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rundrave

narrowing down breed of dog to get, opinions please

21 posts in this topic

Well I finally have the luxary of moving into my first home, and looking forward to getting a dog. I just dont know what to get, and looking for some opinions from you pros out there. Let me start of by describing my situation and what I would like to use the dog for.

I live with my girlfriend and we have no kids. I will be living in town (Sioux Falls) but will have a large corner lot, and across the street an open field(undeveloped) for now but will be in the future. My office will only be 2 miles from house, and job is very flexible, can come and go when I please. I also come home for lunch everyday. There is also plenty of land in the area with relatives etc to take the pup on.

As far as hunting I only hunt pheasant, and try to get out as much as possible. Other than just looking for a good pet and a fishing buddy.

Now as far as breeds I have it narrowed down to: Springer Spaniel, German short hair, golden retreiver, and a Lab.

I have no clue what to pick, but am leaning towards a pointer, and I personally think watching a dog go on point, and hold that point is one of the most beautiful things ever.

Just pretend I know next to nothing about training. I am willing to work with the dog alot, but will admit my patience may not rank up there. What I am looking to do is determine a breed, and then research and read up and go from there.

I have considered this, and I know IT WILL BE ALOT OF WORK but I am very excited to get a dog. My house wont be finished until June, and I wont have a yard so I have quite a while to research and think about this.

I hope I havent left anything out, and thanks to all in advance.

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have you consider a brittany? If you get the right bloodlines they can be excellent hunting & family dogs.

Just a thought

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Brittanies are the way to go. Have had them since I was 10. They are family pets as well as hunters. They like water, so you can use them for duck hunting. I have a litter now if interested.

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We also have one male GSP that is 6 months old. Excellent dog.

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A Lab is an easy choice. Good family dog and there is plenty of good hunting lines out there.

We added a Weimaraner to our "Family" last summer, what a super dog, tons of energy, but is retreiving like a machine, points like it was second nature and is one of the best looking short hairs out there.

My three year old Yellow Lab and my Wiem are super together too!

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Every man has his opinion, if you want a pointer for the prairie phesants I'd say go Germain Shorthair. I've hunted over my friends countless times and it's a rush. I got my first one last summer and it's been interesting and fun.

Fair warning, they are very high strung and active. Good for them cuz we work them pretty hard in the field. Mine and my friends are also very good natured dogs.

Yes, you are going to have your work cut out for you. It's well worth it. Be patient. Don't get frustrated, and most of all HAVE FUN WITH YOUR DOG!!!

Good luck

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If you do pheasants only it'd be hard to pass up a good springer or a good GSP. Out of your list those 2 breeds would be my top choices (just a personal preference and not meant to slight the other breeds mentioned). A GSP is the only pointer you've mentioned but most any other breed of pointer will do well too. Since you have time I'd say keep your options open and look at as many different breeds as you can. If possible try to see the dogs in action. Keep in mind your personality traits when choosing a breed or individual dog too. If you are a control freak, a far ranging pointer is not the dog for you.

As for shorthairs you can get just about any type of dog you want in a shorthair. Slow/fast, close/medium/long range, big/small, wound up/mellow, very friendly/aloof. This means you really have to do your homework to determine what it is that you expect/want out of your shorthair. Once you've done that then begin your search for the right breeding.

In Sodak I'd think you'd have plenty to choose from for breeders of GSP's or any breed for that matter. A breeder in your relative area to take a look at is Khawk Kennels in Sioux City, IA. Do a google search for their website.

What a tough problem to have, living in Sodak and looking for a hunting dog. grin.gif I'm very jealous.

Good luck.

gspman

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Well its glad to be back so South Dakota, and I am glad your jelous smile.gif , but I am definitely going to miss the awesome fishing minnesota has to offer. Wether it be a lake up north or any of the several great ponds in the metro. You cant beat having that many great fishing spots so close to eachother. I now will have to drive an hour or more to fish, and those lakes dont come close to anything in minnesota, where each lake was just a hop skip and jump.

As for the dog info, AWESOME, thanks for all the feedback, just have to think about it that much more, but I am getting there.

thanks again

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I was going through the same situation about a year ago. I was not sure what breed I wanted but knew I wanted a versatile breed. I hunt ducks and upland birds. I asked for opinions and of course I got advise that was based mainly on personal preference. Most told me to get a lab, but I was not interested in a lab. I too wanted a pointer and didn't want a pointing lab (personal preference - nothing against them).

I did my own research, read some books, looked at general breed characteristics and made my decision. I decided on a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. I could tell you this is the breed you should get, but I do not know what you are reallly looking for in a dog. Plus, my dog is only 16 weeks old. So, I have no idea how he will work out in the end.

