My Recommended Products
We love German shorthaired pointers and know how important it is to get your puppy training started right. It is also important to you which is why I get numerous inquiries about what products we use in training and caring for our dogs and puppies. These are a few of the items that I recommend in response to those questions.
The #1 question we get from new puppy owner’s is what food should we feed our new puppy. All we feed our puppies is Nature’s Domain Puppy Food. I get it at Costco (membership required). Just make sure the first ingredient in any puppy food you choose is actual meat (chicken, beef, etc.). Puppy food and water can be put in any kind of dish, but I prefer stainless steel with a rubberized bottom to help keep it from sliding around. I don’t like any kind of plastic or rubber dishes because they frequently become chew toys and pieces pose an ingestion and choking risk. Stick with quality bowls like these and they will last for years and are easy to clean. Puppies need good quality collars that are secure and comfortable, these are a good option. A quality leash is going to be one of your best training tools. I always urge new puppy owners, “never give a command that you can’t enforce”, which many find quite difficult. Normal leashes, unfortunately, keep your little buddy right at your side. Your puppy will need to be allowed to explore under the safety of your control. With this lightweight leash, you can allow your puppy to explore and then be able to enforce the command “come” if necessary. Your puppy needs to learn that you are still in control when he is beyond the reach of your hands. We all know that puppies chew and they need to chew while teething. A chew toy can help prevent them from gnawing on your table legs or dress shoes, making it a great investment. The rubber needs to be soft enough for their little teeth and also be the right size. These Kong toys are a great option.
When it comes to training German shorthaired pointers, your puppy needs you to get trained if you’re new to the breed and at least get a refresher if it has been a while since you trained a puppy. Without an experienced mentor, videos and books will be your best resources to unlocking your pups potential. Your puppy needs help to become your ideal companion in and out of the field. This DVD series will give you a tremendous amount of information and a wealth of knowledge as you watch them actually work and train their dogs. I also highly recommend these books as they have laid the foundation for training numerous dogs that excel as high-performance hunters as well as companions outside the field. Richard A. Wolters Gun Dog has set the standard for training and remains a top resource after more than 50 years. David M. Gowdey’s The German Shorthaired Pointer: A Hunter’s Guide is also another great resource. Too many people fail to recognize that puppies aren’t kids and dogs aren’t people. If you doubt this, I may need to find something else for you to read. Caesar Milan does a fantastic job of explaining how dogs communicate and their need for and willingness to accept a pack leader. This book will help you immensely in communicating with and setting boundaries for your puppy and future companion.
Many customers inquire about the small wire puppy pen that I use when you come pick out your puppy. There are a lot of different brands, but this is the brand that has served us well for many years. Mine doesn’t have this door, but if you are trying to define an area in your home or yard for your new puppy, I recommend this model that has an actual door. You’ll be glad to have it as your puppy grows.
It is really important that you don’t give your puppy commands that you can’t enforce. So in order to allow your puppy to venture out, while retaining physical control of the puppy, you will need a quality check cord. There are many options on check cords, but it should be small and light weight for these young dogs like this one. Dog collars is not something that many people spend time picking, but more thought should be given to this seemingly insignificant item. I really like the Mendota Collars because they stay flexible at any temperature and they are also coated which prevents them from picking up burrs or getting wet and stinky. They don’t use any plastic buckles (which always seem to eventually fail) and the loops are large and easily accessible. This the best collar that I have come across.
As your pup progresses with retrieves, you will need to launch it further than you can throw in order to help your dog prepare for wounded birds. These launchers are great because they can propel a dummy long distances, but it also incorporates the sound of a gunshot, better preparing them for the field. A variety of blank power levels lest you easily adjust the distance to your training needs. I like the Dokken Dead Fowl Trainers. They are obviously more realistic than regular retrieving dummies, but the rigid head and pointy feet actually encourage pups to hold and carry the dummy in a proper position. The smaller size of the quail and chukar are perfect for young dogs. They float high and are very durable. Though durable, it is definitely not a chew toy. Have the pheasant available in your arsenal to prepare your pup for the larger birds as he grows.