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tmvikings

Pick the perfect dog?

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Pick the perfect dog?

I want the dog to be great with the family small kids and all. I hunt Pheasants the most so I want a very accomplished Pheasant hunter foremost, one that will hunt all day. Next on the list would be ducks and the ability to retrieve well. Name that dog?

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Oddly enough that's what I want to, that's why I got a German Wirehair. Next on my list would be a springer, but the duck retrieving might be in question. No offense to the Lab guys out there, but I've hunted with too many Labs that became boot polishers after the first couple of hours and these dogs weren't overweight.

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Quote:
Oddly enough that's what I want to, that's why I got a German Wirehair. Next on my list would be a springer, but the duck retrieving might be in question. No offense to the Lab guys out there, but I've hunted with too many Labs that became boot polishers after the first couple of hours and these dogs weren't overweight.

Well then it sounds you need to find some friends with some better labs.

I have hunted with wires and they are nice dogs personally I just can't get over the looks.

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Labs seem to be great all around dogs but I was turned off of them just becuase of how common they are. You can't go more then 2-3 houses before you see a lab sitting in the yard.

I went with a Vizsla becuase of their versatility, their ability to be a part of the family, the fact that they aren't as common, and also becuase I love thier looks. IMO you can't get a better looking dog.

To answer your 3 specifics you are looking for. Vizslas are great with the family and are outstanding with pheasants. I've known them to do the duck thing but they aren't known for their cold water tolerance so you'd have to be mindful of that.

Ultimately the perfect dog will be whatever one you bring home. Once you get attached which usually happens anywhere from the first 10-20 seconds you'll think your dog is the perfect dog.

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Labs seem to be great all around dogs but I was turned off of them just becuase of how common they are. You can't go more then 2-3 houses before you see a lab sitting in the yard.

They're popular for good reason but I can understand being turned off by the popularity. If you decide on a lab, make sure the parents have all the health clearances and you're buying from breeders known for their hunting dogs. If the breeder hasn't test both parents for all the usual conditions, walk away no matter how good the deal is.

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I have a Brit now and the wirehair is topping the list....Are they good with the kids? Also need that durabilty dont need to come home with the dog all pink from hunting all day. My Brit is great but is getting older....

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Why not another brit? I myself am partial to shorthairs, though if you cold water duck hunt a wirehair may do better. I am sure labs are great dogs, but in my opinion the pointing aspect is the best part of the upland experience.

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They're popular for good reason but I can understand being turned off by the popularity. If you decide on a lab, make sure the parents have all the health clearances and you're buying from breeders known for their hunting dogs. If the breeder hasn't test both parents for all the usual conditions, walk away no matter how good the deal is.

I have always been turned off by labs as well. To me, the popularity has brought down the quality of the breed. Too many "backyard breeders" who do not have the best interest of the breed as well. There are way to many labs that do not have good genetics, or are not what I want in a dog. There are some GREAT labs out there as well, but I just don't like their style. Personal preference only. I think too many people buy a dog based on conveinence instead of on blood lines, genetics, and certifications.

Ultimitely, the dog you choose should be based on your style of hunting. I prefer a close ranging short haired pointer breed. I don't hunt ducks much, and do not need a retreiver for this. Take a look at how you hunt, what you want in your family, breed temperment, and make a decision based on that. It does not really matter what me, or Joe Blow tell you, it matters what you want, what works for you and your family. If you make that desision, it will be great, and you will have a friend for life.

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Right now its 1.Brit 2.Wirehair 3.tied Springer or Large Münsterländer. The only thing I would change on my dog would be that he is hit or miss on retrieving, I blame myself. The first two years he only hunted quail and that was very easy for him he has never lost a Rooster but is not 100% going to bring it to hand. Only bad thing I here about the Wirehair is that they overheat?

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I have always been turned off by labs as well. To me, the popularity has brought down the quality of the breed. Too many "backyard breeders" who do not have the best interest of the breed as well. There are way to many labs that do not have good genetics, or are not what I want in a dog. ..... I think too many people buy a dog based on conveinence instead of on blood lines, genetics, and certifications.

