male or female puppy

Novice123
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male or female puppy

Post by Novice123 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:35 pm

I have a reservation for a French Brittany puppy to pick up approximately June 1. I have always had female dogs. It has been 45 years since I had a dog. I never had my English Pointer or GSP spade but I did not have either very long as I sold them. Right now I have a reservation for a female pup. I read that I should wait until the dog is about 23 months before having it spade. Lately I read that a tubal litigation is better than removing the ovaries as removing the ovaries greatly increases risk of mammary cancer and other health problems. That seems like a solution since I want a hunting dog and am not interesting in breeding my dog. The reason for having my female dog sterilized would be so that the dog will not be in heat during hunting season or accidently become pregnant. Do you know if tubal litigation is practical? Is it done on a routine basis? Is it a lot more expensive than removal of ovaries? What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.

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Urban_Redneck
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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Urban_Redneck » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:45 am

When I looked into the the procedure a couple of years ago, I was able to find a vet through www.parsemus.org

We spoke on the phone and I learned my pup was a poor candidate because she has false pregnancies. The vet explained that despite the uterus and cervix removal, the dog still "cycles" to some extent, thus my dog would continue to have false pregnancies as long as the ovaries were present. I'll spare you our continuing saga, but I'll attest, it doesn't take much ovarian material to continue produce the hormones that trigger the reproductive cycle in a bitch that has false pregnancies. I don't think you need to wait 2 years, but, at least wait until after the second cycle for any type of spay.

As for male v. female, I don't know anyone that has problems with their dog "marking" in the house. I have heard for some folks it comes down to killing the flowers and shrubs vs brown spots on the lawn. :lol:

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by shags » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:33 am

IME you have it backwards, spaying helps to prevent breast cancer because it removes the source of the hormones. I've had 6-7 spayed females over the years ( all spayed at a year old or younger) and not one developed mammary tumors. We acquired an older unspayed female from the kennel of a guy who died, and that dog was loaded with tumors. Despite a couple of surgeries to remove any mammary tissue, she ultimately died because of breast cancer.

Unless the ovaries are removed, the female will still have estrus cycles. With an intact uterus, there's a risk of pyometria.

Male dogs marking is an issue about proper housebreaking, nothing more. We've had 3 intact males in the house at the same time and no problems with marking.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:39 am

According to almost every vet I have talked to, Spaying a female before the first period virtually eliminates mammary cancer. In my female GSP puppies that generally occurs around 14 months. In a FB puppy I would expect it earlier. Nothing gained by waiting. I have a female GSP who lives in the house wearing a diaper right now at 10 months.
I am not familiar with tubal litigation at all. Every bitch I have seen that has false pregnancies has gotten mammary cancer eventually. I like taking everything you can out early.
A female will likely be the better choice for you. But, as Shags stated marking is a training issue. If your male dog marks ,you likely have other dominance issues.
Has for hunting, gender does not make any difference and is just a matter of personal preference...…..Cj

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Novice123 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:50 am

This is what is so awesome about the Gun Dog Forum. I can read false narratives on the internet by people that may or may not have credibility. Then I check with the experienced trainers on GDF and get information that I can trust. CJ, why does the 10 month female wear a diaper in the house? Is that an incontinence issue?

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male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:00 am

I would assume the diaper is because of the heat cycle


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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:21 am

Novice -

The only downside I have observed with spayed females is the tendency of some(not all) to pick up and retain extra weight. There are a LOT of upsides to spaying a working female which you have no intention of breeding and chief among them is the absence of heats during hunting season.

My understanding is also that the standard spaying procedure, a hysterectomy, is extremely effective in eliminating the incidence of mammary cancers and of course pyometra. I have had a dog with mammary cancer and a couple with pyometra. The dog with mammary cancer recovered and lived a full life. Neither dog with pyometra survived. Not a good way to see them go. Broke my heart.

I understand that there is a body of evidence suggesting that spaying after first heat is acceptable for females. My personal preference, for a few reasons, is to wait until the dog is more fully developed, physically, like 18-24 months, but that is just me.

If it is a male puppy, I am aware of no abiding health reason to neuter. Period. However, if one does wish to neuter a male, I believe it is best to wait a full two years or more so that the dog can fully develop its bones and musculature. It is my understanding that early neutering short circuits this development and can lead to serious locomotion issues in the future.

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Dakotazeb
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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Dakotazeb » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:29 am

My last 3 dogs have been females. The first two I had spayed just before or just after their first heat cycle. When I got my current female I did a lot of reading about the pros and cons of spaying. I also visited with several difference vets. While spaying can virtually eliminate mammary cancers it can also increase the risk of other cancers and health issues. A couple of those are Cushings Disease and hemangiosarcoma. My first female passed just before she turned 12 of Cushings. My second I had to put down a week after she turned 8 due to hemangiosarcoma on her spine. Some really bad luck on my part. That's why I was so concerned with my current dog. But I had no intention of breeding her and didn't want her cycles to interfere with hunting and field trials. After much thought and advice I had her spayed just before she turned two. I think whether you have the dog spayed or not when it comes to cancer and other health issues it's just a roll of the dice.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:37 am

slistoe wrote:I would assume the diaper is because of the heat cycle


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Your assumption is, of course right.....Cj

PS; Pyometra is probably the most common health issue in unspayed females if not treated soon enough is almost always fatal, mammary cancer may be the second. If you can eliminate these two plus unwanted and false pregnancies you are way ahead of the game. Most of the gain with mammary cancer is if you to it before the first heat. There Is no proven advantage to waiting longer.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:44 am

I did a little searching and found this:

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may
exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the
odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the
relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.
On the positive side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common
malignant tumors in female dogs
• nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female
dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
• reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
• removes the very small risk (0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors
On the negative side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis
• increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by
a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds
• triples the risk of hypothyroidism
• increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
• causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs
• increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4
• increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs
spayed before puberty
• doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors
• increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
• increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations
One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and
contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence.

