All - on the topic of puppy training, I would like some advice. I am getting my first GSP in about 3 weeks or so. He is currently about 12-13 weeks old and I've had to delay getting him as I am in the midst of finishing a major project and therefore travelling internationally. I am incredibly excited and have been dreaming of getting a GSP for months and I'm almost there.
I've spent about 15 hours with the breeders I am getting him from and tried to observe, analyse and gather as much information as possible from them as possible and have interacted with the parents and various other adult GSPs and have been blown away by their sheer character, strength and temperament.
I've also been reading all I can about GSPs in my spare time and on all my flights. However, it seems nothing will prepare you for the actual event and no amount of reading is substitute for reality.
Given that, are there any specific guides, books, videos that I should look through before I get my GSP? Is there anything I should be aware of specifically and anything I need to guard against?
I live in the City in a house in a gated community and the pup is going to have a companion in my 18-month old Golden Retriever bitch who is incredibly relaxed, calm and friendly. She's also very well trained (although not to the gun-dog standard) from a house-pet perspective. The pup isn't going to be shooting and retrieving in the classical GSP sense but is going to be a much loved family pet.
If all goes well, I am thinking of getting a female in about 12-18 months time. Judging by all I've read here, it seems that you can never stop at one GSP and a second one invariably follows.
Any views are appreciated. Many thanks.
I guess I am more tolerant or more laid back than pixie. I have 4 GSPS (7, 6, 3 YO, and 11 months). The first two I got were about a year apart and they would have been closer had I been able to find another puppy sooner that I liked. In any case my first two were girls and they were immediately best friends and remain so 6 years later. I then added a boy 3 years ago, and lets just say girls rule in the shorthair pack. He worships his big sisters though and whatever they want is ok with him. I will say though that my boy has challenged me every step of the way and if he had been my first, he might easily have been my last. At 3 YO he is now maturing and settling down into the dog that I have had glimpses of for the last three years. At this point in my shorthair journey I again jumped into an adventure and bred by second female and had a litter almost a year ago and kept the pick female out of that litter. Thus the 11 month old female. She is now best friends with my boy who has taken her under his wing and is teaching how to excel at naughtiness. LOL. I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. The only advice I can give is to start your pups training early and stick with it. Shorthairs excel when they have a job, so figure out what that is and it must involve doing something with you. I compete with my dogs in hunt tests, conformation, and obedience. I also do therapy dog work with my dogs. I have dabbled in flyball and agility. The bottom line though is each of my dogs has a job and I am always working on training with each of them. As a family my dogs and I love swimming and hiking and I plan at least 2 vacations a year that involve doing something where I can take my dogs. I usually go to the mountains and hike in the back country for at least one trip and for the other it usually is attending the GSP Nationals in the US. Otherwise, we go to the lake, the beach, or just have fun romping in the field on weekends. Now that it is really hot, kicking back and relaxing with all four dogs in front of the TV is also a favorite pastime.
You will love your pup. Have fun and I can't wait to see pictures.