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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok I have a dilemma; I have been giving approval to get another puppy soon. Which would you go with and why? Lab Vs. Drathaar

I love labs, they have great temperaments, good family dogs and do great at retrieving. Some I have had in the past just haven't had that good of a nose. So with that, I have been looking into getting a pointing lab. I hear that they have a better nose. But in talking with some neighbors (one of which is a dog trainer) They mention that I should go with a Deutsch Drahthaar. They said they are much smarter dogs, have great noses and most traits of a Lab.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for each????
 

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I have a GWP, not a DD. (Genetically the same dog, but has different breeding requirements)

Wirehairs do not have lab personalities.

Wirehair's are intelligent, affectionate, strong willed, and dominant. -Sometimes clownish.

Lab's are intelligent, affectionate, even willed, and passive. - Bubbly

In my experience (having experience with both) wirehairs are more intelligent, but it comes at a cost. They would make good politicians, because they learn how to bend the rules as fast as they learn the rules.

Wirehairs have great noses. DD's will be bred for chasing, capturing, and killing rabbits/foxes - so they will naturally hunt them too. You can train them away from it, but the desire to kill your neighbors cat will always be there.

If you offered a wirehair an opportunity to hunt or a steak it would take the hunt every time. They live for hunting and it is hard at times for them to turn the off switch. Their game drive is a drug. When I take mine to the dog park, he is looking for a way to hunt the birds on the outside of the park.

Wirehairs will be the boss of you if you let them be. They will tend to be dominating if allowed to be. It can be a problem with kids and spouses that let the dog do whatever it wants.

Wirehairs need to be mentally stimulated or they will find ways to stimulate themselves mentally. (Like GSP's)

Wirehairs need a boat load of exercise and they do not tire easily. Mine is a couch potato at home and tireless in the field. You can walk labs, but you need to run wirehairs.

I don't want to make it sound like wirehairs are awful, but at the same time knowledge is power and people make the mistake of getting wirehair without knowing what the dog is programmed to do and it can lead to the dog getting sent to a rescue. (Same thing happens with Chessies)

If you want a versatile dog with the traits of a lab, then get a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (Better nose than lab). Griffs were designed for a walking hunter. GWP's were designed to range a little further and may require a more brisk pace. Labs and other flushers should range a little closer.
 

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I have a GWP, not a DD. (Genetically the same dog, but has different breeding requirements)

Wirehairs do not have lab personalities.

Wirehair's are intelligent, affectionate, strong willed, and dominant. -Sometimes clownish.

Lab's are intelligent, affectionate, even willed, and passive. - Bubbly

In my experience (having experience with both) wirehairs are more intelligent, but it comes at a cost. They would make good politicians, because they learn how to bend the rules as fast as they learn the rules.

Wirehairs have great noses. DD's will be bred for chasing, capturing, and killing rabbits/foxes - so they will naturally hunt them too. You can train them away from it, but the desire to kill your neighbors cat will always be there.

If you offered a wirehair an opportunity to hunt or a steak it would take the hunt every time. They live for hunting and it is hard at times for them to turn the off switch. Their game drive is a drug. When I take mine to the dog park, he is looking for a way to hunt the birds on the outside of the park.

Wirehairs will be the boss of you if you let them be. They will tend to be dominating if allowed to be. It can be a problem with kids and spouses that let the dog do whatever it wants.

Wirehairs need to be mentally stimulated or they will find ways to stimulate themselves mentally. (Like GSP's)

Wirehairs need a boat load of exercise and they do not tire easily. Mine is a couch potato at home and tireless in the field. You can walk labs, but you need to run wirehairs.

I don't want to make it sound like wirehairs are awful, but at the same time knowledge is power and people make the mistake of getting wirehair without knowing what the dog is programmed to do and it can lead to the dog getting sent to a rescue. (Same thing happens with Chessies)

If you want a versatile dog with the traits of a lab, then get a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (Better nose than lab). Griffs were designed for a walking hunter. GWP's were designed to range a little further and may require a more brisk pace. Labs and other flushers should range a little closer.
In my opinion, this description couldn't be more spot on. You cannot go wrong if you follow the advice in the post above. I have both a chocolate lab and a DD. Its hard to compare the two since my lab is 8 and she is slowing down, and my DD is 3 so he is a ball of energy. Haha! They are both awesome with my wife and kids. The lab is a lot more mellow and affectionate, where the DD is a lot more energetic and has to be worked and entertained more everyday. Good thing I have 4 kids that love to play fetch with the dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What are you going to use it for?
First of all thanks for everyone's reply's.

I would like most of all a good family dog. I still have some young kids at home. Also with that being said, The boss at home doesn't give me enough kitchen passes. So I don't get out and hunt as much as I would like. But I am getting into the water foul a lot more every year. This is about the 6th year of hunting ducks. I am sick of trudging through the mossy, knee deep mud to retrieve my bird. I would love a dog to do that. But I also really enjoy upland game, Pheasant hunting is one of my favorite past times. .Now my kids are old enough I would like them to enjoy like I did. We had a lab short hair mix, she was a fantastic dog. She would on occasion point for us, which I loved to see. I like to see dogs work the field, it amazes me on how smart they are. So basically I want a all around dog.
 

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First of all thanks for everyone's reply's.

