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Grouse Dogs

What makes a potentialy good grouse the specific breed or the breeding lines?

Specific Breed
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Breeding lines
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Grouse Dogs

Postby PAHunter » Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:17 pm

My father-in-law and I had a long talk about grouse dogs last night. He claims that britts make the best grouse dogs because of the specific breed. (That's all he's ever owned or trained).
My point is that the breeding lines are more important than the specific breed. So that's the question!

If you think that its a specific breed please list it with an explaination as to why?

I understand that the training is the key but were talking about potential.



Thanks, Josh
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Postby honeyrun » Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:16 pm

To make a great grouse dog, training is NOT the key. The key is great genetics, it is all in the genes.
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Postby birddog » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:17 pm

It's not the breed, it's in the nose!
The reason some dogs are great grouse dogs and other's are just average grouse dogs is in the nose.
Grouse are a very nervous bird. The dog which lacks nose will crowd them and they are out of there. The dog that has a superior nose can nail them at a distance. Hunting dogs, any breed, that have been blessed with that superior scenting ability will make the best grouse dog. On a days hunt, a dog with a super nose that can find 40 grouse when the grouse number is up, will find you 13 when the grouse number is down. The average bird dog on a day's hunt who finds you 13 when the grouse number is up, will find you nothing when the grouse number is down.

Janet
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Postby Gregory » Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:28 am

I agree with Cindy and Janet.

Get a pup from great genetics and with a full choked nose,and you can take that pup to hunt any bird on planet earth.

Providing you didn't squander what the breeder gave you through bad training practises......

You know, dogs only learn what we allow them to learn . And that can go either way. :wink:

G.
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Postby dognut » Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:49 am

greg i agree with you %110. I had a DD that could hunt grouse with the best of em, till he died of old age a few years ago.
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Postby Gregory » Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:52 am

[quote="dognut"]greg i agree with you %110. I had a DD that could hunt grouse with the best of em, till he died of old age a few years ago.[/qu


Look out now dognut. He will get better as the time passes.:>)
I do know what you are talking about.
Back when I lived in Oregon I had a GSP bitch that had not ever seen a grouse. I brought her with me when I moved to Cincinnati and took up playing Golf thinking I wasn;t going to find the type of hunting I was used to. Well on day while sitting around the 19th hole Bs'n with the fellows I played with, one young man from our group turned the subject to bird hunting that lit me up like a christmas tree... He said durring our discussion that he never seen a dog that could point and hold a grouse:>) I immediatly made him an offer,that I would show him a dog that could,if he would show me his favorite honey hole. The challange was excepted and the hunt was on. To make a longer story short. She not only showed him that grouse could be pointed, she did it with her very first one she came across. And went on to point them as she found them, in coveys of two tree,or four . Not only was he made a believer,I couldn't shake him with a stick when the time was to go grouse hunting... he turned out to be one of my huntting buddies for a very long time....
Her ashes are Scattered on the Chukar hills we hunted together in Eastern Oregon. I made a special trip just for her....

Darn,my eyes are clouding ....
Thanks, G...
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Postby rosiesdad » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:25 pm

Most any pointing breed with lots and lots of exposure to wild grouse, then individual dogs will excell and others may never be good at it.
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Postby Emptypair » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:36 pm

I'll sing off key on this one. I think your father in-law might have something to his idea. Being that I have but one Britt and have always run Labs on grouse, I'll be the first to admit I don't have tons of breed knowledge. I chose to get a Britt because their breed offers the close working/biddability needed, IMHO, to master grouse. I have seen some great dogs of all breeds find birds. It's my hope, and observation, that the style a Britt uses should make it a great grouse dog. I'm wrong a lot...so time will tell. My main thinking is that any big running dog, no matter how good the nose, will find birds that a hunter can't get to in time. As it was said before, grouse are nervous birds :twisted: and quick too :!:
Last edited by Emptypair on Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby volraider » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:17 am

Emptypair,

I can show you Britts that will run to the moon and back, then I have also seen pointers that you have to kick to get out from under your feet. So to me it has more to do with bloodlines. I think on average you are right on that more britts will stay closer than any other but there some huge running britts out there. I also think britts from the right bloodlines are excellent grouse dogs by the way they hunt the cover and don't shy away from the brairs like a lot of other breeds.

