View Full Version : OK, what dog breed meets all these criteria for both hunter and pet?

February 1, 2005, 01:09 PM
Thinking of in a few years getting a companion/pet that will also actually do something USEFUL, unlike my current dogs. What breed, if any, can do all this, assuming I research the North American continent for the appropriate bloodline:

1. Short haired (this is a must after having had a few spitz breeds)
2. Protective instinct, but with good discretion as to what is a danger and what is not. A breed that barks at strangers and has an instinct to protect the homestead, such as my akita does, but no incessant barkers, like terriers and such. Some breeds have this instinct to guard/protect; some don't; and in some breeds it just depends on the particular dog. But I want a breed that is known for having a protective instinct and good bite. (So far the Belgian Shepherd meets my criteria, but we're not done yet).
3. Medium to large, so that it has an intimidation value in protecting the homestead.
4. Now, for hunting criteria. First, one that is capable of easily learning to work and point upland birds. i.e. a point instinct.
5. One that is capable of easily learning to Retrieve BOTH upland birds and ducks; i.e. a retrieve instinct coupled with a lack of water aversion.

I know this is like asking what gun to hunt everything on earth; master of none; jack of all trades. And it goes without saying that I want a dog of (a) good temperament, (b) good health, etc., but this is more a product of good breeders and breeding lines than the breed itself, so that will be taken care of by my research.

I know that certain smart breeds such as lab retreivers are capable of both water retrieving and pointing, in certain breed lines, and they have the short hair I'm wanting, but retreivers are ordinarily not-so-much on the protective instinct thing. Sure they can be trained to do Shutzhund well, and ALL dogs have some measure of protective instinct but it's not nearly as strong in most hunting breeds as it is in the likes of the GSD, akita, rottweiler, dobermann, Bouvier de Flandre, etc. So is there a dog that can do it all? What breeds should I consider? For home/pet dogs, I like the short-haired breeds of Dobermann, Belgain shepherds, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. My Belgain Malinois has a strong retrieve drive, but will any of these also point? (assuming the appropriate bloodline). Will any of them point and retrieve? Anyway, it's probaly asking too much to ask one dog to do the job of at least 3. I'm sure I'll probably need at least 2 dogs to do the 3 jobs, but thought I'd ask whether anyone knows of a breed where I can have it all. From a hunting dog perspective, the sticking points are short hair and very strong protective instinct, 2 things that many fine hunters don't have.

February 1, 2005, 03:55 PM
IMO, you can't beat a good pure bred labrador retriever. FYI, we had a black lab named Remington from the time I was in the 8th grade until about 4 years ago. He was 13 or so when he died. He was big, square headed, and weighed about 110-120 pounds his whole life. He was very protective of the family. Scared off plenty of strangers who came to the door, especially salesmen. I disagree with your evaluation of their protectiveness but thats just my opinion based on growing up with him. When he died, part of me died with him.

bill k
February 1, 2005, 04:09 PM
I have a yellow lab and I love him he's a great hunter and buddy. The trouble with labs is the liability issue as far as being a home owner. My insurance agent warned me that lab owners have the highest liability rates as far as law suits go. He said when someone breaks into a home that has a lab as a guard dog they tend to trip over the sleeping Lab in the hallway. The resulting lawsuit by the prowler for injuries recieved in the fall causes your insurance rates to go up.

February 1, 2005, 04:21 PM
LAB,, its the only way to go

February 1, 2005, 05:18 PM
My insurance agent warned me that lab owners have the highest liability rates as far as law suits go. He said when someone breaks into a home that has a lab as a guard dog they tend to trip over the sleeping Lab in the hallway. The resulting lawsuit by the prowler for injuries recieved in the fall causes your insurance rates to go up.

LOL. I was having problems understanding the recommendations for a lab as a protective animal till I got here. I LOLed. That sounds like a Lab to me.

I love labs too. Ours wouldn't point though. Other than that he was great for waterfoul and upland hunting. Crisscrossed back and forth in front of us nearly perfectly the first time we had him out, he just knew. I figured we'd have to train a lab to do this but it wasn't an issue.

Personally, I think you need two dogs. The first dog I'd get would be either a lab or a golden retriever, depending on which type of hunting you do the most, and then get a second dog for the homeland security thing.


February 1, 2005, 05:31 PM
That's a good idea - get 2 dogs; maybe get one Mal and one Lab, and hopefully the Mal will teach the Lab to bark and protect, and when in the field, the Lab can teach the Mal to work hedgerows, retrieve, and maybe even point! That would be cool. As I say, Mals have a strong retrieve drive already, but they'd probably wander too far from you when hunting if left to their own devices.

bill k
February 1, 2005, 05:33 PM
I never said a Lab doesn't bark. If a flea farts in the neighborhood he barks. But if the flea broke in the house it would lick it to death.

February 1, 2005, 06:00 PM
Bert was half black lab, half german shepherd, and half chow.

