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Old February 2, 2005, 09:21 PM   #1
fignozzle
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Which hunting dog?

My son and I are getting interested in small game hunting, up to and including Turkey for now (maybe deer and larger game down the road). Primary targets will be rabbit and squirrel, dove, quail, grouse, pheasant, chukar, duck.

What's the best dog to be a GREAT companion that will ALSO be an asset to hunting the aforementioned game?

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Old February 4, 2005, 06:05 PM   #2
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Well, I'm no expert, but just learning myself. However, there are some 7-10 breeds that are considered "all purpose" hunting breeds, I've just discovered. Read my posts and links carefully in this thread:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=161116
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Old February 4, 2005, 11:14 PM   #3
fignozzle
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Thanks First Freedom!

...did you ever get a viszla?

While surfing today I came across a site where some folks are actually trying to reintroduce Airedales as hunting dogs, and having some success. Those have always interested me, but I'm very unsure as to whether I could handle such a hard-headed dog.

I'm still kind of leaning toward Brittany Spaniels, but no firm decision. I guess they're small enough that I keep envisioning some big dobie or rott eating one for dinner--which would be unlikely to happen with an Airedale or Lab. Labs are still pretty high on the list, too.

Anyway...thanks and keep the suggestions coming!
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Old February 5, 2005, 12:08 PM   #4
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Labs

we have a lab who has never been trained but he is a great dog if you dont mind that hes wussy. he has the hunting dog instinct and loves nothing more than to chase birds or run after a shoe. hes super friendly and loves almost anyone who will take the time to pet him. he's caught ducks before when they were old enough to fly but not very long distances. he has held them gently enough that a couple have gotten away with only some bruises and a lot of mental anguish. labs are good dogs for waterfowl hunting because they love the water
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Old February 6, 2005, 11:29 AM   #5
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Oh no, it will be a few years before I get the Vizsla; I just want to begin the search for the best breeders now. I have 4 dogs, and my "limit" is 3, so I'll have to wait until a couple of my current ones are no longer in this world before I can handle another family member, and make sure I have the time to HUNT TRAIN and EXERCISE a great dog like a Vizsla. But I'm thinking that is the best breed for me, with Weimaraners a close second. Being slightly smaller and longer-lived than the Weimaraner is what makes the Vizsla a little more appealing as a breed, to me. Brittanys are great dogs, too, though!

Airedale terriers were originally bred SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of hunting river otters in England. So I'm not sure how adaptable otter hunting skills are to other types - i.e. would they point, etc.
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Old February 6, 2005, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Airedales...according to the source I read here, they are a generalist hunter, not a specialist like pointers, setters and retrievers.

I like 'em if they get to go home with somebody else at the end of the day.
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Old February 6, 2005, 05:39 PM   #7
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My real short $.02

You'll never go wrong with a Lab. Why do you think they are the most popular breed? Kinda like a .30-'06; does everything pretty well, most things darn well.
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Old February 7, 2005, 06:37 AM   #8
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Some different ideas

Depending on how serious you are about the squirrels and rabbits, you might wanna look into Mountain Curs and feists. Also, German Short/Wire hair pointers are known for being great all-rounder hunters....plus protective of the house to boot.

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Old March 7, 2005, 09:16 PM   #9
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I would also recommend looking into a Mountain Cur. We have one that is great on squirrels and coon - but is just as much at home around the yard when not hunting.
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Old March 7, 2005, 11:18 PM   #10
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I've gotta recommend the Brittany Spaniels.

First, they love to be outdoors and hunt. Untrained they'll wander about until their nose picks up something then home in on it. A well trained one is a delight to watch.

