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Growing Up In A GSP Family

Ten-year-old Brandon Novoa, a 5th grader at Boston Valley Elementary in Boston, NY, has reason to feel proud: He recently put a Junior Hunter title on one of his parents’ German Shorthaired Pointers. Active in school extracurricular activities such as the school newspaper, orchestra (playing violin), chorus and various sports, Brandon still finds time to keep up good grades and help train his family’s dogs. And his goals aren’t easy: get good grades, read lots of books and get ready to move to Hamburg Middle School this next school year.

Daniel and Tracy Novoa have plenty of reason to feel proud of their son! His family raises German Shorthaired Pointers. They participate in conformation, rally, obedience, and Hunting Tests with the AKC and also do water activities with NAVHDA and the AKC Parent Club, the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, Inc.

Brandon goes to rally and obedience classes with Tracy and helps with Hunting Tests by planting birds and cleaning birds afterward for a grand feast. He’s too young for a hunting license (age is 12 in New York). He helps a lot when they have puppies.

“All our dogs living with us have titles: (show) champions, hunting, rally, obedience, NAVHDA and water ratings.

“We train at the Alabama Swamps on NAVHDA training days, Darien Lake State Park on GSP club days and at dog training classes in Hamburg, NY, for obedience, rally and conformation.”

He and his parents also train with friends who have Shorthairs and with some of their puppy buyers. These friends and puppy buyers also go hunting with the Novoas. Asked about his earliest recollection of dogs, Brandon offered: “I was five when we had our first litter and I played with them outside during the early summer months and helped my Mom bring them in and out of the house. We had a baby pool where we introduced them to water.

And his first recollection of going into the field with a Shorthair? “We were training with a pro trainer and my parents would always bring me along. I’ve gone on all the local hunting trips and was always instructed to ‘stay behind the guns’ and never get out in front of them.” Brandon’s favorite hunting trip was staying in the cabins at Allegany State Park where the Novoas got up early in the morning to hunt pheasant. Brandon says he did a LOT (emphasis Brandon’s ?) of walking and would get tired. But he kept going. His Mom would make sure to bring snacks and drinks along.

Brandon says he looks forward to training and handling at the Senior level in Hunting Tests. He is also working on some obedience around the house and hopes to get into that, too. However, he’s not to keen on the show ring. Lucky Brandon has been promised his own puppy from their next litter and he says, “I’m going to teach her everything and she’ll be my very own.”

His favorite dog, he continues, “is really funny and loves to play with me. He listens to me the best and howls when I play my violin. He hates getting a bath and I have to help my Mom hold him in the tub and when he gets his nails trimmed.” If there’s a downside to owning dogs, Brandon concludes, it’s having a modular bed (like a bunk) because no one can sleep with him at night. “I like sleeping with them.”

Brandon Novoa of Boston, NY, goes in for the flush with his German Shorthaired Pointer, Pebbles, during a Hunting Test.