Yeah, . . . he was a dog and a half. At 125 lbs, he intimidated everyone but those of us who knew him, . . . but was afraid of the possum that came and stole feed from him whenever he was in the area.

If I could do it all over again, . . . another hunter/friend/companion/guard dog just like him would be a good choice.

Another good choice is a Norweigan Elkhound. They have a bit of a wolf look to them, . . . but are one of the smartest of all breeds. The only thing they will not do is assume an "attack on command" identity. They will protect all that is theirs, . . . but on their schedule. They are absolutely excellent hunters.

May God bless,

February 1, 2005, 10:59 PM
Look into American Bulldogs they look almost exactly like a pit, I have a buddy with one and its a smart dog. It would make a good protector. Don't know how its hunting instincts are but I'm sure you can train them to though. This dog does have a natural retrieving instinct and will chase a ball all day long. Good nose on them also.

I don't think many people would try to break into a house if there's a lab inside thats trained to bark at noises. My brother has a yellow and when the pizza man knocks on the door he usually decides to wait half way down the sidewalk.

February 1, 2005, 11:32 PM
the mid sized mutt, my own is acutally more on the smallish side weighing only 20 pounds but that little dog will chase a bird if it's just winged. she points like she was a real pedigree dog and she's smart as all get out. plus she's cute, load at appropriate times, and more importantly she doesn't take up too much room in the bed or the cab of the truck. :p

February 1, 2005, 11:33 PM
I have a black lab. No a 'pointing' lab by pedigree, but she does point quite often. She would SHRED you if you broke in, or even if you were in the house and made someone that lives here scared it would be game over for you. She is VERY protective and very in 'tune' with the family, as have been most of the female labs I have been around.

IMO the protective part is handled by raising them as part of the family and not as a pet. Pack behavior in dogs is not something that comes and goes but something ingrained in their makeup, they just have to be part of your 'pack'.

February 2, 2005, 07:06 PM
labs are great dogs as pets we have one who is simply a pet and was never trained. nonetheless he loves the water and his people and meets most of the criteria you have set out except for the guard dog part. he wasnt trained, as i said but still has the instinct. he loves to chase any kind of birds and will go fetch things but not bring them back to you. he's even caught some younger ducks that cant fly really well and holds them gently enough that a couple have gotten away again on him.

Arizona Fusilier
February 2, 2005, 10:09 PM
AKA, the Hungarian Pointer. He fits the bill exactly.

Originating in the Middle Ages, they were bred and used by the nobility for hunting of all types. Today, they point and retrieve; back then, they hunted deer and boar for the gentry. I'll see if I can "trail" game with mine, after we get the pointing and retrieving down. They don't mind water, either, as long as its not TOO cold.

They have a very short coat, and are prized here in Arizona as a good hot-weather hunter. (They look like a reddish-brown, perhaps golden-brown, Weimareiner). They are not a very vocal (barking) breed.

They love "their" people, and while not having any reputation of fierceness, are very protective, and make good watch dogs. They are a medium-large breed, with males reaching to aroung 60 pounds, females 50 or so.

They have incredible energy, so they may not be for everyone who does not have the time for them. Mine gets along just fine with the Border Collie mix and the Persian cat (who still rules this roost, trust me).

Do a little Internet research, you'll find a few sources. You're not likely to find this breed at your local Petsmart, though.

February 2, 2005, 10:09 PM
I can fill all your requests but one. Springer. They do have long hair BUT only if you don't clip them. Mine hunts blue quail (scaled) and if you know any thing about blues you know that is saying something! Will hunt phesants till they give up! Will fetch ducks and geese and sand hill cranes (takes awhile for her to get it to you). VERY protective when I go to work. (wife says its like she is on "alert" for any sound) and goes bannanas when I get home. It will take some doing to get over her when the time comes but the next one will be a springer, no doubt! ;)

February 2, 2005, 10:27 PM
I have been around many dogs and owned a few. I realy like Catohulas!

February 2, 2005, 10:32 PM
I have been around many dogs and owned a few. I realy like Catohulas!

February 3, 2005, 04:02 PM
K, thanks all, especially Fusilier - I'll check more into good Lab lines, the Springer spaniel, and the other breeds mentioned. (WHY do you like the cathoula impact - what all of my criteria do you believe that it does/has?)

But, that Vizla sounds like a great breed to fill my wants. Excellent suggestion. What are you teaching it first, pointing or retrieving? Or both at the same time? Is it closely related to the Weimareiner?

February 3, 2005, 04:05 PM
My big orange cat is my choice. He's always killing and presenting animals of all types to me, and he's always waiting on the fence for me when I come home from work. Sometimes if it's dark, he scares the crap out of me, cause he'll leap from the fence six feet through the air and land on the hood of my still-moving truck as I'm pulling up the drive.

