Activities For German Shorthaired Labs

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Introduction

By combining the drive and speed of the German Shorthaired Pointer with the more relaxed and playful demeanor of a Labrador Retriever, German Shorthaired Labs make versatile companions. Whether hunting, hiking or playing with the family, there are not many activities for German Shorthaired Labs they won't enjoy. Depending on your desire, you can train up your best bird or small game hunting partner or you can keep things more casual and have a best friend for walks in the park, days at the lake, and nights on the couch.

Bird Hunting

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
4 hrs
Items needed
Dog whistle
Bumpers or decoys
Hunting safety vest
Activity description
One of the most natural activities for German Shorthaired Labs is bird hunting. If you have one of these special hybrids, you know both originating breeds were built for helping owners hunt and retrieve game birds like ducks, pheasants, geese, and more. When you take your dog bird hunting, not only will you be gaining a naturally adept hunting partner, but you'll be satisfying your dog's needs at once. Bird hunting will challenge them physically and mentally. They must use all their senses to locate the birds, concentrate on you for the correct cues, and run all over the countryside searching for birds. To a German Shorthaired Lab, this is the perfect day.
Step
1
Train your dog
Though these dogs have a natural ability to hunt birds, they will need significant training to refine and hone their skills. You can train these dogs yourself using decoys and whistles to teach them what to do in a real hunting situation, but many people use a trainer to set a foundation. An experienced trainer will give your puppy a great foundation to be a good partner. Many hunters will bring their puppy out with a more experienced bird dog who can teach them the ropes.
Step
2
Prepare for success
Before you take your dog out, make sure you are prepared for a day outside hunting birds. Your dog will need a hunting safety vest, and you need to make sure you have extra food or treats for them. Be certain they understand important commands and will come when they are called. Bird Hunting requires precision and your dog needs to be under control at all times. Pick your spots wisely. You want to avoid crossing on to private land without permission or risk your dog running off into dangerous areas.
Step
3
A day out hunting
When you are fully prepared, it's time to head out for a hunt. You'll need to leave very early for the best opportunity, but being outside in the quiet of the morning with your best friend can be one of the best parts You'll know all your hard work and preparation has paid off when you and your dog work together to find and flush a bird and you take your first successful shot. Make sure you take time to celebrate as soon as your pup comes back with the day's first harvest.
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Race Training

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
German Shorthaired Labs make excellent training partners to help you prepare for your next big race. They will never cancel on you last minute, they won't whine on sprinting day, and they will stick by your side through every second of a grueling long run. Endurance is one of the many traits passed down to these dogs, which is why running is one of the best activities for German Shorthaired Lab. If you love to log miles or want someone to hold you accountable for daily runs, look no further than the German Shorthaired Lab. They will be at the door as soon as you start to lace up your shoes.
Step
1
Pick the right trail
Even though you love running with your dog, not all parks and trails are open to canine runners. It's important to know the dog-related rules of an area before you lace up your shoes and head out for a run. Some places may require you to have your dog on a leash while others may have sections they can run free. Know where these areas are so you can always be in compliance.
Step
2
Lace up your shoes
When you know where to go, it's time to lace up your shoes, grab your leash and head out for a run. Your dog will be so excited to go with you, whether you're just getting on a quick 30 minutes before work or pacing yourself on a long run. This run will be excellent for their health and will help you reach your goals.
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Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Harness
Treats or snacks
Special therapy dog vest
Activity description
If your German Shorthaired Lab has inherited the Lab's sweet and caring personality, they might be a perfect candidate for becoming a certified therapy dog. Therapy dogs and their owners volunteer to bring comfort to the elderly, hospital patients, and any other group of people that may be experiencing stress or hardships. The benefits of patting a dog have been studied numerous times and are proven to help people. If your dog is sweet and patient and loves people, becoming a therapy dog might be a fantastic activity for you both to try. Volunteering in your community can be very rewarding, and your dog will love all the extra pats.
Step
1
Is your dog ready?
Not all dogs are made to be therapy dogs, so the first thing you need to do is determine if their natural temperament is a good fit. Are they friendly with all kinds of people including children? Are they comfortable with big groups and strangers? Are they calm and patient? If your dog isn't naturally all these things, you can work with them to improve in some areas. For instance, if your dog gets overexcited to meet new people, you can work with them to learn proper greetings.
Step
2
Find a program
When you're sure your dog has the right temperament and has mastered all their basic commands, it's time to look for a therapy dog certification program These programs can be a significant commitment, so make sure you give yourself enough time to work through the classes. You'll need hours of practice visiting with clients at schools, hospitals, and other places that allow therapy dogs. A certified trainer will walk you through the expectations and responsibilities of a therapy dog and will help you master each one.
Step
3
Time to volunteer
When your dog puts in all their hours and passes all the courses for certification, they will receive their certified therapy dog vest. Now you can proudly volunteer your time to help bring comfort to those in need. The first places to volunteer are those same places that you went to gain hours. From there, the possibilities are endless. Even some airports have special stations where stressed-out travelers can pet a therapy dog for comfort.
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More Fun Ideas...

Puppy Playdate

German Shorthaired Labs love to tumble and play with other pups. Making sure you set up plenty of play dates will help them learn important socialization skills and tire them out.

Swimming

On hot days your dog will thank you for taking them swimming in a local pond, lake, or even the beach.

Conclusion

German Shorthaired Labs make fantastic companions for many outdoor sports and curling up on the couch after all the activity. If you're a hunter, you can easily hone your dog's natural instincts to find and track down birds. If long distance trail running is your passion, your pup will be there every stride (except when they are running back and forth smelling and enjoying nature). German Shorthaired Labs are excellent family dogs who love being with their owners no matter what the activity.