Deutche DrahthaarFalconry Dogs

Parkland Mews has been very intentional about finding an all-purpose field dog for falconry. This search has led us to a wonderful versatile breed, the Deutsch Drahthaar (not to be confused with the German Wire-Haired Pointer).

The breed provides an outstanding pedigree of over 100 years of continuous testing and is highly suited as a Falconer's dog. The proven adage of a good bird dog makes an excellent game hawk can easily be applied to the Deutsch Drahthaar.

Parkland Mews is proud to announce the establishment of Vom Prairie Point Kennels, having satisfied the strict breeding and performance criteria required by the Deutsch Drahthaar Club of Germany.

We were not successful in having a litter in the spring of 2004, however, we are expecting a new female puppy in the fall of 2004. Check back for news on new litters in the future.

Dog Mentality

For those with a versatile breed used for hunting, affability is probably the first thing observed as a primary indicator before deciding to proceed on this aspect of the field companion of our choosing. There are degrees of affability from ‘in your face’ friendliness to the aggressive ‘do not come any closer I do not trust you’. Most field dogs are chosen because they range from being excessively affable to affable to less affable. Particularly in the context of training and in regards to social interaction with other human beings.

Prey Drive
The will to find and follow/chase prey. It is the force that propels the dog until the prey is dead. Wild canines may have a moderate prey drive as conservation of energy is paramount in order to survive. Methodical tracking over several days until opportunity allows for maximum efficiency of energy expenditure resulting in a successful kill and replenishment of life giving sustenance. A good falconry dog can have a strong consciousness of prey as they are required to produce game for the falcon and falconer. Regardless of the outcome the dog is taken home in the evening and fed.

In the wolf pack the alpha dogs and bitches control the pack. Once hunting begins the hierarchical feature is not evident until the time of the kill, then it becomes apparent once more. This can be used to explain why in some dogs where prey drive is strong rather than moderate there is no recognition of the hunter during the hunt. These dogs can be harder to control. On the other hand they do not need the same requirement of reward, for them the hunt is motivation enough, and often put in a good days work without becoming disinterested.

Competition Drive
A complex characteristic that can be divided into two parts. Competition during hunting and social competition. Needless to say a dog that has both strong prey and competition drive is of no real practical use in the field where manners and codes of conduct are the norm. Competition drive can manifest itself by a pronounced desire to search for a retrieve that forces a dog through brambles and down holes. That is the positive aspect, the negative aspect is the amount of control required to direct the retrieving work, as this aspect is stimulating to the dog. There is also a tendency for dogs with strong competition drive to chew the game and to keep it from the handler once the game has been retrieved. The social competition is seen in the desire to play with, fight, attack and dominate other dogs. Finally a wolf requires moderate amounts of both prey and competition drive, a field dog may only require one because of the role of falconer and falcon/gun.

Liveliness is an important quality of the field dog. It is the efficiency which it deals with change in command or mode or conditions. For example a ‘very lively dog’ may have an instantaneous reaction to the fetch command and retrieve at high speed. Very good for situations where lots of action is expected. Continental breeds which often have moderate liveliness can be more effective in poor scenting conditions as they have the ability to analyze faint scent on the ground or in the air. The lively British setters may to better in strong scent conditions as this can propel the dog to search further.

Sharpness is the tendency to act with aggression. It is expected in field dogs in moderate levels and can be an advantage when dealing with unwanted predators.

Defense Drive
This drive in moderate levels can be seen in the desire to protect the hunters game and equipment. The defense is directed to protect the dog, the pack and its belongings.

Nerve Stability
Nerve stability describes the degree or otherwise of nervousness displayed by the dog. The ideal being calm and not nervous at all. This is an ideal as most dogs have a degree of nervousness. In the case of field dogs it is used to determine the ability of the dog to judge correctly change in circumstance and how it reacts. This is a complex component as it is often intertwined with sensitivity to stress. For example a dog with strong prey drive but sensitive to stress can actually stop using its nose as a result of degree of nerve stability. Other dogs can be so nervous song birds distract them or they shake continuously.

Hardness ranges from very hard to very soft. It is the sensitivity to either positive or negative influence. Hard dogs can take continuous punishment from fighting for prey contact. They never win obedience competitions. Hard dogs are trainable and not easy to destroy with the wrong training methods. Extremely soft dogs can be harder to train as they will not learn a lesson just cringe to appease.

Courage is the ability to overcome fear.

Gun Sensitivity
Can handle exposure to gunfire.