So need some bird dog info

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youngbuck307

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So I have been wanting a dog for a while now just haver got one. Part of the reason is all my dogs as a kid were taken from me because of family problems. And a boy lossing his best friend just crushed me... Now I'm grown up though and no one can take my dog from me if I were to get one.

Now I need to pick a breed. And this is my problem... I like labs a lot and if I hunt waterfowl think that this would be a good dog to retrieve for me. But I really want to get into upland bird hunting...... But don't know to much about upland bird dogs at all. How hard is it to teach a upland bird dog? Is it harder than one for waterfowl? Is there a breed that does both well? Also I would kinda like to save a dog if I could. I know best thing would be to teach them from a puppy but does it have to be done from a young age on? Really any input would help. I'm not in a rush to get a dog just a idea I'm working on. I just want to make sure to get the right dog for me
 
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Markcanby

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GSP is really the only dog capable hunting hard in Eastern Oregon. They have unbelievable tough feet like 90 grit sand paper. As for training it all depends on the dog. But you dont teach a bird dog to hunt it is breed in. You just teach him to sit an stay you can also teach them right an left but thats easy. They will do water just fine but will get cold faster than a lab. Around the house they are 100% cleaner than a lab an a lot calmer I feel. You can also look up GSP Rescue to get one. It is better to start early with a puppy but last time I looked there were a lot of started dogs people just can't keep up with. FYI GSP's do not do well being left alone to much. A normal work day should be fine but they need human contact an a lot of it.

GSP of Oregon Rescue
C/O P.O. Box 998
Sherwood, Oregon 97140
(503) 625-7150
E-Mail:[email protected]
 
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Finneus Polebender

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My black lab female is a natural I have never taught, trained , or hunted her and the first time I took her out for a run in the field she all on her own started bird doggin the fence lines it was crazy. Thinkin they might be a bit predispositioned to bird hunt just a little.
 
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Markcanby

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Hell come over an meet Ava some time you fall in love.
 
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youngbuck307

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So gsp probably wouldn't like being with me during winter steel season if they get cold fast right? What age do u think would be to old to get them? I like the idea of saving a dog but want to make sure I get one that can hunt.
 
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Markcanby

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No its not the cold it swimming after ducks is cold water. When we go eastern its under 30F an she is hot. GSP's are like you no body fat to keep them warm in the water like a lab. As for age it depends. If a pup has been worked with right I would say up to 9 months. If it has worked I wouldnt get one over 3 months. Also be careful where you get a pup any pup cause Hip Dysplasia is a horrible thing.
 
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youngbuck307

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Yea it's not something I'm just going to jump into want to do some looking around and learn as much as I can befor I just jump in. Can I ask where u got ur dog from mark? Then from other Forums I was reading say around 3 is when a hunting dog will start to shine. Is this because there getting over that puppy stage? And how young do u start taking them out with u to hunt?
 
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Swamp Puppy

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Young Buck - Aaaaaaaahhhhhh. the joys of selecting the "perfect" hunting dog. lol. Here is the best advice i can give on the topic. sorry in advance for the lenghty post, but there are tons of books on the subject so there is no real quick answer.

Bird dogs are like boats in that they all have a purpose, but there just isn't one out there that will be the best at everything. You have to ask yourself this. What will you honestly be doing the most of with the dog and how often will you be doing it? BE HONEST with yourself on this. Remember, hunting season is only a few months out of the year and the rest of the time you have to live with the dog as a pet. unless you are going to be seriously getting after birds for the majority of a season, i would stay away from the high energy specialized breeds. imagine spending every day with a hyperactive kid that is bored out of his or her mind 300 days out of the year. such is life with a hunting dog that isn't hunting.

Labs - probably the best Jack of all trades dog on the planet. And when i talk about labs i am referring to the big ol' block headed stocky/beefy labs that are referred to as "english labs". Those long legged gray hound looking dogs that some people call labs are just labs that people have bred for hunting trials etc. hence the name, trial labs or american labs. good hunting dogs, but pretty much nervous wrecks when it comes to disposition. With regards to REAL labs, you won't find a better dog on the planet when it comes to companionship and being a great dog around kids, family, and friends. They are superior waterfowling dogs and retrievers and with a bit of patience, training, and willingness to compensate a bit on your part, a serviceable upland dog. They won't be anywhere as good as the pointing breeds when it comes to upland birds, but this is the trade off for getting the benefits of everything else. (remember, you can't have it all) I could go on and on with accolades about labradors, but i will leave it at this for now. ;)

GSP's and other pointing breeds - if you want a dog that will just KILL at hunting upland birds, the GSP is IT. I don't think you will find too many arguments to that. Where the GSP falls short is pretty much everywhere else. They just don't have the coats or the body weight to last in a duck blind and are waaaay too nervous to sit patiently waiting to go retrieve something. As a family dog, they are friendly enough, but need to be active constantly. If you aren't into working with your dog hours on end every day to keep him/her occupied, you will find that you will have a very unhappy, bored, and destructive pet on your hands.

