Should I get a second dog?

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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby orhunter » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:45 pm

I'd never hunt a pup with an older dog. Some get away with it but it's not for me.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:34 pm

mgrucker wrote: I don't duck hunt so that's not a problem, just upland.

AverageGuy wrote:If you are not going to utilize a Vdog for its intended purposes then either do not acquire it or rescue a dog at the pound.


I don't understand how I'm not... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Hunt pheasants 20 days a year, no other upland birds mentioned, no Waterfowl, no blood tracking, no fur. The comment you quote reflects the facts as you have presented them.

You posted on a public forum as to, "Should I get a second dog?" You have mine and others' input to consider. There is a great deal of commonality in the feedback you have received.

Best of Luck with your decision, and Happy Hunting.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby booger » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:07 pm

AverageGuy wrote:
mgrucker wrote: I don't duck hunt so that's not a problem, just upland.

AverageGuy wrote:If you are not going to utilize a Vdog for its intended purposes then either do not acquire it or rescue a dog at the pound.


I don't understand how I'm not... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Hunt pheasants 20 days a year, no other upland birds mentioned, no Waterfowl, no blood tracking, no fur. The comment you quote reflects the facts as you have presented them.

You posted on a public forum as to, "Should I get a second dog?" You have mine and others' input to consider. There is a great deal of commonality in the feedback you have received.

Best of Luck with your decision, and Happy Hunting.


So since I don't blood track for deer I shouldn't have a Vdog in your opinion?? Or hunt coons, rabbits, sheds.


I'd like to have a 2nd dog but I've spent a lot of time training, so a 2nd would just be that much more time and you can't just not train even if they "know" it. So I've decided, as a single guy, I can't handle it. I also think the work outweighs the reward. Maybe if I hunted 60 days a year I'd have a different opinion.

It's all relative though, some guys get Vdogs and end up not hunting due to life issues. Is that doing justice to the dog? Does it matter? Up to you to decide. Plenty of GSPs (and labs) never hunt a day in their lives.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:38 pm

Not clear if you are directing a question my way or not.

When asked if someone who hunts 20 days a year needs a second high powered Vdog, I advise no. They are alot of work as you noted.

Does hunting pheasants 20 days a year support if you get another dog it would be best to acquire another high powered Vdog? Not in my opinion.

Those were the facts presented by the OP in this thread. I do not crusade on the subject, but respond accordingly when asked.

Can a hunting dog live happily without hunting? Probably so as long as it has sufficient exercise outlets.

Do I like to see it? No.

Am I willing to live with that outcome in my home? No.

Do I think there are obvious better solutions/breeds to owning a second dog in a casual hunting home? Yes.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby STait » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:58 pm

AverageGuy wrote:There is information in the thread you seem to be ignoring. The already existing PP is hunted 20 days a year. That does not scream get another one. In my view it points to the opposite. .


If I only got out 20 days a year I would not have 4 dogs like I do, but possibly 2 because I like to hunt them together on many occasions. Owning 4 dogs is a juggling act at best. I will typically have at least one with a pro trainer/field trialer several months a year. Just spent two weeks in WY chasing sage grouse and ran all four dogs twice a day. One was/is pregnant. I'm going to be breeding another female soon which means she will only get hunted for a month afterwords. But, it also means I will be stuck close to home and will have to abandon my trip to OK later this year. My dogs are the only reason I go upland hunting and they drive me to do so. Going back to one dog would feel very strange to me now;-) Then what would I do?? I say get another dog and get out in the field more often;-0
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:22 pm

I think the benefits and joy of hunting two dogs at the same time depends a lot on the terrain and bird being hunted. Quail, Huns, Sharptails/Prairie Chickens in open terrain and scattered birds it could be a real advantage and very enjoyable.

