Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Mountainhunter76 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:13 am

Expert, what did you end up with if I may ask, and why? What breeder did you use? What are your thoughts on it now after you've work with your dog?

I would pose these questions to everyone responding who would be willing to provide me with as much information and perspective as possible.

Thank you everyone.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby JONOV » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:50 am

Mountainhunter76 wrote:Expert, what did you end up with if I may ask, and why? What breeder did you use? What are your thoughts on it now after you've work with your dog?

I would pose these questions to everyone responding who would be willing to provide me with as much information and perspective as possible.

Thank you everyone.

I bought a German Wirehaired pointer from a local breeder, don't pick your breeder the way I picked mine though it (fingers crossed) 2.5 years in its worked out.

This is what I'll tell you. Mostly, you'll get out of the dog what you put in.
  • Don't compare your progress with others, either online or in your social circles; I did and there was no reason for me to expect to have the same progress as a guy that's trained three VC's and is now retired
  • Figure out what's important to you and develop it
  • let the dog be a dog...don't expect Graduate level work from your middle school dog taught by a homeschool teacher (you)
  • ...But start early with socialization, manners and obedience, anyone can do that
  • Remember that some things come with maturity...Steadiness is just now coming to my dog at 2.5...some of that is my own limitations, some of that his us understanding each other better.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:44 pm

I couldn't be any happier with the griff that I got less than two years ago. Had brittanies before that and only used them for upland. Now that I'm in a different area where there is lots of waterfowl opportunities I wanted a dog that could do it all,,,,,upland, waterfowl, as well as the ability to track. I purposely only looked at breeders who only sold their pups to hunters, the more serious a hunter in their minds the better. It didn't bother me at all that they had lots of questions, basically giving me the third degree, in regards to my intentions for the dog. Tells me they care about the breed and where their pups go.

I also looked for a pup that would be from a repeat breeding so I would know what to expect in terms of size, prey drive, biddability, and its general health. Mine came from a third breeding of the parents and without question, she came as advertised.

As far as training on your own is concerned it is not a difficult as you maybe imagining. I had never force fetched a dog before or done anywhere close to the same extent of retrieving drills that I've done or have been doing with this dog. I had never done blind retrieve training either or drills like walking baseball, etc. My dog and I have learned a lot together and we have developed an unbreakable bond that I think is stronger because I did all the work myself. Of course, this is just my opinion.

I did buy a couple of DVD sets by well known trainers (Evan Graham, Jon Hann) to get me started on the stuff I hadn't tried before but there is ton of good you tubes out there, as well as the advise you an get off a forum such as this on just about anything under the sun when it comes to training a bird dog. Plus, as mentioned, there's NAVDHA groups you can join. Just wish we had one in our province. I'm going to check for one south of me.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:26 pm

nicely said
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby orhunter » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:14 pm

+2
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby draht1516 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:30 pm

First time dog owner and first time versatile dog owner to boot. I looked into mostly wirehairs because 1) Waterfowl ability was a MUST for me and 2) I love the look :)

I live in an area where breeders are limited and I ended up going with one that was highly engaged with guys who bought pups from him and the club he belonged to. I looked into WPGs, PPs, CFs, DDs, SMs, even BFs and ended up buying a DD for the support the breeder and club would be able to provide. I believe the support you'll be able to get from amateur and experienced bird dog owners alike is super important. Being able to text/call or even hunt with my pups siblings, the breeder and members of the club have been incredibly helpful. Cant stress that enough.

If you're interested in waterfowl, I'd focus on a breed that is well known for waterfowl and suited for cold water conditions e.g. the wirehairs. I'd ignore any anecdotal examples of owners claiming other breeds excelling in this area that aren't particularly known for being strong waterfowl dogs. Not to say they aren't true but as a first timer, I wouldn't take chances on the next 12 years and rely on genetic ability as much as you can. Take a look at what the breeder hunts and that should give you an idea of what his pups will be able to do.

Lastly, dogs shed. Although, I wouldn't say my DDs shedding is bad at all and he has a long, thick coat. Your wife will forget about it real quick when she sees that puppy for the first time :)
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Mountainhunter76 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:56 pm

draht1516 wrote:First time dog owner and first time versatile dog owner to boot. I looked into mostly wirehairs because 1) Waterfowl ability was a MUST for me and 2) I love the look :)

I live in an area where breeders are limited and I ended up going with one that was highly engaged with guys who bought pups from him and the club he belonged to. I looked into WPGs, PPs, CFs, DDs, SMs, even BFs and ended up buying a DD for the support the breeder and club would be able to provide. I believe the support you'll be able to get from amateur and experienced bird dog owners alike is super important. Being able to text/call or even hunt with my pups siblings, the breeder and members of the club have been incredibly helpful. Cant stress that enough.

If you're interested in waterfowl, I'd focus on a breed that is well known for waterfowl and suited for cold water conditions e.g. the wirehairs. I'd ignore any anecdotal examples of owners claiming other breeds excelling in this area that aren't particularly known for being strong waterfowl dogs. Not to say they aren't true but as a first timer, I wouldn't take chances on the next 12 years and rely on genetic ability as much as you can. Take a look at what the breeder hunts and that should give you an idea of what his pups will be able to do.

