for 12-24 hours. It allows their system to “reset” and have a break. It also lessens the chance that they will vomit/have more diarrhea. We make sure they are still drinking water (dehydration is a big concern with stomach issues) and check frequently to make sure their gums are still nice and pink (pale gums can be a sign of dehydration). Finally, we make up some sort of bland food to give them until they’ve recovered from their stomach upset.  ***PLEASE NOTE:  If at any time your dog is extremely lethargic, feverish, bloated, there is a large amount of blood in the stool or vomit, or you are concerned about him, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. But for those dogs who are experiencing simple diarrhea and vomiting, here are some steps you can take to help:

  • Fasting
    • Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly. After the fast, if the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water (a few teaspoons in very small dogs and up to ½ to 1 cup in large dogs) every few hours. Be certain to use filtered or spring water. After six hours of water only, you may start some small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days. In terms of amount, adjust based on your dog’s size and normal eating habits …all dogs are different.  The amount of ingredients in the recipes shared really are general – meaning it will completely depend on the size of your dog. Stick to the general ratios your dog normally eats (or trust your eye). When done feeding bland meals, also be sure to slowly re-introduce your dogs normal kibble by using the following as a guide:
      • Start by mixing 25% kibble with 75% bland mix. Slowly change the proportions over the next five to seven days by gradually increasing the amount of kibble, and decreasing the amount of bland mix. At the end of this transitioning process, you should be feeding 100% kibble.
  • Bland Food
    • Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea
      • There are a number of different combinations you can try, but the ingredients are the same
        • 100% canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!!): Only pureed canned pumpkin here, nothing else added. It can help with diarrhea and will firm up soft/loose stool thanks to its high fiber content.
        • White rice: White rice is as bland as it gets, and it is also a source of soluble fiber. It absorbs water as it passes through the GI track, which will help harden stool and add bulk.
        • Plain live-cultured yogurt: Make sure that you have non-fat/low-fat PLAIN (not vanilla) live culture yogurt. Thanks to its natural probiotics, it can help restore the balance to your dog’s gut, and get all the good bacteria thriving.
        • Plain low-fat meat: Boiled chicken, with no salt or anything added, can add a little substance to your dog’s diet if they are ready for it. It’s a good protein source, and very bland.  If your dog has a chicken allergy, you can substitute boiled chicken with boiled lean ground beef, or boiled lamb.
      • The recipes:
        1. Plain Mash: This is a good basic mash for dogs that turn up their nose at canned pumpkin or yogurt. Make sure the chicken is plain and that you just boil it. The added water makes this easy to eat and has the added bonus of getting some much needed fluid into your pups system.
          • Ingredients:
            • boiled chicken, shredded
            • white rice
            • 1/2 cup or so of warm water
          • Directions: Boil chicken and cook white rice. Shred the chicken into the cooked white rice, and add roughly ½ cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly, and feed to your dog in place of its usual meals. You can also feed this in smaller quantities throughout the day which can be easier for their gut to handle.
        2. Sweet Mash:  For milder cases of soft stool, this tasty mash can help solidify things thanks to the pumpkin, while ensuring the balance of bacteria gets back on track with the yogurt.
          • Ingredients:
            • 2 tablespoons plain live cultured yogurt
            • 1/4 can canned pureed pure pumpkin
          • Directions: Mix up 2 tablespoons of plain live cultured yogurt with ¼ can pureed pumpkin, , and feed to your dog in place of its usual meals. You can also feed this in smaller quantities throughout the day which can be easier for their gut to handle.
        3. Mish-Mash Mash: This is pretty much all the ingredients mashed into one.
          • Ingredients: 
            • ¼-1/2 cup 100% Canned Pumpkin
            • ½ cup white rice
            • 1-2 tablespoons unflavored plain live culture yogurt
            • Plain boiled chicken, or other low-fat meat (no salt added)
            • ¼ cup warm water
          • Directions: Boil a chicken and cook ½ cup of white rice.  Thoroughly mix ¼ cup of canned pumpkin and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt into the rice, and then add about ¼ -1/2 cup low fat boiled meat, torn into bits. Feed in place of regular meals

 

dog-food-bowl_1366613947_img

 

Information taken from the following:

 

“Extras”

12-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Start-Eating-Organic-Food-increased-nutrient-contents

For added protein and yummy goodness, with each meal our pack gets 1-2 tablespoons of the following extra “goodies” mixed in with their kibble.  All ingredients below are organic, responsibly farmed, and bought at our local Whole Foods.

