HuntStand Hunting App
Bird dog question
Small Game
Contributors to this thread:
ryanrc 06-Dec-19
fubar racin 06-Dec-19
KsRancher 06-Dec-19
mrelite 06-Dec-19
Highlife 06-Dec-19
fubar racin 06-Dec-19
Buckndoe 06-Dec-19
Buckndoe 06-Dec-19
Aces11 06-Dec-19
Capt C 06-Dec-19
lv2bohunt 06-Dec-19
Zbone 06-Dec-19
D31 06-Dec-19
Brotsky 06-Dec-19
JohnMC 06-Dec-19
Heat 07-Dec-19
Heat 07-Dec-19
billygoat 07-Dec-19
LBshooter 07-Dec-19
Quinn @work 07-Dec-19
elkmtngear 07-Dec-19
oldgoat 07-Dec-19
wildwilderness 07-Dec-19
'Ike' (Phone) 07-Dec-19
Aces11 07-Dec-19
Jack Whitmrie jr 07-Dec-19
BR 07-Dec-19
leftee 07-Dec-19
BR 07-Dec-19
Brotsky 07-Dec-19
longspeak74 07-Dec-19
wildan 07-Dec-19
Catscratch 07-Dec-19
ben h 07-Dec-19
Bowmania 07-Dec-19
Kurt 07-Dec-19
tonyo6302 07-Dec-19
SixLomaz 07-Dec-19
wildwilderness 07-Dec-19
drmike 07-Dec-19
Matt 07-Dec-19
ryanrc 07-Dec-19
SixLomaz 07-Dec-19
Paul@thefort 07-Dec-19
JohnMC 07-Dec-19
bentstick54 07-Dec-19
Kurt 07-Dec-19
Quinn @work 07-Dec-19
midwest 07-Dec-19
Mike the Carpenter 07-Dec-19
TD 07-Dec-19
Sliverthrower 07-Dec-19
Brotsky 07-Dec-19
Matt 07-Dec-19
Shawn 07-Dec-19
Ranger620 07-Dec-19
Shawn 07-Dec-19
TwoDogs@work 09-Dec-19
TD 09-Dec-19
ground hunter 09-Dec-19
spike78 09-Dec-19
Wood Tick 09-Dec-19
Ace 09-Dec-19
TwoDogs@work 09-Dec-19
ben h 09-Dec-19
KsRancher 09-Dec-19
ben h 09-Dec-19
Junior 09-Dec-19
ryanrc 09-Dec-19
tonyo6302 10-Dec-19
ELKMAN 10-Dec-19
eliferz 10-Dec-19
TD 10-Dec-19
britman 10-Dec-19
britman 10-Dec-19
britman 10-Dec-19
britman 10-Dec-19
britman 10-Dec-19
Grey Ghost 10-Dec-19
tareynosborn 17-Dec-19
Brotsky 17-Dec-19
Vonfoust 17-Dec-19
ground hunter 17-Dec-19
djb 17-Dec-19
TD 17-Dec-19
bonehead 17-Dec-19
Livereater1 20-Dec-19
eBike John 21-Dec-19
leftee 22-Dec-19
lewis 22-Dec-19
ryanrc 09-Apr-20
ryanrc 09-Apr-20
ryanrc 09-Apr-20
ground hunter 09-Apr-20
ground hunter 09-Apr-20
JohnMC 09-Apr-20
Paul@thefort 12-Apr-20
Beginner 12-Apr-20
lawdy 12-Apr-20
Elite 1 13-Apr-20
Elite 1 13-Apr-20
Danielb 13-Apr-20
TwoDogs@work 13-Apr-20
Zbone 13-Apr-20
Elite 1 14-Apr-20
Heat 14-Apr-20
Heat 14-Apr-20
wildan 14-Apr-20
Smackdown 14-Apr-20
Smackdown 14-Apr-20
Smackdown 14-Apr-20
LKH 15-Apr-20
From: ryanrc
06-Dec-19
So my family is begging me for a dog since our last one died last year. I am ok with getting another dog so long as I can take it hunting with my kids occasionally. I would most likely be hunting blue grouse in the mountains and pheasants in ag land. Maybe a rabbit here or there. My question for any of you bird dog people is I can't decide between a few breeds. I have somewhat narrowed it down to an English springer spaniel, a German shorthair pointer, or a Brittany. I like the idea of a pointer, but it seems the springer is a good first gun dog. What are the pros and cons between a flushing dog and a pointer? Do Brittanys work too far out for a foot hunter? Which makes a good "family" dog? Any all all opinions are welcome. I am taking my time with this decision since I know it is a 10-15 year commitment.

Thanks for your help.

From: fubar racin
06-Dec-19
In my opinion a Brit can’t be beat for a family/hunting dog just about the perfect working mans hunter.

From: KsRancher
06-Dec-19
Had Brittney's growing up. Absolutely loved them. The ones we had were hardcore dogs. My dad just got a Springer. Good dog, but I like a dog that points. I know there are good and bad in all breeds. But if I had to choose again. I would go with the Brittney

From: mrelite
06-Dec-19
One of the things that I looked at before I got another dog was that I didn't want to have to deal with pulling burrs and stickers out of its fur, I ended up with an English pointer and I like how easy it is to take care of his coat which would be similar to a GSP.

