GSP's a good breed for newbies?

Pointer and setter breed specific questions. Kennel information requests, etc.

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GSP's a good breed for newbies?

Postby sportdogs » Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:03 am

Hello everyone,

i'm looking for an all around sport dog. i predominantly train my dogs for the AKC sports, while my husband is looking for an actual hunting dog. i have never trained a hunting dog before, although i'm fairly experienced with training in general. We are hoping for a med-large sized dog, fairly calm in the house and since i've never trained a hunting dog before, i'm looking for an easier trained dog. (Who will forgive my mistakes.) i will be training for trials while my husband will actually use the dog for upland birds and occasionally waterfowl.

Since i'm very new to the sporting dogs (i'm from Southern California, were we didn't do much hunting :lol: ) i'm open to any suggestions, Spaniels, Setters, Retrievers, Pointers, whatever. i'm just looking for the right dog for us.

Thanks everyone for their time!

Postby Hunter » Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:00 am

Any breed can do well for you, the key is to get a pup from parents who are the type of dog you want. If you want a calm dog, get one from a breeder who stresses calm dogs. If you want to do well at field trials, get one from a breeder who does well at field trials.

There are many GSPs that are hyper for 2-3 years, then settle down. There are a few breeders that are breeding for calm dogs, these pups are much calmer right from the start.

Do not place a time limit of when you MUST have a pup by, this is many buyers biggest mistake. They want a pup by March, so they skip the breeding that suits their needs the best and buy from the first litter they can find.

You need to go to some field trials, club meetings, etc. where you can see different types of dog and different breeds work. You first need to determine the type of dog you want; pointer, retriever, flusher. What type of hunting will the dog be used for? Do you prefer a dog that points?
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Postby gohntng » Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:05 pm

Sportsdog, hi.
You mention trials, or AKC sport trials.
If you go the Master Hunter test way, having a calmer dog for home and family would work well.
A field trial dog is quite a handful without first knowing what you will be getting into.
More people than not at trials will tell you the champion is a house dog.
That is not to be expected from all Ft pups. I listen to that all the time. I have to remind them for a year or more, they couldn't handle that pup.
I'd agree with a GSP, just check with the breeders first and see what they breed for. One thing I would add, with the style GSP's have, go with a breeder that breeds for a straight up tail, class.
A trainer friend buys his GSP's from Utah, another from California. They have class and go. Tremendous noses and early point. Both of their dogs breeding lines are tall dogs.
If your not sure of the breed you want, check out the Retriever breeds, they have AKC retriever tests also. A yellow lab or golden, are hard to beat for home, tests, and hunting.
Just my opinion....
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Postby sportdogs » Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:27 pm

Thanks for both of your replies.

My husband used to hunt with GSP's (he's from Eastern Oregon), so he's fond of the breed. He's looking for a flusher or pointer (i guess he doesn't have a real preferrence) and part time water retreiever. The water here in Oregon doesn't get that cold, so i *imagine* a GSP could do it. i've never actually been hunting, :oops: so i don't know for sure. The breeds i have been looking at, based on my very limited hunting knowledge, have been the GSP, Vizsla, English/Welsh Springer Spaniel. i would prefer an AKC dog, because i also enjoy their obedience, agility and tracking sports. (Which is what i am currently training my AmStaff in.)

i have plenty of time to look and research. We aren't looking for a pup anytime soon....we're giving ourselves 3-4 years to pick a breed and research lines. i suppose i should get myself out there and find a FT club!

Thanks again!

Postby MCTuna » Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:14 pm

sportdogs wrote:
i have plenty of time to look and research. We aren't looking for a pup anytime soon....we're giving ourselves 3-4 years to pick a breed and research lines. i suppose i should get myself out there and find a FT club!

I always say take your time but that is a bit long! FT GSP's are different then NAVHDA or HT GSP's. Check out the local NAVHDA chapters and look at the different breeds. GSP's have the best gene pool, but you can get good dogs in any breed!
Good luck
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"Delilah" Westend's Buck'n the Wind SD,NSD, NAVHDA UT 2 (200)
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Postby sportdogs » Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:32 pm

Thanks to everyone who contributed positively to my search. i appreciate you guys helping out a newbie. :)

But, i guess i'll just never be as cool as Oregongwp....darn :( :roll:


Postby blueblood » Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:54 pm

Sportdogs I pm'ed you.
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Postby robert » Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:09 am

your funny, go easy on the scooby snacks man.

Postby HuntDog » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:33 am

Oh, comedy at its finest around here...

Sportdogs, GSP's are wonderful dogs. They are as good a hunter as they make for a foot hunter, easy to train, good companions and watchdogs, capable of hunting nearly anything in the field, fur or feather and waterfowl. now, there are several breeds just as capable and diverse in their abilities as well, Vizslas, GWP's, Spaniels, etc. So, it boils down to the lines of the dog you choose and how you train it as to what it will be capable of achieving. I am partial to GSP's myself and find that you can get a lot more out of them at a younger age than a lot of breeds. So, having an extra 6 months to year to hunt behind a good dog is a valuable trait to me.

