Dog questions

There is an almost unlimited amount of info on all these sporting breeds. You could never read it all. There are also lots of reputable breeders who can tell you all about their dogs. I hope you find what suits you. If you get into bird dogs of any kind, you will never regret it.
 
My advice, don't step off the asphalt. It's a whole nother world out here.
Seriously you first need a basic rewiring as to what constitutes a good dog.

Your talking a working animal not a warm and fuzzy. Big difference between the two.

The former requires great health and proper structure to perform specific strenuous tasks. Special aptitudes and innate sensory abilities. Fundamental ability to use these tools and some modicum of intelligence. All these must be within the animal plus something no trainer can instill, desire.
All the above are found coded in the animals genetic makeup plus a whole slew of genetic "junk" common to the species.
And this is why all the high faluting pedigrees are important. Not for the value of the pedigree paper itself but for the very careful selection and combination of individuals that possess the much needed genetic tools. This careful compilation of like genes concentrates or increases the prevalence of useful genes which increases the likelihood of a well performing animal. But it also has a high likelihood of concentrating those "junk" or even detrimental genes such as hip dysplasia in Boykins. This is why the rule of breeding is to breed tight (line breeding on selected close relations) and to cull ruthlessly (permanent removal of any genetic flaw revealed).
And all this occurs for generations and generations before you get to pony up some cash for your chance to ruin a promising young pup.

My advice before you even consider a dog is study yourself. What is your preferred hunting style, what would you expect the dog to do. Then learn what each breed is bred to do.
For examples I'll use hounds, curs and feist as that's what I know.

Hounds by nature are bred to be independent hunters whether in a pack or individually. As such they are not the type for a walk with you type hunter. They go find it and chase it, bay it or tree it and your expected to go to it the get the quarry.
Curs on the other hand are bred to be more all purpose partners in ridding the homestead of varmints so they may very well keep you in sight while rounding up the quarry.

But that's not a hard and fast either as there are multiple bloodlines and breeds within both types that were bred to suit their breeders.

Beagles by their size and the nature of their rabbit quarry tend to be close hunters. But if those beagles were bred to chase snowshoe hares vs cottontails the range goes way up.

So once you kind of have an idea of your wants start digging into the history and progression of a few potential breeds. This will give you an overview. Next get in touch with hunters that hunt the way you do. See what they use and like. Ideally go see the dogs in action.
By now you've narrowed down a possible breed. Ask about particular dogs that meet your desires particularly their breeding. Now you're starting to narrow it down to the family lines and specific traits.

As to specific breeders and kennels, well that's a whole nother can of worms when you throw human vanity into the mix.

Now as to your other questions yes many breeds and bloodlines can perform multiple tasks. It may require special training or training aids. Example, one strain of Black Mouth Cur is known historically as a tree dog that can tree squirrel by day and coon by night while also rounding up the owners cows or hogs as the situation demanded yet is now gaining favor by many as a blood tracking dog.
Some of the bird hunters like vizla, drahthaar, gsp have always been trained for multiple roles in their homelands.
And some will surprise you as my brother once owned a beagle that would tree squirrels.
As for pets almost any working dog outside of those bred for the gritty trades of protection or laying on of teeth is still a dog wanting of love and affection and even the rough ones appreciate it. Just have to remember the line between work and play.

And most importantly, probably the one thing most rescue types never understand.
The dog may work because it wants to but ultimately it works with and for me or not at all.
 
Actually many breeds are totally peasant or more appropriately poacher class.

At the same time the kings and lords were breeding up sporting dogs and guard dogs the common folk were breeding up terriers and curs for slipping a hare or two into the pot.

Funny thing is many of the older "noble" breeds entered the show rings in the Victorian era and today are not much more than pretty to look at playthings worthless for actual use. While many "common" breeds are still in hard use today or the basis for adapted breeds around the world.
 
Well, thank yall. Yall have have given me a lot to ponder on. Looks like I about got into something above my pesant class.
Good luck! And Don't stress out man. Lots of these dog folk take it too seriously. Like anything, if you invest time and effort into it, you will likely see positive results on any puppy you pick.
 
Sorry, I didn't mean to bust your chops to hard.
The pet store/puppy mill thing is kind of a sore point to many breeders. Yes, there are legitimate horror stories in the pet trade and many so called "breeders" that need to be shot for their chasing the almighty dollar with total disregard for the animals in their care. Unfortunately, there are those opposed to or lacking in understanding of the real need for working stock that use the former to tar and feather the latter.
JMO, but the pet market, and to a lesser degree the show ring, has been the ruin of many a breed. Irish setters used to hunt, Collies could herd, GSD weren't crippled, Bulldogs could breed and whelp without assistance, Staffs could be trusted with children, etc.
Even within the working breeds we have chain breeders and paper breeders. Where dogs are bred that have never been off the chain and in the woods or bred to line a paper with titled dogs without regard to how those titles were actually earned or not.

