Next dog... vdog or setter?

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Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby cjm » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:50 am

Anyone owned vdogs and setters? Or hunted a lot with both. More specifically, I have a PP and I'm toying with the idea of looking at an English Setter for my next dog. Otherwise, I'll probably get another PP.

My PP just turned 3, so I'm starting to think about a second dog. When I got Watson I hunted mostly ducks and wanted a vdog. Now I almost exclusively hunt upland, and primarily ruffed grouse. This last season, Watson pointed 75% of the grouse he came in contact with and seems to do a good job finding them. I think that is pretty great. And I've been really happy with his retrieving, field work in the prairies, and disposition at home. That said, he's the only dog I've ever owned and only one of a few dogs (all vdogs) I've seen hunt. I have been so happy with him that I really am leaning toward another one, but I still want it to be an informed decision.

So I'm curious to get the thoughts of people with experience in both. What questions should I be asking? What else should I be considering? How would you describe general differences?

Also, I'm genuinely interested to know difference in shedding. Watson leaves hair around the house, but it certainly isn't floating through the air or piling up in the corners.

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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby #8 shot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:41 am

I have a Griff and a Red Setter. The setter is young but is turning into a pretty good birddog. Would be even better if his owner was a better trainer! I would the biggest difference is the setters endurance. He comes from a field trial kennel and his ability to run at a fast pace all day for multiple days is amazing to see. I hunt with a lot of breeds Vizsla, GSP, GWP, Setters and one Pointer. So far only the pointer and one setter can keep pace with him. We turned the 3 of them loose in a huge grass field that holds woodcock for some strange reason and it was awesome to watch them go. We ended up get 5 woodcock and a big gray between the 3 of us.

When I was looking for a Red I was very specific with the breeders in what I hunt, how I train and how I like to hunt. I believe it helped the breeder match me with the breeding that would work best for me. Most good breeders

As far as shedding mine has very short hair and we have brown furniture so it doesn't show very much. That was the plan when I talked my wife into the red dog :lol:

But I will say my Griff is the best pure hunting dog I have ever had.

Hope that helps
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby cjm » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:49 am

Thanks, 8shot. In comparison to the setter, what do you mean when you say your Griff is the best pure hunting dog?
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:55 am

All the setters I've been around had crappy owners which reflected on the dogs. The one thing I noticed is they can be a bit quirky. Afraid of insignificant things that happened when they were young and carried it through their entire life. Many would call them, "spooky." My experience doesn't deserve much credit.

8 Shot said it best. "Griff is the best pure hunting dog." And, they don't shed a whole lot.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby Chadwick » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:01 pm

My buddy only runs setters and he is a diehard ruff grouse and woodcock hunter. The current setter is called a classic English setter. Quite different from the previous field trial dogs he had. It is a very nice dog and works great on the grouse. Closer ranging and a bit slower paced. The tail sticks out the back in line with the spine. Very cooperative dog.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby #8 shot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:07 pm

I also hunt Rye (the Griff) for ducks and his ability to cross over from sitting in a blind to jump hunting and then 2 day later back to the grouse woods without a hitch. Just a pure all around hunting dog. The setter will do water retrieves but to get him to sit in a blind is just not in his wheelhouse. And it is not really what he was breed to do. My wife named him Flash and it is very fitting.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby #8 shot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:20 pm

When I was looking for a Red I was very specific with the breeders in what I hunt, how I train and how I like to hunt. I believe it helped the breeder match me with the breeding that would work best for me. Most good breeders


Sorry, I didn't finish that statement. Most good breeders will try to fit you with a dog that matches what you like and need. I have never picked a pup just the breeder. So far it has worked out pretty well.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby marjolein » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:42 am

Depends a bit on where and what you hunt. I live in The Netherlands, a small country with loads of hare and duck/geese and not many big fields with pheasant or partridge. For hunting here we use our (longhaired Weimaraners) and we also use them on big game in Germany (tracking mainly). Versatiles are the best for the situations I describe.
If you have access to plains and upland birds, a Setter is the dog for you. We have 4 really big running English Setters. We hunt them in France on birds, we travel Europe for the field trials and we take them on a plain to the USA and Canada to hunt them on the prairies. It really is the most beautiful thing you'll ever experience. I know nothing about all the different kind of English Setters you have over there, but like I said, ours run. Really run. They have a very good character and are not too hard to train. They are cooperative and I do not recognise the word quirky when describing my dogs. But I guess it all depends on the lines the Setter comes from.

