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Anyone have a hunting dog?







iweb

Ham Radio Operator
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#1
I am thinking of getting a hunting dog for upland bird and maybe some day ducks and geese. I have had labs before but not hunting dogs and I like the breed.

I hear german shorthaired pointers are good for upland birds but do they retrieve? So far first pick is a pointer lab but ones that I have found online are $1000 to $2500!

Also if I get a puppy how hard is it to train to hunt? Puppy or full grown and trained?

Input?
 

USAFshooter

Obsessed Member
#2
labs are rediculously easy to train. I believe there is an english lab breeder out of pahrump, otherwise i can give you info on our breeder who's up near Tahoe.
 

iweb

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#3
There are a couple of breeders out here but I think they are out of pups. If the english labs are the shorter ones then I think I am not interested in them.

Name and/or website of your guy would be great.
 
#5
My buddy has a britney spaniel. We go hunting chucker and quail and his dog is great. He trained it himself. Great dog and great around his kids also.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#6
I am thinking of getting a hunting dog for upland bird and maybe some day ducks and geese. I have had labs before but not hunting dogs and I like the breed.

I hear german shorthaired pointers are good for upland birds but do they retrieve? So far first pick is a pointer lab but ones that I have found online are $1000 to $2500!

Also if I get a puppy how hard is it to train to hunt? Puppy or full grown and trained?

Input?
Had a number of German Short hair pointers over the years. They are a great dog, good with kids, very friendly when the family is around, but protective if they sense you are afraid of the non family member in their midst. And very protective of the house and yard if you aren't home. Not particularly prone to barking otherwise, but they are generally "talkers". Will answer you if you speak to them, or start the conversation themselves when you come home.

They are very trainable, and are great retrievers. My last one would even retrieve doves, which most retriever breeds don't want to do as the bird's pin feathers hurt their mouths. She was frequently requested at the local pheasant club for clients who had lots of money to spend but were not particularly good shots, as when the gun went off and she was told "Dead Bird" (her command to retrieve) she always came back with a bird.
Frequently without a single pellet in it, or a single mark on it (she had a "Soft mouth" as the saying goes) and alive and unharmed. I got pretty good at quickly ringing the bird's necks before the client noticed it was alive.
She was also useful for quail and chukar as well.

Some German Short Hairs will willing make water retrievals, others can be taught. They are a pretty solid dog, not a lot of body fat, and may need a flotation vest to help them out in the water.
Being short haired and not having a "Water proof" (oily) coat like some of the water retriever breeds, they get cold easily in the water. So a flotation vest with insulation is good for the dog in cold weather.

They are not prone to the hip problems that some breeds are, and generally live to between 8 and 12 years like a lot of the other large breed hunting dogs. That last one made it to 17 years of age, and hunted with me up until a few months before she died of old age. Broke my heart to lose her, she was a terrific dog.

She pulled me out of a tidal crack when she was about 3 years old.
I fell into it while hunting pheasants in the tidal marshes around the Suisun Bay in CA and was stuck but good. Another good reason I guess not to hunt alone.

Would have drowned if not for her, as I was wedged solid and the incoming tide would have been about a foot over my head when it got all the way in. She came to the edge when I called her, and I got my hand up high enough to hook the nylon rope lead I used as a leash onto her hunting harness. We kept her in shape during the off season by having her pull a small cart with one of the kids in it and she was used to pulling a load.
I told her to pull and she started backing up. She provided enough pull that I was able to get unstuck and then drag myself out of the crack. Took a lot of hide off my chest and back from friction. The barrel on my 870 was a loss, as it bent a good deal as I fell, because it spanned the crack. It was what kept me from going deeper than I did.

Anyway, a German Short hair is a great dog in my some what prejudiced opinion.
 

markerdown

Vires quod Veneratio
#8
YES!!!! I have 2 GSPs and I do hunt upland. Yes I do train, belong to NAVHDA Grand Canyon chapter. And there is a breeder of outstanding GSPs close by in Mojave AZ.

This is my #1, KMK's SgtMajor v Grief, NA PZ III

 
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iweb

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#9
Good info, thanks and if someone hears of a deal on full grown trained or puppy lab or GSP pls let me know. I really like the sounds of pointer lab but none close and very expensive.
 

Guido

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#10
I have a weimeriener / Vizsla mix...just a baby. I've been taking her shooting with me. She's not gun shy at all. I think she enjoys the crack of a 12ga as much as I do actually! Before long she'll be shooting low gun doubles with me!!

She's a natural, loves the water. At 3 months she was looking to me for approval to retrieve, come straight back and dropping. I now have her consistently dropping on my right side and sitting.

It definetly takes some work, and she has a long way to go, but I think she'll get the hang of it all as long as I can find the time to keep working her. I need to start working on direction with her, but she does pretty well out to 75 yds on her own.
 

iweb

Ham Radio Operator
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#11
Guido, sounds like a cool dog, keep us posted.

I was at Bass Pro Shop Sat. and there was a guy in the parking lot with a dozen or so lab pups for sale and just as I got up to look at them, security stopped and told him and a dozen or so of us lookers to move on. Funny the guy had that many pups so maybe a puppy mill?
 

markerdown

Vires quod Veneratio
#12
Most likely a backyard breeder. If you are serious about buying a birddog, I suggest not to buy one from someone in a parking lot.

You can find some outstanding shorthair pups in the 500-1000 range. They'll have loads of natural ability but only be as good as you train them, and remember, it takes time, repeitition in training and patience

You get what you pay for. Leid shelter is full of walmart dogs which make great pets.


Check out the rescues. You could find great dogs there that were surrendered by the owner for a miriad of reasons..............markerdown
 
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iweb

Ham Radio Operator
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#13
I was trying to get to the guy to see if the pups were from hunters or not when I got told to leave but I agree to not buy from craigslist or street corner.

My main problem is trying to decide on breed as I want a dog that will be a buddy as well as hunter. My son had a GSP that he never trained to hunt and she was a goober, ran all day on my 5 acres hunting but you could not pet her or get her to sit still. There are 3 GSP pups out here from proven hunters for $400 obo or trade but I just need to make sure I want a GSP.
 

markerdown

Vires quod Veneratio
#14
Just remember when it comes to bird dogs, proven hunter talk is cheap, look for documentation to back it up.

GSP's are headstrong, very active and have a high prey drive. Obedience training as a pup is a must. They do require a lot of your time ie daily exercise both physical and mental. The dogs are smart but you need to put the bird training time in on any dog if you expect it to be a hunt partner.

Otherwise it'll be walking with your gun looking for your dog and not hunting with your dog.

Birddog rescues are a good place to find dogs. You may luck out and find an owner surrender hunter. Happens all the time these days, people lose homes, transfer jobs etc etc and can't take their dog. But you have to be careful, you also can find dogs that don't hunt or were abused by their owners.

A responsible breeder always breeds to better the breed, not to crank out pups. Health issues are a big deal with dogs especially pups these days. Hips, eyes, ACLs all should to be checked on the parents. Or you may wind up with inherited medical issues. And vet bill$. If you don't, it's russian roulette with more than on bullet in the cylinder.

CA, AZ, UT have a lot of birddog breeders, it may be worth your while to search a bit. Check out GundogForum.com or other birddog sites. Always dogs for sale
 
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iweb

Ham Radio Operator
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#15
Markerdown, I have been searching all of the breeder and rescue sites for weeks now. Do you have a website for your Az breeder? Thanks.