There was more, but it certainly gives some valid reasons to consider waiting to spay.

In terms of intact female dogs, the risk of developing all types of mammary tumors(benign and cancerous) is on the order of 20-25%, by age 8, on average. About half the tumors detected are cancerous so the risk of mammary cancer in unsprayed females is on the order of 10% or so, by age 8. If left untreated, it will progress to lung cancer in about 1-2 years, again on average.

So, doing nothing for a dog with cancerous mammary tumors will(on average) result in the dog's demise at around the age of 9 or 10. Prompt action, once tumors are detected, can result in the dog living a full normal life. But of course, there is always the risk associated with any surgery.

Each person needs to educate themselves on the situation and make their decisions accordingly. It is not nearly as cut and dry as it first may appear.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Steve007 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Novice123 wrote:I What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.

Unrelated to the posts about females, your perception of males doing this is incorrect. A housetrained male is every bit as trustworthy as a female. My current entire male goes to the office with me every day and sleeps loose in the bedroom at night In his own bed, as have his male predecessors. I'm sure many others here can say the same.

Choice of sex is up to you. I have and have had both. But if you're a sensible careful owner, this is not a reason to avoid a male. And if you're not sensible or careful, you'll have trouble with any dog.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Sharon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:46 pm

Novice123 wrote:This is what is so awesome about the Gun Dog Forum. I can read false narratives on the internet by people that may or may not have credibility. Then I check with the experienced trainers on GDF and get information that I can trust..............
Exactly !
The experience and respect( normally :) ) for other people experiences shown on here is tremendous!
I've had 2 female setters, one female GSP, one male GSP , 10 beagles of various sexes and no problems or much difference at all . Now if you are talking about JRTs' gender :roll:

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Novice123 wrote: What about a male dog? The reason I was staying away from a male is that I plan to have my dog inside at night and don't want any issues of 'marking' or 'spraying' to mark territory inside our home. How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.
I only had one dog that was an inside dog and that was back when I lived at home. For some reason or other my mom allowed us to bring Jack, an intact pointer/setter mix male into the house. For about three years, Jack was an outside dog, in a kennel in the backyard. We brought him in, put a dog bed(a hunk of foam cushion material with a cloth cover) in the basement and ...that was pretty much it. Jack was inside the house for the rest of his life and he lived in the basement. He had ZERO house training. I think he knew he had hit the lottery and he was not about to screw that up. In all the years(about 13-14) he was inside the house, he messed up exactly twice... and both times he had not been let out for about 24 hours, due to missed communications between my dad and I. The steps from the basement led to the kitchen and beyond, but Jack almost never ventured past the kitchen door, unless he was encouraged to do so even though the door was never closed. He was a good soul and he knew what was expected of him.

At suppertime, he would walk up the steps and stand on the steps by the doorway. All you could see was the tip of his black nose in the doorway. He would wait...patiently...until my Mom gave him the OK. if my Dad or I called him in...he would not move. Darn smart dog. In the mornings, he and I would share a cup of coffee. He like it light and sweet, same as I did.

I hope folks didn't mind taking a trip down memory lane with me. Fifty years later...Oh well.

As far as hunting is concerned, I have had a lot of dogs that did not know the meaning of the word "quit". I run pointers with the hottest field trial blood I can get. Not for the faint of heart, but it is what trips my trigger.

The flat out toughest bird dog I ever owned was a female. No contest. Next toughest was a male out of very similar breeding. Both would chew their way through chain link fencing to get out to hunt. They had the galvanized zinc silver colored back teeth to prove it.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Max2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:25 pm

I wouldn't hesitate on taking a male dog. I have had dog's my whole life .As a kid the family dogs and later in life as I got my own dogs. Any male we ever had never had issue with marking in the house. Some were neutered and some were not. I think if you bring a strange dog into your house or your dog into someone else's house marking may be an issue. One shot deal :D pun intended :D

Ray G I appreciated the walk down memory lane as earlier this evening while sitting in a quiet house here on the coach with the basement door open enough for a dog to fit through to let the heat from the wood stove radiate . I smiled as I saw My last basement dweller come up and look out in my direction as he did so many times before making an entrance. I really miss the little guy . That's where Max bunked also.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by cjhills » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:52 pm

Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:46 pm

cjhills wrote:Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj
I agree with some of this but disagree with some. I believe the best course of action for any hunting dog owner is to do their own due diligence on the subject. There is plenty of good info on the net.

