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Quasi-pointers

Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Mon May 28, 2018 6:26 am

I made a comment in another thread that was heading towards a hi-jack. In respect of that, I have opened this thread.
The conflicting responses/opinions of the many reflect exactly what I was alluding to.
People are bragging about a short-tail(s) placing in stellar AF events against pointers. That is precisely what I feel is the compromise.
Why are we altering a versatile/short-tail to become a quasi-pointer in the first place? If you do your research on a breed standard of performance, the GSP, Weim, GWP, Viszla, etc. were NEVER supposed to be pointers in the first place. Those diverse traits were the very thing that attracted an audience to those breeds.
A major chunk of my past has been in horseback trials and as such, I am not speaking from perception.
In summary, the prevalent comments are simply that, "Since there is virtually something for everyone, I concede that there are short-tailers that want to have quasi-pointers too, rather than, there are short-tails that are as good as pointers in trials."
Some hunters will buy Britts or GSPs etc. and end up mortified with the alien level of independence injected into those breeds by horseback trialers - a trait that was altered to accommodate trials specifically. Now if you're looking for a gun dog/hunting companion, you might HAVE to employ a pro trainer to re adjust that short-tail that is running towards a neighboring state and hasn't looked back once.
Or, if you want to trial.......you can buy a pointer.
Never was my offering intended to convey which is THE best bird dog breed. It was to establish that there is SUPPOSED to be a difference in them.
Finally, I have hunted wild birds in a variety of venues with a variety of breeds. "Run" is not THE single most valuable measure of a bird dog's aptitude, oh....unless you're trialing a quasi-pointer. (I should know.)
Last edited by Featherfinder on Mon May 28, 2018 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Mon May 28, 2018 8:31 am

FF,

I enjoy the discussion. If we all wanted the same kind of dog I guess there would be only one breed and only one strain within it.

As to why people pursue different breeds and the "tougher row to hoe" so to speak in certain dog competition venues. I don't know and let them to speak to it.

I use GWPs because I do not want to own a kennel full of dogs to cover all the bases of what I hunt with a single dog. So I use a generalist vs a specialist. I could easily make a go with a NAVHDA line GSP or the right DD as well. I have gone the GWP route instead because I want the strong retriever and blood tracking skills while getting as much drive and style in the upland bird work as I can realistically get in a generalist. I like their dual coat for late season waterfowling, their looks and their personality as well.

I once took a 7 months old GWP pup I was starting, on a hunt with a fine fellow who hunted wild birds in central KS about 50 days a season and had his whole life. He had two 6 year old littermate male AKC registered GSPs he had bred and raised. They looked like docked tailed EPs. We had a good hunt in a large big bluestem CRP field and I shot a couple of wild roosters off of points over his dogs. My pup showed excellent for his age and had several productive points on hens but of course was no match at the time for getting out ahead of those veteran dogs. As we visited on the tailgate I felt safe in asking him if he thought his dogs had some EP in them. He did not hesitate in responding "I think they about have to, don't you?"

I find some paradox today in the family feud folks like to wage on line about GWPs and DDs. In any other breed of dog they would be accepted as strains within a single breed very similar to what can be seen in GSPs, ES, Brittanies. I have read some of the written record on the development of the DDs. There were a bunch of DK, PP, WPG owners standing on the sidelines screaming "look at them bastardizing the pure blood of our dogs!!!" I am glad the DD Founders did not listen and I am glad some breeders subsequently did some breeding to refine those dogs in the strains of GWPs I have hunted with for along time.

Consistent with a point you made in your post, I bird hunted some with a mutual friend of my main bird hunting partner. My Buddy had a Brittany and a GSP, and I had a GWP pup at the time. This 3rd guy decided he wanted a Brittany puppy, and asked for my input as to where to get one. I had been subscribing to GunDog since it's inception at the time and pointed him to a kennel line in Ohio. And given we hunted alot of tight cover which held alot of quail, and it was to be his first gundog I advised him to steer clear of hot big running FT lines. He acquired a pup from a hot big running field trial line. I never saw the dog point a bird. I saw it run through alot of birds when it occasionally became visible on the horizon. A complete mismatch of a first time "handler" and the exact wrong kind of dog for him. We quit hunting with him because his dog was so completely out of control.

That GSP my Buddy had was a FT washout from a very winning line (within the GSP Only Trials) of dogs, bred, trained and handled by a guy who was at the top of his field. She was an outstanding wild quail dog. I ran into the Breeder at a FT and visited with him about the dog he has washed out and sold to my Buddy. He was excited to hear how the dog had turned out and said she did not run big enough to suit him. I think that the desire for a bigger running dog in his breeding yielded some great benefits in how that dog performed, that one would likely never see in a DK for example.

I have been the benefactor of those daring to experiment with breeding different types of dogs and am glad they do. With good research and legwork, any serious hunter or competitor, or both can find something to suit them. So if others want to juice up their Brittanys, GSPs, Vizslas, GWPs and have a go at the EPs then I say more power to em. If that is not the kind of dog I am looking for when looking for my next pup I can easily enough look elsewhere and do.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby shags » Mon May 28, 2018 9:19 am

In field trials, there is one performance standard for each stake. No where is it written that dogs are to be judged according to to their breed standards (if any)...it isn't like Best in Show bench judging where dogs are not compared to each other but each compared ro its breed standard.

To win, dogs must meet the performance standard of its stake. If pointers have set that standard, then that's what competitors must meet or exceed. Some breeds endeavor to preserve their specific performance qualities by keeping their trials closed. Spinones come to mind.

