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Thread: Upland dogs that will also retreive ducks and geese?

  1. #61
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    Waftrudnir, the dog you are referring to is better known as the "flointer" AKA "plusher" - a dog whose performance usually is best described as being at the heart of a VERY frustrating hunt, followed by either a speeding ticket or a fight in the Timmies on the way home. More-often-than-not, these dogs are 35-40% successful in a synthetic environment and 8-12% successful in a wild bird environment. They are often best identified by the handler whose raging expletives are often shared in the adjacent provinces/states.
    The upside is the handler and team (need a team to have any success) get lots of shooting. Do not misinterpret this to mean lots of birds, I said, ".....lots of shooting."
    Well...there has been a VERY broad response to the OPs question, to-say-the-least. I don't think anyone is surprised.
    It is heart warming to hear how much we all stand by our own personal choice of breeds. Not sure how much we've helped the OP but.............heart warming none-the-less. A friend once swore his best grouse dog EVER was his German shepherd. Don't see many of them listed in the bird dog classifieds.
    The range of a competent pointer is rarely an issue (more often dictated by species, environment, time of year, hunting pressure, etc.) although extreme independence can be a really big problem. That said, pointers were never meant to be - nor do they maximize their intended effectiveness as close working dogs, ala flointer/plusher.
    If I were the OP, I would lean towards a retriever, springer or cocker, in my opinion.
    No, I do not own one myself although........hmmmm.........?
    Last edited by Ugo; January 25th, 2016 at 07:29 PM.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugo View Post
    Waftrudnir, the dog you are referring to is better known as the "flointer" AKA "plusher" - a dog whose performance usually is best described as being at the heart of a VERY frustrating hunt, followed by either a speeding ticket or a fight in the Timmies on the way home. More-often-than-not, these dogs are 35-40% successful in a synthetic environment and 8-12% successful in a wild bird environment. They are often best identified by the handler whose raging expletives are often shared in the adjacent provinces/states.
    The upside is the handler and team (need a team to have any success) get lots of shooting. Do not misinterpret this to mean lots of birds, I said, ".....lots of shooting."
    Well...there has been a VERY broad response to the OPs question, to-say-the-least. I don't think anyone is surprised.
    It is heart warming to hear how much we all stand by our own personal choice of breeds. Not sure how much we've helped the OP but.............heart warming none-the-less. A friend once swore his best grouse dog EVER was his German shepherd. Don't see many of them listed in the bird dog classifieds.
    The range of a competent pointer is rarely an issue (more often dictated by species, environment, time of year, hunting pressure, etc.) although extreme independence can be a really big problem. That said, pointers were never meant to be - nor do they maximize their intended effectiveness as close working dogs, ala flointer/plusher.
    If I were the OP, I would lean towards a retriever, springer or cocker, in my opinion.
    No, I do not own one myself although........hmmmm.........?
    Got to disagree with you there. The way you hunt with your pointer is your choice. No need to slam those who prefer a different style.
    As you said a pointer's range is never an issue on that I agree however there are occasions I need the dog working tight to be effective. More than happy to read some of your hunts this year in the thread "request for more upland stories" and compare hunts.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  4. #63
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    Not saying that others can't hunt with a style other than there breed of dog was bred for, but most handlers would have their dog work as it was designed to work.

    I've seen lots of guys with "good bird dogs" totally blown away by what a trained dog can do and by how efficiently and effectively it finds *every* bird in the terrain it covers.

    If a guy is using a pointer to flush birds, that would have a lot of people scratching their heads - similar to an unsteady spaniel running wild. It might work, sort of, well, maybe sometimes. But it could be done far, far, far better with some training. And most gundog guys would rather see good dog work and not get birds than blast away at wild flushes by unsteadying dogs.

  5. #64
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    Exactly. I could never understand why people bought "pointing Labs". If you want a pointing dog get a pointing breed. My Britt will retrieve ducks but that breed can't stop moving for more than 15 seconds how would that be a good choice when trying to stay concealed in a blind? I think the OP needs to seriously look at a versatile breed.
    Iím suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I trust a dog who doesn't like a person.

