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what dog would be right for me?


USPENAMC

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Good morning,

My father, Cousin and I are interested in all pitching in to buy a dog but I would like to be more informed on what you guys think would be a nice dog for me.

1) Get along with kids

2) can hunt and do the following things

A)Be a good pheaseant dog

B)retrieve downed ducks/geese

c)Retrieve doves

i will look into the breed of dogs in your responses thank you.

david

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If you hunt more upland that waterfowl, I would go with a Springer. However if it is to be more a water dog, go with a lab. I have both breeds and know that my springer is the better pheasant dog but my lab takes the cake in the water. I have 4 kids and both are awesome around all our kids (ages 2-13).

Good luck,

BHS

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Looking at where you are from, Labs are big,a nd Eden Prarie may not have enough room to roam for a big dog. If you do choose to get a lab, please verify the breeder. There are some very good breeders, but also a ton of "my brother has a dog that got in with this other dog" types. This is why hip displasia is so prevelant in the breed, poor breeders. Do you homework and you will be OK.

And don't take anyones advise that one dog is better for you then another. I love my Viszla, but they are not for everybody. Do a few internet searches, find out about breed qualities, and find what works best for YOU.

Good luck, having and training a dog is a very rewarding experience. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Another good option would be a field bred English Cocker. It is in the spaniel family, but quite a bit smaller.

The 2 we have weigh in about 35 and 25 lbs.

They have all the desire and drive that a lab does without the size.

They are people pleasing dogs and are good with kids.

They can more easily live in the home than some of the bigger dogs. This is only based on size!!!We have labs in the house too!!

As the previous poster stated, what ever dog you decide on, do your research to get the best suited dog for your family and situation.

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Here's another thought - when you narrow down your search, one of the deciding factors might be training. I picked my Springer from a particular breeder, because I was able to train with their group. If I am going to spend all this money on a dog, I want to be able to give it the best training possible.

Just a thought....

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I still stand by the fact that every sportsmen needs 2 dogs!! 1 flusher 1 pointer or more, but 2 for sure. 2 dogs are better than 1 they can keep each other company when you're at that evil place called , what's it called again......oh yeah ....WORK

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The fact that you put Pheasants first screams pointing breed, but then the two retrieving requirements say to me you might want a more of a retriever than a pointer. If you do a lot more upland hunting with a weekend or two duck hunting I would say a good choice would be a Pointing breed. I don't think if you want a pheasant dog first, and retriever second I wouldn't even look at a lab. There are so many better choices if you look around. Try researching some of the more versatile breeds and find one you all will enjoy. As the local waterfall population decreases and pheasant and grouse numbers go up you might get a better bang for the buck with a well trained pointing breed. I never regret buying my first pointer, Just my $.02.

CW

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Quote:

I don't think if you want a pheasant dog first, and retriever second I wouldn't even look at a lab.


You wouldn't even look at a lab?

Guess I'll have to take my Labs out and hope I find a pheasant or two... maybe I'll get lucky and they'll drop dead center in a pond so they can find them.

Many guys pick a lab 1st for pheasants and many of those guys don't even duck hunt. I know two pheasant guides in SoDak who wouldn't even think about owning a pointer as they feel many of the late season birds give the pointers fits. I find it fairly ironic that they won't even consider a pointer. Pointers are the 'specialists' when it comes to upland hunting, but in no way can you say a lab shouldn't be considered.

All dogs have their pros and cons... and all dogs have their followers. But blanket statements like the one made above will help no one in the end make a decision. That would be equivalent to me saying "if you want a dog that goes in the water and that'll make retrieves, I wouldn't even consider a pointer"... but I wouldn't say it, as it makes no sense. I knew an English Pointer that was a retriveing machine, she went in the water many times to get a downed rooster. I hunted over a wirehair once that did an awesome job on waterfowl (mostly geese in the field) and I owned a shorthair that did a great job on ducks for the 1st week or two. With that said my labs have found equally as many pheasants as any of those dogs did.

You are correct when you say if you primarily hunt upland game, you may want to consider a pointer. They are stylish and are very effective and thorough hunters. They can be a little more difficult to train, especially for first time gun dog owners such as USP, but if you work hard enough, and stick to a training regimen, you can have a real nice working dog. If you want to mix in waterfowl hunting and have your sights set on a pointer, look into one of the versatile breeds. If you're looking at grouse hunting primarily, look into Setters and Brittanys. That is where these pointers really earn their wings... in the grouse coverts.

Now with all that said, I think you would do well with a Lab or Golden, Springer or English Cocker or a Wirehair or Griffon. 2 breeds from each category that can handle all the game you are listing as wanting to pursue.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Lots of great choices already mentioned, but I'll cast my vote for a golden retriever. First off, they are AWESOME family/companion dogs that love kids. Next, they're very versatile hunters, for any upland and waterfowl.

