Anyone who has known me for any amount of time knows my feelings for the German Wirehaired Pointer, AKA the greatest dog ever. Part of the reason I'm so attached to this breed is because I love bird hunting. The other part of the reason is that they are just plain good dogs. They are smart and they love the people that they adopt. That isn't just my anthropomorphizing, they really do adopt their human families.
Combine the great personality traits with a great love for hunting and you get a dog that is hard to beat, at least for a hunter. For a non hunter or someone who doesn't like a high energy dog, the GWP would be a bad fit.
For the last 16 years I had one or more GWP's around. After putting down my last two GWP's I thought that maybe we could get by without a dog for awhile. (This is what the wife wanted). I researched getting another dog of similar quality to my last one. There was no way I could afford that right now. Then I thought that I could get a rescue dog that wasn't a hunter but that would be a pet for the kids. The more I looked into that, the more I liked the idea, but the more impractical it seemed. Most dogs are in rescue for a reason, and all those reasons aren't always given up front.
One night I was surf'n the puppy pages on the net and found an ad. The guy mentioned that he was expecting a litter in July. He also did something most breeders neglect, he posted nearly 25 years worth of his dog's pedigree on line. I like to read pedigrees just to see which dogs I recognize. The good news is that I recognized about 8 of the dogs. The bad news was that one of the dogs was SGR's Silent Running. I shouldn't say that's bad news, its great news, it just seems to be expensive news. Gail Richardson is a top breeder. She selects dogs the same way I would if I was a professional breeder. In fact I had tried about a year before to buy a dog from her, only to learn that she is basically retired.
Silent Running was my Abby's grandfather. Abby was the most intense and talented bird hunting dog I've ever seen. She was the one I was offered $5,000 for when she was just six months old. The problem, as it often is with fine cigars, whisky, women and hunting dogs, was money. The last breeder who I found with this dog in the back line wanted $2,500 for a male and $3,500 for a female with no breeding rights. In other words more money than I could spend. I called anyway. We talked. We talked hunting. We talked about the GWP being the best dog ever. We talked about my Abby and how much I missed her. Then he told me, if I made the drive down, I could have any dog I wanted for $500. I called my boss at home and asked for the next day off from work and drove like a mad man.
I had made up my mind that I would choose the best female out of the bunch and breed her and thus keep the line alive. I met the pups and their parents and grand parents. They were all good dogs. They just started some wing work that morning and they all were pointing. They all were solid friendly dogs with good temperament. I started eliminating dogs. We were down to 6 then to 4 and then to the last 2. One female and one male.
My son had been wanting a boy dog (he doesn't know about how you get puppies yet). I wanted a female. (I do know about puppies). There was a problem. The female I wanted had no interest in me at all. Sure she was a good dog. She had a real nice point. She was aggressive and probably the alpha female in the litter. She just wasn't into me. Her brother was. He kept hanging around being goofy, trying to get my attention. He even bit his grandfather on the nuts right in front of me. He had the good sense to immediately submit to the old man before he got killed.
One thing I learned from my Abby, was that sometimes its better to let the dog pick the human. That's what Abby did with me. She picked her people and she never stopped loving me or hunting with me.
In the end I got a boy dog.