Activities For German Shorthaired Pointers

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Introduction

German Shorthaired Pointers are known for their stamina, athleticism, and friendly outgoing personalities. These dogs make great outdoor activity and hunting partners because of their boundless energy. If you have one of these at home, you're always on the lookout for activities for German Shorthaired Pointers that will tire them out and keep both of you in shape. Luckily, there is no shortage of athletic hobbies or activities for these dogs to try (an excel at) from water sports to running and hunting.

Trail Running

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Water source
Extra treats
Trail map
Activity description
If you're an endurance athlete and need a training partner to keep up with you on long, grueling trail runs, your German Shorthaired Pointer will be happy to oblige. These dogs are happiest out on the trail, running through trees and over rocks just following their noses. You might have trouble keeping up with them. These trail companions can go for hours on almost any trail, but make sure you keep an eye on the heat of the day, how much water they drink, and give them plenty of food to refuel. They might not know when to stop. If trail running is your activity of choice, your German Shorthaired Pointer is the perfect companion.
Step
1
Choose your trail
For your first foray into trail running with your dog, choose a moderate trail to help them get used to running with you. If it's going to be hot, make sure it runs along a body of water like a river or stream or ends up at a lake. This will allow your dog to jump in the water, drink, and cool off. Make sure you're dog is responsive to your commands, even while you're out running or you have an e-collar to remind them when it's time to come back.
Step
2
Trail check ins
Trail running is one of the best activities for German Shorthaired Pointers because it allows them to run and explore, but their roaming range can be very wide along the trail. Make sure to call them back to you for regular trail check-ins to make sure they don't wander too far. You don't want your day extended because of a lost dog.
Step
3
Time trial
Once you've been running with your dog for a while, challenge yourself with a time trial. Pick a trail you two have done a few times and see if you can beat your fastest time. Keep your dog excited about the challenge and encourage them to chase you and stay with you for most of the challenge. With your German Shorthaired Pointer at your side, you'll have the motivation you need to challenge yourself and beat your time. When you are victorious you can treat your "trail team" to celebratory ice cream cones. Vanilla is perfect for your dog.
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Bird Hunting

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
3 hrs
Items needed
Hunting safety equipment
Orange dog jacket
E-collar
Activity description
Many people choose to own a German Shorthaired Pointer because they make very good bird hunting dogs. Their sense of smell and ability to go all day and move fast through thick brush and downed trees, and their natural pointing ability to mark their prey make these dogs perfectly suited for bird hunting. They can easily be taught to search for and startle grouse and other birds, and then retrieve the downed bird for their owners. For a German Shorthaired Pointer, the concentration and quick bursts of energy required to get to the bird make hunting easily one of their favorite activities. With the right training, your dog will be the perfect companion on treks to find upland birds.
Step
1
Teaching to point
The first thing you need to do to teach your dog to bird hunt is to capture their natural ability to point at something moving in the bushes. You can do this by playfully encouraging and rewarding any time they point. When they are a year old you can begin to refine this behavior so they point only at birds or other animals you want to hunt.
Step
2
Control commands
The hardest part of teaching any dog to hunt is to drill down on the basic commands they need. If your dog doesn't come when they are called, sit, or stay until you release them, how will you give them commands to wait and hunt in the wilderness? Make sure you really hone in their listening and obedience skills before you head out for your first hunt.
Step
3
Go for the bird
When they are ready, take them out on their first real hunt. Be patient and don't put too much pressure on your dog. They are bound to make mistakes. If you can, try to take them out with an experienced bird hunting dog who can show them the ropes. With good preparation and a little luck, you'll be able to work as a team and celebrate your success with a fresh dinner of roast grouse or duck.
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Dock Diving

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Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Dock
fun, floating toy
Pool to practice in
Activity description
Because of their affinity for water and strong prey and chase drive, dock diving is one of the most fun activities for German Shorthaired Pointers in the hot summer months. You may have seen dock diving competitions at your local fair or even on TV. This sport is exciting both for spectator and canine participant. Dogs of almost any breed jump as far as they can off a dog into a pool after a toy. If your German Shorthaired Pointer loves chasing sticks or balls into the water, this may be a perfect activity to get into for hot summer days.
Step
1
Start with swimming
The first step you need to take is to make sure your Germain Shorthaired Pointer gains confidence swimming in deep water. Start will smaller steps by throwing their toy father out into a little deeper water. You can take them swimming with you, or see if they will take a small jump off the dock after you and swim to shore. You want them to feel confident and excited to jump and swim and never intimidated or scared.
Step
2
Ready for the pool
When you start training your dog for doc diving there are a few things you need to consider. Before you begin to jump, let your dog get wet and used to the temperature of the pool. Use the ramp set up for dogs to let them walk in and out of the water each time. Make sure your dog always knows where the ramp is because it can be in different spots at different pools. When they feel comfortable with the pool, it's time to jump.
Step
3
Time to dive
When your dog is ready, lead them up to the dock. Show them their favorite toy and get them really hyped up. Start running up the dock with them and then launch the toy as far as you can off the dock. The next step is to watch your dog launch with glee off the dock and dive into the water. Make sure you are there to guide them to the ramp to get out of the pool and give them a big pat. There is no doubt they will be ready to go again right away.
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More Fun Ideas...

Tracking

Make use of your dog's incredible nose and teach them how to track scents through the woods. You can train them to track special plants like mushrooms, animals, or even people.

Dog Park Party

Socializing your German Shorthaired Pointer is an important activity to make sure they know how to get along with other dogs. The bonus is that playing and chasing other dogs will tire them out faster than almost any other activity.

Conclusion

German Shorthaired Pointers are popular dogs for people with active lifestyles who love to be outdoors. They are the perfect companion to enjoy a trail with or to share the thrill of the hunt. When you purchase or adopt one of these dogs, it's important to keep in mind that they will need consistent activity every day. They are not content to just sit at your feet all day like a couch potato (though they do love to do this after some great exercise). Keep in mind several different activities for German Short Haired Pointers to make use of their incredible energy levels, and you'll have a happy and healthy dog.