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In the market for an upland birding dog

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  • In the market for an upland birding dog

    I close on a new house on Friday that (finally) has a yard and a little more room for owning a dog. I will be looking for a dog to hopefully fit my lifestyle. I grew up with Britany Spaniels, which we took upland bird hunting with us. I would like to have a dog that I could train to point and work ptarmigan and grouse. It would also be great if I could take the dog duck hunting. It would be somewhat necessary that I would be able to take it hiking and cross-country skiing.

    So I've got some pretty specific criteria, although I am definitely willing to compromise if necessary. I have heard that German Wirehaired Pointers are good for what I am looking to do with the dog. I am not bent on getting a papered dog, although I know it can be difficult to find a dog with pointing lineage without going the purebread route.

    So - any suggestions? Happy with any advice you can give, thanks!

    -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  • #2
    Congratulations on the house! And it seems you know sort of what you want, so it's perhaps a good time for you to visit some of the many trials, testing and training going on in the Mat/SU area. Because of the ducks the GWP is a good choice. The pudlepointer is another to perhaps look at. When I knew what breed I wanted I would certainly go to a top breeder and look at pups with proven hunting genetics and pay the going price. The pup is the cheap part! Sounds like you need to hook up with the Arctic Bird Dog Assoc folks ASAP!

    Good luck. Enjoy the journey.

    Jim

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    • #3
      I just worked with a Pudelpointer a couple weeks ago........very cool dog.
      "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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      • #4
        Yeah, I actually considered getting a pudelpointer about 15 years ago, but I guess I'm stuck on Brittanys. No regrets.

        Jim

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        • #5
          Are you guys trying to break up my marriage? Did some internet homework on pudelpointers today with Cedarwood Kennels. Yikes. I'll start my savings system. I'll set it right next to the envelope for upland taxidermy.
          Go Big Red!

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          • #6
            I know about the taxidermy dreams for sure! There are a number of cool bird mounts I would love to have. Between my dog, some other new purchases I made this year, and my new roof, I'm broke lol.
            "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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            • #7
              Greg, there are several threads on the site regarding breed choice...if you havent already take a browse thru them. As you will see, it really is personal choice and preference...
              There are a several versatile breeds that would suite your needs. I have my preferences just like anyone else, but enjoy seeing and hunting over any dog that does a god job in the field.
              I advice you to take your time, get out to meet people with the various breeds and spend time in the field with them and the dogs. You can also read tons of literature on dog breeds. The Arctic Bird Dog Association (ABDA) has members with various breeds and some of them are happy to share their thoughts on breed. I currently have a Brittany and a Wire haired griffon. I have owned two weimaraners, a black lab and a chesapeake.
              I would be happy to meet up some time to show and tell! I will be part of an ABDA training group for pointing dogs on Tuesday nights...there will be a few different breeds to view there.
              If you want to join us shoot me a PM.
              The NAVHDA group in Anchorage is also a good resource for versatile dog information...
              Adding to some of the suggestion above, a few relatively common versatile dog breeds to consider..... German short hair, german wire hair, weimaraner, wire haired griffon, munsterlander, pudelponter, drahthaar, and finally pointing lab (I dont like this concept personally but it is an option)
              Good luck...hope to see you in the field some day with the dog!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
                I close on a new house on Friday that (finally) has a yard and a little more room for owning a dog. I will be looking for a dog to hopefully fit my lifestyle. I grew up with Britany Spaniels, which we took upland bird hunting with us. I would like to have a dog that I could train to point and work ptarmigan and grouse. It would also be great if I could take the dog duck hunting. It would be somewhat necessary that I would be able to take it hiking and cross-country skiing.

                So I've got some pretty specific criteria, although I am definitely willing to compromise if necessary. I have heard that German Wirehaired Pointers are good for what I am looking to do with the dog. I am not bent on getting a papered dog, although I know it can be difficult to find a dog with pointing lineage without going the purebread route.



