Novice owner of a GWP Behaviour

Discussion in 'German Wirehaired Pointer' started by Juanmi, May 20, 2020.

  1. Juanmi

    Juanmi New Member

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    Novice owner of a GWP

    Hi everyone,

    my name is Juanmi and last Christmas I rescued my dog Diego from a shelter. He is a 2 y.o., 32 kg cross of a drahtaar (according to the vet) and something else (no idea what). The only thing they knew in the shelter is that they had found him roaming free in the fields six months before and he had not tag, no chip, no nothing.

    Just to give a bit more of context, this is my first dog ever and I live in an apartment. When I decided to rescue a dog my first idea was to get something more manageable for my situation, but let's say that he "picked me" and I could not resist when he looked at me. Also, I have to acknowledge that at the time I did not know anything about pointers and hunting dogs in general. And I will reckon that although I love him to death, I am struggling sometimes with him. My main struggles are:

    • He has strong hunting instincts but I am not a hunter and I am not interested in training those skills with him. The problem here is that where I live there are rabbits in pretty much every park in the city, so walking with him is quite annoying because he pulls really hard to chase them and starts barking with a high pitch. I have read about hunters training their hunting dogs to just focus on a specific animal (duck, rabbit, fox, whatever) and forget about the rest. To any hunter that might be in the forum, do you think this is a good approach? I had understood that this is done when the dog is a puppy, mine is already 2 y.o. and quite stubborn.
    • What are your routine in terms of exercise/play? Our routine is going for a run early in the morning (~3 miles, at least 3-4 times a week), then another walk at lunch (30 min-1h) and another walk/visit to the park in the evening (1.5-2h). In the weekends I try to go to natural parks outside the city and sometimes take the bicycle (he is scared of the bicycle). But running just because of it is not challenging for him, so he ends up trotting and trailing behind. And, unless we find a big dog he can play rough with, by the end of the day I am running on fumes and he is full of energy. And this gets both of us frustrated, him because he wants to keep going and me because I feel bad for him. So, so far, I have given him pretty much all my free time but it is starting to feel like an obligation instead of enjoying the experience. And when it comes to play, he rarely plays fetch, he plays tug you know if agility training can be an option?
    • Linked to the previous one, I guess. When I have to go to the office, when he gets bored, he starts for looking things to do, which typically will be trying to destroy the couch and open the fridge (even though I put a lock for kids, he somehow manages to open it). I sometimes leave cardboard boxes for him to destroy but lately he has not been paying attention to them. I haven't done bench training with him because I didn't like the idea of leaving him locked in a cage/kennel, but I am considering using the guests room for that. What do you guys do when you have to leave the house?
    Sorry for the long message and thanks in advance!
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  3. Malka

    Malka Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    I think that the problem lies in the fact that you let your heart rule your head when you say you "could not resist" him when he looked at you, instead of rescuing a dog more suited to your situation, because much as you love Diego he really is not a suitable breed or mix of breeds for apartment living.
  4. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Physical activity alone will not tire him out, you just end up with a very fit dog. Mental stimulation is just as important.
    There are lots of things one can do other than just walking, break up his walks with some obedience, and train him to keep his focus on you, hide ball/toy in long grass and tell him to find it ect:
    There are lots of indoor games that you can do too.
    Have a look at what dog sports are in your area.
    When you have to leave him try stuffed kong or interactive food toys.

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