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-   -   any upland labs? (https://utahwildlife.net/forum/17-hunting-dogs/201093-any-upland-labs.html)

matt 12-26-2019 07:31 PM

any upland labs?
 
I'm looking to get a hunting dog in a year give or take, not rushing waiting for the right dog and right time. I really want a GSP, I've only hunted upland, though I would like to try waterfowl (I've only been a hunter for 4 years). My girlfriend really wants a lab... cause she says they're cuter. I've tried to explain for the type of hunting I do, a GSP is more naturally suited. She understands but still rather get a lab and I feel like I cant bulldoze her into getting a GSP if its not the type of dog she really wants. I have heard of pointing labs, ive heard both people say theyre great as well as not nearly as good as a pointer breed.

Those who hunt upland often with their lab, do you feel like your missing out on the pros of having a pointer? or do you just end up walking a bit more?

I first posted this on the upland forum, and then reposted it here in hopes of more exposure

Fowlmouth 12-26-2019 08:39 PM

Look at the English Setters. You get the best of both worlds, great looking and the pointing aspect. If I spent the majority of my time hunting upland I wold definitely have a Setter, but for now I'm content with my Labs and duck hunting.....

johnnycake 12-26-2019 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt (Post 2154699)
I'm looking to get a hunting dog in a year give or take, not rushing waiting for the right dog and right time. I really want a GSP, I've only hunted upland, though I would like to try waterfowl (I've only been a hunter for 4 years). My girlfriend really wants a lab... cause she says they're cuter. I've tried to explain for the type of hunting I do, a GSP is more naturally suited. She understands but still rather get a lab and I feel like I cant bulldoze her into getting a GSP if its not the type of dog she really wants. I have heard of pointing labs, ive heard both people say theyre great as well as not nearly as good as a pointer breed.

Those who hunt upland often with their lab, do you feel like your missing out on the pros of having a pointer? or do you just end up walking a bit more?

I first posted this on the upland forum, and then reposted it here in hopes of more exposure

I had a well bred pointing lab out of a kennel in Colorado 15 years ago. I thought she was a total beast on upland (wasn't a great waterfowl dog though). Then I got a pudelpointer a couple years ago, and learned what a real pointing breed can do.

My lab was a poor imitation of a pointer at best.

Honestly, everything I loved about my lab (playful, sweet, etc) my PP is an equal or better. And if I could go back in time and run them both in the field and in the water at the same time, my PP would outperform my lab in every way. It wouldn't even be close. And she's got way better house manners than my lab ever did

AF CYN 12-26-2019 08:45 PM

You're smart not to bulldoze her. Getting a dog will be very impactful on both of your lives, so you want her to be on board with your choice. That said, there are probably 10 breeds that will be way better upland hunters and still be respectable waterfowl dogs. Do some research on various breeds with her, go look at some litters and make a final decision once you've had a chance to consider all your options.

Check out this website as a starting point: https://www.gundogbreeders.com/

matt 12-26-2019 09:43 PM

My aunt and uncle have to English Setters, man are they classy looking dogs. I will definitely look at them

taxidermist 12-27-2019 06:35 AM

Fulfill both of your needs-- Get a Lab and a GSP.


I've had many breeds of dogs over the years for hunting. I now have an 11 month old Lab and he is a handful! Champion breeding and very smart but, full of energy and always getting into trouble around the house and yard.


In all honesty, The best "all around" breed I've owned and hunted behind, both waterfowl and upland, was a Wirehair Pointer. That dog just "got it", and new what to do and didn't get into things as much as the labs I've had.

Irish Lad 12-27-2019 01:30 PM

"Fulfill both of your needs-- Get a Lab and a GSP."