It is a fact that some pet owners and veterinarians in some locales are under pressure to spay or neuter everything in sight...regardless. in addition, not every veterinary practice has significant experience with hard working field dogs and this affects their evaluative process. I would say that the majority of veterinary practices in urban and heavily suburban areas have very little experience with field dogs and their needs, simply because there are not that many upland hunters in those areas and they just do not see that kind of animal.

As mentioned above spaying a female that you do not wish to breed is pretty much a no-brainer, based on the available information. However the timing of that spay is , IMO, very much a matter for careful consideration.

What a breeder recommends be done with the dogs they sell may have a lot to do with their desire to limit the availability of dogs with similar genetics from competing sellers. To limit the competition is just good business. That is undoubtedly why bitches that are sold from many breeding kennels are spayed before the sale. Business... not health...Business.

As I mentioned previously...there is absolutely no medical benefit to neutering a healthy male and, depending on the age of the procedure, there can be significant negative consequences. That is so well documented that it is not even a matter for discussion.

As far as female spaying is concerned...as I said...there is considerable evidence that the timing of the spay can have an influence on the long term health of the dog.

I can't and won't tell an owner that it is better for them to spay their female prior to its first heat cycle because even though it does virtually eliminate mammary cancers (0.5% incidence , as I recall), and pyometra that is not the whole story. Spaying at that early age does indeed measurably increase the risk of several other horrible diseases, which ARE extremely rare in the absence of early spaying. It is also a fact that a portion of dogs that have been spayed, develop urinary tract issues, such as leakage, as a byproduct of the surgical procedure. It happens, and if the dog is an inside dog...that ain't gonna be fun to deal with.
Each person needs to do their homework and decide what is best for them and their situation.

Each person needs to do their homework and decide what is best for them and their situation.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by CDN_Cocker » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:53 am

Novice123 wrote:How would you contrast a male versus a female strictly for hunting, not for breeding? I might still be able to change my puppy request to a male, depending on what I learn on this forum.
Gender has zero effect on hunting ability or capability. If it did, everyone would only buy males or only buy females. Get what you prefer. I generally prefer males as I find they are easier to get along with and more affectionate. But I've owned more females than males over my life. If I chose a litter my first choice would be a male. If all were spoken for, this guy would be getting a female. Don't overthink it - what's between their legs has no bearing on how great of a dog they are.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by cjhills » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:17 am

cjhills wrote:Novice
I don't think the Choice of sex makes a lot of difference. I do generally recommend females for first dogs. We sell the males quicker than the females.
The research on spaying and neutering is generally slanted one way or the other. Your best bet is to talk with the vet you plan to use. I recommend my buyers spay females at 12 to 14 months and neuter males at 18 months to two years. But there are millions of very healthy dogs walking around without testicles or uteruses since they were six months old, that live happy, healthy, long lives. Females that are not used for breeding should definitely be spayed. The health benefits far outweigh the risks. We spay all of our females when they leave or breeding program. It is a tradeoff but you need to be more concerned about the common issues. Most of the other stuff mentioned never happens.....Cj
Sorry, I should have said "for people who want to neuter their pups". we recommend the ages above. We do not recommend neutering or not neutering. that is a question for you and your vet to decide. By far most of our buyers neuter. Going through the heat period with my pup in the house,right now I can not see why anybody would do that with a dog they did not intend to breed. Also as R said some local governments require it.
Of course you need to do your due diligence. I believe that is the reason for you posting on the Forum. Again the problem is the research is on a very limited number of dogs and mostly aim at proving one side or the other. There is a lot of research about the health risks of vaccinations, but I think most reasonable people give there dogs rabies shots. I do think we give the dogs shots they don't need. But who knows.
No matter which way you go, your dog will very likely have a long happy. My last female spayed at six months lived to be nineteen years old. None of my unspayed females have lived that long. Most of my males intact or not lived about 12 to 14 years. That is above average for a GSP Most got some form of cancer. But there are no gaurantees. Be confidant you made the right choice and be happy with your puppy.
Don't ask about what to feed your dog on this forum......Cj

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Novice123 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:59 am

Everyone, thanks for all the information, it is priceless. I will stick with my choice of female pup and have it spade after 12 months or so. Also, I got to thinking that it would have been unfair to the breeder to ask for a pup of a different sex so late in the game when most or all of his litters are probably reserved with choice of sex reserved in the puppies. I do tend to over think issues or to put a positive spin, to get the most information. Funny comment about asking what kind of dog food to feed! I won't be asking that question! I got to thinking last night that if I am careful, I should be able to hunt my pup Sept. 15- Oct. 15 (Sharptail season) this coming fall when it will be expected to have the first heat cycle. I won't hunt with other dogs and will hunt in isolated areas where I will presume that no other dogs are present to cause an unwanted pregnancy. I hunted my GSP back in 1971 and 1972 when it was in heat as a youngster and never had any problems as I hunted private farms in pheasant country. This was back at a time in central Illinois when pheasants were abundant, due to 'soil bank'. I remember how much fun that was and my dog would mostly point the roosters, but sometimes the roosters would run.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Max2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:16 am

Just an add on and just my observations I don't think your breeder would care if you asked to make a change and get a male. If they could they would say yes and if they could not they would say it's to late .Most folks always seem to want a female . I think. I bet for breeders it is easier finding homes for females at the top of the breed chain. Again ~ JMHO

Most importantly Enjoy your new pup !! & be sure to post up some pic's as they come available.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:41 pm

Novice123 -

45 years without a dog is waaaaaay too long, but at least you are going to remedy the situation. Good for you.