There's good dogs out there but the days of every dog owner actually using their dogs in the field and breeding best to best are long gone and most dogs have been relegated to lap warmers. Not a bad thing in and of itself but the working ones take some looking for. They are still out there. Many are actively involved in breed associations and registries that cater specifically to the work involved.
Some are just a kennel or two of unpapered "grade" type dogs in the hands of a few hard hunters.
They are out there and hopefully you find your pup. Truth be told we need desperately to find new working dog owners if we hope to pass down the genes that make our dogs worth preserving.

BTW, I'm doing research into feist now and I'm saddened to see many of the older names within the breeders ranks gone and no longer with us with many many others retired or no longer active. Makes one wonder where the dogs themselves be in a decade or so.
 
Don't be talked out of getting a dog. It's not a club of elites. With a little time and effort--maybe ten minutes a day, a pup can't take much more than that--you can wind up with a perfectly serviceable "meat dog". I've been doing it for over 20 years, and have lived in a very suburban area when I've done it. So have a lot of people I know.

What you're describing is a "versatile dog", and there are lots of non-pro, non elite, regular Joe type folks that have them, train them themselves, and have fine dogs.

A German Shorthair Pointer would fill your needs very well, and there are lots of good breeders out there. Do your research here--it's the most important thing. I've been around Boykins and they are nice dogs, but if upland is in the mix and not just retrieving I'd consider something else. A flushing dog doesn't make a lot of sense in the southeast if wild birds are what you're after. Bird densities are not high enough around here to have a dog that doesn't get out well beyond gun range.

Also consider joining NAVHDA, the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. There should be a chapter in your area, and some are pretty active. Should be a good place to see some dog, hang out with like-minded folks, and get some training help and tips.

The sport and the dogs need more people participating, not less. If the market shrinks to just an elite few breeders have no incentive to breed good dogs.
 
Absolutely true. We need more participants, not less. When it comes time for the DNR and other agencies to make decisions on how to spend funds, the larger the group, the more influence. Get a pup from a reputable breeder and get started. Who cares whether it turns out to be the best dog I the country or not. You will enjoy it.
 
If you want one of the versatile breeds that points, tracks, and retrieves game. Get a pigeon coop started ASAP. You’ll have a much easier time bringing along your pups pointing skills with a dozen homing pigeons to use. Heck you’ll probably find out like the rest of us hat the pigeons can be a heck of a lot of fun themselves!!
 
Thread starter #30
If you want one of the versatile breeds that points, tracks, and retrieves game. Get a pigeon coop started ASAP. You’ll have a much easier time bringing along your pups pointing skills with a dozen homing pigeons to use. Heck you’ll probably find out like the rest of us hat the pigeons can be a heck of a lot of fun themselves!!
Pigeons?
 
Yes, one of the beauties of training bird dogs is a bird is a bird.
Homing ideally as you can use them in the field for training and they'll be waiting for you when you get home. If you know someone doing pigeon control work trapping them you can use those but not being homing you won't see them again.
 
Yes, one of the beauties of training bird dogs is a bird is a bird.
Homing ideally as you can use them in the field for training and they'll be waiting for you when you get home. If you know someone doing pigeon control work trapping them you can use those but not being homing you won't see them again.
you would be surprised. Feral pigeons will home for you but not as fast or from nearly as far away. A few miles would be about as far as I would stretch them out to.
To the OP. You can’t train a bird dog without birds. The more the better. Living in the southeast doesn’t provide us with an abundance of wild birds. Homing pigeons can be used in training over and over again. They will return home to your coop.
 
you would be surprised. Feral pigeons will home for you but not as fast or from nearly as far away. A few miles would be about as far as I would stretch them out to.
To the OP. You can’t train a bird dog without birds. The more the better. Living in the southeast doesn’t provide us with an abundance of wild birds. Homing pigeons can be used in training over and over again. They will return home to your coop.
When I said won't see again I meant the guy doing the control work will. I'm a NWCO and no pigeon leaves one of my jobs alive because I don't like unhappy clients and having trap the same animal twice.

If I used regular winged rats and not homers I would think cooping them for awhile with regular feed before putting them to work might stir up some of the homing instinct.
 
Yes, one of the beauties of training bird dogs is a bird is a bird.
Homing ideally as you can use them in the field for training and they'll be waiting for you when you get home. If you know someone doing pigeon control work trapping them you can use those but not being homing you won't see them again.
I am going to weigh my birds down or card them. Homing birds are way too $$$ and I dont really feel like training pigeons and a bird, but i do agree …get a pigeon source or get to trapping!
 
Thread starter #39
Yes, one of the beauties of training bird dogs is a bird is a bird.
Homing ideally as you can use them in the field for training and they'll be waiting for you when you get home. If you know someone doing pigeon control work trapping them you can use those but not being homing you won't see them again.
Interesting thanks
 
If you have the space definitely get pigeons. They are tough, fly well, and can be used over and over again. Pigeons are great training tools and pretty cool to have around when you get a group that will home. A buddy of mine has a loft and enjoys the pigeons just for themselves, as well as the dog training.

If you trap feral birds some will eventually home if you coop them long enough. But the young that hatch from the feral birds in your loft will almost all home very nicely. Successive generations will too. So a few months and you've got birds to work with that come back after getting tossed out of a launcher!

Good advice to start on it once you decide for sure to get a dog.
 
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