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New Bird Hunter Questions

New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Parkite » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:32 pm

Hello GDF,

I have been lurking here for a while, and I figured it was time for me to finally start posting.

A little background, I am currently in the military deployed in Afghanistan. I will be back at home (Utah) sometime in October. Next spring I plan on purchasing a German Shorthair Pointer puppy and start training it. The goal is to hunt Chukar and Grouse. I am self employed, so I have the flexibility in my schedule to train a dog. Below, in good old military bullet point format, are my questions.

I grew up doing field trials with Brittanies. We had one that won the national all age category a few times. There is a pretty good chance that those of you with an AKC Brittany from the Upper Midwest has that dog in your current dog's pedigree. Looking back at it now, I liked how friendly a Brittany is, but I couldn't stand their energy. Plus I don't want a dog that I have to chase on a horse (as I don't like horses enough to own one).

What is recommended reading or watching to learn to train a good upland hunting dog? I have read Gun Dog by Wolters and German Shorthair Pointers by Gowdy.

How much time per day and week should I expect to train a good hunting dog? I am expecting twice a day games of fetch and/or running to wear out my GSP for the first five years. Then I expect to spend at least one day a week doing training for the first two years to get a good hunting dog.

I am starting to get overwhelmed with all of the "little" add-ons such as e-collars, bird launchers, birds, pet insurance, etc. I have to do this on a budget. What is the bare minimum number of items does one needs to have a good hunting dog?

Is a more expensive GSP necessarily make the dog better? A friend here in Afghanistan insists that "you get what you pay for", but is a $1500 Deutsland Kurzhar really 6 times better than a $250 GSP that I am willing to spend a lot of time training?

What is the approximate cost and time investment to train up a NAVHDA? What value does it add to anything?
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New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby MGIII » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm

What was the name of your Brittany that may be in some our dogs pedigrees?

Just a couple of things:
If you don’t like the energy of a Brittany you won’t like the energy of a GSP either they are prettt similar energy wise.. You don’t need to follow all britts off of horseback there are plenty out there that hunt closely, you just need to do your homework. Same goes for gsps.

Yes it gets expensive but all the stuff you need for training. I have found that the trick is buying a little at a time, Buy used. Bare minimum will be lots of birds and time.

As far as the question you had about the price of a dog...good breeders that breed good dogs don’t charge $200 for dogs. You get what you pay for in my opinion. Can you get a good dog at that price, yeah but chances are slim.


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Last edited by MGIII on Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby shags » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:21 pm

Parkite wrote:Hello GDF,

I have been lurking here for a while, and I figured it was time for me to finally start posting.

A little background, I am currently in the military deployed in Afghanistan. I will be back at home (Utah) sometime in October. Next spring I plan on purchasing a German Shorthair Pointer puppy and start training it. The goal is to hunt Chukar and Grouse. I am self employed, so I have the flexibility in my schedule to train a dog. Below, in good old military bullet point format, are my questions.

Thanks for your service...sincerely.

I grew up doing field trials with Brittanies. We had one that won the national all age category a few times. There is a pretty good chance that those of you with an AKC Brittany from the Upper Midwest has that dog in your current dog's pedigree. Looking back at it now, I liked how friendly a Brittany is, but I couldn't stand their energy. Plus I don't want a dog that I have to chase on a horse (as I don't like horses enough to own one).

Hang on to your hat :D All young bird dogs have lots of energy. Who would want one without it?

What is recommended reading or watching to learn to train a good upland hunting dog? I have read Gun Dog by Wolters and German Shorthair Pointers by Gowdy.

There's an a tive thread on that right now...Paul Long's book and Training with Mo by Martha Greenlee are mentioned. Greenlee has Brittanies, though

How much time per day and week should I expect to train a good hunting dog? I am expecting twice a day games of fetch and/or running to wear out my GSP for the first five years. Then I expect to spend at least one day a week doing training for the first two years to get a good hunting dog.

There is no schedule...it takes as long as it takes. I had a dog that was pretty much broke at 5 months, and another that wasn't reliable at 5 years. Same trainer. But know that every time you interact with your dog, you are training him, even when you aren't 'training'.

