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Thread: What is a good gun dog ?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugo View Post
    A dog that refuses to listen when you have a downed bird well marked. She just won't take your direction/support - then comes back with your bird (by-the-way, NOT where you had it marked smart guy!).
    Been there, more than once!
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    Canadian Waterfowl Supplies Pro Staff | Go Hunt Birds Field Staff

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  3. #12
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    The dog should be steady, biddable, and should handle the retrieving situations that confound a half-trained dog, like blinds, obstacle crossings, etc.

    But all that is just a matter of training, and it isn't what makes a really good dog, in my view. A really good dog needs to have desire and intelligence, because the difference between dog training and robotics is that dogs have to learn some things that you can't teach. And it's when the dog has learned those things that you have a really good dog.

    Nothing pleases me more than watching a dog do something that it can only have learned by applying its own intelligence to the training it already has.
    "The language of dogs and birds teaches you your own language."
    -- Jim Harrison (1937 - 2016)

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrym View Post
    I prefer a hunting dog that won't eat my lunch and then fart proscuitto all the way home in the car.

    .
    Thought that was what a hunting partner is for.........might explain why I've not received a hunting invite.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by werner.reiche View Post
    Credit to Jim Carmichael

    A grouse dog is a specialist that God himself gifted to have an exceptional nose,
    superior intelligence and relentless heart. This pup typically comes from generations
    of dogs with the same/similar attributes. Keep in mind that, these are only the
    raw materials. This is a starting point rather than the destination point.
    Next, you need to make sure pup is brought along properly, from youthful
    exuberance to productive team member. He needs to be brought up to know
    grouse-like cover through the eyes first. He must know from experience where
    to expend energy towards likely objectives - where grouse are likely to be. This-in-turn
    is followed by utilizing ole-factory senses honed over generations to narrow down the
    chances for success. This is when that superior nose comes into play - a nose that is
    functional even at a highly elevated rate of ground speed - a ground speed that mesmerizes
    and leaves a grouse stone solid in it's tracks as if enchanted by the Medusa! At this
    point, your dog must know to hold steady - no stepping closer - no relocating - no second
    guessing. The spell is cast where dog and grouse remain fixed in time for that narrow moment.
    As you approach, the grouse's nerves are tested. It begins to negotiate it's best escape
    options then deploys them. The dog remains steady trusting that you will do your part in
    providing the ultimate reward - a trophy grouse (every grouse is a trophy in my books)
    for the retrieve!

    What many folk call grouse dogs more-often-than-not will find birds on occasion. Most times,
    it is a flush that immediately ensues. You may in fact get an opportunity for the occasional
    shot however this is NOT a grouse dog, by my definition. Grouse dogs seem to just have a
    propensity for nailing grouse down and they to do it often, as opposed to "most times".
    Traditionally, fine grouse dogs came/come from setter breeding, although I had a true
    grouse dog in a little Brittany some years ago. She was very special.

    I must say that you need to hunt over a setter to actually appreciate the elegant grace
    that is but one attribute in this breed. The dovetailing of unrelenting fury and almost
    liquified flowing grace this breed displays in negotiating the nastiest of cover is truly
    something to behold. Also typical of the breed, in response to your stated preference, is
    the fact that they go from fierce gladiators in their quest for birds, to wonderfully
    biddable family companions in the home. There is this regal aura this is part-and-parcel
    of the setter. They are so gentle and happy to be in your presence without the need to
    harass, whine, and destroy! This transition is part and parcel of what makes setters
    the best of both worlds, in my opinion. I'm sure there are individual dogs out there
    that could fit this bill. They are more-often-than-not, the exception to the rule.
    Ya but sometimes a mutt does well too.
    DSC00073 (2).jpg

  6. #15
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    "Must say that you need to hunt over a setter to actually appreciate the elegant grace
    that is but one attribute in this breed. The dovetailing of unrelenting fury and almost
    liquified flowing grace this breed displays in negotiating the nastiest of cover is truly
    something to behold. Also typical of the breed, in response to your stated preference, is
    the fact that they go from fierce gladiators in their quest for birds, to wonderfully
    biddable family companions in the home. There is this regal aura this is part-and-parcel
    of the setter. They are so gentle and happy to be in your presence without the need to
    harass, whine, and destroy! This transition is part and parcel of what makes setters
    the best of both worlds, in my opinion. " Jim Carmichael

    That is so true.
    " We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett


  7. #16
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    Chris, after having some time to reflect on your own question, I am curious, what it means to you?
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    Canadian Waterfowl Supplies Pro Staff | Go Hunt Birds Field Staff

  8. #17
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    Jason to me a good gun dog has heart doesn't give up. Should be smart enough to think its way through tough situations. Wants to be part of a team. Enjoys a truck ride as much as a good hunt. I personally prefer a dog with higher drive that can learn to settle in the blind. I have bčen lucky to have had a couple if these my newest cal and the sire of Maddy. Tundra at 13 gets excited to get in the truck. He is out in the truck as i am writing this while out for breakfast before we head out training the young dogs.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 black dogs View Post
    Jason to me a good gun dog has heart doesn't give up. Should be smart enough to think its way through tough situations. Wants to be part of a team. Enjoys a truck ride as much as a good hunt. I personally prefer a dog with higher drive that can learn to settle in the blind. I have bčen lucky to have had a couple if these my newest cal and the sire of Maddy. Tundra at 13 gets excited to get in the truck. He is out in the truck as i am writing this while out for breakfast before we head out training the young dogs.
    With age comes wisdom. Tundra knows to just enjoy the comfortable truck. And someone will bring him a treat back

    Have a great session today.
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    Canadian Waterfowl Supplies Pro Staff | Go Hunt Birds Field Staff

  10. #19
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    There's some awesome sentiments in this post. I suspect that my little brittany will be my once in a lifetime dog. She's the most affectionate thing in the house. My wife says she's her favourite dog ever.

    As a hunting partner she's everything I need. She's not at all highly trained but she has a ton of natural ability. She has a great nose and great heart and a great brain. She knows she's part of a team. She naturally pays attention to where I am. Most of the time, she takes direction very well and the ecollar is a god send for those once in a while lapses.

    She holds on birds like a statue. We have taken many birds where I had to walk 300 yards to get to her (thank you beeper!).

    She certainly is not close to perfect. She can often go too fast and doesn't work as thoroughly as she should. But she can hammer onto point from a dead run. She has never been one to retrieve. She always finds the bird but once she has a bird in her mouth, she's "cracked right out of her mind". Her eyes dialate and she just sits there holding the bird. As she's much easier to find, beeper and all, this is good enough for me. I guess it's a good job that I don't hunt ducks - although if I did, I obviously would have worked much harder on retrieving...lol. She does love the water and swims like a fish.

    She makes me smile on a daily, if not hourly basis.
    A bad day hunting is still better than a good day at work!
    40 year member of OFAH

  11. #20
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    Good question!


    To me a good gun dog must above all else;

    -obedience (fetches when told to fetch, sits when told to sit, stays when told to stay....with almost no exceptions)

    -have great desire (a gun dog must have desire to please and desire to pursue game)

    -be cooperative (a gun dog must hunt for the gun, not for itself)

    -possess an exceptional nose (a hunting dog without a great nose is just a companion dog out for a walk in the woods)

    -sound physical form (without the muscle and bones to do the job...well you get the rest)

    In my mind, a dog that possess all of the above attributes can be trained to be a fantastic gun dog, whether for the woods or the blind.
    Last edited by jobbershunting; April 20th, 2015 at 02:50 PM. Reason: physical form

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