Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

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Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:37 pm

Hey all! I am new here, I have been reading all about a few varieties of dog that I am interested in and I need help deciding. I have been researching for over a year, and have narrowed my selection down to he following, Deutsch Drathaar, lab, or a English springer spaniel. I have always hunted over and with labs, minus a Gsp and an English setter. I do all kinds of hunting, including ducks, pheasants (wild and farm), grouse, and doves. I also do a ton of deer, bear, rabbit, squirrel, turkey and predator hunting. I have come to the conclusion that I only want to add one more dog to my family, as I already have an amazing Australian shepherd. I am looking for a dog that will sit quietly in the duck blind, bust brush for pheasants and help me find grouse. I have been told to get a DD but I have concerns about their ability to break ices late season, as well as their ability to sit still for a period of time in the duck blind. My other concern with a DD is that they are pointers. Some of my pheasant hunts happen in tall standing corn and I feel it would be a disservice to a pointer to hunt in such cover. Now as far as labs, I have never hunted for grouse with one but I hear it can be done, just not the best. Their less than stellar health makes me nervous as my last lab died suddenly at 6 and broke my heart. She was my girl and when she died I swore I couldn't have another yellow lab. As far as sprinters, I have heard and seen good things with peasants, but my dad has one that won't touch a duck to save her life. Is this common? She is pretty good for grouse, and will find any dove you can hit. My dilemma is that none of these breeds is going to be the best choice for at least one of my hunting scenarios. Does anyone have any advice or insight? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby mawtrfowler » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:54 pm

With pheasant springers will excel, much better than labs, mine is a bird finding machine, if there are birds around she's going to find them. They're good swimmers and my friends springers have retrieved everything, pheasant, ducks, huge geese, hares. A properly trained springer will hold just as well as a lab in the duck blind.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:26 pm

Mawtrfowler, I have heard that some springer a do retrieve, how do they do in cold water? I wonder if my dads dog is just an exception with not wanting ducks...
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:31 pm

Mawtrfowler, I have heard that some springer a do retrieve, how do they do in cold water? I wonder if my dads dog is just an exception with not wanting ducks...

Gunny, thanks for the link. I have been on every DD breeders website in the Midwest lol. I see them hunting and it lols like they would be more than capable, as a pointer how do they do with tall cover? How about their high prey drive, can you hunt them for grouse without them sniffing out squirrels and rabbits? I have also heard that though they are naturals at hunting just about everything, they don't take to repetitive training very well. Is this true? I do have to admit that I love those eyes and the beard haha
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby mawtrfowler » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:12 pm

Springers will retrieve and if you force fetch them they will retrieve anything you send them after no questions asked. They have a good coat and can handle cold water fine even better if you put a good vest on them.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:24 pm

So they must be force fetched?? I've never had to do that before, is it difficult to train?
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Jesse Jaymes » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:05 am

I should probably refrain from comment. My experience is nearly zero....but-

I own an 8 month old DD male. He has a health issue at this time. Never been behind a gun yet.

It's not even November and we were kicking holes in ice Tuesday morning to hunt ducks. Ice was at least 1/4". Took forever for the sun to come up with any heating BTUs.

We've had gloves and calls freezing stiff inside our layout blinds since Opener on Oct 12.

I think I chose the wrong breed. My pup has a bare belly and arm pits. His coat is not as wiry as it should be either. I fully expected him to blow a puppy coat and get a tight hard coat. Never happened.

Duckdon posts here. He has waaay more experience than I do, has a pair of DD and lives/hunts AK. He could give a more accurate side. I reside in WA/ID/BC corner. I am sure it's much colder other places and its already pretty crisp here.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby OmegaRed » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:37 am

Jesse Jaymes wrote:I should probably refrain from comment. My experience is nearly zero....but-

I own an 8 month old DD male. He has a health issue at this time. Never been behind a gun yet.

It's not even November and we were kicking holes in ice Tuesday morning to hunt ducks. Ice was at least 1/4". Took forever for the sun to come up with any heating BTUs.