Averageguy, it sounds like your friend with the hot Brittany needed to be blamed for not adequately training his dog, rather than blaming the dog's breeding. Many of my trialing friends with winning Brittanies, GSPs, GWPs, pointers, and setters also enjoy their dogs as hunting companions for a variety of species in different environments.

Not long ago in an antique store I found a stack of magazines from the 1970s, published by the GSP parent club. One of the issues had a lead article decrying the ruination of the breed by breeders looking to infuse more speed and range. Kind of strange hearing the same concerns almost 50 years later, with the breed seeming to be enduringly popular.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Mon May 28, 2018 11:22 am

Shags, I think that Brittany pup was a poor choice of Breeding for the country it was slated to be hunted in. But yes no doubt, even more of a problem was the fact the owner was clueless on how to train the dog. There are lines of Brittanys that are some of the most natural easy to bring around dogs I have seen. That is what I steered him towards when he asked me, but he went in another direction.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Steve007 » Mon May 28, 2018 12:10 pm

Sensible dogs with experience who like you will adjust easily. My hunting partner would tell you that my FC Wirehair is a close-working dog. And she is..until you put your shotgun away, get on a horse and blow a breakaway whistle.

Some might say that FT-bred Pointers don't have that flexibility. But if you kept them in the house like real companions, you never know how they might turn out.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Mon May 28, 2018 12:36 pm

Yes Sensible is the key word in your post.

I did not see any indication this particular dog had any sense but those issues are not always easy to sort out when there are obvious owner problems at work as well.

My GWP adjusts to cover very nicely. He tightens up in heavy cover with no prompting from me and has gotten out over 500 yards hunting prairie grouse.

The GSP I used as an example did not adjust to cover very well and she was no where near as good on pheasants as she was on quail because of it. But she would hold a point as long as it took for us to find her if the birds held, and she found alot of birds.

The horseback trials are run in terrain where dogs can open up. Lots of public hunting area birds which have been subjected to some hunting pressure will never hold long enough for a foot hunter to reach their dog at those ranges is the dirty little secret that many don't want to acknowledge.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Mon May 28, 2018 2:08 pm

You sure can get a variety of gsp's. Anything from DK to an AA dog. Gives a huge gene pool to breed from. And most of us know pointer was bred in. I personally think it's ok. That being said you need to make good choices in picking a litter. That applies to most of the hunting breeds. I personally think a person should pick a litter that suits what you are going to do. I don't think it's wise to buy an AA pup if you want a 50yds dog or a 50 yd pup for the chukar hills or prairie.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Mon May 28, 2018 4:37 pm

Well said Average Guy/Greg. I guess what I am asking is, "Why do you want to mold a GSP into a quasi-pointer to use it in an AA environment when you can buy a pointer? There is a downside. Your are developing GSPs that are no longer "GSPs"! They are short-tailed pointers! Again...why not get a pointer?
I've said this on many occasions. "Range" is something a dog learns by being rewarded with finds whether it's grouse in New England or Huns on the prairies. "Independence" is something trial pointers and setters and some of those hybridized other breeds have via genetics.
In the past I have developed Brittanys, a Gordon and a GSP that could run/place, even win on occasion in AF horseback trials dominated by pointer entries. I selected certain traits in my Britts and cultivated run - something pointers are born with out-of-the-box. (The Gordon and GSP I did not own....just developed.) I have acquired many AA field trial pointers and setters to develop gentleman/lady gun dogs. I prefer BIG engine dogs that can hunt hard and long for the gun. It CAN be done....both ways.
I started this post to do exactly what it has done. :cheers:
And so, I leave you with this. If you are looking for a gun dog and you are not a very experienced trainer, be VERY careful what you acquire. Someone above said it best, "There are GSPs and there are GSPs."
Shags, if what you said was true, ("In field trials, there is one performance standard for each stake.") there would be an awful lot of placements withheld at a lot of short-tail trials. Not sure how many times those judges would get asked back though! :x
While run/independence is something the trial pointer has out-of-the-box and short-tails aspire to develop, there are other salient attributes pointers have that can't be trained into your short-tail. It is what it is.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Tue May 29, 2018 8:49 am

You can't undo what was done to the gsp's. People's need to win made them do things and hide it. And there were some really good white pointers that helped them to achieve some of what they wanted. So what was done is a done deal. I think it added style and speed. And gave people the ability to add those traits in whatever proportion that a breeder wants. Many americans want a versatile dog that differs from the DK.
I don't believe that shorthairs are still competitive with the pointers in AF.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Tue May 29, 2018 9:08 am

Featherfinder wrote:Well said Average Guy/Greg. I guess what I am asking is, "Why do you want to mold a GSP into a quasi-pointer to use it in an AA environment when you can buy a pointer? There is a downside. Your are developing GSPs that are no longer "GSPs"! They are short-tailed pointers! Again...why not get a pointer?
I've said this on many occasions. "Range" is something a dog learns by being rewarded with finds whether it's grouse in New England or Huns on the prairies. "Independence" is something trial pointers and setters and some of those hybridized other breeds have via genetics.
In the past I have developed Brittanys, a Gordon and a GSP that could run/place, even win on occasion in AF horseback trials dominated by pointer entries. I selected certain traits in my Britts and cultivated run - something pointers are born with out-of-the-box. (The Gordon and GSP I did not own....just developed.) I have acquired many AA field trial pointers and setters to develop gentleman/lady gun dogs. I prefer BIG engine dogs that can hunt hard and long for the gun. It CAN be done....both ways.
I started this post to do exactly what it has done. :cheers:
And so, I leave you with this. If you are looking for a gun dog and you are not a very experienced trainer, be VERY careful what you acquire. Someone above said it best, "There are GSPs and there are GSPs."
Shags, if what you said was true, ("In field trials, there is one performance standard for each stake.") there would be an awful lot of placements withheld at a lot of short-tail trials. Not sure how many times those judges would get asked back though! :x
While run/independence is something the trial pointer has out-of-the-box and short-tails aspire to develop, there are other salient attributes pointers have that can't be trained into your short-tail. It is what it is.