From: Highlife
06-Dec-19
English ever give up my walkers that's what I'd have again. Just try and get the one with old style breeding standards big and blocky

From: fubar racin
06-Dec-19

fubar racin's embedded Photo
fubar racin's embedded Photo
Not a great pic but this is my brits up chasing sage grouse both just pups

From: Buckndoe
06-Dec-19
We’re on our second Brittany. First one was a field trials dog and ranged way too far. This one hunts a lot closer. Both were/ are great family dogs. I like smaller dogs so Brit was perfect. I cut the shaggy fur under belly and behind legs to reduce burrs and mud. Doesn’t look like standard Brit but he’s not a show dog.

From: Buckndoe
06-Dec-19
One other thing, we live in north east where our stocked pheasant run like hell. I don’t know how well the birds hold where you are but it can be brutal with a pointer and running birds. For this reason most guys at our club have flushing dogs like springers and labs. I’m not a pro trainer and work hard to keep my Brit from chasing birds.

From: Aces11
06-Dec-19
I have a female vizsla and Germain short hair mix. She is a house dog and doesn’t shed. She goes to the office with me every day and hunts better than I could ever ask. She is definitely a princess. I would get another one.

From: Capt C
06-Dec-19

Capt C's embedded Photo
He’s my copilot
Capt C's embedded Photo
He’s my copilot
I have a yellow lab I know not on your list but have to say he’s a great family dog with having 2 kids a 2 year old boy and 4 year old girl they torcher that poor dog and he has never even lifted a lip at them and as far as hunting I hunt 2-3 times a week with 2 other buddy’s one with a springer other with a short hair and if we were to keep track I bet there all even with flushing or pointing birds it’s neat watching pointer hold but my lab and springer will make you fast on the draw which In my opinion is a lot more fun/challenging but it’s all what you prefer

From: lv2bohunt
06-Dec-19
Brittneys Hunt close typically and are great family pets. They are a good size and a very trainable dog. They are an all around gun dog. German Shorthair can be a bit harder to handle at times. They are a bit more active and bigger so maybe not as good a family dog for some people. I love German Shorthair though and they are also an all around gun dog.

From: Zbone
06-Dec-19
"female vizsla and Germain short hair mix. She is a house dog and doesn’t shed."

Aces11- For real, doesn't shed? Huh, I though both those breeds shed?

I've always wonder why somebody hasn't tried to breed non shedding dog breeds out of real hunting bloodline dogs to come up with a good hunting dog bloodline that doesn't shed...

Have a Multi-Poo that's a great lapdog and will chase critters out of the yard but not much into being a tough hunting dog... Heck, even with her warm fur she doesn't even want to go outside if its cold or raining, but doesn't bother my girlfriend's allergies at all, but my standard Dashund she can't be around long before she starts sneezing and eyes watering...

Have always liked the non shedding Labordoodles and Goldendoodles, but really don't know what kind of hunting dog they'd be, but too big for my liking as a house dog...

I'd kinda like to find a mini Poodle, or Yorkie from true hunting bloodlines (if there are such a thing anymore) maybe European, and breed to my Dashund and see what kind of pups would resolve...

From: D31
06-Dec-19
I would suggest looking honestly at the age of your kids and their level of experience in gun handling , safety and hunting experience. Flushing dogs often require you to move quickly to stay with the dog as he is working out a track. This can get very exciting and the direction the bird and the dog are traveling can change in an instant. Many times the flush comes as a surprise and the bird goes in a direction that is unsafe for a shot. Pointers normally allow a little more time for the hunters to get in position before the flush and provide an opportunity for a little more control over the situation which can be a good thing depending on everyone's experience level.

One other consideration is you can have a springer, cocker, or other flushing breed that will hunt fur and feather. If you want to bust some bunnies along with your quail, pheasants and grouse. The English and Scott's train their flushing dogs to bust the quarry then sit so the hunter can have a safe shot without the dog chasing the game or bird. Watch some youtube videos to see how different breeds work and realize that for the dog to work like the ones in the videos takes a great deal of training and time. Good Day

From: Brotsky
06-Dec-19
I’m biased, get a lab!

From: JohnMC
06-Dec-19

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
Out of your listed I would go with a brittany because they probably will be best family dog.

With that said I would look at labs. Can’t be beat as a family dog. Mine is cuddled up next to me as I type this. They are good bird dogs. Great for pheasants.

From: Heat
07-Dec-19
Lab camp

From: Heat
07-Dec-19

Heat's embedded Photo
Heat's embedded Photo
Weird, no idea where Jack came from! LOL!

From: billygoat
07-Dec-19
I agree with buckndoe. You can have a pointing dog for its whole life and probably count on 1 hand how many pointed roosters you shoot at. Take a Springer or lab with good instincts and he's good to go with basic obedience training. I prefers springers, but Labs are less fur maintenance.

From: LBshooter
07-Dec-19
Pointer are beautiful dogs to watch work in the field, especially good ones. They tend to work out from hunter and hold point till you get there, if I were to buy a pointing dog it would be a German wire hair griffon. A fantastic all around hunting dog, from field to water they can do it. However, it is hard to beat a lab for a hunting dog and family companion, and there are labs that point. Labs stay close and flush and will do just about anything you ask them to and they are probably the best family dog out there, no offense to other breeds. Good luck with whatever you get and just remember , training is everything.

From: Quinn @work
07-Dec-19

Quinn @work's embedded Photo
Quinn @work's embedded Photo
I’ve never found a better family/pheasant dog especially with young kids. You got to figure 95% of the time it will be a family dog during the year.