Brian
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Postby Emptypair » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:22 am

Well put, Volraider. This is an interesting topic...that's for sure :) I have some friends that run GSPs only on grouse and they are truely fantastic and have been bred for that purpose. As long as each person is happy with their dog...what more could anyone want? Good luck the rest of the season!
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Postby BlacknTan » Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:59 am

I believe a good grouse dog comes from good grouse dog bloodlines. Or, it makes your odds of obtaining a good grouse dog that much better. And, of course training plays into the equation. Get that dog on lot's of wild birds early. Let him learn that he can't crowd his birds. The smart ones figure it out relatively quickly.
I'm also of the opinion that some dogs don't posess "better" noses than others, but, are smarter and more disciplined in how they process the information taken up by that nose.
Buy from good lines and get that pup on birds early.
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Postby Devils Creek » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:20 pm

BlacknTan wrote:I believe a good grouse dog comes from good grouse dog bloodlines. Or, it makes your odds of obtaining a good grouse dog that much better. And, of course training plays into the equation. Get that dog on lot's of wild birds early. Let him learn that he can't crowd his birds. The smart ones figure it out relatively quickly.
I'm also of the opinion that some dogs don't posess "better" noses than others, but, are smarter and more disciplined in how they process the information taken up by that nose.
Buy from good lines and get that pup on birds early.


Truer words...etc.

I notice in my American Field that "Hard Driving Zev" a pointer bitch, won both the Grand National Grouse Championship, and the Minnesota Grouse Championship. (These are both foot hunting trials)

Now many people on this forum would not pick a pointer for this sport, but here is an example of a bloodline specifically targetted for grouse location.

In pointers there are lines that are strong for All-Age competition, some for shooting dog trials, and of course for grouse trials.

The same can be said for English setters.

It just takes a man to have a goal.....
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Postby Helen » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:57 am

I voted for lines. However, I do feel that in my experience, the pointers and setters make the best grouse dogs. We work a gwp on the grouse and he is a cracking dog but the pointers just have that edge on him. I haven't worked a setter yet but have watched them. I have got a setter who is going out on the grouse in March but from what I've seen, she's going to be a good worker.

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Postby Wagonmaster » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:14 pm

The best grouse dog I have ever had was a GSP that was very easy on her birds and had a great nose, so handled grouse well. She was not broke and I never ran her in any kind of trial, but shot alot of birds over her.

Some of the best dogs that I have judged in grouse trials, or that were owned by others and that I have hunted over, were Britts (now don't you Britt guys go getting big heads or anything, where are your GNGC wins?).

"Good grouse dog" is in my opinion, very high praise. Not all dogs of any breed have the talent. It takes a good deal of wild bird exposure, and most of all, work on grouse and woodcock. It is one type of hunting or trial dog training where there is just no substitute for the real thing.
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Postby PAHunter » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:19 am

Well its been along time since I first posted this thread and I've learned alot about what it takes to have a great grouse dog. I got a DD last Feb, the parents were both great grouse dogs, so this season I spent alot of time in the woods. My pup pointed his first grouse at 8 months and since then he's had just shy of three hundred grouse contacts, dozens of solid points, and 11 birds shoot and retrieved. I'm no expert but I think I'm off to a good start at getting a great grouse dog. Thanks for your replies.
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Postby Don » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:05 pm

Other than spruce grouse in Alaska with a GSP, the only dog's I've hunted grouse with have been springer spaniel's. I think it's line's that would make a good grouse dog. But how do you breed a good grouse dog? I'm guessing that it would best be moderately fast and fairly close working because of the cover I've found them in. A dog with long leg's would probally disappear in the cover. Were I to go out to get a dog strictly for grouse, I'd look to the Lewellan setter's, specifically Burnt Creek dog's. I've worked with several of them and they don't get gone, they truely hunt to the gun.

Hey Wagonmaster a question? In grouse trials do they hunt grouse or some other bird in grouse cover? I assume it's not a horsebach trial and do the judges walk?
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Postby Devils Creek » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:14 am

Don wrote:Hey Wagonmaster a question? In grouse trials do they hunt grouse or some other bird in grouse cover? I assume it's not a horsebach trial and do the judges walk?


I'll field this in case John doesn't catch it.

