DD and range

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DD and range

Postby RDJ » Tue May 22, 2018 7:50 am

Those who know the "German way" of hunting, knows that pointing dogs (where they are still used for small game) typically are kept under a lot more control than what is done in i.e. the US.
The US, I think, has a lot of things in common with the Scandinavian countries (where I hunt) when it comes to the way we let our dogs hunt. At least here, we let the dog figure things out quite freely, saying and doing very little after releasing the young dog in the field. Seldom do we take the young dog and actively teach quartering with the whistle etc., which I am under the impression is normal in Germany. It's quite natural too though, as we have bigger hunting grounds and fewer heavily trafficked roads than Germany does.

As a result, I've come to learn that asking Germans about "range" rarely makes sense to them. So that's why I ask here, where I know many people has a lot of experience hunting the DD the "American" (and thus, I believe, the "Scandinavian") way, where we get to see the dog's natural range. What range will a DD typically have while bird hunting in open country? In areas in the US where range is required/beneficial, is there a tendency towards breeding bigger running dogs (naturally while still within the VDD system), or do the German dogs have enough run in them when trained/hunted more freely?
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Re: DD and range

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:10 am

Some do, some don’t. There’s a significant difference in natural range between my two dogs. Like many breeds, you just need to find a breeder that hunts what you hunt and you should find what you are looking for.
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Re: DD and range

Postby bwjohn » Tue May 22, 2018 8:33 pm

i would say similar to Europe there is a significant difference between dogs in the east and the west of the USA. And I would also say the hunting styles are different in those two areas as well.

the wide open prairies and the high desserts of the west gives dogs plenty of room to run and stretch out. In the East it is much more like you describe Germany, generally thicker cover (hunting for grouse mostly), a lot more roads and a lot opportunities for bad things to happens. Those are stereotypes.

I have seen a fair number of DD's in each location and I would say they are definitely larger ranging in the west and shorter in the east. I think the German system in general promotes a dog that is more under "control" and allowed less movement, especially compared to something like an All Age Horseback Field Trial.

Although not a DD, I have a PP, which i feel in general is a closer working breed, but mine is anything but that. I allowed him at an early age to move at his pace and hunt the way he wanted and I couldn't be happier with the way he turned out.

My thoughts are from the dogs that I have seen and are stereotypes of the dogs.

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Re: DD and range

Postby AverageGuy » Fri May 25, 2018 7:02 am

Great question you ask. Hope this thread gets some heavyweight DD folks to weigh in. I have always been interested as to whether there were DD kennel lines which consistently produced bigger running stylish bird work vs just the occasional variation between dogs. Might get better traction in the German Testing Section.
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Re: DD and range

Postby RDJ » Fri May 25, 2018 3:12 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:Some do, some don’t. There’s a significant difference in natural range between my two dogs. Like many breeds, you just need to find a breeder that hunts what you hunt and you should find what you are looking for.


But that's just the issue, I do not think (m)any German breeders hunt the way I do. In Germany, from what I understand, the dogs are expected to hunt in much closer cooperation with the hunter than what we do in Norway. The question is whether this is taught or genetic. That's why I think it is interesting to ask here, since many Americans have done just what I'm about to do - import a German pup and hunt it "my" way, letting it develop its natural hunting range.

Just like Averageguy says, it would be very interesting to know whether there exist lines consistently producing bigger running dogs.

Just as a sidenote, I come from a background with wachtelhunds. With these dogs, it certainly true that the dogs are kept short by training as opposed to genetics. In Norway we generally prefer these dogs to follow the same animal for 10-30 minutes while giving tongue before returning to the hunter, which is generally what is outlined in Germany as well. With my first one, I let him develop in the woods completely free, keeping obedience training away from hunting situations. At one year old, he would follow the same animal 1-1,5 hours, and sometimes be gone for 3-4 hours before returning. After rigorous training he was "wheeled in", and by the third season he hunted as expected. Point being, I expect the Drahthaar to be the same kind of dog, having power in abundance and being able to reach out 200-400 yards if the terrain allows it, when being hunted somewhat more freely.
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Re: DD and range

Postby mahlon » Sat May 26, 2018 6:46 am

I you want a 2-400 yard dd you will have to do your homework. I have had to dd's and a 1990's gwp. One ranged as far as you are looking for, one walked within 50 yards all the time and on searched hard at about 50-75 yards.