  • Cooked (boiled) ground bison and its natural broth
  • Cooked (boiled) ground beef and its natural broth
  • Cooked (boiled) ground lamb and its natural broth
  • Cooked (boiled) wild caught salmon and its natural broth
  • Hard boiled egg

Treats

05e5b03d8c540b566966a3b048ff924b

We hold the same high standards that we have with their food when it comes to “spoiling” our pups with treats.  Our dogs are rewarded with treats in moderation, keeping in mind that treats should represent ten percent or less of a dog’s daily food intake.

  1. There’s nothing like homemade! Our first choice in treats are none other than our very own homemade treats made right here in Cello’s Cucina. Click HERE to see our pack’s favorite recipes – or use the “Cello’s Cucina” menue button at the top of our blog.  We are always adding to this section of the blog as we find new recipes that our pack taste-tests and  “approves!”
  2. Natural Chews: As an added treat, our dogs periodically get natural chews such as bully sticks, etc, from trustworthy sources who responsibly raise their animals under the same organic standards we value from Whole Foods.  We have a local pet supply business to help us choose our natural chews.

Nutrition

toon_13

We often get asked what we feed our pack.  This section of the blog is to share with you what, when, and how we feed our pack in order to maintain optimal health.  Click on the links below, or use the drop-down menu on the “Nutrition” menu tab to access the components of our pack’s diet:

The proper diet and nutrients is essential to a dog’s health. Dogs need a certain combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water every day in order to function normally. Each and every nutrient in your dog’s food has a purpose.

  • Proteins:  provide energy, and help with muscle growth, repair, and function
  • Fats:  provide energy, help the brain function, and keep the skin and hair coat shiny and healthy
  • Carbohydrates: supply a source of quick energy
  • Vitamins and minerals:  necessary for muscle and nerve health, and help to prevent disease

Without adequate nutrition, your dog would not be able to maintain muscle tone, grow healthy teeth and bones, perform normal daily activities with ease, or fight-off infection. Competition dogs have even more specific needs as well.  Reputable dog food manufacturers work diligently to determine the exact formula that goes into their products so that their food provides all the nutrients your dog needs on a daily basis.  There are foods designed for specific stages of life (such as for puppies or senior dogs), while some provide hypoallergenic nutrition and other formulas are developed to control specific health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, etc. Keeping your dog on a nutritious diet not only helps to keep him or her at a healthy weight, but may also aid in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.  As with any important life decisions you make for your dog, consult with your veterinarian, and/or speak to a nutritionist before planning or changing your dog’s diet.

 

German Shorthaired Pointer “Deutsch Kurzhaar”

cj

First and foremost, we’d like to congratulate CJ the German Shorthaired Pointer, and his owner, Valerie, for winning Best in Show at Westminster 2016!  This is an awesome accomplishment for the breed! However, with this remarkable recognition, can come negative consequences.  GSPs will be in high demand, and backyard breeders will be intent on breeding.  In a few months to a year, many of these pups will be given up to rescue, or worse, because a German Shorthaired Pointer is not suited for the many families that “just want one” because they fell in love with the breed from watching a show.  What people saw at Westminster was THE perfect example of what German Shorthaired Pointers are made of: athleticism, grace, intelligence, intensity and energy. CJ’s performance surely did not happen naturally, or “just because”…this dog has been in training his since he was a young pup! German Shorthaired Pointers are very intuitive, and very HIGH energy dogs. To channel that intensity takes a LOT of training and patience from a person who is very experienced with the breed.

THE GSP AT A QUICK GLANCE

DSC01480

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a versatile hunter, capable of high performance in the field and in the water.  One of the most energetic breeds, the GSP is a hunting dog by nature.  Clever, eager, and willing to please, it is very fond of its human family.  Dominance and energy levels vary from puppy to puppy, but those bred for working in high-performance field competitions usually require more activity than the average GSP.  However, all GSPs are very high energy dogs who need a lot of daily mental and physical stimulation.  Those who do not get the daily workout they need will literally “bounce off the walls!”  The GSP needs an owner who can provide appropriate, calm, confident, and consistent training.  GSPs crave structure, and enjoy having a “job” to do.  If this breed lacks in either exercise or leadership, it can become frustrated, and develop separation anxiety, and possibly become destructive.  Due to their strong prey drive, GSPs generally do not do well with cats or other small animals.  However, well-adjusted, stable minded GSPs who receive enough mental and physical activity along with a balance of consistent leadership will get along with other dogs and cats.  This breed can be reserved with strangers if not socialized well.  DSC02623_edited

