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Bird Dog?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by BrowningPotato, Oct 11, 2009.

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  1. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    I am looking to get a bird/waterfowl dog in the future. I was thinking about getting a lab for waterffowl but I think they have a propensity to be quite smelly and, well, I do not particularly like the way they look (petty I know). I was thinking of other breeds to substitute a lab. I was thinking something in the Spaniel family, but I have not heard of them used much as waterfowl dogs as much as upland hunting dogs. Any input? Anyone know of a Brittany Spaniel being used for waterfowl? Any other breed suggestions.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. luckyshot

    luckyshot TS Member

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    gene, has some great french britt pups for sale. just look for the thread about
    french brittany pups for sale. tim
     
  3. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    Would the french brittanys be good for waterfowling?
     
  4. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    From my limited experience a Springer Spaniel will retrieve ducks alright but don't expect one to break ice like a Lab or Chesapeake will do. Brittany Spaniel is a pointing dog that doesn't like to get their feet wet. Again IMHO the Lab does it all and doesn't smell too bad.
     
  5. luckyshot

    luckyshot TS Member

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    miketmx, no disrespect but a french britt is more water friendly than an american britt, but my american britt retrieved pheasants out of the ponds everytime i knocked one into the water. now i have one of each! just look at the posted photos of my new dogs father jumping in to retrieve. no problem using them for a waterdog. tim
     
  6. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    What about a spaniel for geese, I was thinking it would be too small to carry a heavy goose but I have no idea
     
  7. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    WOW Sarge,
    certainly did not mean to insult you or your dog. I was just asking for some input on some other options, I don't know why you are getting all bent out of shape. I personally do not particularly like the way labs look, that just an oppinion and mine is no more or less valid than yours. Any further PRODUCTIVE advice would be appreciated.
     
  8. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    This thread is likely to be as much fun as K- v. P- or 7½ v. 8 ...

    When I was faced with the same choice a while back, I looked at all the European multi-purpose dogs, and that's the direction I'd look, were I wanting to hunt upland, plus waterfowl.


    Bob
     
  9. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    May I ask what you ended up deciding on Bob?
     
  10. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    My first bird dog was a female Brittany. She got into lots a pheasants and quail at quite a young age, and was a super upland dog. When she was about ten months old she was in a canoe with my wife and me on a lake in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A butterfly came by, and she tried to grab it and fell in. After that time, she wanted nothing to do with water.

    Given a "trainer" who was very inexperienced, she turned into a respectable bird dog, but one with definite idiosyncrasies. If I knocked down a bird and it ran, she could make incredible retrieves, up to a couple of hundred yards through waist high cover. However if the bird was dead, it was my responsibility to pick it up - she was going to find another live one. And if it involved water, even a little pond or creek to cross, forget it - "I don't do water!".

    If you want a dog for waterfowl, get a retriever. The only possible exceptions might be American Water Spaniels, although the few I've seen in retriever field trials were not very talented, slow, and had no style. I've had a couple of Chesapeakes and a Lab, and have seen many great dogs of those breeds (and also Goldens) during the years I was running and judging field trials. I wouldn't expect a retriever to be a stylish pointing dog for Bobwhites, and I wouldn't expect a pointing dog to be great on waterfowl. Some may disagree, but I expect they don't do much waterfowl hunting when the temperature is below zero and there is lots of ice.
     
  11. shoot the hill

    shoot the hill TS Member

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    After several dogs, in my opinion one of the most versitile dogs is the German Wirehair. Yes there are dogs that will do a specific job better but all around there hard to beat. Mine helped me bag a limit of ducks and pheasants each day this weekend so I can't complain.

    Good luck to ya
     
  12. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    If you want a dog to retrieve geese- I would say go with a big lab or a chessie but how many geese are you going to shoot?

    Do you want a pointing dog in the field? I know there is such a thing as a pointing lab but the ones I have seen just arent very much into that.

    I have hunted with a German Wirehaired pointing Griffon and it was a pretty good water dog also- they have a breed club - that you get on a list to get a puppy from.

    My french brit handles ponds- but I wouldnt think of shooting a goose and having a fight between the goose and the dog-

    It is hard to do everything with one dog. Pick what you are going to shoot the most of- figure in what type of trainer you are and then where will the dog live- how much do you expect to feed it and how much comes out the other end is basically an equation of size.

    Springer Spaniels and American Water Spaniels are something to consider also but dont point and I would hesitate to use them on geese. I have had 3 american water spaniels and one learned to handle well in water.

