GSP for duckhunting

Share hunting dog tips, hunting dog training questions or links of interest here.

Moderators: HNTFSH, hunt-chessies, captainkevan, swampbilly 1980

GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:27 am

I have read most of the past posts about GSPs and whether or not they can make good duck dogs. Definitely some heated discussion that seems to become a comparison between labs and GSPs. Not looking to go that way with this post if possible. :lol3:

listening to the advice from the forums I got on a waiting list for the best breeding I could find with the best pick of the litter I could manage. The breeders (the dam was available to view, the stud dog was available by phone) talked about how biddable the dogs were, easy to train with an extremely high natural desire to retrieve. Previous pups from the stud were proven performers and the parents were both well titled. I could have saved a few bucks but finding the best breeding possible and waiting for the litter and until I saved a few more dollars was the best thing I could have done.
She is now just over a year old and she is performing great. Part of the success is the breeder is also a professional trainer that I return to every other week or so. She earned junior title in one weekend at 11 months, scored a 112 prize one in NA, and has two legs of her senior hunter title in AKC. She will be an excellent upland dog.
In the Northeast the only pheasant we see is stocked public lands. I do a lot more duck hunting so I needed to start a training program for retrieving. Excellent advice from the forum -get a program and stick with it, and get professional help when you need it!
My GSP loves the water and loves to retrieve more than most, but again these are the traits that were from the parents.(good breeding shouldn't be underestimated)
Back to pile work was easy, simple casting was a breeze and after just a month of training we signed up for the GSPCA water dog test and managed a RD title. We will be ready for the expert level next year with out a doubt. She had to retrieve two ducks for the test. Her first flyer was crippled and swam into a little cove and hid in the vegetation ended up about 175 yards away. She retrieved the second duck quick and easy but had to hunt the first one up. I could only help get her in the general area no one knew exactly where the duck was. She has such a high prey drive she knew there was a duck to find and she was not going to quit until she found it or I called her back. That kind of tenacity is what a duck dog is for me.
One of the other dog owners said something to me "so much prey drive maybe she wont be steady, hey". I have been working on remote sit and as the trainer has helped me understand Sit means Sit. Because she is biddable and wants to please she will stay put........mostly :smile: she still is a GSP high energy dog, a really good dog, but not perfect. We are training to retriever standards and just completed swim by. This is cool stuff. I understand when the Lab guys are bragging on their dogs, my GSP is not a lab but she is starting to perform on a level that should impress my hunting buddy.
I was concerned about the amount of control required for retrieving and how it might effect the upland work but she seems to understand the difference between the two. For fun we do triple marks with orange bumpers thru the nastiest thickest lilly pads at the swamp and I quit before she will. I think my GSP is going to be a pretty good duck dog for the upcoming season. I cant wait to see her perform. In our area last few years the water was warm until late December when it started to freeze. I have never sent any dog thru the ice and have always made sure I had a way to warm them up. I don't think the cold will be a problem if I am careful and look after my dog. (no different than what I do for my lab)
I would like to hear from other GSP owners and how they are making out with their dogs and if they are having the same success with retrieving. So far everything has been going great, are there any pitfalls waiting for my GSP? I was thinking about entering her in some AKC retriever tests to see how she does, anyone have experience with this?
Attachments
GSP.jpg
GSP.jpg (28.91 KiB) Viewed 1322 times
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am


Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Duckdon » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:47 am

At 1 year she sounds like she is doing great. Looks good too. Don
Forgive me for being arrogant. I own 2 Drahthaar's.
User avatar
Duckdon
hunter
 
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:38 am
Location: Chugiak, Alaska

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:58 pm

awesome stuff. If you havent already done so go and buy her a neoprene cot/jacket, they not only keep your dog warmer they help them float..infact they swim level not bum down like normal if they have a jacket on. my old GSP cross bitch loved her coat and it was piece of mind when she was out in deep water on a long retrieve. the cold water whine was her biggest fault so keeping them warm has the battle won before it starts.
User avatar
Elvis Kiwi
hunter
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:16 am
Location: South Island New Zealand

