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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As my forum name implies, I hunt alone. Not because I'm unsafe with my weapon handling, or a "sparkling personality" that everyone loves to hate; it's because I am the only one in my family who hunts the seasons i do. Everyone in my family does ONE thing. Archery Elk. Period. End of story. I do everything else. Winter coyote on occasion. Spring turkey. Summer scouting hikes. Elk and/or deer muzzle loader in the fall. I might even do rifle elk if I feel like I don't mind the orange army.

In all my hiking and hunting, and most of my camping, i am always by myself. This last year, excepting when I was in camp (wife has asthma, daughter is too young), I hunted 8 days in the manti by myself during the deer hunt. This last spike elk, I spent another 4 days in the mountains by myself in November. Often in spring turkey, ill go away for 3 day weekends, and I'll be turkey hunting/camping the whole time by myself. This is just how I roll.

I don't mind it too much, but a having a buddy along who won't spook the game, and won't run off and stay by me would be nice. Now, I know a lot has to do with the individual dog, and training; but any suggestions on breed?
 

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You can never go wrong with a lab. They like you mentioned need some training, but overall they are one of the better companion dogs out there. I love mine like they are my own kids. They are always happy to see you. That being said, I am going to go out on a limb this next time around. I have a neighbor who raises and trains Drahthaar. I have always wanting a dog that will point upland game and still use for waterfowl. I see how good those dogs are with him and it amazes me.

Either way I think what ever dog you choose any breed, they will become what you make them into. Train them how you want. Spend the time with them, show them that you care. Nothing drives me more crazy than when dogs are locked up all year and come out of the kennels for two weeks of hunting. but to each their own. Good luck and enjoy your new hunting companion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well, I've always had a soft spot for chocolate labs. Had one that lived for 17 years growing up. Aside from that, we had a border collie, and aussie Sheppard mix about 3 or 4 years ago. I think it was lymphoma we lost him too. That was hard. He was an awesome camp dog and trail dog, but I definitely couldn't take him hunting. During the evening, he'd go chasing after deer barking up a storm, then come sauntering back into camp all proud of himself. He was a herding dog, so i expected nothing less.


Currently we have a Llwellin setter, and that dog and I just don't get along. This dog is just too hyperactive, clinically - seriously. I forget the name of the condition, but her metabolism is so fast, her body passes her food before her digestive tract can absorb most of the nutrients. On top of that, this is a dog that needs a GPS collar. I can't rely on her to be still, or stay near. If I let her off leash, i'd never find her again. Id have re-homed her already, preferably to someone who could use and work with a dog like that, but my wife is far more dedicated then I, and thinks that because of her condition, that dog will probably never find a better home. But, she's a veterinarian, so I expect nothing less.


Maybe I need to look into dogs used for turkey hunting? I think dogs for turkey hunting is rare, but I have heard of people doing it, and I'm sure those dogs need to be still. Maybe that is the benchmark to use for breed and training?
 

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Do you hunt much for upland or waterfowl? Or are you really looking for a hunting companion, and not so much a "hunting dog"?

The guys I know that use dogs for turkeys use them in the fall, kind of like you would for any other upland bird to locate the flock. The ones I know of then separate into two types: Scatter the flock, then be quiet trying to use some calls to gather the strays back in; or, try to work with the dog and do a point, flush, retrieve deal like more traditional upland hunting with a dog (I only know 2 guys that try this with mixed results from what they tell me as the turkeys tend to bust well before the hunter or dog are in range).

If you are looking for a companion type dog, I think any dog could work and you just need to dedicate some time to obedience training for the behaviors you are wanting (hike at your side, stay quiet/don't bark or chase game, etc). If you also want a dog that will hunt with you for upland AND waterfowl (plus try something for turkeys) any of the versatile breeds should be able to fit that bill with training on your part. I know I have my preferences as to which of those breeds you might look at, but objectively I can admit that there are only pretty narrow distinctions as to why I like "my" breed (pudelpointer) over others.
 

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Okay, that was rude. I was just upset that you are more sophisticated than me. I have never heard of that breed before.

I'm a lab guy, always have been, always will be. But there are lots of cool dog breeds out there. And I personally don't know of any breed that in general would not spook the game while out doing all the things you talk about. But if you find one, let me know! I'd be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm mainly looking at a companion dog that I can take hunting with me. I was talking with my wife about it today, and while she didn't outright tell me no, she let me know in no uncertain terms she's not excited about the idea. She's a little gunshy about having two dogs again. I guess i complained too much about all the dog crap i was scooping up in the backyard. In my defense, we were fostering dogs and THAT was mainly her idea, although I did agree to it, so there's that.

The last dog we fostered was a Karelian Bear dog. That dog destroyed every one of her drip lines in the backyard, dug up a drain line, and despite all that, I still liked him. That dog just worked with me despite all the damage he could do. Only problem with that boy, is if you let him off leash, he'd latch on to something, and chase it tell the ends of the earth. But.. that's what he was breed to do. Really rare breed here in the US. If things around here were different, I'd have kept him, I really liked that boy.

Which leads me to the single dog we have. That dangnable Lwellian setter. The breed was my wifes choice, she likes uncommon or rare dogs, and I have an "off again on again" relationship with that dog. I try to work with this dog, I try to like her, and in the end, she just ticks me off, and I just let her loose in the backyard, give myself a couple weeks, and try again. That dog is incredibly hard to train, because she can't focus. Not for more then a second or maybe four - if your lucky. We've even taken her to training sessions with a behaviorist, and even that gal was saying this dog wasn't normal and should probably be on meds. So at this point, that dog is on daily dose 150 MG of trazadone , probably for life, and it's barely put a dent in her.