February 3, 2005, 04:26 PM
Also known as the Hungarian Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla or Magyar Vizsla, the Vizsla may trace thier ancestry back to the Magyars who invaded Hungary from the east. Descended from the Turkish Yellow Dog, the Transylvania Hound and Weimaraner. They were once used to hunt the vast plains of Hungary where game birds and hare lived. They were only known in Hungary until after World War II.


February 3, 2005, 05:04 PM
Also, look at this:

Versatile hunting dog is defined as "a generic term applied to a dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water."1 The Weimaraner is not the only versatile hunting breed developed on the European continent, and in Germany, all are tested by standards established by the German Versatile Hunting Dog Association. The following versatile breeds are recognized by the AKC: Brittany, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Vizsla, Weimaraner, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

Breed development followed a different pattern on the British Isles, where breeds were expected to excel in only one specific function: the Pointer as well as the Irish, English, and Gordon Setters pointed feathered game; the Golden, Labrador, Flat Coated, and Curly Coated Retrievers retrieved feathered game; a variety of hounds filled the needs for large and small furred-game hunting and blood tracking.

The AKC, established in 1884, developed field trial rules and performance standards for its recognized breeds -- that is, the British specialists. Bird dogs either pointed or retrieved, never both. When the versatile breeds arrived later, the AKC classified all as pointers instead of designing a new type of trial to evaluate their unique and very different talents.

Competing in pointing-breed trials placed the newcomers at a disadvantage, though there have been a few Weimaraners over the years that competed successfully in all-breed competition. Through selective breeding to enhance speed, range, and pointing style, the performance of some versatile breeds such as the Vizsla and German Shorthaired Pointer has been altered for greater competitive success in AKC pointing-breed trials. In general, however, this has been achieved at the expense of their retrieving, tracking, scenting aptitude, trainability, and interest in furred game.

For the hunter, the most important difference between the Weimaraner and the other versatile hunting breeds is that the Forester's Dog cannot be kept in a backyard kennel between hunting seasons. It requires human companionship because hunting is only one facet of its total partnership with humans. The Pointer hunts because birds are the most important thing in its life; the Weimaraner hunts because hunting is the most wonderful activity that can be shared with the people it loves.

Owners who lack the time and skill to train their Weimaraners, especially if they hope the dog has competitive potential, must send them to the few professional trainers who understand the Weimaraner's temperament. Field trainers who are accustomed to the hard-headed Pointer often lack the soft touch and the partnership bond required for success with a Weimaraner.

Fortunately, the very quality that frustrates so many professional trainers -- the need to treat a Weimaraner gentle and lovingly -- makes the breed uniquely suitable for an amateur. Some trainers admit that the breed's intelligence and instinctive aptitude are so strong that the best way to train a Weimaraner is merely to provide an opportunity for the dog to hunt and to observe other dogs. This is, in fact, the approach used by German trainers -- to provide guided experience that allows instinctive behavior patters to unfold. The dog's instinct provides the motivation, and its intelligence helps it discover the best way to do it. Moreover, when Weimaraners work with an older, well-trained dog, the breed's copycat trait accelerates and reinforces learning.

The Weimaraner is an excellent breed for sportsmen who want a gundog that does not range too far for hunting on foot, covers the terrain with painstaking thoroughness, retrieves birds on land and in water, is easily trained by a novice, and is a delightful companion when not hunting. It thrives on human companionship and must be part of the family; this bonding with humans is linked with its versatile working traits, and if isolated from household activities, the Weimaraner's hunting aptitude rarely develops properly. Those who desire these traits consider the Weimaraner the finest of all bird dogs.

So I think the Vizsla and Weimaraner lead the list, with GSPs and possibly Ridgebacks in the running.

February 3, 2005, 05:43 PM
Lots of good info..


Arizona Fusilier
February 3, 2005, 11:30 PM
It would appear that the Weimaraner and the Vizsla are physical, and tempermental, cousins of sorts. Indeed, I was considering a Weimaraner initially in my quest for a hunting dog, but wasn't sure if anyone was actually hunting them anywhere on theNorth American continent.

As far as teaching, because of the nature of bird hunting here in Arizona (quail, chukar, some pheasant), I'll be teahing him (amd me!) to point first.

I have a fantasy of making him into a "lion" dog someday, but I guess I would need a pack of Vizslas first. :D

When that day comes, I'll let everybody know. Look for further posts from me soliciting advice about huntings dogs. In the meantime, Hussar is a great, affectionate companion, AKA "The Prince of Poop" and "Puddin'head" when he gets into things he's not supposed to. :eek:

February 4, 2005, 11:28 AM
AF, great! Can you post or PM me some of the best Vizsla breeders in the US and Canada, if you know. I found a bazillion of them, but it's hard to find really good ones. I want a short list of breeders that at a minimum:

1. Do OFA and CERT certifications on all parents of litters (all dogs)
2. Have a 3 year+ health guarantee
3. Require ownership contracts
4. Specifically state their breeding priorities as follows: Hunting/working ability, health, temperament, and lastly conformation/body structure qualities, in that order.