Brittanys are fun dogs to be around and I understand that FB's can be even more dialed in to their human partners than the American version.

Have fun together.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Steve007 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:33 am

Novice123 wrote: I will stick with my choice of female pup and have it spade after 12 months or so.

Dog vernacular. The word is "spay". Thus, you'll have your bitch "spayed". Spelling it the way you have is incorrect.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:47 pm

I am not a breeder nor do I consider myself knowledgeable enough to make a comment from my personal experience on this subject. However, I DO stay in touch with respected breeders of bird dogs that refer my services. They have ALL migrated to exactly what RayG stated.
There are Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and there are DVMs. I'm sure more than one of us has had a visit where the attending DVM asks, "Don't you feed this dog?" Might I add that it was a short visit.
The breeders I am in contact with want to ensure the dog is reasonably mature (20-24 months I think?) but the decision remains with the new owners - again as RayG suggested. Every household has it's dynamics which can include a myriad of reasons for spaying/neutering, or not. For example, at what age is the dog acquired or the buyers may have an existing intact male or female in their home right now.
I have owned a number of males and females. Sometimes, when an exceptional breeding comes along or simply one you have a real hankering for becomes available, the choice of male or female is not the priority ie. - all of the one sex are withheld, already sold, or the litter only produced the one sex. If this is the case, take what you can get. This particular breeding may be one you regret not having.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Warrior372 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:18 pm

I am not sure if I would use marking in the house as a reason for not getting a male. I have a 2.5 year old male French Brittany and he learned very quickly that marking in the house is not acceptable. Our other dog is an intact female and he marked 2x in our house in the first 6 months and has not since. We are routinely at my in-laws who have 2 dogs and anywhere from 2-9 at their house at any given time if we all bring our dogs over. 3 of the other males actively mark in the house - none of them were ever trained and are not reprimanded when caught in the act of marking - and ours will not over mark. With that said, we did get him neutered at 12 months which some people say helps reduce the urge.
Last edited by Warrior372 on Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by TruckMan66 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:32 pm

I have 3 male English Pointers that all live in the house. Just like any dog you have to work with them to potty train them. Most of the time it's the owner that needs to be trained. We have to aware of the puppy and how often they need to go potty. I can't say "I would never" own another female but from my perspective males are easier to raise.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Nmhuntr » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:51 pm

I have an American Brittany and had her spayed at 5 months. This is what my vet recommended and she has had no issues thus far and is 1-1/2 years old.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by DougB » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:05 pm

A study of spay/neuter on the internet will lead to confusion. Strong arguments both ways. The Europeans don't tend to spay/neuter as much as the US. They use training and human responsibility to control their animals. Spay/neuter is surgery and does effect the animals hormones, growth, and behavior.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/do ... ore-often/
This study shed a new light on the cancer question. It suggested that perhaps spayed or neutered animals might be more likely to get cancer simply because they were living long enough to get it. Intact animals were more likely to die younger, perhaps simply not aging into the time of life when the risk of cancer rises..........

Genetics contribute far more to risk of cancer than whether an animal is spayed or neutered.
https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/ ... -part-one/
Less exposure to female sex hormones has been shown to be protective against breast cancers in dogs, which is important since mammary cancer is the second most common form of dog cancer.
This is what you will find.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Bowguy » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:26 am

There are pros n cons to all dogs and deviations from there. Seems many fix dogs. That being said imo it won’t matter. Box em at night if you’re worried about it marking your kitchen. Every dog if you ask me should be crate trained anyway.
Myself all I keep is females and I don’t fix em.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by work765 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:32 am

So as long as spayed before 2 yrs old you reduce chances of mammary cancer?

Does it make a difference if done before or after first heat cycle?




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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:31 am

I have been living with and hunting with female hunting dogs for more than a half century. And my dad for longer before me. We always had females and they were always spayed early. Usually as close as possible to first oestrus. In fact, my older Lab went into heat at the vets. That cost me a bit more as I recall. Only two Labs had any health concerns but clearly unrelated to spaying. Sophie developed epilepsy at age three but was able to live with the occasional seizure fine (1/6 months ave) without medication (very rare!) to age fourteen. The late great Pearl was the only dog treated by now retired U of Minnesota neurologist to recover 100% from glioma brain cancer. And then she fought off autoimmune disease. An amazing dog. Also ran over as a pup and survived fractured skull. And snakebite in Montana. Didn't think anything could kill Pearl but kidney disease eventually claimed her at age ten.

I applaud your choice of French Brittany. I love my little "Puppy" (aka Coral). You will need a kennel for the house though. I had one of those collapsible wire cages that I could fold down and slide under the couch when not needed (space is a premium in my small house). Fr Britts are pretty wound up, especially as pups and will get into mischief when you're gone. Seems they are slower to outgrow it too. Keep lots of chew toys available! They have personality plus but can be high maintenance. Need to be kept busy. Fortunately, my little gal had two black Labs to play with. Bringing a second Lab into the home twelve years ago was the smartest move I ever made. Two dogs keep each other occupied. Three dogs is a bit over the top but after my wife and son died nine years ago I needed a distraction. Coral sure filled the bill!