Because they don't want to be another guy with Setters and Pointers.

I've seen the same thing with cars. People competing in Autocross that would be best served with a Miata or Corvette, but instead buy something different, for whatever reason, and oftentimes pour beau coup $$$ into it, to be the guy that's competitive in a Chevy Blazer, or because they have to have a car that can fit the carseat.

Its just the itch that they're scratching.

I have five chickens in my backyard, ostensibly for eggs. They are all egg-laying or dual purpose hens, but not the "best" breeds of chickens. There are others that will lay more eggs and eat less. But I'm scratching an itch.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Tue May 29, 2018 9:40 am

Jonov, I completely agree. Been there done that myself. I guess what separates them from you is you don't tell folk your chickens are as good as the best or try HARD to push/turn your chickens into something they will never be. THAT is the difference.
I completely understand why folk might not want a pointer. In fact, you are supporting my offering. Why buy a short-tail from AA horseback trial blood lines to end up with a quasi-pointer??? You buy a Britt 'cause you wanted a Britt, as GSP 'cause you wanted a GSP, a GWP to be a GWP, a Vizsla to be a Vizsla, etc. etc.
I have seen almost all white GWPs running in horseback trials. (Hmmm.....?) Hey, just sayin'.............
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Tue May 29, 2018 10:06 am

Featherfinder wrote:I have seen almost all white GWPs running in horseback trials. (Hmmm.....?) Hey, just sayin'.............

Yea I have seen them too and steer clear of them. I like a good bird search but also need a dog which can sit calmly and mark and retrieve doves and waterfowl. Blending into cover is nice too. Always trade offs when you go about altering genetics in a quest for something different. Now breeding one of those dogs back onto some German line dogs might bring something interesting...
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Tue May 29, 2018 12:29 pm

Featherfinder wrote:Jonov, I completely agree. Been there done that myself. I guess what separates them from you is you don't tell folk your chickens are as good as the best or try HARD to push/turn your chickens into something they will never be. THAT is the difference.
I completely understand why folk might not want a pointer. In fact, you are supporting my offering. Why buy a short-tail from AA horseback trial blood lines to end up with a quasi-pointer??? You buy a Britt 'cause you wanted a Britt, as GSP 'cause you wanted a GSP, a GWP to be a GWP, a Vizsla to be a Vizsla, etc. etc.
I have seen almost all white GWPs running in horseback trials. (Hmmm.....?) Hey, just sayin'.............

Yeah...Human Beings are strange animals. Maybe they were just trying to tweak that special recipe so they got more run in a dog that would do better swimming/retrieving?

And, people trying to change something to be more like what they intentionally left behind or avoided? That happens in a lot of arenas.

Do people really claim that their GSP/GWP/Vizsla/Britt is the best choice for an all age dog? Sure, they can claim they're competitive, and in some cases might be correct on that claim, but that proof is in the pudding. If your measure of "best" is AA performance, then they oughta be laughed off their saddle.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Tue May 29, 2018 7:36 pm

You know, pointers never started out as AA dogs either. And the European pointers are a long way from AA dogs. Setters and Britnies have a wide range also. Americans are just looking for a different dog than Europeans. I think all 4 breeds have transformed into something that they weren't before they came here.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Tue May 29, 2018 7:45 pm

And yeah, my white gsp is a pain in the rear compared to my dark one. She prefers to be an 800+ dog. My dark one is a 300+ dog. Both are natural retrievers, both swim like a fish. Nice traits for a gun dog.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Tue May 29, 2018 7:57 pm

Even AA dogs 40 or 50 years ago aren't like todays. The four breeds have changed a lot in the last 50 years
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby ezzy333 » Tue May 29, 2018 8:55 pm

greg jacobs wrote:You can't undo what was done to the gsp's. People's need to win made them do things and hide it. And there were some really good white pointers that helped them to achieve some of what they wanted. So what was done is a done deal. I think it added style and speed. And gave people the ability to add those traits in whatever proportion that a breeder wants. Many americans want a versatile dog that differs from the DK.
I don't believe that shorthairs are still competitive with the pointers in AF.



There has been lots of white GSP's in Europe for years. White does not say Pointer.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Wed May 30, 2018 7:32 am

ezzy333 wrote:
greg jacobs wrote:You can't undo what was done to the gsp's. People's need to win made them do things and hide it. And there were some really good white pointers that helped them to achieve some of what they wanted. So what was done is a done deal. I think it added style and speed. And gave people the ability to add those traits in whatever proportion that a breeder wants. Many americans want a versatile dog that differs from the DK.
I don't believe that shorthairs are still competitive with the pointers in AF.



There has been lots of white GSP's in Europe for years. White does not say Pointer.

There are also pointers in Europe. Just sayin...

