Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:55 pm

I haven't kept up with this thread so forgive me if this post is a couple pages old. When I mentioned that a breeder should have successfully tested several dogs I said that because the person would hopefully have been exposed to what a really good dog is and can do. I'm of the opinion that very few hunters, even dedicated hunters, know what a really good dog is. I'm one of the old guys who first walked the fields in the 60's. Looking back I don't think I hunted behind a truly good dog until the 90's. I didn't train/own one until maybe 10 years ago. Good dogs aren't measured by the number of birds in the freezer. There are millions of hunters who kill a lot of game with no dog at all. Most hunters are thrilled with a dog that will find SOME game, retrieve MOST game shot and not run off. "Best dog I've ever seen". Most hunters know or care anything about health screening before breeding. Most hunters will blame temperament issues 100% on how a dog was raised. Those of you who say you don't need a test to tell you what a great hunting dog looks like have either been exposed to great dogs that others have recognized and cultivated or you don't know what you don't know. Most hunters don't know what they don't know about what a truly great hunting dog is. Many, many hunters would be thrilled about what a 112 NA dog does, it hunts, it points, it tracks, it swims and is only a puppy!!!! People don't know what they don't know. Running a dog in tests will raise a person's awareness about what they should be looking for and recognizing what they see.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:06 pm

I have seen and hunted with plenty of dogs hunting a wide spectrum of wild game in all types of country/weather. Seen great dogs running in a hunt test, but know enough about both to not trust a test score to tell me what I want to know about a dog.

My first GWP remains my best one so far by a slim margin over my now 13 year old grandson out of that first dog. So I would be a walking talking example of a person who struck gold the first time.

I understand the distrust of people who fall in love with their dogs using a yardstick that is only 2 feet long to measure them by. I see a lot of those persons.

But I also put little faith in artificial hunt tests to determine the things that make a hunting dog "Great" in my eyes. Not saying that tests do not have value, because I think they do. But I run from Breeders who talk mostly about their test scores.

Reason being because I have seen too many dogs with high test scores which I would not hunt behind much less breed. A Breeder who lives and hunts in an area which allows them to thoroughly "test" their dogs through hunting is what I seek out. And who seems to value and breed for the same type of dog I am hoping to find.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby hicntry » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:38 pm

" It happens a lot that people breed a few good litters using the bloodlines others have developed. It happens much less often that a breeder develops their own line and brings something new/improved to the table in doing it."

+1 in spades. Probably the biggest reason new breeders will bring dogs in from far away places.....to cash in on someone else's name and rep so they can sell pups. Give em a few litters to screw it up and they leave the breeding picture except to give credence to conversations on how dogs should be bred because "they used to breed". Most have no concept that dogs will always gravitate to the average. It takes more than most people realize to keep producing above the average dog.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:45 pm

Notice that I never said anything about test scores? The point was for the handler to personally see the different dogs in the field to get a point of reference. Very few of us will get the chance to see 30 or 40 dogs a year in the field unless it is in a test or trial situation. By actually watching the dogs you can see which ones are doing a chore and which ones love to hunt, Which ones the handlers are controlling and which ones are teams. It isn't long before you can see what a difference there is between a smart dog who loves to hunt and the dog who is out there because that is what the master wants. All the smart, enthusiastic dog needs is to go hunting and it will turn into a very good hunting dog. (even though it has probably been hunting a bunch already.)
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:03 pm

gwp4me2 wrote:Notice that I never said anything about test scores? The point was for the handler to personally see the different dogs in the field to get a point of reference.


We certainly agree on the need to see enough dogs working in the field to have a basis for an opinion. And you are correct that most people do not get to hunt wild game often enough, with enough different dogs and likely have to resort to training days and hunt tests to see dogs other than their own, work.

But that would never qualify them to go on to breed great hunting dogs remains my view. In fairness to your point, it might prevent them from otherwise breeding a dog which is not worthy of breeding as well as point them to where they can get a potentially "great" dog.

Unfortunately what I see more commonly are persons who think their dog passing a Hunt test means they are good to go on breeding it. I think it can just as easily be argued that Hunt tests are leading to dogs being bred that should not; vs. preventing it.

How often have you seen a person attend training days or a Hunt test where obviously superior dogs are run but that person remains in "love" with their chosen breed and their dog? I see it a lot.

I see other breeds that I would really like to own and hunt. I do not because I cannot do justice to them with all my other pursuits. But I see more breeds that I would never own. And yet they have a large following.

I do not think seeing is believing for some people and if they become a breeder they are best avoided.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby STait » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:07 pm

AG, that's actually a great way to start a breeding program, buy from the best you can, and breed to the best you can access. The reason some can carry on the quality (and maybe even expand on it) is foresight, and a good goal to achieve. The platform to start from can be quite good if you know what to look for. And, maybe have a few things go right!

orhunter wrote:
hicntry wrote:Steve, you are relying on a pro's opinion not someone that has only had 2 or 3 dogs to base his opinions on and puts his dogs on the level that most put their kids. It's like putting a high value on opinions put forth by non breeders or those that have only produced a couple of litters. Their is no real value to their opinions. People with no skin in the game just are not reliable sources of info regardless of what they think.


I'm sure every breed has its lower echelon.


