Activities For German Longhaired Pointers

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Introduction

The German Longhaired Pointer is the oldest of the German Pointer breeds, employed by falconers even before the gun was commonly used for hunting. They are versatile and driven hunting dogs who are able to retrieve both on land and in the water and are also quite competent at tracking, flushing, and pointing. This breed has a gentle, friendly demeanor and they tend to make pleasant companions in the home as well, but they can occasionally be prone to separation anxiety and they are both happier and healthier if given some sort of useful job to do.

Dock Diving

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Large Body of Water with a Dock
Diving Pool
Target
Activity description

The sport of dock diving is a competitive activity in which dogs run to the end of a thirty-five to forty foot dock and jump off in pursuit of a target that is either suspended over a long pool or flung far out into it. Prizes are given for dogs who make the longest leap as well as the highest. Dock Diving, as a canine sport, was introduced to the world during the Incredible Dog Challenge in 1997, and it grew quickly from there. There are several Dock Dog groups that have formed throughout the United States, and competitors can find plenty of opportunities to showcase their dog’s talent. German Longhaired Pointers, with their a natural affinity for the water and a serious drive to retrieve, are likely to enjoy and excel at this sport. 

Step
1
Learn to swim
While most German Longhaired Pointers enjoy the water and will happily jump in and splash around with very little encouragement, they also need to be confident swimmers for their own safety. After they have shown that they are competent swimmers, you will want to introduce them to the idea of jumping off something like a dock into the deep water so that they aren’t surprised when they jump off of the dock and land in the water.
Step
2
Jumping in
There are two schools of thought when it comes to enticing your pet to strive for the longest or highest jump. Sometimes the chase method is employed, in which the dog is placed in a stay at the end of the dock while the handler walks to the end of the dock and then, after releasing the dog from its stay, throws the target out into the pool. Other times the place and send method is used, in which the target is suspended over the pool ahead of time, or the target is thrown in prior to walking the dog to the far end of the dock then releasing them to retrieve.
Step
3
Compete
Flyball competitions are judged utilizing digital or electronic scoring systems as the speed at which they are run make they very difficult to judge by eye alone. Separate registrations are required to enter tournaments that are hosted by either of the two official major organizations that host the tournaments; the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) and the United Flyball Association (U-FLI), in order to track points that each dog earns when participating in competitions.
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Hunting Games

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
5 - 30 min
Items needed
Bird Wings
Long Lead
Activity description

The German Longhaired Pointer breed has loyally served as a hunting companion for hundreds of years, and they are no less skilled at their jobs today than they were when the average hunter used a bow and arrows to dispatch their game. These dogs are all-around hunting companions, able to track, point, and flush, as well as retrieving both waterfowl and game birds that live on land. There are several entertaining and diverting games and activities that you can employ either to prepare your young pup for the hunt or to keep your dog in practice during the off season without encountering too much expense. 

Step
1
Feather retrieval
Some hunters use stuffed bird wings as fetch toys, usually either wings from the bird that they will be seeking or pigeon wings, to increase their young gun dog’s desire to retrieve downed birds. The pup should be prevented from tearing up the wings and fetch games should be kept short but frequent, generally five to ten-minute sessions two to three times a day. As your dog matures a little bit, you can help to encourage impulse control by making them wait to chase the feathers until after you have given them the release command to chase and retrieve the training toys.
Step
2
Water play
German Longhaired Pointers typically take easily to water and tend to be strong swimmers, but some can become nervous around water due to negative experiences or generally nervous temperament. Many of these dogs will be employed to retrieve waterfowl and will be a more confident retriever if they are comfortable in the water and view it in a positive light. This may also be a good time to get them used to any safety equipment that they may need to wear, such as a canine life vest or a neoprene vest to keep warm.
Step
3
Walking in the pocket
Hunters who specialize in hunting upland birds often prefer that their dog remains in an area in front of them from roughly two o’clock to ten o’clock when ranging for their quarry. Training dogs to stay in this area, often referred to as the pocket, helps to ensure that the canine hunting partner is easier to spot, reducing time spent searching for your pooch, and helps to prevent backtracking. This exercise can start when your pup is very young, as early as three months of age, and should start as early as possible. Have your future hunting hound accompany you on a walk with a long lead, and if they go off course or lag behind in any way, clap your hands sharply to get their attention, point forward, and gently tug on the leash in the direction that you wish your pup to go, praising them when they reach the correct area in front of you.
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Flyball

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Flyball Jumps
Flyball Box
Tennis Ball
Activity description

Hunting dogs such as the German Longhaired Pointer have a great deal of energy and drive, and when they are not hunting, they still need an appropriate outlet for that energy. Flyball is a fast-paced dog sport that takes fetch to a higher level in which teams of four dogs race down a flyball track relay-style. Flyball tracks consist of several hurdles, based on the height of the smallest dog on the team, and a flyball box, which the dog activates to get a tennis ball to retrieve. This sport helps to keep your dog both mentally and physically fit without requiring as much training as sports like agility or freestyle dance. Although lessons and joining a club will be of moderate expense, the payoff is priceless!

Step
1
Health check
This entertaining sport is a fun way for most dogs to burn off a little steam, but it may not be safe for all dogs. Ensuring that your dog gets checked over by a veterinarian is an important step that can help safeguard your pet. They will likely want to check the condition of your dog’s respiratory and cardiovascular system as well as their bones and joints. Dogs that are under eighteen months old should not participate in this sport in order to prevent damage to their still-developing joints.
Step
2
Train
While flyball doesn’t require a great deal of training, there are a couple of things that your canine companion will need to master. Participants in this sport will need to learn how to jump over the hurdles and how to jump on the flyball box in order to release the tennis ball. Many trainers recommend training this sport in reverse having the dog run and jump over the hurdles from the end of the flyball track to the beginning.
Step
3
Register to compete
Flyball competitions are judged utilizing digital or electronic scoring systems as the speed at which they are run make them very difficult to judge by eye alone. Separate registrations are required to enter tournaments that are hosted by either of the two official major organizations that host the tournaments; the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) and the United Flyball Association (U-FLI), in order to track points that each dog earns when participating in competitions.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggie Daycare

Some individuals of this breed develop separation anxiety and will benefit from being able to socialize with other well-behaved canines in a supervised setting instead of being left home alone.

Agility Training

Agility is a dog sport in which a human handler directs a dog through several obstacles with both accuracy and speed in mind. German Longhaired Pointers are athletic and elegant dogs that learn quickly, making them excellent candidates for this dog sport.

Scent Work

The German Longhaired Pointer was developed as an all-around hunting dog, which means that they are able to track game, and are talented at blood tracking for deer. Scent work can be a great mental exercise that can be done by all ages of canine.

Conclusion

The German Longhaired Pointer is an athletic and sociable animal that should be given plenty of opportunities to exercise both their minds and their bodies. Dogs of this breed that are left to their own devices too often or who are not given appropriate outlets for their energy can develop separation anxiety and destructive behaviors.