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Thread: Spruce Hen Hunting Dog

  1. #1

    Default Spruce Hen Hunting Dog

    What are some thoughts on what kind of dog would be a great spruce hen hunting dog?
    Marc Theiler

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default

    My buddy has a couple of German wirehair pointers. I have to say, they are impressive. We have hunted ducks, quail, chukars, pheasants, and grouse with them and they are definitely up to the task. I'm not much into hunting dogs, but these guys really got my attention.
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  3. #3

    Default DAwgS

    I really would like a dog that I can keep inside and isn't too much of a hassle as far as being an indoor dog. I don't want one that's too high strung nor a dog that sheds all over the place. I've thought about the German shorthair but I haven't looked too much into that breed yet.
    Marc Theiler

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    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default get a lab

    Nothing personal but from the sounds of your response you should get a lab or possibly a brittany. I have a weim & had a gsp before her. They are great dogs & very loyal but when you talk about not being high strung you need to look elsewhere. I'm not saying they bounce off the walls but the first few years they are definetly high energy & demanding of exercise & attention. You wouldn't be able to leave them all day in the summer while you are out fishing & expect to come back to a house intact.

  5. #5

    Default Yeah

    Yeah, that's my point exactly. I would like a happy medium, a good dog that can flush out, maybe point out some birds and be a good household dog as well. I am way too busy in the summer and come hunting season I am traveling all over so I wouldn't be able to always put in my time with the dog.
    Marc Theiler

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Nothing personal here either.....

    My experience with labs are they = high maintenance and very high energy for the first few years minimum. I have several friends and relatives with labs and they get bored very easily (which = destructive like my German Shepard ).

    I don't know if there is a difference, but my buddy has German Wire hair pointers (not German short hair pointers). They seem pretty mellow and don't shed particularly bad.
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default My experience is.....

    Since your asking..... I live in WA and hunt upland game in this area.

    I have a Brittney and an English Springer Spaniel. The Brittney is very high strung but hunts excellent. Short coat and not a water dog. A Brittney may be a poor choice up north in cold conditions.

    The Springer is a good water dog, also shortish coat, not a pointer, but a flusher and really gets into the thick stuff for me. I use them together here. Where the Springer really shines is as a family pet. He is really mellow around the house but as soon as you mention the B word its all bets off and he is primed for action. Both are medium in size and thats a nice feature of both of these breeds. Minimal hair issues to date.

    There is rumour of Springers being agressive and tempermental but I bought a nice field breed dog and have yet to be disapointed with his demeanor. Now his retrieving...... well, lets just say were still working on that.

    My Springer is an excellent pheasant dog. I've had my Britney bring back two birds this year before shooting em.

  8. #8

    Lightbulb Dog Traits

    Of course I'm partial to retrievers. As far as energy level. It depends on the dogs breeding. Good breeders will try not to breed hyper to hyper. Most average folks don't have the training ability or know how to handle these dogs. I used to run a rescue for retrievers. I would see many coming through. Some from known "breeders" here in the state. At times when I recieved in a retriever for rescue. I could tell which "breeder" it came from just from its physical traits and its temperament. Don't do what most people do and get a pup in a whelm. I call it window shopping at picking one from behind a glass. When you do this you don't get to see the "dam" or the "sire". You don't get to see how they look or how they behave with the owner. High energy is a bred in trait so is hard mouthing. These traits are passed along the same way hip dysplacia is.
    I'm not saying that these high energy dogs can't be trained, but it will require a learned level of skill to do so. You can make these dogs fine hunting dogs. You can train a hyper dog to be under control. You can train a hard mouth dog to handle birds properly. BUT, when you breed that dog you are still passing along those undesired traits.

    There are some breeders that breed for calm temperament. These dogs make better home companions and are usually easier for the unexperienced to train.
    Don't be in a hurry and shop around for the type of dog you want and the right personality you are looking for.

  9. #9

    Default

    I would add the possibility of a pointing lab. There are a number of blood lines that point naturally. The chocolate female I have is actually well mannered in the house at 8 months or age. She has energy and strength in the field, you can't hardly hold her back, but she settles down in the house just fine. As with all dogs, there are some that range close, and some the run a bit bigger. There is a strong british influence in many lines, so they are soft mouthed and very natural retrievers and have good manners. I've really enjoyed mine, and have a second one coming up in January.

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    Default

    In the listed requirements theilerscabin said the dog can't shed - That alone would eliminate a lab from his list as they shed and then shed some more. In my opinion a lab wouldn't fit his criteria for other reasons as well. A lab that is bored will entertain itself at the mercy of what ever it can chew on and they need exercise not to be bored - A wise person once told me that "a tired lab is a good lab" and from experience I have found this to be very true. While I am biased and think that the lab is the perfect dog it doesn't sound like a fit in this circumstance.

    I do agree with wetlands take on the breeding for calm temperament. That is one thing that is overlooked in a lot of breeding programs.

    There are 40 and 50 pound labs out there but this is not the norm and is below the "breed standard" yet you never know when a litter will produce the smaller version.

    I commend you for realizing what your needs are in a dog and looking for the right one. Too many people don't do the research, can't handle the dog, and off to the pound it goes.