IOW, a *serious* breeder that loves the breed and thier working ability more than money. And I'd be particularly interested in a breeder that thoroughly socializes for you and starts puppies on lead training, as well as offers hunt training services. Preferably in the southern or midwestern US.

Ditto Weimaraners.

PS. "Hussar" sounds like a handful! :)

Arizona Fusilier
February 6, 2005, 05:31 PM
FF, I'm afraid I only dealt with one breeder, and she was here in Arizona. I asked someone who had a Vizsla, and they recommended Marge Mehagian. Several hits on the web indicated she had bred numerous champion caliber dogs, so I went with her. Even so, she does not meet your stringent criteria, but I am not so sure how many would.

For everyone else who might be interested in a Vizla, particularly in the SouthWest, I will give a run-down of my experience.

Both parents were AKC registered and certifed. Indeed, they were "titled" champions of various sorts. There was a one-year health guarantee. There was a guarantee with respect to "conformity". There was a contract with the breeder; we cannot "nip" ol' Hussar's 'nads without consultation and permission (just in case she wants to breed him), and if we cannot keep him, he goes back to the Marge. The birthing was attended by a vetinarian, and she has a long-standing relationship with this vetinary office. Shots, deworming, etc. are peformed aggresively, and the puppies were well-taken cared of. We got Hussar at two months.

There was no statement of priorites per se, but I will tell you we told her our priority was a hunting animal first, and a companion second. She does tests on the puppies to see which ones are the "birdiest" (basically, who's interested in the bird wing). Hussar went pretty crazy over it. We basically got the pick of the litter in that respect, as we wanted a male and a hunter; the rest of the waiting list had other gender preferences and priorities. Apparently quite a few people pick this breed for companionship. However, our breeder is president of the local Vizla club, and it does have a great emphasis on hunting. It sponsors training, field trials, and assists owners with raising a good pointing dog.

Piles of puppy poop notwithstanding :p , we are having a good experience with our bundle of joy. :)

February 7, 2005, 05:42 PM
That sounds like a good breeder and a great dog, AF - I'm sure you'll enjoy him for a long time to come. She's certainly a lot better and more thoroughly than most breeders. That kind of hunting/working empasis is what I'm looking for. I have one dog with bad hips though (who was supposedly from a "top" breeder), so I'm careful about requiring OFA (hip/elbow) certifications now. Perhaps CERF cert. is not as important with Vizslas, if they have no history of eye problems, however. The ownership contract just shows a general level of seriousness and good "breeder-ship", even if it has no practical effect on you (however, having a non-neutered male CAN have a practical effect, in that it's gonna be chasin neighborhood bitches in heat, obviously!). Thanks again for your wisdom - I'm looking forward to getting a Versatile Hunting breed; probably Vizsla!

March 14, 2005, 11:15 AM
What about a Chessie? Retrieve all day long, hard headed, will chew your head off if you try anything.

March 14, 2005, 11:56 AM
Well, retreivers are awesome, be they chesapeake, flat-coated, labs, or goldens, and are some of my and others' favorite breeds, for good reason. And from the right breeders, all can be had with good hunting abilities. But as I said, I'm looking for something that has a bit of a harder edge on the protective side of things. And, one that is extremely versatile, being able to be taught to point, retrieve, track, etc. But I dunno - tell me about chessies....do you believe they're known to have a better protective instinct than their retriever cousins (lab, golden, flat-coated)? I'm thinking right now that the Vizsla, Weimerainer, or possibly a GSP is the way to go.

March 14, 2005, 04:55 PM
German Shorthaired Pointer

March 14, 2005, 06:34 PM
Lets not forget the "hunting bred" Oorang Airdale. I have one named Loki.
He runs about 80lbs. He will hunt Pheseant right along side my Chocolate lab
Chuck. He also likes to run down coyotes and dig up badgers!

March 14, 2005, 06:45 PM
Wiemees are great dogs, but be prepare for a life companion, there is a reason they are know as velcro dogs. They always want to be around their master.

too many choices!?
March 14, 2005, 10:09 PM
He loved the water and outdoors....and was a great retriever :)

PS it was even the salty stuff near Galveston, he didn't care :cool:

March 15, 2005, 08:48 AM
I would suspect that a chessie would be a good choice. They are truly tough, rugged, big dogs with a ferocious retreiving drive. They also have the tendency to be gaurdians, which is almost unique among retrievers. I have encountered two owners of chessies that the dog would not let any strangers near the truck. one of the two wouldnt let the owner near. they have a coarser nature than the lab. the reasons why you would want a chessie arethe exact reason i would not. no biting for me.

