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Thread: which dog is better?

  1. #1

    Question which dog is better?

    I'm ready to get a hunting dog, and I can't decide between a german shorthaired pointer or a yellow lab. Anyone have any experience with both? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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    Actually I own two Labs and a GSP...I have no experience with the GSP Im trying.BUt Ive had labs a long time.
    So depending on If you are going to Waterfowl or Upland Game hunt will be your deciding factor.Now my lab that I hunt is well rounded and does it all.My pointer does not like to swim.
    I hope that kinda helps you out.
    And here are my girls.







    Im partial to the Labs




    Daniel

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    Default Better for what

    Both breeds bring a lot to the table. They are very different though in many ways. What is your general outlook on life? What do you expect from a dog? How much time to you have to commit? What are your goals w/regards to the dog?
    If I were extremely active, wanting to focus on upland birds, skijoring, long distance runs, etc. I might choose the GSP. Yes, GSP do everything well from bears to birds, but not typically in extreme cold.
    If I were a bit lazier, did not want to compete in ski joring or pulk racing, lived north of the AK range where it is colder longer, and wanted to hunt everything from hares to geese, I would go the lab.
    Need more protection? Good solid trainer already? Don't make too many mistakes? GSP. Our GSP was tough and mean to the whole world except us. She was also high maintenance.
    My labs bark and carry on, but are easy for strangers to be around. I think I bite harder than they do.
    We all really do need more info from you before we can help. Both are great choices though.

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    Default color is not important

    Just wanted to add that after spending almost 30 years with labs, and training everything before that that I could get my hands on, color is not important. Nobody in the world cares if your dog is yellow, black, or something in between. And color never brought back a bird. I might suggest that you not put yourself in a box looking at just one option on the lab side.
    Don't get me wrong. I do like handsome. I would hate to be caught with an ugly dog, but if that dog could hunt, well, enough said.

  5. #5

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    Get a Braques de Bourbonnais... You won't be disappointed. Smartest pointing breed I've ever seen BY FAR and very easy to handle. Great natural retrievers too.

    Look them up before you assume their weird name "must mean" they look like a poodle and have poor hunting bloodlines. They look almost as good as they hunt. I can't wait to one day hunt grouse with mine. She is one heck of a pheasant dog... too smart to care about birds running up ahead and keeps working nearby birds until one holds for point.

    Do a yahoo images search for this breed and you will see some impressive pictures. I paid $2K for mine and that's turned out to be a bargain in my opinion.

    All Bourbonnais are born with little or no tail. (I have no idea how many other breeds have that trait).

    Anyway, hope you check them out. Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by bobblehead View Post
    I'm ready to get a hunting dog, and I can't decide between a german shorthaired pointer or a yellow lab. Anyone have any experience with both? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  6. #6

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    Ooops, spelled the breed's name incorrectly... it's spelled Braque de Bourbonnais (no "s" at end of Braque).

    Quote Originally Posted by UplandHuntsman View Post
    Get a Braques de Bourbonnais... You won't be disappointed. Smartest pointing breed I've ever seen BY FAR and very easy to handle. Great natural retrievers too.

    Look them up before you assume their weird name "must mean" they look like a poodle and have poor hunting bloodlines. They look almost as good as they hunt. I can't wait to one day hunt grouse with mine. She is one heck of a pheasant dog... too smart to care about birds running up ahead and keeps working nearby birds until one holds for point.

    Do a yahoo images search for this breed and you will see some impressive pictures. I paid $2K for mine and that's turned out to be a bargain in my opinion.

    All Bourbonnais are born with little or no tail. (I have no idea how many other breeds have that trait).

    Anyway, hope you check them out. Tom

  7. #7

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    Sorry for the lack of info at the beginning. I appreciate the help though.

    I would like a versatile hunting dog, one that can retrieve ducks and geese in cold water, one that will find the ptarmigan/grouse that I swore I hit but can't find down there in the willows, and one that doesn't mind tagging along in the winter hunting rabbits (not necessarily pointing, just enjoying the outdoors). Also, he's got to be a family dog, and if I am away for work and my wife doesn't take him running everyday, I don't want a dog that will go crazy and jump the fence.

    This will be MY first dog (we had dogs growing up but this one will be my own) so thanks for the input.

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    Get a Lab. GSP are typically higher energy, marginal for waterfowl, from my experience. KK

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    Sounds like you need a retriever.
    Not to confuse you more but there are several breeds of retrievers as well. Labradors are most common and then Goldens. Chessies are a good pick as well. Just to name some of the most popular.
    Shop around for your pup. Ask to see the parents. I always like to see the parents work. I am true blue for purebreds, but I have trained many mixed breeds as well. So don't rule that out. I compete with my dogs so I like to see a registered pedigree with field titles that go back several generations.

  10. #10

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    That's what I'm thinking. Now I have to decide between a male or a female. I've looked at a few different litters and there's a papered male lab (yellow) I like.

    This might be a dumb question, could you take a lab rabbit hunting?

  11. #11

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    They can be trained to hunt anything. Just let 'em get out there and use there nose.
    Labs are primarily flushers when they are used for upland game. I always put an orange vest on them so you can know where your dog is once something has been flushed. For upland hunts the dogs I hunt with have been taught to sit to flush. But I know that isn't the case for most others. With birds it's easier to get shots out away from your dog. Rabbit are running out just in front of your dog. Just be careful.

