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Old February 24, 2013, 09:31 AM   #25
Hansam
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Join Date: February 21, 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 763
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Does anyone have any experience hunting a dog that you also treat like a pet? I didnt know if spoiling a dog as a pet might negativley affect hunting discipline and overall ability.

First I'm a hunt dog trainer and while I specialize in flushing retrievers my experience can pertain to pointers too - at least in this particular aspect.

My hunting dogs are also family pets. They don't live their lives in an outside kennel away from the family. That being said though everyone in my family (including the kids) understand that there are certain rules that must be obeyed with the dogs because they ARE hunting dogs and not just pets. While I personally believe that these certain rules should pertain to ALL dogs and not just hunting dogs I also know that some of these rules would be difficult for many people to follow. So long as such rules are obeyed in regards to the dogs though their hunting ability and discipline will not be affected negatively.

I won't go into these rules (as I stated some of these rules will be difficult for many people to follow because they contradict what many people believe regarding dogs) but if you're interested send me a PM and I'll pm you with a list and explanations.

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Good noses, a little high strung and had to watch him in the heat. He did eat the my friend's couch...
That's ANY well bred field dog. High energy, highly intelligent and very prone to mischief (primarily chewing things up) when bored. Keep the dog well exercised and he/she'll be fine in the house. With sporting dogs its best to keep them kenneled up when nobody is home with them to avoid such mischief.

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How good they are at either is generally up to the owner.
That's not entirely true. Genetics play a lot in dogs' abilities as well as proper training. There are some dogs that just CAN'T learn as much as other dogs in the same breed can. Nothing to do with the owner or trainer - just the dog. Its the same in people. That said it IS the owner that makes a huge impact on the dog's adherence to its training and discipline AFTER the dog has gone home from the trainer.

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You have a pet for 365 days a year and a pointer for maybe 20?
I chose a labrador from an upland breeder.
She is not a ranging pointer, but knows how to find birds and is disciplined, intelligent.
A lab (field bred that is and not English show bred) is no better a pet than a properly bred GSP nor are they any better of hunter than a GSP. They just happen to hunt in a different fashion. I love labs and prefer to work mostly with labs but I can also say objectively that a GSP or GWP will be just as good a dog, both as a hunter and a pet. Its all about their genetics, the training they get and of course whether or not the owner's expectations are being upheld by the owner.

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Properly trained and dealt with, there is no finer breed of dog out there. Though I caution a bargain dog from a backyard breeder.
That can be said about labs, springers, etc...

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My BIL (years ago) got a German Shorthair and it was very "headstrong". He didn't know how to train it I suppose. You'd let it go in the field and he'd be 100 yards ahead of you getting birds up all over the place.

When they left the house for short trips (couple hours) they'd leave him in the "breezeway" and he ate most of the wood there destroying it.
Proper training and adherence to the same standards set by the trainer (or lack thereof) is the issue in this case.

I've found that most people's complaints about their dogs' misbehavior is directly resultant from their lack of discipline and training in the way they handle their dogs.

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If you want to spend some time and know how to train them German Shorthairs are great. If you've never trained a dog go for a Lab. Even I could train a lab.
If you've never trained a dog (or even if you have) hire a good hunt trainer that specializes in the kind of hunting dog you've got. You'd be amazed at what a professional hunt trainer can teach your dog vs. what you can. There's a lot more to hunt training than just finding birds, fetching etc.

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German shorthairs are great hunting dogs but dumber than rocks.
That's odd - that's the first time I've ever heard someone say that about GSP. Where's your supporting evidence?

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Most hunting dogs are very bright, and need a job. Many people confuse high energy with stupidity. And its simply not the case unless you are referring to the owner being stupid.
Truer words haven't been spoken yet.

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Yes, don't let it roam. You will be sorry forever if you do as no good will come from it.
Don't let ANY dog roam freely. That's not good at all.
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