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Author Topic: Request for information about certain breeds  (Read 1238 times)

Offline TheSennett

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Request for information about certain breeds
« on: November 28, 2017, 09:23:02 AM »
I'm looking at getting my first gun dog and would appreciate any advice from owners of the following breeds: (1) English setter; (2) Brittany; (3) Irish red & white setter; and, (4) English springer spaniel.  I'm only planning on hunting upland, no waterfowl. 

Also, if anyone is out hunting in the next few weeks, and doesn't mind me tagging along to watch your dog(s) work, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.   

Offline Henrydog

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 09:49:05 AM »
I have a Springer, my brother in law has a Brittney.  I'm partial to my dog, but in both cases if you are getting to the spots where birds actually live be prepared for a lot of brushing and removal of cockleburs after each outing.

Offline Wingin it

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 07:04:22 PM »
My first bird was a springer and she was hell on wheels! She was a fantastic family dog too. If I ever go back to flushing dogs they would be at the top of my list for sure. As mentioned already maintenance is kind of a bear after the hunt as they soak up the burs pretty good. That is the only downfall.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 07:13:46 PM »
You'd be better off picking a trainer, who's usually associated with a kennel, which is usually associated with a breed.

For your first gun dog I recommend you find a reputable kennel with reputable trainers and one that's close by, because you'll be driving there....a lot.


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Offline GoBeavs85

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 08:31:32 PM »
What are you looking for in a bird dog? There is no one best breed, although we will all argue that till the end of time 😂 pointing or flushing? Long range in the steep cliffs or close working in thick canyons? My dog is a hunting dog for 4 months and a family dog for 8. So there was a lot of at home requirements. Next dog won’t be so big! I don’t have the answers but if I were you that’s how I would approach the decision.


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Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 08:41:52 PM »
You'd be better off picking a trainer, who's usually associated with a kennel, which is usually associated with a breed.

For your first gun dog I recommend you find a reputable kennel with reputable trainers and one that's close by, because you'll be driving there....a lot.

Outstanding advice right there.   

Offline Forks

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 05:18:36 AM »
 The first two hands down, but I like them to point.

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 07:25:06 AM »
If you choose the Springer...Be very sure to get one out of field type NOT show type breeding. The difference is as extreme as two separate breeds of dogs.

 
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Offline TheSennett

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 08:57:58 AM »
You'd be better off picking a trainer, who's usually associated with a kennel, which is usually associated with a breed.

For your first gun dog I recommend you find a reputable kennel with reputable trainers and one that's close by, because you'll be driving there....a lot.

I like this idea.  Has anyone had a particularly good or bad experience with a kennel?  Feel free to PM me if you don't want to publicly broadcast this information.

Offline AspenBud

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 10:49:14 AM »
I'm looking at getting my first gun dog and would appreciate any advice from owners of the following breeds: (1) English setter; (2) Brittany; (3) Irish red & white setter; and, (4) English springer spaniel.  I'm only planning on hunting upland, no waterfowl. 

Also, if anyone is out hunting in the next few weeks, and doesn't mind me tagging along to watch your dog(s) work, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.   

If you are looking at English setters you should look at English Pointers as well. They do the same job, they are handled in the same competitions, etc.

Buy a started dog. Often times field trailers will hang onto a batch of pups to see how they develop and cut (as in sell) the ones that don't make the grade. Often those dogs are more than enough for the average hunter and they, the breeder, can make a better match between dog and future owner with such dogs since they aren't as much of a shot in the dark as an 8 week old pup.

Don't be afraid to fly a dog in from a breeder in another state. Just make sure the breeder is reputable.

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 10:52:06 AM »
"Buy a started dog. Often times field trailers will hang onto a batch of pups to see how they develop and cut (as in sell) the ones that don't make the grade. Often those dogs are more than enough for the average hunter and they, the breeder, can make a better match between dog and future owner with such dogs since they aren't as much of a shot in the dark as an 8 week old pup."

I was thinking the same thing.
Both dog and owner learning together is a recipe for disaster.
Especially in the pointing breeds.

Offline AspenBud

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 10:58:26 AM »
"Buy a started dog. Often times field trailers will hang onto a batch of pups to see how they develop and cut (as in sell) the ones that don't make the grade. Often those dogs are more than enough for the average hunter and they, the breeder, can make a better match between dog and future owner with such dogs since they aren't as much of a shot in the dark as an 8 week old pup."

I was thinking the same thing.
Both dog and owner learning together is a recipe for disaster.
Especially in the pointing breeds.