I bought the gwp after owning an Irish Setter and an EP that ranged way to far for me. They were pre e-collar. The GWP then was advertised as one of the closest working dogs that used their nose to hunt instead of their legs and that was just what he did. Since then the GWP has been bred for trials and their is a GWP breeding group that is concentrating on bigger running, strong pointing dogs. It may be an option for you if your want a big running "DD".

When I bought my first DD, I did it to get a little more active search and I ended up with a big running independent dog with an incredible prey drive. He is great in the water. Hard to control and not a lot of point. I bought an ecollar and got him under control so we get along now but he still likes to go when I let him.

For my third dog, I wanted a DD that hunted close naturally. I called a lot of breeders and one said "If I had a close hunting DD that was really high on co-operation I would never admit it. After a long search and alot of calls, I got a few leads on guys that bred closer working dogs for grouse hunting thick woods. I visited a few and watched them work. I looked at the test scores for low search scores and high point and cooperation scores. I ended up with exactly what I wanted.

So the point of this story is yes you can find a DD or GWP that hunts like you want but talk to a lot of people, look at scores and go see the parents hunt. These dogs come with a big variation in talents.
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Re: DD and range

Postby Trailsend » Mon May 28, 2018 8:07 am

Not all GWP are bred for trials. That is only part off the story. The vast majority of GWP I have ever hunted behind are probably 75-100 yard dogs. Opening up further if needed. But not stretching out to much further as a general rule.
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Re: DD and range

Postby RDJ » Mon May 28, 2018 9:04 am

Thanks for interesting replies. I'm not asking specifically because I'm looking for a pup, I've already ordered one that will be picked up in a month's time. She will be my first 100% DD, time will show what range she has.

I do have another youngster who fully satisfy my needs regarding range, she's also got a heavy dose continental blood in her veins. Nonetheless, I find the subject of range very interesting, since the way we train and hunt the dogs seem to have such an impact. I am sure that there are lots of great runners in the German system, but as the German ideal is (and should be) different than the typical "brace trial" mentality, it is not easy to find them.
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Re: DD and range

Postby ILuvHuns » Mon May 28, 2018 5:58 pm

mahlon wrote:
For my third dog, I wanted a DD that hunted close naturally. I called a lot of breeders and one said "If I had a close hunting DD that was really high on co-operation I would never admit it. After a long search and alot of calls, I got a few leads on guys that bred closer working dogs for grouse hunting thick woods. I visited a few and watched them work. I looked at the test scores for low search scores and high point and cooperation scores. I ended up with exactly what I wanted.

So the point of this story is yes you can find a DD or GWP that hunts like you want but talk to a lot of people, look at scores and go see the parents hunt. These dogs come with a big variation in talents.


This! Good post.

I want my pups to stretch out. I hunt the short grass prairies of ND, Montana and Idaho quite a bit. My Rainmaker dogs will easily run 300-400 in short grass prairie. My Zeffiro/Dachswiese dog 300-500. I have a young female from Bockenhagen lines that's doing the same. They all tighten up in heavier cover, but in wide - open country they get after it.

Don't just look at test scores - get your hands on mom and dad and watch them work. Look at the Ahnentafel and start asking questions about the dogs listed - all the way back.
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Re: DD and range

Postby JONOV » Tue May 29, 2018 7:53 am

RDJ wrote:
Misskiwi67 wrote:Some do, some don’t. There’s a significant difference in natural range between my two dogs. Like many breeds, you just need to find a breeder that hunts what you hunt and you should find what you are looking for.


But that's just the issue, I do not think (m)any German breeders hunt the way I do. In Germany, from what I understand, the dogs are expected to hunt in much closer cooperation with the hunter than what we do in Norway. The question is whether this is taught or genetic. That's why I think it is interesting to ask here, since many Americans have done just what I'm about to do - import a German pup and hunt it "my" way, letting it develop its natural hunting range.

Just like Averageguy says, it would be very interesting to know whether there exist lines consistently producing bigger running dogs.