Most of the ones I've seen have had good tempermants and were really good in family homes. They're big enough not to trip over and small enough not to knock you down. These are dogs that love to be active but can also handle some quiet time as long as they've been allowed outdoors for an hour or so.
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Old March 7, 2005, 11:46 PM   #11
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elghund

my buddie's just had puppies and i will be getting one in about 4 weeks:

http://www.puppydogweb.com/caninebreeds/norwelkhnd.htm
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Old March 9, 2005, 03:59 PM   #12
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English Springer Spaniel

I have Heidi, she is a springer spaniel, 5 years old. She came to us from the top canadian hunting springer kennel. She is a natural hunter, we use her only for upland game but she can be trained to hunt almost anything. She does tend to range a bit far for me, I'm an old farth and can't walk as fast as the breeder.
There is a distinct difference between the hunting breed and the show style. If you want to hunt stay away from the show stock.
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Old March 9, 2005, 08:39 PM   #13
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German Shorthair Pointer. It will hunt any bird, it will chase rabbits, it will bark at tree rats, it will blood trail and retreive. They are bread to be indoor pets and are very well mannered with kids. They are protective of their family also.
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Old March 11, 2005, 08:54 PM   #14
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German short hair pointer

Whiskey I agree however the German short hair pointer is a very hyper dog and needs much excersise. Much to much for an old farth like me. Don't get me wrong I love them but they are just to much dog for me.
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Old March 11, 2005, 09:26 PM   #15
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I've raised and trained a few Golden Retreivers and found them very adept at being cross trained. They would retreive rabbits that were jump shot, they would sit beside me in a squirrel woods and then retreive them when I shot them, they would stay with in gun range when hunting pheasants and grouse, they would sit quietly in the duck blind, and they were a great family dog. They have an even temper that makes them great with kids.
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Old March 11, 2005, 11:24 PM   #16
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German Short hair does have a lot of energy, but I think between the GSP and the Pudel Pointer, they are the most versatile dogs there are. I spent a fair amount of time researching both, and I bought a GSP last fall, and am definitely going to have a Pudel Pointer as well.

I think the benefit of the PP over the GSP is that you don't have to worry about him as much in the colder climates.

For the Pudel Pointer, one of the better breeders I've found is Cedarwood Gun Dogs: http://www.cedarwoodgundogs.com This guy knows his stuff and produces some "very" fine animals.

My GSP
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Old March 11, 2005, 11:30 PM   #17
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i vote for the lab

i have a akc registered yellow lab who hunts field and water with me. great instinct. he some how knew what to do on a hunt without any training, and after training his talent is wasted hunting with me. (he's also a better shot than me, but if i let him carry the gun i'll have nothing to do.) i (he) gotten rabitts without firing a shot. also very protective and makes a good burglar alarm.
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Old March 13, 2005, 12:53 PM   #18
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Elkhound

I had one which did good work. A good nose and would go after anything. Used to chase and hold elk in place for the hunter in Scandanavia. Great with kids. Generally will protect but not attack. Consequently were used as guard but not attack dogs in WWII. Biggest drawback if they are going to be family dogs is HAIR. Man do they have a lot of hair. In the winter though they love to be outside and they swim well. (We lived at a lake). Great all around dog but we don't do much sight hound hunting here.
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Old March 13, 2005, 01:15 PM   #19
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Consider any of the small Terriers......Fox or Jack Russell. I even hunted with a group that used them for hogs.
Years ago, when turkey hunting was legal with dogs, I had a Fox Terrier that was the best.
They are also good for small game! Very good indoor family dog!.......James
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Old December 14, 2005, 01:31 AM   #20
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For upland birds

Brittany Spaniels, Pointers and some retrievers
(They musn't range very far ahead and should hold over the birds until you are ready to flush and shoot.)


For rabbits and squirrels

Hounds, Smaller Terriers,
(Rabbits are easier to hunt without dog, and the dog would have to be very well trained... Not to run the rabbit off.


For deer

Beagles, Large Terriers,
(Not fast dogs that run the deer down. But fast enough to keep the deer moving. Sit down and wait and the deer will come back around by you with the dogs not far behind.)


For Pigs, Lions, Bears

Pit-bulls, Wire hairs, and dogs you don't care much about.
Must wear heavy vests for light armor against the tusks etc.


