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Big Dave2

Hunting dogs for people who don't hunt or don't hunt enough

18 posts in this topic

What is your opinion on people who don't hunt a lot buying a good gun dog?

I see the comments all the time from people who I lovingly refer to as "dog snobs". They say that if you don't hunt a certain number of days throughout the season you should just settle for a non-hunting breed. Why should anyone do that? There are lots of desirable traits attached to many of the sporting breeds. Most of them are are smart, easily trainable, loyal, easy going, energetic, playful, etc, etc. If these are the traits someone is looking for in a dog and they may want to hunt a few times a year to boot, why should anyone care as long as you don't breed the dog?

We lost our Brittany last fall and I am now thinking about another dog. Our Brittany came from great hunting lines and was all of those things above plus she was a natural hunter. I never got her out near as much as I should have to hunt but she enjoyed a full, active lifestyle of training, running in a nearby field, chasing birds, squirrels and rabbits in our fenced in yard, taking trips to the country, camping, fishing and even occasionally grouse or pheasant hunting. She was a great companion and kept us on our toes. I've been looking into other breeds and although the Brittany seems to fit our lifestyle the best, I have always been intrigued with Wirehaired Pointing Griffons because of my allergies to dogs. I am usually slightly less allergic to dogs with hair instead of fur and there is the added bonus of less shedding in the house which would make my wife happy also. I haven't very seriously pursued them because I'm pretty sure that any "good" breeder would ask me how much I hunt and since I am not a very prolific liar, I would probably turn the truth and be turned down anyway. I also like Pudelpointers but those breeders are even more stringent. 

I would like to hunt more but I just never seem to make the time plus now with an amputated right foot, my mobility is decreased and I can only walk for an hour or 2 at a time without taking a break. The problem is, I don't like other types of dogs as much as I like the sporting breeds. Why should I compromise if I'm willing to pay the same amount of $ as the next guy? I guarantee the dog will have a great life no matter how much hunting we are able to do. This rant is probably for nothing since if we pull the trigger on a new puppy, we'll probably get another Brittany and there are enough good breeders around that I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get one of them to sell to me although I do have my eye on one particular litter. I just wanted to get some other perspectives and start a discussion about this because it's been bugging me.

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When you get a dog I think the only thing your are obligated to do is to give it a good home. I don't hunt anymore and my last couple dogs have been labs. I know the one I have now would have been an excellent bird dog. She loves to retrieve, loves the water, and learns things very quickly. She has so much energy it is unbelievable. I live in the country so she has lots of room to run. I know she is very happy with the life she has with us. The dogs I feel sorry for are the ones that spend so much time in a dog crate they can hardly move in. Just my opinion....

Edited by roony
monstermoose78 and Big Dave2 like this

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I agree 100% with you.  I have 2 labs, one which is from a breeder in Bemidji.  My other lab is an Arizona bred lab who's parents were desert hunting dogs.  They have never been hunting with me and actually when it rains the "dog from MN" who has webbed feet will not go off the porch.  My desert dog has to be pulled in out of the rain.  Makes me laugh.  They are happy, fat, and love to play with each other, my son, and wife.  I only wish they had more room to run, someday i hope.  

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First, it does not matter what other people think of you or your choice of dogs. Or booze. Or shotguns. Buy the dog you like, treat it right with patience and affection and you'll both be happy. And there are enough dogs available that you do not need to put up with some uppity breeder either.

Pick up a nice female Brit and live happily ever after. And she won't care whether she hunts or not.

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I agree with the others.  Get the dog you want for whatever reason you want.  There are a lot of reasons why someone would desire a breed that is traditionally considered a hunting dog, they are generally very loyal, trainable, good with kids, and their athleticism makes them very versatile for may different pursuits.  I have a vizsla that we got with the intention that I would do at least a little hunting with him.  However, life changes and priorities and available free time changes and the dog has yet to be hunted and he's almost 8 now.  We are still happy with our choice in dogs though since we chose the breed for much more than their hunting ability.  If someone disagrees with my owning the dog because I don't hunt him then thats their opinion but I couldn't care less about what those people may think.  Our dog has a great life and is an active and happy member of our family, I wouldn't apologize for that to anyone.

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14 hours ago, Ufatz said:

First, it does not matter what other people think of you or your choice of dogs. 

I agree with you but if the breeders won't sell one to you, how do you get one? I guarantee that if I were honest there is no way I would be able to get a well bred Pudelpointer and I might even have a hard time finding a breeder who would sell me a WPG.

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A WPG and a standard Wirehair pointer are essentially the same dog with different paperwork so to say.

Many times you can get a dog like you are looking for either as a shelter dog, a field trial washout or an oops from someone who isn't a breeder. If you are patient you should be able to get one.

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1 hour ago, PurpleFloyd said:

A WPG and a standard Wirehair pointer are essentially the same dog with different paperwork so to say.

Are you talking about a German Wirehair? Because the dispositions of a WPG and German wirehair are NOT the same.

1 hour ago, PurpleFloyd said:

Many times you can get a dog like you are looking for either as a shelter dog, a field trial washout or an oops from someone who isn't a breeder. If you are patient you should be able to get one.

But that's the point of my post (rant). What if I don't want to settle for a washout or an oops? What if I want a top notch dog? What harm am I doing to the breed or the individual dog by owning one that I don't hunt as much as someone else thinks I should?

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I'm sure its just a matter of finding the right breeder. When I got my vizsla from a well respected breeder they asked about our plans for the dog but made a point of saying that it didn't matter if we hunted the dog or if it were going to be just a family dog.  I'm sure it matters to some breeders but not all.  At the end of the day as long as your check clears and its obvious the dog is going to a good home I'd think a lot of breeders would be content.  Others may want to see all dogs from their line passing hunt tests and that sort of thing but I don't think its realistic to require every single owner to follow through and hunt the dog.  Things happen, life gets busy, and priorities have to shift.  Its not always possible to hunt the dog as much as you or the breeder may like.  I know for me having 2 young kids at home, a full time job that rarely ends at 5pm, and all of the other normal family and home responsibilities I couldn't promise how much hunting I could do with any dog.   

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6 minutes ago, nofishfisherman said:

 I'm sure it matters to some breeders but not all.  At the end of the day as long as your check clears and its obvious the dog is going to a good home I'd think a lot of breeders would be content.  

Find a well bred Pudelpointer from a good reputable breeder and tell them that.  

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I guess I can't comment about ALL breeders for ALL the different breeds since I don't have personal experience with all of them.  If a breeder won't sell you a dog then thats their prerogative and you'll just have to keep looking or start considering a different breed of dog. Personally I don't think it should matter if you hunt it but some breeders will obviously disagree with that, just have to move on to another breeder or lie about how much you plan to hunt the dog. 

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I wouldn't lie at all about anything. I would be completely upfront and transparent about everything. If the breeder does the same you both end up happy. NOT every dog is breeding quality and a good breeder will tell you that. Usually only select puppies out of each litter might be the dog a breeder is looking for in natural ability and conformation to move their line forward.

Worst case scenario you will be sold a dog with limited registration to restrict breeding rights on a purchase agreement. You likely spay or neuter it and the breeder has nothing to worry about. 

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My biggest priority in life used to be waterfowl hunting and some pheasant hunting.  I started with labs.  Now 5 labs later I don't hardly hunt at all but still have the labs.  I was lucky to find a nice looking pup a few years back and he is a loving friendly happy dog that we love.  I think it is too bad that everyone had to breed them to be some big champion hunter.  Why can't someone just breed them to be a good looking companion?  I think that would go over big time.  My next dog will probably be another lab.  All he needs to do is come, sit, stay, jump in the boat, jump in the truck, maybe even jump in the bed with us.  AND he must like hugs too.  

Go for it Big Dave.  I am right behind you.  

monstermoose78, Dotch and roony like this

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Priorities do change. Started out with a black Lab back in '82 when I lived in No. Dak. Hunted ducks and geese hard then retrained to do upland game when we moved back to MN. Lab died in '96 and the sheep operation increased. Bought a fairly high dollar red and white Border Collie pup the breeders were reluctant at first to sell us. They were concerned that we wouldn't work with it enough. That changed once they saw how well she responded to us. All business but was also my buddy. If I was in the truck she was in the truck. Lost her in '09. After a year we asked about getting another red and white pup from the same breeder. No hesitation. A small female but full of fire and they told us they knew she was going to a great home. She helps us when asked but is more of a 40 lb. ham than anything. We consider the breeders friends now and wouldn't think twice before asking them for another pup. And priorities might change again someday. Retirement and the restored wetland may beckon. A Lab may be in the cards after the sheep are done beating me up. 

I second LPS's motion Dave and good luck to you! :) 

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It restores a little bit of my faith in humanity to see so many of you on here agree with me. You would not get these sort of responses on a gun dog forum, there are a lot of elitists there.

I've decided not to fight it and I am on a list to get another Brittany. My wife likes the breed because of their size and realistically if not for my allergies, they are the perfect dog for our family. I already had a short list of breeders that I was interested in and picked the breeder that my nephew got his Brittany from. I like the blood line, I like the way his dog works and I really like the temperament of his dog. 

Now we just wait for the puppies to be born.

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congrats dave on the soon to be new dad!!!!!:grin: kinda partial to labs............brown ones and shelties!!!!! they got me wrapped around there paws!!!!!!!!:cry::D

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7 minutes ago, smurfy said:

congrats dave on the soon to be new dad!!!!!:grin: kinda partial to labs............brown ones and shelties!!!!! they got me wrapped around there paws!!!!!!!!:cry::D

I absolutely love labs but with my allergies and their shedding, they don't love me.:(

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15 hours ago, Big Dave2 said:

Are you talking about a German Wirehair? Because the dispositions of a WPG and German wirehair are NOT the same.

But that's the point of my post (rant). What if I don't want to settle for a washout or an oops? What if I want a top notch dog? What harm am I doing to the breed or the individual dog by owning one that I don't hunt as much as someone else thinks I should?

No harm done.

And you are correct. I was thinking Drathaar.

Edited by PurpleFloyd

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