German Shorthair Pointer’s innate characteristics were noticed and refined by breeders when they saw how pointing and chasing game could be used for human hunting needs. These characteristics were derived from predecessor Pointers who developed these skills for their survival. Their ancestors were hunters and similar to the Cheetah they found and out ran their prey for survival.
Last month, I observed two German Shorthair Pointers, Kierah and Thomas in action. Pointing and chasing game began with standing with little movement and focusing on their target, which was usually a squirrel. Next, moving with cat-like stealth, they slowly advanced, one foot than another, towards their goal. Then, they would unwind like a spring, sprinting towards the squirrel. With long legs and lean body, built for speed, they were upon the hapless squirrel in seconds.
Nine times out of ten, the squirrel would escape up a tree and Kierah and Thomas would circle the tree, barking and jumping after their loss. The squirrel may have jumped to an adjacent tree, and not noticing, Kierah and Thomas would continue barking up the wrong tree. Only when they were convinced this particular squirrel was no longer an option, which was usually a few minutes, would they leave the chase and reposition themselves, pointing and waiting for the next chase with another squirrel.
Kierah and Thomas didn’t change their target from squirrels to rabbits due to their loss nor were they distracted with other activities such grooming, napping, and eating which were not their priorities. Instead, they remained focused on squirrels and apparently they were not bothered by their failure to catch a squirrel.
Why do Kierah and Thomas practice these behaviors with only a ten percent success rate? Under these circumstances, innate characteristics and breeding can’t fully explain why German Shorthair Pointers point and chase and most of the time miss their target. Why do they persist in the job they do?
They are persistent because one time out of ten they are successful! Although I may focus on how many times they fail to capture a squirrel (my standard), their success rate is based on their accomplishment. It’s their innate characteristic to persist and that’s enough for them! And, they enjoy the chase and are eager to do it again.
This realization about their persistence resonated with me and raised a number of questions regarding how persistency is serving me in my career:
As a Life and Business Coach I might ask similar questions of my clients including: “Who do you have to be for you to have the persistence a German Shorthair Pointer in your career?”
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Life Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.