Generally in grouse trials everybody walks, though occasionally the judges are mounted.

They run in real cover, with bells only allowed. No released birds, so generally bird contacts are ruffies and woodcock.

Got a feeling this might be something you're thinking about Don?
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Postby Wagonmaster » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:20 pm

Thank you Devil's Creek, I did not see this post for awhile.

Grouse trial trails are cut through the woods right where grouse are. The people who do the work are grouse hunters, so know to run them through aspen, alder, swamp edges. Where there are good logging roads, of course those are used also as cutting brush in the mosquitoey woods in the summer, sucks.

The trials are run on wild birds. Spring of the year birds are particularly difficult and scarce, because you are running on winter's survivors, the wily ones.

Grouse and woodcock both count as finds. Grouse are viewed by some as a higher quality find, because they do not like to hold still like woodcock. But a woodcock is a find.

Judges sometimes ride horses because they are the people that walk all day. No one else is allowed to, it is a walk through the grouse woods.

Here, I wrote a piece on it a couple of years ago. http://www.gundogforum.com/forum/viewto ... 72&start=0
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Postby Don » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:26 pm

Devils Creek wrote:
Don wrote:Hey Wagonmaster a question? In grouse trials do they hunt grouse or some other bird in grouse cover? I assume it's not a horsebach trial and do the judges walk?


I'll field this in case John doesn't catch it.

Generally in grouse trials everybody walks, though occasionally the judges are mounted.

They run in real cover, with bells only allowed. No released birds, so generally bird contacts are ruffies and woodcock.

Got a feeling this might be something you're thinking about Don?



There are none out here but that sound's right up my alley. I'm guessing that it's a multiple course trial?
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Postby Don » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:48 pm

John,

Just went back and read your post on cover dog's. It answered my question's. Yea, I think that is something I'd really like. I'n not a big setter fan because of the hair but now I've alway's had a soft spot for a number of Burrnt Creek dog's I've worked with. Hummmmmm!

Hope you don't mind if I print that out?
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Postby Wagonmaster » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:13 pm

go for it.
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Postby BoJack » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:07 pm

It's not the Breed it's the Dog.There are good grouse dogs in All the pointing breeds.Combination of good genetics(Nose and Intelligence to learn how to handle Grouse) and Plenty of Exposure to Grouse.
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Re: Grouse Dogs

Postby brandonkuala » Mon May 31, 2010 12:06 pm

Brittnays are pretty popular. I know several people who use them with good success. So for me, I think breeding line is still very important up to now.
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Re: Grouse Dogs

Postby Birddogz » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:46 pm

Lines are the most important. I have hunted over great grouse dogs of all breeds. The absolute best was a Britt. He was owned by a grouse guide in N. Wisconsin.
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Re: Grouse Dogs

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:31 pm

Ladies & Gentlemen,
No doubt about it a great Grouse dog can come from many different breeds and breed lines. Genetics and experience make a fantastic Grouse dog, and I have seen trained, and hunted over many. As Davis said in his book, at the top of the list of all bird dogs, sets the Grouse dog. I agree with his statement & knowledge completely.
RGD/Dave
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Re: Grouse Dogs

Postby outdoorman » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:01 pm

Josh,
I only hunt ruff grouse and woodcock and think a slower close working,deliberate, stealty ( sneaking ) moving pointing dog that will hold point forever untill the shooter makes the final approach for the flush is what i personally like in grouse dog, but at the same time one which will creep if the grouse starts to move after the initial point, but only after the shooter has made the final approach.
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Re: Grouse Dogs

Postby Ryman Gun Dog » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:18 am

Outdoorman,
Where do you do most of your Grouse hunting? I am betting it is out west or up near Canada.
When a good biddable Grouse dog holds point and sets the Grouse properly for gunning, the dog should work the bird no matter how far or how close the bird happens to be located, now a good flushing dog must be relatively close, a pointing dog who sets Grouse properly
should adapt to the habitat he is working and number of birds locations. I totally agree about the stealthy (sneaky) part being very important, no matter how close or far the dog must hunt.
RGD/Dave

Harold & Ken approach our Gordon and Ryman Setters on Grouse point, 30 yards to Harold, 60 yards to Ken and 100 yards to the Camera.
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