Just as a sidenote, I come from a background with wachtelhunds. With these dogs, it certainly true that the dogs are kept short by training as opposed to genetics. In Norway we generally prefer these dogs to follow the same animal for 10-30 minutes while giving tongue before returning to the hunter, which is generally what is outlined in Germany as well. With my first one, I let him develop in the woods completely free, keeping obedience training away from hunting situations. At one year old, he would follow the same animal 1-1,5 hours, and sometimes be gone for 3-4 hours before returning. After rigorous training he was "wheeled in", and by the third season he hunted as expected. Point being, I expect the Drahthaar to be the same kind of dog, having power in abundance and being able to reach out 200-400 yards if the terrain allows it, when being hunted somewhat more freely.


Have you thought of going somewhere other than Germany? Maybe a dog out of Romania or Russia where they have some more territory for a dog to open up would help fill your needs.
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Re: DD and range

Postby AverageGuy » Tue May 29, 2018 8:09 am

Some posts have hit on the optimal. A dog which adjusts to cover.

Put my GWP in a cattail slough hunting pheasants and he will be within 75 yards most of the time. He got out over 500 yards in wheat stubble hunting Prairie Chickens this past fall. And that was only minutes apart as we hunted for Prairie Chickens first and then swung down into the cattail slough when the SD 10:00 start time for pheasants rolled around.

A dog with only one range is not very versatile and it is not fun hacking a dog in closer in tight cover and mostly impossible to push one out in open country if it is not self motivated.

As posted above, How you handle the dog when it is young makes a big difference. Which for me that means do not handle them much, rather let them search and explore.

I do not mean to negate the search for the right genetics however. Just that the ideal genetics is a dog with brains and cooperation to use its drive productively for the task at hand, which will vary for a lot of hunters who hunt different birds in different terrain frequently.
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Re: DD and range

Postby jlw034 » Tue May 29, 2018 5:46 pm

My DD ranges too far in thick grouse woods and too close in short pheasant grass.

Lucky me!
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Re: DD and range

Postby greg jacobs » Tue May 29, 2018 10:30 pm

I know the DK's are of two different types in Europe . I bet the DD's are as well. I don't prefer the German type which are bred more for Fur. Where in other areas are much more oriented towards feather. Different look, range, and temperament.
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Re: DD and range

Postby mahlon » Wed May 30, 2018 6:49 am

greg jacobs wrote:I know the DK's are of two different types in Europe . I bet the DD's are as well. I don't prefer the German type which are bred more for Fur. Where in other areas are much more oriented towards feather. Different look, range, and temperament.

I think you are correct on this point and it has happened to other Vdog breeds in the US. In the mid sixties, I hunted with weims, britts, vizlas, shorthairs and gwps. All of them were 50-75 yard hunters. Most would track birds slowly and wait for the hunter to get there when the bird stopped. You never needed an ecollar and seldom needed a whistle. They always worked to stay in front of and close to the hunter, They were great for the hunter that was only and average trainer. They were great for hunting small eastern fields and wood lots. They would root around in the brush for rabbbits and took out alot of feral cats and ground hogs.

Now I hear about gwps competing in all breed trials and about 500 DDs that magically switch to the dog described above when needed. I ran into a GSP owner that bought a new pup and it would disapear as soon as he was let off the leash, ran through the ecollar and came back two hours later. fThat has not been may experience.

When I was calling around looking for my old fashioned DD it was very difficult finding him as mentioned above. I found him but that breeder has now bred his female to one of the biggest running dogs in the country. I understand that is probably where the market is now but miss the days when you could buy a dog and it would be genically true to the old style dog. Luckily, has have my last dog and it is the best I ever had, according to my needs.
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Re: DD and range

Postby RDJ » Wed May 30, 2018 3:37 pm

Lots of interesting thoughts here, and even a couple of posts with specific information and range and lines, thanks for that :-). The Dachswiese and Zeffiro names are the ones that have popped up most in my own research as well, in addition to the Karlo vom Landhagen (through Luchs III v.d. Wupperaue, Matze vom Schinkelberg) blood that has been very successful in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries.

It's totally correct that we have a "split" in both the DD and DK in Europe, and it's not difficult to find a Norwegian "drahthaar" that runs in the 500-800 yard range. But such range is not useful for anyone but the fetishists in my opinion, and a lot of other essential attributes are lost along the way in breeding such dogs.

So I was just interested in hearing opinions and experiences regarding the range og VDD dogs. Both because this is an interesting topic in my opinion, but also since the dogs are hunted in a different way in Germany, and therefore I would not compare apples to apples if I would collect all my information from German hunters.
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