I think you're absolutely right about this, which is why due diligence when selecting a litter is so important. That goes for any breed, but particularly a lab. Do your homework and it's not difficult to find lab from great stock.

Cost also plays a part for many folks who by from questionable sources.

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I am partial to hunting behind/with any enthusiastic dog that carries itself with confidence doing what it is supposed to be doing for that breed and for its handler. Those dogs exist in all breeds, however, I personally believe some breeds have more “good” dogs within the breed then others.

I have owned springers, short hairs and pointers. I go through phases on what I like to focus hunting on, typically pheasants or waterfowl, some grouse. Couple of my hunting partners have labs, one use to have goldens. I have field trialed shorthairs, that was fun, became obsessive and when I realized it was cutting into my hunting time I knew I had gone to far.

With that said I have recently landed on the German version of the German Shorthairs, actually called Deutsch Kurzhaar (DK), to me they are what German Shorthairs in field trials looked and acted like 15 – 20 years ago. They are bred to do it all, upland, water and fur. Their size is little bigger then the typical horse field trial shorthair which works out good for duck hunting. My last shorthair was good for pheasant hunting, too small to deal with colder weather duck hunting. The DK breeding regiment requires health certification and what amounts to proficiency tests prior to being allowed to breed. The proficiency tests include, nose, upland, water work, retrieving, blind retrieving and tracking. This helps to rule the puppy mill routines. They are good family dogs and good with kids, although I think a lot of that comes from how they are exposed to the family.

I like the shorthaired breeds because I don’t care to do a lot of maintenance with their hair. Springer’s with long features cured me of that long ago. When I am hunting all I have to do is check pads, eyes, etc, my hunting partners with longer haired dogs have been known to stop in the middle of a hunt and pull out burrs – I keep hunting.

I completely agree that you need to determine what characteristics you like and or don’t like and buy accordingly.

Good luck.

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Based on your history, it would be hard to beat another brit or versitile hunting breed. In my opinion, Wirehairs and Pudelpointers are awesome upland dogs. They also seem to be better retrievers (out of the versitles) and can handle late season weather better. In my experience, they also show more aggressive behavior and dominace which may be a concern around very young children. Look for NAVHDA bloodlines if you want good field and water dog. The NAVHDA training program is also intended for the foot hunter.

Great labs are everywhere, if you take a little time to find some decent bloodlines. If a lab has a lot of conditioning, it can hunt for the larger part of the day. Of course, nothing beats a good lab in the water or for a long range retrieve.

Personally, I have a vizsla who is great with my 2 and 3 yr old boys. She is fun to watch in the field, but her retrieving skills are weak. I wouldn't put her in a duck slough past the second weekend in the season, and I wouldn't expect her bring back a goose.

You gotta go with your gut on what type of hunting you do most, and what breed fits in with your family the best.

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffons would be another choice for you. Great with kids & mine hunts until the season ends out here in Montana for ducks Jan 8th. Never had a problem with his willingness to swim in the fridged water. Which is a huge plus when looking at versatile dogs. I have had Labs before and I'm stuck on the Griffs forever now and will never look back.

Having a lab that can blind retrieve is great but having a versatile dog that can track a downed running bird over 300yds and to bring it back to hand has been a whole other level of hunting plus you won't need the hand signals and whistles to get the job done it is bred in them to find wounded & dead game.

Check them out.

Regards,

Chris

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I was in the same position a couple months ago. I needed a dual purpose dog that could do simple water retrieves and possibly point birds. My list went: 1. Brits 2. Wirehairs 3. Springers, just like yours. I ended up going with a Brittany because I also wanted a smaller dog. If I have the time, resources and decide I want another pointer I'll probably go with a Wirehair next time (the beards grow on you). They're just better with cold water.

Don't be fooled by the backyard breeding with labs. If you put a little research into breeders you can find some great bread labs, British and American. And don't be fooled with pointers not being able to retrieve/retrievers not being good upland dogs. I've seen some great pheasant hunting goldens and labs. My Brit has been doing water work with labs for the last month or two and now is a swimming and retrieving machine. It just took him a little longer. Now he thinks he's a spotted lab.