From: elkmtngear
07-Dec-19
Grew up hunting behind a Brit...she was a great family dog, and a great, versatile pointer. Saw a young shorthair lock up hard on multiple birds on a pheasant hunt once, and became obsessed. I've owned 3 of them, all champion bloodlines, and 2 of them definitely were not great family pets. Too high strung, but amazing hunters.

From: oldgoat
07-Dec-19

oldgoat's embedded Photo
oldgoat's embedded Photo
Hard to beat a GSP as a family and field dog!

07-Dec-19

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
From what I’ve seen pointers take a lot more work to train. If high strung they will need to hunt regularly and exercise a lot.

I am 100% in the Labrador camp for an occasional hunter (though they can be awesome if you want) but most importantly they are excellent family dogs!

07-Dec-19

'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
Another for Labs, have had two chocolates...Both great family and bird dogs, will look for my third this next year, after losing Abbie in February...

From: Aces11
07-Dec-19

Aces11's embedded Photo
Aces11's embedded Photo
Zbone - She doesn’t shed. That is one of the main reasons I got her. I knew she would be a house dog. Everyone that see’s her usually thinks she’s a lab.

07-Dec-19
I'm a Brittany man myself, 3 of them have owned me. Great family pets first and hunters 2nd. Regardless of what breed you decide on they are like children, they need time, attention and love to become good adults. Mine is laying looking at me as I type this , she came got me out of bed this AM. Good luck in your quest.

From: BR
07-Dec-19

BR's embedded Photo
BR's embedded Photo
A few years back I was doing the same thing you are doing. I basically wanted the same things you are looking for, except my primary focus was I wanted a dog that would blood trail. I was going to get a lab but I came across a breed that got my interest. It was the Deutcher Wachtelhund. AKA German Spaniel. I researched the breed and pulled the trigger. I have no regrets. I recently bought another that is a female so I could breed my male. These are about as good as it gets for a family dog. I have 3 young boys so my dogs have been tested. Very loyal with a strong desire to hunt. Very intelligent and easy to train. They do get pissed if you go hunting without them. There aren’t a lot of these in the US but the ones that are around are fairly close to where you live.

From: leftee
07-Dec-19
I love labs and Springers.Springers on 'wild' pheasants IMO are the best.Labs overall great. One can consider what may be the best of all,pointing labs. https://coteauviewkennels.com/

From: BR
07-Dec-19

BR's embedded Photo
BR's embedded Photo
Didn’t need him here but he loves to work.

From: Brotsky
07-Dec-19

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Kia’s boyfriend lol
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Kia’s boyfriend lol
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Every boy needs a lab.
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Every boy needs a lab.
Brotsky's embedded Photo
And the hunting..man will this dog hunt. Even found out he will blood trail deer and will find shed antlers. Not many pointers that will do all that.
Brotsky's embedded Photo
And the hunting..man will this dog hunt. Even found out he will blood trail deer and will find shed antlers. Not many pointers that will do all that.
Labs are the most versatile of all hunting dogs and the best ones to have at home. The only drawback is the shedding. My lab points, flushes, retrieves, hunts waterfowl land and field, cuddles, snuggles, and protects the girls when I’m out on my hunting trips, he does it all. He’s a full card carrying member of the family. He also weighs 60# soaking wet. You just can’t beat that!

From: longspeak74
07-Dec-19

longspeak74's embedded Photo
longspeak74's embedded Photo
Our GSP pup is a fantastic family dog and is starting to get on the birds. They need a ton of excercise!

From: wildan
07-Dec-19
We own a uplands preserve;have owned bird dogs for sixty plus years.Brittenys,Labrador retrievers,English Pointers and German Short-hairs.I have witnessed about every breed out there on our preserve. Currently our family owns 3 GSP's and 1 English Pointer.We had 7 English Pointers at one time.Can't beat a "well trained" pointer for upland birds.We do 1,000 plus birds a year on our preserve. Our dogs are all kept in the house,so must be people friendly. I don't care for the work involved with "long haired" dogs .We see very few Brittenys in our area,they are nice dogs and close workers.We had Labs for 30+ years;hard to beat for an all around dog. My SIL and daughter are looking at a English Cocker at the moment;rare in our area.

From: Catscratch
07-Dec-19
I like a lazy dog for the family (by that I mean some of the bird hunting breeds are very high strung and not really great for the house). I love to hunt behind a pointing dog but also like a close ranging dog that can follow scent. You'll see them get birdie and if they are close you'll be ready for the shot when they flush in range.

We had a Visla that was a good family dog and my dad always has a lab/pointer mix that doubles as a quail and duck dog.

From: ben h
07-Dec-19
Up until somewhat recently we always hunted with Labs. One of my buddies got a Drahthaar (very similar to a German Wirehair) and those dogs have a very high hunting drive and are very good pointers. They still do waterfowl although they are not as good of a water dog as a lab and don't do the cold as well. Both make great family dogs. We've also had GSP and I can't stand those things.

From: Bowmania
07-Dec-19

Bowmania's embedded Photo
Bowmania's embedded Photo
"Are you guys talking about me?"

Bowmania

From: Kurt
07-Dec-19
I had years where I got about 50 wild roosters between various states.....From MT down to KS with a few in CO. Our Vizsla pointed, relocated, pointed etc until I shot. Many were shot off point. With our young Vizsla I have already killed every rooster I have shot off points. I don’t pheasant hunt near as much now living in BC and hunting them primarily in WA and OR.

