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Pointers vs. Flushers for Upland Family - Grouse

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hoping to not make this a my dog vs. your dog thing or a best dog event.

What are the things that made you chose a Pointer vs. a Flusher or vice versa? Primarily for a grouse dog.

Our family is looking for a new pup so it has to be a family dog first, so cuteness counts, and a capable hunting dog second. I really like the GWP's, my wife like Springers and generally thinks most of the Pointing breeds are ugly. Neither of us is tied to a breed it just needs to be a good fit for us. I want my teenage son to be able to hunt with the dog so it needs to be close ranging and controllable and yet have my daughter be able to snuggle with.

How much would you expect to pay for such a dog? How much history do you need to pay for?

Thoughts?

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If she likes Springers get a Brittany pointer. We loved ours when we had it many years ago. Really great with kids and great hunter! wink

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If you are going to primarily hunt grouse, I think you would really enjoy having a pointer. Those birds are quick and having some advanced warning of where they are and time to get ready is great. Once you hunt them with a pointer, you will be hooked for life. If your wife likes springers, have her check out brittany spaniels. I have a male britt. He is a very good (not great) hunting dog, but I literally did not train him at all. He's got an awesome nose and holds a point great, but lacks in the retrieving department. He is the most mild-mannered and the best family dog we've ever had. I will be getting another in a few years as he gets older. I think he cost me around $350.00 or so. Lots of options out there, but this is one I think might be good to look at.

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Have always had GSP's. love hunting behind them. and, imo, much cuter than gwp :-) as far as cost, the range is free to thousands, too many variables. that said, the best dog I've ever owned was a $25 inbred gsp, smartest, most disciplined, best hunting drive, best natural talented dog I've ever had. just look around. do some research, each breed has its points. thing to remember with pointing breeds is that they are high energy and need lots of exercise, keep that in mind when matching a dog to your family lifestyle.I see too many dogs that are in a kennel for 9 months of the year, then the owner complains that they don't hunt well when they get them out for opener with no conditioning and no continuing training. Good luck!

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I have gone from Labs to Brittneys to a Drahthaar. I much prefer the Brit and Draht for hunting grouse. For a house dog the Draht has been the best for us our Britts and labs were way more high strung.

Mwal

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If mostly a grouse dog I'd vote pointing dog. If you two like the look of springers you can get black and white or liver and white brittanys too. Otherwise pointing dogs come in all colors, sizes and coats, take some time to look around.

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Anyone have a lead to black & white Brittany? That might be a good fit as neither my wife or daughter like reds or liver.

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There is really no best dog. I have had Springers for a few decades and love them to death but there are lots of great dogs and all of the breeds are better than no dog at all. Find a dog you can both agree on and that has the size and temperament you want and get it.

In addition to Brits I would suggest Munsterlanders. They are darn close to a springer in looks. Even more than Brits and they point.That being said my next dog might very well be a Llewellin Setter.

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Look into the English Cocker Spaniels. These dogs are dynamite grouse dogs and Momma will love this dog. They are also amazingly good pheasant dogs as well.

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Anyone have a lead to black & white Brittany? That might be a good fit as neither my wife or daughter like reds or liver.

I hunt a lot of grouse and have hunted without a dog, with a flusher, and now I have a 27 month old female britt. You can hunt grouse pretty effectively with a good flusher that stays close and that you can read when they are birdy. It's really all about getting some advance notice with grouse. I chose a britt because I liked the size, I like hunting behind pointers (just think it's cool to see), and because they are smart dogs.

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As far as her being a house dog, my britt was a handful til she was 18 months old or so. If she didn't get a couple trips to the woods each week to run off leash for at least an hour, she'd be pretty mischievous in the house. Since then she has really settled in and is much better behaved.

Not sure where you can get a black/white Britt...not sure they even exist. I paid $550 for my female from Lakeside Brittanies out of Maple Lake, MN. No regrets, great personality and has developed into a dang good hunter!

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Just to be clear, you can train a flusher like a Springer or English Cocker Spaniel to point smile

And black and whites are available in both breeds.

You really should check them out yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised how versatile they are.

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I have a French Brittany that works great in the fields and is one of the biggest couch potatos there is. Also they like to be lap dogs so a great family dog too. I have done little training with him and he retrieves to hand and is very slow to tire out. Another breed to add to the list. So many choices out there smile

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Just to be clear, you can train a flusher like a Springer or English Cocker Spaniel to point smile

You can't train a dog to point, its purely instinct. Can you train a dog to "stand" a bird yes but to your selling yourself short if you consider that pointing.

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A true Britney other then French Britney do not come in black if it is a pure bred.

