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Capt'nMorgan

Pointers

45 posts in this topic

Looking at getting a dog and I think i would like a pointer. Mostly for Upland game. Which would be the best breed to get.

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Of all the dogs I have watched work this year, I would go for a German shorthair or a Brittiny Spaneil. German wire hair next.

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I currently have a Brittany and he has been nothing short of amazing. Like the German shorthair, both dogs require lots of exercise or your house will be destroyed! The shorthair will be a larger dog than a brittany, both with many of the same traits, but different size and looks. These are far and away my favorite types of dogs to hunt behind. I would like to get a closer working pointer just for grouse, as my dog seems to flush those wild every time, and has probably cost me more grouse than he has helped. But watching him work the cattails for pheasants is something else. He also does an amazing job with the ducks as well. I send him on blind retrieves when I jump shoot woodducks, and he has never failed to get a bird. He even beats my roomates lab to most of them. Both are a little skittish of cold water apparently, but mine has never had any hesitation and my uncles shorthairs I have seen break ice with no second thought. Great all-around dog for somebody who likes to hunt upland, and good for ducks too. Just make sure you exercise that dog, or you will be regretting it.

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Way too many variables to give an honest opinion just yet.

What do you hunt? 75% grouse 25 pheasant? Do you like a dog that works close or do you like to go to North Dakota and hunt the prairies for sharp tails? How big do you want your dog to be? Long hair short hair?

And if your pointing dog is flushing grouse it has nothing to do with how close he works. He either doesn't have nose to wind the birds before they flush or doesn't have the discipline to hold the birds until you get there. I went out today and our dogs range farther than most would allow and pointed and held the birds fine.

When looking into pointing dogs, know this: There are two pure pointing breeds in the world, Setters and Pointers. The rest were originally derived from hounds. Shorthairs, Brittnays, Vizslas, Wire hairs ect. They are going to hunt and work game differently, not better or worse, just different. Let us know more specifically what you are looking for and maybe we could help you out.

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What kind of personality are you? Are you controlling and want the dog close and under your complete control all the time or would you be content with letting the dog range out and you follow with less handling and control.

What level of training do you intend to take your dog through? Minimal training and take it hunting? You do all the training? Professional training?

Are you willing to accept that not every bird can and will be pointed to perfection?

Do you expect a "lab-like" retrieve of downed birds?

Do you want a dog with a short coat or one with a long coat?

All this and more will help determine what breed to consider.

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I'll put my vote in for a Shorthaired, There a lot of Shorthaireds in the field for a good reason. Here is Briar and Liz at 9 months.

Briar_Drumm.jpg

Liz.jpg

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Obviously I am partial to the Griffon from my previous posts.. Prior to owning my Griff I was back and forth between a Field Springer, a Lab, and a German Shorthair.

I have over the years owned a number of breeds and some outstanding field dogs. I also have been working/training dogs for the past two years at one of the top hunting dog kennels in the state. I see alot of dogs and breeds. When I made the decision 2 1/2 years ago to acquire a Griffon I knew from my research that a quality breeder was critical. I was also looking for a dog that would be a great family dog, shed very little and adapt well living in our home, be terrific with children, excellent in the woods for Grouse, in the field for pheasants, and in a blind or boat for ducks. I needed a dog that could take cold weather and cold water. I also wanted a dog that would not range way out in the field, one that would be easily trainable and willing to please, and would have a great nose for both finding birds and retrieving birds. Well selecting the Griff was without question a wonderful decision. My dog is now 19 months old and is just awesome. Last summer she earned her first NAVHDA award as a Prize I Natural Ability dog. So far this pheasant season my two sons and I have shot I beleive 34 pheasants over my dog and have not lost one bird. A number of her retrieves have been amazing. I have also used her a few times in SD while guiding and the feedback from the guys that I guided for was basically if you breed her I want a pup. Can't ask for a better complement!

Here is the AKC General description from their web site:

Medium sized, with a noble, square-shaped head, strong of limb, bred to cover all terrain encountered by the walking hunter. Movement showing an easy catlike gracefulness. Excels equally as a pointer in the field, or a retriever in the water. Coat is hard and coarse, never curly or woolly, with a thick undercoat of fine hair, giving an unkempt appearance. His easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly temperament endear him to all. The nickname of "supreme gundog" is well earned.

If you are not familiar with this breed I would recommend attending one of the MN NAVHDA events this spring. You could attend one of the training days and see a great variety of versitle pointing dogs and learn from the owners/breeders. There are some very good Griffs at this time in the state of MN.