As per dogs, you need to get any of the pointing breeds enough daily exercise to make them a good house companion. Without they are too wired. With the young Vizsla that is a minimum of an hour a day and preferably more. Shorthairs are similar.

Short haired dogs are nice but ours still shed and require a coat when it really gets cold. They also are more susceptible to cuts from hazardous stuff. The two yr old Vizsla has always several visible scars that look like zippers. One was a barbwire encounter. Not sure about the other two other than the vet bill. Good luck, love having a bird dog at the house.

From: tonyo6302
07-Dec-19

tonyo6302's embedded Photo
Chukar and Ringnecks
tonyo6302's embedded Photo
Chukar and Ringnecks
My Son-in-law and I shot these birds over my Hunting Partners Verein Deutch Draahcthars back in January of this year.

From: SixLomaz
07-Dec-19

SixLomaz's embedded Photo
German Shorthair Pointer puppies
SixLomaz's embedded Photo
German Shorthair Pointer puppies
First litter GSP. She can catch a bird on the ground. I don't even need a gun to hunt.

07-Dec-19

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
I guess we can all agree you need a dog! When I retire and the kids are gone I plan to get a pointing dog, until then it’s labs.

From: drmike
07-Dec-19

drmike's embedded Photo
drmike's embedded Photo
Another vote for Labs!!

From: Matt
07-Dec-19
My Vizsla sheds too.

After having owned a Vizsla and a GSP, I would be more inclined to get another GSP. The Vizsla is a pleaser and very responsive, but his separation anxiety is on a level that almost defies belief.

From: ryanrc
07-Dec-19
Thanks for all the replies. After talking with a good friend who has had a few setters, I am leaning that way now. I definitely like a smaller dog. The Brittany is pretty up there too though. I love the look of a lab, but it is a little bigger then I want. After talking with my buddy, we both kind of agreed I would be better off with a pointing dog vs a flusher for what I am looking for. I haven't completely made up my mind yet and the wife has to sign off too, but that is how I am leaning right now.

Thanks, also, keep the field photos coming. They are awesome!

From: SixLomaz
07-Dec-19
I hope you like hair cleaning. Good luck.

From: Paul@thefort
07-Dec-19

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
I have always had back Labs from High School to the present. Yep, they flush. A flushing dog was not a issue until I got older and could not run the 100 dash in 12 seconds like in high school. I still love my lab, Chase the wonder dog, but I do swear a few times with he flushes out of range and I can not get up there in time for the shot. Two weeks ago he retrieved two mallards and then flushed and retrieved two pheasants the same day. GOOD DOG CHASE. Now if he could only point. :)

From: JohnMC
07-Dec-19
Your buddy thinks your better off with a pointer because that what he has. Does not make him wrong or right. You can get labs that are fairly small also some of labs are bred to point. There is a reason about half the people on here are trying to steer you towards a lab.

07-Dec-19
All good breeds if bred from hunting stock. All can be good family pets also. I’ve had/or hunted behind most over the years. I will only say two things. STAY AWAY from field trial stock, AND RABBITS will ruin a good bird dog!

From: Kurt
07-Dec-19
Matt, Out of our 4 Vizslas, the two females were better adjusted. versus the two males that had a lot of separation anxiety. One male was gun shy and the other was a mediocre hunter. Both females were hunting very well at less than a year old. Our sample size is tiny but was why we chose a female for our last one two years ago. We haven't been disappointed. And I am not pushing Vizslas as they have a very soft temperament and don't take well to discipline....training has to be positive in our experience. And the risk of getting a gun shy dog or one that doesn't hunt is much higher versus GSPs. Kurt

From: Quinn @work
07-Dec-19

Quinn @work's Link
If you're interested in a lab check out this place. He's a small breeder of quality hunting labs and is also a vet. I believe I got the recommendation off bowsite when looking for my 3rd lab and couldn't be more pleased. Hunting behind 2 labs from this breeder tomorrow. Photos to come. Quail and pheasant.

From: midwest
07-Dec-19

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Labs rule!

I heard they like to hunt, too....lol.

07-Dec-19

Mike the Carpenter's embedded Photo
Mike the Carpenter's embedded Photo
Have had labs in the past, and now have a GSP. Wish I had gotten GSPs sooner. Shop for the qualities you want from the parents and grandparents and pick the prettiest one from that litter.

Levi, just this Fall alone, has gotten the three of us 61 wild pheasants in S. Dakota and Michigan, along with 4 woodcock, 3 grouse and dispatched a snowshoe hare that my son shot, but hadn’t killed. Had we of shot better, those #’s would be significantly higher.

I will say that if you don’t have property to run the GSP at, or you’re not willing to physically and mentally wear the dog out, then you are not doing that GSP any favors. It takes a LOT of work to own one, but the rewards are amazing if you do your part.

If you have any questions about the breed, feel free to ask.

From: TD
07-Dec-19
Another GSP vote. 50-60 pheasants and chukar a year. Only issue is they are hard to kick out of bed at night...... they're smart....and sneaky......

I have a rule of thumb..... I pick up a new pup about every 5 years. Then you normally have at least two fully functioning bird dogs at any one time, sometimes three. If they work well together 2 dogs will outperform just one 3 times over, they learn how to cut off and lock down the runners.

The older dogs make working and training the pup a breeze, they almost train themselves. And they keep each other company when nobody is at home. Lost the old boy this year, so down to two. A couple more years it'll be time for another pup. A big heartbreak as is, but If you only have one dog and lose it...... leaves a huge hole when they're gone.