This, I'm afraid, is more prevalent than most people realize;-( I find it very difficult to find a good prospect to breed to, and my breed is considered quite healthy. I keep turning back to my own progeny for breeding.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:15 pm

STait wrote:AG, that's actually a great way to start a breeding program, buy from the best you can, and breed to the best you can access. The reason some can carry on the quality (and maybe even expand on it) is foresight, and a good goal to achieve. The platform to start from can be quite good if you know what to look for. And, maybe have a few things go right!


Right on! No man is an island.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby hicntry » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:04 pm

STait wrote:
This, I'm afraid, is more prevalent than most people realize;-( I find it very difficult to find a good prospect to breed to, and my breed is considered quite healthy. I keep turning back to my own progeny for breeding.


Steve, if you have faith in what your own progeny is producing, stick with it. The big names in in EP's didn't get there by listening to other breeders.....they bred dogs their way and they bred to dogs they knew intimately. Their own. Only use outside dogs when you have to. Just make sure they have all their teeth. LOL
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby STait » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:14 pm

Thanks Don, I will haha. I just procured the last available frozen semen breeding of the "outside" dog I want to breed to, so that makes two doses left. My best male to date is by him when he was alive, so I believe it's good money spent;-)
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby gusto » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:54 pm

Branscom's Nickel?
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby STait » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:24 pm

gusto wrote:Branscom's Nickel?


I wish, Mike has the last of that and it's not for sale. But that's okay because my dogs are loaded with him. The outside dog is a son of Millers Online. White Powder, top and bottom.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:18 pm

AverageGuy wrote:
gwp4me2 wrote:Notice that I never said anything about test scores? The point was for the handler to personally see the different dogs in the field to get a point of reference.


We certainly agree on the need to see enough dogs working in the field to have a basis for an opinion. And you are correct that most people do not get to hunt wild game often enough, with enough different dogs and likely have to resort to training days and hunt tests to see dogs other than their own, work.

But that would never qualify them to go on to breed great hunting dogs remains my view. In fairness to your point, it might prevent them from otherwise breeding a dog which is not worthy of breeding as well as point them to where they can get a potentially "great" dog.

Unfortunately what I see more commonly are persons who think their dog passing a Hunt test means they are good to go on breeding it. I think it can just as easily be argued that Hunt tests are leading to dogs being bred that should not; vs. preventing it.

How often have you seen a person attend training days or a Hunt test where obviously superior dogs are run but that person remains in "love" with their chosen breed and their dog? I see it a lot.

I see other breeds that I would really like to own and hunt. I do not because I cannot do justice to them with all my other pursuits. But I see more breeds that I would never own. And yet they have a large following.

I do not think seeing is believing for some people and if they become a breeder they are best avoided.


Needed to be bumped...

And, I may add that shooting preserve birds is not necessarily hunting. Those whose entire experience is on preserves haven't had enough exposure to real hunting to understand what a dog should do/ be capable of.

The same goes for those who buy a DD, etc. just to blood track or just to hunt waterfowl.

I'm not slamming preserves or their quality. It supplements a poor waterfowl / woodcock / wild quail season for me. But, there's a real world of wild birds out there and the preserve / test experience falls somewhat short. And, if all you do is hunt big game upland is a big difference in what to look for and expect of a dog.

I see this in a lot of newbies and apprentice judges, and their entire experience and vocabulary is centered around minimal wild bird hunting and the "test"... not difficult to understand that their breeding decisions would follow, eh.

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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby gwp4me2 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:08 pm

3drahthaars wrote:And, I may add that shooting preserve birds is not necessarily hunting.

You mean those pictures where the dog on point is looking straight down isn't a wild bird dog hunting late-season sharptails?
During the off season the local preserve will let us go run the 'refugees'. I can't tell you how many times people have come in from hunting with their dogs and only found half the birds. Then I get to take them back out with my dog to clean up. Good training opportunity for me since I don't carry a gun and can work on obedience with free birds.
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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:44 pm

gwp4me2 wrote:
3drahthaars wrote:And, I may add that shooting preserve birds is not necessarily hunting.

You mean those pictures where the dog on point is looking straight down isn't a wild bird dog hunting late-season sharptails?
During the off season the local preserve will let us go run the 'refugees'. I can't tell you how many times people have come in from hunting with their dogs and only found half the birds. Then I get to take them back out with my dog to clean up. Good training opportunity for me since I don't carry a gun and can work on obedience with free birds.


Yes, on all counts...

Except, I wouldn't let a stranger shoot over my pup... and, I'm seldom without my Sauer.

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Re: Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Postby hicntry » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:43 pm

3drahthaars wrote:Got to thinking, and was wondering what the thought is on breeding hunting dogs.

We all know that the VDD is the greatest breed club with the most rigorous breed standards.

However, let's say there's a stud that's turning out some really nice pups that test well, have nice form/coat, excellent temperament, and field reports indicate are very good hunting dogs.

BUT, there's a trend in the dentition like poor bites or something like that.

Would you balk at a pup, because it might not be "breedable". Or, would you keep it on your "A" list, because there's an excellent chance it will be a more than adequate hunter.

Personally, I'm past the desire to want to breed anymore, because I'd rather spend time hunting my current and eventually future pups.

So, I'd be all in.

But, I'm curious at the opinions of the other hunters on this board.

3ds


Going back to 3D's original post.... Since "We all know that the VDD is the greatest breed club with the most rigorous breed standards."

Why in the world would any one balk at getting a pup from the mentioned stud??? He passed all the rigorous standards and was deemed breedable. He is obviously the best of the best. I would be really surprised if any one would balk at using his progeny for either breeding or hunting.....or.....am I missing something?
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