March 15, 2005, 09:14 AM
German Shorthaired Pointer

The best of the best. Study the litter and pick an Alpha male. Once he figures out that you're in charge, you will have one huntin' ,loyal, protecting fool on yer hands. They love their home and families and can dispatch anything from a coyote to a BG. They will point birds at 10 weeks and retrieve at 14 weeks.

can ya tell i have one!

good luck, most of the breeds mentioned are good choices.

March 15, 2005, 01:36 PM
Wiemees are great dogs, but be prepare for a life companion, there is a reason they are know as velcro dogs. They always want to be around their master.

I'm down with that - so much the better. :) Thanks again all - I will seriously consider a GSP - they are beautiful as well as talented. The large and small Muensterlanders are REALLY pretty - but alas, I'm sold on short-hair for a house pet / all-purpose dog.

Rich Lucibella
March 15, 2005, 02:15 PM
You guys make me nuts. Put my Aussie down after 15 years in 2003. Now you come up with this thread.....well, you convinced me (sorta).

Just put a deposit down on a Catahoula. (I hunt lots more pigs than birds). :D

March 15, 2005, 03:24 PM
Rich I wouldn't get that one...someone spilled ink all over him. :D

The Body Bagger
March 15, 2005, 03:29 PM
Another vote for Weimeraners. They are the all around hunting dog. Labs and Retreivers are great dogs as well but for a gun dog and protection nothing beats the Wiemeraners. That is exactly what they were bred for. They can be a little noisy and have energy in abundance but if you're an active person looking for a great companion as well a steadfast protector the Weimers are hard to overlook. What dog do I have? I have a Doberman Pinscher :D . Great sight hunting dog, fast, friendly, and protective.

March 15, 2005, 04:10 PM
I too like Dobermanns and Belgain Malinoises as favorites for guarding the homestead, but I can only have so many, so I'm looking for an all-purpose dog. :) Rich, you've GOT to replace your companion. A Catahoula sounds good.

Rich Lucibella
March 15, 2005, 04:49 PM
Rich I wouldn't get that one...someone spilled ink all over him.
Oh, that's cold Cowboy! ;) (Not mine though).

This breed reminds me of Aussies 20 years ago, before the AKC "recognized" and ruined 'em. The variations in coloring caused them not to even be recognized as a "breed". Hell, I didn't even know mine WAS an Aussie Shepherd until a trip out west. With the puppy mills that have sprung up, Aussies are being bred into genetically engineered, walking cripples. We did it to German Sheps; we did it to Dobies.

Catahoulas, though....they still seem to be pretty much overlooked and the best breeders are staunchly Anti-AKC. Variations in markings are extraordinary.

March 16, 2005, 10:04 AM
Good for them...the AKC is a veritable joke. The ONLY criteria for AKC registration is that the parents were AKC registered (and pay their fee, of course). There is *nothing whatsoever* examining/testing:

-working ability

in any way, shape, or form. Nor is there any examination of the sacred "conformation". Don't even get me started about the AKC and "conformation" to the physical breed standard as the primary breeding goal. :mad: Yap, the puppy mills have ruined MANY breeds over the years. Cocker spaniels used have a good retrieving ability. The list goes on and on...

March 16, 2005, 09:57 PM
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I used to breed, train and hunt standard poodles. I learned of the dog's versality while on station in France. I used them as water dogs, pointers, and hounds. My stud, Cyrano, was 95 lbs of coyote killing hound. He loved to sleep on the floor beside my daughter's play pen, with her pulling on his ears.

I remember being awakened one morning by my host in Verdun, and going into the kitchen to see his standard poodle on guard in the middle of the floor, There was an intruder cowering in the corner, under the watchful eye of the guard dog. We had hunted with that dog the day before.

Although the Poodle has been known throughout Western Europe for at least 400 years, its origin is controversial. Whether it was developed in France, Germany, Denmark, or the ancient Piedmont, is uncertain. Despite the claims of several other countries, France has now been officially recognized as its country of origin, and the breed occupies a special place on the affections of the French. It is certain that the Poodle is descended from a now nearly extinct French water dog, the Barbet and possibly the Hungarian Water Hound. The name "Poodle" probably derives from the German word "Pudel," which means one who plays in water. The Poodle was used as a gun dog. Originally the breed was used in Germany and France as a retriever of waterfowl. Hunters clipped the dog's thick coat to help him swim, leaving hair on the leg joints to protect them from extreme cold and sharp reeds. The French capitalized on the breeds high intelligence, trainability and innate showmanship and made the Poodle into a circus performer. His great popularity in that country led to the breeds common name "French Poodle." In France, however, the Poodle is called the "Caniche," or duck dog



March 17, 2005, 02:23 AM
You know, Ive wanted a catahoula for a while now. I dont currently live where I can have one though, so I think it will just be added to the list.