  11. #11
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    Seeing as how most of the hens I see are in the middle of the dirt roads, I guess you need a dog that can road hunt with you. In other words a dog that drives while you can shoot.

  12. #12
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default lots of choices

    I have hunted over many breeds of dogs and hunting birds without one is no longer any fun...there are too many excellent breeds to list. Many of the dogs have been house pets and hunting dogs. You do have to work with them to teach them how they are to behave no matter what breed. Most all breeds can be hyper or mellow, as Wetland said breeding plays a role in that, as does your time spent training/socializing when they are young. As far as shedding, I dont think there is a hunting breed that does not shed. Some hairs you see more easily. I own a weimaraner, a brittany and a chesapeake. They all shed, the weimaraner's hair you barely can tell. It is short and grey and blends in. If your dog is in the house a large majority of the time, it will shed more than if it has a place to be where the temperatures can be cooler and more like the outdoors. I believe their metabolism or something changes. I have no scientific evidence, but I used to have my dogs outside most of the time because I rented and dogs were not allowed inside. Now that I own my home and the dogs are inside more, I see a lot more shedding.

    Bottom line is, read, ask questions and if you can get out in the field with the different breeds do it. Go meet the dogs you are interested in. One way to do that is to go with a member to Falcon ridge and watch the dogs work. You might have to pay for a bird or two but it is well worth it. PM me if that interests you...

  13. #13
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default how old

    Burke,
    Did I meet you one day this winter (Mar/Apr) outside of rabbit slough?
    I think we saw you but weren't close enough to talk or just passed by. Not to many people out there with that combo of dogs you have.
    Just curious how old your weim was, I don't think I ever met you at Falcon Ridge but I haven't been out there in over a year now.

    Here are a couple photos of the tree point
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    A friend of mine just got a Springer spaniel with a pretty impressive pedigree. Its line seems to have a good history of hunting dogs, we're hoping he turns ou good too.

  15. #15
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Yup

    It probably was me, I go down to Rabbit Slough to run the dogs quite a bit. Its close by and I can get them a little exercise when time is short.

    Buck, my weimaraner is 10, acts like 3 sometimes and still going strong despite losing his spleen and 1/2 his pancreas.

    Nice action photo...if I didnt know better I might think you had yourself a coon dog LOL

    Flag me down next time, be happy to talk dogs...
    Last edited by Burke; 10-20-2007 at 22:08. Reason: another comment

  16. #16
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default GSP

    I have German Short Hairs. They grew up on Chukars in Nevada so bringing them up to AK was a little questionable. I wasn't too sure about the birds but I was really concerned about the cold. Could they handle it? It turns out that it not a big deal. If its -40 I don't go out. Anything that is comfortable for me, is fine for the dogs. I keep an eye on their feet and ears and away we go.

    Hunting:

    Its taken a little getting used to. In NV there is no trees so a ranging dog really isn't a big deal as long as they hold their point. But up here if the dog is out of sight and points your SOL. So that has been my new training mission. After 3 seasons its starting to come together nicely for grouse. Ptarmigan is fine, the wide open tundra is a pleasure to hunt.

    Inside vs outside:

    If a dog is alway around you even inside you have that much more opportunity to train them. Maybe not in hunting but in general manners. So my dogs are inside or with me when ever I am home. They get left in the house in the winter when its cold. As puppies it can be challenging to do this. But so can kids and you cant leave them home alone all day They Shed, I accept it and I am used to it, I have a big shop vac and use it.

    Summer:

    My dogs go with me where ever I go if they can. My female is my fly fishing buddie. She is never more than few bounds away. I have one of those neopreme jackets that have floats in it. She has a great time and I enjoy having here with me. My male love to go hiking with my girlfriend. So it keep him from getting bored. They are just part of the family.

    After the long hunt we had yesterday they are both sacked out on the couch next to me as I write this.

  17. #17
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    Default Deutsch-Drahthaar or nothing!

    My folks had Deutsch-Drahthaars as long as I can remember, they are THE Mercedes amongst pointers pertaining to versatility! Needless to say, I have a Deutsch-Drahthaar, and adore him profoundly. An excellent working dog and super companion. Chased a couple individual wolverines up a tree, keeps bears out of the yard, is super obedient, healthy and of impeccable character!

    Do not confuse this breed with the also excellent Deutsch-Kurzhaar, there is a big difference.

    Deutsch-Drahthaar translates into German Wire Hair,
    Deutsch-Kurzhaar translates into German Short Hair.

    I acquired my DD in Germany, picked him personally when he was 4 weeks old, left him with the remaining litter of course till the age of 2 month and brought him with me to Alaska, it worked so well!

    Good luck, whatever your choice will be.

  18. #18
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    I am going to have to vote Deutsch-Drahthaar (German Wire Haired Pointer). But I am a bit biased having had them most of my life.

    They do shed but don't seem to as bad as labs or German Shorthaired Pointers. They tend to keep that wired coat all year long.

    There is a lot of great information on this website. http://www.vdd-gna.org/

  19. #19

    Default My vote

    Would be for a German shorthair, my last one had a great nose, I could do 10-15 mph down the trail on my 4 wheeler and he would go from a run to locked up in a second, gave me all the time I needed to pull the gun out and get a shot off. I now have a black lab and shes great but I do miss my pointing dog.
    Frank
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