For me the combination between versatile and specialist is the best ever and I wouldn't want it any other way.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby cjm » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:49 am

thanks. i think i just need to try see some hunting. i think watson does great on grouse and pheasant in mn and he'll hunt all week running big in the prairies in montana - but even though i think he's great, i really don't have much to compare to. if a setter is only going to point 5% more grouse, then the minimal shedding and retrieving of the pp outweighs that for me. if a setter will do substantially better on grouse, i might be willing to give up some of the other things.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby oldtimer » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:16 pm

Get a DD. DD and PP combo is my favorite. :)
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby NC Quailhunter » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:20 pm

I own a setter that hunts very well with my buddies PP. I like the combination because of the difference in their hunting styles that seem to compliment each other.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby blue04 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:41 pm

Here's a vote for a Brittney. They are fabulous dogs (if you pay attention to what you're getting), and I will probably always own at least one. From what I've seen, Britts hunt similarly to Setters, but seem to have a bit stronger natural retrieving instinct.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:48 pm

CJM, I am not real clear how you want a dog, (possibly a setter) to hunt differently than your PP does. Closer, Slower, farther, faster, more caution around birds?

I have been around a number of setters through the years. Hunted my pup with a setter bitch this fall on bobwhites. She hunted hard and fast, mostly within 100 yards which was appropriate for the cover and she found a good number of birds and made intense points when she did. Downside was she had as many false points as productive and her dead bird and retrieving were weak. Likely training and owner issues involved as is often the case.

There is huge variation in the setter breed, sizes that vary 100% from top to bottom, same with speed and range. Are you looking for a grouse bred setter or a FT strain setter? There will be a night and day difference.

If you were wanting a dog to range farther and faster and handle heat better I could see the setter possibly. But for ruffed grouse I would think a well bred PP, DD, GWP or GSP could do just as well and bring a lot more versatility to the table.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby Grange » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:21 pm

I own an english setter and black lab and if the breeding worked I'll also own a brittany this June. In addition to my dogs I also hunt ruffed grouse a lot with three GWP's and multiple brittanies. Of the three GWP's they all hunt differently. One has always be very methodical and hunts with its head low. The 2nd GWP is fast as all get out, but also more wild with its control. It is very vocal has a good nose. The 3rd one is young so it hasn't developed it's style, but it is clear it has a great nose. All three GWP are from different breeders, but they all hunt with a low head. The seem to be more ground sniffers than air sniffers.

My english setter in contrast to two of the three GWP's is faster through the woods though one of the GWP's is much faster than my setter in the open. My setter is more agile that all three of the GWPs and in contrast to the GWP hunts with a high head as she is an air sniffer. For stamina I'd say it is more dependent on the individual dog than the breed with the dogs I hunt with. With range my setter runs bigger than all three GWPs. For example we were out running this afternoon and my setter was often upwards 200 yards or more out while the GWP's are usually around 100 yards or less.

When it comes to hunting style the brittanies and my setter are much closer to each other than any of the GWP's.
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Re: Next dog... vdog or setter?

Postby marjolein » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:59 am

cjm wrote:thanks. i think i just need to try see some hunting. i think watson does great on grouse and pheasant in mn and he'll hunt all week running big in the prairies in montana - but even though i think he's great, i really don't have much to compare to. if a setter is only going to point 5% more grouse, then the minimal shedding and retrieving of the pp outweighs that for me. if a setter will do substantially better on grouse, i might be willing to give up some of the other things.


If you have a good pp, I don't think a good Setter will find you more birds. They just run bigger and it's more spectacular to watch.
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