  6. #65
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    Werner, you are spot on!!!
    finfurfeathers, I concede - you make a good point. There are dogs, guns, equipment, styles for us all. I apologize if I wasn't clear.
    A capable/experienced pointing dog should adjust to the hunting opportunities that are provided to said dog if this dog understands the expectation. This does include some direction from the owner however "range" is a much misrepresented victim. As such, range is rarely too far or too close. More-often-than-not, "range" is a word I often link to poor training or an unclear expectation (dog).
    A dog that embraces the teamwork of a successful hunt realizes that success on say, grouse in early season that does not provide an opportunity for a shot simply means we got it wrong. Keep in mind that NO dog gets it right all the time.
    A pointer is often developed by what is successful in the owner's eyes. So, if you hunt a certain way, on certain birds, and have certain expectations, you are doing it right. Hey, I know a chap that had the stunning stock on a Beretta EELL removed and replaced with a custom-fitted expensive gorgeous stock. Subsequently, he hacked up the custom stock because he felt it wasn't right either. Was he wrong? Yet another bragged that his dog was SO good, that sometimes, he didn't even have to waste a shot.
    In my experience, people that have had a number of pointing dogs are too often unaware of the capabilities of a competent bird dog. What they do know is how their previous dogs worked and how some were better than others and how some dogs learn to adjust to THEIR preferred methods easier. Killing birds is at the forefront and success is often measured that way - strictly as a number. And that is why there is usually something for us all. As you know, in some areas of southern Ontario one could hunt for 3 hours and find 2 grouse while in northern Ontario one could hunt 3 hours and find 16. Are we to assume that in the second example the dog is superior? He actually might be perceived to be, because of the exponentially greater opportunities for handling grouse but not because he is a superior dog.
    Furthermore, a decent pointer will automatically adjust from dense early season hardwoods to the prairies simply because it is defined by experience/success and not just range.
    As for the flointer/plusher I stand by my opinion. It's not a flusher and this is where what would normally be relatively decent range for a pointer takes a hit. You will rarely get range right with this dog and over-handling means lost birds. It's not a pointer either because it flushes unpredictably meaning you might have a shot or......??? (This is where the team of fellow hunters comesin, I guess.) If the cover is dense or if once again range takes the blame, the birds flush too far for a decent shot. 20 yards in early season is HUGE. 20 yards in late season is virtually useless - the species/terrain is the determining factor, not the dog. I re-iterate, over-handling means lost birds. If this is your preferred way to hunt - you are doing it 100% right. If you're happy.... Just don't start a fight in the parking lot at Timmies, please!
    I sincerely believe that FAR too many pointing dog owners should have flushers, rather than flointers. At least flushers are VERY good at what they do and provide lots of opportunities for successful shooting, if you haven't hacked up your custom stock.
    Last edited by Ugo; January 26th, 2016 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by werner.reiche View Post

    If a guy is using a pointer to flush birds, that would have a lot of people scratching their heads - similar to an unsteady spaniel running wild. .
    There is were you got it a bit wrong. An unsteady spaniel is a product of poor training where as a pointer that flushes on command is a product of training.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  8. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by finsfurfeathers View Post
    There is were you got it a bit wrong. An unsteady spaniel is a product of poor training where as a pointer that flushes on command is a product of training.
    The "on command" part is the part that I didn't get. So the dog points, and after you walk up to it, it flushes on command. That's not a problem...but why is range an issue then?

  9. #68
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    Finfurfeathers, I just want you to know it was not my intention to "slam" anyone. Good question Werner!

  10. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by werner.reiche View Post
    The "on command" part is the part that I didn't get. So the dog points, and after you walk up to it, it flushes on command. That's not a problem...but why is range an issue then?

    Range is not an issue for me. Simply I like to see my dog work the point is secondary. Not much enjoyment for me if I don't have eyes on the dog. She could point a dozen birds but if I didn't see the work leading up to it kind really not that satisfying.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  11. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by finsfurfeathers View Post
    Range is not an issue for me. Simply I like to see my dog work the point is secondary. Not much enjoyment for me if I don't have eyes on the dog. She could point a dozen birds but if I didn't see the work leading up to it kind really not that satisfying.
    So the dog doesn't point? How do you flush on command then?

    I like watching a flusher work, but part of that work is being rock-steady on the flush.
    Without that, there's no safe shot, which makes the first part of the work of little use - a job only half done.

    About the over-handling - if you have to handle a dog too much, then its not the dogs finding the birds...it's the handler using the dogs to find birds...as one trainer told me, if you're going to do that, you might as well just throw rocks in the brush to flush the birds... He could be a bit harsh with pointing things out.
    Last edited by werner.reiche; January 26th, 2016 at 11:08 AM.

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