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  13. StonewallRacing

    StonewallRacing Well-Known Member

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    Boykin Spaniel


    [​IMG]


    http://www.boykinspaniel.org/

    http://www.boykinspaniel.com/

    http://www.boykinspanielclub.org/

    SW
     
  14. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    Thanks, Gene
    I am obviously new to this and have never had a sporting dog (have pugs now). I would like something primarily for waterfowl but also I would like somehtin versatile that I COULD use for upland if needed. I understand there is not one perfect bird dog, but a good all around versatile dog would be good (just love the way spaniels look). We live on the shores of lake erie so there are plenty of places to hunt, just need something to go out and get the birds for me. Size and amount of food is not an issue.
     
  15. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    My needs were kinda specific, but somewhat in opposition:

    - I hunt deer, boar and birds in South Texas so I needed a big dog that would trail, fight and could manage stickers, burrs, cuts & punctures and keep hunting.

    - I wanted a close hunter, that did not like me getting lost - seeing some canine ass 400yds off on-point does not fill my heart with joy.

    - I hunt overgrown mud sloughs & hardwood swamps as well as salt marsh, ricefields and salt-water, so I needed a dog with drive and stamina.

    - I wanted a house-dog & member of the family the grandkids could torture and he wouldn't eat them.

    I looked, first, at a couple of hunting lines of Standard Poodle, but they are single-coated bleeders and tenderfoots, and can't handle water less than 50º + I didn't want a dog smarter than me.

    My REAL choices came down to GWP, Spinone, and Wire-haired Pointing Griffon. I ended up with the WPG. I was concentrating on hunting lines, purely, and any of them would have been fine, but the WPG was in a little on the ground.

    I'm not too wild abt him killing and retrieving skunks, nor about him bringing home amrmadillos or baby alligators for playthings, but into each life a little rain must fall.


    Bob
     
  16. emm2

    emm2 Member

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    BrowningPotato, look at how dogs are built. Lets take a lab for instance, they have in inner and outer layer of fur to keep them warm and dry in the water, they have oily skin to keep them more water repellant, they have webbed feet for swimming, they have a long tail that acts like a rudder for swimming, all these characteristics make a water dog a water dog and make them ideal for water retrieving. A spaniel has thin fur, a stub tail, no webbed feet and therefore is not the ideal waterfowl dog. I'm not saying they don't love water or won't retrieve birds in water, they are just not the ideal choice for a primary waterfowl dog. I have owned brittanies and labs all my life and love each one for the purpose they are designed.
     
  17. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    BP, if you are hunting big water, especially cold water, you have to have a serious retriever, and that is pretty much that.

    A WPG or pointing Lab is going to be your closest multi-purpose dog. The WPG is the only web-footed multi- I know, and it makes a difference. There is one ricefield I hunt with a guy who has Brittanies. When it is dry, or mostly so, they are 1st class retrievers, even on long wounded retrieves, they get the goose back - but they are done for the day.

    When the field is flooded and there's 6" of water over 6" of mud, it's cruel to send them - design considerations, yanno.

    I've hunted behind a couple of well-trained pointing Labs and they are a treat, too.

    If you don't like the big, block-headed 'Lab look', investigate the English Lab lines. They are much more gracile.


    Bob
     
  18. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    The Drahthaar would be a perfect dog. Go to www.vvd-gna.com. A Drahthaar is a certified versatile breed with very strict standards of testing and breeding. They will retrieve anything (even in the coldest water), track deer, point upland birds, and they are intelligent. Their strict breeding standards guarantee a quality dog, but they still must be correctly trained. Depsite what many say, they are not a WHP. We have 3, and they are all quality dogs.
     
  19. Doug Brown

    Doug Brown Well-Known Member

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    I've had two German Wire Hairs & both we scientists when it came to hunting quail & pheasants. On a 50 degree day both would hit the water hard & retrieve. Neither of them would walk out on the ice & jump in to retrieve. My next dog will be a Lab. Like you I've looked at the "water spaniel breeds" & they are just too small to handle a goose.
     
  20. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

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    Can't speak for all Britt's, but Mine (2) are from Gene (nuveen kennels), and I can't keep them out of the water. Awesome water retrieves on upland birds, great noses, and terrific house dogs. In fact, I run them at Aurora Sportsmans club becuase they have great lakes, and some ducks hang out there. It is a hoot to watch them chase the ducks on the water - ducks almost drown laughing at them!

    Ducks would be harder only because they would have to sit still - that is not natural, but I think it could be taught.

    Couldn't get a better blood line than Genes' dogs. Period.
     
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