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Thread: Thinking about a bird dog, and I need advice

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about a bird dog, and I need advice

    Heres some background.

    I'm married with three children. A 5 year old, 3 year old, and baby. All of them are girls. My wife and I own a triplex, and we stay in one of the three bedroom units that is just over 1k ft. We have a pretty large fenced yard.

    I was raised around labs. My stepfather was very involved in training them, and involved in local retriever groups.

    My wife and I would like to get a puppy to add to our young family because I think its very important for children to grow up with animals. My house was like a farm as a kid. We are looking for a dog that could be a good family dog, accompany us on hikes, running, hunting trips. We would take the time to train the dog in water fowl and upland hunting as well.

    My question is the age old question--- What dog should I get?

    Labrador? Chesapeake? German Pointer? Male? Female? Now? Spring? etc.

    I'd like strong opinion answers from local experts in the bird dog community. I like chesapeakes, but I've heard that they are not a good dog for a "first" dog. Labs seem to be very good with children which is very important. Pointers I've heard are a little wild.

    Help me clear up the fog with your advice. Thanks in advance for all of the helpful replies.


    Jeremiah

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    I have and always have had labs. My current one, never turned out to be a gun dog. People wise, he is the best dog I have ever had as he does not have a bad bone in his body.

    Since you have young children, your first priority should be a dog that is likely good with kids. Lab are generally good around kids, but I had one that growled my daughter when she was playing around the dog bowl when the dog was eating. You don't want your kids to be bitten or worse, of the dog snaps.

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    Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that my first priority is to get a dog that is a "family" dog. Our labs growing up would have died fighting to protect any of us. One day I watched one pull a Cow moose to the ground trying to get it out of our yard.

    Whatever dog I end up with will be trained from very young to treat children well, and if it is not capable of that trait then I will have to make the sad choice to find it a knew home without kids.


    So are Labs the only real choice for a family bird dog?



    Jeremiah

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    Come on. I know there are a lot of people who know dogs good on here. Someone please give me your .02 cents. I really want opinions



    Jeremiah

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    Chessies are more tempermental, pointers more spastic. There are always exceptions, but this is a general observation. I would suggest a good ole lab as a great all around dog especially for a family with young children. A lab would also be my choice if the dog will be in the house at all. For some reason I am always more partial to female dogs as well. They seem more even tempered and easier to handle all the way around.

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    Thank you grousehunter for your advice. I think that I'm going to get a female for sure.

    So far I have a couple of votes for a Lab.


    Who else wants to chime in?



    Jeremiah

  7. #7
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default too many good choices

    It is really personal choice.
    Scroll through a couple other similar threads on the site. Good arguments for a variety of dogs.
    I have owned a lab, a chessie, 2 brittanys and 2 weimaraners and a couple pound puppies. I have hunted over and trained with numerous other breeds. The all have good qualities. I have had mostly males due to I dont like dealing with the heat cycle, but have had females too. Having both at the same time is a pain, but I dealt with that too.

    Labs seem to be the most popular breed and for good reason. However, I recommend if you go for a lab you really do some research. There are far to many people out there that breed without purpose or thought and you can get some poorly bred animals. It is worth it for you as well as the breed itself to find good a quality dog.

    If you ask me which was the best of them all, I would have to say, on any given day they any of them could be considered the best. A lot has to do with how you raise and train them.
    Get to know the breeds through reading and getting out in the field with them if you can. Be patient and enjoy the process of learning about all the good dogs and then embrace the process of raising, training and incorporating a canine into your family.

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    I've been emailing a breeder about a litter of labs they just had. We'll see what happens.



    Jeremiah

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    Well, it looks like I'll be getting a lab after all. We are taking the plunge. I can't wait to get her, and start the process of integrating her into our family.



    JP

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    Default Just a thought

    I have been following this web site below and if I remember correctly there is a litter coming up in Alaska for sale soon. http://www.drahthaar.com/. I have a friend that owns a drahthaar and I'm very impressed.

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    Default G.W.P.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremiahak View Post
    Thank you grousehunter for your advice. I think that I'm going to get a female for sure.

    So far I have a couple of votes for a Lab.


    Who else wants to chime in?



    Jeremiah
    Hello Jeremiahak -

    If the climate in Aus. was a cold as AK I wouldn't look past a tough dog like our GWP. He has a very serviceable wirey coat with excellent cold weather insulation.

    I've had him hunting deer in snow and sleet and the cold doesn't sem to affect him.

    Loves water, swims regularly in summer.

    Best dog I've owned.

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    Default Chessie Gundog

    Try the Chesapeake Bay Retriever - they are tough as nails, sweet companions and they are wash and wear. SR

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    My persdonall preference is get a Lab. There extremely family orientated, loving and love companionship. Not to mention trainability for everything you mentioned is there.

    As for age of your kids its not a problem Labs love kids.Whatever you decide Im sure it will be the right one for you all.And like your choice my Labs are females also.

  14. #14

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    I have had both labs and chessies, both great breeds, both can be good family member and both can be temperamental as well.

    IMO, it is really much about socialization of the dog. When they are pups, take them to as many public places as possible. Let people reach down touch them, pull on them a bit. The same would go for taking them around other dogs.

    Good luck in your search, be picky about this choice.

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    Well, I already picked out a puppy. (well at least a litter) My wife and I are going to go visit the litter next month. I won't post pedigree info etc., because I know that people will have opinions, and I'm not that interested in that.

    However, I am interested in any good training information you guys have. I'm just finishing "Water Dog" by Richard Wolters right now. What other books and/or videos are a must see for a newbie dog trainer? Does anyone know of good obedience classes, retriever classes, retriever clubs, etc here in Fairbanks? How about vet suggestions?


    Thanks for all of the comments, and helpful suggestions from everyone on here.


    Jeremiah

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    Default New Puppy

    PM sent.....

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    PM replied to. Thanks for the help Toddler.

    Anyone else have training help that they'd like to offer up?



    Jeremiah

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    When you get your pup stop on by. I can show you some things.Or come by before you get your pup so you can see what I did with mine. Daniel

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    Stop on by where? Why do I get the feeling I should already know the answer to that? I'd love to get together with some other working dog owners.


    Jeremiah

  20. #20
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    stop by the house If you want.I kinda left that out in the wind to see If you'd want to or not before I'd say where I live.

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