But I agree with you. I don't profess to know enough about color and coat genetics to say with any certainty what leads to what. It isn't as simple as mixing paint.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby bustingcover » Wed May 30, 2018 10:06 am

There are plenty dogs in the versatile-dog category that are not high powered field trial dogs. The number of people that take these dogs to compete in horseback trials is very small. Most of them are used in foot hunting,waterfowl, or mountain biking companion scenarios. Also AA gets thrown around way too much. Any dog can get away from you if you let it run long enough. There are also VERY few true AA britts, gwp, and, viszlas. Most of the good ones are SD but there are some true AA dog’s out there running around. Anyone who accidentally gets a next county dog out of field trial lines either did not do their homework or they THOUGHT they wanted this type of dog until they actually realized what it was.

I’m a Pointer/Setter guy but I happened to take on a white gwp out of trial lines with (from what I’m told by the experts) known Pointer crossing in it. He’s a nice big running dog who handles nicely off horseback. No AA but decent wheels for what I expected and runs a nice AKC gun dog race. But he also does all the versatile stuff like fetch ducks, run down coyotes, etc.

Why do people who want a HB trial dog not just go ahead and get a Pointer? I used to ask this same question. But I ask it about the guys who run Setters too. There are Pointers and then you’ve just got dogs who point. Simple answer is people don’t want the same thing and they do what makes them feel good. This past year I’ve seen Viszlas, Britts, and a liver gwp win AF stakes.

I’m the past three months my Pointer pup has gotten beaten by a little gwp bitch twice in AKC horseback trials. (I personally didn’t see it that way but that’s another rant). Anyway there are people breeding really competitive little dogs out there and they’re fun to watch.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Wed May 30, 2018 11:31 am

EXCELLENT offerings by most everyone especially Greg and bustingcover!! Some takes I forgot about as the years go by. Others were a sincere look through someone else's eyes which does makes sense. And that is what makes forums what they are!
Today, I own a pointer pup and a setter. It's hard going the other way now. Perhaps when I get old. I'm only 64 so.........
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Trekmoor » Wed May 30, 2018 4:15 pm

I have found this thread very interesting. The trial scene over the pond is so different to what we have here. None .....not even one of this country's HPR's , hunt - point - retrievers/versatiles would run anything like the distances you seem to expect of your trial dogs ....if one did it would very quickly be eliminated from the trial. 200 yards out would be a very long way out for any of our HPR's. ,trial dog or not !

Very often in our HPR trials the judges will tell handlers in advance just how far out they may permit their dogs to hunt out to. I've competed in grouse trials up on the moors and still no dog went beyond 200 yards when hunting ....and about 100 yards is far more common. If a dog fails to turn at the specified range of it's own volition then we turn it on the whistle.

In situations other than a grouse moor the hunting distances will be far less. In woodlands - as little as 30 -40 yards. On marshlands - maybe 40 -80 yards. In root and vegetable fields - no more than about 50 yards. The reasons for this are we don't have any horseback trials and I've never seen or heard of quad bikes being allowed either . We either walk or we simply do not trial.

Another reason is that these breeds were never meant to hunt at great distances in their countries of origin. Here , things tend to be geared towards "the man with the gun." ---- Could he and would he want to walk 3 - 500 yards to reach a distant point ? If that sort of hunting range is not needed by "the man with the gun," then why breed for it possibly at the expense of a breeds other virtues ?

I have competed in a couple of our HPR trials where my dog and all the others had to hunt only the fields hedges and ditches , the dogs were not permitted to hunt the adjoining fields. We call those "Hedging and ditching" trials and I really detest them ! I.M.O. these trials are the other extreme to your horseback trials for the HPR breeds . If I were out shooting I would not want my dog to hunt only the hedge and ditch , I'd want it to hunt the field and the hedge and ditch !

Similarly, since shooting from horseback is out of the question for me, I wouldn't want a dog that I needed a horse to keep up with.
For me, the questions are ...are we maybe breeding for something that is a bit impractical for the great majority of hunters ? Do we want to be so impractical just for the sake of winning a trial ? If the answer is "yes" then are we in danger of spoiling some very good and purpose made breeds ?

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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Gordon Guy » Wed May 30, 2018 5:00 pm

Trekmoor wrote:Similarly, since shooting from horseback is out of the question for me, I wouldn't want a dog that I needed a horse to keep up with.
For me, the questions are ...are we maybe breeding for something that is a bit impractical for the great majority of hunters ? Do we want to be so impractical just for the sake of winning a trial ? If the answer is "yes" then are we in danger of spoiling some very good and purpose made breeds ?


Trial dogs are made. Sure they have to have the genetic material (Style , Drive, independence, etc...) but the majority of the successful dogs are groomed from a young age to run in front of a horse and to stay to the front. With a handler on horse back often the dog turns to keep in touch and the handler is not that far behind so the turns towards the handler less often and goes forward instead of coming back. Now take that same pup and place it with a foot hunter that knows how to train a dog and that dog will be different. It will most likely be a "Top Shelf" bird dog. Same drive, same style, if done right, but a touch less independence. It's the grooming towards competition that makes the difference. It's a game people play with dogs, don't confuse it with hunting.

Here's one example. I'm primarily a hunter and occasionally run trials once or twice a year. I don't have a horse. All my G. Setters have placements in AKC trials, horseback and or walking. My dogs are very capable and they range quite a ways, occasional casts out to 800 yards or more. My dogs find me because I'm carrying water, so they comeback often. The trial guys/Doggers I know that groom their pups/dogs place water out on the grounds so the dogs don't have to seek out the handler for water and spend more time hunting instead of returning for a drink. A "Ho-hoing" dog in a trial won't often be placed and most likely it'll be picked up by the handler before time is called. Many Doggers I know don't often hunt and several Doggers that do hunt have dogs specifically for hunting and other dogs that are trialed. And I do know some that hunt and trial the same dog, but they are disciplined people.

