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I'm thinking of getting a second dog. I've never wanted two but my retriever is so horribly gun shy that she now won't even try to hunt. Bird = gun, gun = bad, thus bird = bad. After years of trying to work it out (she's 5) I've given up. The family loves her so she's just a pet now. I've been thinking of getting a Pointer like a Brittney or Wrirehair in hopes of getting a better bird dog. I like the longer haired dogs - they are more willing in the cold. But I like the personality of the lab / retriever a bit more though I've never had a pointer so maybe that's not fair. I've been seeing these Lab Pointer mixes and wondering if that would be a good way to go. Anybody got any experience with this kind of a mix? Am I risking getting a dog that wont hunt?
FYI all we do is upland game we don't waterfowl.
 

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I've got a 3 year old springador (chocolate lab/ springer Spaniel mix) and she's a great dog. She's got the lab temperament where my kids can wrestle all day with her and she's as gentle as can be. I haven't spent much time hunting over here yet, but from the time I've gotten her out in some fields for practice she's jumped 10+ pheasants, dozens of doves and pointed out a few other random game birds. I think they are a great overall mix.
 

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Mavis,

You could get the best of both worlds. You could get a dog that points and retrieves effectively. Or you might get the worst of both worlds. You could get a dog that ranges like a pointer and flushes like a lab. That would suck!
 

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Unless it is an "oops" litter of two fine hunting dogs, take a pass and get either a nicely bred Lab from filed lines or a nicely bred pointer from field lines or a nicely bred... whatever.

Otherwise you might as well get yourself a doodle at the pound.

Think about it. If you, yourself, have a great Labrador, would you cross it with a mystery pointer? Or vice versa, if you have a fabulous pointer, would you purposefully breed it to a Lab???
 

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You can get a good mixed dog from the pound- flip of the coin - take your chance- 1 thin dime -one tenth of a dollar to see little Egypt dance- your percentage goes way up from a dog from a good hunting line breeder. I probably suck as a trainer except that I do get the dogs out- have 2 great dogs because of the genes.
 

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I have a 1 year old wirehaired pointing griffon /lab mix, he is doing good the only thing I have noticed is that he slower to learn what to do but when he knows he's does it to near perfection, my 3 year old yellow lab always has to be told 3 or 4 times. Far as pointing goes he has been iffy.
 

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If you are looking for a dog that points reliably and retrieves strongly including in the water then consider one of the following

Wirehaired pointer/Deutsch Drahthaar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Wirehaired_Pointer

Pudelpointer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pudelpointer

Both have a very strong prey drive and I have seen them working a reed bed for 20+ minutes looking for a bird.

The wirehairs are great all round dogs
The DD are a specific line of wirehairs and have an incredibly strong prey drive but are hard headed and need a bit more of a skilled/firm trainer

The pudelpointers are strong pointers and just freaking love the water as well as having a gentler temperament for families and being more forgiving of an amateur trainer like me.
 

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I have a lab/pointer mix...
I use him for chukar, grouse, pheasant, ptarmagin--- & he is a very good dog! Friendly, sleeps in the bed with me every night, plays with my kids, camps with us, hikes with us, goes off roading with us etc.....
-he has bird drive & a nose out of this world!!!
-he is excellent at finding downed birds!!!
-he does point, but if the bird runs on him he will flush.....
I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world!!
Plant community Ecoregion Dog Plant Carnivore
Plant Dog Carnivore Tree Working animal
 

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You have heard numerous opinions and in my view they have all been pretty good. I would offer this. You mentioned that you don't hunt waterfowl but only upland game. If that is truly the case there are benefits to short haired pointers. Consider the temperatures we've had this Sept - Oct so far. My shorthairs fair much better in early season than do longer haired dogs. In January and February my dogs stay active enough on the Chukar hills that they are never slowed down or bothered by the cold at all. the only way I would ever have issues with my shorthairs would be attempting to sit em still in a blind (cold or no) & hunting in the marshes late season. I have less burrs and shedding to address as well.
 

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If you are looking for a pointing dog find one with good breeding. It will make your life a lot easier when it comes to training your dog. I have no idea what I am doing, but my dog has just done it. I credit it to his genes and getting him on birds.

If you want a dog that points and retrieves, look at the versatile hunting dog breeds. Lots of history of good breeders and great genes. I went with a pudelpointer, because of there house manners, willing to please, and pry drive. I love the breed so much I am starting to think about a second dog.
 
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