5 AMAZING FACTS About The GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER
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AIR FORCE The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing has a unique, four-legged asset in the form of a German Shorthaired Pointer. Haus, the dog in question, is the only working military dog that was donated and trained outside of the Lackland Air Force Base, where the usual training is done. Haus performs random perimeter searches in undisclosed locations in Southwest Asia. This remarkable dog brings his breed-specific traits and sensitive nose to security missions such as an explosives detection dog. Haus and his handler have a strong bond, the unique partnership relies on trust. The breed thrives on companionship, they love to please, making them the perfect addition to an already close-knit team. GERMAN EMPIRE The German Shorthaired Pointer was created to fulfil the need for a versatile hunting dog due to the rise of the German Empire in the 1880s. The heightened demand for meat and hides required a dog with a sensitive nose, discipline and an instinct to focus on the hunt! Their nose had to be sensitive enough to differentiate between all types of game and to locate them over a good distance. The meat demand meant that when a dog is sent to pick up a pheasant for example, they needed the discipline and instinct to remain ‘on point’ even after retrieving game. The dense forests, open fields and natural water sources of historical Germany also meant that a German Shorthaired Pointer needed to be versatile enough to cope on land as well as in the water. MONGRELS There are many theories and what exactly makes up a German Shorthaired Pointer. What can be agreed is that the German Shorthaired Pointer we know today was developed from old Spanish Pointers and traditional continental pointers, like the Braque Francais for example. To build on their abilities, the addition of German bloodhounds was for tracking and scent-work purposes. This breed also softened the dog’s temperament. Now, you’d think that that would’ve created a stellar hunting dog, byt they German’s weren’t satisfied. The dogs they had created proved to be too slow and lacked in true agility. In the 1860s, this mixture was further crossed with English pointers to improve their speed and pointing instincts. The end product was a sleek, intelligent, loyal and versatile gundog with incredible stamina, a highly developed pointing instinct and an eagerness to retrieve game. These dogs were real icons! NATURAL INSTINCTS So, we’ve touched a little bit on the skills the German Shorthaired Pointer has. But what is really remarkable, is their innate natural instincts. They’re called ‘Pointers’ for a reason, their nature is so strong that they will more than likely show signs of ‘pointing’ and marking prey even if you don’t teach them! This is what’s called Instinctive intelligence. This type of intelligence refers to what a dog knows what to do prior to training, it is intelligence that has quite literally been bred into them! So don’t worry if on a walk your Pointer puppy suddenly stops and assumes the pointing position at random! It just means he’s stopped something of interest or caught wind of an intriguing scent. Because of this innate behaviour, the training of your Pointer may take slightly longer and require more patience than with other breeds. They well be distracted quite regularly if you’re training out in the open. Their prey drive is one of the highest of any breed, so try to limit their exposure to small, furry creatures when you want to test their recall! BIG LITTERS For saying they aren’t the biggest breed out there, German Shorthaired Pointer’s can have impressively large litters! On average, you can expect a German Shorthaired Pointer bitch to whelp 8-12 puppies, the higher end of that statistic is the most common! Producing such big litters makes it imperative that the pups are all as healthy as possible. Research into the medical history is something that should be done before anything. German Shorthaired Pointer’s can suffer with hip and elbow dysplasia, which is an inherited condition. A way to prevent possibly 12 more German Shorthaired Pointer’s from suffering with this is to get x-rays and vet certified scores of the hip and elbows of the bitch and stud before they’re mated. This won’t eradicate the issue straight away, but with continued responsible breeding, maybe the future generations won’t have to suffer so much with it!