 

Average Height and Weight

Height:       Males 23 – 25 inches (59 – 64 cm)         Females 21 – 23 inches (53 – 58 cm)
Weight:      Males 55 – 70 pounds (25 – 32 kg)        Females 45 – 60 pounds (20 – 27 kg)

DSC05784

 

Living Conditions

This breed is not suited to life in a kennel, and is not recommended for apartment life.  GSPs do best with a large yard and an active, athletic family, dedicated to fulfilling the breed’s drive to “work.”  The breed is generally good with kids, but caution must be exercised around small children.  Due to their eagerness, unintentional injuries from small children being knocked over may occur.  (PLEASE NOTE: Proper introduction of children to any breed, and teaching children appropriate behavior around dogs in general, is essential. NEVER leave any dog unattended with an a young child). GSPs thrive on human interaction, and love their humans very much –  sometimes to the point of being a “velcro dog” (following your every step around the house).  Due to high prey drive, GSPs are sometimes not very cordial with cats and other small animals. They can be trained to leave them alone and share home space, but their hunting instinct may interfere at times. When raised as a puppy with cats and other small animals, such as toy breeds, GSPs often do well. However, caution should always be used with any other small pet companions. GSPs may be able to jump any fence that is lower than 6 feet tall, and some have been known to clear even a 6-foot fence. Under exercised, bored GSPs are great escape artists.  Be prepared for an imperfect lawn to say the least.  Even established, thriving grass will be worn to dirt with the GSPs foot traffic.

20131115-213301.jpg

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

LAGER one

Colors

Black, Black and White, Black Roan, Liver, Liver and White, Liver Roan, White, White and Liver

DSC04969

Markings

Patched, Patched and Ticked, Ticked

 Nayt

Care

Maintenance of the GSP is minimal compared to many other breeds, but there are still some areas that require attention..  The GSP’s short, sleek coat requires minimal grooming.  Despite its short coat, the GSP does in fact shed! Their dark hair shows up on the light items and their white hairs on the dark articles! Also, due to their short hair length,  it can become embedded in some fabrics and carpeting and difficult to vacuum out. Regular brushing as well as the occasional bath will help reduce shedding. Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or nail dremel to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking.  Because of their folded ears, airflow is often not adequate, which can lead to a buildup of wax and debris, which can further result in an infection.  Ears should be cleaned with a mild solution (talk with your vet about which solution is best, and the proper method to clean the ears).  Teeth should be brushed regularly with a toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs.   Because the breed is subject to bloat or torsion, they should not be fed immediately after running or other demanding exercise, nor should they be allowed to run or exercise for at least an hour after eating and drinking. The ideal evening mealtime would be after the day’s exercising and activities are through for the day.

unnamed (7)

 Energy and Exercise

GSPs are a very high energy breed.  They tend to keep a puppy-level of energy throughout most of their lives!  GSPs always want to be at the center of things, and are always up for physical activity like running, swimming, organized dog sports — anything that will burn some of their boundless energy while spending outdoors time with a human family member. A bored GSP can be quite mischievous to say the least. This eager breed does best with regular consistent exercise, positive training, and lots of love.

reindeer 4
Health

Like all breeds there may be some health issues, but the majority of German Shorthaired Pointers are healthy dogs. Regular veterinary care and proper feeding are vital to your dog’s health.  Yearly DHLPP vaccinations, rabies shots, a monthly heart worm and flea/tick preventative regimen, and in many parts of the country a Lyme Disease vaccination, should not be neglected.  Follow the advice of your veterinarian for shots and monthly preventatives.  If you plan to purchase a puppy, be sure to do your research and work with a responsible breeder.  Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their dogs to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

834786 (1)-002

 

