in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

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in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:25 pm

Hi all. I'm new here to this forum and my wife and I are very interested in starting to hunt game birds. I am literally just getting into this. I've done some research on many of the different breeds and just wanted a few thoughts on what some of you think is a good breed to start with. I've been training K9's for years so active, hyper, and dominant don't bother me at all. Right now I'm most interested in Brittanys and GSP's but not opposed to any breed. From what research I've done, both seem to be a good all-around dog. I know all breeds have their poitives and negatives, just wondering what some opinions are for an absolute beginner in gun dogs. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by ezzy333 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:20 pm

You picked a couple of good ones.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by bmcox86 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:36 pm

I've had my first gun dog for just about a year, he's an english setter. I have owned many dogs but never a hunting dog and my setter pretty much trained himself, I read some books and got some guidance when needed but it has been far easier than I thought it would be. I looked at all the same breeds as you before I got mine and ended up making a good choice. Just make sure whatever you end up getting comes from good lines.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Ghosted3 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:42 pm

I would advise going to either different breeders and checking out the dogs for yourself and seeing the dogs in action, or going to trials ect. to see what each one offers that may be different or catch your eye a bit more than the other.

Corry

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Highway Ends Kennel » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:30 pm

The terrain you hunt, type of birds, and weather conditions are big factors that should influence your choice of dog as well. Will it be an inside family dog, outside kennel, backyard etc. Does shorthair or longhair matter? Also what are your expectations for the dog? Will you be doing any other activities with it besides hunting? Field trials? hiking, camping, etc?

Once you give the board members some more information, there's probably some of them that can recommend kennels, breeders, hunt clubs etc. close to where you live where you can go check out the dogs in action.

Like one of the other members said, once you think you've narrowed down the breed go see as many of these dogs either in a hunting or field trial situation as possible. There's a pretty wide spectrum of characteristics and traits within the GSP and Brittney breeds.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Moulders Farm » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:36 pm

I have hunted behind most coman breeds the GSP & brittenys are good for years I raised & hunted Brittneys . Then went to llewellin setters in my older years . I thank they are a more personal dog & easyer trained . my llewellins point, back & retreve naturaly . http://www.llewellinsetter-mouldersfarm.info in galery are several pictures of my puppys with there owners most trained them by there self .

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:22 am

I have trained both brittanies and GSP's. My personal opinion is that the GSP is an "easier" dog for a beginner to train. I find that breed to be more straightforward but I have a strong liking for the personality of a brittany.

Bill T.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by jeffkrop » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:11 am

Trekmoor wrote:I have trained both brittanies and GSP's. My personal opinion is that the GSP is an "easier" dog for a beginner to train. I find that breed to be more straightforward but I have a strong liking for the personality of a brittany.

Bill T.
I have not trained GSP's but Im working with a brittany now after labs and he is a pain. I can not read this dog. He just wants to play and mess around when it is time to train he looks so sad and soft. But I am in love with this breed and will stick with it. Ill be looking for a 2nd this summer.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by baileydog2007 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:34 am

I have always had a hunting dog, and until 2.5 years ago, they were always Labs. I struggled with what breed to get as I wanted a pointing breed. I settled on an English Setter. And I LOVE her. Easy to train, machine in the field, perfect in the house, loves kids, I could not be happier. My Dad, who thinks any dog thats not a Lab, is not worth feeding, so I got some of that thru my growing up years and had 6 Labs once I was on my own. While I loved em all, and they are good dogs, my Setter now is a far better hunter and every bit the companion any of my labs were.

I definately went between an English Pointer and English Stter when I got my pup, and someday I still want a pointer, but I cant imagine being happier than I am with the Setter I have now!!!! Good luck, they're all terrific choices IMO!!!

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:43 am

Highway Ends Kennel wrote:The terrain you hunt, type of birds, and weather conditions are big factors that should influence your choice of dog as well. Will it be an inside family dog, outside kennel, backyard etc. Does shorthair or longhair matter? Also what are your expectations for the dog? Will you be doing any other activities with it besides hunting? Field trials? hiking, camping, etc?

Once you give the board members some more information, there's probably some of them that can recommend kennels, breeders, hunt clubs etc. close to where you live where you can go check out the dogs in action.