Like others have stated not only is the breed important, but it is the breeding that you need to research as well. Take your time and research the lines that you are purchasing from regardless of the breed. Good luck and have fun with the pup.

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If you're looking for a pet that will also hunt pheasants, get a lab. Super personalities and great family dogs. Make sure you tell the breeder what you're looking for, you don't want a super hyper field trial dog as your first ever pup.

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2 Da Gills,

The Griffon and Wirehairs are awesome dogs! Our hunting group has a nice mix of dogs and I've got the chance to see many different breeds work. The dogs in the group are: (2) Wire's, (1) Chessie, (2) Labs, (1) German Shorthair, (1) Wiemaraner.

It is a pretty amazing sight to watch each dog work the fields!

One of the Wire's I wouldn't leave a small child with, the other one a kid could hang off both ears while he licks the kids face?! The Wire that is a little meaner was from a famer when he was 6 months old, the farmer had him cained to the barn with a darn log chain, out in the sun and dirt. No wonder it is mean. My buddy has done tons of work with it and it is coming around very nicely. Still wouldn't let my 5 year old play with him.....yet.

FYI- the nicer of the two Wire's is a duck retrieving animal, loves the water!

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I have a couple more questions,

1.) Where will the dog live, inside or outside.

2.) Do you have any children, or do you plan on having any soon?

3.) How much if any are you willing to spend on traing the dog, since you said yourself that your patience isn't too great. If you get frustrated easily, I would consider paying for training.

4.) What kind of dogs have you hunted over personally, and what did you like about those dogs?

5.) Are you dead set on getting a dog this summer? I might take this year and try to get out as many times as you can, behind as many different breeds as you can. Consider all your options, carefully determine what you liked and didn't like about each breed and then take the time to investigate and find a litter that will meet your needs. Make a list of the things that you must have in a dog, ie: Retrieving, no shedding ect. Then match that list up with a breed that will fit your style and expectations. Good luck with the search.

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I got my Griffon from a breeder that has 2 young children. These pups were around kids from day 1. This was important to me, I have a 14 month old and 2 1/2 year old. Temperament was also a big consideration in the breeding.

So far all is well, but the pup and kids are never left alone. This is important since the 14 month old does not have the concept of petting softly. It is more like soft hitting, we are working on it.

Had him out with some quail on Sunday and got 3 solid points out of him. Looking good so far, seems to have the natural ability and game desire. After the exposure to the quail, he now spends all his time hunting when out in the yard. If the rain will stop, I will get him out with a few more birds.

Sorry, kind of got of topic.

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To answer your questions, I would like the dog to be able to live inside and outside, mainly outside, and it will have a kennel attached to the garage with a dog door to go in and out.

As stated before I have no kids, and I dont plan to have any in the next couple of years, I hope smile.gif I need to enjoy these last few years of freedom, before I get married etc. lol

As for how much time am I willing to spend, I have greatly considered this, and I know its not a walk in the park, but I am committed to doing this. I am always up for a challenge, and I think it will be very rewarding. I admit my patience isnt great, but maybe this will help me with that.

I have hunted over almost every dog imagineable. I have hunted in big parties and small parties. Hunted with 1 dog to several dogs. Hunted in all types of weather warm fall, cold snowy, etc. I really just want a dog/companion/pet that likes to hunt. Like I said before, watching a dog take point is just awesome, its just such a rush to see that. Thats why I am slightly leaning towards a pointer, but I have yet to rule any others out.

And last, I am not set on getting a dog at all this year, it will probably be next spring, because I dont have a yard in yet, with building a new house and all, it would just be a mess. I just want to be prepared the best that I can. I want to read up a research everything first. Although it is a lot of work reading and what not, its kind of fun, and I am also learning alot. Once again thanks for all your info, much appreciated!

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rundrave,

Based on the criteria you've given:

* Prefer a pointer's style

* Excellent on pheasants

* Can handle correction well (harder dog, not soft)

* Inside and outside dog

* Space available for exercise

Based on these criteria(not just a personal preference), I think a GSP would be a good choice for you.

* They are beautiful pointers - some lines will make your jaw drop when they lock up

* They excel in the uplands and handle pheasants very well, especially a dog given lots of exposure to birds

* They can typically handle correction better than many other breeds

* The short coat may be an advantage for an indoor dog (shedding not as noticeable)

* It is also easier to find a decent hunting GSP than some other breeds (ie, Weims) - better genepool out there

* Relatively easy to train

Setterguy also had a good question about what it was you liked about dogs you've seen - personalities? Hunting style/range? Looks? This is a huge factor - you have to live with the dog 365 days/yr, so look for the total package, not just one feature. The only thing I would raise as an issue w/GSPs is late season hunting - will you be doing lots from late Nov to early Jan? Shorthairs will hunt in -10 degree weather no problem, but I always feel bad when I have 'em out in that kind of weather when their coats aren't built for that.

