FLUSHING OUT THE FINER POINTS OF GUN DOGS

Yes.  I hate to admit it.  My obsession for another hunting dog has come full circle.

I’ve always been a Labrador guy.  I grew up with Labs. Unfortunately for my sanity, a recent Northern Minnesota grouse hunt with English Setters ranging from 4 months old to dynamite 6 year old pointers sent my head in an uncontrollable tailspin.

The inner debate brewing in my brain regarding which gun dog to choose is an epic battle.  Do I go with flusher . . .  retriever . . . pointer?  Ahhhhh!  Tough choice.

My cousins, the Michels boys, are Springer guys through and through.  I’ve hunted with their Springers, and man I tell you, they are bird finding machines.  They hunt close and hunt hard.  Like many Labs, their versatility sets them apart.  Springers can make a seemless transition from the prairie grasslands to the big water like you will never see.

I don’t think I will get a Lab this time.  I know that might sound crazy to some . . . to many actually, but that decision stems from my location and proximity to good pheasant and waterfowl areas.  Now living in the smack-dab middle of Minnesota, I’m thinking my opportunity to hit the outdoors will be to the grouse woods.  In addition, with family living in North Dakota, a fall would be empty without at least a couple trips west to chase pheasants and sharpies.

What would be the best breed for me?

My Brittany was a great dog, don’t get me wrong, but she lacked in a few areas that I think are of utmost importance.  The forest was her game.  Jumping stumps and flying through the pines, you could see her natural instinct come to life.  A fence row point was where she shined. However, the tall gnarled switchgrass and cattails did not show her strong-suit.  She was just too small.

It sounds cliche, but I need a relentless bird finder.  Period.  That is what everybody wants, right?  The dog also has to be a good family pet, etc.  All the factors make the decision even more difficult.

I’ve been leaning toward a bigger pointer breed, but could change my mind at any minute with a good lecture or bird dog information.

What should I get?  What is the best bird dog?  Any ideas?

By Matt Soberg

http://www.mnsportingjournal.com

2 comments

  1. Have you looked at the Small Munsterlander. I got one 2 years ago and I just love him. He’s a versatile dog of medium build, about 50 lbs. and he is a very good house dog and very obedient. He has never had any professional traing. The first time out hunting pheasants he worked only about 15-20 yards in front of me back and forth just like you want, this was all instinctive for him as I am a greenhorn when it comes to training. what little I did train him he caught on in a flash. When I got him I was told there are only about 2500 of these dogs in the United States. I live just east of Moorhead MN and as luck would have it there are a few breeders not far away. Fegus Falls area has 2, Duluth has 1, and down around the Cities has 1. Other wise they are few and far between,Neb., Penn., ect. Take a look before deciding you may like this breed as I have.
    Also this is my first hunting dog and one of the main reasons we picked this dog was because they were to be a good house pet and he sure is that by far. (loves kids) and very easy to potty train.
    Hope this helps

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