I don't think we are breeding dogs that are impractical for the great majority of bird hunters. It's the grooming / training and giving the dog the opportunity to develop in a less strict environment that make the difference.
Last edited by Gordon Guy on Wed May 30, 2018 5:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby polmaise » Wed May 30, 2018 5:03 pm

Trekmoor wrote:I have found this thread very interesting. The trial scene over the pond is so different to what we have here. None .....not even one of this country's HPR's , hunt - point - retrievers/versatiles would run anything like the distances you seem to expect of your trial dogs ....if one did it would very quickly be eliminated from the trial. 200 yards out would be a very long way out for any of our HPR's. ,trial dog or not !

Very often in our HPR trials the judges will tell handlers in advance just how far out they may permit their dogs to hunt out to. I've competed in grouse trials up on the moors and still no dog went beyond 200 yards when hunting ....and about 100 yards is far more common. If a dog fails to turn at the specified range of it's own volition then we turn it on the whistle.

In situations other than a grouse moor the hunting distances will be far less. In woodlands - as little as 30 -40 yards. On marshlands - maybe 40 -80 yards. In root and vegetable fields - no more than about 50 yards. The reasons for this are we don't have any horseback trials and I've never seen or heard of quad bikes being allowed either . We either walk or we simply do not trial.

Another reason is that these breeds were never meant to hunt at great distances in their countries of origin. Here , things tend to be geared towards "the man with the gun." ---- Could he and would he want to walk 3 - 500 yards to reach a distant point ? If that sort of hunting range is not needed by "the man with the gun," then why breed for it possibly at the expense of a breeds other virtues ?

I have competed in a couple of our HPR trials where my dog and all the others had to hunt only the fields hedges and ditches , the dogs were not permitted to hunt the adjoining fields. We call those "Hedging and ditching" trials and I really detest them ! I.M.O. these trials are the other extreme to your horseback trials for the HPR breeds . If I were out shooting I would not want my dog to hunt only the hedge and ditch , I'd want it to hunt the field and the hedge and ditch !

Similarly, since shooting from horseback is out of the question for me, I wouldn't want a dog that I needed a horse to keep up with.
For me, the questions are ...are we maybe breeding for something that is a bit impractical for the great majority of hunters ? Do we want to be so impractical just for the sake of winning a trial ? If the answer is "yes" then are we in danger of spoiling some very good and purpose made breeds ?

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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby ezzy333 » Wed May 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Similarly, since shooting from horseback is out of the question for me, I wouldn't want a dog that I needed a horse to keep up with.
For me, the questions are ...are we maybe breeding for something that is a bit impractical for the great majority of hunters ? Do we want to be so impractical just for the sake of winning a trial ? If the answer is "yes" then are we in danger of spoiling some very good and purpose made breeds ?

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This exactly what I have been preaching for years. We forget trials are an extremely small percent of any breed of dog a nd we need to get back to breeding what the walking hunter that hunts once or twice a week needs to fulfil their needs in both the house and field. One of he ways that will help is start breeding dogs that fit the standards of each breed which pretty well expresses what is needed physically to fulfil the purpose they were bred for.

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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby greg jacobs » Wed May 30, 2018 5:09 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
greg jacobs wrote:You can't undo what was done to the gsp's. People's need to win made them do things and hide it. And there were some really good white pointers that helped them to achieve some of what they wanted. So what was done is a done deal. I think it added style and speed. And gave people the ability to add those traits in whatever proportion that a breeder wants. Many americans want a versatile dog that differs from the DK.
I don't believe that shorthairs are still competitive with the pointers in AF.



There has been lots of white GSP's in Europe for years. White does not say Pointer.


Yeah there have always been a few, a little whiter. But the flood of white sure wasn't imported if that's what you are trying to imply.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Steve007 » Wed May 30, 2018 5:39 pm

ezzy333 wrote: This exactly what I have been preaching for years. We forget trials are an extremely small percent of any breed of dog a nd we need to get back to breeding what the walking hunter that hunts once or twice a week needs to fulfil their needs in both the house and field. One of he ways that will help is start breeding dogs that fit the standards of each breed which pretty well expresses what is needed physically to fulfil the purpose they were bred for.


Well,it does seem that in the more popular breeds, there are a number of strains for various purposes, and you just need to research and pick out the one you want.

Same with many of the less popular breeds, but your odds are better.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby cjhills » Wed May 30, 2018 6:38 pm

The saving grace is that AA trial breeders make up a very small percentage of the short tail breeders and will not have a huge effect on the breeds. There are still a lot
of breeders breeding quality dogs which are easily trained by almost anyone. They will find birds, point with style, retrieve naturally and be within calling distance when you get to the truck. They will not need $800 dollars worth of electronics or a scout to find them and they will be family dogs.
The main reason for a bird dog is to find birds and get you a shot. Everything else is window dressing.......................Cj
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Wed May 30, 2018 10:05 pm