I am starting to get overwhelmed with all of the "little" add-ons such as e-collars, bird launchers, birds, pet insurance, etc. I have to do this on a budget. What is the bare minimum number of items does one needs to have a good hunting dog?

All you really need is a flat collar and a check cord, and birds. Tons of birds. At $2 to maybe $15 each depending on species, birds will probably be your biggest expense

Is a more expensive GSP necessarily make the dog better? A friend here in Afghanistan insists that "you get what you pay for", but is a $1500 Deutsland Kurzhar really 6 times better than a $250 GSP that I am willing to spend a lot of time training?

Not to say you couldn't get a bargain on an inexpensive dog, your chances of getting what you're looking for go up with buying from a proven (read that $$) breeder.

What is the approximate cost and time investment to train up a NAVHDA? What value does it add to anything?

I don't do NAVHDA myself, but I believe they have different levels, from a basic instinct test for young dogs, to very nicely finished dog levels. The time and cost depends on your talent as a trainer, and your dog's talent. Even if you're both superstars, testing and competition cost more than you'd plan to spend.Just dogs in general cost a lot in time and money, it goes with the territory. Plan on decent quality food, vet services, accomodations, etc

Some of the best fun is the planning and dreaming of what can be with your dog. Then comes the fun of bringing the little goober home. Then all the thinking, planning, and work that goes into training. Enjoy the ride!
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Steve007 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:57 pm

Parkite wrote: Is a more expensive GSP necessarily make the dog better? A friend here in Afghanistan insists that "you get what you pay for", but is a $1500 Deutsland Kurzhar really 6 times better than a $250 GSP that I am willing to spend a lot of time training?


I disagree with your friend -- and with some others here. BUT that presumes you'll be an educated buyer. It isn't that tough. The reality is that there are more good dogs----or more good pups bred --than there are homes for them. That means you can find a very good hunting prospect without paying major money. I'm not speaking of a Craigslist dog for a hundred bucks, but a dog from serious hunting parents. And I sure think you might consider a started dog as well. Again, here especially, there are more good dogs than good homes.Take your time, educate yourself, see some dogs hunt. You can find just what you want. Avoiding extremes, more money will not necessarily yield a better dog for you, other than perhaps for field trials.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby cjhills » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:13 pm

Shags post is pretty much spot on.It is not likely that you will get a decent dog for $250. You can get A very good GSP or Brittney in the $750 TO $1000 nieghborhood. Trial bred Setters and pointers a little less. The things that I absolutely need for training a bird dog are an ecollar and birds. You will need a few other things just for the pup in general. A crate, collar,leashes and checkcord. I do all obedience training with a choke chain.Also a shotgun.
Every pointing dog does not need hours of running to make it manageable. There are many that will hunt in a reasonable range,stay with you and are easily trained. These dogs are exciting to hunt with and hunt with style. You will find a lot of these dogs in the midwest. The Hickox and Perfection Kennels Videos are the best onesI know for beginners.
PM me or give me a call when you start your search. I will be happy to give you some help. might even give you a puppy if I have some at that time.
Thank you for your service..........................Cj
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby birddogger2 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:21 pm

Parkite -

There is a certain minimum, below which it simply does not make asense to breed a bird dog...or any dog for that matter.

I would say that in this day and age, $400 -500 is the absolute rock bottom of the range for planned breedings of quality bird dogs...regardless of the breed.

As far as training equipment, a checkcord and eventually an e-collar would be about the minimum necessary, if you have a source of birds to work with. A child's capgun will serve to gun condition the dog for quite a while. You might want to buy a decent blank pistol, because it will make things easier, but it is not entirely necessary and certainly not right away. For exercising the dog, you may want to invest in a quality roading harness or sled dog harness and a 6 -8" wide weightlifter' belt.

As far as pet insurance is concerned, It is my opinion that you would be better served by finding out what the premiums are for the kind of insurance you think you need...and then putting 50% of that premium in a jar every month. Bird dogs do tend to injure themselves, especially if they are hunted hard and long, but routine care will usually suffice, unless there is a major injury.

You can spend a lot more on training aids and equipment, but most of it is there to make things easier or more convenient.

There are many, many ways to get from here to there with a bird dog and if you are handy, there are a lot of training aids you can make for yourself at a fraction of the cost of store bought ones.