Like one of the other members said, once you think you've narrowed down the breed go see as many of these dogs either in a hunting or field trial situation as possible. There's a pretty wide spectrum of characteristics and traits within the GSP and Brittney breeds.
All good questions. I don't plan on getting into field trials at this point. Not saying I won't in the future though. Probably going lots of places with the dog though. The dog will be inside. Hair length doesn't matter. I want a dog out of strong working lines; titles don't mean a lot to me on paper especially farther back than the grandparents. I learned a long time ago that a pedigree says what a dog should be, the dog tells you what it is. I have to see the parents work, and I want to know how the previous litters from the same sire and dam worked. The dog has to be have that desire to work. I like dogs with great nerve and forwardness; I like a curious dog. As far as what I will be hunting, I'm planning on hunting both quail and pheasant. Hope I didn't ramble too much.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by cjhills » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:47 am

You can probably find more variation in the breeds than between the breeds. If you are looking for a family type bird dog it is probably best to avoid the big running trial dogs for your first dog, They can be a bit intimidating (I have my hard hat on)
To Jeffkrop: you probably need to lighten up on your puppy. Let him have fun and just try to set the stage for training.
Cj

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by fishvik » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:56 am

If you're looking for an all around hunting dog and companion and you don't mind a flusher, I'd say a lab. They need the least equipment to train and they are probably the most forgiving to training mistakes. And other than a real hot climate they are a real all season dog, waterfowl and upland.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:02 am

Pointer, GSP, E. Setter or Brittany. Any one of these four pointing breeds will do just fine. In the poionter and setter, I would suggest FDSB registered stock.

That being said, what matters most is what YOU want out of the dog. In any of the above breeds there is a range of genetics available. You can buy everything from a firebreathing horizon buster to a couch potato in all four of those breeds. Whatever floats your boat.

If you are interested in learning about hunintg, I suggest that you consider purchasing a trained dog for your first. You can see exactly what you have, before you make the purchase AND the dog will teach you more about upland hunting in one season than you would learn in ten years on your own.

One word of caution regarding bird dogs. They do best when they are allowed to operate "somewhat" independently. They may not respond well to the same type of traing methods that work well for guard dogs. I would not use Koehler method type training on a bird dog for example, because it would almost certainly cause the dog to shut down. Of the breeds mentioned above, probably only the GSP would be able to deal effectively with heavy duty obedience.

Brittanys, as a breed, are probably the most sensitive(some would say soft) dispositioned dogs, many requiring only a harsh word from their handler to stop them in their tracks.

In any case...welcome aboard and have fun with your search. Bird dogs and upland hunting is a blast, both literally and figuratively.

RayG

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:44 am

RayGubernat wrote:Pointer, GSP, E. Setter or Brittany. Any one of these four pointing breeds will do just fine. In the poionter and setter, I would suggest FDSB registered stock.

That being said, what matters most is what YOU want out of the dog. In any of the above breeds there is a range of genetics available. You can buy everything from a firebreathing horizon buster to a couch potato in all four of those breeds. Whatever floats your boat.

If you are interested in learning about hunintg, I suggest that you consider purchasing a trained dog for your first. You can see exactly what you have, before you make the purchase AND the dog will teach you more about upland hunting in one season than you would learn in ten years on your own.

One word of caution regarding bird dogs. They do best when they are allowed to operate "somewhat" independently. They may not respond well to the same type of traing methods that work well for guard dogs. I would not use Koehler method type training on a bird dog for example, because it would almost certainly cause the dog to shut down. Of the breeds mentioned above, probably only the GSP would be able to deal effectively with heavy duty obedience.

Brittanys, as a breed, are probably the most sensitive(some would say soft) dispositioned dogs, many requiring only a harsh word from their handler to stop them in their tracks.

In any case...welcome aboard and have fun with your search. Bird dogs and upland hunting is a blast, both literally and figuratively.