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I have a freench brittany that will be 4 in June that is mostly black and white. Excellent family and hunting dog. He was hunging pheasants at 5 months and pointing and retrieving from the first hunt. Not the first bird (he had to watch a shorthair do it first!) He is awesome in the house but winters can get a little long if you have a ton of snow and we can't get him out to run enough. He could run forever but also loves curling up with my wife and kids while they sleep or watch tv too.

My wife actually told me this weekend that "I would take another dog like this anytime you are ready". She was not all that fired up to get a "hunting" dog originally, but now she'd give him my side of the bed!

You can send me a PM if you'd like for me to email some pictures or have any other questions.

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If you really want a grouse dog then I'd recommend starting by looking at English Setters out of FDSB cover dog lines. They are the quintessential grouse dog. Then English pointers and then the continentals. Almost all of the hunting breeds can be good family dogs if chosen from the correct breeding and raised/socialized appropriately. Any dog can be a good grouse dog if it air scents it's birds and points at the first hint of scent. Setters and pointers generally do this a little better out of the box than some of the continental breeds but they all can do it.

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You can't train a dog to point, its purely instinct. Can you train a dog to "stand" a bird yes but to your selling yourself short if you consider that pointing.
It's not purely instinct, it can be trained. Fact is most pointers do not have a flushers instinct but still have to be trained how to point properly. You have an opinion on word choice, that's all.

I assure you, I can train a flusher to point and do it quite easily. I call it pointing you call it standing, it's just semantics on how "pretty" it looks smile

Bottom line "pointing" is a dog looking at or smelling a bird and not flushing it. I will always choose to call that pointing no matter what your word choice is.

I can train a springer spaniel to point quail and flush pheasants. It's tricky business but can be done.

I have run with some very good pointers, wonderful dogs and will still take a Springer or English Cocker Spaniel for SD pheasants over a pointer every day of the week smile

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Rick with all due respect, why muddy up a flushing dog by teaching it to point? If you want a dog that points, get a pointer. It's bred into them. I could teach a wirehair to bay a hog, but what's the point when a cur is a lot better fit?

hoping to not make this a my dog vs. your dog thing or a best dog event.

What are the things that made you chose a Pointer vs. a Flusher or vice versa? Primarily for a grouse dog.

Our family is looking for a new pup so it has to be a family dog first, so cuteness counts, and a capable hunting dog second. I really like the GWP's, my wife like Springers and generally thinks most of the Pointing breeds are ugly. Neither of us is tied to a breed it just needs to be a good fit for us. I want my teenage son to be able to hunt with the dog so it needs to be close ranging and controllable and yet have my daughter be able to snuggle with.

How much would you expect to pay for such a dog? How much history do you need to pay for?

Thoughts?

Your instinctive nature to go for a wirehair is a sound one, grasshopper. A good wirehair from a solid hunting and trialing/testing background should run you $500-$800. I got my Remy for the rock-bottom bargain price of $450. I consider it the best business decision I ever made! By five months old, he was already doing this:

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And c'mon, how is this not cute?!?!

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Quote:
Fact is most pointers do not have a flushers instinct but still have to be trained how to point properly.

Not sure what you mean by that statement. I would hope that most pointers don't have a flushing instinct, just as I'd hope that most flushers don't have a pointing instinct. If a pointer doesn't point instinctively I'm not going to waste my time training it to point - there are better things to do. If most pointers didn't point instinctively there wouldn't be many pointers around.

The poster is wanting to hunt grouse. First choice = FDSB English Setter out of cover dog lines. Grouse dog extraordinaire and outstanding family dog.

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I raise both Brittanys & Llewellin Setters. either one could fit the bill. Brittanys can be black & white, however it is very frowned upon.

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I can train a springer spaniel to point quail and flush pheasants. It's tricky business but can be done.

That's nothing. My Springers can hold a point on my quarter pounder with cheese until the last bite hits my gut. grinActually they can pretty much point any food that I eat.

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I raise both Brittanys & Llewellin Setters. either one could fit the bill. Brittanys can be black & white, however it is very frowned upon.

Not to hijack the thread but can you tell me what you think about the Llewellin Setters? I live my Springers to death but I have a deteriorating knee and by the time they are done I am considering going to a pointer next time and I really like the looks and disposition of the ones I have seen. What are their strong and weak points?

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I COULD pull my boat with my wifes Volkswagen too, but that certainly doesn't make it a towing vehicle. Teaching a dog to stop when it hits scent does not a pointing dog make. There are pointing breeds, flushing breeds and versatile breeds. Pretending that one dog can do it all exceptionally is short sighted at best.

The bottom line is most people, have never hunted behind a true grouse dog. Plain and simple. There is a huge difference between a dog that points a bird that it stumbles upon, and a dog that consistently goes out and FINDS, points and holds more grouse than you would have put to wing on your own. These dogs are few and far between, and worth their weight in gold. Some dogs have it, some don't simple as that. Will you find some continental breeds that can handle grouse, sure you will. Will you find some flushers that do a fine job on grouse, of course. However the odds of this are much lower than finding a dog from a line of dogs that has been bred specifically for the task at hand, in this case grouse hunting.