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Dual purpose dog.... seems to be common request. When I did my searching, I narrowed my search to DD, GWP and WPG. Since I had a young family, I went with the WPG. I have been pleased with my decision. Plan to get another WPG in a year or two, but I have been considering a PP as well.

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There were a few comments posted on the hair of a GWP, that's actually what I've been told is a defective gene. GWP's are the best of several different breeds. In the same litter you can have really hairy ones and then smoothe coated ones with facial furnishings. Breeders are trying to get the hair thing under control. I had a medium hairy one and just brought a trimmer at Wally World and did a bit of a facial trim on her twice a year and things were great.

What I also liked about the GWP was they have an on/off switch. Mine was an outside dog and occasionally would come in. When she came in (and this was from puppy on) she would calm right down in the house. Not really hyper and take forever to calm down.

Also great dog with kids. I've known several to get retired to day care centers and become a food vacumms under the table and great playmates for the kids at the center.

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I agree with what has been said about labs. There are some great ones, and some not so good ones, the same as most, if not all, breeds. If you decide to get one, do your due diligence, and it will be great.

I really looked into the wirehairs. I think they look really cool and noble (call me weird), but in the end, I wanted the short hair dogs. I narrowed my choice down to Vizsla, Weimer, Brittany, and Griffon. I have always wanted a Brittany, and still love the breed, but picking burrs out of their hair for 2 hours after a hunt was not in the cards. I can throw my dog in the kennel after a hunt, and 20 minutes later he is clean. He still stinks, but at least the mud and dirt is gone.

I will say it again, take your time, do your research, and pick the best dog for your situation. Please do not pick up a dog from the guy down the street or the corner by Cabelas because he looked cute. Good breeders are not easy to find, and you may need to wait for a litter, but it is worth it in the end.

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I also have a 2 year old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. I have had some really great dogs in the past including labs and springers. I honestly believe the Griffon is w/o question the best family/gun dog that I have owned. She really is amazing. Her noise is second to none along with a terrific drive to find game including tracking in the water. Last fall between my sons and I she had 46 wild pheasant retrieves in a row without a lost bird. In a few cases she tracked cripples well over 200 yards through heavy cover in SD. The Griffs are easy to train, close working, and as smart as a whip. Another nice feature is they shed very little and are fine in the home. I have young grandchildren and Belle is as sweet as can be around them.

Check them out for sure!

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Good breeders are not easy to find...

Good lab breeders are pretty easy to find. There are a few of them on this site. The internet can supply a person with numerous good lab breeders.

I know I am partial, but what has been said about labs here is borderline nonsensical. I have been reading this thread and figuratively biting my tounge, trying to resist posting but I couldn't hold out anymore. A good dog is not the mere product of breeding but to a larger part the result of the time and effort the owner puts into them.

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Right on caseymcq! I also hold back when reading alot of this stuff, best to just laugh. Don't have time to get into much of it.

Picking dogs: Most couldn't pick a pup if it ran up to them. Best dogs I've ever had were either the last in the litter or stayed with the mother on my request til close to 12 weeks old, at least 11. You get calmer, more attentive and trainable animals.

The most psychotic dogs I've known were picked up at 6 or 8 wks, bad idea!

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I have a 2yo britt he has been easy to train but it very high energy. Great with all people and has a ton of drive in the field. I never plan on hunting ducks with him but he does water retrieves (as of last week). All around britts have a TON of personality and the size is right for the house (and wife).

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I think you are taking the post too personally. I have a lab and agree there are too many backyard breeders. Actually, it is proven that genetics have more to do with a quality dog than YOU training it. If it is in the genes, it will come out in the dog. Especially for the pointing breeds. I am not saying avoid the breed for this reason, but the statement does hold merit.

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I am running a lab now. She is my first and will be my last lab. My plan is to go back to a Springer, but Wirehair's are catching my eye a little bit as well.

I am primarily a Grouse hunter, but will toss in a couple of Duck hunts in there as well. My lab gets a 2.5 mile walk everyday. But will run out of gas quick once in the grouse woods. But that is what happens when a grouse guy gets a "free" dog from a duck hunter.

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