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Old April 21, 2001, 12:05 AM   #1
Fuzzy
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Join Date: March 22, 2001
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
Posts: 126
I'm trying to pick out what breed of bird dog I should get. I should be buying a house in the next year and I am already trying to pick out what breed of bird dog I want.

My wife doesn't want anything too big, so I started thinking about a brittany. I don't have any experience with the breed, but everything I've heard has been very positive. For some reason, they don't seem very popular, so I'm not so sure.

They are the smallest pointer that I know of, only 30-40 pounds according to the AKC. My wife likes that.

Most of my experience has been with a german shorthair that an old roommate of mine had. That dog couldn't hunt. He trained it to point sparrows in the backyard and when we went hunting all it did was chase sparrows. Probably not the dog's fault.

Any suggestions on breeds? I live in the Arizona desert, so I will mainly be hunting quail, doves, and maybe some retrieving waterfowl, so it would be nice if it would just retrieve too.

I don't mind the dog being energetic, whatever dog I get will become my jogging partner.

-Fuzzy
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Old April 21, 2001, 09:05 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,584
First off, I'd ask around at any gun stores about folks who are known to be bird hunters.

It takes a lot of training to make a human a worthwhile companion to a good bird dog. A good bird dog is a lot smarter about his job than most humans are about theirs. Fortunately, there are many books written on the subject of that combination known as "Dogs, birds, people and guns".

Now, the bob white is a gentleman, as many people have noticed. He will sit patiently when the dog points, waiting for the fool human to figure out what is going on. He will flush, get shot at, be missed, land on the ground and then sit patiently while repeating this process. Repeated missing disgusts the dog, of course.

Then we move west, into the Blue Quail country. The Blue is a whole different breed of critter. Bring a south Georgia bird dog into Blue country, and you'll soon have a psychological basket cas, direly in need of psychiatric assistance.

Blues don't sit. They run, giving lessons to greyhounds and deer and jackrabbits about groundspeed. Forget them ever holding a point--that doesn't happen. The poor dog takes a stand and points, the hunter advances; and Lo! Nobody home! When Mr. Blue leaves in a serious hurry, he heads uphill. Find a 45-degree slope. Study it. Consider that Mr. Blue can run up that sucker as fast as you can fall down it.

If you are indeed pure of heart and the Lord looks with favor on your efforts to hit Mr. Blue with your shotty-gun, the next problem is that when he hits the ground there is instant metamorphosis: Mr. Blue becomes a rock. One among two or three million other rocks. These rocks also shape-shift just enough that they all look alike. It will take forty forevers to find him. This is why you don't shoot doubles unless you have a dog: Your eye may mark the fall of #2, but your memory just isn't good enough to remember where #1 fell. See "rocks", above.

So. Any retriever-type dog who loves to play "fetch". Your mission is to persuade your Canine Cowboy that quail are just as much fun to bring back as are sticks, rocks, or the neighbor's newspaper.

A retrieving dog does not have to be as high energy as a hunting, seeking dog. Quail hunting is much like worm-fishing: It soothes the soul if you are not in a big hurry. You enjoy a walk in the desert; finding quail is the frosting on the cake. A dog who is happy to hang around you during the walk, and who learns that when the gun goes "Bang!" and the bird goes "Plop", that his primary mission is to once again demonstrate his superiority over poor, blind humans who have no sense of smell--that's the dog to have. Even if he just wanders over and stares at the poor bird--that's enough.

Hope all this BS helps.

, Art
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Old April 21, 2001, 10:08 PM   #3
dZ
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: Exiled, Fetid Swamp, DC
Posts: 7,548
Brits are great
we had em when i was a kid
wonderful with children
love to get out hunting
not to big

they do shed out alot of hair

Springer Spaniels are good too
a tad bigger

ours were east coast PA hunters
i don't know how they handle heat

dZ
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