07-Dec-19
Lab guy as well however mine is a pointing lab . When you go look at pups skip the looking at the pup and look at mom and dad no matter what the breed you ultimately choose. I f you want to take mom home with you, you will like the pup. If mom aggressive or bouncing off the walls pup has high tendency to be the same when grows up. Good luck.

From: Brotsky
07-Dec-19

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Points and weighs 60#. Find yourself a lab!

From: Matt
07-Dec-19
Kurt, I totally agree on Vizslas in that training has to be positive. They wilt easily under negative reinforcement. Not so with GSP's. Our Vizsla is a good family dog, definately not one for the kennel.

From: Shawn
07-Dec-19
I have owned Labs, Springer's, Llewellyn setters, Golden's, German shorthairs, and Brittanies. I was born at s time when there were still quite a few wild pheasants in NY but by the time I was 12 in the mid-seventies it was getting tough to find birds without a great dog. By far the best on any game my Dad told him to hunt was a German Shorthairs named Buck. I killed more pheasant, partridge and woodchuck than any dog we owned. Than when it got to January I would kill a bunch of bunnies and squirrels with him. From 12 until I was 23 or 24 he was incredible. That said for a dog that will do it all and be a better family dog all around I would choose a Golden. Just with a Golden be tough cause they will try you whenever you let them. Shawn

From: Ranger620
07-Dec-19
GSP. Have 2 shorthairs n a setter. All great dogs. All terrific with kids. Shorthairs r maintenance free for the most part from burrs. Smart dogs, super family dogs. Mine hunt n sleep with the kids at night... personally will never own another Brittany. Have yet to be impressed by one, and the one I had was terrible in all facets. I don’t think you will go wrong with a shorthair.... mine r great On grouse, pheasant, woodcock and the female will follow a blood trail if needed. Honestly I think they have one of the best noses of all breeds. Good luck with your decision.

From: Shawn
07-Dec-19
I should also say the best dog I have ever seen was a cross between an English Springer Spaniel and Brittany. He pointed but would break point as you moved in for the shot. Again though all-around get a Golden Retriever! Shawn

From: TwoDogs@work
09-Dec-19
You asked about specifically about Brittanys and GSPs. I have owned both. Currently have a female Brittany that is a part of the family. She is also a good hunter. She does tend to want to cover a quite a bit of ground which is not a problem s long as I can see her. When she smells birds she stops and waits for me. She them works the bird until it holds or flushes. She knows that she needs me to shoot the bird.

The GSP I had was a great hunting dog. She was great on winged pheasants. When I knocked a bird down I simply stayed where I was at and she would be back with it pretty quickly. She had a very mild disposition. However, this is not the case with some GSPs as they tend to be fighters with other dogs.

From: TD
09-Dec-19
One more quick point, so to speak..... Ryan, do you have cats? Maybe if they were raised with them it would be very different, but these GSPs are cat killin' machines. They own their yard and stray cats are toast on the wrong side of the fence. 3 or 4 of em this past year alone. It's not even a fight like a boxing match, they hit em at a full run and it's like a cat in the headlights, over in two or three seconds. Was reading the original breed in Germany, dogs had to show a tendency to kill varmints that would prey on game birds. Foxes, weasels and such, or they wouldn't be able to register them. Have never seen them TOO aggressive with other dogs though, even a couple of rat dogs that tried to pick fights with them. Have been fine with livestock for the most part (we hunt a ranch with cattle and sheep), but did kill a couple young feral pigs last year. None this year so far, but the damn things are everywhere. I call them off of pigs when I can, you never know when they may run into the wrong one..... they are getting much better at that.

Just something to consider if you're thinking of getting a pup or an older dog.... some folks like to buy trained dogs or are given one. I guess things to be considered with any dog, but I know these things are killers at heart. It's what they do. What they live for. I can empathize with the drive.....

09-Dec-19
For what it's worth. I have had and trained all 3 breeds you mention.......... I have trained pointers as an amateur for 30 years. I was trained by good pros. I have run navhda and hunt tests because when the girls were young they loved to test their dogs. All 3 can be a handful. Be honest with yourself how much time do you have to train. Pointers need lots of live birds and the area to train. YOU have to commit. Good luck with your choice. You asked about the dog working close, that comes with solid training....... My advice is simply this YOU OWN WHAT YOU CONDONE

From: spike78
09-Dec-19

spike78's embedded Photo
spike78's embedded Photo
If you want a close working dog try a Wire Hair Pointing Griffon. Mine usually does not range too far and points pheasant but will run when they do. Plus they are fantastic family dogs.

From: Wood Tick
09-Dec-19

Wood Tick's embedded Photo
Wood Tick's embedded Photo
French Brittany on the left and French spaniel on the right. That French Brittany has been an incredible dog in the house and in the field. Only issue has been when the temps get cold, like below 0 and deeper snow. The little guy doesn't last quite as long as the GSPs we hunt with. Otherwise he is a bird pointing and finding machine. The French Britt, in general, works closer than the American Britt, which is what I wanted. Awesome in the house too. He is big for a Britt at 48 pounds, but i was looking for the biggest one I could find to help with those cold temps and snow.

From: Ace
09-Dec-19
In Germany, the versatile breeds are expected to be "sharp" which means they will kill vermin. It's actually a part of some hunt tests over there.