RayG
I would perfer a dog that can operate on its own to a point (no pun intended). I don't use Kohler on anything I train. Never have. If I have to beat the dog up to get it to work, it's not the right dog. Dealing with Belgian Malinois is also tricky and this is my dog of choice for K9 and protection. They need a calm consistent handler who is confident, but not harsh as that breed tends to pout. One thing that I've learned a good trainer should do regardless of dog venue is have a big bag of tricks and apply what works for that particular dog. All dogs are not he same. I'm really looking forward to getting into this.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:46 am

I'm going to have to do more research on the setters. My curiosity is starting to take over.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by RoostersMom » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:15 am

I'd vote for a well-bred GSP. They come on quickly, they are generally a bold breed, they're smart, they like to train, they pick up retrieving quickly - they're just an all-around good dog. IMO, they tend to handle a heavier hand better than say a Brit would. But if you find you're a very heavy handed trainer - get an english pointer - they recover well from rookie mistakes! I think most would agree that Vizslas and Setters tend to take longer to mature, so they might not be the best for a beginner.

Get a good training program (Perfect Start and Perfect Finish from Perfection Kennels are good) - or even better - sign up for a training seminar so you can see several dogs work in addition to working your dog with the trainer. I know Perfection Kennels offer several training clinics for all levels. The worst mistake to make, IMO, is not letting the pup get out there and be independent - too much correction, too much calling him back in, too much talking.... all that does is turn an independent hunting dog into a boot licker that won't range and won't make a move without your say-so.

Go to a NAVHDA training day and see different dogs work. Talk to the handlers/owners and get a feel for what you like. I like the short-haired breeds, so we have EP's, GSP's, and a Vizsla. I like brittany dogs, but I don't like a longer haired dog - I like the smooth coat.

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in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by cmc274 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:25 pm

Id buy a started pointer that is available for right reasons. Highest chance of success of getting what you want.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:24 pm

I'd really like to see some of these breeds work. I'm in Tennessee, 30 miles north of Chattanooga. Anyone know of some folks who own some of these breeds that I could get in touch with and just watch the dog work that's maybe a couple of hours or so away? And just to put it out there, please don't think that just because I train K9's and protection dogs that I'm a heavy handed disciplinarian or an aggressive trainer. Believe it or not I use more "positive" training techniques than you would think. I can handle the more dominant dogs (not breeds but dogs) and can let them know in a hurry who's in charge, but I don't hammer them. If I get a dog that's just not cutting it, I cut it loose at a loss to a good "pet" home. You can't put into a dog what it doesn't have so I would rather see it in a good home than force it to do something it's not capable of. It's the canine behaviour that I enjoy. But more than that it's the beauty of watching a dog perform what it was bred to do.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by whatsnext » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:57 pm

Maybe you could attend an event like a hunt tests,ft or nstra event i am sure there would be something close to you to watch.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Neil » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:33 pm

I am finding few today will make the commitment of time, nor have the resources to train and maintain a pointing dog.

I tell most to get a Lab out of local hunting stock, and I have never even owned a Lab. After they learn "stay" and"here" they are ready to go hunting for upland or waterfowl. The only exception that I think demand a good ranging pointing dog is quail, otherwise get a Lab, play fetch and do the intro to the gun, and get to it.

Neil

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in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by cmc274 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:27 pm

There is an Akc walking ft in Spring City in 2 weeks. I could dig up the info if interested.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:46 pm

cmc274 wrote:There is an Akc walking ft in Spring City in 2 weeks. I could dig up the info if interested.
That would be great!! I'm less than an hour from Spring City.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Brazosvalleyvizslas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:02 pm

It's Mar 15th-17th at the Gun Dog Development Kennels at Hub Swafford RD. For info contact William Barber at 4 two 3- 365- 6652. If you go, have fun and don't be afraid to ask questions.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:32 pm

Brazosvalleyvizslas wrote:It's Mar 15th-17th at the Gun Dog Development Kennels at Hub Swafford RD. For info contact William Barber at 4 two 3- 365- 6652. If you go, have fun and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! You don't have to worry about me asking questions. I'm all about picking the brains of the more experienced and I don't meet strangers.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by marysburg » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:24 pm

Welcome to the forum, sounds like you'll fit in just fine. Nice to have you aboard.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Aslowhiteguy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:57 pm

I don't think there really is a bad choice. If you're willing to put the necessary time in and you get a dog from a good breeding, you'll probably end up with a nice dog. I think the line and/or breeding is more important than which breed you decide upon.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by RoostersMom » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Here's a contact for the mid-south NAVHDA.