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:44 am

A vest is a good idea. She is a lean dog and doesn't tread water on the remote sit as well as I have seen labs doing it.
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:46 am

A vest is a good idea. She is a lean dog and doesn't tread water on the remote sit as well as I have seen labs doing it.
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby dogyak » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:03 am

I have never hunted with one on a duck hunt . But I will say they can get the job done . We had a guy from Orlando Fl , who would come up and train with us at our retriever club training days . The dog was a great marker doing doubles as a season retriever on land and water ( not the best swimmer , but got it done ) . Also ran blinds and took the casts like a pro . If I only hunted in warm conditions all the time and not big water swim's -- I would use one in a heart beat !
dogyak
hunter
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:18 pm
Location: FL

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Legband#1 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:36 pm

I have labs and shorthairs and I would put my GSP up against any dog out there on retrieves ,
She marks very well, she has a soft mouth and she doesn't monkey around after she picks the bird up she brings it straight to hand.
We have two rivers that run through my best quail spot, and I have made second bird shots and dropped a bird all the way across the river she swims the current and makes the retrieve beautifully.
So I decided to leave my lab at home one morning and take Livy my GSP it was a frosty morning but she was excited , my two sons and I got into the mallards early and Livy was all over them, but with in an hour the differences in my chocolate (colt) and Livy became very apparent . Her lack of body fat that makes her fast and Mobil for quail , allowed her to Chill in the cold water
And while she had great drive and desire for the bird the water was a obstacle to over come, Colt on the other hand didn't want to come out of the water. When I am picking up decoys Livy the GSP found any place dry she could to sit , while Colt has his head under the water looking for the decoy anchors he like to bring to me.
And he should love the water his line had three hundred years of breeding as a fish Retreiver in New Finland before the second Earl of Malmesbury ever made a bird retriever out of the bread , he is a true water dog .
Now don't get me wrong I love German Short Hairs a more graceful hard driving upland dog you will never find , but labs were bread to swim down as far as 15' and bring back fish that got off the barbless hooks of the 1400's and later , it's not a fair comparison
And I raise and love both , so I'm not bias or prejudice it is just a fact.

Joe Hendrex
Marsh Mutt ProStaff
Joe Hendrex
Hughson Waterfowl
Marsh Mutt Pro-Staff
G&H Decoy Pro-Staff
User avatar
Legband#1
hunter
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:30 pm
Location: Central California USA

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:13 am

legband that is as well as Ive ever seen it put :clapping:
good on you for being so honest :thumbsup:
apples is apples at the end of the day :beer:
User avatar
Elvis Kiwi
hunter
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:16 am
Location: South Island New Zealand

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Dawnsearlylight » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:08 am

Legband#1 wrote:I have labs and shorthairs and I would put my GSP up against any dog out there on retrieves ,
She marks very well, she has a soft mouth and she doesn't monkey around after she picks the bird up she brings it straight to hand.
We have two rivers that run through my best quail spot, and I have made second bird shots and dropped a bird all the way across the river she swims the current and makes the retrieve beautifully.
So I decided to leave my lab at home one morning and take Livy my GSP it was a frosty morning but she was excited , my two sons and I got into the mallards early and Livy was all over them, but with in an hour the differences in my chocolate (colt) and Livy became very apparent . Her lack of body fat that makes her fast and Mobil for quail , allowed her to Chill in the cold water
And while she had great drive and desire for the bird the water was a obstacle to over come, Colt on the other hand didn't want to come out of the water. When I am picking up decoys Livy the GSP found any place dry she could to sit , while Colt has his head under the water looking for the decoy anchors he like to bring to me.
And he should love the water his line had three hundred years of breeding as a fish Retreiver in New Finland before the second Earl of Malmesbury ever made a bird retriever out of the bread , he is a true water dog .
Now don't get me wrong I love German Short Hairs a more graceful hard driving upland dog you will never find , but labs were bread to swim down as far as 15' and bring back fish that got off the barbless hooks of the 1400's and later , it's not a fair comparison
And I raise and love both , so I'm not bias or prejudice it is just a fact.