As far as energy and exercise is concerned... a lot of it is overblown I think. I had pointers that were competitive in horseback field trials and they got their exercise in my fenced in back yard which was about 30 X 50. I let them out every morning and every evening for about 10-15 minutes and they would race around while I cleaned their kennels and did their water and food. I would then do about 3-5 minutes of heel/whoa drills every morning with each dog before putting them up and getting ready for work. in the evening, about 3 X per week, I would strap on a weightlifter's belt, put the dogs in harness and road the dogs around the subdivision for about a half hour. in reality, they would pretty much drag me around the subdivision. I would try to go somewhere(a WMA or some other state ground) on the weekend to allow the dogs to free run.

They did fine with that level of exercise.

Getting back to prices of dogs...there are two main reasons why folks breed hunting quality bird dogs for sale. One is to breed dogs for sale primarily to hunters. the prices of these dogs are usually pretty firmly set and the breeder has deposits for several of the unborn pups or a waiting list...or both. Most of these breeders that have waiting lists have good, solid bird dogs as their sires and dams and produce quality hunting dog pups. Most stand behind their dogs and their reputation all of which leads to satisfied and repeat customers.

If you want a DK, with lineage directly from Germany and subject to their breeding, testing and selection process...be prepared to pay for it. These are certainly good dogs, carefully bred and tested for performance. Are they worth the money? If that is what you want, then yes. If not, then you might be wasting your money. It is kinda like how it is with sports cars. Is a Mazerati THAT much better than a sports car costing one quarter as much? To the Mazerati owner, the answer is an emphatic YES. The fellow the Beemer or Mercedes might not agree.

The other ,main reason to breed dogs is for field trial competition. The folks who breed for field trials are generally very selective and are willing to breed a litter or two, to get that one special dog. They often sell the rest of the litter(s) at prices designed to cover their costs. Most of these dogs are NOT culls. Rather they are simply not the "special" animal the person was looking for. Most field trailers cannot campaign more than three or four dogs at most. That means the rest of several litters of VERY well bred dogs has to go somewhere. Most field trailers want their dogs to go to hunting homes, because that is what the dogs were born and bred to do.

Suppose there was a youngster from a field trial litter and the dog does everything well ... except that it does not run to the extreme. The field trialer would generally pass on this dog because it did not have enough run, but it has all the genetics to make an awesome hunting dog for someone. Lots of them do just that.

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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby JONOV » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:57 pm

Regarding price: it’s like a car. At some point it’s a case of diminishing returns, of paying progressively more for marginal improvements...but the difference between a $10K car and a $30K car is significant. So don’t buy a $250 dog. But, a $1500 Kurzhaar isn’t going to do anything a $700-$1000 dog does, except increase your odds of being forced to lie to your neighbor about the whereabouts of their cat, and gain you entry into their testing system.

Equipment...first you must define your goal. If your happy with a friend to hunt all over with a dog that will point, and probably get your birds for you, that’s different than someone that will be unhappy with anything short of a totally finished dog, steady to wing, shot, and fall, and retrieves to hand. It’s also slightly different than someone that wants primarily to test in NAVHDA or trial.

Regarding breed, don’t buy an all age or trial line dog, and they exist in all popular pointing breeds, and you’ll be fine.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Featherfinder » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Parkite, let me start by saying I'm not a breeder. I have purchased dogs over the internet whose genetics I found promising/intriguing from reputable breeders. I personally don't shy away from trial bred dogs but I do understand the reticence some might have. It is not unfounded. The typical requirement for a successful horseback trial dog is a high level of independence. This can make for a royal pain the asterisk for many walking gun dog hunters, especially novices.
The pedigree is something I personally like to focus on (once I have settled on the breed). It can help determine that your dog has the foundation required to make a decent bird dog. Going forward, you might find that you end up with an exceptionally fine dog. An interest in breeding him will see potential puppy buyers asking those typical questions - one being his/her pedigree?
Prices vary considerably and what I can say for sure is that the price is not always an indicator of what you may be getting. I have seen half the dog selling for twice the price. This can be a supply and demand indicator or a trend/breed popularity sign or simply what the breeder expects - whether substantiated or not. Price alone tells you little about value or about capability afield although a really cheap dog requires extra scrutiny.
The onus remains with the buyer. Take your time doing the research. Do not look at litters on the ground before having done said research. Whenever possible, try to see the sire & dam in action or videos of them. With the current technology, you should be able to get something to view right at home.
I agree with a previous comment. If it's a GSP you decide to acquire, do so but not on the assumption that it will be any less hi-energy than a Britt.
I wish you all the best in your search Sir! I too take this opportunity to thank you for your service.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby DonF » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:25 am

