Do you own a HPR breed who is just a pet and needs that extra challenge?

Here at Muttley Solutions, based near Poole in Dorset, we specialise in providing HPR training to the gundog breeds such as the Vizsla, German Short Haired Pointer, Weimaraner and the German Wired Haired Pointer. who is just a family pet. These are the more common dogs we see who are referred to as HPR’s otherwise known as Hunters, Pointers and Retrievers. If you live in the Dorset area which includes Poole, Wimborne, Ringwood, Wareham and you have a HPR breed you are not going to work then we can offer you training which will challenge both yourself and your dog.

The HPR: Hunt, Point and Retrieve

Hunt, Point and Retrieve breeds are very popular dogs around the world, and include the likes of German Shorthair Pointer, Weimaraner, German Wirehaired Pointer and Hungarian Vizslas. Although a little rarer in the UK and Dorset compared to other breeds, HPR dogs, as they are better known, are incredibly versatile.

Sometimes referred to as bird dogs or gun dogs, these breeds were originally used while hunting and could expertly use their noses to track birds and other small animals. Nowadays, they are still a very popular dog to use while on a shoot, with the gunman positioning themselves near the dog before commanding them to flush the birds out by charging towards them.

The use of HPR breeds dates back a number of centuries. The German Shorthair Pointer, for example, first dates back to the 17th century. They are amongst some of the most traditional breeds in the world and have evolved to become some of the most versatile and capable dogs, offering owners a multipurpose dog.

HPR Training and the types of Hunt, Point and Retrieve breeds

HPR covers a wide range of dog breeds, and each animal has its benefits over the others. Although initially bred as a partner for hunting, nowadays, these dogs can make for great family pets. Some of the most popular in the UK include:

Hungarian Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla is a lively dog that is full of energy. They make great pets for families, with the breed renowned for being very easy to train and love to play games such as catch. They are an incredibly athletic and intelligent dog, so they do require regular human interaction and exercise to keep them content.

Thanks to their short coat, they require very little in the way of grooming, and a weekly brush and wash will ensure they look clean and well-kept. As they are quite boisterous, they should be watched when around small children as they can accidentally knock them over.

German Shorthaired Pointer

A popular type of HPR breed, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a very handsome and athletic dog. Growing quite large, they provide an elegant appearance when out, and they love being kept active and well-exercised; however, they are also very friendly, making them a perfect choice for a family pet.

These strong pets are always alert, hence their popularity as a gun dog, and their short, coarse coat helps to keep them looking pristine with minimal maintenance.

Weimaraner

A classic breed of HPR dog, the Weimaraner, is an incredibly friendly yet fearless dog. They are a great companion thanks to their natural obedience, but they can be quite restless, so owners do need to ensure they can give them plenty of exercise every day to keep them content and avoid behavioural issues.

Weimaraner’s are house dogs, which means they love being inside, and a well-trained dog will regularly follow you around the house, watching you go about your business. They are one of the easiest breeds to groom, with their short and smooth coat being very easy to keep maintained.

German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is one of the most popular breeds of Hunt, Point and Retrieve dogs and is not only commonly found in Dorset but across the whole of Europe! These dogs are famed for their agility, balance and muscular appearance.

The wire coat helps to protect them while outside, ensuring they do not get scratched in any thorny undergrowth. It also offers them a great level of protection against the elements, making them as at home in the rain as they are in sunshine.

Bracco Italiano

A native dog of Italy (hence the name!), the Bracco Italiano is a very affectionate and sweet-natured dog. Easily identifiable from their long ears and soulful look, they are a very old breed of dogs with reports dating back to the fifth century.

With an almost endless supply of energy, they do require a lot of attention and exercise to keep them well trained, but their love and compassion make them a great addition to any home. They tend to have a short coat, which does mean they are not so comfortable in extreme weather, so you should take extra precautions when walking them in the depths of winter or on hot summer days.

What can we expect with HPR training?

If you own one of the HPR breeds and are thinking of using them in a working or competition capacity then you need to seek the advice of someone who specialises in training these breeds for this type of work. I do not train any gundog breed for working or competition levels. Many people own one of the gundog breeds and the HPR’s are becoming more popular as family pets. Sadly some owners have got the wrong dog for the circumstances and regrettably I see this all too often when people get one of the HPR breeds.

At the end of the day, regardless of the breed type, your dog is a dog and we should expect excellent obedience and manners from them. This is the early foundations I put in place. Once we have got this then we can start to explore some of the gundog techniques which will allow you to stretch your dog and yourself when out on walks. Dog training is not a six week fix all approach. It is about developing skills within yourself and your dog over a period of time. Initially when the dog is a youngster this training can appear all consuming. But with persistence and consistency you start to see the benefits and walks become more enjoyable and you can safely let your dog off lead in the appropriate environments.

Can you teach my German Short Haired Pointer to walk on a loose lead and recall.

Regardless of breed name this is a dog and we can get you to work with your dog so you can teach it the right way to walk with you and get your dog to recall back. It takes hard work and patience, but the end result is worth it.