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Thread: Pointers vs. Flushers

  1. #1
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Pointers vs. Flushers

    Hey guys, I'm real interested in advice and experience on which type of upland dogs you like and use. I'll be moving to Kansas next summer and I'm looking to get a dog for bird hunting. I grew up in Iowa and basically just chased pheasants there, and mom wouldn't allow no huntin dog so I had a furry little white buddy instead. Now that I'm on my own and have time to commit to a hunting dog I want to make an informed decision.

    Any and all advice and opinions welcome, schmidty

  2. #2
    Member MikeGSP's Avatar
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    Well for me I ended up going with a Pointer. I watched alot of shows on the outdoor channel and saw how those dogs worked both the flushers and pointers but liked the way the pointers held point. Then it came down to which breed, so I narrowed it down to the Shorthair, English Pointer or the Dratharuar. A few buddies of mine have the Dratharuar but I didn't see quite all what I wanted in a dog as far as the "package deal", but I know all dogs are different. The Shorthair from what I had read up on seemed to fit what I wanted and after checking out the parents and talking to the breeders I went with that choice and ended up picking not the pick of the litter but the last pup born, and I haven't wanted to turn back since. A buddy of mine has a English Cocker Spaniel which is a flusher and my dog seems to sniff out the birds faster than his dog when were training and hunting, and not only that there is alot to be said for a pointer working hard then all of a sudden the brakes come on and that intense point of theirs shines, it just brings a smile to my face everytime! Another buddy of mine has a few Brianttany's and they work good but again wansn't diggin the look of the dog or his dogs hunting style. Being I have a pointer most of this is towards that style but I hope it sheds some light on for ya. I have included some pics of my 19 month Shorthair for ya so see her style of pointing, I"ve gotten alot of compliments on her and it just makes me feel good at least I'm doing something right I guess. But to aid in her ways I got her out as soon as I brought her home 8-10 weeks we were out grouse hunting getting her into it and seeing how she would react towards different things, so now I also am raising chukars and pigeons for her and those that wish to buy for their dog. It's alot of work and most of all fun. Best of luck on whatever route you go.

    mike
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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike. I am really leaning hard at the pointers, especially the GSP. I have a friend who had one when we were growing up and another friend that has one now, and I have great experiences with both dogs. I am also interested in the (English) Pointer though. They seem to be a neat breed. I'm really looking forward to getting a dog next year and spending time training and just playing with it. Its been too long since I've had one, my old pup just passed away this past spring but he was staying with my parents since he was so old, I didn't think moving him to Alaska would be a good idea. And he was the family dog, so I couldn't steal him away from them either. I know what you mean about pointers... they seem more like professionals when they are on point. I really like that, very committed.

  4. #4
    Member MikeGSP's Avatar
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    I think I read somewhere that the English Pointers tend to be more wound up than the Shorthair but I'm not 100% on that though. Those pics of Quinn were this fall at 17 months, and as you say having fun with them, cuz I am by no means a pro at training, just training for needs where as my buddies I train with train for testing. Where about in Iowa did you grow up? I got family in North West part in a small town of Melvin. My plan was to take her down there to get her on some real wily pheasants but my cousin is slammed with harvest that time of year so we put it off for a later date, kinda bummed but next year.

    mike

  5. #5
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Take your time

    There are lots of good breeds out there. You need to read up on them, and if possible hunt over them. Dont rush the decision, take as much time as you can. You might find one you like, to later find one you like better. You will find that dogs have individual personalities as do humans. Within each breed you will find a range of personalities. MikeGSP said he thought pointers were more wound up than GSPs. I have seen both be very wound up and I have seen both be very mellow.
    In the end it boils down to what you like. We all have our preferences, what I like might not suit you. It is most important that you find a good quality breeder, no matter what breed. Ask them to visit the kennel if you can. Ask for references.
    I have a Brittany, a Weimaraner and a Chesapeake you are welcome to meet any one of them. We could watch them in the field working with homing pigeons. I know some other folks that have other breeds that I could ask to see if they would let you see their dogs too.
    Once you own and hunt birds over a good dog, you will never go back to just shooting birds. It is not the same.
    Pie, my brittany is in the avatar photo.
    Last edited by Burke; 12-04-2008 at 20:41. Reason: PS note

  6. #6

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    I really love pointing dogs, but the whole pointer/flusher thing is pretty personal. What I would recommend is sticking with a reasonably popular breed and really focusing on a bird or type of hunting.