Good luck in your search and try to ignore people like oregongwp around here,


You were correct, Deb. My apologies to orhunter. I was not trying to lump all Oregonians together by any means. All of the ones I have met personally have been great people. It makes me wonder if oregongwp is really from that great state... :?: :razz: :(
Last edited by HuntDog on Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Charles Busbee » Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:53 am

I seem to recall someone getting bent out of shape about (and rightfully so), a dog being kicked at. Anybody else remember that? When a human being is being kicked at just because of the area in which he lives, this is about as low as it gets in my book. Betcha someones dogs have a tough time keeping the boss off thier case as well. Just for the record you can find 2 GWP's, 2 GSP's, and a Weim in my pens so everyone can take a shot if you want to slam a certain breed. If you would rather bad mouth some for living in a certain region of the country, I was raised in Florida, lived in California, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and Idaho so shoot away. As you probably can tell, I don't really care a lot about what someone in another state thinks about my dogs, where I have lived or live at the present. Maintaining a good reputation within the neighborhood, on the job, and with the neighbor next door is much more important. I apologize to the good folks in California for the attitudes of some on this board. Now thier hatred can be directed in a different direction.
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Postby dawg_doc » Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:30 pm

sportdogs wrote:Thanks to everyone who contributed positively to my search. i appreciate you guys helping out a newbie. :)

But, i guess i'll just never be as cool as Oregongwp....darn :( :roll:

I recently did exactly what you are describing. I've trained dogs all my life, but have never trained a hunting dog. I was looking for the occasional water dog, grouse dog, phez dog, wanted something I couldn't screw up too badly with my naive training and wanted an athletic critter that could keep up with my huskies. I looked at everything I had potential access to and also wouldn't cost me 6 million dollars to import from timbuktu. I finally settled on a GSP. Found a breeder who hunted lots and I spent lots of time with the Mom and Dad of the litter.

She's now 18 weeks. I took her to 'puppy kindergarten' to get her some socialization from other dogs and she was a star. Insanely gentle with silly little micro-dogs, but can play with the big boys as well. Wonderul personality and, compared to my huskies, much, much less stubborn and more trainable.

My biggest complaint is she snores like you wouldn't believe :-) I had to move her crate into the living room so I could sleep. I hope her respiratory system grows into her large nose as she gets bigger and that nonsense abates....

good luck to you.

new dog

Postby angus » Mon Mar 01, 2004 3:16 pm

It takes all kind doesn't it... hey sport dog..when you do find your dog,,or he/she finds you..let us know ..have fun looking,,.

And no ,not GWP ppl are friends tell me I am very cute and

Postby hunting_mom » Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:00 am

I'm very sorry about oregongwp, :roll: makes me feel like taking a shower to be on the same site as that. I sincerely hope a moderator will kick him off, this forum is no place for that attitude and I really feel sorry for any dogs under his care.

One consideration not brought up is grooming and coat type you would prefer. I don't know how much of a consideration it is for you but it was a big one for my choice. Soft long-haired breeds will be gorgeous to look at on AKC events, a big chore to clean up after a serious day of hunting upland game and take a long time to dry after swimming for waterfowl and of course their favorite place to park their wet butts is on the front seat of the car.
A short haired breed will certainly be easier to maintain, but perhaps have a shorter cold weather hunting season especially if waterfowl hunting with ice on the water. Most dogs can hunt in pretty cool weather and for most, the human will quit before your pooch will, you just have to evaluate your favorite hunting times with weather a factor. Or it may be reverse, your hardest hunting times will be quite warm and over-heating is a concern.

A fuzzy face wire-hair may have a bit of the best of both long-hairs and short-hairs but they do have a few different concerns. Some may have a harder time falling in love with something that looks like you scrub the toilet with their head (my wirehaired pointing griffon will be here in ten more days and I love that brillo pad fuzzy face!) The grooming may not be as often as with a longhair but not many people know how to strip the dead wire coat, something I'm going to have to learn.

Do you hunt on horseback or on foot? This may or may not narrow down your breed choice but it should narrow down your breedER, most breeds in general will be suitable for either but breeders usually steer one way or the other. AKC FT's are a different style from NAVHDA tests, you may want to look into both for the events you want to do and choose which one you will enjoy the most and put your most time into. There are AKC walking trials so don't think that the only way to get involved with trials/tests on foot is with NAVHDA. NAVHDA DOES test for waterwork while AKC does not. You can certainly do both and many do but for the first-timer it may be best to stay with one type of event, have a good handle on it and then branch off to a different hunting style.

More specialized events such as tracking will be good training for the real thing, and for both AKC events and NAVHDA tests. Obedience and agility would be fun too but honestly how could you put all that into just 24 hours a day!!

Look at pics at various websites, this one has a good selection and different breeder sites have cute pics. Find a dog breed that you really find cute, melts your heart and has the coat type you prefer and you are certain to find a breeder that has bred for the traits you want. Just don't base your final puppy decision on the first lovable face you see, every litter has a lovable face and that puppy will be a large dog soon.
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