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I have a pointing lab and have the best of both worlds! cant do everything as well as a pointer but when the roosters are in the cattails my lab will run circles around the pointers. also they cant do any real water work when its cold and i have yet to see many pointers that can find the cripples as well as a lab

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All I have to say is WOW confused.gif! These are some pretty bold statements.

This question is a loaded question my friend. Only you know what dog is right for you grasshopper grin.gif.

Your best option is to do some research on the different breeds and find the ones that suite your hunting style. Then go to places like a hunting preserve and ask what they have for guide dogs and take them out and hunt behind them to see if you like them or not. Kind of like test driving a car before you buy it.

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kgpcr4,

Quote:

when the roosters are in the cattails my lab will run circles around the pointers


This comment comes up every year and I've always found it very dubious. Any dog can hunt cattails. Please explain your position.

gspman

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I agree! I have yet to see a dog that has not been able to hunt in the cattails...

A lot of stereotyping of breeds going on. How exposed to all these breeds (other than their own) are the ones that are making the generalzations?

Good Luck!

Ken

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Although your criteria spells out a "Lab" it also spells out "Wirehaired Pointing Griffon" check them out this maybe another option for your research. Very good with kids,great duck dog, plus you get a pionter all wrapped in one package.

Good Luck with your search!

Chris

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kgpcr4

Quote:

Also they cant do any real water work when its cold and I have yet to see many pointers that can find the cripples as well as a lab


You obviously haven't seen a trained NAVHDA UT dog my friend? I'd run my WPG pointer out of the blind any day no matter what the weather & after every cripple.

Best regards,

Chris

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First off: make sure that you check out a number of dogs. Some of the statements on this board are WAY over the top. I erased my reaction to the opinion on pointing labs being equal to versatile breeds. Lets just say I find it to be uninformed. [i am not saying that PLs are bad dogs.]

IMO: You will be doing your self a disservice if you do not check out the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (WPG) and the German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP). I am not saying that you still may not choose to go with the more familiar lab or springer, but you will be making a decision that lasts 10 to 15 years. Why not gather as much information as possible?

Wires are are excellent rooster dogs, very good waterfoul dogs and great in the home. Stereotypically, the WPG has a more family friendly reputation while the GWP is generally considered more of a sure thing in the field.

A well bred Wire will accept as much training as you choose to provide, but will hunt with very little training. Just like a Lab, etc., all a versatile dog needs is introduction to birds and they will hunt them up. However, extra training is not work. It's fun. Do not let it scare you off!

Echoing the earlier concerns about finding a good litter, it is not often that a wirehair breeder will sell dogs to a non-hunting home. It does happen, but rarely. Further, often versatile dogs have been rigorously tested in a fashion that reflects real world hunting conditions. On the other hand, other breeds are quite popular with non-hunting homes and are regularly breed without hunting in mind. Accordingly, one is more likely to find a wire breed for the field and the home - not just because the breeder can get rid of the puppies.

Finally, two points of advice.

(1) Go online and order "How Gun Dogs Train Themselves" by Joan Bailey.

(2) Remember that you do not buy a dog you buy its grandparents. Here are some rules of thumb in accordance with this principle. Become familiar with pedigrees. Do not purchase a dog from someone not familiar with the parents of the Sire and Dam. If possible hunt over one or both of the parents.

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Good advice.

Quote:

1) Go online and order "How Gun Dogs Train Themselves" by Joan Bailey.


Great book, I highly recommend it as well.

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Let me tell you about my experiences. The first "hunting dog" we got was our golden retriever. She is an old girl now, almost 15. She is and always has been a great family dog and very good with kids. Both of her parents were good hunting dogs. She was around guns and was fine. Then the first time we took her out pheasant hunting at 11months, she went right out stayed close and covered the whole area did a great job completely on instinct. Then she got her first bird up, we shot it over her and she ran back and hid under the truck never to hunt again. She won't even look at a gun. She is a pretty timid dog. So all in all her instincts are good but the big bang was bad. It seems like alot of goldens are timid, so I think if that was your choice you would need to break him/her into the shooting part of it more slowly.

