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Thread: Starting the search for a new pup

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Palmer, AK

    Default Starting the search for a new pup

    Our Pomeranian died this past week and my three boys are devastated. They are however confident that they want to find a new family pet in the next few months.
    While the Pom was adored by the family we had an interesting relationship. Truthfully I never wanted that breed of dog but the little lady pretty much left me alone. I eventually got used to having her around, she came to me for a pat from time to time but never bothered me when I wasn't interested, she would just lay quietly at the end of the couch and grumble when I made her move by repositioning. Honestly I kind of miss the little fuzzball. The biggest problem for me with that dog was that it was a house dog. We live in ALASKA (the dog was bought in FL) so 90% of the things I enjoy the dog was not compatible with. Not her fault and for the other 10% of the time she was hard to beat.

    When we bought "Itty Bit" we lived in an apartment in Tampa and had small children so a small mild mannered dog was key. Now we have 3 Alaskan boys who play outside constantly and are rough and tumble. I think our next dog should be able to keep up with them, or perhaps actually run them into the ground (good luck). I also love to hunt and so do my boys (at least the 2 oldest) so a pup that was able to share that with us would be a big plus!
    I was thinking Springer but man are they pricey!! So far we are going through the process of elimination. Pardon me for offending anyone as it isn't my intent with this. We have eliminated Labs of any kind and Golden retrievers. A yellow lab bit my wife severely when she was a child and that has stuck, she wont have any "lab like" dogs. Obviously it is somewhat irrational but it is what it is so we will go from there. I also am not a big fan of Beagles, not sure why.

    So the goal is to get medium-small dog in the 30-45 pound range. We hunt bunnies in thick cover and enjoy chasing Ruffies in similar terain so a dog that excells in that realm would be prefered. The dog will live in the house and MUST be great with kids. I would prefer not to spend a great deal of money on the dog though that seems like a hard thing to avoid especially if we want any kind of field lines. Well I am up for suggestions on breeds, and would appreciate any help you all could provide!
    Oh is it too much to ask for "easily house broken"??

  2. #2
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time


    hey Jon, check with the lab folks to keep you posted on adoptions..

    sounds like that would be right up your alley.

    we adopted a 3 year old cheesy from a forum member last August and he REALLY has become a great knuckled headed dog ( he loves us too much some times)

    and i hate to say it..but spending the dough on a "GOOD"dog here in AK can cause issues... DO LOTS of home work on the breed and the LINE.

    how long has that line been here... talk to other owners etc... many of the popular breeds such as Brittney's and springer are so inbred that all the issues are coming out of them ..... of course in my case... getting one from the states didn't help a hole lot either...... the Griff we go has sever emotional issues that keep him on meds... and what a WONDERFUL dog he is on them...

    if your getting a pup.. Get a PUP! 7-10 weeks... and start them off right...

    ours was 4 1/2 - 5 months old when we got him and had received 0 training or work from the breeder... habits were already set in and harder to break. he is still a year later not allowed downstairs with the kids rooms.. he will crap all over. if you entertain an older pup.. spend time with it at the breeders... and see how they treated it, vs left it in a kennel or other....

    good luck

    sorry to hear about the little one.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  3. #3
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Palmer, Alaska, United States


    I would like to suggest a handful of breeds that you could research further..but you are not going to get them 'for cheap'...and you may have to go out of the state...Besides, when you divide the initial cost of the pup, over the course of it's lifetime, $1000 is actually very reasonable...far less than what you will pay in vet fees, food, and other provided care and/or training.....

    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
    Boykin Spaniel
    Brittany Spaniel
    Irish Water Spaniel

    it falls upon you to do thorough research of the breeder and sire/dam of the litter you are interested in (as well as grandsire and granddam)....
    some questions I ask and paperwork I want to SEE
    OFA hips/elbows
    PRA (if applicable)
    heart (if applicable)
    other applicable DNA tests (such as DM for chessies, or EIC and CNM for labs)
    working titles
    and if out of state you might ask for videos of the sire and dam in working or training conditions....

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  4. #4


    There is a guy in our club with an English Cocker. I have to say that it is one of the COOLEST dogs I have known. The dog is really friendly and has a good personality. The dog is a pocket rocket when it comes to birds. He is good in the water retrieving ducks and an excellent upland dog. If I didn't love my labs so much, I would be extremely tempted to get one of these dogs.
    Still never know.
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default New Pup

    I have an ad for my springer pups that wont be ready till valentines day here on this site. My female is 30 lbs and the sire is 40lbs. They both are very fast retrievers on both water and land. The previous post suggested an Eng Cocker.... That's also a great choice for what you want in size and hunting ability as long as you get a field Eng Cocker. The only really reputible breeder/ trainer that I know is Tony Roettger from Minnisota. You can google Roettger Ridge Kennels. Deffinately go for the best you can or you'll likely be dissappointed. I like these two breeds because they're so smart, small if you get the right line, versitile when hunting, and even make great house and family dogs. Take the time to do the training and get the kids involved in the fun. Layne

  6. #6
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default GSP?