+1

I've always had two dogs for hunting. Brittanys for my upland and Labs and Chessies for my waterfowl. The Brittanys are ok for waterfowl, except when really cold. My Labs and Chessies are okay for upland, just don't have the endurance of the Brittanys.

johnnycake 12-27-2019 01:50 PM

I think you might do well to reach out to a local chapter of NAVHDA, and maybe attend some trainings/events. There are a lot of excellent versatile hunting dog breeds that are bred and developed to be pointers, retrievers, and trackers.

NAVHDA recognizes 30 different versatile breeds. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, etc. and you should be able to find a breed that checks basically all of the boxes that you are looking for both for performance and for aesthetics. I've personally hunted behind, trained with, or watched train/test at least one dog from 22/30 of the NAVHDA breeds, and regularly train/test/hunt alongside dogs from 15/30 breeds. While I think there are strengths and weaknesses for some of the breeds, honestly a well-bred pup from any one of these breeds if properly handled and trained should produce an excellent hunting dog and good companion. And yes, we have a handful of non NAVDHA breed dogs that train with us in the Alaska-Yukon NAVHDA Chapter, including labs, mutts, and a standard poodle. While these other breeds tend to do well at certain aspects of our training (typically obedience and retrieve work) they all fall far behind on the field/upland/tracking work compared to the versatile breeds. The labs in particular (including my recollections from my pointing lab) even if well conditioned just don't have the same stamina in the field or in the water that most of the versatile breeds show.

https://www.navhda.org/

And I don't want to intrude in your personal life, but I know for me personally I would want to be absolutely certain that my girlfriend/SO is going to be in my life for the next 12-15 years before letting her have any say in what kind of hunting dog I get!

But, to toot my preferred breed's horn, if "looks like a lab" is a big part of it to her, you might look for a pudelpointer breeder that has a "slick" coat pup they need to sell. Slicks are not breed standard/"desired" and are not to be bred, but even with proper breeding those traits still occur somewhat regularly. That dog will look a lot like a chocolate lab, but still have all of the excellent personality and hunt drive of its bearded/furnished/wirecoated littermates.

hunting777 12-27-2019 01:50 PM

Are you dead set on a pure bred? One of the best dogs I have ever owned was a Lab / Short hair mix. Good all around dog by far. Just saying.
But I also do agree with others. Possibly get two dogs. They keep each other company. But can be double the trouble as well. We just got a short hair in the spring. He's a great dog, but requires a lot of exercise and play time to calm him down. Good luck

hunting777 12-27-2019 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnycake (Post 2154745)
But, to toot my preferred breed's horn, if "looks like a lab" is a big part of it to her, you might look for a pudelpointer breeder that has a "slick" coat pup they need to sell. Slicks are not breed standard/"desired" and are not to be bred, but even with proper breeding those traits still occur somewhat regularly. That dog will look a lot like a chocolate lab, but still have all of the excellent personality and hunt drive of its bearded/furnished/wirecoated littermates.


How do these Pudelpointer do for waterfowl? I have been doing some reading about this breed since I read this post today. I like the fact that they are Hypoallergenic dogs. I know that you are in Alaska, But do you know of any good breeders here in Utah?

johnnycake 12-27-2019 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hunting777 (Post 2154751)
How do these Pudelpointer do for waterfowl? I have been doing some reading about this breed since I read this post today. I like the fact that they are Hypoallergenic dogs. I know that you are in Alaska, But do you know of any good breeders here in Utah?

Without getting too far down any rabbit holes, "hypoallergenic" can mean a lot of things to different people and each individual's reaction can be more/less severe to a specific animal.
"Hypoallergenic" does not mean 'zero allergic reactions' but rather a reduced reaction; hypo=less. That being said, my anecdotal experience is that various friends and family members with moderate/severe dog allergies have not reacted to our pudelpointer.