                So - any suggestions? Happy with any advice you can give, thanks!

                -Gr
                I would recommend a Deutsch Drahthaar.Similar to a Wire hair except more versatile and easier to live with.Go to the VDDGNA website for info.I have one and and i hunt pheasant and ducks, geese and they are fantastic bloodtrackers.I also hunt big game with the dog as well.They are truly versatile.

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for your responses. I have a busy couple weeks ahead of me, but after the dust settles, I will take your recommendations and join the organizations referenced above. Thanks for the info, and I will likely get in touch with one or more of you in the coming weeks. Cheers!

                  -Gr
                  My signature is awesome.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cheap plug - Alaska Dog News http://www.alaskadognews.com has all the club listings for Alaska and a calendar "save the dates" for events. The new issue is up online and in print in various locations, in Anchorage you can find it at several - New Sagya, both locations, Mill and Feed, PetCo, Paw Prince, Pet Zoo and more. People like you are the very reason I started it.
                    After 25 + years with Labs I really enjoyed difference of the upland bird events and the people. The variety of dogs is great. The one you get is more dependent on what you want to do. Some of the Versitiles are not in UKC or AKC so if you wish to enter those you'll be out of luck. Supposedly, whoever had our Labradoodle before us, told the shelter he was a WPG. They look similar especially when young. I suspect someone was dupped.
                    Friends of ours got a Lab from a local breeder and I was working with her a bit in our yard. She is a mess, shy, nervous, dog reactive, nervous pee-er. Training or, lack of or, abuse of, is most of the problem but apparently the mother was the same way. I just shook my head. You have to know when to walk away.

                    Not to say you cannot get a nice dog for less money but be careful who you deal with. Personally, if I was to look for a Lab I'd be willing to look at litters out of state. I know many of the lines and have history with the people. I would only look at local litters for my first upland dog where I know the people and watch them work with their dogs. Many breeders are going to ironclad contracts for puppy buyers and I'm liking that the more I see it. It's pitiful to see nice hunting dogs in the shelter because there was no other option when the new owner had to surrender them.

                    I'd also suggest not to select a shelter dog for you're first upland bird dog unless you are really familiar with the breed. Even young pups are not all the same and older dogs may have some serious issues so unless you have a grab bag full of traiing options you may not be able to overcome some problems shelter dogs have. I've seen a lot of Labs go out and come right back because of training issues. Going through a breed specific rescue may be an option but make sure the rescue org is training the dog and can evaluate him for your needs.
                    Linda- Alaska Dog News.

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                    • #11
                      Greg,

                      Congrats on the house.

                      Choosing a hunting companion is a very personal decision with several factors to consider like size, coat, personality, range, bloodline, etc. Try to rank the top 3 charaticistics and research dogs that will fit into that category. For example, I wasn't looking for a large bodied dog like a lab, but I wanted something that could handle cold weather/water & came from an established/responsible hunting kennel. I ended up with Drahthaar (GWP) & from a breeder in Germany.
                      "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."
                      Ralph Waldo Emerson

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                      • #12
                        Live2HuntAK, How did the Draathar do in the snow? I had one, over 20 years ago now, who snowballed up terribly. It didn't just snowball her feet but all over her body where she had contact with the snow.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Howard N View Post
                          Live2HuntAK, How did the Draathar do in the snow? I had one, over 20 years ago now, who snowballed up terribly. It didn't just snowball her feet but all over her body where she had contact with the snow.
                          She does snowball a bit, but I keep her foot hair trimmed or I spray her feet with some Pam cooking spray. I would say the majority of breeders I know today prefer shorter coats. If you saw some of their dogs, you would probably confuse them for big bodied GSP's at a distance. Short coats with bushy beards. They are pretty impressive. Below are a couple of pictures of my buddy's pup & *****.

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                          "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."
                          Ralph Waldo Emerson

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