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I've been a GSP guy - nice dogs and basically instant bird dogs with some basic obedience. Thought about wirehairs or drahthaars too but keep coming back to gsps. Friendly dogs too - maybe a little wound up...how about you - what's your breed of choice and why? Also, what do you mainly hunt? We're pheasant chasers 80% of the time with some waterfowl and grouse thrown in for variety. Looking forward to hearing about them dogs!
 

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I have not had a bird dog in a lot of years now. However in my younger days my buddy and I hunted with Brittany's. A lot of dog in a smaller package. We hunted grouse and pheasants with them. I lived in town so a smaller dog worked better for me. They are a dog with a big heart. The old boy could always hunt longer then I could. Here is a picture of me while we were out pheasant hunting. I will always have good memories of being out in the field with him.

39517084_Brit.jpg

Jim
 

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American Pit Bull Terrier

1) Most powerful jaw pressure for biting trespassers/intruders
2) Very, very strong, for weight ration, good for felling and dragging said trespassers/intruders
3) Determination, they don't give up.
4) Loyalty, while mentioned lin the middle, it's as important as any of the others
5) Intimidation factor, when it's running toward the trespasser/intruder, they are scared to death.
6) It's the most historic American breed.
7) gaurds property and family members .

But I figure you're referring to hunting canines......here ya go......


 

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Hey MountainGuy -- from the dog you have now and the breeds you're considering, it's obvious your idea of a bird dog is a pointer and not a flusher, so I will limit my comments to pointers. (Nothing wrong with that; just an observation. I've owned both and I prefer a dog that points as opposed to one that flushes).

My pointing dogs have been 3 Brittanys and now a GSP. Every dog is an individual, and any dog from any of the recognized breeds CAN or COULD be the best dog you've ever owned, or the worst. Some generalizations, though, are possible. Now, I've had more experience, obviously, with Brits than GSP's since my ownership ratio (between those two pointing breeds) is 3:1 in favor of Brits. However, let me draw some conclusions that hopefully have merit based on my experience.

An old saying has always been that one trains a GSP "with a 2 X 4 with nails coming out of the end." I think there is some merit to this. Even today, my GSP will often do what HE wants even though he knows I want him to do something different. In the dog world we call this "lack of biddability." To a far larger degree, the only time my Brits didn't do what I wanted is when they didn't UNDERSTAND what I wanted. In a nutshell, Brits generally have a much stronger desire to please their masters/mistresses, thus, on average making them more biddable than GSP's and easier to train.

My current pointing dog (the GSP) doesn't have a mean bone in his body, is very birdy, and holds well to his points. So, he does have positive qualities. I mean, hey, I've killed birds over him in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and South Dakota. However, for the next dog I'm going back to Brits. My Brits have been more lovable, just as birdy, just as steady on point, better retrievers after the shot, and there was never the "battle of wills" that I'm sometimes still contending with even though the GSP is now 7 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pointing dogs are my thing for sure, but please continue to feel free to mention flushers too if they are your breed of choice! I agree that GSPs (yes, german shorthair pointers) can be hard-headed. Mine both have been. :) There are some positives to owning such a critter though - they are pretty forgiving, meaning it's tough to mess one up. Mine have been good to great retrievers naturally, and both have been very good bird finders. They can test you sometimes with their energy and their naughty moments, but they are basically a foolproof bird dog with a minimum of training. Anyone have a wirehair? The 'in' thing around here seems to be the wirehaired pointing griffon - griffs as they're called. I like them too, but would need to hunt behind a few more to decide if i like their style. My dogs have a really animated search and staunch point, which is really exciting for me - it would be tough for me to go to a deliberate plodder after owning these firecrackers. That might change as I get older though. :) I like Britts a lot and have been tempted by a few American and French Britts over the years. Saw some really nice birdwork from a little female that my friend owns - very nice dog. Shorter ranging than my GSPs but very snappy and productive. Keep 'em coming!

Hey MountainGuy -- from the dog you have now and the breeds you're considering, it's obvious your idea of a bird dog is a pointer and not a flusher, so I will limit my comments to pointers. (Nothing wrong with that; just an observation. I've owned both and I prefer a dog that points as opposed to one that flushes).