GSP's killing cats is just a part of what they've been bred and trained to do. Not saying that they all do this, or that some lines haven't been able to co-exist with cats, but It's something to think about if you have cats, or live in a suburban area where your neighbors do. It's all a part of that High Prey Drive thing, it makes them awesome hunters, and harder to train/handle than some other dogs.

One other thing I'll add is that you should probably resist the urge to think any dog, even a versatile breed will hunt all things equally well. If you hunt waterfowl mostly, get a dog that excels at that, if upland game, same thing. Every dog I have met and hunted over that supposedly was "versatile" had one thing they were best at, and some others they weren't. For example, the "Versatile Breeds" (think NAVHDA) can hunt all sorts of stuff, but they are really too fast to be great rabbit dogs. There is a reason beagles and bassets have short legs. One guy I know got a Drathar (GWP) and was all excited to use him on everything. that dog ended up a decent pet, and a below-average bird dog and little else, due to not enough training and an owner who had big plans and little training experience. We used to joke that he should carry a 2 X 4 and a Treadmill in his truck so he could tire the dog out and get his attention before he'd hunt birds in the same zip code as us.

From: TwoDogs@work
09-Dec-19

TwoDogs@work's embedded Photo
TwoDogs@work's embedded Photo
This is my Abby as a pup practicing pointing a quail wing. She will 7 tomorrow. She is a ball of fire outside but, very calm in the house.

From: ben h
09-Dec-19
Funny story about the cat issue. My buddy was at his girlfriends house doing some dishes and looked out the window and his GSP and drahthaar were in a tug of war with her cat, which was about 5' long when he saw it and obviously dead. He threw it in my decoy bag and never told his girlfriend what happened. They really are cat killing machines and get them regularly. Another time I had to dig the drahthaar out of a hole because she got stuck going after a rock chuck underground; she did get it too.

From: KsRancher
09-Dec-19
Dont know about the breed as whole. But our Britts turned into killing machines starting about five years old. It may have just been that particular bloodline, not sure. Our last was a male named Buck. A coon was a walk in park for him. He got a hold of a bobcat in some catails at the edge of a marsh. Was to wet to get out to him. But after several minutes it went quite and he came out. Blood all over, ear split out almost in two, deep cuts all over. Not sure if he killed it or if it got away. But a bad thing about the ones we had is that they all got cataracts and were same as blind by 9yrs old. The springer we have now is a smaller female. Good nose, she can flat out track a bird. But absolutely no grit at all in her. Quail she does fine on. But if you knock down a pheasant and it's not dead, she will not kill it or bring it back to us. She just lays down on it till one of us get up there to get it. It's kind of comical to watch. Not ideal, but it works

From: ben h
09-Dec-19
Ks, your bobcat story reminded me of another. We were setup for ducks on a river for a while and some river otters swam in; Auri, the Drahth was very interested in them and we'd just tell her to "stay" and she did for a couple passes, but they came back and she thought, "I'm going to kill you!", and jumped in to try to catch them. She caught up to them and a crazy fight ensued and they kicked her ass! She was trying to retreat and they were trying to pull her under presumably to drown her, but she was able to get away at the end. 1st and last time she's tried to mess with otters.

From: Junior
09-Dec-19
I agree with Ground Hunter. Pointer take a ton of training and can pick up bad habits quick if not hunted/worked regularly. I jumped into pointing labs 20 years ago. Man are they a ton of work. Their nose doesn't compare to a traditional pointer and high strung is an understatement. They were/are a great breed ( still believe cross gsp) with earlier blood line. Whatever pointer you decide on, id definitely recommend a solid trainer or atleast mentor. Good luck!

From: ryanrc
09-Dec-19
I don't like cats, so that's a plus. But thanks for the heads up about it.

From: tonyo6302
10-Dec-19

tonyo6302's Link
Ace, any bad trainer can ruin any breed of dog. . .. .

. . . . .

I have hunted over my Hunting Partners Verein Deutsch Drahthaars (German Wirehair Pointers) since 1999. He trains them well. All his dogs are great at birds, ducks, and bloodtrailing. He tests them to both German Standards and the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Alliance tests.

More than one of his dogs has found a gut shot deer of mine.

Born and raised in Kentucky, and having hunted quail over Pointers, Brittanys, and Setters, I will attest that my Hunting Partners dogs are the finest bird dogs I have ever hunted over.

Tony

From: ELKMAN
10-Dec-19

ELKMAN's embedded Photo
ELKMAN's embedded Photo

A good solid pointing Labrador sounds like exactly what you need.

From: eliferz
10-Dec-19

eliferz's Link
The new Hoverboard is very useful in burning fat and calories. It is also useful to strengthen your heat mussels. The more time you spend the more calories you burn.

From: TD
10-Dec-19
I'm just guessing, but a hoverboard isn't going to do much for my heat mussel..... not anything like some of my fantasy personal trainers anyway.....

From: britman
10-Dec-19

britman's embedded Photo
pointing blue grouse at 14 months
britman's embedded Photo
pointing blue grouse at 14 months
Brittany's are a very good all around dog. Not too big plenty tough enough for field work and great around the family. Have had 6 over a 35 year span and enjoyed them all.

From: britman
10-Dec-19

britman's embedded Photo
britman's embedded Photo
here's the field champ pointing blues

From: britman
10-Dec-19

britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
Ma dog backing her pup on blues

From: britman
10-Dec-19

britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
Ma dog backing her pup on blues

From: britman
10-Dec-19

britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
britman's embedded Photo
mom and pup on blues
Ma dog backing her pup on blues

From: Grey Ghost
10-Dec-19
Just an FYI, the belief that GoldenDoodles don't shed is a myth. I have 2 of them. While they don't shed like a pure bred Golden does, they still shed plenty.