Then our next 2 dogs were her pups. Our golden was accidentally bred with a purebred chocolate lab. Out of the 9 puppies we kept 2 of them and gave/sold cheaply the rest of them to family friends. They were also great family dogs, good with kids big and little. One of them was timid like her mom and really didn't get into the hunting, but loved to come with so she could follow my dad and run into his heels when he stopped smile.gif . The other one which I called moose due to the fact that she was a 110 lb female. She was the best hunting buddy I could ever ask for. She had the best nose for pheasants out of any dog I have ever hunted behind. I always knew when she was on a bird, her tail would go like crazy and she would get a bit of extra hop in her step. Once we shot the bird, she would go anywhere and always find it whether it be cattails, water, or long grass. Only thing that was tough is when late season birds ran instead of flushing, she would chase them at full speed and we had to run after her and hope the bird flushed soon enough to get a shot. It was tough grouse hunting with her though do to the fact that most places were too thick and tough to shoot grouse out of the air. She was also quite a duck dog, with the exception of when there was a more aggressive dog with, if the other dog went out for the duck she sat and watched patiently. When it was just her, if a duck fell or soared she was after it and almost always came back with it. She was a great swimmer and loved everything about every kind of hunting. They both passed in June of 06, I sure miss them frown.gif Then there was their sister Elimay who we gave to a friend of ours. She was the best duck dog I have ever seen in my life. The owner was a hardcore duck hunter, but not a pheasant hunter so I never saw how she was at that. Anyway, she was known to get any duck that fell. Some neighbors who hunted on a point at least a quarter mile down, if they shot a duck and their dog got it, but Eli saw it fall she would swim all the way over to them go in their blind steal their duck jump back into the lake and bring to us. grin.gif I saw her do this many times. They always came at the end of the day to collect ducks from us, they thought it was as funny as we did. Sad thing is our golden outlived all of her pups, I sure am happy she is still around though. So really my point is, don't be afraid of a mixed breed if it comes from hunting breeds.

Now, we have 2 German shorthair pointers. The are on their second year of hunting and actually one of them retrieved her first 3 ducks this weekend. The other one doesn't quite get it yet. They are both fantastic swimmers that love the water, but after the first few weeks of duck season the water usually gets to cold for them with their thin coats and then the have to stay home. I have gotten a few grouse behind both of them, but their specialty is definately pheasants. Last year with no significant training we took them out in the field, it sure is fun watching them point. It was completely natural and we found and shot birds everytime we went out. They were pretty good about the retrieve once they learned it wasn't their lunch and I am sure they will only get better. Also they are extremely friendly dogs, very good with adults and bigger kids. Though I would be a bit nervous having them around real small children due to the fact that they are very energentic and don't necessarily look before they take off running and they do like to jump a bit when they get real excited, but you can train them not to do that and they are getting better about it. Either way I love hunting with a good dog and just dogs in general. Maybe this will help with your decision.

ELE

PS. I do agree with one of the above posters that if you can get a second dog, you should. They sure do keep each other busy and happy. grin.gif

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wire haired pointing Griffons are OK dogs but you have to look at them once in a while LOL. They are the only breed i would consider for myself besides my pointing lab. I have been on hunts where the Pointers played out in the cattails and just did not hunt them hard. They are ideal for grass and open country hunting but i hunt alot cattail swamps and that kind of cover and the lab is outstanding for that. Also thier temrament is usually good and make great family pets. No one dog will do everything the best. That dog has not been born yet. You have to look at what you want it to do and then select a breed. For me a pointing lab is tops! They are growing in popularity all the time. I also love the shorter hair as you dont have to pull burrs out all day long.

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I still say two dogs......One pointer one flusher/retreiver I won't even mention a certain breed thats completely up to you....Just do your homework don't believe just because some guy on the internet says his breed is the best..That it is .....Dogs rule!!!!! All brreds have thier strong points and thier shortcomings..So don't believe the hype!!! Get out there and try to hunt with a few different breeds and pick what you like best...Have fun and good luck...........Uplander

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Uplander is right! Its not one size fits all. For me i love a pointing lab but that is not the right dog for everyone by any means. A good 10ga goose gun would suck as a grouse gun. to heavy, big and slow, Like wise my 28ga is not a goose gun by any means. decide what you want it to do and then look for a dog that fills those needs.

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First off, this was a loaded question that we all knew was going to get the mine is better than yours answers.

Secondly< I forgot for a minute that we live in the land of 10 million labs. So I will explain my comment about not looking towards a Lab, as it was not a very clear statement. The biggest factors I see is the gross overbreeding of the labs,non hunting breeding's, and the multiple heath problems they are prone to. Until these issues are corrected I personally will never suggest a lab to anyone, not even as a pet. Sorry if my comment offended you Ken but with your vast experience with them I think you would agree that it takes a great deal of research to find a good hunting lab with healthy genetics. I know you brought up the fact that pointers may be harder to train, but I would rather spend my time and money training a breed with fewer health concerns. In my opinion ALL hunting dogs take a great deal of time and bird exposure to be well trained, and just because you are not accustomed to training pointers does not make them harder to train. That type of stereotype does not help anyone either.

CW

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