    I currently have GSPs and an english setter, and worked quite a bit with wirehairs, english pointers, and brits. I have a little experience with some of the weirder "versatile" dogs. My dogs are unsure what a kennel is, but awfully familiar with a couch, and my wife has told me that when it is below 30 degrees at night on trips I should get a hotel because she thinks the DOGS would be more comfortable. So, I need a dog that will hunt, but also be good around the house.

    What I sometimes see is a guy starts doing research and reading breed descriptions and decides that some weird breed is going to be perfect for him. Usually all that has to be read is "close working dog for the foot hunter" and a sale is made. I am thinking of some of the weird european breeds, and certain spaniels and even a retriever breed. Yes, there are some good ones of each breed (you notice I am not naming them- PM if you want that), but not as high a percentage. And if a breed is never trialed and actively bred to be better each generation, what do you have to go on?

    So, Kansas is more warm than cold, more upland than duck country. I would look into one of the common pointing breeds like----english pointer, english setter, brit or gsp. I think that setters have the greatest personality of this group, english pointers handle the heat best, and gsps are most likely to retrieve waterfowl as well as hunt in the uplands (and pretty good heat tolerance).

    Don't be scared by the reputation seters and pointers have for being huge-running dogs. My biggest running dog ever was a gsp, and most setter and pointer breeders are NOT breeding for all-age style dogs. My setters are from grouse trial lines mostly found in the northeast and upper midwest and are a joy to hunt behind. Some pointers being bred that way, too.

    As for the wound-up thing---- almost all birddogs will have some of that, it seems more dependent on the individual than the breed. Crate train your dog and teach it manners and no worries.

    Don't sweat this decision too hard- you will need more than one before you know it, just pick a reputable breeder and be honest about what you want.

    Good luck,
    Doug

  7. #7
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Mike, I'm from Moville... about ten miles east of Sioux City. Melvin is a little northeast of us, but I've been around that area on my way to Okoboji and Spirit Lake. I have cousins that live on the lake. But yeah, not far from home. I can't wait to get back there, I've been away for too long. I miss all those cornfields. I really am thinking its gonna be a pointer for me, either english or GSP. I really like the english setter but I don't think I'd get along with all that hair. Who knows... in the end it'll probably end up with me finding the right dog and just getting it. Breed might not matter so much as style.

  8. #8
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    I love hunting behind pointers at times. But I have seen many of my friend's dogs carried out of the fields (Brittnys and GSP) b/c they just quit hunting do to being wore out. On the other hand I have never carried any of my labs out. I was thinking of going with a pointing lab. Just remember you have a lot more work with training a pointer (in my opinion) and not that you won't with any hunting dog. A lot of dogs will hunt but a good hunting dog is fun and enjoyable to hunt behind. I have hunted behind a lot of dogs that people did not work with and were more of a pain than anything. I know pointers will retrieve but most I have hunted behind did not or would not. I should point out I have hunt behind several GSP that were well and professionaly trained dogs and three Brittanys that were field champs and one being a 5 time national field champ. But even that dog hated retrieving and I saw it carried out of the field. I am not trying to knock these dogs b/c they all work hard and did well most the day. It just seemed that the labs, goldens and chessys hunted all day and never stopped. Will you be hunting waterfowl? I did jump shoot a pond full of ducks with five guys one day and watched a Brittany retrieve like 40 ducks in a half frozen pond, It truely was awsome to watch. I was born and raised in Ponca, NE just 20 miles from Sioux City.

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