Lastly, dogs shed. Although, I wouldn't say my DDs shedding is bad at all and he has a long, thick coat. Your wife will forget about it real quick when she sees that puppy for the first time :)


First, thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it very much.
I am researching the wirehaired breeds exclusively. I will not purchase a pup from a breeder that does not waterfowl hunt. It seems pretty clearly to be counter intuitive to what I am looking for.
Do you find your DD to be more "high drive" than what you thought you wanted in a dog. Does it have a good off switch at home? I'm wondering about these and other high prey drive (fur/feather) dogs and running off game when you are bird hunting? If you train them for blood trail, how do you stop them from running deer?? E collar? Is it even a problem?
Was the breeder being local and the support your sole reason for going for a DD??
Thanks,
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:44 am

MtHunter76, If you look in the Hunting section of this forum you will see blood track deer recoveries, upland bird and waterfowl hunts I have enjoyed with my GWPs. Using an ecollar to break them off of running deer, coyotes is easy and no different than breaking any dog of the same.

Here is a link to Breeders.

https://www.wirehairalliance.com/breedersmembers

The Bachman Bay Breeder hunts waterfowl and upland birds of all kinds a great deal, is in your state and using alot of the Bone Point bloodlines that my current dog came from in Oregon. Numerous breeders of excellent GWPs on that List.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby JONOV » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:25 pm

AverageGuy wrote:MtHunter76, If you look in the Hunting section of this forum you will see blood track deer recoveries, upland bird and waterfowl hunts I have enjoyed with my GWPs. Using an ecollar to break them off of running deer, coyotes is easy and no different than breaking any dog of the same.

Here is a link to Breeders.

https://www.wirehairalliance.com/breedersmembers

The Bachman Bay Breeder hunts waterfowl and upland birds of all kinds a great deal, is in your state and using alot of the Bone Point bloodlines that my current dog came from in Oregon. Numerous breeders of excellent GWPs on that List.

I don't know how you and Spud do it, But I blood trail with Gus on a really long check cord that I can drop if I need to to maneuver around but its otherwise a pursuit on a leash. I've not done much formal training with it just brought him out to help buddies find deer or to find my deer.

From what I've seen, a dog chasing deer isn't that different than training steadiness (stop to wing, flush and fall.) Meaning, the dog instinctively wants to chase after the bird, especially if its shot, but training them out of that doesn't affect their desire to hunt them.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Mountainhunter76 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:34 pm

JONOV wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:MtHunter76, If you look in the Hunting section of this forum you will see blood track deer recoveries, upland bird and waterfowl hunts I have enjoyed with my GWPs. Using an ecollar to break them off of running deer, coyotes is easy and no different than breaking any dog of the same.

Here is a link to Breeders.

https://www.wirehairalliance.com/breedersmembers

The Bachman Bay Breeder hunts waterfowl and upland birds of all kinds a great deal, is in your state and using alot of the Bone Point bloodlines that my current dog came from in Oregon. Numerous breeders of excellent GWPs on that List.

I don't know how you and Spud do it, But I blood trail with Gus on a really long check cord that I can drop if I need to to maneuver around but its otherwise a pursuit on a leash. I've not done much formal training with it just brought him out to help buddies find deer or to find my deer.

From what I've seen, a dog chasing deer isn't that different than training steadiness (stop to wing, flush and fall.) Meaning, the dog instinctively wants to chase after the bird, especially if its shot, but training them out of that doesn't affect their desire to hunt them.


I think that was the information I was looking for JONOV. My main concern was how does the dog that is breed for birds *and* fur know how to shut it off when you're pheasant hunting and it jumps a deer in the same cover(this can be very likely where I would be hunting)? Especially when you use that same dog to "track" deer, or is bred to track and trail deer? I'm not sure I would want a dog that runs down every skunk/coon or deer that crosses it's path.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:53 pm

something that's kept me from from looking at DD's is their strong affinity for fur - my wife is dead set against them because she believes they do not get along with cats for one thing, and I've heard lots of comments about raccoons, skunks, porcupines, being prime prey for them. I've seen setters, griffons, pudelpointers all get into porcupines but my feeling is that these breeds are easier to discourage conflict; not so DD's. I had a griff that was raised with a couple of cats yet the truce was always uneasy. And then there's the famous Orhunter cat story :shock:. What are other's experiences?
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:33 pm

Mountainhunter76 wrote:
JONOV wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:MtHunter76, If you look in the Hunting section of this forum you will see blood track deer recoveries, upland bird and waterfowl hunts I have enjoyed with my GWPs. Using an ecollar to break them off of running deer, coyotes is easy and no different than breaking any dog of the same.

Here is a link to Breeders.

https://www.wirehairalliance.com/breedersmembers

The Bachman Bay Breeder hunts waterfowl and upland birds of all kinds a great deal, is in your state and using alot of the Bone Point bloodlines that my current dog came from in Oregon. Numerous breeders of excellent GWPs on that List.

I don't know how you and Spud do it, But I blood trail with Gus on a really long check cord that I can drop if I need to to maneuver around but its otherwise a pursuit on a leash. I've not done much formal training with it just brought him out to help buddies find deer or to find my deer.

From what I've seen, a dog chasing deer isn't that different than training steadiness (stop to wing, flush and fall.) Meaning, the dog instinctively wants to chase after the bird, especially if its shot, but training them out of that doesn't affect their desire to hunt them.


I think that was the information I was looking for JONOV. My main concern was how does the dog that is breed for birds *and* fur know how to shut it off when you're pheasant hunting and it jumps a deer in the same cover(this can be very likely where I would be hunting)? Especially when you use that same dog to "track" deer, or is bred to track and trail deer? I'm not sure I would want a dog that runs down every skunk/coon or deer that crosses it's path.


Spud and I took a short hunt this morning in some tall grass Prairie where I shot a 2 shell limit of pointed wild roosters. As we do on just about every hunt we pushed out a herd of bedded whitetail deer at very close range. No big deal. The dog is broke from running deer using an ecollar, as they all must be and I posted above.

If you check out my post titled Versatile Dog in the hunting section you will see two trophy buck recoveries from this season. As I relayed in that post, there was a live bedded deer exactly where we walked in to start that 18 hour old track. The live deer jumped up and bounded off 10 yards in front of my dog and I as we approached. The dog ignored the seconds old smoking hot deer track and worked the 18 hour blood to the buck. Which was alive, tracked some more, bayed and recovered. No dog is effective on blood tracking deer if it is not already broken from chasing live healthy deer. Which with an ecollar is not difficult to do.

You can also break a GWP or DD from Fur using an ecollar if that is how you want the dog to work.

Are they more inclined to engage in a lethal manner when they find a coon, than say a setter or an EP. On average yes. More than a Griffon - Not at all if you have a good Griffon. I have a FB friend who's Griff kills coons a dozen times a season hunting the type of heavy grass cover we hunt in these parts. Other Friends GSPs - the same.

If you don't want your dog of any breed engaging them, you break them off, just as you have to break them from deer, rattlesnakes, porcupines, coyotes ...
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby JONOV » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:03 pm

Mountainhunter76 wrote:
JONOV wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:MtHunter76, If you look in the Hunting section of this forum you will see blood track deer recoveries, upland bird and waterfowl hunts I have enjoyed with my GWPs. Using an ecollar to break them off of running deer, coyotes is easy and no different than breaking any dog of the same.

Here is a link to Breeders.

https://www.wirehairalliance.com/breedersmembers

The Bachman Bay Breeder hunts waterfowl and upland birds of all kinds a great deal, is in your state and using alot of the Bone Point bloodlines that my current dog came from in Oregon. Numerous breeders of excellent GWPs on that List.

I don't know how you and Spud do it, But I blood trail with Gus on a really long check cord that I can drop if I need to to maneuver around but its otherwise a pursuit on a leash. I've not done much formal training with it just brought him out to help buddies find deer or to find my deer.

From what I've seen, a dog chasing deer isn't that different than training steadiness (stop to wing, flush and fall.) Meaning, the dog instinctively wants to chase after the bird, especially if its shot, but training them out of that doesn't affect their desire to hunt them.


I think that was the information I was looking for JONOV. My main concern was how does the dog that is breed for birds *and* fur know how to shut it off when you're pheasant hunting and it jumps a deer in the same cover(this can be very likely where I would be hunting)? Especially when you use that same dog to "track" deer, or is bred to track and trail deer? I'm not sure I would want a dog that runs down every skunk/coon or deer that crosses it's path.

You can break them off varmints (coons, skunks, etc) with an e-collar to some extent. I've done the same with deer. Now, he'll leave it and ignore it if I tell him firmly, if he bumps he'll try and give chase but he'll come off it pretty quickly with a leave it and maybe an e-collar nick.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby ryanr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:18 pm

Bruce, based on what I've seen, for the most part I don't think there's a big difference in fur drive between a GWP and a DD, of course there'salways variation in imdividual.dogs of both "breeds." Most of breaking or reigning fur drive in comes down to training and environment (raised as pups in a house with cats.)

And I think AverageGuy gives good advice his post above as well.

I can pretty easily call my DD off fur if need be and when we're hunting birds he knows what we're after and hunts accordingly. He's much more apt to give chase to fur when he knows we're just on an exercise trek, especially since he knows I'll oblige him a bit at that time and let him have some fun hightailing it after a fox or coyote or keeping a check on the groundhog population for the local farmer.
Last edited by ryanr on Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for bird/duck dog zero experience with them

Postby Mountainhunter76 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:26 pm

Thank you for the clarification. Sounds like all my issues are easily remedied via training regardless of being bred for certain traits or not, which is what I had questions about.
Again, never having trained a hunting dog these are things I don't know.
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