    German Shorthairs are often overlooked as family dogs in my opinion. There are many good breeders. All of mine have been easy to house train starting with a crate. They don't shed like long haired dogs do but the do shed mind you. They are very smart and need a lot of exercise so 3 boys would be good for them. I don't let my dogs do rabbits but birds all day long. They aren't the greatest cold weather dog but down to 0 is no big deal as long as you're moving. Many people say they are too high strung but I think it depends on the dog. The can be a bit obsessive compulsive but that makes them excellent bird dogs. They need a bit of room to run like any hunting breed. None of my shorthairs have ever had the problems with the hips that you often see in some other breeds.

    Do your research and meet as many puppies and older dogs that you can. And don't forget the pound, a young to middle aged dog from the pound is often past the puppy destruction phase. One of the best hunting dogs I ever had was a wirehaired pointer/lab cross that would do anything from point, retrieve ducks and geese, guard the house, push cattle, lick baby faces, etc etc. and all it cost me was 25 dollars to get him out of the clink. about the only thing I couldn't teach that dog to do was to eat onions as a kid.

    Good luck in your search, your about to add to your family, that's always exciting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    I'm very sorry for the loss of your pomeranian. I'm sure it was a fine friend to your family, the type of friend and companion you'll not likely find among the human race.

    As to your next have a pile of homework to do. I certainly have my own opinions about different breeds, but you need to first decide if you want a flushing dog, or a pointing dog. There is a big difference. And if you choose a pointing dog you can forget about using that dog to hunt snowshoe hare! That's a big "No-No!"

    It sounds to me you may already have your sights on a English Springer Spaniel, a flushing dog? And there are some top ESS breeders in Alaska, especially in the Mat/Su area.

    You really need to go slow in making this important decision, this is a (dog's) lifetime committment. Tell us more about your needs and desires, your preferred method of hunting over a dog.

    And I hesitate to say this...but "pound" or animal shelter dogs certainly need good homes, but as far as their genetics they are very much unknowns. You might get lucky and get yourself a hunting machine, but on the other may get yourself just a good house pet. Even a pup from the top breeders of proven hunting stock, a pup you might pay up to...I dunno, maybe $ 1,000.00, might turn out to be a poor hunter. But I prefer to start with the best hunting genetics I can find. Beyond the price of the dog there are other costs you must consider. Flushers and Pointers are both going to require some equipment purchases, and some intensive training. Training will also require some training birds.

    There's more, but for now, you need to do some homwork, talk to lots of folks who actually have hunting dogs like what you may want, and eventually make an informed decision.

    I'll shut up for now.

    Best of luck on this wonderful journey!


  8. #8
    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Somewhere between here and there.....


    You'll laugh at me LuJon, but I have always been fascinated by the Portuguese Water Dog. I know, not a "birdy" dog, but one that is extremely obedient to a fault, good family dog, does not shed.

    The other one being the WireHaired Pointing Griffon.

    I'm with you, Im not a fan of the Beagle, but then it does take a special person to be able to live with a Beagle. I'm sure not many could live with my drooling, farting, 100+ pound dogs..
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Palmer, AK


    Thanks for all of the good advice so far. I would appreciate any reccomendations on local breaders. Feel free to send me a pm. At this point I just want toget out and talk to people so we can make an informed decision.

    As far as hunting I am thinking that a flushing dog would be the way to go for us.

  10. #10
    Member Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK

    Default Flushers ???

    If you do not want the retriever types and want a flushing style dog...the Boykin, Cocker and the Field Spaniels(actually is a specific breed) are generally smaller than the Springers. All good choices.

    Some of the smaller versatile pointer breeds are Brittany, French Brittany, small munsterlander, and if you can find a smaller sized bloodline (they are out there) the german wirehaired ponter. Wirehairs and munsterlanders have a better reputation as versatile. My brittany however would love for me to shoot the rabbits she points! I wont do it though.
    The wirehairs have good reputation in water and dry land. They are happy to retrieve ducks, rabbits, birds, you name it.

    I recently met and trained with a small munsterlander who really impressed me. The owner has shot about 150 upland birds over her and many waterfowl already this season and she is just over a year old. I have heard of several in Alaska.

    It might sound weird, but I have read/heard about Jack Russells hunting birds and small game too. They fit the small size criteria.

    Lots of good advice here...take your time and do the research. It will be worth it. So is the money you invest in the puppy.

  11. #11
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Searching for more cowbell!


    We are leaning towards a Brittany for the kids. A few friends have Brittanies and they are great!
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