Long Path
March 17, 2005, 11:47 AM
Rich, it breaks my heart to hear that the Aussie breed has been ruined-- it was once one of (if not the) single most useful and intelligent breeds ever, IMHO. Brave, quick, excellent instincts, and wonderfully emotive. For about 9 months I owned an Australian Shepard/doberman mix that was possibly the smartest dog I ever knew, utterly untrained. (His former owner, who had given him to me, came back for him. I couldn't blame him, and let him have it back.)

Rich Lucibella
March 17, 2005, 12:09 PM
I'm certain there are still good working stock Aussies if you head out to cattle country. But, once they became "recognized" as a purebreed and AKC got their hands on 'em, they became an overnight sensation. Now everybody just has to have one.

Puppy Mills: The rate of deafness, blindness and hip dysplasia is just soaring. Catahoula's seem to suffer from the same deficits: there's a Merle gene, which when crossed produces many of these problems.

And, as to all breeds: we no longer "cull" the way we used to. Catahoula breeders in LA were notoriously cold-blooded about this right up until (and in some cases including) today. It's a philosophic argument that I'm glad I don't have to partake....do you kill weak puppies in the interests of preserving the breed?

March 17, 2005, 04:30 PM

Geesh! You sure want a lot for your dime. Dogs are individuals, just like people. So, on an individual basis, many different breeds may potentially have the "perfect dog." If you find one - please let me know. I'd like to be your Hollywood agent.
OK, all kidding aside: If you start trying this or that breed expecting the dog to do this or be that, you are probably going to have a lot of disappointments, as well as a lot of dogs that get taken to the shelter. As a lot of people already know, I'm more of a cat person; but I do have a dog that I am absolutely daffy about. Not because of what he can do, but just because he is who he is. He's a pitbull terrier I rescued from a fighting ring when I was the shelter Vet. I'm not suggesting you get a pitbull (although you could certainly do worse), but I am suggesting that you keep an open mind, and make a few trips to the shelter to look at adult dogs (WYSIWYG).
There's a good chance you'll find a companion there that makes you wonder what you ever did without them.
Good hunting

March 17, 2005, 05:19 PM

Interesting read, thank you. The catahoula sounds like a dog that I would love to have but I don't have the time or the land for him or her to run and play :(.


Actually, before people started to "sissyfy" the poodle, it was an extrodinary(sp) hunting dog. Then someone got the bright idea to shave off hair and sissyfy it :barf: . But, all in all a poodle really isn't a bad dog (and I was :mad: when Boortz kept on referring to Kerry as a poodle, the poor dogs don't deserve that type of disrespect! :D (to all the Kerry folks, the :D means I'm joking)).


March 17, 2005, 09:47 PM
Actually, the poodle clip is functional. The big mane on the chest protects from brush, ice and fighting critters. The puffs on the ankles protect where blood runs close to the surface. Smooth on the sides so they don't waterlog so badly on a long day.The puff on the tail is so you can see them point in wheat stubble (they point with tail straight up.) and, the topknot on the head is for the silk bow, so you can convince the SO that the dog is worth the money. :D


March 18, 2005, 01:31 AM
My Sister has a giant airdale, 95 t0 105 #. Very protective of the house and yard.
I have seen it on natural point on birds , but it has never had any training.
They were bred as retrievers.
Very friendly to small children.
Need to be clipped about twice a year, no big deal.A little high strung, but with proper training I don't think this would be a problem.
She just uses it a a guard and at this it does an excellent job!

March 18, 2005, 11:42 AM

Actually, the poodle clip is functional. The big mane on the chest protects from brush, ice and fighting critters. The puffs on the ankles protect where blood runs close to the surface. Smooth on the sides so they don't waterlog so badly on a long day.The puff on the tail is so you can see them point in wheat stubble (they point with tail straight up.)

Wow, you learn something every day :cool: .


March 18, 2005, 01:28 PM
I had forgotten about the standard poodle, the german hunting dog brought by gypies to France because of their trainability/use in shows. They hunt well, one of the smartest dogs, and protect well.

March 18, 2005, 01:52 PM
Oh yeah, the poodle is very smart and a good hunter, in its original genetic form. It was one of the very FIRST breeds to be popularized and thus ruined (for the most part) by backyard breeders - but it happened a lot longer ago than some other breeds, so not as many recall that poodles ARE workers! (from the right breeding lines).

Yes, I want a lot, but I'm willing to pay a lot of dimes for it. I've had good dogs and so-so dogs, and in truth, my "best" dog right now in terms of personality and predatory instinct is a mutt that I took in off the street (literally). I really despise backyard breeders who breed without regard to health, temperament, and working ability. I think it's ridiculous for breeders to not have OFA certs on hips and eyes in any breed where they're known to be a strong possibility. And I think it's doubly ridiculous to not breed PRINCIPALLY for the working ability for which the breed was originally bred (with the narrow exception of toy dogs, who by definition, have no working ability), and secondly, for health qualities and temperant, and lastly, almost as an afterthought, some semblance to the physical breed standard. And I think it's OUR duty as consumers to hold these breeders to a high standard, and pay a little more - this would weed out most or all of the backyard breeders. If you want something cheap, for a good pet, get a pound dog. If you want a dog that will work, be willing to pay for it, and ostracize breeders who breed solely for confomation qualities. Any breeder can give lip service about how great the health of their dogs are, but if they're not willing to shell out a few buck for the TEST that proves this, and add a small amount to the cost of the dog, then there's a REASON they're not willing to test them - they're probably perpetuating bad genes, for the sake of profit only.