I hunt pheasants mostly in tall thick CRP as is big bluestem, switchgrass and indian grass which is chest high to over my head. And Cattails sloughs. Trying to keep track of and handle two dogs is not enjoyable to me under those conditions. And unlike those other upland birds scattered in much more vast open terrain, I do not think the productivity of using two dogs and one hunter/handler on pheasants has much payoff. Can just as easily be a determent when the handler cannot keep track of both dogs in that kind of cover. I kill alot of our pheasants hunting by myself and keeping track of/following my dog as he pursues moving birds. Highly likely two dogs are going to be going in different directions. Too hectic for me to enjoy it and I much prefer gluing myself to my single dog's tail and following him around the field/slough as he works run and stop roosters.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:43 pm

We hunt the same type og cover AG. I also hunt grouse and woodcock three days a week. Waterfowl occasionally. I don't need two dogs for any of those birds.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby hicntry » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:56 pm

Two males is an iffy proposition at best. It will be really tough to look at a pup and know he isn't going to mature out at the same social level as the dog you have. Dogs of the same social level spend their life trying to one up the other. It will create big problems. Having one dominate dog and one that isn't makes the dogs more compatible. Two dogs that mature out at the same status will be a major problem. If the decision is two dogs, get a female and have her spayed. If you want two dogs, get another one as a lower keyed companion dog and don't hunt it.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby hicntry » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:56 pm

...
Ignorance can be fixed but stupid is forever.
Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Jim Beam in one hand, Airedale in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby ckirsch » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:17 pm

If you enjoy dogs and training, have room for another, and want one, go ahead.

I live in South Dakota and might hunt 20-25 days per year, sharptails / prairie chickens / pheasant. Will jump a dam once in a while to shoot a duck or two. I've had two dogs for the past fifteen years or so, and it works out fine. I've only owned males, and fighting hasn't been a problem. Mine are allowed in the mud room of the house, but spend most of their time in individual kennels runs off the back of my garage. I typically take both along when I hunt and haven't regretted it. I usually pick up a pup when the older dog is around four or five years old. I really enjoy training and testing, so the additional dog provides me double the opportunities for that.

I've not found two dogs to be twice the work - if I have to go out and feed/water one it's pretty easy to get the second one while I'm out there. Annual visits to the vet cover both dogs in one trip. If I take one out for a mountain bike ride, or to run along the four wheeler while I'm working on fencing or watering shelterbelt trees, it's no extra trouble to bring the second. I didn't need to buy additional launchers and training equipment, or build more bird pens for the second dog.

It's not as if your dogs are being abused if they don't get hunted more than twenty days per year. Mine are taken for swims and bike rides often in the warmer months, and accompany me on ranch work a couple days every week year round. When training for a NAVHDA test the dogs probably get an additional fifteen to twenty days in the field or water prior to the test. If they could, I suspect my dogs would tell you they have it pretty damn good.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby STait » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:50 am

AverageGuy wrote:I think the benefits and joy of hunting two dogs at the same time depends a lot on the terrain and bird being hunted. Quail, Huns, Sharptails/Prairie Chickens in open terrain and scattered birds it could be a real advantage and very enjoyable.

I hunt pheasants mostly in tall thick CRP as is big bluestem, switchgrass and indian grass which is chest high to over my head. And Cattails sloughs. Trying to keep track of and handle two dogs is not enjoyable to me under those conditions. And unlike those other upland birds scattered in much more vast open terrain, I do not think the productivity of using two dogs and one hunter/handler on pheasants has much payoff. Can just as easily be a determent when the handler cannot keep track of both dogs in that kind of cover. I kill alot of our pheasants hunting by myself and keeping track of/following my dog as he pursues moving birds. Highly likely two dogs are going to be going in different directions. Too hectic for me to enjoy it and I much prefer gluing myself to my single dog's tail and following him around the field/slough as he works run and stop roosters.


AG, another benefit to having two dogs is when one tears their feet up chukar hunting, especially early in the season when their pads are not in tip top toughness mode. I agree that in many situations trying to handle two dogs is very difficult, but, like you say, there are plenty of places where they can be handled and are a lot of fun to work.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:47 am

I once concentrated only on water fowl... so much that I felt i wasted 1/2 the dogs life on poor migrations.

I swore with this one she'd get as much hunting as i could afford... an average of 30 days for woodcock, ducks, and preserves...

She gets daily fun bumpers, a weekly Sunday's run rain or shine and its still not enough to me.

