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How Much Better With Dogs?

This is a discussion on How Much Better With Dogs? within the Sporting Dogs Forum forums, part of the Hunting category; When I have had GOOD, well-trained dogs, the success rate on WILD birds is 100% or better. I too had a "blonde", she was so ...

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Old 11-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #21
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When I have had GOOD, well-trained dogs, the success rate on WILD birds is 100% or better. I too had a "blonde", she was so sweet. In 14.5 years I could count the amount of times she barked at anything on two hands and have fingers left over - that included other dogs. Hunting was NOT her forte. The other golden had his act together, but he only lasted 7 years
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:13 PM   #22
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Just like raising kids, everybody trains dogs a little differently, including trainers. Not all dogs are trainable by just anybody, and some dogs are naturals to some extent. I'm not a good trainer, and all our dogs are family pets, but I do what I can with them. With the exception of retrieving, almost all training is OJT. To put my dogs on pen-raised birds would require me to raise the birds, and I just don't have the means. So far, I've been pretty lucky with ending up having dogs with a fair amount of natural ability. Sometimes those natural talents start to appear at less than one year, or it might take four. I've only had two pure-bred dogs, a beautiful Springer and jealous little GWP. I couldn't hunt the Springer (he was a professional deer chaser), and the Wire-hair only let me have five short years with her before kidney disease took her away. I have had four cross breed dogs, three of them are still in my kennels. The lab/GSP crosses, one 50/50 and one 75% lab and both fixed females, have been the easiest and most enjoyable to hunt with. The lab tones down the short-hair nervousness, making a better in-cab travel companion. But the best part, it gives the skinny short-hair enough hardiness to hunt in the harshest MN Decembers. My first hunting dog was a Chessie/Lab cross. He was a hunting fanatic, smart, and tough as a dollar steak. He would even sight point birds, if given the chance. That's one of the things that made us dynamite on woodcock.

I grew up hunting almost exclusively without a dog, so the one thing I appreciate the most about hunting with a dog is hardly ever loosing a downed bird. Every so often, the bird may have fallen cripple into an area that has been trampled by birds, and there is fresh scent everywhere. Or, it falls in the cattails that have dropped so much seed that the slough bottom looks more like a cloud. Try sticking your sniffer in that stuff! A crippled diving duck can sometimes loose the best retriever. Also, the hunting time that is saved because the dog found and/or retrieved the bird in far less time than I could have done alone, allows us to cover more ground and spend more time in the blind.

On top of all that, I believe my family benefits in many ways by having the dogs around even while not hunting.

Last edited by Steve Powers; 11-10-2014 at 12:16 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:57 PM   #23
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Depends on the dog, I'll wager.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:20 PM   #24
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I have had 4 Brittanys and would highly recommend them because they are great hunters and family dogs. Hunting Pheasant without a dog is an extremely tough task here in MA. They let you walk right by them.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:09 PM   #25
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1000% AND THAT IS NOT A MISTAKE IN ZERO'S. dogs that work and mind (like kids) are a joy to be around) almost all upland breeds work quail and pheasants but then you added rabbits--GET A SPRINGER SPANIEL--KEEP HIM IN 30-35 YARDS AND NO RUNNING GAME. GREAT IN DUCK BLIND--TO ME THE WORKING MANS DOG (PUTS MEAT ON THE TABLE)
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:21 PM   #26
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I have a Vizsla (the best hunting dog breed ) and hunting with her is not only more successful but also more enjoyable. Always good to have a hunting companion.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:13 PM   #27
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I've tried hunting without dogs a few times. I did okay on waterfowl but terrible on pheasant without them.

With them, it's a whole different story. I wouldn't hunt without one now.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:53 AM   #28
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Hunting, especially upland birds, is all about the dog.
If I had a choice of standing in a spot and shooting birds all day long. Or...
Walking a field, watching a good dog work, without a gun or anything.
I'd choose to go walk the field with the dog.
Dog's listen to your heart. You can scream at a dog standing next to you. If you don't believe, deep down, what you say. That dog can't hear you. Period. If you believe what you say deep down. You can whisper to a dog, 100 yards away, and that dog will hear you.
Good hunting dogs bond with you, deeper than human beings care to. They know the meaning of love that asks for nothing in return.
I knew a retired Colonel. His wife told him when his hunting dog died: You didn't cry that much when your mother died.
Without a dog. Forget hunting.
This is what it's all about...
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:58 AM   #29
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A better success rate? With a dog there is no question it will be better. But the success rate takes a back seat to.......

For me at this point, the last thing I need to do in life, is shoot another pheasant. However I still absolutely love to hunt pheasants, quail, grouse and any other upland game bird you can name. The whole reason is because of the dog.

I have been hunting over a dog since 1974 (I was 16) and once you have had a few dogs the emphasis will go on the dog rather than the success rate.......funny thing happens when you work with that dog and you stop worrying about how many birds are in your game bag........your success rate goes up and you will enjoy and treasure those hunts even more.

Bird dogs have the MAGIC!!

Here's to old dogs!!!
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Last edited by Dogchaser37; 01-30-2018 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:52 PM   #30
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Without a dog I'd quit bird hunting.
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