Joe Hendrex
Marsh Mutt ProStaff



This ^x2. I would not ask a dog built for upland work to hold up in the conditions retrievers work in, any more than I would expect a water dog to hold up on a long upland hunt in hot weather. When I worked the preserve a guy with his FC springer insisted on working the water spot with his dog on a 30 degree day, and the dog quit after 3 retrieves (she obviously had more sense that the owner). I don't care if you wrap the entire dog in a wetsuit, the lack of coat, body fat and tail puts the dog at a disadvantage in cold water, and puts it's health and safety at risk; and it doesn't take extreme cold to cause hypothermia.

Op, you want to ask your lovely Thoroughbred to do a Clydesdale's job; will she do it, probably for a little while, but that doesn't mean she should do it. Dogs with drive will do all kinds of things that endanger their very lives, it is up to the owner to keep them safe.
The lab and golden think: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; they must be gods."
The Chesapeake thinks: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; I must be a God."
User avatar
Dawnsearlylight
hunter
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: western NY

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:54 am

My lab before he retired (13 years old ) would break the ice to cool off. Body fat and coat is an important part of staying warm. I wish I had the time, money and/or knowledge to have trained him better than I did but he was a great "meat dog". In my area of the north east we had a couple of cold days but for the most part no real cold weather until January. 3 Retrieves is about all we need most days :lol3:
For me duck hunting is about spending an insane extra amount of time with the dogs and if it was not for them I would probably just go and deer hunt. I have a griffon and her coat gets wet and stays wet, she will refuse to retrieve on real cold days and I don't push the issue. My GSP will do anything I ask and I will need to be careful of that. I love my dogs and will take the utmost care in protecting them from hypothermia, as well as anything else. Once a dog is saturated with water and labs get wet too, they all have the potential for hypothermia if the conditions are right. I want to spend the time with them so I am going to give it a try, with the utmost of caution. I will quit and go home, if undressing and giving my dog my jackets and the wool blanket and the heater, doesn't keep them warm enough. :smile: Really if they just ride along and watch me retrieve i am ok with that too.
Body fat......you think that might be why the labs can tread water so much better?
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Dawnsearlylight » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:22 am

Tanner01 wrote:My lab before he retired (13 years old ) would break the ice to cool off. Body fat and coat is an important part of staying warm. I wish I had the time, money and/or knowledge to have trained him better than I did but he was a great "meat dog". In my area of the north east we had a couple of cold days but for the most part no real cold weather until January. 3 Retrieves is about all we need most days :lol3:
For me duck hunting is about spending an insane extra amount of time with the dogs and if it was not for them I would probably just go and deer hunt. I have a griffon and her coat gets wet and stays wet, she will refuse to retrieve on real cold days and I don't push the issue. My GSP will do anything I ask and I will need to be careful of that. I love my dogs and will take the utmost care in protecting them from hypothermia, as well as anything else. Once a dog is saturated with water and labs get wet too, they all have the potential for hypothermia if the conditions are right. I want to spend the time with them so I am going to give it a try, with the utmost of caution. I will quit and go home, if undressing and giving my dog my jackets and the wool blanket and the heater, doesn't keep them warm enough. :smile: Really if they just ride along and watch me retrieve i am ok with that too.
Body fat......you think that might be why the labs can tread water so much better?


Higher body fat vs. muscle = better buoyancy. Retrievers with good coats (double coats with lots of oil) will shed water much more easily than dogs without same, and take longer to get soaked. Things like keeping a dog in a heated house, spending little time in water, insisting a dog deliver before shaking, etc. are not conducive to growing a good coat/keeping a dog dry, even if the dog has the genetics to produce one. I actually encourage my dogs to gain a few pounds before late season.
The lab and golden think: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; they must be gods."
The Chesapeake thinks: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; I must be a God."
User avatar
Dawnsearlylight
hunter
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: western NY

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:26 am

Some of the field trail labs I have seen can be as lean as my GSP.
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby labsforme » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:38 am

Tanner, Trial labs may look thinner and have less body fat than most that are not worked to that extreme but they have a much thicker coat than GSP. I got into labs because of trialing GSP.I duck hunted GSP in So Cal prior to getting trial dogs. Look at my avatar dog.On the small side and is doing All Age work but weights 60 lbs and a super coat. I was in NAVHDA in the early 70's and know Bodo. For a good all around dog GSP are great but have limitations.

