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Hey guys, I am looking forward to getting a new hunting dog. I have a few questions. I hunt everthing from grouse to pheasant to ducks and geese. I live in northern minnesota so I will most likely be hunting grouse the most. I like the idea of a pointer, but I am open to any ideas. I don't know what breed to buy, books to read, movies to watch, or when to buy a dog. Some good people to talk to. Please help me with my decisions.



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Please go slow. Listen to the advice you get. Keep in mind you will have your new pal maybe 10-15 years. Lots of fun, pleasure and joy and some annoyance, pain and trouble. For three months in the fall you'll love having the dog. But how about the other nine months? Have the time? Does wife enjoy pets? neighbors to conside? Remember a couple hundred dollars a year (minimum) for vets bills. Is this the right time? Can I wait a season maybe?

We all owe a real obligation to our canine pals. I am NOT trying to discourage you Kyle, just offering food for thought.

Oh....breed. A BLACK Labrador. HA!!

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join navhda, thats what I did. Get to experience several different breeds. Get first hand knowledge from several different breeders and trainers.

I was in your shoes not too long ago, and my dog and I definately wouldnt be where we are today without being in Navhda.

You cant go wrong researching and doing lots of reading. Its a big decision. Go slow take your time and most of all have fun.

good luck on your search!

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I tried to hunt over as many different breeds as possible. All for grouse. I decided on a Setter and asked around about a good breeder. Most of the people I talked to pointed in the same direction and I went to whom I believe to be one of the top setter breeders in the country. I initially wanted to get an English Setter, but met and got to know some of his Red Setters and fell in love with the breed. I now have three of them and will probably run a litter through one of my females next spring.

Picking a breed is a tough decision. Keep an open mind. One thing I will suggest to be very aware of are the blood lines. Champion lines are going to give you a much better chance at getting a great dog. It might cost you a little more $$, but it WILL be worth it in the long run. Someone commented about having this dog for the next 10+ years.

Another thing you may want to consider is getting a pup that is a little older. Maybe even a "Started" pup. This way you will get a much better idea of what you are getting. That is what I did with my first. She was about 6 months when I got her. I hunted her on grouse at 9 months and she pointed at least 25 birds.

Yet another thing to consider. In my opinion (and probably in most peoples opinions) the females mature faster. This made it easier for me to train my girls. My male is over a year and it is taking longer for him to "get it". The girls are softer though.

Finally...When you find a breed/breeder you like. Ask to see the pup or dog on birds. Maybe even see the parents work birds. Get some time with the parents and the pups before you make your decision. If a breeder will not put the pup or parents on birds for you I would suggest finding one that will.

My 2 cents... If you are interested in Setters. Let me or Setter Guy know.

I will be hunting my dogs up around Nashwauk in early Oct, and around Northhome in later Oct.

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R. Miller

For a good book, I recommend picking up a copy of the sporting dog encyclopedia. It's a great hard copy with lots of pics and great detailed descriptions of all hunting breeds. I've owned brittanies all my life, and highly recommend them for great all around hunting dogs, although there are many to choose from. I prefer a pointing breed to a flusher in grouse woods, although I spoke with a breeder of springer spaniels up by Brainerd that hunts a lot of grouse and woodcock with his dogs.

As for different breeds though, there are many factors to consider. What size are you looking for? What type of coat? If you want a longer coat with a medium to large dog, I'd look at the Brittany, English Setter, Red Setter, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. The Griffon may be the most hearty if you're planning on hunting ducks and geese late in the season up north. They're great retrievers too. Also look to the German Shorthair for an all around great hunting dog. The Vizsla and Weimaraner are supposed to be great dogs to for grouse, typically working closer and slower in the bigger woods. With these two breeds, make sure you talk to breeders that hunt. Also, I've been looking into the Pudelpointer a bit lately. It seems to be a great all around hunting dog. There's a breeder up north of the cities on 35. Hope this helps a little.

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