I would like most of all a good family dog. I still have some young kids at home. Also with that being said, The boss at home doesn't give me enough kitchen passes. So I don't get out and hunt as much as I would like. But I am getting into the water foul a lot more every year. This is about the 6th year of hunting ducks. I am sick of trudging through the mossy, knee deep mud to retrieve my bird. I would love a dog to do that. But I also really enjoy upland game, Pheasant hunting is one of my favorite past times. .Now my kids are old enough I would like them to enjoy like I did. We had a lab short hair mix, she was a fantastic dog. She would on occasion point for us, which I loved to see. I like to see dogs work the field, it amazes me on how smart they are. So basically I want a all around dog.
Whatever dog you end up getting, training is going to be key, both for house manners and hunting. Consider a pro for the hunting stuff, but if you decide to do it yourself, there are a lot of great people that can help you.

From what it you said about wanting a good family dog first, I would recommend a lab, but either breed would be great if you are willing to put in the time to train them.

Finally, put in the time to research pedigree's, and spend the little extra to get a good pedigree. Whichever breed you get.
 

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If you're open to it, I've loved my Boykin Spaniel. I've always been a lab guy as well but after some research ended up with a Boykin and he's been a phenomenal dog. Great family dog (I have 4 kids under 8), loyal beyond belief, pretty easy to train, smart, and mine will retrieve all day long. He stays close for upland but Boykin's are flushers, not pointers. I've just started getting into waterfowl the last couple of years and he's retrieved a few ducks for me that I wouldn't have been able to recover without him. Geese are a bit on the large size for him as Boykins aren't a big dog but they have good noses and can't be beat as far as a family dog goes.

They are very social and crave being around their master. I can leave mine in the front yard, go inside for a half hour and when I come out he'll be sitting on the front steps waiting for me. They are also energetic an require a fair amount of exercise, but playing fetch and a regular walk typically suffice.

Not to create more confusion to your decision but I had to throw them out there as an option. Labs are great, as are many of the others mentioned. You have to figure out what breed works best for your situation and lifestyle. I really only brought up the Boykin Spaniel because you mentioned a family dog and kids.
Hardison Snow by jamaulwall, on Flickr
Hardison 2013 by jamaulwall, on Flickr
Hardison 2014 by jamaulwall, on Flickr
This video just shows how great they are with kids, notice my 2 year old pulling on his hair with no reaction... I don't usually let him do the tug of war thing but the kids were having too much fun to stop it. Plus, he still obeys the 'give' command for me so no harm no foul.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whatever dog you end up getting, training is going to be key, both for house manners and hunting. Consider a pro for the hunting stuff, but if you decide to do it yourself, there are a lot of great people that can help you.

From what it you said about wanting a good family dog first, I would recommend a lab, but either breed would be great if you are willing to put in the time to train them.

Finally, put in the time to research pedigree's, and spend the little extra to get a good pedigree. Whichever breed you get.
I will be doing the training myself. Well for the most part. I have a 13 yr old boy who really wants to get into training dogs. He wants to help me the whole way.
But did I have a previous lab that I trained myself. She was great. I could throw out 6 dummies and send and stop her on anyone of those on land and water. She did great with hand signals and directions. But she just didn't have the nose I was looking for. But with that said. I have never really worked with anything that pointed.
I also totally agree with you on Pedigree. I honestly feel, you get what you pay for. If I was to go with the Dratharr, I would be talking with my neighbor, but I think he has a 3 yr. waiting period unless someone backs out. With a lab, I have been looking at some Kennels back in the Midwest. Unless anyone knows a good pointing lab breeder here in Utah.
 

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He would be the first guy I'd talk to in detail. He knows his breedings and would give you straight opinion on whether a DD would fit your needs. Shane produces some of the best DD's around and is a great resource on the breed.

I've owned labs and have a DD (Vom Wasatch O Litter) and PP (Stones Throw Kennels - Larry Stone) under roof right now. If your limited in "passes" and limited in upland and geared more toward waterfowl....my $.02's would be to go with a lab out of the three. Any and all of the breeds mentioned can do what you want, but you have to remember they will be under roof for the other 8 months of the year your not hunting them. My DD has a lot of horse power. Good manners, but needs to go and needs a stronger hand in training at times. My PP's have been in general "softer"but my current one is more aggressive toward other dogs and fur, but again...great mannered with the family.
 

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He would be the first guy I'd talk to in detail. He knows his breedings and would give you straight opinion on whether a DD would fit your needs. Shane produces some of the best DD's around and is a great resource on the breed.
I have seen and heard some of the things Shane's dog do. It just amazes me. He does a fantastic job with those dogs.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Better upland dogs? DD
Better waterfowl dogs? Labs
Agreed. I have one of each. My lab is a retrieving fool. I've winged birds that have soared 100+ yards out of sight, and it they touch the ground, he's bringing them back to me. He is high energy and is a big running dog.

DD or GWPs are bird finding machines. My lab has learned to follow him and retrieve anything I happen not to miss. The other thing about these dogs is they will go all day long. He lopes along, always in hunt mode, and can do it all day. My lab, on the other hand, goes 1000 mph, then wears down after a couple hours of upland hunting, at which point he's right on my heels the rest of the way.

My preference: the GWP, because I hunt 95% upland. If I hunted more waterfowl I'd stick with a lab.
 

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We had some things arise with our family this past year that forced us to get rid of a DD that came from Shane. Passed him on to a guy and his family on this forum. Best dog I have ever had. My family and I regret the decision every day. We have been without a dog for the past few months after having them for the past 23 years. Our house feels empty.
 
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