By Lynn Taylor
Most people have heard of the traditional AKC Dog Conformation show, but have you ever heard of the International Dog Show that takes place in the U.S.? The International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) is an independent organization that offers the same ring procedures as the other organizations but with the European-style flavor of providing all dogs with a written critique against the breed standard. There are both American (AKC) and International judges at every show, including judges from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Puerto Rico and Sweden.
The IABCA began more than twenty years ago with the intent of making the International Title available to the American public without having to expose dogs to the dangers and inconvenience of international travel.
I attended my first show recently and was very pleased with it. The show runs as a typical dog show with the same ring process. However in addition, during each show personalized attention is given to each exhibitor by the judge and a full written critique of your dog is received encompassing 12 different parts of his body and movement. The judges take time to explain what they see in each dog. It provides a nice relaxed atmosphere too.
When working toward an International or National Title, the dog is judged against the breed standard and rated. The rating of each show will count towards the title. In turn the rating will determine the title your dog will receive. There are both puppy and adult titles available. During each show there are Class winners and a Best of Breed winner that moves on to Best in Show.
By Lynn Taylor
Training a pointing hunting dog can be a very simple process in some cases, and a long and complicated process in others. However, most people who wish to hunt with their dog, either for leisure or competitively, will find training a hunting dog to be somewhere in between those two extremes. Most hunting enthusiasts will agree the training process is greatly simplified if the chosen dog comes from strong hunting lines. Breeders who are seriously dedicated to promoting the dogs in their breeding lines as hunting dogs will take special care to ensure the litters they produce have traits which make them ideal for hunting. This is done through a process of selective breeding.
In searching for a good hunting dog of a particular breed, potential owners should look for kennels that breed specifically for hunting ability. Additionally, they should visit the parents of the puppy, and learn as much as possible about these dogs including the hunting abilities of the parents. However, even the best bred dogs will still require some degree of training. Many folks see a fine, trained gun dog in action and assume they could never accomplish that kind of performance with their own dog. If you devote some time every day to working with your pup on three basic commands – “whoa,” “come” and “heel” – and work toward getting to the point where the dog will unfailingly obey those three commands, you will have a fine bird dog.
By Lynn Taylor, Team Dogs Unlimited
A versatile hunter and all-purpose dog, the German shorthaired pointer (GSP) possesses keen scenting power and high intelligence. The breed is proficient in many different types of recognized sports, but primarily bred for upland bird hunting, pointing and retrieving.
They’re a medium-sized breed, can be solid liver or black, liver and white, or black and white in color. The height of the breed, measured at the withers, is 23 to 25 inches for males and 21 to 23 inches for females. The weight is 55 to 70 pounds for males and 45 to 60 pounds for females. Their short coat sheds, but grooming is minimal.
The GSP loves interaction with humans and thrives as part of an active family who will give them an outlet for their energy. The GSP is usually very good with children, although care should be taken because the breed can be boisterous especially when young. They’re an even-tempered, intelligent and loyal family watchdog that has enthusiasm for their work. An athlete, they can adapt to their living situation, but require consistent exercise. The German shorthaired pointer needs plenty of vigorous activity. This need for exercise (preferably off lead) coupled with the breed’s natural instinct to hunt, means that training is an absolute necessity.