There is a lot a variability in coat types within pudelpointers. Some are considered "nonshedding" in the sense of anagen/catagen/telogen phases of hair growth where the hair does not stop growing (anagen) for approximately 1 year or more. Some PPs shed every bit as much as a lab, and others everywhere in between. Most double coated dogs, like labs, have an anagen phase of only 2-3 months which leads them to be constantly replacing their coats. Standard poodles (not really related to pudelpointers btw) are single coated dogs (as are most "hypoallergenic" breeds) and can have anagen phases that last up to 7 years. I strip my PP each year in April/May and after that do not brush her at all. In between strippings, I shed more than she does (and I shed less than my wife and daughter...).

PPs are a great breed, and I don't want to sidetrack OP's post too much. Feel free to pm me if you want some more info. I just wanted to put a couple of clarifiers out there based on your questions, hunting777.

brendo 12-27-2019 04:41 PM

First off, if she thinks a lab is better looking than a gsp you need to dump her! 😆 second, if you are only doing grouse and pheasants a lab will be ok but any other upland Birds you will be at a disadvantage. I prefer shorthairs but a lot of the versatile breeds would fit the bill. If you are interested in NAVHDA hit me up I’m on the board for the local chapter and can help you out. Also, if you want to talk more in depth on shorthairs and need some resources for puppies I can give you some ideas. Let me know!!

matt 12-31-2019 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hunting777 (Post 2154747)
Are you dead set on a pure bred? One of the best dogs I have ever owned was a Lab / Short hair mix. Good all around dog by far. Just saying.
But I also do agree with others. Possibly get two dogs. They keep each other company. But can be double the trouble as well. We just got a short hair in the spring. He's a great dog, but requires a lot of exercise and play time to calm him down. Good luck


Not deadset, this being my first gun dog I think I want to go to a "reputable" breeder and it seems like most breeders stick to pure bred. This is just an observation of mine and might be incorrect.

matt 12-31-2019 10:22 PM

@ brendo,
thanks for the offer! I am going to take you up on that, just probably wont be for a while

Dexter 01-12-2020 07:35 PM

Matt, you need to do some research on the German wire hair pointers (GWP) also known as Drathwar after passing a vigorous test. The dog is bred for upland hunting and water fowl hunting. I now own one and love him. They don't get much more birdy than this. I used to owned 3 Brittany spaniels and loved the way they hunted upland birds, but they got cold and all full of burrs. I then owned 2 GSP's. Great upland hunting dogs but again they get cold and are very high energy dogs. I then owned 4 labs since then and currently own a chocolate lab. All very good water fowl hunters and only ok at upland hunting. My GWP is awesome from the time he was 8 weeks old when I got him. My neighbors have chickens and I have 2 cats, he pointed on them from day one. They are not as high energy either. I always said that I would own nothing but a lab but now I would own nothing but a GWP, by far this is the best unknown secret of a hunting dog. The litter that I got my dog from has siblings that have replaced other breeds on bird hunting farms for upland and water fowl. A plus to, they don't shed as much hair like labs.

middlefork 01-13-2020 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dexter (Post 2157163)
Matt, you need to do some research on the German wire hair pointers (GWP) also known as Drathwar after passing a vigorous test. The dog is bred for upland hunting and water fowl hunting. I now own one and love him. They don't get much more birdy than this. I used to owned 3 Brittany spaniels and loved the way they hunted upland birds, but they got cold and all full of burrs. I then owned 2 GSP's. Great upland hunting dogs but again they get cold and are very high energy dogs. I then owned 4 labs since then and currently own a chocolate lab. All very good water fowl hunters and only ok at upland hunting. My GWP is awesome from the time he was 8 weeks old when I got him. My neighbors have chickens and I have 2 cats, he pointed on them from day one. They are not as high energy either. I always said that I would own nothing but a lab but now I would own nothing but a GWP, by far this is the best unknown secret of a hunting dog. The litter that I got my dog from has siblings that have replaced other breeds on bird hunting farms for upland and water fowl. A plus to, they don't shed as much hair like labs.