March 18, 2005, 02:28 PM

That is why I stayed away from any "papered" dogs. Now, I must admit with my post on "Yippy Dogs", the Schipperke has really perked my interest. The lady, in her ad that I found (she's in Oregon) mentioned paying for the test of genetics and such on the parents and I guess will do so on the puppies.

I have looked at some other breeds (the mini dobie was mentioned) and the "curs" seem to be the best ones (that is what a boyhood friend's father said the dog was. It was "cheap" because one of the ears was deformed (me and my friend thought the dog looked cool) and from what I remember, it was the only one that survived from the litter as it grew because all the others had been breed too thin or something and had bad defects (but looked good for show :barf: ).

Oregon is pretty good about shutting down "backyard breeders" and all breeding dogs have to go to the vet to be checked for such defects (genes) and from what I understand, the breeders have to keep a log that must match up to their vets and can only breed so many times and brothers/sisters moms/sons, dads/daughters can't breed.

Good luck in your search.


March 18, 2005, 03:07 PM
I've got a choc lab, 9 years old, 115 Lbs and a great family and hunting dog. As far as home defense goes, he looks very intense and anytime someone new enters out house he will stand rock still until the front door closes. I think he's just waiting to make sure that they can't get away before he licks off 2 layers of skin and makes them pet him. He would probably help you unload the china hutch if you could agree on a daily belly rub. LOL.
All kidding aside, they are great dogs and the transition from the field to the house is transparent.
Mine doesn't know he's a dog and he has absolutely no idea he weighs as much as he does. They just want to make you happy.

My wife has issued the following law in our house.

1. If anything happens to the dog while we are hunting, I can't come home.

March 21, 2005, 06:35 PM
Thank you Wayne. I'll admit that I do have an interest in one yipper - the Papillon breed has me interested in strictly a small pet dog, for it's personality, ease of care, and interesting looks - can a heterosexual own a toy breed however - is that allowed? :)

N.H. Yankee
March 27, 2005, 07:52 AM
I have a pure bred ottertail Black Lab I got from a breeder in Iowa, I live in N.H. and when my Grandson asked how she got here, I replyed by Greyhound of course. She is one of the stocky muscular types weighs 100lbs and is pure muscle. This dog is like the energizer rabbit in the field and has been the best of both worlds as far as hunter and pet. Labs can tend to be goofy some times but very loyal, smart and lovable, this dogs nose is like a laser. I never had a lab before and am now will ever have any dog for the field but a lab. I am sure there are other dogs just as good but, but this lab is a real piece of work.

March 31, 2005, 08:07 AM
Talk about versatile? Here's my "birdog". She tracked it, tree'd it, then retrieved it. That dog was so proud she carried it all the way back to the house to show my wife. That's one happy German Shorthair!

April 2, 2005, 06:55 AM
I didn't read all the replies so I don't know if anyone mentioned it yet, but my choice would be and is, Drahthaar.
Great with people, easily trained, hard worker etc etc.

I had 2 until losing one to old age in Jan. Getting another pup this June. She will be ready and hunting at 6 months in Nov. That was the schedule on my last one. Born in May and was pointing and retreiving in Nov.

You'll love them. Check out www.altmoor.com. Scroll down to vom Altmoor Deutsch-Drahthaars in the left hand colum. You'll find history on breed etc.

April 2, 2005, 12:58 PM
How about a English Springer Spaniel? Not very short-haired, but we keep ours clipped, so its really not a problem. I dont no how easily you can train them to point either, but mine will work pheasants all day long, and retrieve them. Also, theyre great for home protection, but very friendly once they get to know somebody, including children. Just an idea


April 2, 2005, 09:01 PM
I'd say a Boxer is totally out. They will point but they can't get retrieving right. They won't let go and they will crush anything they pick up if you try to take it from them. :(

April 4, 2005, 10:53 AM
Masshunter....you bring up the point that with breeds like the Springer Spaniel, who, although having longer hair, the hair is THIN enough to clip easily yourself, without a lot of hassle, in sharp contract to breeds with heavy undercoats like my spitz breeds (akita, husky, etc.), who must be bathed & brushed out before a clipper will plow through. Maybe I should widen my choices. Still, less maintenance is better than more maintenance. Man that's one good girl Virgil, bringin ya back a squirrel like that. Good discussion. I know nothing of the Drathaar...will have to investigate them...