Obedience Training

A MUST!  If new to the breed,  it would be beneficial to work with another individual who is knowledgeable about the breed. The GSP is a quick learner, and very eager to please, and will work hard for positive reinforcement. They are not generally stubborn, but can at times be quite creative. Due to their high intelligence level, the biggest challenge is to keep them focused, and not let them get away with “inventing” variations to the exercise being taught. Because of their extreme sensitivity to people, the trainer must always be watchful of their own body language and reactions to issues that come up during a training exercise. A calm demeanor, and providing quick, clear rewards for desired behaviors, will enable you to be successful in your training.  Not all types of training methods, or instructors are right for every dog, no matter what the breed.  So be sure to educate yourself, and carefully match your training methods with the personality, characteristics, and needs of your dog.

photo 2 (5)

Crate Training

As with anything else, do your research on crate training.  If introduced properly and in a positive manner, the crate becomes a safe haven and a secure “den” for the dog. The crate provides a safe place to go when things get too hectic and the dog needs a break. When the dog has to travel, its “safe place” can come along,  and the dog will always have its den regardless of the circumstances.

unnamed (3)

Clubs

German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America

Find a local club by you by clicking HERE

DSC08063

Rescues

Combined with the fact that humans don’t always do their research, and the breed’s high energy demands, GSPs often find themselves surrendered to a rescue group once the owner realizes what they got themselves in to.  There are many GSPs of all ages just waiting for a forever family.  Find a local rescue by clicking HERE

DSC01064

Breeder Listing

If you would prefer to purchase a registered puppy rather than rescue, the GSPCA provides a breeder directory.  However, please be aware that the listings here are paid classifieds.  The breeders are not recommended by the GSPCA. The breeders listed, do however, agree to abide by the Code of Ethics adopted by the GSPCA. It is the Breeder’s responsibility when it comes to the health and temperament of the puppies and dogs offered for sale.  Remember, if you choose to use this directory, you must still do your research, and decide for yourself which breeder is most suitable.  Click HERE to access the directory.  Another suggestion is to contact your local GSP Rescue.  Often, the rescues can provide you with a list of reputable breeders they would recommend.

Some other things to keep in mind as you choose a breeder:

The coat pattern of GSPs can be quite varied ranging from solid to one with markings. The coat color of the purebred GSP will be liver and white or black and white but not a combination of liver, black and white. Some shade of liver may be very dark but the color of the dog’s nose will indicate whether it is a liver dog (brown nose for a brown dog or black nose for a black dog). Some breeders advertise “rare” GSPs based on color. Be cautious!! A responsible breeder knows there is a mutant gene that can result in a dilute silver or lemon color, and would never produce dilute colors deliberately.  If you are interested in showing  the dog, be aware that currently the Parent Club breed standard does not allow for the black variation to be shown in the conformation ring.   However, that does not prevent the black variation from being registered with the AKC or competing in all of the performance events, such as field trials, hunting test, agility, obedience, and tracking.   At a minimum, breeding stock should be certified against hip and elbow dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals. It is also helpful to inquire about the health of both the sire and dam of a litter, as well as their parents and litter-mates. Don’t be afraid to ask how long they lived, or what (if any) health issues they had.  A reputable breeder will welcome any and all questions.  Click HERE for other possible questions to ask breeders.  In addition to asking lots of questions, several qualities to look for in a breeder include, but are not limited to:

  • They strive to meet the breed standard (the written description of how the perfect dog of that breed should look, move and act).
  • They breed because it’s their passion,  with the goal of improving the breed, and they don’t breed solely to make money.
  • They actively compete in conformation events, field trials and other sports. Winning ribbons and trophies proves their dogs possess physical traits and talents worthy of breeding.
  • They only produce a few litters each year.
  • They don’t mind spending time educating buyers about not only the advantages but disadvantages of the breed too.
  • They guarantee their puppies’ health for reasonable periods, and agree to take them back, for whatever reason, if an owner can no longer keep them.

DSC02601

If you have read this post, you most likely have have decided to welcome a GSP into your home, making he/she a part of your family and your life. This is a lifetime commitment that, like any relationship, should not be taken lightly, and can also present its share of challenges.  Take your time and do your research – you and your new 4-legged family member will be happy you did!

Check out this Dogs 101 video on GSPs originally aired on Animal Planet:

**Information in this post was taken from breedinfo.com, German Shorthaired Club of America , and The American Kennel Club , and is meant only for a generalized summary of the breed, and to put as much information about the breed in one place in hopes to educate potential first-time GSP owners/adopters.  Please be sure to do your own research on this breed before adding a GSP to your family.