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Chode2235

English Setters

20 posts in this topic

Guys,

I am looking at getting a new puppy this spring, and have started looking at English setters. I have had labs most of my life, but would like a great upland dog, an occasional duck hunt, and family pet.

I have hunted over a pointer a couple times, and did enjoy it, but have never trained a pointing dog. The labs I had were very instinctive in their flushing and retrieving, can I expect the same out of the setter?

Who has/had one of these beautiful dogs? What are your thoughts on them? I am early in the process of deciding what type of dog to get, so please give me the pros and cons of English setter ownership/hunting.

Also, are there specific breeding lines that I should be aware of?

Everything I have been able to read suggests that this breed may be a great fit for my hunting and domestic lifestyle, but reading only goes so far. Tell me your experiences. Thanks.

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 Quote:
The labs I had were very instinctive in their flushing and retrieving, can I expect the same out of the setter?

I assume you mean the pointing part. The answer is yes provided you do your homework and buy a quality field bred pup.

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Yeah its amazing as I do more research on the setter how different the hunting vs show dogs are. Much wider than the lab, although they are getting there IMO.

What are some of the keys to training a pointer vs. a flushing dog. Thanks.

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To me the basics are pretty much the same. Basic obedience and gun bird intro. Obviously you want to work on pointing instead of flushing. I personally wouldn't work on or worry about retrieving right away other than some play retrieving. Instead, I'd work on getting your dog reliably staunch on point. If your dog is a natural retriever that's great. If not then consider the trained retrieve. I know of pointer pro's doing force training earlier now though. Some are doing it right after the pup has gotten it's adult teeth in. Many times they are force broke before 9 mos. old. The thing to work on is getting the dog pointing birds and holding that point until you get there. Then maybe some patterning and handling work.

There are plenty of books and good videos to use as well. You may wish to stay away from the Wolters pointing dog video and book though. They don't seem to get a lot of favorable comments from hardcore pointer trainers. I'd personally Recommend the videos from Perfection Kennels. Go to the library and check out the pointing dog training videos and books and see what you think is doable for you.

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There are also plenty of setter fanciers on this board. I'd leverage them as much as possible for information and advice too.

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I did lots of research to find a dog that was right for me and my style of hunting. I fell in love with Setters and would recommend them to anyone. Lots of other dogs are great, keep doing some research and you'll find the breed for you. Mine isn't a strong retriever but I think some of that is my fault. He was first dog and I was clueless.

As far as tips if they have good instincts and some obedience training you'll just need to expose them to as many birds as you possibly can. Birds, birds, birds!!!!!!!!! It's not easy training but it's fun. I haven't screwed mine up too badly so if I can do I'm sure you can.

I'd add a photo but I don't know how.

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I forgot to mention I have a Ryman/Pinecoble cross. They are both known for having traditional setters and the Ryman line has been around for 100+ years. The traditional setters are hunting dogs with show dog looks. I got him from it him from a kennel in Willmar.

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I agree with Tybo, get them on birds as much as you can. With good lines all they want to do is point birds. Besides being gorgeous mine is the most gentle dog around kids and other animals. Nothing but good things to say about setters. Mine is not a strong retriever though. I'm sure Setterguy would have lots of info on specific bloodlines and breeders.

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i've only been around a couple of english setters. beautiful dogs to watch hunt, but the ones i seen were not strong retrievers. but they were not force fetch trained. i'd second the idea that if yours is not a strong natural retriver i'd use the force fetch method. works great. but with setters i don't think you'd want to start to early. but as stated above listen to the setter guys as they'd be more in tune with that. i'll second the more birds the better with pointers. make sure to get them into wild birds early too as they act different than pen raised.

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Have you looked at the Red Setters? Email me at jbdragon17 @hotmail.

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I have a 7 mo old Ryman/Old Hemlock line setter. He's been a wonderful family dog. Gets along with everyone and is very mellow in the house. Ryman bloodlines are known for for stronger retriving insticts, and I can tell you this is true. Our pup starting retrieving dummies week one. I think he'd even be able to do a weekend of two of early season duck hunting.

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I have heard a lot about the Ryman lines, but what are the Old Hemlock lines? Thanks.

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Old Hemlock I believe is a line developed by the famous outdoorsman/writer Goerge "Bird" Evans. I believe his foundation stock was from Ryman but can't remember for sure. Basically they are both gentleman's or companion dogs. What the original English Setter was before the split between show and field trial dogs. They are meant to be great companions and great hunting dogs. Show dog looks and a dog that can hunt. The Ryman line is continued be DeCoverly Kennels in PA. I'm not sure who is continuing the Old Hemlock line.

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I've been away/busy for a while sorry I couldn't chime in sooner.

It all depends on what kind of hunting you like to do to determine the "line" of setters that would fit you best.

If you hunt the prairies of ND or SD then you may want a bigger running dog that is bred to cover lots of ground. If you hunt a lot of cattails you may want a little bigger bred dog to handle the abuse it will take in the field. If you hunt strictly grouse woods a little 30lb burner may be the best bet for you. For me it was a combination of all of them. My female is from trial lines, but I knew both parents and they hunted at what a comfortable distance for me, which may or may not be comfortable for everyone. She is mid sized, about 40lbs when in good shape, natural retriever, and a strong desire to please.

My best advice I can give, is to go to a trial or two, see some walking dogs, see some AKC trials, ask to tag along as much as possible and you will see what you like and don't like in the dogs that are on the ground. If you have any specific questions feel free to email me (in my profile) and I can put you in touch with some very knowledgeable guys in the area.

As JB said, I wouldn't hesitate to look at the red dogs either. They are producing some fine dogs.

Good luck with your search.

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Thanks so much.

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I guess all I can do is echo what other setter owners have said. My girl is a Ryman/Pincoble cross and all I can say is she is the best dog I've ever owned. They are very biddable and easy to train or should I say train you. It's just a matter of obedience and then putting them on birds. The light goes on and they learn where the birds are. Did some quartering training and the usual whoa and fetch. After awhile you learn to read your dog, give her the freedom to find birds, and don't be too controling. I find people I hunt with that are used to flushing dogs get exicted if she ranges out, but after they see she holds point, and waits for the flush they relax and wonder why they don't hunt pointing dogs more often. I'll always have a setter, for my type of hunting, grouse and pheasant, she's all I could ask for. While she does swim, I would not recommend this breed for waterfowling if that is your main purpose, there are far better established breeds for this sort of hunting.

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Thanks again everyone.

Can anyone recommend any good web or printed resources that will give me some insight into training?

Know of some good places to find pictures/post some pictures of your own dogs?

Breeder recommendations?

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I got my dog from Setter Hills Gundogs in Willmar, MN. He's a Pinecoble/Ryman Setter mix. There is a picture or two of him on their web site. There also are a few pictures of my dog in the gallery on the Shooting Sportsman Magazine website and the Ruffed Grouse Society website. There are picyures of at least one other dog from Setter Hills on the RGS site.

As far as books and videos I bought loads of them. Many of them have some slightly different techniques which is nice since some dogs require a different method to train them. Good Luck

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setters unlimited- Scott Berg in Rogers MN has very nice setters. They are awesome in the field and just as good in the house.

As far as training Willow Creeks Kennels is the best I have found.

Let me know if you need more info

buddy1.jpg

buddy3-1.jpg

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My dog is indirectly through Scott Berg as well. I also bred my female to his dog Jack, which looks a lot like 2thepoints dog. If nothing else, Scott is a great source of information. He can tell you my dogs breeding back 4-5 generations.

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