Don't give up. Raise that little gal in the house. I am firmly of the opinion that a hunting dog raised in the home becomes much more in tune with its handler. Better bonding. Every year I run into dudes in Montana with fancy crate trailers filled with kennel raised expensive pointers/setters. They see me walking out on the road at night with three dogs by my side and no electronics: "How do you do that?" Easy. We're on the same wavelength because we live together.
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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:07 am

The question for Novice123 that's nagging in the back of my mind is why did you get rid of the two hunting dog pups 45 years ago before they even reached the age of oestrus?

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Novice123 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:37 am

Guys, the reason I sold my English Pointer and later my GSP is that I was going to school and was in a Fraternity. Somehow girls and beer got the better of me. Then I went to graduate school and was too busy for a dog. Then I got into riding horses and owned a couple of them. For my own goals and lifestyle, I did not have time to properly care for a dog. For many years I have worked in agriculture research and have been as busy as a farmer during fall harvest. Yes, I will have a wire crate in the basement for my pup. I will also have a 20 ft X 25 ft welded wire kennel with dog house in the back yard. I plan to walk my dog about 5 miles a day as I transition to retirement.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am

work765 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:32 am
So as long as spayed before 2 yrs old you reduce chances of mammary cancer?

Does it make a difference if done before or after first heat cycle?




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Spay before the first heat cycle is the biggest reduction of chances of mammary cancer. It is also the highest risk of complications. (I can't find a reference right off for the increased risk of Urinary Incontinence pre and post first heat cycle, but it does exist)
"The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat."

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by averageguy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:02 am

slistoe wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am
work765 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:32 am
So as long as spayed before 2 yrs old you reduce chances of mammary cancer?

Does it make a difference if done before or after first heat cycle?




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Spay before the first heat cycle is the biggest reduction of chances of mammary cancer. It is also the highest risk of complications. (I can't find a reference right off for the increased risk of Urinary Incontinence pre and post first heat cycle, but it does exist)
"The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat."
Steve, I would be interested in reading the study or studies behind those stats if you are able to post a link. Thank you.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:04 am

averageguy wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:02 am
Steve, I would be interested in reading the study or studies behind those stats if you are able to post a link. Thank you.
https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article-a ... 249/910225

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by averageguy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:12 am

Thank you Steve,

Have you looked under the hood of that study any?

I noted it was published in 1969 and had 87 dogs. Breeds involved? A Genetic Line or lines more prone to cancers? Is 87 dogs a big enough sample? I have only owned Male dogs. A 1 in 4 cancer rate seems crazy high to me.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:38 am

slistoe wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am
work765 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:32 am
So as long as spayed before 2 yrs old you reduce chances of mammary cancer?

Does it make a difference if done before or after first heat cycle?




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Spay before the first heat cycle is the biggest reduction of chances of mammary cancer. It is also the highest risk of complications. (I can't find a reference right off for the increased risk of Urinary Incontinence pre and post first heat cycle, but it does exist)
"The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat."

I read the summary of the article which you referenced and I got a different take, The summary stated first, that for dogs that were spayed, the incidence of mammary cancer was 12% of those that were left intact.

Then the author went on to say that the incidence of mammary cancer in dogs spayed before their first estrus was 0.5%. I took that to mean 0.5% of the 12 % of the population of spayed animals, not the total population.

So, I my reading is correct, the numbers of spayed animals that developed mammary cancer are are (0.5% of 12%) or ~0.6%, (8% of 12%) or ~1% and (26% of 12%) or ~3%, all of which are very low percentages.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:26 pm

birddogger2 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:38 am
slistoe wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am

Spay before the first heat cycle is the biggest reduction of chances of mammary cancer. It is also the highest risk of complications. (I can't find a reference right off for the increased risk of Urinary Incontinence pre and post first heat cycle, but it does exist)
"The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat."

I read the summary of the article which you referenced and I got a different take, The summary stated first, that for dogs that were spayed, the incidence of mammary cancer was 12% of those that were left intact.

Then the author went on to say that the incidence of mammary cancer in dogs spayed before their first estrus was 0.5%. I took that to mean 0.5% of the 12 % of the population of spayed animals, not the total population.

So, I my reading is correct, the numbers of spayed animals that developed mammary cancer are are (0.5% of 12%) or ~0.6%, (8% of 12%) or ~1% and (26% of 12%) or ~3%, all of which are very low percentages.

RayG
The snippet I quoted was not from the study itself and I see now where the wording of it is somewhat off. I think though that your interpretation is somewhat off - the 12% refers to the overall relative risk of spayed vs. intact females. So, of the dogs that develop mammary cancer, only 1 in 8 of them will be from the spayed population. Now if the spayed group is edited to include only those dogs spayed before the first heat cycle you would only find one spayed dog with cancer in every 200 cases of mammary cancers. Looking only at those dogs spayed after the second heat cycle you could expect that 1 in 4 dogs with mammary cancer would be a spayed dog.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:31 pm

averageguy wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:12 am
A 1 in 4 cancer rate seems crazy high to me.
The rate for mammary cancers in dogs is about 8%. So roughly 1 in 12 female dogs develop mammary cancers. Of those, 1 in 4 will be bitches spayed after the second heat cycle.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:53 pm

slistoe wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:31 pm
averageguy wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:12 am
A 1 in 4 cancer rate seems crazy high to me.
The rate for mammary cancers in dogs is about 8%. So roughly 1 in 12 female dogs develop mammary cancers. Of those, 1 in 4 will be bitches spayed after the second heat cycle.
I agree... the percentages 0.6%, 1% and 3% incidence have to be relative to the total population based on a 12 % overall incidence. Mea culpa. The bottom line remains that even waiting beyond two cycles, the rate of mammary cancer is very dramatically reduced by spaying.