We've had gloves and calls freezing stiff inside our layout blinds since Opener on Oct 12.

I think I chose the wrong breed. My pup has a bare belly and arm pits. His coat is not as wiry as it should be either. I fully expected him to blow a puppy coat and get a tight hard coat. Never happened.

Duckdon posts here. He has waaay more experience than I do, has a pair of DD and lives/hunts AK. He could give a more accurate side. I reside in WA/ID/BC corner. I am sure it's much colder other places and its already pretty crisp here.


Sorry for hijacking this thread...but what's the health problem? Why haven't you had the dog around a gun yet at 8 months? Maybe I'm misreading...

OP. I have a 6 month old DD. My experience is limited to that, but I have read about every book, watched about every DVD and asked on countless forums pretty much all the questions you already have.

This is from various sources that I have directly asked people: You aren't going to have a dog that does all of this stuff "the best". You'll have an english pointer that will point with style better, a chessie will probably do better in the most absolute conditions, a walker will tree coons better. But a DD with proper exposure and training will do all of the things you asked well though. My dog at 6 months has found shed antlers, tracked rabbits and blood trails of deer, pointed planted birds, etc. All of what is touted by breeders as standard for the breed. All my friends who have labs always stand in disbelief as I tell them what they are required to do in the testing, and then say there is no way a dog will differentiate from tracking a deer to pointing birds. They do. That's a fact. But not without exposure and training.

As far as cold is concerned, I don't think a springer is going to be in the realm that a DD, lab or chessie will. This is strictly from internet reading. I know the three labs I've hunted with all require vests, and even at that whine and dislike cold. They will eventually shut down from cold. I live in the snowbelt of Ohio. Nothing like the extremes of Canada/Alaska/MN. I just asked a group of DD owners on a forum about cold weather conditioning. My DD lives inside, and I asked if it was necessary to start keeping her outside for periods of time to condition her coat to the cold weather. She is let out for a few hours each day to play in the fenced in backyard, but I was curious as to whether I needed to kennel her in the unheated garage while I was at work. It was unanimous in that discussion from people that have their dogs live inside, that their dogs have no problems in the cold. No whimpering or discomfort. Some said they use a vest, some don't. Most said just use common sense and keep the dog out of the water for extended periods.

Hope this helps, there are plenty of people with more experience with the breed from me, but I can relate since I was recently in your situation.


Just stating as well, there a bunch of other topics going on here, especially force fetching. I'd leave that out of your head until you decide on a breed. It's not breed specific, and relates to training rather than deciding on what kind of dog you want. There have been plenty of other threads started on it, and it's a hot topic guaranteed to derail this thread. JMO
I just dropped in, to see what condition my condition was in.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Jesse Jaymes » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:13 am

Said dog hasn't been BEHIND a gun. Didnt say AROUND. Exposed to gunfire. Pup has been down since Sept 2. Pretty much when things open out West.

Dog has plenty of drive. I read the sticky on hypothermia and drive is exactly what will kill a dog. He has tons of drive. Nose is stellar.

Yes I've contacted breeder.

Pup was diagnosed with OCD. This is a big deal. I've attempted not to out the whole thing on the Net as I am going to major Univ Animal Science program for 2nd opinion to verify.

Vest or not, it's cold. He will get a vest if things go well. Holding off just yet. If he misses the whole season, or worse, I don't care to invest in a custom fit vest.

I've read all same material as Omega. Yes they can do it all. But I've never even shot a pheasant. I am a 90% Waterfowler. But I have the opportunity to get into all the Upland the West holds within 4 hours. I wanted a blood dog as well. That's why I made the choice. As I stated at the onset, I could be premature in judging him. Never said he wouldn't or won't sack up and break ice. But I make the human decisions and by his coat and body type I'm not sure subjecting him to those requests is the best idea.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby mawtrfowler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:14 am

Minneguy wrote:So they must be force fetched?? I've never had to do that before, is it difficult to train?

