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Old January 13th, 2014, 09:01 PM
YWNA YWNA is offline
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Gsp vs rr

Hey all,

I'm planning for a puppy and am stuck on picking a breed. I have narrowed down my choices to two breeds. The German Shorthaired Pointer(GSP) and the Rhodesian Ridgeback(RR).

Things I know, both dogs maybe the GSP more needs good exercise everyday. I am very active and like the outdoors. My house backs onto a field that they have full access to on a daily basis. I also like to bike and hike.

The next point, is I understand they are both big dogs, in the case the RR a true "large" sized dog, weighing 100+lbs all the time. I'm 6'8" and the rest of my family is tall as well. So were cool with bigger things.

I just fell love with both breeds instantly. I've been going back and forth for months now on which one is right for me. I honestly think that the RR is the dog I really want but I feel like the GSP meets more of my requirements. the RR, I love their look. I think the shedding is less then the GSP, they are normally requiring less exercise then the GSP and I like that they are a bit stubborn and independent. The RR sounds very similar to myself, which makes me feel like were a good fit. But...... I do also love the look of the GSP, I also like the size, slightly less then the RR at around 70-85lbs on average, which sounds about right for me. I dont hunt, and I know they like to work so I'm hoping to get him/her trained to mountain bike with me instead. I think the thing that most appeals to me about the GSP is their ability to be better with kids, pets and strangers. My sisters dog is terrible with all 3 of those areas. So I am going to make dam sure my dog doesnt have that problem. I guess with proper socialization and training either breed could produce a dog that is good in all those areas, but from my research it comes more natural to the GSP? And I have read and spoke with breeders of the GSP who say they are great companions and all they want to do is be around you. And after a good day of exercise would love nothing more then to sit with you on the couch and chill out, watch some tv with you.

I guess my overall goal of my dog would be to have an athletic dog that is very friendly with other people and animals that adores me and wants to be with me all the time. And I feel this tips in favor of the GSP, as the RR can be not as good with kids, strangers and or other animals/pets.

One hard thing about choosing a breed is getting advice from owners, everyone things their breed is the best breed of all. And naturally so, thats what makes it so hard for me to decide. Anyone who owns either a GSP or the RR both clam that they are the best dog around. So is it one of those, there is no bad choice things?

Thoughts, suggestions and opinions welcome. Is there anything else to consider about either breed?

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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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ownedbycats ownedbycats is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 854
I will point out, with the GSPs, that there are different lines (families) within the breed, pet, work and show. Those bred for pets, if bred by a breeder choosing health and temperament, ought to fulfill your requirements. A dog from one of the lines bred for work and protection will be more standoffish and have greater need for work. And although looking for someone who shows dogs is usually on the list of what makes a responsible breeder, given the current state of show GSPs I can't ever imagine one going running or biking with you.
Just want to add, although every dog is an individual and you can get a range of temperments in a single litter, the best way to predict a dog's temperament is to look at the parents and spend time with them if at all possible. Best, of course, is to spend time with the puppies themselves.
Dr. Seuss~DLH (brother's cat)~June 2007-
Misty~DSH (my cat & Mooby's mom)-?- Sept. 15, 2014
MooBoots(Mooby) ~ DMH(Mom's cat)~July 21, 2008-
Sunshine~ Golden retriever X white german sheperd (Dad's dog)~October 24, 2008-

Last edited by ownedbycats; January 14th, 2014 at 07:18 AM.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:44 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Posts: 2,528
You seem to have done a good bit of research. What are the health problems each breed is prone to? What health testing is recommended for each?

I meet folks walking with a couple of each breed. The RR owners try to stay away from other people and dogs. This breed is used for protection and they can be too quick to take offense to another dog or person. You would have to check out the breeder very carefully as to the temperament they breed for. I suppose these are nice dogs but I don't stick around to find out since my dog is with me. They are beautiful dogs and they are much bigger than my Lab.

The GSP owners I meet find their dogs need lots of off leash exercise. That's easy to do where I live but is it where you live? I meet two of these, both usually many feet in advance of their owner as they both run, run, run, hunting out smells even though neither is hunted. Both, I only meet two so not a statistically significant number, but both are really nice dogs.

I'd like to stress the exercise. I have 100s to 1,000s of acres of off leash opportunities for my dog. When I meet the owners of these breeds we are all out for a couple of hours, for me at least an hour a day. I am out with my Lab for about two hours a day, off leash, about 3 times a week. The RR and GSP people are too. I also work my dog in Working Level Rally-O where I have never seen a RR or a GSP. Exercise with no brain work just doesn't go as far to making a good family pet dog.

Good luck.
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Old January 17th, 2014, 09:48 AM
mollydogsmom mollydogsmom is offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Smile Gsp vs rr

HI we have 3 GSP's and the first thing you should know is they are cuddle muffins! that being said they are a high energy dog and will play ball for hours and will get in to trouble if not being exercised on a regular basis. But they are adaptable and will understand when it is -40 outside and you dont want to go out. 2 Of our GSP's are hunting dogs and love it the 3rd was born blind so she is my girl. THe RR can be a one person dog as they were bred for secuity so it may not be the right fit for a family with young children. Call a breeder of both and see if you can come out and play with each breed that will tell you what you need to know. They shed the same as they are both shorthair breeds. Not all GSP's are as big as you think females should range 55 to 60 lbs and the males 70lbs. Good luck with your choice whichever you make will be great!! PS we also have a portuguese water dog that is a home body!! all the GSp's are loving and great with people and kids! the only thing is that if you get one from a hunting line which I prefer they can be not so nice with Cats unless introduced early and taught not to hunt them. All hunting lines will have pups that just dont have the drive for hunting but will make execellent pets. OUrs are both and I would not have it any other way!!
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Old January 17th, 2014, 11:20 AM
Mina Mina is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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As Longblades has mentioned, it's gr8 that you're doing research, and that health issues are not something to ignore.

As it seems you're becoming aware of, reading about a breed or seeing an individual or two in a park is not the same as actual experience. Breed descriptions are often peppered with vague but positive adjectives. Every breed "on paper", everyone's dog and every breeder's breed is, indeed, "the best".

Reading between the lines of your post, my biggest concern (not that you care what I think) would be that you seem to be giving proportionally too much emphasis on aesthetics (as well as the generalizations about which you've been reading)...

The two breeds you're looking at, although they do have similarities, are very different in temperament and drives. Just as you wouldn't select a best friend putting based primarily on looks, it's similarly unwise in selecting a breed. And although "proper socialization and training" will certainly help shape your puppy into the dog it will become, you don't want to be put in the position of trying to work agains hard-wired, genetic predispositions.

I (very strongly) suspect there are better choices out there for you. If I can be more blunt, from what you've stated thusfar you're looking for, I would suggest you re-examine your attraction to the R.R.

Having said all that, you certainly seem to be on the right track, Greg! I would urge you to keep researching.

Best of luck!
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