Looking For a Bird Dog and Companion

Bubblehide

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
3,306
I am spoken for, so unfortunately I can not help you with the companion you are looking for. But the dog, get what you want and makes you happy.
 

PA Hunter

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Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
572
Location
Bethlehem Pennsylvania
You are describing a Labrador retrievers especially in your cold climate. Pick a pup wisely friend brought a Vizsla along on my South Dakota pheasant hunt in December and it was so cold it refused to hunt ran one mile back to truck. My lab absolutely loved it 13 below zero with icicles hanging off his snout and bloody paws from ice. Never wanted to stop hunting. All my labs were like this.
 

Mosby

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Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
1,787
You are describing a Labrador retrievers especially in your cold climate. Pick a pup wisely friend brought a Vizsla along on my South Dakota pheasant hunt in December and it was so cold it refused to hunt ran one mile back to truck. My lab absolutely loved it 13 below zero with icicles hanging off his snout and bloody paws from ice. Never wanted to stop hunting. All my labs were like this.
13 below zero? I would have probably been following the Vizsla back to the truck. Smart dog.
 

AngelaDavies

Newbie
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
5
Location
England London
I guess that Cocker Spaniel will be the best decision for you. I'm also thinking about one. They are not so big and run quickly. I saw a Cocker in work, they are on the top. But also one of my friends found this blog faunafeeders.com. There is explained how to feed birds correctly in order to make them coming where you need. It is very interesting. My friend bought that special feeder and installed it in his garden. He wants to see how it will work and maybe he will take it with him while hunting. New technologies and will change the traditional hunting hehe.
 
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qwerksc

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
516
Location
California
French Brittany. He is a good one. Trinity kennels Iowa
 

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UpNorth89

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
84
Can't go wrong with a lab!
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Wrench

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Joined
Aug 23, 2018
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4,385
Location
WA
I've got a Drahthaar now and another on the way. My current one is good with my cat, but would wipe out anything that comes in the home area.

Wire haired dogs are bulletproof. They nearly never need stitches.

I've owned a fantastic lab and an average one and a dud gsp.

I owned a pudlepointer that was the killingest dog I've been around. I had to give it away after it killed my neighbors terrier.

For what you describe, the lab and griffon are what I'd advise. The gwp is a very badass machine that needs to work or it'll go nuts and you will too.
 

SCS_BG_Hunter

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
12
I had Brittanies for over 20 years, they were great dogs, hunting and companions. They can be a little hyper for the first 2 years but both were great hunters, both pointed their first season in the field at around 10 months old. Both retrieved and tracked very well. Our dogs are family members, they live in the house with us full time. I've had labs and they were constantly in the kitchen and nosing through the trash if you turned your back. I never had that issue with my Brittanies, they were always well behaved in the house. I'm between dogs right now, I'm having a hard time diving in again. If I do it will probably be another Brittany though, I really don't have anything bad to say about them.
 

AndrewMT34

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
116
Location
SW Wyoming
I'm not super experienced with hunting dogs. Had labs growing up, now have a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. This griff is the first dog I'm putting effort into training, and I can't be more impressed with her. She does great in the house, and has an "on" switch in the field like I've never seen. If you do go with a Griff, make sure you get one from a hunting breeder. There's a lot of backyard type breeders out there breeding Griff's that are producing dogs that don't have harsh coats/high drive.

Maybe also look into a Pudelpointer?

I think you'll be happy with any of the Versatile Hunting dogs.

Good Luck!
 

twall13

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Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
2,280
Location
Utah
Old thread and I'm not sure if the OP is still looking but I own a Boykin and will chime in that it seems to fit most of your needs spot on. If you plan on hunting waterfowl they won't do as well in the cold, wet, but they will be fine hunting upland in the cold. That's about the only time my Boykin struggles is retrieving in cold water. That and geese can be a bit big but he really likes upland more than waterfowl anyway (maybe that's because I do too). If I needed a dog that fit all the same needs but had to go into cold water I'd probably go with a Pudelpointer if I could find one, but I kinda like how my Boykin flushes, it's more my style than a pointer. Labs or a WPG might fit as well.
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Just.Norris

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2018
Messages
15
I have been hunting birds (upland and waterfowl) extensively for the last 18 years. In those years I have had the opportunity to hunt around and over a wide variety hunting dogs. I have also spent a lot of time training gun dogs.

It seems like your wanting a versatile hunting dog. If you have not already google the terms “versatile hunting dog.” That is a title given to breeds that are bred to hunt upland, water fowl and fur. There are lots of breeds that are considered versatile dogs (spaniels, pointers etc.).

The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) maintains a list of what they consider versatile breeds. They are a club that focuses on maintaining, training and hunting these breeds. A great resource for potential and new dog owners. There are two chapters in Alberta. If you want to learn about versatile breeds check out their web page. If I were in your situation I would even go to a NAVHDA club meeting or test check the dogs out and talk with judges, breeders and owners.

You should also go to Versatiledogs.com (not affiliated with NAVHDA) and check out the forum. There has probably been 1000 threads on, “which dog should I get.” There are some pretty salty old bird dog folks there that are more than happy to give you a ton of advice....wanted or unwanted.

All of that being said if you want a really great hunting dog that can handle cold water retrieves and properly hunt/point upland birds simply buy one of these....
1. AKC German Wirehaired Pointer or Verein Deutsch Drahtaar (some say they are different breeds...I have owned both...they are not)
2. Pudelpointer
3. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Any of those with a good dense harsh coat and your golden.

If you want info on good breeders go to the versatiledogs.com web page and ask about breeders in your area. Another option would be to ask the folks in the local NAVHDA chapter (particularly Judges) to recommend breeders. Some people are weird about recommending breeders so you might not want to lead with that.

Not sure if getting a dog from the US is practical for you. I could recommend several GWP breeders in the northwest US who breed great dogs. If all else fails go the the Verein Deutsch Drahtaar Group North America webpage and find the closest Canadian breeder. The VDD dogs must pass a hunt test prior to breeding and the breeding must be approved by a breed warden. That significantly increases the chance of getting a quality dog.


C
This is good advice, I have a drahthaar and as long you have some time to devote to training, you will be well served with their ability to adapt and willingness to learn. Puppy energy is unreal though! Have to keep him exercised or he used to be a bit destructive! The strict breeding standards and field tests were a big factor for me into going for a drahthaar. Good luck!
 

Pony Soldier

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Joined
Dec 31, 2021
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799
Location
Montana
Growing up my dad had an American Water Spaniel. She was about 45-50lbs and an excellant hunter. When she passed we ordered another from a kennel widely advertised in Outdoor Life. What we got matured to about half that size. i noted a distinct problem when I winged a pheasant and she couldn't catch it in a barren field.

Dad got a griffon from one of his patients. It had a spaniel personality but big enough to do things. A female I bought, retrieved 75 ducks in 3 days. Some we never even shot.

I raised griffs for a number of years and had some good ones and a few - not so much. I'm not a fan of NAVDA and I participated early on. Closer to a social club for bragging rights.

Griffs have a golden's personality. The trick is to match the owners personality with the dog. Lab people should focus on wirehairs, pudelpointers and the like. Cat's are a risk in any of these .

Had a lady buy a pup one time that came back to me in 6 months and wanted to return the puppy. He tended to chase her cats during the day. Then she said she had him castrated to see if that helped. It didn't! I told her that If he was trying screw the cats I could see her concern but otherwise it was a poor decision.
 
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