RayG

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:31 pm

Novice123 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:37 am
Guys, the reason I sold my English Pointer and later my GSP is that I was going to school and was in a Fraternity. Somehow girls and beer got the better of me. Then I went to graduate school and was too busy for a dog. Then I got into riding horses and owned a couple of them. For my own goals and lifestyle, I did not have time to properly care for a dog. For many years I have worked in agriculture research and have been as busy as a farmer during fall harvest. Yes, I will have a wire crate in the basement for my pup. I will also have a 20 ft X 25 ft welded wire kennel with dog house in the back yard. I plan to walk my dog about 5 miles a day as I transition to retirement.
Thanks for setting my mind at ease. I too was a former horseman (had my own packstring and packed for USFS). Also managed to finish my PhD. I didn't go in for the fraternity scene but did enjoy being rushed year after year (good grades and VA benefits made me an attractive candidate). It wasn't easy but I managed to keep my oar in the water with hunting dogs almost continuously from age twelve up to today (now 66+). Fortunately, family helped out looking after the dogs along the way: my parents when I was an undergrad and my late wife during grad school and later when I went south to work for US Park Service.

I don't think it's necessary to walk your dog five miles a day (but go for it if you're up to it ... that energetic Britt will be thrilled). Living with the dog gives you the contact that's essential for bonding and developing basic obedience. I have a nice sized (but by no means large) chain link fenced back yard which I much prefer over kennel. The latter is more of an eyesore (though pee killed grass patches and clusters of poop are admittedly not that attractive either). Problem for me is that this extremely agile long-legged young Lab of mine can jump vertically 4'. She can clear the fence any time she wants (I gasp every time she bounds over barbed wire fences in the field!). And she's a social butterfly. Wants to go visiting if she gets bored. I almost had to resort to building a kennel last year but she seems to be more settled. Even though the snow is now to top of the fence in many places, she hasn't left the yard in months and even then not gone further than next door. Anyway, the dogs aren't in the yard much unless I'm out there. They prefer to be with me ... which is the way it should be.

It's been my experience that dogs stuffed in an outside kennel (or tied to a tree) are the ones that become noisy neighborhood nuisances (boy, do I hate that racket!). And as often as not they are unruly in the field unless wearing electronics ... and sometimes even if they're wearing electronics. Get in touch with the dog's thinking by being in touch with it physically as much as possible.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:00 pm

birddogger2 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:53 pm
The bottom line remains that even waiting beyond two cycles, the rate of mammary cancer is very dramatically reduced by spaying.

RayG
I have had two females with mammary cancers. Since then we spay all females as soon as we decide they will no longer be bred. They all die sometime, but we haven't had another case of mammary cancer since.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:46 pm

Novice123 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:37 am
Guys, the reason I sold my English Pointer and later my GSP is that I was going to school and was in a Fraternity. Somehow girls and beer got the better of me. Then I went to graduate school and was too busy for a dog. Then I got into riding horses and owned a couple of them. For my own goals and lifestyle, I did not have time to properly care for a dog. For many years I have worked in agriculture research and have been as busy as a farmer during fall harvest. Yes, I will have a wire crate in the basement for my pup. I will also have a 20 ft X 25 ft welded wire kennel with dog house in the back yard. I plan to walk my dog about 5 miles a day as I transition to retirement.
Okay, another question: This is apparently your first serious foray into the world of gun dogs (you sold the other two while they were still pups). How much have you been around them? Hunt over dogs much? More importantly, do you have a good mentor around handy to help out?

French Brittany is a neat breed. I love my little gal to pieces. But they are generally speaking "high maintenance" ... or rather higher maintenance than many other breeds of hunting dogs (and I would say lower maintenance than a few of them). Their "lively" nature can be a challenge for the uninitiated. Is this the best place for a beginner in dog handling/ownership to start? Hmmm. Sure, electronics and literature can help with field training, but the "wound up" nature of this breed requires something more in my opinion: a LOT of patience, time, and maybe more than usual dog-sense than I would think a rookie might possess. Perhaps consider a Labrador as a starting dog? You know there's a reason why they've been the best selling breed in North America forever. They can pretty much manage themselves. Great disposition, generally eager to please, fairly healthy genetics, and excellent hunting dogs. In short, an easy keeper that will give itself to you heart and soul in the field or at home without much effort. Okay, they are not a pointing dog (well, rarely ... I somehow happened to luck into one). But I've had both flushing and pointing dogs and I don't see a whole lot of advantage to the latter. A pointing dog will provide a "setup" shot ... provided the bird will sit still for it. And many won't, particularly late season pheasants, any sharpies after the first week or two of season, or ruff grouse anytime a dog is near. Thus, I have found that a close working flushing dog is the most versatile for all upland conditions. Add to that the Labrador's hardiness, and it doubles as a waterfowl retriever. Many pointing breeds can't handle cold water. And Brittanies are not noted for their retrieving skills (if anything, quite the opposite). That can take some tweeking (or rather twitching). You won't have to worry about it with a Lab. I swear a newborn would bring the umbilical cord to hand if you threw it for her. And finally, which is more thrilling: a walk-up-and-shoot setup over a pointing dog or the surprise when a flushed bird gets up more or less unexpectedly? If it's about stuffing easy-shot birds in the bag or watching a dog stand perfectly still perhaps the former. For sheer excitement, definitely the latter. Make no mistake, you will know when a Lab is "birdy." And it's just as much fun watching them shift into that excited state as watching a pointer lock up. More fun I'd say. Maybe you won't fit in as well with the scotch sipping, cigar smoking, tweed coat, pointer/setter crowd ... if that's what you consider "fun." I don't. For me it's chasing birds with my dogs trouble free all day long, day after day, on public land. Wild and free as the prairie wind. And no technocrap electronics.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by Novice123 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:20 pm