Warning: Shepherds make lousy hunters.


Some dogs are kinda "all arounders" like retrievers for water birds and upland birds...

But, don't mix the game (i.e., Birds with mammals) it'll permanently screw up the dog for you... as in unsalvageable.
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Old December 15, 2005, 08:38 PM   #21
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I've had a pointer and english setter. I currently hunt (quail & pheasant) with my weimareiner. The pointer had a good nose and was big enough to crash through the brush. The setter had an excellent nose, but she was the runt of the litter and had a tough time in heavy cover. My current dog is a 4 year old weimareiner. Her nose has not come up to par with the other dogs, but to some extent I blame myself. Any hunting dog must be given the opportunity to hone her instincts. Get your dog out there even if it is not hunting but just for a walk in the country.

I got my weimareiner for three reasons, in order of importance: she is a short hair and very easy to clean up, no burrs etc.., my uncle had a weimareiner. On one trip we had lost contact with her for about 45 min. We crested a hill we saw her near a hedgerow. she appeared to be taking a dump, but as we got closer we determined that she had been on point for so long that she could no longer hold up her hind end. Queeny was a great dog. Thirdly, she is a large breed and does well in heavy brush.

I believe that any dog makes a great companion if you treat her like a member of the family and show her the love. Good luck.
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Old December 15, 2005, 09:24 PM   #22
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GSP without a doubt. Brilliant dogs.

I'd get one with black pads if possible. Find a reputable breeder, no matter with breed you go with. It's worth every penny a good breeder with a documented history of performing dogs.
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Old December 16, 2005, 07:48 AM   #23
m-g willy
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I can't believe EVERYONE didn't recomend the beagle.
When it comes to rabbit hunting.
NOTHING --I mean NOTHING --compares to a beagle!!!
The only thing better than a beagle for rabbits is -------
-
-
-
-
-
-TWO BEAGLES!!

Willy
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Old December 17, 2005, 10:34 AM   #24
fisherman66
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Quote:
(maybe deer and larger game down the road). Primary targets will be rabbit and squirrel, dove, quail, grouse, pheasant, chukar, duck.
Quote:
I can't believe EVERYONE didn't recomend the beagle.
When it comes to rabbit hunting.
NOTHING --I mean NOTHING --compares to a beagle!!!
It's not just rabbits. Some of the work is scent work. Some is pure retrieve. Some is active.."BANG" immediate retrieve, some is passive..."BANG"...let it lay down and die for a few hours then retrieve. Beagles (at least mine) are thick headed. Too thick headed to learn all the different methods.

IMHO [and it really is humble, because my experience is limited to bird dogs primarily; but sometimes do other hunts (tracking)], the GSP is the best multi-purpose dog. They were carefully choosen though. You don't buy a hunting dog from the Walmart parking lot. The GSP's I am thinking about have a field trial champ in their blood line (direct, Dixie Land: grandfather/granddaughter=offspring.)
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Old December 17, 2005, 01:45 PM   #25
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Most the GSP ive come across just lose the plot and run about clearing game from a 5 sq mile area, ( I know there are some good ones but not many). Labrador every time, great companion, good nose, retreive when you want them to and just an all round great dog. I have trained over twenty of these and a similar number of Springer Spaniels and although I have a very soft spot for the spaniels, the Lab comes in front. Buy from a reputable breeder of hunting dogs, ask to see the parents and see them work.
Then resist trying to teach it anything more than sit and come here until it is six months old ( they are only ever like a 2 year old child when mature) then gently build on those basics, like sit and stay and then sit stay come here when called etc etc. If you havent done it before buy one of the books by a top trainer and follow that. The biggest thing is not to treat it like a human and talk its ears off! more than one word is too many for any command and more than two words it will not understand, it will just pick the most familiar word out and do that. Whistle commands are best as they travel a long way and do not disturb all the game around you. I and most others use one sharp peep for stop and a double peep for come here. I could write a load moe but here isn't the place, just buy a good book.
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