Probably the one exception to pointers when it comes to all around use is the German Wirehair. Ugly as sin and generally has a nasty disposition to go along with it's hideous looks, the dog is probably the closest thing alive to the best all around HUNTING dog on the planet. If you are a bachelor with no intentions of wanting any social interaction with other people or dogs on your outings and just need a dog that flat out hunts everything alive. look no further than a wirehair. lol.

Another dog that gets overlooked a lot out here on the west coast is the Chesapeak Bay Retriever. Basically, the dog is like a labrador with regards to the hunting aspects of things, just minus the good natured temperment. However, it is hard to knock the Chessie's abilities in the duck blind or goose pit.

Also remember, a good hunting dog won't be a good hunting dog all it's life. at age 7 most waterfowling dogs start falling off being able to hunt hard for 3 or more limits of ducks. i mean seriously, 21+ retrieves in freezing water is a lot to ask from an animal to start with. figure that after age 10 you will pretty much be the owner of a dog that will go on hunts with you, but won't be the hard charging go getter you wanted. at this point, you have a pet.

So, think hard about what you want to do with the dog and be honest with yourself about what you will actually do versus what you want to do. Take that info and go from there.

Good luck! A man can do a lot worse than spend his life with a good (hunting) dog!

-Ed
 
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youngbuck307

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Thanks swamp.. Some good info there... And at this point I am leaning more to the gsp but lab is for sure still there in the running that's for sure. My girl has a half lab half pit that really takes after a lab... She's a good dog great with my daughter and just as a pet. Also my dad had a chocolet lab that he use to talk about all the time... But something about watching a pointer work is beautiful to me.... I also kinda like how there high energy and no body fat kinda like me always on te go always wanting to do somethig. Down side inse to gsp would be if I have to move I need to find another house with a chunk of land because of how much more high energy they are would be hard on a them in a normal yard I think
 
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Swamp Puppy

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Well, don't apologize for wanting a GSP. They are great dogs and if you think that upland is where you are going to be spending the majority of your time then i can't think of a better dog for it. I've hunted pheasants, chukkars, quail, and huns out around the Heppner area and usually do it with my lab. I have been moderately successful at it as long as i can keep up with him and be in range when he flushes the birds. I have had a few opportunities though to hunt over a friend of mine's GSP and i 100% agree with you that there isn't anything cooler in the world than watching a good pointing dog work. I also got to see a GSP pup, and i mean PUP, (the little fella could have fit in my boot) "work" around our camp on a pheasant trip. we had cleaned some birds and the little guy winded a feather, tracked it down, and hit point like a pro. it was hilarious and amazing all at the same time. amazing instinct in those dogs.

I wouldn't stress too much over the dog's activity level as long as you are aware that he/she will need to burn off some energy daily. tossing a ball around the yard for a bit is a good way to keep you both occupied. they will also play on their own if you have a couple of toys for them in the house. the thing that always gets me is when people go out and buy these high strung dogs and then pizz and moan that the dog is tearing up their house all year long. then, instead of finding something productive for the dog to do they decide to just crate it all the time to keep it out of trouble. booooo!
 
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Markcanby

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I agree with most of what Swamp said. I dont get where everyone say you need a ton of exercise for a GSP. I take Ava out 2 sometimes 3 times a week where she can stretch her legs. Soccer field or for a swim but other than that I have a normal back yard she spends a couple hours a day in. What you have to exercise is there mind. My kids take care of most of that by hiding her toys all over the house then letting her go look for them. Just like Swamp said if you lock a GSP in one room for 3hrs everything in that will be destroyed even the sheet rock trust me. But let them run the house no problem. Just remember they are a inside dog an they think they are a lap dog
 
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youngbuck307

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Cool guys pretty sure I'm going to go with a gsp after what I have been reading think they fit me little better! I'm going to do mostly upland hunting also so gsp would be a good dog by my side. Now to start looking at breeders and where to get one from. Also need to figure out if I want to go pup, started, or full grown dog.... Any input on this?
 
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Swamp Puppy

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Buck - I would say start with a pup personally. That way you get to develop a bond with the dog early on and you don't have to worry about inheriting someone elses problem dog.
 
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youngbuck307

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Not trying to be mean but I think them griffans are ugly!!! Almost so ugly There kinda cute lol...and yea pup I think would be best I'm just scared I'll mess him up and won't be as good as a hunter as he could of been if was trained better... Been looking at people that help with hunting training to... One guy in ec takes u dog for month as he trains it. Not sure if I want my dag away for that long. Did u guys that have dogs do all ur training urself? I think I do well with training dogs when it comes to the normal house dog stuff. If u guys can't tell got a lot of learning still...

Eggs u know it brother ur always welcom! Never run out of Feather!!!
 
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