Tennessee (AL, MS,KY,AR)

MID SOUTH
website: www.midsouthnavhda.com
~RABOLLI, CHARLES V.
1015 N HILLS DR
DECATUR
GA
30033-4220
404/636-0766
Mid-South chapter serves members in TN,GA,SC AL,MS,AR, and LA with monthly training sessions near Pelham TN and Jersey GA.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by AzDoggin » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:44 pm

Big Swill, I could not agree more with those that advised you to get out and see some of the dogs work.

Trust me, if you can handle high drive Mals with mostly positive training, you can do the OB portion of birddog training in your sleep. In fact, it will likely be fun for you to see how much these dogs want to work with you and do what you want them to do. The birdwork will just be a fun new twist for you.

Honestly, I think you are being too modest calling yourself a beginner. You are an experienced dog trainer. I think it's likely you'd be able to handle any hunting dog. See which breeds light a fire under you when you watch them work and post back here and you'll get ideas for some excellent breeders.

It's all good FUN!!

Good luck.

EDIT - looks like the Mid South Region of NSTRA (National Shoot to Retrieve Assoc.) http://www.nstra.org/nstra-regions.htm has three trials in Tennessee this spring. These are all foot trials as well:

March 2 – 3, 2013
Volunteer Gun Dog Club
Open (SGL / SGL)
At: Bethel Springs, TN
Chairman: Bill Moore
4344 Purdy Road
Selmer, TN 38375
Phone: 731-645-5126

March 16, 2013
Pond Field
Open (DBL)
At: Pond Field Preserve
Lawrenceburg, TN
Chairman: Steve Jaspering
25159 Sweet Springs Road
Elkmont, AL 35620
Phone: 256-497-0066

April 5 - 6, 2013
Mid South Regional Elimination
At: Pond Field Preserve
Lawrenceburg, TN
Chairman: Steve Jaspering
25159 Sweet Springs Road
Elkmont, AL 35620
Phone: 256-497-0066
Last edited by AzDoggin on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Sharon » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:49 pm

advice: Make a well researched decision BEFORE you see anybody's puppies. :)

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Highway Ends Kennel » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:21 pm

The NSTRA Trials will give you a very good opportunity to see all of the breeds your interested in do "their thing" up close. The dogs are competed in 30 min. braces with two dogs/brace. You'll get to see the dogs work the field, find, point, and retrieve to hand pen released Bobwhite that the handler shoots after the dog has established point. You should get to see what a really nice stylish bird dog with the right training and natural ability looks like hunting birds.

For your first birddog being raised indoors, a good GSP would be hard to beat. They just seem to bounce back better and faster from training mistakes or setbacks. They're also a breed that really wants to be with you and please their owners. That being said, they are also one of the most athletic, birdy, and prey driven breeds around. Most of them are natural retrievers and enjoy water work. There's a good number of experienced GSP breeders as well so availability isn't as much of an issue.

Whatever you do,

Take your time and enjoy the ride!!!

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by whatsnext » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:33 am

Neil wrote:I am finding few today will make the commitment of time, nor have the resources to train and maintain a pointing dog.

I tell most to get a Lab out of local hunting stock, and I have never even owned a Lab. After they learn "stay" and"here" they are ready to go hunting for upland or waterfowl. The only exception that I think demand a good ranging pointing dog is quail, otherwise get a Lab, play fetch and do the intro to the gun, and get to it.

Neil
I agree with the first part of your post 100% and I have heard that a quail dog has to range many times but this past fall my 16 month old EB who ranged around 30-50 yards kept me into birds, he is starting to get out and stay out to 100 yards more often so i will see if he has more finds next season.I know that is not big running dog but that's as big as i want him to run, i have a new american britt pup that i hope has some legs under him .

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by volraider » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:52 am

If I were in Cleveland I would make a phone call to Brenda Roe at Walnut Hills kennels right outside of Chattanooga and set up a time to see her dogs. Brenda breeds some of the nicest Gsp's you will find. Go over and spend a couple of hours and watch her dogs. She usually has a litter or 2 a year.

