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Second Dog Opinion

Opinion on breed?

Poll ended at Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:43 pm

FBESS
1
6%
FBESC
2
12%
Boykin
2
12%
Lewellin Setter
2
12%
French Brittany
2
12%
Small Munsterlander
2
12%
Other
6
35%
 
Total votes : 17

Second Dog Opinion

Postby kschemenauer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:43 pm

Hello All,

Brand new to the forum. However been a forum reader for awhile now. Ok, so I currently have a 3 1/2 year old French Brittany. He's a great dog, hard hunter, and can hunt for days! He does great with our kids but a little annoying around the house always wanting to go in and out all day long he gets pretty good daily exercise but just can't seem to settle down in the house. I've been a pretty avid bird hunter now for the past 4 years. One trip to South Dakota and I was looking at dog breeders all the way home as I was hooked. I reside in northern WI and do one week trip out to South Dakota and then hunt mostly pheasant farms, Pheasant Forever land, and grouse hunting so about 50/50. I am looking at adding another bird dog to the family possibly some time in 2018. I'm completely lost as to what direction to go. There is something about a dog locking up on point but I am really intrigued by a flusher. I've talked with breeders of: FBESS, FBECS, Boykin, Lewellin Setter, French Brittany, and Small Munsterlander. I want a close working dog, 25lbs-50lbs range, good retrieve, good family dog, a little more biddable in the house. In a perfect world I would like to hunt them together at times if possible but the more I talk with people that appears challenging and maybe more unrealistic. Opinions are needed!! Thanks.
Last edited by kschemenauer on Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby llewellinsetter » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:48 pm

id look into german longhaired pointers, great in the house, fantastic in the field, great at tracking fur, and awesome in the duck blind. the females run around 60 pounds so a little larger than what you are looking for. there are a couple breeders in WI, Frontrunners(where both my pups are from) and corashatten. the owner of the latter is also the breed warden for the US. just throwing my two cents out there for ya!
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby NEhomer » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:02 am

Before my current and amazing Llewellin, I had two brittanys.

....I now wish they had both been llews!
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby bustingcover » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:43 am

Close working, small, good family pet, retriever? Go with the cocker.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby slistoe » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:46 am

IMO what you are looking for in a dog - high drive in the field and very low drive at all other times - is not breed dependent. You will find anecdotal information from all kinds of folks about this breed or that because they owned one that was like what you describe - dogs like that will be found in every breed. It is dependent on the individual dog and the dog owner/trainer. The risk you will run when searching for laid back in the house is that you will get a dog that is laid back in the field as well - it won't give you 100% effort for one day after the other. It has been my experience that you will be more likely to find the laid back/laid back personality than the high drive/high drive personality. This is simply because with training/exposure most high/high dogs can be modified into high/medium or high/low dogs.

On you second note - hunting a flusher and a pointer together requires a much higher degree of training in both dogs than would be required if working two pointers or two flushers. The training level and maintenance requirements of working a pointer with a flusher effectively should not be underestimated.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby IANative » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:36 am

slistoe wrote:
On you second note - hunting a flusher and a pointer together requires a much higher degree of training in both dogs than would be required if working two pointers or two flushers. The training level and maintenance requirements of working a pointer with a flusher effectively should not be underestimated.



Agreed. However, when it is done correctly, it's a joy to behold. My Boykin as a youngster was an "only dog in the field," even if he wasn't the only dog. It took years of experience and maturation on his part to learn how to best partner with pointing dogs. Once it clicked, it was wonderful. Of course, to slistoe's point, had I the knowledge and invested the time/effort/money in training him to hunt that way when young, rather than waiting for him to figure it out on his own, I would have had 3 or 4 more years of such wonderful paired hunting experience with him.

My vote was Boykin, btw. Here he is last season, paired with a young Llewellin:
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby Steve007 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:57 am

slistoe wrote:IMO what you are looking for in a dog - high drive in the field and very low drive at all other times - is not breed dependent. You will find anecdotal information from all kinds of folks about this breed or that because they owned one that was like what you describe - dogs like that will be found in every breed. It is dependent on the individual dog and the dog owner/trainer. The risk you will run when searching for laid back in the house is that you will get a dog that is laid back in the field as well - it won't give you 100% effort for one day after the other. It has been my experience that you will be more likely to find the laid back/laid back personality than the high drive/high drive personality. This is simply because with training/exposure most high/high dogs can be modified into high/medium or high/low dogs.

On you second note - hunting a flusher and a pointer together requires a much higher degree of training in both dogs than would be required if working two pointers or two flushers. The training level and maintenance requirements of working a pointer with a flusher effectively should not be underestimated.