She's incredibly hard to train, does what SHE wants to do, doesn't aim to please at all. I still wonder if she's just stupid, stubborn, or both. I can't rely on this dog for anything. It's far easier to just get a second dog and start over, but after the dressing down I got from the wife, I guess I have to do something with this dog. I just don't know what to do anymore. Some months back I was thinking about taking some pictures and posting them here asking if anyone wanted her (with full disclosure) and could work with this dog, but I don't think my wife would have taken to that very well, so I didn't.
 

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Lwellian Setter, Germany Setter, Poodle, Pointer, lab, Terrier, blah, blah...don't matter, if your dog is as you say...get rid of it as fast as you can! It is displaying every "un-doggly" trait there is. It is the opposite of a dog! You are under no humanly obligation to suffer through life with a animal like that.
 

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Okay, that was rude. I was just upset that you are more sophisticated than me. I have never heard of that breed before.

I'm a lab guy, always have been, always will be. But there are lots of cool dog breeds out there. And I personally don't know of any breed that in general would not spook the game while out doing all the things you talk about. But if you find one, let me know! I'd be interested.
You just hate cause you love me Vanillabean ;)

And for the record, my pudelpointer knows the difference when I want her to look for birds or rabbits or just to stay by my side nice and quiet when we're big game hunting. She's been along for caribou, moose, bear (black and grizzly), and goat hunts even (including a November goat hunt at only 6 months old). And she's a total machine on grouse, ptarmigan, and water retrieves. She's pretty incredible, has never spooked game and I've even trained her to warn me if a grizzly is near. Pretty handy when I'm salmon fishing solo after midnight. And best of all she is nice and relaxed in the house, barely sheds, and doesn't bug people's allergies.

And no, pudelpointer is not a poodle mix like a Labradoodle. Very different ;)
 

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Basset hound. When it comes to training, they start out a little slow, but then as the dog starts to really get into the training it tapers off from there. Plus, the dog is not likely to outrun you by much if it decides to follow a trail. This is all in jest of course.

My bet is that a lab would be your best bet. However, I had a lab once. It was a good looking dog, but had anti-lab tendencies; It didn't like the water, it hated to play fetch, and it was not easy to obedience train. (I did not train it to be a hunter.) It was, however, extremely interested in birds. This is to introduce the concept that, although there are breed tendencies, the traits of the individual dog may trump breed tendencies.

A springer spaniel would be my choice, except that if it is a field-bred springer it might be too hyperactive and have too much hunting drive to be the kind of dog you are looking for. This may be a good segue into a general suggestion, which is to avoid most hunting breeds because when you are out in the woods the hunting dog is going to want to get out and hunt. (Here's what the dog is thinking "I'm ready to go coach. Put me into the game. I just can't stand sitting here watching when I could be out there on the playing field.") The same goes for terriers. Some retriever breeds might be an exception to this, since traditionally they were bred for the trait to sit by their master and wait for the right time to do their work.

Actually, a poodle might be a good possibility. Most poodle lines are bred to be good companion dogs, and they are smart. They used to be hunters, and some may still have hunting drive, but most are just going to want to be your companion.

I had a bloodhound many years ago. That would not be a good choice for you. They have just about the sweetest disposition you can imagine, which is good, but they have only one thing on their mind, and that is to find a trail and follow it. That's not what you want in your situation. (Not a helpful comment I realize, but I couldn't resist sharing my experience with a bloodhound, pretty much the coolest dogs ever.)
 

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Labs are great dogs! But I am thinking of getting a pudelpointer because I’m too old to try and run up hill after chuckars when he flushes them. I think a key to having a good dog is spending time with it, no matter what breed you get they need the time.
 

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I like my wirehaired pointing griffon--great camping dog, and family dog. She is a decent hunting dog, and would probably do fine on a rifle hunt. She's smart and she doesn't bark or shed. WPG might intrigue your wife if she's into unique breeds. Pudelpoint is another one to consider as Johnnycake mentioned.
 

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I love my Pudel Pointers- hunting and hiking- but as a general companion- I would have the WPG - just a bit less wired is all- heck I think my wifes ****zu is going to be my boat dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I like my wirehaired pointing griffon--great camping dog, and family dog. She is a decent hunting dog, and would probably do fine on a rifle hunt. She's smart and she doesn't bark or shed. WPG might intrigue your wife if she's into unique breeds. Pudelpoint is another one to consider as Johnnycake mentioned.
I've never heard of that breed before. Definitely a fascinating breed to read up on.
 

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WPGs definitely have a stronger off switch than pudelpointers that I've seen. I have seen that bleed over to the field a bit too much for my tastes though, I want at least SOME giddyap in the dog! But among the versatile breeds WPGs and wirehaired vizlas seem to have the best house manners.
 

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This discussion is of particular interest to me right now. I'm still trying to figure out if/when and what we will get to fill the hole left two years ago by my old boy (black lab) passing.

Keep the suggestions coming!
 

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Dogs will have house manners they are taught, it's not always breed specific. Even within a given breed, intensity can vary greatly based on the specific individual litter/breeding pair. What they do in the house is what they are allowed to get away with.

OP...if you're not set on needing a specific hunting dog and just want a partner in crime, maybe go to a local dog shelter. I have a couple friends who did that and have fantastic hiking/camping dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just had a crazy idea. What about a draft dog? That might be handy if setting up a small camp in the backcountry, though I'd have to wonder how such a dog and small cart would work off trail. Especially on slopes. Probably not well at all.
 

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Don't get an English Pointer. Al they will want to do is cover country and find birds. Not going to be a good fit for the OP. They are a specialized breed. Better to stick with a versatile breed--jack of all trades, master of none.
 
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