Jeff
User avatar
labsforme
hunter
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:25 pm
Location: Or

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:08 am

60 lbs with a build like that is what my next lab will be like. My lab is in pretty good shape and we keep him lean because of his age but he is a food whore and it is is tough. When he hunted I had trouble keeping him under 90lbs, now that he is older he is a fit 85lbs, Changed his food a couple of years ago to solid gold and what a difference it made. I supplement raw with some additional supplements, at least he isn't grazing in the yard like a cow anymore!
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby labsforme » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:19 am

Tanner, Nice looking dog. Now go for the Utility prize.
Last edited by labsforme on Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
labsforme
hunter
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:25 pm
Location: Or

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Grey Dog » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:07 am

I started with Weimaraners. Mine was pretty good in the water. (RDX from WCA) After a couple of seasons I realized a few things.
1. I really like the breed.
2. I was going to spend most of my hunting time chasing ducks and geese, not grouse and pheasants.(Although we did our share of both.)
3. Weims are not built for Januarys on the Potomac River.

The bottom line: Wrong tool for the job. Kind of like having a 14 ft jon boat. It's fine on calm windless days on the pond, but doesn't work too well on the Chesapeake when the wind starts howling.

My advice (Definitely worth the price.) is to definitely get the neoprene vest. It helps for all the previously mentioned reasons. Keep a close eye on the dog and water conditions. Also, keep a towel to dry him off and know when to say when. You'll be fine. :thumbsup:

I trained my boy with local NAVHDA Chapter. Almost exclusively GSPs at that time. Dogs were great with more than a few VCs in the group. Membership was made up of avid upland hunters, not many hardcore waterfowlers.

BTW- My boy was 65 #s and I kept him leaned out.

GD
Life is too short for cheap cigars or Bud in the can. - Grey Dog

Most of Society's ills may be traced to one, or both of two root causes,
too many people and not enough sense of humor. - Grey Dog
User avatar
Grey Dog
hunter
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:24 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:58 pm

one thing to watch with the coat/vest is make sure there is room for the "hook" underneath. too long a coat and dog will not be happy, and watch for chaffing around the legs, my cocker got chaffed this year as he wore coat most of the day, lesson learnt.
User avatar
Elvis Kiwi
hunter
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:16 am
Location: South Island New Zealand

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:13 pm

I had a training session with the trainer tonight and we did a combo yard then field work session. One of the things I have been concerned with is if all of the retriever training might have a negative effect on her pointing and holding steady. We did the double t drill with no/no training. ( like throwing the bumper to the over pile and telling her to go to the back pile, cause problems so you can fix them)
After the yard work we put out two birds in the field, first one was for a no bird drill. She pointed steady and stayed steady for the flush and shot. I then had her heel away and told her no bird. Second bird she pointed then stayed steady to wing and shot. She retrieved that bird to hand. :clapping: someone told me that to much retrieving would ruin her steadiness and her pointing. What a relieve it seems to be staying strong.
User avatar
Tanner01
hunter
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:01 am

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Dawnsearlylight » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:22 am

Tanner01 wrote:I had a training session with the trainer tonight and we did a combo yard then field work session. One of the things I have been concerned with is if all of the retriever training might have a negative effect on her pointing and holding steady. We did the double t drill with no/no training. ( like throwing the bumper to the over pile and telling her to go to the back pile, cause problems so you can fix them)
After the yard work we put out two birds in the field, first one was for a no bird drill. She pointed steady and stayed steady for the flush and shot. I then had her heel away and told her no bird. Second bird she pointed then stayed steady to wing and shot. She retrieved that bird to hand. :clapping: someone told me that to much retrieving would ruin her steadiness and her pointing. What a relieve it seems to be staying strong.