This is a very good post, especially the last paragraph. However, the OP's French Brit is likely not "biddable in the house" because he hasn't put any serious obedience work into it. A young dog (and at 3 1/2, the FB qualifies) takes training to be a decent house dog and adding another even younger dog will just double up on his lack of work, as they'll both be hooligans. Hes got a good young field dog that does not lack stamina. I'd say learn how to train the dog he's got to be the house dog he wants instead of looking for a magic dog. Most people would say a FB would meet his criteria, But without impulse control developed through careful obedience work, very few normally-energetic bird dogs will.

For the record, I have two full-time large (GWP) house dogs and bird dogs. I put in just as much time (or more) training for regular living as for bird work.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby kschemenauer » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:33 pm

Steve007 wrote:
slistoe wrote:IMO what you are looking for in a dog - high drive in the field and very low drive at all other times - is not breed dependent. You will find anecdotal information from all kinds of folks about this breed or that because they owned one that was like what you describe - dogs like that will be found in every breed. It is dependent on the individual dog and the dog owner/trainer. The risk you will run when searching for laid back in the house is that you will get a dog that is laid back in the field as well - it won't give you 100% effort for one day after the other. It has been my experience that you will be more likely to find the laid back/laid back personality than the high drive/high drive personality. This is simply because with training/exposure most high/high dogs can be modified into high/medium or high/low dogs.

On you second note - hunting a flusher and a pointer together requires a much higher degree of training in both dogs than would be required if working two pointers or two flushers. The training level and maintenance requirements of working a pointer with a flusher effectively should not be underestimated.


This is a very good post, especially the last paragraph. However, the OP's French Brit is likely not "biddable in the house" because he hasn't put any serious obedience work into it. A young dog (and at 3 1/2, the FB qualifies) takes training to be a decent house dog and adding another even younger dog will just double up on his lack of work, as they'll both be hooligans. Hes got a good young field dog that does not lack stamina. I'd say learn how to train the dog he's got to be the house dog he wants instead of looking for a magic dog. Most people would say a FB would meet his criteria, But without impulse control developed through careful obedience work, very few normally-energetic bird dogs will.

For the record, I have two full-time large (GWP) house dogs and bird dogs. I put in just as much time (or more) training for regular living as for bird work.


Thanks for all the feedback so far. I guess I don't want to be coming off that I'm not happy with my dogs off switch and looking for the perfect dog. I love what I have in my French Brittany. I continue basic obedience in the home and know it is always going to be work. With that said I know that a person can only have so many dogs in a lifetime and I would like to add another dog to our family and have been looking at the mentioned breeds that I have listed and just curious to other individuals feedback/opinion as to what direction to be thinking on this with what I am looking for in a hunting companion and family dog knowing I already have a pointer. Thanks again.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby Sharon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:12 pm

I guess it all depends on what we had experience with and enjoyed. I chose "other" meaning a field setter FDSB registered.
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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby Trekmoor » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:52 am

I've worked various combinations of Brittany, G.S.P. , Vizsla, cocker spaniel and springer spaniel together many times. It requires well trained dogs and it requires a high degree of concentration from the handler.

What tends to happen is that the pointing dog ranges further and finds birds before the spaniel gets there but the spaniel follows the dictates of it's spaniel nature and steals the points from the pointing dog .....that can lead to trouble.

My preference when hunting a pointer and a spaniel is to decide which of the two dogs best suits the ground being hunted then hunt that dog while keeping the other dog beside me at heel. Sometimes, if a bird is being pointed deep inside very thick, nasty brambles or similar , I will send the spaniel in to do the flush.

I find the spaniel more useful for hedge line or fence line hunting but the pointing dog more useful overall.

Things that can go wrong while hunting two dogs of such different "instincts" at the same time include the spaniel stealing points, the spaniel wanting to "pull out" on you to run with the pointing dog ( A spaniel hunting/running at or outwith gunshot range is not a help it is a disaster.)

A spaniel , pointing dog combination can be both very interesting and very useful but to have it work well does need training and a lot of concentration.

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Re: Second Dog Opinion

Postby Dakotazeb » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:06 am

The OP said it. There is just something about a dog when it locks up on point. If that turns your crank, like it does mine, I would go with another pointing breed. It is also a grand sight when a dog goes on point and the second dog locks up on a back to honor the first dog.

But lets address the issue you say you have with your dog not being able to settle down around the house. That's not generally a breed issue. It's usually a breeding issue or a product of your environment. Whatever breed you get you need to do your homework on the breeder, the dam and sire and also the grandparents. You mentioned that you have kids in the house. That could be your biggest issue with the dog not being able to settle down. Kids runs, yell and tend to get dogs stirred up. My daughter has to children (11 and 9) They bought a Brittany about 3 years ago. That dog cannot settle down in the house. Seems the kids have it wound up all the time. I've owned Brittanys for over 20 years but my dogs have grown up in a house with just me and my wife. They have all been very laid back and quiet around the house but can turn it on in the field. So I really don't think changing breeds in an attempt to get a calm dog around the house will necessarily help.
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