Closer working dogs?

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Closer working dogs?

Postby Bill in Oregon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:35 pm

Guys, I am in my mid-60s and my latest round of back surgery has left me vulnerable to right leg weakness and numbness. This may eventually correct itself, but if it does not, it is going to slow me down in the field and reduce my range.
I am about to move to quail country in south central New Mexico and will be looking for a hunting pup. I've been a Britanny guy, but also like the wirehaired pointing griffons, the Drahts/wirehairs and the pudelpointers -- even the Vizslas. Any thoughts on a breed that might better be suited to a hunter who can't move like he used to? And please, no Clumber spaniel jokes. Will be living in a home with a fenced back yard.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:51 pm

Stay with a Brittany. I'm 71 and certainly not as fast and nimble afield as I once was. Here's my thoughts on getting older, slowing down and what dog to get. I personally have chosen a bigger running dog. Since I can't cover as much ground as I use to, I feel I need the dog to do it for me. So I let 'em run big and I'll get there when they go on point. It may just take me a little longer. :D
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:51 pm

Double post. Been having a problem with that on this site. Sorry.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby Bill in Oregon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:02 pm

Tip o' the hat, Zeb.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby huntindog1 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:04 pm

There are some close lines of German Shorthairs check out some older German lines at Bonas Kennels
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby RowdyGSP » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:38 pm

If it were me, between those choices. A Griffon, hands down. Almost all of them I have seen are around 100 yards or closer, with a great retrieving instinct. Britts tend to run big, as do some wirehairs and vizslas.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby 3drahthaars » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:52 am

Several years ago i judged a couple of dogs out of a particular kennel that i would have to say were "cooperative almost to a fault". Searches probably extended a maximum of 50 to 70 yards.

PM me if would like to research further.

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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby Doc E » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:10 am

Definitely look into Pointing Labs.

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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:28 am

I would not presume to tell you what breed of dog to get, but would echo DakotaZeb's thought process which was similar to mine when I went looking for current pup. I am not the same hard charging dawn to dusk, day after day bird hunter I once was. So I wrestled with where to get my next puppy, with some concern that a hard going go yonder dog might not be what I need now.

After thinking about it I decided a dog that would hunt hard and as wide as the cover and bird population required to find birds was exactly what I needed. Not like I want to have to walk over all the places the birds might be - that is the dogs job. As long as it comes when called and holds steady on point when it finds birds, I benefit from the dog covering ground so I do not have to is where I come out on it.

Good luck and have fun whatever you buy.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby gusto » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:17 pm

EP would be my first choice by a mile, 2nd I look at a GSP. Keep your choice down to short hairs for that country. I good pointer from a plantation would be a good bet.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby oldtimer » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:22 am

This let your dog cover lots of ground (big running) only works well if you are hunting a bird that isn't spooky and holds well. Using a dog that runs out 600 yards will severely hamper your results on wild rooster and wild ruffs. I am not saying you will be completely unsuccessful, just not the best choice.
My good friend has EPs he uses in OK and KS on quail. He kills phez also, but he freely admits that they are not ideal. Outstanding quail dogs though.
He came to visit me in ND, and actually put his dogs away because they were ruining the hunt. We used my DD and PP the rest of the day. Hunting grouse with a dog that wants to push out is also not ideal. In the upper mid-west anyway.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby oldtimer » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:27 am

I understand he is in NM. I just wanted to clarify. I would get an EP also.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:40 am

oldtimer wrote:This let your dog cover lots of ground (big running) only works well if you are hunting a bird that isn't spooky and holds well. Using a dog that runs out 600 yards will severely hamper your results on wild rooster and wild ruffs. I am not saying you will be completely unsuccessful, just not the best choice.
My good friend has EPs he uses in OK and KS on quail. He kills phez also, but he freely admits that they are not ideal. Outstanding quail dogs though.
He came to visit me in ND, and actually put his dogs away because they were ruining the hunt. We used my DD and PP the rest of the day. Hunting grouse with a dog that wants to push out is also not ideal. In the upper mid-west anyway.


Everywhere I hunt pheasants a dog that hunts out to 600 yards is just running past likely birds and cover vs hunting. Some dogs can adjust to cover, some cannot.
For a long time I have seen the difference between dogs that were reaching out to find birds because they needed to and dogs that were just running big because they liked to run. Would take a good bit of luck for a big running open country quail specialist to immediately excel at tight cover pheasant or grouse hunting. More often the dog will need some time to adjust to the new task.

Many hunters will not have the patience to allow that to happen, particularly on an out of state short duration hunting trip. I hunted bobwhites in TX last year where I was exposed to a string of EPs that were the best I have seen. Their breeder/owner/trainer/handler has a lot of success running them in Ruffed Grouse trials in his home state and travels to WI annually to hunt grouse. So some adapt. It takes more than dumping them out of the truck in foreign territory I suspect.

It is rare to get a dog that excels at everything and I believe a guy is best off to get the type of dog that suits the terrain, weather and birds they will be hunted on the most.

EP or GSP would be what I would be hunting behind for NM quail. Heat being one key factor in that.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby oldtimer » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:00 am

My friend hunts pheasants in Kansas with his EPs, so they have hunted pheasants before, just quail more often.
Please do not equate field trial results with hunting results. I have 2 acquaintances/friends that guide grouse in N. Wisconsin. Their dogs would never win a trial, but I would bet the farm they will out perform when it comes to birds in the bag. They range no more than 100 yards.
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Re: Closer working dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:05 am

Please reread my post. The guy hunts his EPs on wild grouse annually in his home state and in WI. And he wins Walking Grouse FTs with them. And he guides in TX with them on wild bobwhites. And a pup he bred raised started and sold won runner up in the National at Ames this year. He spends a lot of time working with his dogs and the results are there in spades.
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