This but who needs more snobs? :mrgreen:

johnnycake 01-13-2020 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by middlefork (Post 2157307)
This but who needs more snobs? :mrgreen:

Dexter clearly can't be a snob since he said GWPs and Dads are the same ;) I've yet to meet a DD owner that wouldn't choke at that statement!

gdog 01-13-2020 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dexter (Post 2157163)
German wire hair pointers (GWP) also known as Drathwar after passing a vigorous test.

......:O//:

and what is a "Drathwar"?

gdog 01-13-2020 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnycake (Post 2157331)
I've yet to meet a DD owner that wouldn't choke at that statement!

Didn't choke...just spit up a little 8)

Airborne 01-14-2020 08:39 AM

I highly encourage all Utah upland game hunters to stick with labs, pointing labs, Wirehairs, Snobby wirehairs, poodle pointers, pudel pointers, labradoodles, hypoallergenic anythings, springers, spaniels, boykins, bumpkins, I'll even throw in the Braque Saint-Germain!

Please please keep hunting these 'special' breeds! It makes it easier to have less real competition on the chukar hills.

It's like ya'll are arguing over the best way to handicap yourself...>

Person 1: I like to hunt by tying my shoelases together
Person 2: Are you kidding me! The best way to hunt is if you wear no boots at all!

and on and on it goes! Ya'll are arguing over the best wooden longbow to use when ya can go pick up a highpowered scoped rifle! Keep at it fellas! :grin:

johnnycake 01-14-2020 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airborne (Post 2157387)
I highly encourage all Utah upland game hunters to stick with labs, pointing labs, Wirehairs, Snobby wirehairs, poodle pointers, pudel pointers, labradoodles, hypoallergenic anythings, springers, spaniels, boykins, bumpkins, I'll even throw in the Braque Saint-Germain!

Please please keep hunting these 'special' breeds! It makes it easier to have less real competition on the chukar hills.

It's like ya'll are arguing over the best way to handicap yourself...>

Person 1: I like to hunt by tying my shoelases together
Person 2: Are you kidding me! The best way to hunt is if you wear no boots at all!

and on and on it goes! Ya'll are arguing over the best wooden longbow to use when ya can go pick up a highpowered scoped rifle! Keep at it fellas! :grin:

How many broken 2x4s does it take for that high-powered scoped rifle to learn it's name?! :rotfl:

Airborne 01-14-2020 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnycake (Post 2157417)
How many broken 2x4s does it take for that high-powered scoped rifle to learn it's name?! :rotfl:

A few...but I work in the lumber industry so I can get them cheap! :grin:

Technically, those parlor tricks like 'knowing their name' and 'basic obedience training' are nothing but showboating and don't help find birds. My sawdust brained pointers only need to come when the collar goes 'beep', hold a point til I get to them, and cover country like coyote on steriods! This puts birds in the bag.

Maybe you and that 'smart dog' can join the dog clown circus--lot's of really smart dogs jumping through fire rings! ;-)

johnnycake 01-14-2020 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airborne (Post 2157425)
A few...but I work in the lumber industry so I can get them cheap! :grin:

Technically, those parlor tricks like 'knowing their name' and 'basic obedience training' are nothing but showboating and don't help find birds. My sawdust brained pointers only need to come when the collar goes 'beep', hold a point til I get to them, and cover country like coyote on steriods! This puts birds in the bag.

Maybe you and that 'smart dog' can join the dog clown circus--lot's of really smart dogs jumping through fire rings! ;-)

My pudel and I will be at the Salon de Chien getting our mani-pedis while we wait for your apology.

caddis8 01-14-2020 12:34 PM

Matt, great questions.

This is a good group of folks to ask and there's a lot of people who know their stuff.

Rather than opine on breeds- yet- I'd ask a couple of questions.

What is your living situation? House, appartment, condo? Neighbors? Yard space? Time available? Age? Profession? Travel (work/personal) schedule? What are you looking for in a dog? Are you looking for companion first, hunting dog second? Are you looking for family dog in the future? Will the dog be an inside dog/outside/mix dog? Do you want long hair/short hair?