I really appreciate your interest in my gun dog future. I probably didn't communicate very well. I had an English Pointer quite a few years ago and trained it to the extent that a field trial person bought it to compete in amateur events. The English Pointer would point a pheasant and hold the point while I walked about 0.5 miles to flush the bird in front of it. That happened many times. I used to run that dog on wild pheasants 2-3 hours at a time, several times a week for about a year. The EP was just too wide ranging for my tastes, it was from field trial breeding. Then I got the GSP as a pup and trained it on wild pheasants. That was a good dog and I had that one for a couple of years. My dogs were never broke to wing and shot, but were very steady on point. I never heard of a bird launcher or using pigeons to train a dog. They were both trained on wild birds. I didn't even know that people raised birds for training or hunting. I am a really, really patient and calm person. I realize that I have only limited experience with dog training. The breeder that I am going to purchase my pup from is known to be a great mentor and very interested in helping clients. He offers training for half day or full day. He lives about 2.5 hours from me or about 150 miles away. I plan to rely on his help as needed. Also, there is a very active NAVDA group in my area and I know one person in that group. I have access to a lot of wild Sharptail on nearby public land and access to wild pheasants (if they do in fact survive this winter). I am not really concerned about obedience training as I have done some of that in the past. I know that a dog with superior breeding will point and hold wild birds when it is good and ready to do that. I am in no hurry. I just like hiking on WPA and WMA's and will let my dog hunt until the dog figures it out. I don't much care about shooting, it is all about dog work for me. That means I will let the dog develop at it's own pace. I know I still have a lot to learn but I figure I won't ruin a dog if I am kind and gentle with it and just let the dog figure it out. The dog will be in our house every night and evening, so that will give me a chance to bond with the dog. I really considered getting an English Springer, but I like pointing dogs more. By the way, I love Canada goose hunting. As I say, it is really nice of you to be thinking of the possible downside to an inexperienced person such as myself buying a French Brittany. Right now I feel pretty good about this situation and I have access to a professional trainer, which I will no doubt need!

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:55 pm

Novice123 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:20 pm
I really appreciate your interest in my gun dog future. I probably didn't communicate very well. I had an English Pointer quite a few years ago and trained it to the extent that a field trial person bought it to compete in amateur events. The English Pointer would point a pheasant and hold the point while I walked about 0.5 miles to flush the bird in front of it. That happened many times. I used to run that dog on wild pheasants 2-3 hours at a time, several times a week for about a year. The EP was just too wide ranging for my tastes, it was from field trial breeding. Then I got the GSP as a pup and trained it on wild pheasants. That was a good dog and I had that one for a couple of years. My dogs were never broke to wing and shot, but were very steady on point. I never heard of a bird launcher or using pigeons to train a dog. They were both trained on wild birds. I didn't even know that people raised birds for training or hunting. I am a really, really patient and calm person. I realize that I have only limited experience with dog training. The breeder that I am going to purchase my pup from is known to be a great mentor and very interested in helping clients. He offers training for half day or full day. He lives about 2.5 hours from me or about 150 miles away. I plan to rely on his help as needed. Also, there is a very active NAVDA group in my area and I know one person in that group. I have access to a lot of wild Sharptail on nearby public land and access to wild pheasants (if they do in fact survive this winter). I am not really concerned about obedience training as I have done some of that in the past. I know that a dog with superior breeding will point and hold wild birds when it is good and ready to do that. I am in no hurry. I just like hiking on WPA and WMA's and will let my dog hunt until the dog figures it out. I don't much care about shooting, it is all about dog work for me. That means I will let the dog develop at it's own pace. I know I still have a lot to learn but I figure I won't ruin a dog if I am kind and gentle with it and just let the dog figure it out. The dog will be in our house every night and evening, so that will give me a chance to bond with the dog. I really considered getting an English Springer, but I like pointing dogs more. By the way, I love Canada goose hunting. As I say, it is really nice of you to be thinking of the possible downside to an inexperienced person such as myself buying a French Brittany. Right now I feel pretty good about this situation and I have access to a professional trainer, which I will no doubt need!

