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Opinions On Bird Dogs

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Sigraph, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. Sigraph

    Sigraph TS Member

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    Bird Hunters - I see all the training manuals, tapes etc. on how to train a bird dog. I think they're mostly geared towards raising a field trial champion. The best bird dog I ever had was Lady - I got her free, she was a setter. I never trained her, she wouldn't back, and she wasn't very good when I hunted her with other dogs. She completely ignored the other dogs. Just her and I or maybe one more hunter, and she found birds, found birds, and found more birds.
    If she had her nose down and wagged a crooked tail she was on birds. If they ran after she set them, she'd back out and go around them and re-set them. They were always under her nose and she rarely spooked them up. She trailed birds up to a corner of a soybean field one thanksgiving morning and when I flushed the birds and shot one down she remained on point, looking down, and I had to kick the bird out from under her nose (got that one also). I've hunted with trained dogs that would lock on birds and they'd flush 40 yards from where they were pointing because the dogs were trained to 'hold'. I have a new German Shorthair and just have bird hunting on my mind I guess. Just thought I'd stirr up a bird dog conversation. Hopefully not a dog vs. dog conversation.

    Good hunting and shooting - Eric
     
  2. birddogs46

    birddogs46 Active Member

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    i had a pointer like that, wouldn't hunt good with other dogs, most likely your setter, was always hunted by herself...nothing wrong with that, if that dog finds birds and hold them, don't worry bout it, to make a bird dog, simple, kill birds overem, if they got the nose and can find birds, they may not be the perfect broke dog, but what the hell, you ain't trialing them, so it don't matter, and if they will hunt dead for u, go bird huntin and kill birds, you will make a good ole meat dog, i am 63 and have hunted with birddogs since i was around 17 yrs. old, even when season is over, go to a preserve and buy birds just to watch your dog work lot of fun, anways good luck...dk
     
  3. Post  2

    Post 2 TS Member

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    German Short Hairs are great field bird dogs. Post-2
     
  4. jagrdawger

    jagrdawger TS Member

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    I would suggest checking the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA.org). They have a trial system, but the focus of the organization is to help hunters train great hunting dogs for real hunting. There are many chapters around the country and they are usually very friendly. I train with one in north central Wisconsin and the focus it to help YOU train YOUR dog.
     
  5. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    When a kid we had a GS. He was obained from a lady in lived on the Air Force base in my town. She was going back to Germany as her husband had been commisioned over there again. They didn't want to take him back so we acquired him. The ole hunters of my town still have stories to tell about that guy. We lost him a few times that I remember in creeks and thick weeds and would sometimes have to really search to find him. If it was pheasants or quail he'd be locked up as staunch as a statue. If he had found a coyote then who knows where we'd end up finding him. He was a big headed, block shouldered boy out of the old country. Remember him whipping two different coyotes that decided to stand their ground against him

    When I got out of school I acquired a 6 month old (as near as we could guess)GS from a coon dog trader I knew that didn't want him. Spent $10 on her and she was just a bag of bones. Well got her home and mom was shocked by her appearance. She started out with a couple plates filled with pancakes and eggs. Mom and I brought the old girl back to health. This was in Feb. and I started her training after a couple months and her trusting me. That ole dog and I walked one heck of alot of miles together for 12 seasons. We hunted a good majority of every legal day of pheasant season during those years. She was a good waterfowl retreiver and learned she could work prarie chickens as well. Learned the most valuable trick I have ever seen in as roosties are noted for with their running and not wanting to hold nature alot of the time, she would break trail and circle them. The were unacustomed to such tatics and we surprised a good many.

    Thanks for taking me back :-}
     
  6. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    I used to have all the books and did all the training. Now I don't. My current pup was raised on my new no train system. I worked her in the hall with a sock when she was a puppy. Worked her a little in the yard with a dummy, nothing formal. Just throw it out and have her bring it to you followed by lots of praise. Hide the dummy and teach her to root it out by saying find it. Then run her in the field every chance you get. They will teach themselves how to point. I got her used to gunfire by shooting blanks while she was chasing a retrieving dummy or chasing birds she kicked up in the field. I took her a couple of times to a game farm to shoot a few quail over her once she was pointing wild birds on our excursions. She pointed them and retrieved them. Then I took her hunting. This season she retrieved the first pheasant shot over her to hand. She backed all the other dogs and she found and pointed a lot of birds. The instincts are all in there they only need exposure.
     
  7. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    I've hunted over labs for thirty years and wouldn't change a day of it. A year and a half ago my wife and I rescued a 6 month old Yellow female, last year I took her out twice with other dogs. Nothing to brag about but she stayed close and wasn't gun shy after the first half hour, don't think she ever got a bird up. Second time out a repeat of the first only in a driving rain not much that time either. Three weeks ago I took her out by herself with a friend the field had ten birds in it. (Club) 6 pheasant 4 Chukar, three hrs later we had nine birds in the bag. She retrived the second bir we shoot like whe'd been doing it for years. When I first got her she won't fetch a tennis ball now she doesn't get out the door before she finds one of the six or so thats in the yard.
     
  8. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I like all of the sporting breeds but the GSPs and big labs (must be yellow with pink nose) are my favorites. Thinking about all the great hunts I have shared with my four legged buddies, man that makes me think I have lived a pretty good life after all!

    I'm down to two dogs now and the older dog (the lab) is semi-retired and not up to the longer hunts. Hoping to find that next great dog this spring. I still have not decided on what breed but there is a 99% chance it will be a yellow dog or a GSP.

    I'm not sure if I train the dog or if the dog trains me.
     
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