If your dog is steady while retrieving, I don't see how her steadiness on upland work would be affected; steady is steady (or not). IME the biggest factor in "ruining" steadiness/pointing is upland birds that continually run/relocate from a dog on point.
The lab and golden think: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; they must be gods."
The Chesapeake thinks: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; I must be a God."
User avatar
Dawnsearlylight
hunter
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: western NY

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:46 am

Dawnsearlylight wrote:Body fat......you think that might be why the labs can tread water so much better?


Higher body fat vs. muscle = better buoyancy.[/quote]

There must be more to it than that. In his prime, my current Brittany was a long, lean 38lbs and ran an All-Age race, yet was nearly twice as fast in the water as my then current, and quite fit, Chessie. Largely, I believe, because he inherently rode much higher in the water. I suspect, but have no way of knowing, that bone density would prove the difference. Though probably the best example (and only one to routinely swim across, rather than run around, deep water without my direction to do so), Kie hasn't been my only very lean pointing dog that's swam with his back out of the water and hung with the "retrievers" in terms of swimming ease.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.
User avatar
Rick Hall
hunter
 
Posts: 13427
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:03 pm

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Dawnsearlylight » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:56 am

Rick Hall wrote:
Dawnsearlylight wrote:Body fat......you think that might be why the labs can tread water so much better?


Higher body fat vs. muscle = better buoyancy.


There must be more to it than that. In his prime, my current Brittany was a long, lean 38lbs and ran an All-Age race, yet was nearly twice as fast in the water as my then current, and quite fit, Chessie. Largely, I believe, because he inherently rode much higher in the water. I suspect, but have no way of knowing, that bone density would prove the difference. Though probably the best example (and only one to routinely swim across, rather than run around, deep water without my direction to do so), Kie hasn't been my only very lean pointing dog that's swam with his back out of the water and hung with the "retrievers" in terms of swimming ease.[/quote]

The quote was in response to treading water. Just out of curiosity, did you ever throw one mark and send both dogs simultaneously?
The lab and golden think: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; they must be gods."
The Chesapeake thinks: "My humans give me food, shelter and love; I must be a God."
User avatar
Dawnsearlylight
hunter
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 pm
Location: western NY

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:16 am

Dawnsearlylight wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:In his prime, my current Brittany was a long, lean 38lbs and ran an All-Age race, yet was nearly twice as fast in the water as my then current, and quite fit, Chessie.


The quote was in response to treading water. Just out of curiosity, did you ever throw one mark and send both dogs simultaneously?


I've not seen a difference in treading water while being handled or swimming. And setting up the competition you ask about would violate my principles for maintaining sound honoring. But it wasn't uncommon, when exercising both dogs, for me to toss or launch one bumper and let the Chessie get nearly to it before tossing or launching a second to the side of it for the Brittany to handle, thus proofing the big dog against switching while encouraging the little one's honoring. The race was in which made it to heel first, and the longer the mark, the more often the Brittany won.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.
User avatar
Rick Hall
hunter
 
Posts: 13427
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:03 pm

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Legband#1 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:55 am

Hey Rick I'm unsure of the point your trying to make , is it that upland dogs like brittney's or gsp's out swim water dogs like Chessies or Labs or that you have seen a exception to the rule .
Last edited by Legband#1 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joe Hendrex
Hughson Waterfowl
Marsh Mutt Pro-Staff
G&H Decoy Pro-Staff
User avatar
Legband#1
hunter
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:30 pm
Location: Central California USA

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:36 am

Legband#1 wrote:Hey Rick I'm unsure of the point your trying to make , is it that upland dogs like brittney's or gsp's out swim water dogs Chessies or Labs or that you have seen a exception to the rule .


If you reread my initial post, I think you'll see that my point is simply that I believe there's more to relative bouyancy, and subsequently swimming ease, than just body fat.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.
User avatar
Rick Hall
hunter
 
Posts: 13427
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:03 pm

Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:59 pm

put a neopreme coat on a dog and you will see how high they float than without...quite a noticeable difference.
User avatar
Elvis Kiwi
hunter
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:16 am
Location: South Island New Zealand

Next

Return to Hunting Dog Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests