Dog research, found a breeder

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Dog research, found a breeder

Postby woodskiff » Thu May 28, 2020 12:23 pm

Hello gang,

My first post. A little background...

I've raised and hunted with 3 Chessies over the last 30 years. When I was a young teen growing up in Jersey, my best friend's family were hunters (and trapped and fished). They were passionate duck hunters, which rubbed off on me in a big way. I hunted spring fed marshes, WMA's, the Delaware River and the Jersey shore estuaries. Most of it was heavy going in thick stuff, swift tidal creeks, bad weather, ice, deep mud, etc. I also hunted pheasant and quail between the duck seasons, though none of my Chessies were enthusiastic about it. I would not exchange those experiences for for anything and loved every minute of it. My dog of choice has been the CBR, who were bred for those conditions. They were just tough and very capable. Sometimes their abilities seemed supernatural, like finding ducks under water (I swear).

I'm 57 now. After years of doing construction (among other physical things) my body is starting to complain and limit me. I no longer want to claw through marsh mud, haul huge bags of decoys through swamps or hike over miles of salt hay meadow. My current Chessie (God love him) is 15 and he's not up to that either. It's time for a new hunting paradigm and a new partner.

I now live in eastern Pa. Going forward, I see myself hunting the state gamelands for stocked birds and doing some early season jump shooting for ducks. I have a small boat that I will float hunt on the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. I don't see the CBR as the best choice or necessary for this kind of hunting. I have looked hard for an American Water Spaniel, but breeders are few and far between. My thinking now is to get a VDD. This would be my first time training a pointer which sounds interesting. I assume there would be fewer fly-offs, too.

I found a breeder in Mifflinburg Pa and contacted him by phone. http://www.vombuffeltaler.com/index.html He and his dogs are checking all the right boxes for me.

I have 2 questions:
Am I looking at a suitable breed?
Has anyone here had experience with this breeder?

Thanks!
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby woodskiff » Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 pm

In the meantime, I have gotten in touch with another breeder from south Jersey, Tony LaDow. The man sounds super knowledgeable. I also spoke with a man local to me who took one of Tony's dogs, couldn't say enough good things about Tony and his dogs.
This is getting interesting.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby AverageGuy » Fri May 29, 2020 6:17 am

Yes you are looking at the right breed. I suggest you also take a look at this breeder. https://www.schwarzwaldkennels.com
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby JONOV » Fri May 29, 2020 10:36 am

There is a poster on this site that has a Bufeltaler dog and a Schwarzwald dog, maybe he'll comment. You are looking at a suitable breed; the question mark I would have is if you intend to float hunt with the dog, and the dog being able to get in and out of a small boat without swamping you, but you know your boat and hunting better than we do. The dogs are similar in terms of scale to a chessie...

DD's and GWP's are Chessie-ish in some regards; they both tend to be rock solid mentally, stop-at-nothing hunters.

I think that one thing the VDD-GNA does very well, is that it pressures their buyers to test their dogs through HZP and therefore people train their dogs themselves to a level they might not have known how to otherwise.

I'd second AG's recommendation at calling Kyle Hough with Schwarzwald kennels, also vom Millerhaus in PA.

The other breed I'd consider is a Pudelpointer.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby woodskiff » Fri May 29, 2020 3:18 pm

Thank you for the replies, AverageGuy and JONOV.

I was on vacation this week and spent a lot of time reading up on this breed (some of it here) and watching videos. The VDD looks to be a great candidate for a hunting partner.

When I spoke with the man Tony LaDow referred me to what impressed me greatly was not just his praise for the dog but also for Tony himself. He went into detail about how much Tony has made himself available for training advice. He said that he gets together with Tony for "field training" days in NJ and that Tony has an interest in helping owners raise well-trained hunting dogs.

I took a ride to Bridgeton, NJ this morning to meet Tony and see his dogs (vom Wasser Zuruck).

When I pulled in, three adult dogs all came to the same point partway down the driveway and warned me to go no further. They came no closer when I got out of my truck but kept an eye on me. They did not seem skittish or nervous. Tony waived me over and said something to the dogs, who broke up and escorted me into the yard. I gave the three a couple of minutes to check me out while Tony and I said hello and spoke. Caution turned to tail wagging, tail wagging turned to rubbing up against me and bringing me "gifts". A good start!

I had never seen a VDD before, they are impressive. Well built, great coats (hard!), gave off an air of intelligence. They paid strict attention to Tony when he spoke and were well behaved. Steady, mature and confident are words that come to mind. These were not older dogs, they were all under 4 years old.

I then spent nearly half an hour sitting in the whelping kennel, while pups crawled all over me. I know, difficult work but somebody has to do it. I was in heaven. What a pile of little beauties! I had almost forgotten the blessed experience of little teeth and puppy breath. I didn't want to leave.

Tony's setup was clean and orderly, no dog waste anywhere on the property. The whelping kennel was made of quality materials and clean inside and out. I mention these things because I have been to kennels where such was not the case. The pups all looked healthy and were clean and active. In kissable condition and I didn't hold back. Various sizes, markings, colors and temperaments (Tony says they change roles daily). They are 5 weeks old.

I handed over a check for the deposit. I am last in line, so I guess I don't really get to pick! I'm fine with that, a female will soon be ours. In his priceless book, Hey Pup, Fetch It Up!, Bill Tarrant wrote that the two winningest field trial labradors (of the time) were both last picks of the litter. Says a lot about puppy picking "technique". Besides our Chessies we have had other dogs over the years and I believe that puppy picking is a roll of the dice. I will make the most of whatever this little girl's talents are.

I'm glad that this forum exists, will be sending updates in a few weeks.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby AverageGuy » Fri May 29, 2020 8:59 pm

Nice that you are so excited about getting a pup. You will really enjoy the breed.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat May 30, 2020 7:42 am

Sounds like an excellent breeder with both intelligent and biddable dogs. I think you made a great choice in both breeder and breed. Can't wait for you to keep us updated on your adventures with the pup.
You have to be smarter than the dog to train it.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby jlw034 » Sat May 30, 2020 4:41 pm

Welcome to the club. Speaking of club, the V in VDD means club, or society. So you are about to have a DD, not a VDD. Just clarifying.

Drahts are a great canvas to work with. Pick of the litter shouldn't matter in a good breeding.

Lena is my first gundog, a draht out of Manitoba. She's been everything I asked for...both good and not good.

I'm getting a PP this time around, but drahts could easily be in my future again.

Start a puppy thread when she comes. We live vicariously through new puppy owners.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby J D Patrick » Sun May 31, 2020 5:14 am

you'll enjoy the dog and you are in an area with some good folks -
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby woodskiff » Sun May 31, 2020 10:07 am

Pup will be coming home the weekend of the 20th. I'm trying to manipulate my work schedule so I can take that week off. I want to be able to deal with the hourly and twice a night potty schedule myself to start the bonding. We can get a jump on traveling and socializing, too.

I'm joining VDD-GNA and NAHVDA. Happily, the nearest NAHVDA chapter is Bushkill with the training grounds mostly within an hour of my house.

I have found a number of books and DVDs specifically about training VHDs. Also this nifty training kit:
https://www.gundogsupply.com/dokken-retriever-puppy-training-kit.html

I will certainly post photos of the homecoming.
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Re: Dog research, found a breeder

Postby JONOV » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:09 pm

Very nice. I wouldn't worry about last pick of the litter. I know plenty of folks think they can pick the star candidate from a litter, but honestly IMO it's what you put into the dog. It's hard to tell much aside from coat.
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