I haven't seen any pup for $250 in years. Same time I thing if you can find one that that $400-$500 price I'd do it in a second. The upper range of dog cost just aren't necessary, breeder's charge that because they can get it. Help's to have big name's in the background but that is no guarantee your gonna get what you want. You could pay $1500 for a puppy and end up with a high strung pup that will never work for you or, you could pay the $400-$500 range and get a pup that meet's your wants. Seem's to me the chances your gonna have to pay a big price depends on two thing's. First is the number of big name dog's in the pedigree and that doesn't guarantee you get what your looking for and second is the number of dog's the big name breeder keeps around, cost's money to feed a dog. probably a third and that is the guy with just a few dog's that field trials heavy, cost a lot of money to trial!

Something to remember about the great dog's is that they appear in a lot of backyard pedigree's. I doubt their being there makes the litter any lesser just because you didn't pay enough. My first shorthair was one of the best I ever had, backyard stuff. had great pedigree for no other reason probably than that's what he could find at a price he could afford, he was a hunter. The owner of the sire was a best friend and hunting buddy. Don't discount backyard dogs! But if your looking for a $250 dog, likely you'll not find it! Thing of the past. Good thing about GSP's and Britts, Wirehaire's ect id\s there are so many around it's easy to find them, just not at $250 anymore! Bear in mind that most big time breeder's with the big name dogs will sell to people that are back yard breeder's to move out pup's, they raise to many pups. And he sells them the same blood line that he sells serious trial people! That setter Shadow Oaks Bo, two time winner of the National championship didn't change one bit before it won the first one or after it won the second you the stud fee shot straight up. Day before the first win his stud fee wasn't as high as the day after he won. Nothing changed but the price of his stud fee. Best thing is find a breeder, backyard or otherwise that will show you at least one parent work in the field. Most of us do not have big name trial dogs. I'd about bet that the reason is that most of us have the dog that could do it if we put in the effort and time, hey, most of them have the background!

When you get back, go watch some AKC trials, foot and/or horse back. forget the all age stakes, your not looking for a dog like that! Beside that most of those gun dogs are out of or have all the big names behind them. Go watch some NSTRA trials. You'll get a better feel for what you want in a hunting dog there and, believe it or not the majority of them have the big name trial dog's in their pedigree.

There are also breeds you don't hear much about or see readily that make really good birds dog's. The cost on most of them is high because they are hard to find. But the popular one's anyway are generally a bit high strung, just the way it is. They will act in the house and around people thy way you allow them to act! Don't blame an unruly dog for being hing strung!

So tell me, how do you manage to be self employed in the military? :-)
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby rinker » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:25 am

My advice is to take your time, do some research, and do some networking. Contact some breeders and let them know what you are looking for. Spend some time visiting with breeders and see how their dogs work, and how they behave when not working. Go to some field trials and/or NAVHDA events and watch the dogs and visit with the owners. Most field trialers end up with dogs that aren't going to make it in their program, but would make great hunting dogs.

I'm a small time breeder, usually one litter per year. I would gladly give a veteran a pup, and I think there are others that would also. Field trialers also win ecollars or other electronics as prizes at trials. Many times you can buy a brand new outfit at a bargain price from one of these guys. I also wouldn't hesitate to buy a slightly used system. The collar clinic sells reconditioned electronics. If you could start a pigeon loft, you would have an unending supply of training birds for the price of building the loft, the initial price of the birds, and an occasional bag of feed.

I currently have a dog that has multiple field trial wins, he has sired multiple field trial winners, and he is a great bird dog. I bought him from a craigs list ad for $75. I'm not suggesting that as a gauranteed way of doing it, but there are bargains out there.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby DonF » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:29 am

Forgot to mention. Meet Duke.