Do your research on the various pointing breeds, make your decision on what you are after and then take the time to find a quality breeder....one who will stand behind the litter with a written contract and guarantee...

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I am partial to my Britt, but I have worked behind many good breeds. Do some research and find what breed best suits you.

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Looking at getting a dog and I think i would like a pointer. Mostly for Upland game. Which would be the best breed to get.

Do some research on the web and talk to breeders. Asking for breed advice on here will not help you much. Everybody thinks the breed and dog they own is the best. Try to go on a hunt with the breeds your interested in so you can judge them yourself. If your looking for a grouse dog you really only have a couple of choices.

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Are you kidding?? The breed you should get is the same one I have smile

Do what has been mentioned. There are a bunch of great breeds out there. Find one that fits you, your family, living conditions, and needs.

The only must do is to find a RESPONSIBLE breeder. There are some defects in breeds that are mainly caused by poor breeding that I would not wish on any dog lover. With a quality breeder, these traits are almost eliminated.

I run a Viszla and love it. Problably the only breed I will ever own, but it is not for everyone. Very trainable, IMHO most beautiful breed, great personality, hunts well but is slightly needy, and has a high energy level. I would certainly not recomend this breed for someone on a small city lot, or who would not allow it to be part of the family because it would be hard on the dog.

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Are you kidding?? The breed you should get is the same one I have smile

Do what has been mentioned. There are a bunch of great breeds out there. Find one that fits you, your family, living conditions, and needs.

The only must do is to find a RESPONSIBLE breeder. There are some defects in breeds that are mainly caused by poor breeding that I would not wish on any dog lover. With a quality breeder, these traits are almost eliminated.

I run a Viszla and love it. Problably the only breed I will ever own, but it is not for everyone. Very trainable, IMHO most beautiful breed, great personality, hunts well but is slightly needy, and has a high energy level. I would certainly not recomend this breed for someone on a small city lot, or who would not allow it to be part of the family because it would be hard on the dog.

I love Viszla's as well until I hunted with one and it dissappeared in the tall grass. There color makes them darn hard to keep track of. smile I love my GSP's.

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you can do some research through NAVHDA and see if there is a local chapter close to you. You could experience several pointing breeds first hand if you joined a chapter or went to one of their events. It would also be a good place to find a breeder.

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Much of this advice is pretty sound. Breed is one thing, a breeder is a second thing, the Dam and Sire of the pups are a third thing. A pup can only be as good as his instincts. If his grandparents and parents don't have them then he probably won't either.

I researched lots of different breeds and chose an English Setter. That's the breed I felt was right for me. I looked at English pointers, britts, GSP,s, etc. I have my reasons for that breed and since Im sure my needs/wants are different than others I'm not about to tell someone one breed is superior.

I would recommend talking to dog trainers that have worked with lots of different breeds. They may have some advice. I went to NAVHDA events which helped and did tons of research on breeds and breeders. NAVDHA actually got me hooked on pointing breeds. You can get very different dogs within one breed depending upon the breeder and the traits they breed for. I have more of a traditional Setter. He's 55-60 lbs, looks and acts different than a field trial setter.

In regards to not seeing a dog you can get a beeper collar. I have a setter and he canbe tough to see in the woods, when there's snow on the ground, etc. Heck, I can't always see him in the tall grass, switchgrass and cattails and he's white. If I were choosing a dog it's color would be a consideration but I doubt I'd rule out a breed just because of it. This is a fine example of some of things yuo need to consider, others have been mentioned.

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Thanks for all the feed back. I will have to do more research. As far as training goes I may try to train him myself with some help from a trainer for some also. I think I would be some what controlling but do understand when a dog gets on a scent better keep up cuz thats what he does. I plan on keeping him in an outdoor kennel so it must be tolerable to some cold. My hunting would be 80% pheasant, 10% grouse, 10% duck and goose.

I have never heard of a Viszlas are the very popular?

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Quote: "I think I would be some what controlling but do understand when a dog gets on a scent better keep up cuz thats what he does."

Actually, the beauty of good pointer is that you do not need to keep up. A good pointer will hold the bird until you arrive. Where some guys get controlling is they do not like their dog ranging out at all. Certain breeds or even lines of breeds will range much farther than others. That is where research is needed. Are you comfortable with 50+ yard range, 100 yard range, 200 yard range, on the horizon range?

Good luck and have fun.

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I don't know how pheasants are in other areas, but around here, you want to keep your dog in reasonable range. Pheasants often bust out early...that's what they do. Sure, I shoot a bunch of birds over nice perfect points, but I also shoot plenty that bust out before the dog gets to the staunch point. My youngest shorthair has the instinct to really be a big runner. However, it was not difficult to get her trained to run and hunt hard within a 50 yard range. I don't make a big deal out of it if she occasionally ranges a bit further, but she has done a great job of learning the distance she should hunt.