I've gone through four bird dogs now and I've attempted to train them all with varying levels of success. The problem I see is training takes a lot of time to be effective and you have to have land and birds. A started dog should have some birds shot over it and have some rudimentary idea of what the job is about. You also bypass some of the more annoying phases of puppyhood with one.

My next dog will most likely be started to one degree or another.

Offline AspenBud

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 11:01:49 AM »
A breeder should also have a better feel for a dog's range if it is started. Some people want a dog that runs a mile out, others do not. Range is impossible to determine in an 8 week old.

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 11:04:53 AM »
If you want primarily a hunting dog buy one that has been professionally started. If you want a family dog that also hunts buy a pup. Family dogs need conditioning to people and living indoors. Buying a pup allows for important social training with human interaction and also other dog interaction. A starter dog will rarely become your best friend but he will probably be a better hunter. Make sure you are familiar with a breed's traits such as being high-strung, aggressive, etc. Choose wisely because they will be around for the next 8 to 15 years.

Offline TheSennett

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 01:25:13 PM »
If you want primarily a hunting dog buy one that has been professionally started. If you want a family dog that also hunts buy a pup. Family dogs need conditioning to people and living indoors. Buying a pup allows for important social training with human interaction and also other dog interaction. A starter dog will rarely become your best friend but he will probably be a better hunter. Make sure you are familiar with a breed's traits such as being high-strung, aggressive, etc. Choose wisely because they will be around for the next 8 to 15 years.

I'm looking for a 50% family / 50% hunting dog.   Based on what everyone is saying, I think I might actually be looking for a unicorn...  I grew up with purebred GSDs so I'm relatively competent w/ training.  However, I've never trained a dog for hunting and don't have much hunting experience myself (lived in CT before moving out here).  I'm going to start by getting in touch with breeders and seeing where that takes me.     

I appreciate the insight from everyone.  Lots to consider!       

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 02:12:07 PM »
Both my current dogs were started dogs from breeder/trainers.  One was a year old, the other was actually a stud dog that I convinced the breeder/trainer to sell me.   Both have turned out to be the best family dogs I've ever owned, because we got to spend time with them as developed dogs to match up their personalities with us.  And frankly their trainers were phenomenal.  But, I went across multiple states and met many dogs and trainers, so it takes more effort up front.   And the trainers trained me on how to handle the dogs and knew their quirks and personalities well, which was well worth the additional cost of the started dog over a puppy.   

I'm already in discussions with their trainer/breeders to plan for their replacements in the next year or so.  I'd like to have the two new ones here while I still have my current dogs.   
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 02:40:29 PM by kselkhunter »

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 02:41:51 PM »
If you want a bird dog kill a ton of birds over the puppy.
Have the ability to acquire training birds at will.

I always raised my own by the hundred.
My dogs liked birds.
My friends dogs were good at fetching tennis balls.


Offline tlbradford

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 09:41:38 PM »
If you are going to be hunting south of Spokane and want to kill birds, you will be hunting very thick cover.  I would go with a longer legged breed with some power.  I read a lot of folks talking about range.  The terrain should determine the speed and distance a dog works when selecting a pointing breed, and then you bring them closer if needed.  A flushing dog is the same time after time.  Your dog won't live at the trainer's, they will live at your house so choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and home.  A pointer is by far more difficult to train correctly, but is 4x the dog to hunt behind when you get them dialed in.  Speaking strictly for upland birds.
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Offline pens fan

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 09:54:30 AM »
Why not pick a breed that is 100% hunting dog and 100% family dog?

Offline shootem

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 07:55:47 PM »
Gotta love a Boykin! Great looking dog. Mine is a hunting fool.

Offline jagermiester

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2017, 08:12:18 AM »
Out of your list I gotta say the Brit is my favorite. Especially if you can find a small one. I've never hunted behind a good springer. Ive hunted behind some good English pointers but they were nightmare dogs at home. Can't imagine dealing with the hair of the setters.


I know its not on your list but my brother just put money down on a Braque Francias because the breed is supposed to be an awesome dog at home.
I've always been a lab guy but now I have a GWP I think he may be the best house pet I've ever had. But that may be an anomaly.

Lead em if they're running.

Offline Fishnfowler

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2017, 11:03:47 AM »
I've got an English Pointer and he is completely different at home.  The dude is a lover.  Gentle, calm, almost sedated.  Outside he is a quivering mess of running and sniffing. YMMV.  I've got a Chesapeake also that points, runs well, is great with family/friends, and totally gets the game.  The dog learns every lesson with 1-2 attempts at teaching it.  I swear she knows the birds I'm going to hunt by which gun and vest I grab.  This dog starts following me around in August giving me the eyeball. She'll sit by the gun safe, look at it, look at me, then go point at the tote with hunting gear and look at me again. 