They don't have to be force fetched but it should ensure that they will retrieve anything on command. They will retrieve without it and they have a high drive.

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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Jarbo03 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:37 am

Jesse Jaymes wrote:Said dog hasn't been BEHIND a gun. Didnt say AROUND. Exposed to gunfire. Pup has been down since Sept 2. Pretty much when things open out West.

Dog has plenty of drive. I read the sticky on hypothermia and drive is exactly what will kill a dog. He has tons of drive. Nose is stellar.

Yes I've contacted breeder.

Pup was diagnosed with OCD. This is a big deal. I've attempted not to out the whole thing on the Net as I am going to major Univ Animal Science program for 2nd opinion to verify.

Vest or not, it's cold. He will get a vest if things go well. Holding off just yet. If he misses the whole season, or worse, I don't care to invest in a custom fit vest.

I've read all same material as Omega. Yes they can do it all. But I've never even shot a pheasant. I am a 90% Waterfowler. But I have the opportunity to get into all the Upland the West holds within 4 hours. I wanted a blood dog as well. That's why I made the choice. As I stated at the onset, I could be premature in judging him. Never said he wouldn't or won't sack up and break ice. But I make the human decisions and by his coat and body type I'm not sure subjecting him to those requests is the best idea.


I have a griff, but what I understand from both breeds, is it can be up to 2 years before coat is fully developed. My griff Taz was not a fan of ice during his 1st year. Along with handling the conditions, a dogs experience and confidence will affect the way they handle these situations. After a season of hunting and maturation, I bet you have a different pup next year. Hope all works out with the OCD.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Jesse Jaymes » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:22 am

Thanks for the well wishing. Sick over it
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Deuce22 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:42 am

Another vote for DD. You've got some great breeders in the area, call them and go see their dogs work, you won't be disappointed. You'll be blown away by a good DD duck search. Force Fetch is part of training. Pointing in tall cover is a challenge, for any pointing dog, get a bell or beeper collar. PM me if you want suggestions on a breeder.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:35 pm

Jesse, Im sorry to hear about your dog man! I hope everything turns around and ends up working out for you. Good luck!
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:59 pm

Jesse, Im sorry to hear about your dog man! I hope everything turns around and ends up working out for you. Good luck!

I am going to go visit some of the local drathaars, as well as a springer that does very well on ducks. I have been getting a ton of advice to go for theDD. I just need to see how they interact around other dogs(especially mine) and how they behave with training.
I was just advised to look into a spinone, anybody heard of this breed?
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:59 pm

Hey guys, what's the difference between a griffon and a DD?
I hunted with the springer, it really didn't excel in the duck blind. That said, it was a great dog overall. It did retrieve the birds, but was slow to bail in the water. The guy also had a golden, it was a great duck dog, but I hear they have awful health.
Tomorrow I'm off to meet the drathaar. I am excited. I came across some guys who coyote hunt with one. They said as far as a hunting dog goes, it was kick ***. As far as a family pet, it left a little to be desired. Is this true?
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Deuce22 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:06 am

What did he say was left to be desired? Mine is curled up in a ball on the couch right now. Likes kids, and loves attention. Part of it has to do with socialization.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby mojo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:48 pm

A DD will sick quietly in a blind. For a dog, it's a question of obedience training vs. breed.

A DD should do as well in cold as most labs. Mine has no issues (Northern New England, December/January conditions, ocean and larger bays).

A DD will bust through the nastiest of cover.

Drive is insane....

A DD can make an excellent family pet with proper conditioning.....my wife absolutely loves our dog. He's a total goofball, huge personality, loyal and affectionate as all heck (they do tend to be indifferent towards strangers...keep that in mind when looking at other peoples' dogs), and loves being part of the family.

If you're talking ruffed grouse, I couldn't imagine hunting them without a pointer, so that right there leads me away from a lab or springer.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Jarbo03 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:50 pm

mojo wrote:A DD will sick quietly in a blind. For a dog, it's a question of obedience training vs. breed.