I know what a lot of people are going to say on most of these, is that their preferred breed is perfect for any condition.

I disagree with some of that. Some breeds are born a little higher energy than others. Some are better suited for smaller families without kids. Some are suited to be around people and not left alone. Some are suited to hunt only with you and not with other dogs.

Of course there will be variables in all of these questions. There are some low energy GSP, Brittany, springer folks, but I would say that most of those breeds are high energy. That's not a bad thing, that's just a reality. So they need to have their energy worked/ran out of them every day, or they'll go nuts and do naughty things like chew, pee, bark, dig, etc. Labs will do the same thing, by the way.

I have a pointing lab out of Idaho. He's only 2 and pointing is coming slower for him that I would like. It's there, but it's still a work in progress. I'm ok with that as pointing is more of a bonus for me since I do a lot of goose and pheasant hunting (no chukkar out here darnit). I got a family dog first and a hunting dog second. He is a wonderful family dog and the kids can do anything to him and he loves it. Some don't do that. Some labs don't do that, but I wanted that and worked hard to make that happen with my dogs. They are with the family way more time than they're hunting, so they better have good manners.

That being said, there are lot of breeds that could fit what you're looking for. My dad had a springer when I was little that would do about anything- except point. Then we had Viszla's and they were great upland dogs and horrible waterfowl dogs. They weren't much for retrieving, but would swim the river for a pheasant occassionally. We then had a pointing lab (didn't know it pointed as it was a rescue dog). She was a good dog, but a little mental with fireworks and lightning. My dad now has a pudelpointer/lab mix from one of my buddies whose PP got loose and found the neighbor's lab. She's a small dog, but a pretty good dog. Points well and retrieves.

If my wife would let me have two dogs, I would get a PP. I reached out to a few PP breeders and they wanted some serious money for them. It was out of my budget, so I ended up with a George, our chocolate pointing lab. He's a great looking dog and a wonderful companion. He's intact still, if there is interest in breeding.

Dexter 01-14-2020 10:39 PM

My apologies to johnnycake and gdog for failing the spelling bee on how to spell Drahthaar 🤭, and the statement about GWP as Drathwar after passing a vigorous test. I didn't realize that my phone autocorrected, my bad. Also my bad for not doing further research myself on how the dog originated. (The Verein Deutsch Drahthaar is the breed’s parent club in Germany. Dogs bred under the VDD breeding regulations are called “Deutsch Drahthaars” to differentiate them from those bred outside the VDD under other registries such as the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association or the American Kennel Club. Beyond that, the German wirehaired pointer and the Deutsch Drahthaar are essentially the same.)

There is a good article on gun dog breed profiles at gundogmag.com

What ever you choose for your next pup have fun building life long memories with it.

johnnycake 01-14-2020 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dexter (Post 2157503)
My apologies to johnnycake and gdog for failing the spelling bee on how to spell Drahthaar 🤭, and the statement about GWP as Drathwar after passing a vigorous test. I didn't realize that my phone autocorrected, my bad. Also my bad for not doing further research myself on how the dog originated. (The Verein Deutsch Drahthaar is the breed’s parent club in Germany. Dogs bred under the VDD breeding regulations are called “Deutsch Drahthaars” to differentiate them from those bred outside the VDD under other registries such as the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association or the American Kennel Club. Beyond that, the German wirehaired pointer and the Deutsch Drahthaar are essentially the same.)

There is a good article on gun dog breed profiles at gundogmag.com

What ever you choose for your next pup have fun building life long memories with it.

Just razzin ya a bit! I enjoy poking fun at the DD guys as they tend to make a big distinctions between DDs and GWPs. Whereas GWP owners typically say exactly what you said.

Doesn't matter, both of 'em are just pudelpointers muddled up with some other breeds to try to make them a bit meaner, nuttier and uglier ;)


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