To the OP, why no love for the short hairs and wire hairs?  I've had some long hair dogs and find the weeds of the west to be devastating on their coats.  I would get a short-hair just to avoid spending time with the coat after an outing.  If I spend time with my dog, I want it to be hunting or training, not endlessly grooming. 

I agree with 2Many.  I would start with a puppy, have it be a family dog, but give it tons of bird time as a puppy. 

Of the dogs listed, I'd get the brit. 

Offline TheSennett

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2017, 01:45:03 PM »
I've got an English Pointer and he is completely different at home.  The dude is a lover.  Gentle, calm, almost sedated.  Outside he is a quivering mess of running and sniffing. YMMV.  I've got a Chesapeake also that points, runs well, is great with family/friends, and totally gets the game.  The dog learns every lesson with 1-2 attempts at teaching it.  I swear she knows the birds I'm going to hunt by which gun and vest I grab.  This dog starts following me around in August giving me the eyeball. She'll sit by the gun safe, look at it, look at me, then go point at the tote with hunting gear and look at me again. 

To the OP, why no love for the short hairs and wire hairs?  I've had some long hair dogs and find the weeds of the west to be devastating on their coats.  I would get a short-hair just to avoid spending time with the coat after an outing.  If I spend time with my dog, I want it to be hunting or training, not endlessly grooming. 

I agree with 2Many.  I would start with a puppy, have it be a family dog, but give it tons of bird time as a puppy. 

Of the dogs listed, I'd get the brit.

I'm shying away from GWP and GSP due to what I've heard about their prey drive & the wife's cat (that she may like more than me).  Viszla sounded like a potential at first, but I'm reading that the cold isn't their friend. 

Chesapeake was on my original list, but I haven't chatted with anyone who owns retrievers --- Golden, Labrador, or Chesapeake --- and primarily hunts upland.  I guess this would be a good place to start.  Any downsides of retrievers for a new bird hunter that would make it a poor choice as a first gun dog?

Also, is the breeder for your Chesapeake local?

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 02:17:30 PM »
It's hard to stifle a laugh when sitting on the couch next to your wife and your very proud GSP walks up wagging and holding a very pissed off wife's cat. Yeah. Been there. Thankfully he never hurt the cat over the years. But I never trusted him alone with the cat. Baby gated a section of the house for the cat and GSP never tried jumping the little gate.

I run both a lab and a GSP for upland and waterfowl.  Both love hunting both, but each have their strengths. Both very good breeds as house dogs and with kids. I didn't get my GSP as a puppy so don't know if exposing him to cat as a pup would have helped.

Good luck with your search.

Offline Forks

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Re: Request for information about certain breeds
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 03:32:28 PM »
I've got an English Pointer and he is completely different at home.  The dude is a lover.  Gentle, calm, almost sedated.  Outside he is a quivering mess of running and sniffing. YMMV.  I've got a Chesapeake also that points, runs well, is great with family/friends, and totally gets the game.  The dog learns every lesson with 1-2 attempts at teaching it.  I swear she knows the birds I'm going to hunt by which gun and vest I grab.  This dog starts following me around in August giving me the eyeball. She'll sit by the gun safe, look at it, look at me, then go point at the tote with hunting gear and look at me again. 

To the OP, why no love for the short hairs and wire hairs?  I've had some long hair dogs and find the weeds of the west to be devastating on their coats.  I would get a short-hair just to avoid spending time with the coat after an outing.  If I spend time with my dog, I want it to be hunting or training, not endlessly grooming. 

I agree with 2Many.  I would start with a puppy, have it be a family dog, but give it tons of bird time as a puppy. 

Of the dogs listed, I'd get the brit.

I'm shying away from GWP and GSP due to what I've heard about their prey drive & the wife's cat (that she may like more than me).  Viszla sounded like a potential at first, but I'm reading that the cold isn't their friend. 

Chesapeake was on my original list, but I haven't chatted with anyone who owns retrievers --- Golden, Labrador, or Chesapeake --- and primarily hunts upland.  I guess this would be a good place to start.  Any downsides of retrievers for a new bird hunter that would make it a poor choice as a first gun dog?

Also, is the breeder for your Chesapeake local?
I don't know Fishnfowler but know that he harvests many more than most with his Chessie and you be wise to chat with 2Many about Chessies if they are a consideration. These two members have a lifetime of info if you ask the right questions. Good luck with your search.

 

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