Gsp's have a short memory which is better for a new trainer. If you make a mistake it's not the end of the world with a shorthair.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:20 am

marysburg wrote:Welcome to the forum, sounds like you'll fit in just fine. Nice to have you aboard.
Thank you marysurg. I appreciate the welcome.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am

Aslowhiteguy wrote:I don't think there really is a bad choice. If you're willing to put the necessary time in and you get a dog from a good breeding, you'll probably end up with a nice dog. I think the line and/or breeding is more important than which breed you decide upon.
Putting time into a dog is no issue for me. Been eating, breathing, and sleeping them for years now. What's great about getting into this is my wife wants to get involved as well.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:41 am

Sharon wrote:advice: Make a well researched decision BEFORE you see anybody's puppies. :)
I absolutely agree with this advice. I made that mistake early in my dog training. Learned my lesson and never did it again.

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by crackerd » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:18 am

big swill wrote:What's great about getting into this is my wife wants to get involved as well.
Don't usually advise on what or what not to get as a first gundog, but now that you've brought the missus into the equation, I would go with Neil's advice -
Neil wrote:I tell most to get a Lab out of local hunting stock, and I have never even owned a Lab. After they learn "stay" and"here" they are ready to go hunting for upland or waterfowl. The only exception that I think demand a good ranging pointing dog is quail, otherwise get a Lab, play fetch and do the intro to the gun, and get to it.
- but substitute Boykin for Lab (of which I have both, while Neil has, I believe Boykins and Britts). Funnest first gundog you can have for any gamebirds

Image

and, um, as Neil might say, among the most versatile lil'uns out there - especially if you're deferring to a Southern lady for

Image

her choice of the only Southern gundog.

MG

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:36 am

volraider wrote:If I were in Cleveland I would make a phone call to Brenda Roe at Walnut Hills kennels right outside of Chattanooga and set up a time to see her dogs. Brenda breeds some of the nicest Gsp's you will find. Go over and spend a couple of hours and watch her dogs. She usually has a litter or 2 a year.

Gsp's have a short memory which is better for a new trainer. If you make a mistake it's not the end of the world with a shorthair.
I appreciate the info. Looks like she's only an hour away from me. I'll get in touch with her and see if she would mine if I drove down to watch some of the dogs work. Thanks again!

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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Jagerdawg » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:55 am

big swill wrote:
volraider wrote:If I were in Cleveland I would make a phone call to Brenda Roe at Walnut Hills kennels right outside of Chattanooga and set up a time to see her dogs. Brenda breeds some of the nicest Gsp's you will find. Go over and spend a couple of hours and watch her dogs. She usually has a litter or 2 a year.

Gsp's have a short memory which is better for a new trainer. If you make a mistake it's not the end of the world with a shorthair.
I appreciate the info. Looks like she's only an hour away from me. I'll get in touch with her and see if she would mine if I drove down to watch some of the dogs work. Thanks again!
X2 Brenda has some awesome dogs. My avatar dog is nephew to her Sam Man and I'm amazed at him all of the time. Good luck and good hunting.

big swill
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:11 pm

RoostersMom wrote:Here's a contact for the mid-south NAVHDA.

Tennessee (AL, MS,KY,AR)

MID SOUTH
website: http://www.midsouthnavhda.com
~RABOLLI, CHARLES V.
1015 N HILLS DR
DECATUR
GA
30033-4220
404/636-0766
Mid-South chapter serves members in TN,GA,SC AL,MS,AR, and LA with monthly training sessions near Pelham TN and Jersey GA.
Thanks very much for this info. I'll definitely check this out.

big swill
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:37 pm

AzDoggin wrote:Big Swill, I could not agree more with those that advised you to get out and see some of the dogs work.

Trust me, if you can handle high drive Mals with mostly positive training, you can do the OB portion of birddog training in your sleep. In fact, it will likely be fun for you to see how much these dogs want to work with you and do what you want them to do. The birdwork will just be a fun new twist for you.

Honestly, I think you are being too modest calling yourself a beginner. You are an experienced dog trainer. I think it's likely you'd be able to handle any hunting dog. See which breeds light a fire under you when you watch them work and post back here and you'll get ideas for some excellent breeders.

It's all good FUN!!

Good luck.

