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English Setter vs. French Brittany


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Ok, I have narrowed my search for my first pup down to either an English Setter or a French Brittany.

Here are some things you should know before giving me your opinions.

I plan to use this dog primarially for grouse hunting, but probably a few pheasant trips each year. I want to spend no more than $400 for a female pup and would like a pup some where in the Feb-April 2004 time frame. This will be my first pup and my first experiences with a pointing dog, I have some experience working with labs, but none with pointing breeds.

So knowing that information, what would you suggest?? I would also like some information on breeders in the state that may be planning litters in this time range.

Feel free to e-mail me at either address:
[email protected]
[email protected]

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Grabs, I have a male Lab and a male Brittney. My Brittney is 8 now and is a great bird dog, he pointed his first ruffie at 7 months, intinctive flash point. Worked his training thru books and with the help of friends. He loves the woods and hunting Ruffies, but really shines in CRP looking for Sharptails. I have shot dozens of birds I would have walked right by without him. Brits are somewhat high strung/energized and need lots of space in a yard or excersize. I have owned dogs all my life except for a stint in the Army. My Brit is a very gentle, loving dog, and is excellent with kids and other dogs. Even at 8 years old he is GO GO GO though!!!


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You and I have chatted over email a few times so I will breakdown the differences in breeds for you and anyone else in here that cares to read them. As always these differences are generalizations and of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Size: Field bred setters are going to run a little bigger than the French Brits, Females usually somewhere in the 35-42 lb range, a female Brit will weigh considerably less, probably somewhere in the 27-35 range. In the grouse woods this is great, pheasant hunting can get a little tough for the smaller dogs.

Range: Setters tend to run a little bigger than the Brits, this freaks some people out but if your dog is well trained I see nothing wrong with having a dog out 100 yds or more in open country, they should tend to tighten up in thicker cover but are still going to be farther out than the Brits.

Intelligence: Advantage Brits, this not always being a good thing. Personally I would rather train a dumb dog every time. Smart dogs take what you teach them and add thier own "personal touches" on to the training, to either do it faster, easier or not at all. Again it all goes to personal preference.

House dog/ Outside dog: Pretty much the same either way I think. The Brits may not shed as much inside. I shave my setters down in the summer and have very little hair on the carpet or my clothes. The setters may be able to handle the outside a little better just because they have more body mass.

Temperment: I havn't been around enough Brits to make an accurate statement here so I'll just tell you about the setters, inside they are very calm, they like to lay around and are very affectionate. They love kids, and in my many experiences (Contact with 300+ setters), I have never seen a mean one. Not to say I haven't seen a fight or two, but I would let my kids go right up to all that I have seen.

Hunting ability: I would have to give the edge here to the setters, there have just been that many more that have proved themselves in various trialing situations. Everyone always thinks they have a great dog, trials give you a way to back it up and compare your dog to others of the same age class. Agian these are broad answers to a broad question.

IMO I think you have narrowed your search down to the best possible breeds for grouse hunting in Minnesota. You probalby couldn't go wrong with either breed. I just think that you have a much better chance of getting a good dog if you have more choices. There just aren't that many guys breeding the French Brits. I think that speaks volumes.

I hope this helps and I am still trying to get a hold of that guy for you, if you need any more info you know the email address.


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