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Discussion Starter #1
Any thoughts on working a Pointer or Setter with a good retriever? I’m thinking about getting an English Setter or GWP to hunt upland game with my Golden Retriever. He will retrieve anything but tires quickly and flushes without hesitation and likely missed a ton of birds. So I’m thinking we need to get a specialist to find the birds I’ll shoot em and the Retriever can do what he does best.

The Retriever is 8 so I thought it would be a good time to stagger my dogs so I always had one trained up.
 

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I’ve seen it work well but the pointer needs to be broke. So it likely wouldn’t work well nor would i want to even try it in a hunting scenario for a year or two
 

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So you intend to have the pointer find the bird, hold, and you flush and shoot, then, tell the pointer to stay while your GR picks up the bird?? No way in hell is that going to work! I've seen it not work first hand. Either your going to end up with a dog fight or the pointer is just going to be a pain. What's his reward for "doing the work" while the GR gets the spoils of the battle?


I smell trouble, and hell is coming with it.


I think you'd be better off to leave the GR home while chasing upland.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback

I figured that many pointers setters don’t always like to fetch. Isn’t that what the whole force fetch deal is? To teach a dog he likes to put a bird in his mouth and bring it back.

I get that in the heat of the battle the pointer won’t stay and just let the Retriever work. The more I ponder this and read up on it. I believe it is a sh!t show waiting to happen. It may work in certain situations. But would be a crap shoot on getting a pup that would be a good match with my retriver given that he would be a good partner to the pup which I have no idea about.

Anyway it’s a nice thought to me. That Duece and I could get the birds like you others do. I guess I’ll wait until the old boy is ready to retire. Then I’ll try a proper upland dog out.
 

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I had pointers in the past when there were wild Pheasants galore. They're fun to watch and great at what they do. (Point and hold until released) I lost a dog for 30 minutes in a cattail swamp area because he was on point and I couldn't get to him to release him. That was a long evening.


I loved the Wirehair for chukers! Gave me enough time to catch up to the birds and be ready for the flush.


Both breads have their place for sure.
 

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I agree with Brendo. It could work once your pointer is totally steady, but that will take a couple of years.
 

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Just my opinion, but if you get a GWP to pair up with the retriever and don't let it retrieve you're setting the pup up for frustration and a lack of fulfillment. GWPs are not just a pointer, but are a versatile pointer, retriever, and tracker.
 

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Just my opinion, but if you get a GWP to pair up with the retriever and don't let it retrieve you're setting the pup up for frustration and a lack of fulfillment. GWPs are not just a pointer, but are a versatile pointer, retriever, and tracker.
Well said johnnycake!
 

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I’ve been around a lot of English pointers over the years and most of them are good retrievers. If you develop the puppy while it’s young and play fetch a bunch it comes naturally. No need to bring along a retriever when the pointers do it all.
 

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All I can tell you is my male setter has always been very calm from a pup and didn't want to chase anything that moved like my female. In my experience males seem calmer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
^^^^^

That’s good to hear. It may not be the best for hunting but I’d prefer a mellow dog for the other 340 days a year we aren’t hunting. Does your male hunt well?

My condolences on your recent loss.
 

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"Moose" never ran too far out like Daysi. They are beautiful loving dogs great for a family pet too. Just cut the long hair on their legs and tails for hunting season. Wish more people would get them they are a vanishing breed .
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I think English Setters are really cool dogs and would be right down my alley.
 

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I loved my old Irish Setter. Beautiful dog, and he was a "do it all" type. Smart, great nose, great retriever. All around good "pal" of a dog. Miss him alot.

Rare to see Irish Setters now-a-days. They've kindof become less popular than some other breeds.


(not my dog, but he looked very close to this)

-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The dog I have now gets accused of being an Irish setter every now and then. 😉
 

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My old pup is a Springer spaniel/Nova Scotia Duck Toller mix and she has always done this slow creep on birds, once she knows where they are. If I took the time I bet I could've got her to point. But we mostly run on ducks and she's the best retriever I've ever hunted with by far. Springers are a great combo between pointers and flushers/retrievers, but they have a hell of a lot more energy than most setters I've seen.
 

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I had a red heeler that could hunt Pheasants just as good as any other dog in the field. He'd retrieve sticks all day long, but never could get him to bring a bird back.
 

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I've seen a few people hunt with both and it's worked pretty well. The setter must be good, or plain bad and that would probably work too. My setter HATES to retrieve birds. It's probably my fault because he was with another individual as a young puppy and he never really got any fun games with fetch. He'll chase and retrieve a ball or a stick a few times in the yard before he gets bored. I gave him a few years to try and figure it out. After downing a bird he'll run to it, put it in his mouth, pull out a few feathers and then go on his merry way finding another bird to point.

He has been force fetched and does amazing with wooden dowels, bumpers, and even bumpers with wings. Live bird? Frozed bird? Spits it out unless I physically put it in his mouth and force the hold. We go through the program again this winter and spring and he'll probably come around.

When I hunt with my brother in law who has a lab....my dog points, either us or his dog flushes and retrieves. My dog seems totally content with the plan and couldn't care less to get the bird in his mouth. He seems to just want to point. So maybe it would work with a lab and setter together!
 
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