Everyone has their favorites, and I have seen some good dogs and bad dogs in most breeds. Keep doing your homework, and once you've settled on the breed, start doing homework on the breeders - that's just as important as the breed itself. The more dogs you go and see, the better.

Good luck and have fun with it!

Blaze

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I would research the german wirehair pointer. I say that because I own one, but they are a great upland and family dog. They hunt very hard, and are very loyal pets.

Ole

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I remember a very similar dilemma a few years back although I also had kids in the equation. I was and still really enjoy hunting with labs and they fit my bill as I hunt mainly pheasants and ducks. What was preventing me from going with a lab? I wanted an inside dog to join my family and my wife was very strong in stating that she still intended for the coffee and end tables in the house to have uses that didn't involve a big black, yellow or chocolate tail cleaning them off on an hourly basis.

Pushed me into looking at "short-tails" in general and although I'd hunted with an excellent Vizla in the past, I wasn't totally sold on them. Also grew up with a Weimeraner when I was really young but had never hunted with one. I ended up deciding on a shorthair and then started checking out local breeders and watching the dogs at the fall Game Fair, etc.. I love the breed and she has met my every expectation as far as my first hunting dog. (what finally sealed me on a GSP after alot of research was when I read on the AKC website that the first time a GSP was recognized at an AKC trial was in Anoka, MN and I lived in a neighboring city so I thought that was almost like karma--plus the webbed feet since I also hunt ducks)

Now that I've experienced NAVHDA and seen other breeds in action, I would gladly own many of them such as the wirehairs, small munsterlanders (spelling?)and griffons. Now that I've broken the ice with a bigger dog in the house, my wife has warmed to having a lab in the house so my next decision in a year or two might actually be back to square one like you are. One thing I have learned is that in the small group I do most of my pheasant hunting with (2-4 guys), my pointer hunts with a lab and I really have to keep her to my side of the group or she gets so competitive with the lab that she wants to turn into a flusher not a pointer so if your hunting partners are into pointers your owning a pointer would fit right in, while they might not like throwing a young lab into the mix and same goes the other direction as well. I know that alot of larger hunting parties mix flushers with pointers and it works out fine so my experience might be specific to my dog or the size of the party I routinely hunt with.

Have fun picking and even more fun when the puppy does move in!

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Brittany is my choice for you. A dog on point is what life is all about. Nice size for an inside dog. Loves to please so it takes to training well. Make sure you pay the piper and get one with excellent hunting parents!! You have plenty of room to run the energy out a brittany.

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I by no means have enough experience to give out recommendations, but I can tell you what I have. I have 3 dogs, 1 golden retriever(the mother) and 2 that are 1/2 golden 1/2 chocolate lab (sisters) The golden has a great nose but is pretty gunshy so she is not a hunter. The 2 sisters are the best dogs for grouse, ducks, and pheasant I have ever hunted with. Very trainable. Great noses, great retrieving, and also listen to commands very well. At the same time they are very calm dogs (i think that is the golden in them), they are comfortable inside or outside. They are very good with kids or all ages also.

Ryan

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You have a tough road ahead of you. This will be a suprise but, I am partial to the springer. I went with them for a couple of reasons. One they are a smaller hunting dog which works good for living indoors(in a townhome when I got my first one.) Second they are alot like me, lazy in the house and in the field they have one thing on their mind and that is to find and get that bird.

Any one of the dogs you listed will be fine hunting dogs without a doubt. You just need to find the dogs with the personallity to match yours. Research is the key and it sounds like you are already in the process of doing that.

It sounds like you have time. The best thing you can do is go and watch these breeds in action. Contact breeders and ask them to demo the dog for you and ask them all kinds of questions. Any good breeder will jump at the chance to show off their dogs. Ask them for references of people that have bought puppies in the past from them.

If I was in the market for a dog and did not know what breed to get into this is what I would do. Thats just my opinion.

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From personal experience, nothing, NOTHING beats a GSP. Excellent bird dogs, and they also love to swim. If you every have kids, they are also wonderful. My GSP was 4 when my first child came and he adapted extremely well and protects her with his life. I keep him inside at night, otherwise he is out in his kennel during work and he had the run of my 25 acres when I'm home. Just a little more info....GSP's are VERY high strung dogs that have energy that can't be matched. they will outhunt you in the field every day, where a lab will be pretty worn out after a couple hours. if you have time to commit to exercising the dog and want a good bird dog....definetly a GSP

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