If I were you, I would go and hunt with a few different dogs. They all have traits that some would look at as advantages and some would look at as negatives. See what you like, go to kennels, talk with breeders, and then wait for the right litter to come around. Even then, nothing is certain and any breeder with a dam will tell you that. The good ones take out as much risk as possible with research, and knowledge. Good luck.

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Here is some hard Data for you:

Winners of The Grand National Grouse Championship

1943 Pointer Male

1944 Hall's Black Rocket, Setter male.

1945 Placements Withheld

1946 Burton's Fleetfoot Ginger, Setter Male.

1947 The Texas Traveler, Pointer Male.

Runner-Up Hall's Black Rocket, Setter Male. 1948 Placements Withheld

1949 Sam L's Skyhigh, Setter male

Runner-Up Contender Spunky Delight, Pointer male.

1950 Sam L's Skyhigh, Setter male.

1951 Trebor's Dutchess, Setter female.

1952 Mistress Pretty Bones, Pointer female.

1953 Puckety Village Boy, Pointer male.

1954 Tyson's Skyhills Flash, Pointer male.

Runner-Up Tancanhoosen Hunter, Pointer male.

1955 Retina, Setter female.

1956 Retina, Setter female.

Runner-Up Larray, Pointer male.

1957 Placements Withheld

1958 Vigorous, Pointer male.

1959 Doc's Girl Sis, Pointer female.

1960 Sam L's Rebel, Setter male.

1961 Sam L's Rebel, Setter male.

1962 Elhew Lucy Brown, Pointer female.

1963 Orchard Valley Melody, Setter male.

1964 Placements withheld

1965 Brenda Wahoo, Pointer female.

Runner-Up Sam L's Nabob, Setter male.

1966 Hussy, Setter female.

1967 Elhew Holly , Pointer female.

1968 Elhew Holly , Pointer female.Elhew

Runner-Up Sam L's Sequoia, Setter male.

1969 Ghost Train, Setter male.

1970 Grouse Ridge Will, setter male.

1971 Placements Withheld

1972 Pleasant Valley Liz, Setter female.

1973 Pleasant Valley Liz, Setter female.

1974 Elhew Flying Dutchman, Pointer male.

1975 Jetrain, Setter male.

Runner-Up Pleasant Valley Clyde, Setter male.

1976 Pleasant Valley Clyde, Setter male.

1977 Teaberry, Setter male.

Runner-UpWyola Jupiter, Pointer male.

1978 Ghost's Star, Setter female.

Runner-UpPleasant Valley Mandy, Setter female.

1979 Pleasant Valley Clyde, Setter male.

Runner-UpKumari Elhew Suzie, Pointer female.

1980 Lou's Astro Accelerator, Pointer, male.

Runner-Up-Police Woman, Pointer female.

1981 Heartbreaker , Setter female.

Runner-Up-Pleasant Valley Mandy, Setter female.

1982 The Sportsman's Briar, Setter male.

Runner-Up-Little John Boy, Pointer male.

1983 Andy's Safari Sami, Setter female.

1984 Stokley's Diablo Jake, Setter male.

Runner-Up-Decathon Man, Setter male.

1985 Penelope, Pointer female.

Runner-Up-Tip Top Mollie, Setter female.

1986 Spring Garden Keeper , Setter female.

Runner-Up-North Island Samantha, Setter female.

1987 Honey B, Setter female.

1988 Skyline Patty, Setter female.

1989 Northern Alibi, Setter male.

1990 Grover, Setter male.

1991 Loleta, Pointer female.

Runner-Up-Autumn Thunder, Pointer female..

1992 Stillmeadows Jim , Setter male.

Runner-Up-Cracker Jack Train, Setter male

1993 Crystal Light, Setter female.

Runner-Up-Star's Misty Ghost, Setter female

1994 Grouse Ridge Storm, Setter male.

Runner-Up-Jet's Aimee, Setter female

1995 Paucek's Tommyknocker, Setter male.

Runner-Up-Thunderstruck, Setter female

1996 Elhew Autumn Whisper, Pointer female.

Runner-Up-Kalamity Seekah, Setter female

1997 Body Guard, Setter male.

Runner-Up-Thunderstruck, Setter female

Dr. Tim Pershke, owner and handler.

1998 Elhew Autumn Whisper, Pointer female.

1999 Seneca's Autmn Reign, Setter female.

Runner-Up-Ghost Train Bell, Setter female

2000 Holy Smoke, Pointer male.

Runner-Up-Chip's Super Chunk, Setter male

2001 Beaver Meadow Bette, Pointer female.

2002 Movelle's Gypysy, Pointer female.

2003 Hard Driving Bev, Pointer female.

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