Image

His owner got him for free because the breeder that had him couldn't sell him and was going to put him down. I worked with him his first year and he came in afraid of his own shadow and left a green completely broke dog. His breeder was a back yard breeder! Anyone would have liked what he became and it wasn't me, it was in him, I just let it out.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby JONOV » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:54 am

Parkite wrote:Hello GDF,

I have been lurking here for a while, and I figured it was time for me to finally start posting.

A little background, I am currently in the military deployed in Afghanistan. I will be back at home (Utah) sometime in October. Next spring I plan on purchasing a German Shorthair Pointer puppy and start training it. The goal is to hunt Chukar and Grouse. I am self employed, so I have the flexibility in my schedule to train a dog. Below, in good old military bullet point format, are my questions.

I grew up doing field trials with Brittanies. We had one that won the national all age category a few times. There is a pretty good chance that those of you with an AKC Brittany from the Upper Midwest has that dog in your current dog's pedigree. Looking back at it now, I liked how friendly a Brittany is, but I couldn't stand their energy. Plus I don't want a dog that I have to chase on a horse (as I don't like horses enough to own one).

What is recommended reading or watching to learn to train a good upland hunting dog? I have read Gun Dog by Wolters and German Shorthair Pointers by Gowdy.

How much time per day and week should I expect to train a good hunting dog? I am expecting twice a day games of fetch and/or running to wear out my GSP for the first five years. Then I expect to spend at least one day a week doing training for the first two years to get a good hunting dog.

My first question, is are you set on a GSP? They are great dogs, don't get me wrong, but IMO for strictly "upland" (or up canyon for chukars) I don't think I'd limit myself to a GSP. You can get more dog for less money in a Pointer and a Setter IMO.
Parkite wrote:I am starting to get overwhelmed with all of the "little" add-ons such as e-collars, bird launchers, birds, pet insurance, etc. I have to do this on a budget. What is the bare minimum number of items does one needs to have a good hunting dog?


A few thoughts:

[*]Pet Insurance: sit and look at what you can stomach for vet bills. I don't think its a great product in the long run.
[*]Launchers: I'm looking at buying one now, my dog is two. Others get away without them, or make do with kick traps
[*]E-Collars: I like E-collars even if you never use it to its true potential. If all you do is smoke him for chasing deer or rolling in horse doodoo, it isn't a lot of money in the long run, Especially if you don't have a towel at the truck to clean off the horse doo-doo and have to scrub a kennel when you get home.
[*]Birds: Again, depends on your situation, and your goals, you might not have to worry so much. Someone that lives with ready access to wild birds isn't going to have the same challenges as someone that doesn't. Some guys can easily trap/catch feral pigeons, some can't.

To start with, I'd want a check cord. Several months down the line, an e-collar. A few dummies.

Parkite wrote:What is the approximate cost and time investment to train up a NAVHDA?
It depends how far you want to take it. For the Natural ability test, entry fees and registration fees as well as what you'd buy a handful of birds for.
Parkite wrote:What value does it add to anything?
It provides you a clear benchmark and goal in your training, and hopefully access to folks that are working towards the same goal and have been down that road before.
Parkite wrote:Is a more expensive GSP necessarily make the dog better? A friend here in Afghanistan insists that "you get what you pay for", but is a $1500 Deutsland Kurzhar really 6 times better than a $250 GSP that I am willing to spend a lot of time training?
Pay me now, pay me later...you aren't teaching "Sit, stay, roll over," you're spending a lot of time honing and refining instincts and tendencies.
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Trekmoor » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:06 am

Having a lot of training "gadgetry" may make training a pointing dog easier but they certainly are not essential. I know we live in different countries so our expectations may differ a bit but I still always managed to train good pointing dogs using just a whistle and a heck of a lot of walking ! The main training item you really do need is game. I travelled and I walked many miles to give my pups that game experience on completely wild birds and it always paid off.

I did have access to e-collars and to pigeons and to radio operated release traps but very seldom ever used the traps and never used the e-collar at all. Almost all of Britain's pointing dog trainers work in the same way as I did …..because it works.

I'd buy the best pup I could afford from the best of breeding. You tend to get nowt for nowt ! Look for breeders who tend to breed for the kind of hunting dog you want and not from a breeder who brags of having dogs that hunt a mile out from you...….especially if his dogs actually do hunt a mile out !


