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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; I have a dog but he's a goofy Golden Retriever, very blonde and acts like it. So I don't have a hunting dog but I ...



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Old 10-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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How Much Better With Dogs?

I have a dog but he's a goofy Golden Retriever, very blonde and acts like it. So I don't have a hunting dog but I like to hunt. For those of you who do have a hunting dog how much do you think your success rate improves by using your dog? I'm thinking of bird hunting (quail, pheasant) and even rabbits. Obviously a dog is a big help in duck hunting but not so much in finding the ducks. And I'm not thinking about coon hunting or a hunt that pretty much mandates using a dog. I suppose deer and bear and even hogs could be included - dogs may be a big help with those hunts?

Let's hear about how much better I would do if I had a hunting dog.....or not?

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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When between dogs, like now, I'm torn between getting another one and developing the personal hunting skills a dog makes unnecessary. And also, I sure hate losing a dog. Anyway, for upland shooting there's nothing like a good bird dog for finding birds, but the trick is in the word "good".

Bird dog breeders and trainers hate it when a dog points critters like rabbits but I never minded it- could be hungry and need some rabbit some day.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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I think hunting over a dog is generally more successful.
Aside from that, my dog is an English Setter and hunting with her is such a joy I often go out outside of season without a gun. Just watching her work, letting her work is so beautiful that the hunting is almost an afterthought.
She's 15 now and our sessions have gotten shorter. As much as I hate to lose her, I know it's coming - and I hope she can go out in the field, chasing a bird. Heck, it's how I'd want to go out.

Hunting with a bird dog creates a much deeper man-dog bond, and if you ever experience it, you will never regret it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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I have a springer spaniel, and a Chesapeake bay retriever. My springer could be awake for 48 hours , you could sleep that whole time and not come close to this dogs energy. My Chessie, is a duck and geese hunting finatic, there is nothing like watching a good retriever work. I like the chessies for big open water , with 2 Great lakes within a hour ride, we hunt some big water. And you dont get wet.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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I had a wondeful black lab that came from good hunting stock. I was living in Michigan at the time but moved to Florida soon after his arrival and south Florida is tough on a big black dog. He lived a great life as a pampered house dog in the A/C and out of the heat. Needless to say we didn't get far in field training! He was a terrific dog and lived 15 years. The day came when "it was time" and we had to say good bye. That was 8 years ago. I still miss him terribly.

If I get the opportunity to live a ways further north I think I would have another try at a hunting dog. Hard Chilled Shot, you are so right - I hate losing a dog too. When you buy a puppy you are also buying some heartache down the road.

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
I had a wondeful black lab that came from good hunting stock. I was living in Michigan at the time but moved to Florida soon after his arrival and south Florida is tough on a big black dog. He lived a great life as a pampered house dog in the A/C and out of the heat. Needless to say we didn't get far in field training! He was a terrific dog and lived 15 years. The day came when "it was time" and we had to say good bye. That was 8 years ago. I still miss him terribly.

If I get the opportunity to live a ways further north I think I would have another try at a hunting dog. Hard Chilled Shot, you are so right - I hate losing a dog too. When you buy a puppy you are also buying some heartache down the road.

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Yes in one way buying a puppy is like adopting a child you know will die in 10 years... which is what you could call the gloomy way of looking at it.

At any rate, the most popular dogs for upland bird hunting have to be the Brittany and the German Shorthair, followed by the Pointer and the English Setter. They'll all both point and retreive but the first two will also do ducks and such, up to the cold water limits of their coats. Me I'm inclining towards a rare breed called the Wirehaired Griffon; every breed has specific advantages. For many, the whole point of hunting is to work with the dogs, it's a great experience.

Last edited by Hard Chilled Shot; 11-11-2012 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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When younger(40 years ago) I hunted Quail with a German Shorthair. She was the goofiest thing but she loved to hunt. Now down in Texas, quail are hard to come by but we hunt hogs with dogs at times. I don`t have any but a guy I hunt with has some Rhodesian Ridgeback mix dogs and they are brutal on hogs. I do hunt hog without them during daylight hours but I won`t at night. Too many critters besides the hogs roaming around. I want all the ears and noses I can get at night. My buddy has lost a couple over the years due to a big hog gutting them with his tusks and that is a sad scene to see.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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A little known fact !

I use to hunt dogless , than I got a lab and were things better with a dog . I've had many labs since as I hunted pheasants here in westcentralIowa ( when we had pheasants ) .

I wouldn't hunt without a good trained dog , I like large labs to push brush best and having a good nose helps !

I'd sooner talk about my labs than the hunt or any guns at one time !

How I miss those days in the field with a lab , as the pheasants are now a very rare sight where I live today and the kennel has no lab in it !
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carpshooter View Post
I use to hunt dogless , than I got a lab and were things better with a dog . I've had many labs since as I hunted pheasants here in westcentralIowa ( when we had pheasants ) .

I wouldn't hunt without a good trained dog , I like large labs to push brush best and having a good nose helps !

I'd sooner talk about my labs than the hunt or any guns at one time !

How I miss those days in the field with a lab , as the pheasants are now a very rare sight where I live today and the kennel has no lab in it !
My Grandad farmed in northwest Iowa and as a young man would walk along the road and shoot pheasants as they flushed out of the ditches, swales and fence rows, shooting from the hip with his old single shot. Seemed to be no end to the pheasant population. Then they "improved" the roads and the fields went to edge of the road and eliminated the habitat until pheasants were pretty scarce. But back in the day........
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #10
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I had a German Shorthaired Pointer back about 25 years ago who was just a joy to hunt partridge and pheasant with in the northeast. I just loved to watch him work, and he had a nose that just didn't quit. Sometimes I would just watch him work and forget I had a gun in my hands. He used to point the chickens in our hen house / pen as well!
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