The best pheasant dog I've ever hunted behind was a buddy's German Wire-haired pointer. That dog was a machine, but he was way too hyper for a family dog, IMO. That dog never relaxed, ever.

Matt

From: tareynosborn
17-Dec-19

tareynosborn's Link
The Black Mouth Cur loves being around humans and family and is great with children. Although, their high exercise needs make this breed a poor choice for novice owners or those who can’t keep up with a demanding energy level, and their tendency to play rough may not be best for very young children.

From: Brotsky
17-Dec-19
One thing that should probably be addressed is what type of bird hunting will your dog be doing? Are you going to be hunting stocked pheasants or wild birds? Grouse and quail? My dog is hell on wild pheasants but I can barely take him on pen raised/stocked birds. Damn dog catches my limit and I don't even need a gun! Pointers tend to work far better on birds that will hold like quail or stocked pheasants. Late season, wild pheasants in thick cattails or canary grass, you will 100% want a lab.

From: Vonfoust
17-Dec-19
First, be honest with yourself about how much time you are going to be able to spend training this dog and what you want/need out of it. Flushers will take less time to get hunting.

17-Dec-19
Brotsky I can agree with you, but also for late season in the cattails, a big, springer. my last one was 50 pounds a machine on birds,,, he is gone now, and they do not breed them like that anymore...... that dog ate eastern SD up for a lot of years..............

I also have a lab now,,,, but a smaller one, who toped out at 62lbs which is what I wanted,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

game farm birds as you say, depends on how they were planted,,,, good operations will have plenty of room, and just spread them out..................

From: djb
17-Dec-19
I have 2 Deutsch Drahthaars that I use on grouse, woodcock and late season wild pheasants. One is an 55 lb 8 year-old female and the second is a 82 lb 5 year-old male. This is the second and 3rd DD I have had. Before that I had goldens and labs, wish I would have gotten a DD sooner. They are bird finding machines but they are not for everyone because of their drive and need for exercise. For a family with limited time to train and exercise I would go with a lab, if you have the time I would go with a DD. Also both my dogs love the water, tracking, and retrieving which comes in handy with winged pheasants in heavy cover.

From: TD
17-Dec-19

TD's embedded Photo
TD's embedded Photo
I know some pointers that are flushers at heart!

Where we hunt, the labs tip over after a half hour and follow you back to the truck. =D But then most labs I know could stand to lose 10 or 20 lbs.

It's 6-7000+ feet...... more like mule deer/chukar brush country, (we have quite a few chukar, more above 7000) not flat farm fields. You have to cover some ground and sometime a 1000 feet or more in elevation. A few of the guys in the club have em..... nice dogs, and they are close, slow working dogs, easy to follow and hunt behind. But limits (3 roosters) are not the norm. Then again, it's always more fun to get 1 or 2 behind your own dog rather than a limit behind someone else's.

The girls hunted their best of the year last Sunday. The pup is catching on and not busting birds up near as bad as the start of the season. For some reason this year they have developed a rivalry, the pup thinks she's the boss now and gets greedy/competitive.... or maybe just jealous. Not honoring as well as she was even just a year ago. But last week was much better. Looking forward to this weekend, maybe after two steps forward, no steps back..... we'll see.

Like people..... dogs all have their own personalities and talents. For better or worse.....

From: bonehead
17-Dec-19
I have owned an English pointer, english setter,llewellen setter(subset of English setter),golden retriever,bracque Francais,3 gsp,a German wirehair, and a Duetsch drathaar.Without question the wirehair and DD(different registration of basically the same dog) were the smartest and could be trained to do almost anything.They have tremendous hunting drive and need to work. The only negative I had was that their point is not very intense usually.THis is not a problem unless you hunt with pointing purists.They are also dead bird machines.That said, my best pure bird dogs were my German shorthairs, but I only used them as pointers. They were very good dead bird retrievers,but not as good as the wirehair and DD. All were house dogs without problems, but I suspect the wirehair and DD could have been a bit destructive without regular exercise. I hope this helps.

From: Livereater1
20-Dec-19
Three GSP male puppies: https://www.gundogbreeders.com/classifieds/65268.html

From: eBike John
21-Dec-19

eBike John's embedded Photo
This is Diego
eBike John's embedded Photo
This is Diego
I have an English Setter (tricolor) and he's an absolute joy of a dog to be around. happy, low maintenance and very loving. He has an awesome natural instinct for hunting birds, but I learned the hard way that English Setters can get so fixated they follow their noses and can get lost. they can cover a lot of ground fast and before they know it they are too far out they can't find their way back.

From: leftee
22-Dec-19
I've shot lots of birds since a kid back in the 'Soil Bank' days if you remember them.Have always thoughts Springers the best for pheasants.Labs overall. Yesterday I got to hunt cattails drifted with snow with an old GSP.Have to say it was awesome.Not sure if it was his age or just the way he hunted but he slowly,methodically moved any running birds into drifts or somehow just fast enuf to enable close shots.Tremendous nose,tremendous performance.

Edit to add:Anyone hunting in SoDak late season be careful in iced cattails.We have very high water and of course all water seeks 'sea level' so water movement has created poor ice conditions.We had numerous 'open water' spots and some minor 'break throughs' but one serious one.The old GSP broke through and his owner then broke through trying to extricate him,fortunately only waist deep but maybe 40 yds away would have been much deeper. All ended well but DAMN scary.