Like you I wanted my dogs to hunt at ranges that suited me and not me on a horse. I settled for dogs that would hunt up to about 3- 400 yards out when on a wide open grouse moor but which could be fairly easily brought in to hunt 30 -40 yards out when I hunted in woodlands or marshy ground and reed beds. I got what I wanted and so can you.

I trained and trialed brits and GSP's. In my opinion the GSP's are an easier breed to train but maybe that's just me ? Nevertheless I prefer training and working and having brits as pets to having GSP's . It's just a personal preference.

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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Steve007 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:23 pm

Hope OP is reading the thread on "dog training books".
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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Parkite » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:37 pm

Thank you everyone for the comments. I am replying to a few below.

MGIII wrote:What was the name of your Brittany that may be in some our dogs pedigrees?

Yankee Doodle Viking. He took the all age category a for Brittanies at Field Trials a few times in the 90s. Wonderful loving dog, but just too much energy for what I am looking for.

MGIII wrote:Just a couple of things:
If you don’t like the energy of a Brittany you won’t like the energy of a GSP either they are prettt similar energy wise.. You don’t need to follow all britts off of horseback there are plenty out there that hunt closely, you just need to do your homework. Same goes for gsps.

I think our Brittanies had English Pointer in them, and looking back at it think we didn't give them enough time running around every day. They were mostly kept in pens, not a yard, and were not able to run around daily. With my GSP I plan on taking it out to run at least twice a day, every day, until the energy starts to wear off (which I am assuming is at about 4 or 5 years old).

MGIII wrote:Yes it gets expensive but all the stuff you need for training. I have found that the trick is buying a little at a time, Buy used. Bare minimum will be lots of birds and time.

As far as the question you had about the price of a dog...good breeders that breed good dogs don’t charge $200 for dogs. You get what you pay for in my opinion. Can you get a good dog at that price, yeah but chances are slim.

Yeah, that is what I have heard.

So tell me, how do you manage to be self employed in the military?

I'm in the reserves and currently deployed to Afghanistan. I go back to self-employment when I go home.

My first question, is are you set on a GSP? They are great dogs, don't get me wrong, but IMO for strictly "upland" (or up canyon for chukars) I don't think I'd limit myself to a GSP. You can get more dog for less money in a Pointer and a Setter IMO.

Honestly, that is what is recommended via some online forums and per two books I have read. I will be hunting rugged terrain in Utah, probably in all three geographic zones (Rocky Mountain, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau). I can say that the Brittanies I grew up with would probably get too beat up by the terrain, they have softer hair that collects more. In addition per one book I read, GSP are ground smellers, whereas Pointer and Setters are air smellers. For Chukar their scent is so faint, and the air is so dry, that air smelling can be an issue.

Hope OP is reading the thread on "dog training books".

I have, thank you for pointing it out.
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New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby Shellottome » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:13 am

Deutsch kurzhaar is the only way to go. Don’t waste your money on American bred gsp’s.


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Re: New Bird Hunter Questions

Postby birddogger2 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:02 pm

Parkite -

I just scanned your responses to the various members of the board and a thought came to mind regarding your intended use for the dog.

I do not hunt that kind of terrain and in fact never did...BUT, I can say that if you are going to hunt rocky, shaley terrain, you will need a good pair of boots for yourself and a good set of boots for your dog, whatever breed it may end up being. I also suggest that you pay attention to how the sire and dam run. Some dogs seem to float over the ground...barley touching while others hit the ground hard and throw dirt with every stride.

The dog that runs light on its feet will tend to last longer in difficult terrain because it is putting less stress on its feet.

Also, it is an absolute fact that , all else being equal, dogs that have dark colored pads fare better than those who have light colored pads. I don't know why, but it is a fact.

Lastly, conditioning a dog's feet is critical to having the dog last in difficult terrain. You want to develop pads that are tough, but still flexible and elastic. Kenneling a dog and/or exercising it on stuff like river gravel will toughen the pads while keeping them supple and flexible. Kenneling a dog on concrete will be better than kenneling on dirt or sand for the same reason.

RayG
birddogger2
Rank: Senior Hunter
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:15 am
Location: Lower slower Delaware


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