I like the idea of some to get a rescue dog... it balances both worlds... best suggestion in this thread... more realistic to allow the hunting dog its fair share of time HUNTING... they have such a short time as it is.


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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby booger » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:34 pm

I guess I don't understand the suggestion of a rescue dog. There are so many problems that could come with that. Maybe if the rescue was bred for hunting...but even then that dog was rejected for a reason.

If you're set on a 2nd dog I'd lean more toward a started or retired hunting dog. Some bitches wash out of breeding programs, some males don't fit in with a breeder's philosophy. At least then you know the dog will hunt, well hopefully. And if you buy from a decent breeder you'll be aware of the issues.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby ckirsch » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:16 pm

My experience with rescue dogs hasn't been particularly encouraging, and the problem with getting a retired dog is that you'll likely end up with two old dogs at the same time. My last dog was a little over a year old when I got him, and I'm not sure I'd do that again. Cheated myself out of the joy of a puppy, and it took quite a while for that dog to accept me as the boss. I suspect he was waiting for his previous owner to show up. I enjoy the training, and would not take as much satisfaction in hunting behind a dog someone else had put the work into.

I guess I don't buy into the philosophy that you're being unfair to a dog if you don't hunt sixty days per year. If that was the case, very few of us would qualify to own one. I live in the heart of some of the best upland hunting in the world and I'm not able to hunt that much as I have kids in sports most weekends and they take priority. Should that disqualify me from owning a couple of bird dogs? Sure, they love to hunt and would be happy getting out more, but they're well cared for and get out of the kennel quite a bit outside of hunting.

If you like your current dog, wait until he's four or five and then get another one from the same breeder. He'll be in his prime when the first dog reaches retirement age, and when the older dog is gone, you'll have an experienced dog to hunt behind while you break in the next pup.
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Re: Should I get a second dog?

Postby JONOV » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:26 pm

booger wrote:I guess I don't understand the suggestion of a rescue dog. There are so many problems that could come with that. Maybe if the rescue was bred for hunting...but even then that dog was rejected for a reason.
If you're set on a 2nd dog I'd lean more toward a started or retired hunting dog. Some bitches wash out of breeding programs, some males don't fit in with a breeder's philosophy. At least then you know the dog will hunt, well hopefully. And if you buy from a decent breeder you'll be aware of the issues.

I think the idea is that he doesn't need another dog to help him hunt more or to fill a hole in his hunting schedule.

He wants another dog because he wants another pet, a companion for the current dog, etc...And that's fine, its a good thing.

The second dog would serve its purpose by greeting guests and chasing the current dog all over the yard and protecting the family from the wrath of the @$$#0le squirrels that are definitely up to no good.

Dogs are rejected for a lot of reasons, often that have little to do with the dog, and often that have something to do with it being the wrong dog. Hicntry wrote about some breeds needing a license...That's true.

I follow the GWPCA Rescue, things happen.

Looking down their list of dogs from the last several months...

My foster was a stray for three weeks til animal control live trapped her. She was spayed in the past, so she was a pet before they caught her. No idea why someone would turn her out. She's a pretty decent companion dog.

There are a handful that were just strays that got sprung from the pound by rescues.
A 10 yr old hunting dog's owner died.
A 9 year old GWP's owner was becoming homeless, due to ongoing cancer treatments (that one found a Good Samaritan to watch him while the owner got things in order hopefully)
Another was rescued from a case of severe neglect with wounds from confinement
And yes, some with problems of one sort or another:
Another one was given up since it would fight with family members dogs when they came to the house
Another dog that was given up due to resource guarding but otherwise was good with other dogs. The resource guarding was dealt with by the original owners by shocking it and poking it with sticks while it ate.

From the EP rescue page...
Given up due to gunshyness. That's all.
Two given up due to "being too old to hunt" by a hunting preserve that dumped them at a shelter
A GSP I saw advertised by a breeder, where the owner decided at 8 she was too old and gave her back to the breeder...The breeder was trying to rehome her

There's no character requirement or competency evaluation for acquiring a dog, and even diligent breeders can do only so much. The only real requirement is that your money is green to pay the seller.
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