CJ, I couldn't agree with you more, for the most part. The thing is CJ, trials are a huge part of the bird dog world in some states! Within that venue, there are trials and there are trials. There are AA horseback trials. There are cover trials. There are "US Complete" trials, etc. etc.
Just read what some folk are posting within this forum. My dog is out of champion "___" and champion "___" and the grandsire is champion "____". So....yes, it does play into the gun dog world. Do they tell you about the aptitude of their dog(s)? I tell you what you are likely to hear, " You otta see my dog RUN!" Geeez....get a darn Greyhound!
In my experience, having competed in all of the above trials, cover trials increase a novice or typical amateur hunter as well as a seasoned/experienced bird-dogger of getting a decent working wild bird hunter. I would be thrilled to have a pup from one of their champions being a dedicated wild bird hunter today.
AA trial dogs do produce decent hunting dogs too. Here is my observation. If you breed an AA sire to an AA dam, you might get a decent pup or pups from said breeding, if the stars align. More-often-than-not, only a rare number, if any - sometimes just one pup has that level of independence required for the AA horseback trialer to be competitive! All those other pups could be decent gun dogs OR late bloomer trailers (Oh...oh!)! If it's a late bloomer.......not-so-good for the novice or amateur bird hunter/trainer.
So, here is my initial reason for this post. When someone buys a Brittany or GSP or Vizsla etc. he has the right to anticipate a certain type of dog. In essence he is buying a not-pointer. Through the trial world, he could be in for a real eye-opener even if it's a short-tailed breed! So-much-so, that sometimes folk will say, "I had a GSP or Brittany or Vizsla once. NEVER again!! That darn breed is out of control, runs too far, never looks back, and is frustrating as heck to hunt over! I spent more time hunting dog than birds!! That is where we have derailed!
My point is, a "GSP" shouldn't be that, at all. Trials are a business and it serves those that trial. Hunters looking for gun dogs need to know that.
Now, as I said, I prefer "hot" dogs for my personal gun dogs but I've been doing this a long time and I start my "hot" dogs a certain way. But, that isn't necessarily fair to a novice or a casual recreational bird hunter.
And so, if you want to trial in the big leagues, get a pointer! Stop trying to alter those that aren't supposed to be pointers. Furthermore, getting your short-tail to be independent/run like a pointer still leaves it short of being a pointer....a LOT short, even if it does RUN.
No....pointers are not THE best bird dog for everyone. That said, if I know that, and I decide I want a Vizsla, I expect to get a Vizsla....not a QUASI-pointer!
I vividly recall visiting a Vizsla breeder's kennel MANY years ago - pre-DNA. He had but one white and ORANGE pointer bitch too. Hmmmm......?
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Trekmoor » Thu May 31, 2018 5:15 am

On the subject of the colour white in GSP's..... I have seen many part white GSP's but probably at least 1/3 of those dogs colouring will still be brown. Our "white" GSP's always have a heavy speckling of brown ticks and some larger brown patches and the head is mainly brown.

I noticed a while ago that some of the GSP's pictured in the U.S. often seem to lack the brown speckling and the brown body patches I'm accustomed to. The dogs are far more white than ours are. I am fairly certain that our GSP's are not outcrossed to pointers in order to achieve more white . We tend to buy pups showing more white simply because they can be more easily seen when on point in woodlands or on a grouse moor....it has nothing to do with the dogs being able to run faster or further in pointer fashion.

Is the same not the case in the U.S. ? Maybe there have been far fewer matings to pointers than you might think , we are capable of breeding for "white."

I think you are underestimating what your breeders are capable of producing without having to resort to an outcross to a pointer. American breeding can produce the goods an example of which I saw about 10 years ago. In this country the weimaraners seen out working are very often a bit slow, not wide ranging and very prone to ground scenting......so they rarely win trials.

A man down in England wanted a weim that could really "go" so he chose a pup from American stock and imported it. That pup became the fastest, hardest going weimy I have ever seen . Unfortunately it was also hard mouthed .....the kiss of death in our trials.
My point is that this dog was bred without an outcross to a pointer , breeding alone produced the willingness to run hard, fast and wide.

I discovered during 22 years of taking training classes for the versatile breeds ....the HPR's ,that my methods did not suit the majority of other people. I encouraged my pups to really "go" by not training them to stop until they had taught themselves to "go."
This way of doing things didn't work well for many of the folk in my classes .....if they got the "go" they were incapable of then putting the "stop" in place ! My form of nurturing pups to be good hunters suits few of Britain's HPR owners !
I have a feeling however that "my method" is much the same as is used by your field trialers ! :lol:

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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Thu May 31, 2018 5:24 am

I think it is much simpler.

Do your legwork before buying your puppy. In all mainstream breeds of gundogs there are distinct strains which will vary in their genetic performance in predicable ways. If you do your research on the Breeder and litter you are considering buying a pup from, you have a very good chance of getting the type of dog you want and avoiding the kind you don't want.

And yes how you handle a dog from a puppy on up makes a considerable difference in the final product, but genetics do as well.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby bustingcover » Thu May 31, 2018 5:44 am

Featherfinder, drop dogs are in every continental breed. There have been more than a few Pointer/Setter breedings in the past. Some “accidental”, some on purpose. The shortcoatted ones got registered as Pointers and the shaggy ones registered as Setters.

Within the short tail dogs you can find lines for just about any type of job you’re looking for the dog todo. People who say “I had x-breed and it was out of control” most of the time can’t train a dog, most of the time did not do their research of what kind of dog they were probably getting, and a lot of the time both.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby shags » Thu May 31, 2018 5:59 am

I don't think anyone should be judge and jury of what breed anyone else wants to have, as a gun dog or a trial dog.