From: lewis
22-Dec-19

lewis's embedded Photo
lewis's embedded Photo
Lost Gunner over a year ago Labs has been my go to for 50 plus years good luck Lewis

From: ryanrc
09-Apr-20
.

From: ryanrc
09-Apr-20

ryanrc's embedded Photo
ryanrc's embedded Photo
Thanks for all the input. I ended up getting a female pudelpointer.

From: ryanrc
09-Apr-20

ryanrc's embedded Photo
ryanrc's embedded Photo

09-Apr-20
I trained one of them.... a softer dog, I took my time.... I got her thru NAVHDA real well, getting a Prize ! on her, and a Prize 2 on her....... nice dog,,,, problem was the guys wife...... YOU OWN WHAT YOU CONDONE..... Since since she ruled the roost, she ruined the dog.... Puddle Pointers are fine dogs,,,, good luck with yours

09-Apr-20
Take your time with that breed. I had to push a dog, because the guy wanted too much too fast, but she could handle the pressure. I would not recommend that. Get your obedience work done first. Make sure she is honest. You have a lot of time, to get her ready for the field.

I have run lots of AKC field test, and if your into that, that breed is not going to excel, if your into competition, against other pointing breeds. On the other hand, I have trained that breed, to be outstanding on woodcock and grouse, and better than average on waterfowl, and great on cripples in the duck world. So choose what you want.

I ran them on pheasants at my place in SD, and again, they may not be the hardest chargers, but they are an honest breed. They will stay very loyal to you, and work close, and I love that. They have not one ounce of meaness in them, unless its caused by humans.

They have a very soft mouth, so do not ruin that. Let the dog, develop at his or hers own pace. Do not put too much pressure on them, but again, do not let them get away, with they already have learned. That is where experience of training comes in.

They have excellent noses. Dogs understand commands, not conversations. They are also excellent trackers...... all in all, a nice breed. Honest and Loyal, and make a fine friend, and hunting companion,,, wish you all the best

From: JohnMC
09-Apr-20
My brother has one. Cool laid back dog. I think you made a good choice.

From: Paul@thefort
12-Apr-20
Michael, what excellent suggestions; nicely stated and I know appreciated. my best, Paul ( a lab guy :)

From: Beginner
12-Apr-20
I think the English Setter is hard to beat. Great pet and can run. Had a Brittany once and I walked faster than it did.

From: lawdy
12-Apr-20
I field trialed Brits as a teen and they were great dogs. My son and daughter have labs and they are great too. You have to choose between a pointer or a flusher. For rabbits, it’s beagles, my favorite, though our lab is sorely missed.

From: Elite 1
13-Apr-20

Elite 1's embedded Photo
Elite 1's embedded Photo
Just lost my Ally three weeks ago very very painful. She was a cross Between the Whim and Chesapeake Bay retriever. She pointed in upland and was a great waterfowl dog. She is so very truly missed.

From: Elite 1
13-Apr-20

Elite 1's embedded Photo
Elite 1's embedded Photo
Coming on Wednesday we are welcoming a new member to the family his name is Louis. He is a cross between a lab indeed whim. Just couldn’t find a cross between whim and Chesapeake now the fun begins. One thing about dogs they teach you love and loss. Wish they lived as long as we do.

From: Danielb
13-Apr-20
I'm in the Lab camp. I have five of them.

From: TwoDogs@work
13-Apr-20
Beginner: Your Brittany was a lot different than my current one. She is 35 lbs of go. I had an English Setter years ago and my current Brittany has a lot more drive than the Setter had. Both breeds are good dogs. I certainly liked the Setter and really like my current Brittany.

From: Zbone
13-Apr-20
ryanrc - Cool, a pudelpointer, congrats on your new pup….

Once had a Brittany/Springer cross... Buddy had a litter mate, mine looked more like a Brit and pointed, and his looked more like a springer and he was a flusher...

Elite 1 - Cute pup... What's a "whim"?

From: Elite 1
14-Apr-20
Z it’s a Weimaraner crossed with a chocolate lab.

From: Heat
14-Apr-20
My yellow lab pup has changed a lot since my last pic here, lol! He's almost 7 mo. old now. Still a pain but getting better everyday. That first month was challenging!

From: Heat
14-Apr-20

Heat's embedded Photo
Heat's embedded Photo

From: wildan
14-Apr-20
Love all dogs;hunting dogs that is, or dogs that have a job.We had Labradors for thirty plus years,ducks and upland hunting and they did well for sure and great house dogs. 17 years ago we started an uplands preserve and soon found out that for us guiding, pointers worked out much better.We run English Pointers and German Shorthairs now and more than happy with them.We have seen just about every type of bird dog out there on our preserve and still prefer the GSP's for our uses. All of our dogs are house dogs first.

From: Smackdown
14-Apr-20

From: Smackdown
14-Apr-20

Smackdown's embedded Photo
Smackdown's embedded Photo
GSP for me...picked him up on the corner of cabelas post falls no papers. Best smartest dog ever. Opens house doors car doors etc..hope to keep him alive.

From: Smackdown
14-Apr-20

From: LKH
15-Apr-20
Picking up a Boykin female on Friday. Our third. Had mother, then daughter for just days short of 16 years for each. 21 total.

  • Sitka Gear