  12. #12

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    Thanks, I really appreciate the help. Like I said, this is the first dog I will train completely on my own. I had good dogs growing up that were great hunting companions but I never trained them to hunt/retrieve.

    Any input on male vs female?

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    Default flip a coin

    I have had both, and even though I like the males, tend to go to females a bit more. I find the males to be a more forgiving and the females to be a bit crankier. The females have tended to be home bodies, the males when given a chance tend to spread their wings and go explore.
    Females are generally smaller, tidier packages. They will usually squat in the same area as contrasted with peeing on every corner of the yard to mark their territory. The males being a bit larger have more muscle mass for the really tough going. With that said though I have only seen my females at a disadvantage a couple of times. Most of those were in field trials, not hunting.
    Do you intend to neuter or spay the dog or keep it intact? Remember that older females tend to get an internal infection called a piometria (sp) when they are intact and it can and will kill them. Males tend to stay closer to home when neutered young.
    Still, this has a lot to do with your personal traits and the families. I would stress good breeding for phsyioligical defects, trainability, demeanor, intensity, and eagerness to work. The sire and dam and their respective pedigrees has everything to do with that. Find a litter with those qualifications. If you want, post the pedigree on this site and we will look at it objectively to help determine if there are any hidden problems based on who is in the background. If it still looks good, go to the litter, close your eyes, grab a bundle of fur, head home, and start loving it.

  14. #14

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    River Rat, thanks for the advice. Honestly I like males for their size and everything that goes with that. But I've heard females are hard to beat when it comes to loyalty, they'll do anything to please you.

    I like the idea of closing your eyes and grabbing a ball of fur and choosing that way. That makes it easy!

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    All my labs are always Females.Thats just my liking in general.Yes they are so family orientated and very good hunters/retrievers.My girls just love to be around me no matter where I am or go.
    Like they said them GSP are higher maintenance seems to be true so far for me.Even tho we just accquired her I noticed I have to maintan a stronge vigilance towards her more so than my labs.
    Oh! and my labs are extremely patient with kids and love babies.And did I mention I taught my labs not to bark? I ahte all that wasted noise for no reason,but I assure you when there is something wrong or looks funny in the yard they let me know.Anyhow Im either rambling or bragging now I'll talk to you all later.Daniel

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    You don't say what part of the country your in?

    If you are going to be a do it yourselfer/firstimer. Get with a group of people that are running dogs in trials. Get to know them and see what they recommend before you buy that pup. Get trained first. Read all you can on the subject.

    It is important to get the pup at the right time of the year, if you have to be shut down for primary training over the winter. You want to give it some thought.

    Get a pup that is nice on the eyes, you'll work harder and won't give up on a pretty dog as fast as an ugly one (human nature).

    Some of these questions only you can answer for yourself. You know better the kind of personality you can work with better than anyone else. That is important to know.

    I've never owned any but retrievers and can not answer question about training pointers.

    Don't be dissuaded from buying a dog by color no matter what anyone tells you, you will work for what pleases you harder.

    Don't buy a pup from anybody that does not have working dog/field trial litters. Make sure both parents have got field trial papers behind them.

    Don't flinch at price, get ready with deep pockets, this is the cheapest part of having a new hunting pardner.

    At the vary least find a trainer in your area and pay to learn to train. Don't start a new pup with your mistakes.

    Don't have two or more thousand to buy the best, train yourself until you do.

    A new pup is a clean sheet of paper, if your time does not permit you to spend two hours a day for training then rethink your plans and buy a started pup.

  17. #17

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    "Don't have two or more thousand to buy the best, train yourself until you do."

    I agree with most of what has been said, but you do not have to have "two or more thousand to buy" a well bred pup, even from field trial litters. I don't know what is available here locally, what I have seen advertised is not what I have been looking for, but I've paid $750-850 in the lower 48 for exactly what I wanted.

  18. #18

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    I'm thinking I'm gonna go with a male. That's what I want, a big strong dog, and I'm hard headed too so we should be a match. I still want a loyal dog that would jump in front of a moose for me (not that I would take a dog moose hunting) but you know what I mean.

  19. #19

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    Any difference between the English Lab and the American Lab? Which is more suited to hunting?

  20. #20

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    This is from a previous post from me. I just copied it over.

    I used to run a lab rescue and I would simply get dogs in that the owners could not handle.

    I must explain that not all registered retrievers are the same.
    There are English lines which are from original British stock. They are larger framed and have a blocky body style. They tend to be mellower in temperament. These dogs are the ones you see in show rings because they match the breed standard in conformity. From my experience in training, these dogs have the capability to earn FT and HT titles but tend to lack in drive and stamina.
    Due to the American version of FT and HT a more competitive retriever had to come about. A more high energy dog was needed to handle the training in order to run out to 300 to 400 yds multiple times. In American field trials the dog that runs the straighter line to the fall or blind with the least amount of handling is going to be the winner.
    But most folks out there don't understand that there is a difference. They assume a registered lab is the same as the next registered lab. They are not. The average person out there doesn't have the training experience to handle the amount of energy that an American field lab has. If that energy isn't burnt off or focused contructively this dog will become destructive and a hand full for the unprepared owner.
    Retrievers have a lot of energy. It is just part of the breed. Some "lines" just have less. A person looking for a calmer dog may not want to select a pup from field lines. A list of pedigree title abbreviations is available from the AKC website. It will help you to understand if the pedigree you are looking at is field or show.
    Will either one be a good hunting dog. Sure. Depends on the training and development recieved.

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