I like to think that I'm a decent enough dog trainer and have spent a lot of time doing decoy work. I've always believed that you can't understand what makes a dog tick if you're looking at its butt all the time; you have to understand the business end as well. I'm actually excited about this because this will be, as you said, a fun new twist. I've got to learn the terminology, what the different training tools are used for etc. but there are some similarities.For example, it's the same prey drive in both K9's and bird dogs. One uses it to find a man, the other a bird.But I can't train a dog to do man work if it has no prey drive, at least not properly. And I imagine a birg dog w/ no prey is no good in the field. I may have slight edge over most beginners but there's always alot to learn.
I have two sons (13 and 10) who want to get involved too, which is important to me. I'm very excited.

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Cajun Casey
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:13 pm

big swill wrote:
AzDoggin wrote:Big Swill, I could not agree more with those that advised you to get out and see some of the dogs work.

Trust me, if you can handle high drive Mals with mostly positive training, you can do the OB portion of birddog training in your sleep. In fact, it will likely be fun for you to see how much these dogs want to work with you and do what you want them to do. The birdwork will just be a fun new twist for you.

Honestly, I think you are being too modest calling yourself a beginner. You are an experienced dog trainer. I think it's likely you'd be able to handle any hunting dog. See which breeds light a fire under you when you watch them work and post back here and you'll get ideas for some excellent breeders.

It's all good FUN!!

Good luck.

I like to think that I'm a decent enough dog trainer and have spent a lot of time doing decoy work. I've always believed that you can't understand what makes a dog tick if you're looking at its butt all the time; you have to understand the business end as well. I'm actually excited about this because this will be, as you said, a fun new twist. I've got to learn the terminology, what the different training tools are used for etc. but there are some similarities.For example, it's the same prey drive in both K9's and bird dogs. One uses it to find a man, the other a bird.But I can't train a dog to do man work if it has no prey drive, at least not properly. And I imagine a birg dog w/ no prey is no good in the field. I may have slight edge over most beginners but there's always alot to learn.
I have two sons (13 and 10) who want to get involved too, which is important to me. I'm very excited.
You might ask about wirehairs also.

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Double Shot Banks
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Double Shot Banks » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:36 pm

My first dog is a lab, i love them, they are always in a good mood, fairly easy to train, and imo the best all around dog. But if you want a pointing dog, althought they breed pointing labs. i would get a gsp or other
Isaac and Banks

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hartlinejon
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by hartlinejon » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:40 pm

Get in touch with the secretary of the East tn. pointing dog assoc on yahoo groups or on face book, field trial is scheduled at gundog development grounds next weekend you should come on up. Be sure to get good directions because it is out in the sticks and the gps will get you lost bad! Feel free to contact me on here if you want, Jon

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Hattrick
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by Hattrick » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:24 pm

Did you get my pm? I had a little trouble sending it?

big swill
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:27 pm

Hattrick wrote:Did you get my pm? I had a little trouble sending it?
I didn't get it. I'll send you one and you can just respond.

big swill
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:04 am

Hattrick wrote:Did you get my pm? I had a little trouble sending it?
I tried to send you a PM but it's stuck in the outbox. You can email me if you want. Either stephenaswilling@eaton.com or robbynswilling@bellsouth.net.

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mtlhdr
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by mtlhdr » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:41 am

big swill wrote:
Hattrick wrote:Did you get my pm? I had a little trouble sending it?
I tried to send you a PM but it's stuck in the outbox.
That just means the recipient hasn't read it yet.

big swill
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by big swill » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:55 am

mtlhdr wrote:
big swill wrote:
Hattrick wrote:Did you get my pm? I had a little trouble sending it?
I tried to send you a PM but it's stuck in the outbox.
That just means the recipient hasn't read it yet.
Gotcha. Thanks!

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gspguy
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by gspguy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:25 pm

Has anyone said English Pointer? They are probably the pointing'est dog there is. As long as you stay away from the super high powered breedings as a beginner I'd think you'd stand a high chance of getting a very good gun dog. I think it might be more about doing some research and talking to a lot of breeders and picking the right litter more so than picking a specific breed.

My first shorthair was a black-hearted high-powered independent dog that gave me fits sometimes. But I didn't know any different and just worked/hunted my way through it. My current dog is almost as high powered but much easier to handle. Same general bloodlines but a slightly different outcome.

dead mike
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Re: in your opinion, which breed for a beginner?

Post by dead mike » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:38 pm

EP

easy to train, natural, and LOTS of good ones

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