My pointing dogs have been 3 Brittanys and now a GSP. Every dog is an individual, and any dog from any of the recognized breeds CAN or COULD be the best dog you've ever owned, or the worst. Some generalizations, though, are possible. Now, I've had more experience, obviously, with Brits than GSP's since my ownership ratio (between those two pointing breeds) is 3:1 in favor of Brits. However, let me draw some conclusions that hopefully have merit based on my experience.

An old saying has always been that one trains a GSP "with a 2 X 4 with nails coming out of the end." I think there is some merit to this. Even today, my GSP will often do what HE wants even though he knows I want him to do something different. In the dog world we call this "lack of biddability." To a far larger degree, the only time my Brits didn't do what I wanted is when they didn't UNDERSTAND what I wanted. In a nutshell, Brits generally have a much stronger desire to please their masters/mistresses, thus, on average making them more biddable than GSP's and easier to train.

My current pointing dog (the GSP) doesn't have a mean bone in his body, is very birdy, and holds well to his points. So, he does have positive qualities. I mean, hey, I've killed birds over him in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and South Dakota. However, for the next dog I'm going back to Brits. My Brits have been more lovable, just as birdy, just as steady on point, better retrievers after the shot, and there was never the "battle of wills" that I'm sometimes still contending with even though the GSP is now 7 years old.
 

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Years ago I had a Pointer. Sport was his name. Best damn bird dog I ever saw......I still miss him and he died in the mid 1970s. I become quite attached to my furry four legged friends.
 

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here is a vote for the Labrador....they are a flushing dog when its quail and pheasant and excel in the duck blind you mentioned....they can do it all with a great disposition....if you train them to hand and whistle signals you can send them out a couple of hundred yards and let them hunt back to you - they'll be driving the runners right back to you
 

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I have to admit that my current German Wirehaired Pointer is a terrific bird dog and a wonderful companion the rest of the year. Ya, he can be strong-willed. But we talk about that and both agree that life is good when we get along. He's also my traveling buddy, spending at least a couple of weeks a year sleeping in a small backpacking tent with me. But... He lives to hunt! Chukar on the steep areas, pheasants in the flatlands, grouse along the abandoned roads, quail in the thickest danged stuff... :)







In the backpacking tent, under my fleece jacket. It's about 17 degrees outside the tent. We camp often. He's a pretty good buddy. Even gets his own foam pad under him for insulation. He likes the tent.


With my son and a pheasant:


Couldn't have done this without him. It was a good day afield:


He held this point for about 10 minutes while I worked to find the bird. Almost didn't believe him! Yup, the pheasant was there, hiding under branches & roots:


And thanking him for a great point & retrieve:


Ya, I'm really hooked on this particular dog. He's going to be hard to replace when that sad time comes. I'll probably go with another German Wirehaired Pointer. They're a little hard-headed, but I like 'em.

Regards, Guy
 

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This is kinda off subject but I owned a female blonde cocker who pointed birds and treed squirrels and was absolutely fearless, When she treed the squirrel she was through with it and she would just walk away. She kept two big dogs I had in line and she would nip them on the nose if they bumped into her or looked at her cross and I can say that they went out of their way not to make her mad. When she came back from the groomer with bows in her hair and a neckerchief around her neck she would strut around and flaunt her good looks. She kept us laughing for a long time.

I have thought long and hard about getting another dog and would love to have a Airedale but they require a lot of exercise. Teddy Roosevelt once said that a Airedale was a good dog and if he had to he could whip most dogs.

Sorry I can't help you decide on your bird dog but the only bird dogs I have ever hunted over were pointers and Labs.
 

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You understand that this discussion is in the "bird hunting" part of Marlin Owners? I've never seen a Pit Bull hunting grouse, pheasant, quail, chukar.... Maybe it's possible. Dogs love to please and can be trained to do things out of the norm for their breed. But really? Good dogs for their purpose, and I'm glad you're such an enthusiastic owner. That's GREAT! :)
Yep, you're right.....

Pit Bulls are for hunting seriously dangerous game......:wink:

 
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