Quite a misconception on my part. My apologies. You will do just fine with that French Brittany! We must not be that far apart if you have sharpies available. Every fall on the way to Montana I cross at Rainy River/Baudette and make my way down to Thief River and then to Hwy 2 at Grand Forks. Some great looking country but to be honest I have yet to see a pheasant on the road going through there. This is certainly a killer winter! Hopefully it hasn't been as bad in Eastern Montana. Bird numbers were already about nil. Might be time to finally venture further west and attempt chukars. We have good honker hunting here but it doesn't last long. Maybe three weeks is the highlight and then they're gone south by third week of October. I can easily shoot thirty to forty a year with the occasional snow/blue or cackler. A few specks have been coming through in the spring but haven't seen them during season. Not yet. Still on my bucket list.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:28 pm

ON Honker Hunter wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:55 pm
A few specks have been coming through in the spring but haven't seen them during season. Not yet. Still on my bucket list.
You are in Ontario. Specks are on your bucket list. Every year you travel to Montana. Must not want specks that bad if you cant plan a stop in Sk or AB. Specks are here the whole month of Sept. - along with Grays, Whites, Blues...

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:54 am

slistoe wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:28 pm
ON Honker Hunter wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:55 pm
A few specks have been coming through in the spring but haven't seen them during season. Not yet. Still on my bucket list.
You are in Ontario. Specks are on your bucket list. Every year you travel to Montana. Must not want specks that bad if you cant plan a stop in Sk or AB. Specks are here the whole month of Sept. - along with Grays, Whites, Blues...
I was up to SK for four days at the end of October 2017 but the weather was awful. Subzero and a windy whiteout. A couple people in the group lucked out and shot specks but it just wasn't in the cards for me. By the time I leave here for Montana (usually third week of October), I have pretty much filled up with as much goose meat as I can handle ... and all my friends can handle. I'm ready for uplands by then. A LOT more fun to hunt. I have no way to keep a bunch of goose meat while hunting uplands and deer for six weeks in Montana. Nine pheasants and the odd Hun and sharpie are pretty much what I can handle coming back.

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by slistoe » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:03 am

ON Honker Hunter wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:54 am
I was up to SK for four days at the end of October 2017 but the weather was awful. Subzero and a windy whiteout. A couple people in the group lucked out and shot specks but it just wasn't in the cards for me. By the time I leave here for Montana (usually third week of October), I have pretty much filled up with as much goose meat as I can handle ... and all my friends can handle. I'm ready for uplands by then. A LOT more fun to hunt. I have no way to keep a bunch of goose meat while hunting uplands and deer for six weeks in Montana. Nine pheasants and the odd Hun and sharpie are pretty much what I can handle coming back.
No problem on my end. Just sayin' that if you want to shoot specks.....

They are an early migrant - end of Oct. would be luck to get a shoot on them. Late Sept. there are Specks everywhere and most goose hunters here let them fly waiting for the Grays to come in. The weather is far more reliable then and the upland hunting is much better as well. Haven't shot geese in many years because I would rather be walking in the uplands, but the wife got a new shotgun and tells me we will be spending time in the goose blind this fall. Better put grease wheel bearing on the goose trailer on the "to do" list. :D

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Re: male or female puppy

Post by ON Honker Hunter » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:06 am

"Haven't shot geese in many years because I would rather be walking in the uplands, but the wife got a new shotgun and tells me we will be spending time in the goose blind this fall. Better put grease wheel bearing on the goose trailer on the "to do" list. :D
[/quote]

I hunt geese quite differently here. There's only a small clay belt south of town with several dairy farms. The fields are relatively small with ample wooded borders and fencelines for cover. I don't need (or want) a layout blind but usually have to keep the decoys 40-50 yards from the edge of the field where I'm concealed with the dogs. So I use the wind and take mostly overhead pass shots or crossers as they're swinging around for a look. I can usually shoot standing up which is very nice! Honkers are 90% of the game here with only a few snows/blues and cacklers. I don't have a trailer and don't need one. In fact, most days I don't drive onto the fields at all, choosing instead to carry my two dozen shells out. As I've aged (now 66) that's become a bit more difficult (just a bit though) so I broke down and made a cart two years ago. At one point I tipped over with the bag and a daily limit of five honkers and couldn't get back up. It was a rainy day and made a muddy mess of myself and gun. So that was enough. On good days if it's not too far, I'll still carry the stuff onto and off the field even if it means making a second trip for the geese. Like you I enjoy walking in the field as much as possible. That time of year the country here is spectacular with the rolling hills surrounding the corn/grain fields covered with green spruce, yellow poplar, fire red sugar maple, and brilliant red chokecherry. Also it helps get me and the dogs in shape for upland hunting in Montana later in the season. Here on the leading edge of the migration a dozen or two shell decoys is more than enough to bring the honkers in (the photo predates my purchasing the second dozen - those old H&R deeks were Christmas gift from my dad circa 1974).
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Re: male or female puppy

Post by work765 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:37 am

Question. I talked to the breeder I got my GSP from the other day and he said that my girl should go in heat from age 6-8 months. His advice was to wait till after first heat to spay, to allow for more development.

I have no problem waiting after the first heat to spay her. But if it significantly increases mammary cancer, then I’m not sure.

I also plan to send her to a hunting trainer around July. I read on here that GSPs go into heat closer to 1 yr old. And I don’t know if trainers take dogs in heat?

Right now she’s 7 months old.


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