I can't think of a single breed where a buyer of either type dog couldn't get what he wants. I've seen dogs of every pointing breed (qualifying to say I mean akc registerable breeds, not some of the rare breeds like French Pointers etc of which I have no knowlege) - some individuals would make great hunting companions for slow moving, quite unfit hunters, and I've seen FT dogs of the same breed that run huge with more than enough independence. And there are plenty of dogs - most of them- in between that could very well cross over with ease.

In my experience, a good part of of problems some hunters have with their dogs is basically lack of training. Some guys acquire a pup, or a started dog, and let the dog decide how it's going to behave. Apparently those guys can't be bothered to give up a day or two of shooting birds to a day or two of making sure their dogs are under their control. I've seen dogs return to trainers for tune-ups pre-season after pre-season, and gripe post-season after post-season, that their dog wouldn't stay in range, wouldn't stay broke...when it left the training facility as a nice working dog. The common denominator is almost always lack of training while with the owner. One guy had a camp where he loved to hunt, and on off days let his dog run loose unsupervised for hours every day. Open the door and let her out in the morning, and let her back in when she returned whenever that was. Could be minutes later, could be many hours. Then he griped that his dog self hunted. Is that the fault of the dog's breeding, or of the way she was allowed to behave?

If someone wants a shorthair, a brittany, a weim, a GWP, or whatever, to hunt or to trial, they are allowed to have that. It behooves the buyer to do a little research and purchase his dog from someone who breeds the type he likes. Why should someone have to abandon the breed they love in order to compete?

As far as some dogs being untrainable by amateurs, IME that's more an individual thing on both ends of the cc. Some dogs are just boneheads, some people couldn't train their way out of a wet paper bag. It's not accurate to assign trainability based on FT lines vs gun dog lines.

A little anecdote about orange and white Vizslas. A V breeder I knew long ago was just beside himself as Vizslas were becoming more competitive in all breed akc field trials. The dogs were moving to harder running, rangier dogs and he hated it, insisting that those dogs were the result of crossbreeding with pointers and could in no way be purebred. A few white hairs on some dogs' chests reinforced the belief of crossbreeding. To preserve the "old" style dog they preferred, they bred to a Hungarian dog, at great cost, of the purest, typiest lines available in that country of origin. Naturally the litter was eagerly anticpated, as a counterbalance to the newer, supposedly crossbred lines of competition dogs. Well, every pup in that litter was orange and white - meaning not just a bit of white on their chests or toes - and all were culled. So much for judging breeding by resultant color.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Thu May 31, 2018 8:09 am

shags wrote:I don't think anyone should be judge and jury of what breed anyone else wants to have, as a gun dog or a trial dog.

I can't think of a single breed where a buyer of either type dog couldn't get what he wants. I've seen dogs of every pointing breed (qualifying to say I mean akc registerable breeds, not some of the rare breeds like French Pointers etc of which I have no knowlege) - some individuals would make great hunting companions for slow moving, quite unfit hunters, and I've seen FT dogs of the same breed that run huge with more than enough independence. And there are plenty of dogs - most of them- in between that could very well cross over with ease.

In my experience, a good part of of problems some hunters have with their dogs is basically lack of training. Some guys acquire a pup, or a started dog, and let the dog decide how it's going to behave. Apparently those guys can't be bothered to give up a day or two of shooting birds to a day or two of making sure their dogs are under their control. I've seen dogs return to trainers for tune-ups pre-season after pre-season, and gripe post-season after post-season, that their dog wouldn't stay in range, wouldn't stay broke...when it left the training facility as a nice working dog. The common denominator is almost always lack of training while with the owner. One guy had a camp where he loved to hunt, and on off days let his dog run loose unsupervised for hours every day. Open the door and let her out in the morning, and let her back in when she returned whenever that was. Could be minutes later, could be many hours. Then he griped that his dog self hunted. Is that the fault of the dog's breeding, or of the way she was allowed to behave?

If someone wants a shorthair, a brittany, a weim, a GWP, or whatever, to hunt or to trial, they are allowed to have that. It behooves the buyer to do a little research and purchase his dog from someone who breeds the type he likes. Why should someone have to abandon the breed they love in order to compete?

As far as some dogs being untrainable by amateurs, IME that's more an individual thing on both ends of the cc. Some dogs are just boneheads, some people couldn't train their way out of a wet paper bag. It's not accurate to assign trainability based on FT lines vs gun dog lines.

A little anecdote about orange and white Vizslas. A V breeder I knew long ago was just beside himself as Vizslas were becoming more competitive in all breed akc field trials. The dogs were moving to harder running, rangier dogs and he hated it, insisting that those dogs were the result of crossbreeding with pointers and could in no way be purebred. A few white hairs on some dogs' chests reinforced the belief of crossbreeding. To preserve the "old" style dog they preferred, they bred to a Hungarian dog, at great cost, of the purest, typiest lines available in that country of origin. Naturally the litter was eagerly anticpated, as a counterbalance to the newer, supposedly crossbred lines of competition dogs. Well, every pup in that litter was orange and white - meaning not just a bit of white on their chests or toes - and all were culled. So much for judging breeding by resultant color.

Good post Shags. I think that people do, to a certain extent, forget that in the course of a few generations, one can breed a very different dog than they started with if they had a goal in mind.