April 4, 2005, 11:26 AM
For me it's got to be the Brittany great pointer good all around hunting dog but most that I have had just don't like water.They will go in up to there belly and that is it. Had one Lab dumbest dog I have ever owned.Had him trained took him duck hunting and he would bring back the decoys :confused: Would see a pheasnt cross the yard would take him out put him on the scent would look at me like I was nuts and walk away.But he made a great house dog the only thing that made him move was food.And did a great job of keeping everything off the end tables with his tail :) And WOW could he snore would sleep in the bathtub at night ever hear a dog snore in the bathtub.But then he liked to sleep on the floor next to me and that was even worse. :eek: And as far as keeping the BG away they must have got sick of tripping over him and put him in the celler.And yes this is all TRUE

Rich Lucibella
April 17, 2005, 11:21 AM
Well, thanks to this thread, I took the plunge. One 7 week old Catahoula now resides at Casa Luci.

April 17, 2005, 06:03 PM
My traveling companion below is 1/2 Catahoula Cur Hound, 1/2 St. Bernard. (Don't ask how the mating happened) Those big webbed feet are really something, and if I was a wild pig being trailed by the big oaf, I'd definitely be concerned.

Housebreaking was quite easy, no crate training, and he'll retrieve things almost up to his body weight (@100 lbs, last time he saw the vet). He's also the first to hop into my truck and sit in the passenger seat, regardless of where or when I'm going... ;)


April 17, 2005, 08:04 PM
Well despite my love of Ridgebacks, and owning two of uncertain parentage, I cannot recommend them as water retrievers, or really retrievers of much of anything. Some I've seen will point, but they don't know they're doing it. However, if you want a great dog for all your choices except the last two, a RR will fill the bill. Just make sure they're an indoor dog. They really do suffer in a penned environment. They are highly social with their human pack. Great sight hunters if you want to run game to ground, but if they can't see it move, well, it ceases to exist to them.

Rich Lucibella
April 18, 2005, 09:48 AM
Very handsome dog. And a realy interesting mix. I'll bet he's gentle as they come.

This one seems to be owning up to the Catahoula name. At 7 weeks old, we've had exactly one "accident" in the house. He'd never been intorduced to crates, but seems most at home in one, so long as my shirt is in there.

He's also learning commands like "sit" and "touch in" far quicker than I'd expect of a pup his age. Even tempered and quick bonding. I started rudimentary tracking exercises yesterday, getting him to scent for bits of his noon meal in the grass. He caught on to the game right quick.

I'll keep him for about 8 weeks; then back to the breeder where they have a couple of champions, plus hogs and coon to teach him the ropes.

December 14, 2005, 12:45 PM
Ok I see these are 8 months old now. How is the progress going for these pup's and working dog's. Also any owners of standard poodles as hunting buddies report in. Photos are a +. I almost bought one but the wifey said the silly (or maybe not so silly as per this forum) circus harcut image would just make her laugh at him/her all day. I told her that a dog can be groomed in other ways but it was a no sell. Now have two monsterously cute but utterly useless toys doggies. There's compermise for ya';)

High Planes Drifter
December 14, 2005, 01:12 PM
I really love Catahoulas. They really are an all-around breed. I'd check into one if I were looking for a dog. Obviously they can hunt, but they are also good protectors. There are police agencies here in La. that use them. There are also Catahoulas that compete in Schutzund(spelling?) trials.

December 14, 2005, 02:36 PM
I saw on TV the other day a breed i think they called a ''snoop dog'', it had a funny walk but could stand upright somewhat and could almost speak.Pretty ugly breed in my opinion though.:D

Arizona Fusilier
December 26, 2005, 09:37 PM
Sorry gang, I haven't been around lately. But I do have occasion to add back to this thread, especially now that people are asking for an update.

As of this month, Hussar has earned four passes on his hunt tests, and has earned his AKC Junior Hunter Certificate! I don't know if everbody is up on what all that's about (and I wil readily defer to any old-time AKC folks out there), but basically at the Junior level, you answer the question "Can that dog hunt?". Well in Hussar's case, the answer is yes

I did participate in a fair amount of training this past year (heck, I needed it more than Hussar ;) ), but even so, Hussar had four passes in four tests; I think he's quite the natural. The breeder also think Hussar is a show dog, since he is rather a striking specimen of the breed, so we might get into that. He needs more obedience training before he can step into the ring, so we'll be concentrating on that this next year. Still, I'll be taking him to my club's hunt test training so he can go for his Senior certificate, he has been pretty much training at that level all the time.

In short, I am very pleased with Hussar.He is quite the companion, and he only barks when there's really something on the other side of the fence, so he's a good watchdog, too. Now that I have had one for a year, aI can now recommend without hesitation the Vizsla breed to my fellow TFL'rs, especially those here in the desert southwest that need a shorthaired breed that won't heat up so fast, or for that matter, shed on the couch.