A DD should do as well in cold as most labs. Mine has no issues (Northern New England, December/January conditions, ocean and larger bays).

A DD will bust through the nastiest of cover.

Drive is insane....

A DD can make an excellent family pet with proper conditioning.....my wife absolutely loves our dog. He's a total goofball, huge personality, loyal and affectionate as all heck (they do tend to be indifferent towards strangers...keep that in mind when looking at other peoples' dogs), and loves being part of the family.

If you're talking ruffed grouse, I couldn't imagine hunting them without a pointer, so that right there leads me away from a lab or springer.


Agreed
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby ohio mike » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:14 pm

I have both a Lab and a Wirehair. The Lab absolutely is a better cold water dog. However the Wirehair is far and away the better upland dog. The prey drive in the Wirehair is something to see, they hate anything with fur and can dispatch it with ease. I have no experience with anything bigger then coon and groundhogs however. Mine likes to tear heads off, don't know if its just him or a breed trait. Very soft mouthed with birds though. He's a loyal family dog and loves the grandkids,doesn't care for strangers though. They do have a con/off switch but you've got to develop it. I've got four dogs that I think the world of, but if I had to go down to one it would be the Wirehair. They are a very amusing,athletic,loyal capable dog. Training is a little different though.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby BobM » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:16 pm

I don't think we will ever find the "perfect" dog for all types of shooting, but for me and my shooting I found it in a Springer.
I usually hunt Kansas at least once each season for pheasant and quail, lots of doves at home, but live for waterfowl. My old Chessie was getting along in years and I started looking for a replacement and after much searching, researching, and calling I chose a field bred Springer. I have not been unhappy!
I have no experience with DDs, though I gave them a hard look in my search. I have hunted with several Labs but never owned one. Again a Springer fits MY hunting style. Gus, now coming 4, will retrieve anything I direct him to, is quiet in the blind and very biddable. He has a fantastic nose, and great desire to hunt. We don't get the weather here in SW Arkansas that some states do, but he has broke shoreline ice many, many times and never slowed down a bit. I do use a vest on him when it gets really cold.
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Kansas, at 10mos, finding, flushing, and retrieving.
Image
As a two year old with an early season mixed bag.
He is my man! If you should think of a Springer I would strongly suggest you check out Bluerivergundogs.com
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby mojo » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:07 am

Another breed that might be worth looking at as you're considering springers, is the Small Musterlander (there is a large version as well). They are similar in size and even appearance to the springer, but they are pointers.

I have not hunted over one, but from what I've heard and read, they have a more springer-like disposition for family and training than something like a DD. I'm pushing my buddy to get one as he wants a smaller breed and something good with his kids, but that will still point grouse.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Griffdom » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:33 am

mojo wrote:Another breed that might be worth looking at as you're considering springers, is the Small Musterlander (there is a large version as well). They are similar in size and even appearance to the springer, but they are pointers.

I have not hunted over one, but from what I've heard and read, they have a more springer-like disposition for family and training than something like a DD. I'm pushing my buddy to get one as he wants a smaller breed and something good with his kids, but that will still point grouse.


X's 2. The Small Munsterlander's I've been around seem to be very nice, calm dogs, but can run pretty well in the field. They are said to be strong retrievers and trackers, but also point.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:58 pm

So I went and visited a breeder with DD's. man those things can run! We discussed my needs and he feels that a DD or lab would be my best bet. He also said that his DD got along well with his house cats. This was one of my concerns. After I visited him , I got to go on a pheasant hunt with one of his previous litter puppies. At 10 months the pup was a natural! The owner said training was difficult, but not because the dog was stubborn, because the dogs natural ability took over most of the time. His dog pointed some, but wasnt full blown locked up yet. It was wierd hiring behind a pointer again! We did well with 15 birds total for three guys.
Also on the hunt was a fox red lab I really adored, but he was nowhere near the natural hunter the DD was.
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Re: Dilemma regarding DD lab and springer

Postby Minneguy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:06 pm

I'll check into the Munster! Thanks
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