I remember a podcast with a Vizsla breeder that mentioned that in some circles of the breed, there was a push to get them away from the dainty bone structure one sometimes sees.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Steve007 » Thu May 31, 2018 8:44 am

shags wrote:A little anecdote about orange and white Vizslas. A V breeder I knew long ago was just beside himself as Vizslas were becoming more competitive in all breed akc field trials. The dogs were moving to harder running, rangier dogs and he hated it, insisting that those dogs were the result of crossbreeding with pointers and could in no way be purebred. A few white hairs on some dogs' chests reinforced the belief of crossbreeding. To preserve the "old" style dog they preferred, they bred to a Hungarian dog, at great cost, of the purest, typiest lines available in that country of origin. Naturally the litter was eagerly anticpated, as a counterbalance to the newer, supposedly crossbred lines of competition dogs. Well, every pup in that litter was orange and white - meaning not just a bit of white on their chests or toes - and all were culled. So much for judging breeding by resultant color.


The Vizsla club required DNA testing for all dogs at their national specialty which includes all performance events. As does the GWP club,though that's likely a matter of validating parents.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby shags » Thu May 31, 2018 9:22 am

AKC mandates DNA at all the breeds' nationals, no? The parent clubs had a certain amount of time to implement it. I think the Irish Setters was the first, or one of the first, to require DNA at their Nat. Ch.

I think the Vizslas have to pass an inspection of sorts, by AKC parent club standards, to run also. No white on the coats etc. It's a problem for some with lines that tend to roan with age. I believe I knew a few V guys who inplemented that, way back when. They were ones who thought any Vizsla that had range or independence was a crossbred with pointers.


FWIW I hear that FDSB will be requiring DNA also. Read it on the coverdog site, I think.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby averageguy » Thu May 31, 2018 9:25 am

The process for application and approval of NAVHDA's Breeder's Award for Litters now requires DNA testing.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby bustingcover » Thu May 31, 2018 9:44 am

DNA only affects dogs moving forward to prove that the parents are who they say they are. DNA has no bearing on a half/half drop dog that is used for breeding and not competed with. Especially if that dog is a bitch. If it’s a stud and he sires something like 7 litters with the AKC then he must be DNA’d. But that is a recent rule within the past 20 years. Most cross breedings were done decades ago and I doubt still being done very frequently if at all.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby mask » Thu May 31, 2018 9:48 am

Unless things have changed the dna test used just shows the parents are the parents. If mars testing or the equivalent are used things may change. I would guess some eyes would be opened as well. Cross breeding is still going on.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Thu May 31, 2018 10:19 am

mask wrote:Unless things have changed the dna test used just shows the parents are the parents. If mars testing or the equivalent are used things may change. I would guess some eyes would be opened as well. Cross breeding is still going on.

Hmm...I wonder about those.

And, honestly I wonder if its a good thing. Ultimately, as one breeder of a relatively small (depending how you look at it) breed said to me, "its the guys that go outlaw and throw something in behind the woodshed that will save breeds." For some breeds, I have to wonder if he's right. Would the Golden Retriever be ill served if someone threw a red setter or white English Setter in there? That breed has a lot of health problems it seems...might not be bad. What about smaller breeds, like a Munsterlander?

My parents adopted a lab. Looks like a big ole lab to me. Lab Coat. Lab Tail. Lab Appetite. Lab demeanor. Likes to pick things up and carry them around. Did a DNA test, since as a shelter dog, they had to confirm a confirmation bias. DNA said 50% lab, 25% Golden Retriever, 25% a broad mix between a bunch of stuff. Hmm...I'd honestly want to go around to a Field Trial, NAVHDA meeting, etc, and send in a large, large sample and see how many came back "pure."
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby shags » Thu May 31, 2018 10:47 am

Don't the tests that supposedly reveal what breed a dog is use breed characteristics for their IDs? So their data base has breeds with certain things like coiled tails, coat color and length, size, eye color, and all that, then they match the sample's characteristics to the data base?

How is it so many people with cute little muttly dogs from the pound, that look like an easy pug X beagle, come back with test results saying Czechoslovakian Weasel Hound mixed with Pricked-eared woodchuck Terrier with some Alaskan Lap Dog.
You know, breeds most of us have never heard of, let alone left to run around breeding indiscriminately in small town USA.
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby JONOV » Thu May 31, 2018 11:30 am

shags wrote:Don't the tests that supposedly reveal what breed a dog is use breed characteristics for their IDs? So their data base has breeds with certain things like coiled tails, coat color and length, size, eye color, and all that, then they match the sample's characteristics to the data base?

How is it so many people with cute little muttly dogs from the pound, that look like an easy pug X beagle, come back with test results saying Czechoslovakian Weasel Hound mixed with Pricked-eared woodchuck Terrier with some Alaskan Lap Dog.
You know, breeds most of us have never heard of, let alone left to run around breeding indiscriminately in small town USA.

Yeah, one my friend used asked for a picture. I guess there really is one born every minute. But most that I’ve seen (a grand total of 3 or 4) have been pretty standard (beagle heeler mix, that looks reasonably like a heeler, one came out as part jack russel part lab, etc...)
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby dan v » Thu May 31, 2018 1:06 pm

shags wrote:AKC mandates DNA at all the breeds' nationals, no? The parent clubs had a certain amount of time to implement it. I think the Irish Setters was the first, or one of the first, to require DNA at their Nat. Ch.


I think the only AKC breed that scans the dog at the line (really when the 6 dogs are loaded on to the dog wagon) is the Irish. That chip must match the DNA on record. FWIW the Gordon Setter requires a chip and DNA, but does not scan at the line. So can you for for say who is who?
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Re: Quasi-pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Thu May 31, 2018 5:44 pm

And there you have it! Buyers must do their homework - now more than ever - before acquiring a pup - whatever the breed.
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