I really think the time to let a dog range out 100 yards plus is quail hunting. They hold...pretty much every time, and a long ranging dog has no real negative impact on the number of birds you bag.

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True there are birds that bust out early, but I never really let those bother me much. Having a bird dog has changed my thoughts on a quality hunt. I would rather have 20 hens with solid points and good dog work than 2 wild flushed roosters that are in the bag. That is just me.

Since I have a Griffon, he tends to not range big. However, it depends on the cover being hunted, wind, scenting conditions, how the birds are acting that day.... Many factors. Could I keep him close - sure, but then he tends to stay close for the remainder of the day. I like when he goes 100+ yards to the right or left to check a likely patch of cover. That way I do not have to walk that extra 100+ yards if there are no birds over there.

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I have two German Shorthairs. Great hunters and great friends. Winnie (solid liver) is a 2. 5 yr old female. Boomer (patched & ticked) is a 2 yr old male. Wonderful attitude, well behaved MOST of the time, LOTS of energy.

100_1711.jpg

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Everybody has there favorite's and you will only be happy if you get what you truly want!! I have hunted over gsp's, Brit's, wirehairs, viszla's, springer's and lab's. All make fine dog's when handled correctly. My personal favorite is my Weimeraner though but it's probably just because I like the look of them the best not because they are a better hunter! Okay I like to think so!!! grin The most birds in our group 4 years in a row must mean something? confused

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Do your homework check every breed you're intersted in, but be sure to check the breeder.Do you want a close ranging,medium, wide range dog.

Personaly I chose the Brittany, they're smaller and are a wonderful breed. They are active and are a handfull, but my wife & kids would have ME move out before the dog would!!

IMG_1552.jpg

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I am going to put my vote in for a Brittany. I have owned them for 20 years and have seen them do amazing things for a smaller breed. I will be getting a new pup this spring and am looking foreward to working with it this summer.

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I've owned a couple of different pointers and I have to say I'm really happy thus far with our German Shorthair Puppy. He's so social with my family, very smart, eager to please and his instincts for hunting (chasing and pointing feathers, retrieving a scented dummy) all just seem to come as second nature to him.

The other species I've had have been somewhat longer haired (Brit, Springer, and a Setter) and while I was happy with these dogs as companions and field dogs, the additional hair does make for extra work with a dog hunting heavy cover (picking out stickers, burrs, etc) and extra grooming to keep the dog's coat clean and healthy. Short hair breeds like GSP's or English pointers will not have the same problem but its really up to each person's needs and desires to find the pup best suited to his and the family's needs.

One thing to look for in a pointer is to see if the parents of the puppy like to retrieve. I've heard a lot of pointer owners say their dog won't retrieve and have to be force retrieve trained (my brit was a problem with retrieves but my spaniel was aways eager to chase and retrieve anything). If you can get a pointing dog that has a natural instinct to retrieve passed down from its parents, that can help you get a long way down the road on this part of the training.

But bottom line is doing what other's say here, read up on the general characteristics of the breed, the relative strengths and weaknesses both in the field and in the home and see what fits with your hunting needs and personal/family lifestyle. Do this before you even go look at puppies. Then you are making an informed decision about a breed before you fall in love with some puppy of a breed you might end up unhappy with.

Let us know what you decide on.

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Hawgman - great looking Brit! Where did you find him? Looks just like mine. I became familiar with the breed 30 years ago down in Missouri and I'm still amazed by their intelligence, athleticism, drive, competitive spirit and durability in the field. As well as their friendly soft nature at home with friends and family members. I appreciate all the sporting dog breeds but have a deep admiration and soft spot for the American Brittany. Choose the right breeder and you will have a great home and field companion to enjoy for many years too come.

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My $.02 - it's pretty hard to go wrong with a GSP. I've never seen a worthless one in the field, which is more than I can say for a few other pointing breeds (this is just my experience). They are usually pretty easy to train and cooperative dogs. I know that's a major generalization, but when people new to pointing dogs ask me what they should get, I tell them to try GSPs. I think the odds of finding a decent hunting GSP is pretty darn good and they're hard to screw up with their strong pointing instincts.

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Blaze is dead on. I've trained and field trialed many breeds and while I personally am drawn more to English pointers I have 3 GSP now. Shoot ONLY pointed birds and the average GSP trains it's self.

If you are not afraid of dogs that want to "scoot", Pointers are even more so the same.

Instincts are what it is all about.

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