Need advice- puppy or started/older dog?

Joe5000

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Hello-

I am seriously considering buying a dog for upland bird hunting.

Background- We do not live in a home or have desire to keep a dog outside all day. That being said our yard is fenced and a dog could spend a decent amount of time outside if desired. Someone is usually home at our house at all times but we have a young family and generally going in many directions.

Breeds considering- English setter, Brittany, Bracco

I will be the one training the dog and my wife is concerned we are too busy with our kids to handle taking on a dog.

1. Can someone give me an idea of how much time they think the average puppy needs during the day (1st year of dogs life). Meaning how often does it need to be let out while being housebroken, how often fed, anything else you can think of.

2. I am considering looking at an older dog with the hope we will skip some of the higher energy/puppy issues. Is this a terrible idea from a hunting/training perspective? If I get a dog that is 5 years old but a proven hunter, is there any major downside other then missing on doing the training yourself?

Thanks for any input or advice.
 

Michael54

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This is advice from a beagler perspective. If you buy a puppy you are in it for the long haul and there is a risk that the dog will be a poor overall dog or not quite what you were looking for, there is also a chance you end up with an awesome dog. If you buy a started dog the cost will be slightly higher but alot of the initial training is already done and you can get an idea of if its what you want long term. A finished dog is going to cost the most and require the least amount of work on your end. DO NOT buy a started or finished dog without seeing it in the field and in the house if its going to be a house dog. DO your research on breeders and ask for references. Call those references. IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT IS! If its a good deal theres a reason for it. Don't end up with someone elses problem dog to save a buck. Again if you are buying a started or finished dog make sure you can see it operate in the field by itself and watch it closely before making your decision. It will save you a lot of time, headaches, and money long term. Its better to decide if the dog is worth it or not while you dont own it as apposed to after you do.
 

Donjuan

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A French brittany would really suit you well. They are hard hunting but very relaxed in the home and make great pets.
A puppy will need to be let out every 4 hours at first.
Puppy or adult, make sure you commit to it. These dogs are bred to run and need exercise.

I would recommend Ben O. Williams books on training. No shock collars, no pen raised hunts, just wild bird hunting
 

Runningwater

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If you're busy with work and a young family and you or your spouse are concerned you don't have enough time.....then you don't have enough time. You'll want to go started or finished - or have your pup professionally trained. Depending on the breed and the trainer, this might entail 3 or so stints of 4-6 weeks in the first 2 years. That's my advice for what its worth. Obedience and house manners are pretty easy. Introduction to birds, guns, and then the more formal stuff (steady to shot, forced fetch, etc) are certainly doable for a DIY but if you haven't done it before it takes an incredible amount of time to do it right (usually...sometimes to fall into a dog that seems to pick everything almost all on its own!). Its probably a 15 year commitment - you want to do it right a have a dog you're proud to hunt behind.
 
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Joe5000

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This is great info. Thanks.

What should we be thinking is the right amount of exercise for any of these breeds?

We have maybe 1/8th of an acre fenced. Its small. Dog can be out there all day if it wants and is not a constant barker

Should we anticipate needing to do a dedicated run with the dog everyday?
 

Michael54

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This is great info. Thanks.

What should we be thinking is the right amount of exercise for any of these breeds?

We have maybe 1/8th of an acre fenced. Its small. Dog can be out there all day if it wants and is not a constant barker

Should we anticipate needing to do a dedicated run with the dog everyday?
The more you exercise a dog the better behaved it is. Each individual dog will have its own needs. Some breeds tend to require less than others. But even then IMO exersise is still dog specific.
 

Adarby

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Speaking from experience with coondogs, get a good started dog or a finished dog. And as stated above always by in the field to verify that it actually hunts to your expectations
 

Forks

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If your wife isn't fully committed, proceed cautiously. How many days do honestly think you will be able to spend in the field? In no way am I trying to discourage you but the dog you desire requires attention whether it be a pup or started/finished as I'm sure you know. I personally would never want to miss the bonding/fun/chaos of a pup.
 

High Voltage

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If time is limited definitely get a finished dog. If time and place to exercise the dog properly isn’t available. I say get the outdoor channel.
 

slick

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This is great info. Thanks.

What should we be thinking is the right amount of exercise for any of these breeds?

We have maybe 1/8th of an acre fenced. Its small. Dog can be out there all day if it wants and is not a constant barker

Should we anticipate needing to do a dedicated run with the dog everyday?
Absolutely. Off leash running is basically a necessity for a high powered hunter.

Don’t forget about socializing your pup.. walking it in the park, bringing it to your kids events, meeting other dogs and people, weird sounds and scenarios, etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kickemall

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The advice to get a finished dog is sound. Now get a puppy. You owe it to your kids to let them help you raise a puppy and no household should be without a dog. Line up a trainer in advance who can help steer you towards a well bred pup to fit your needs. Breeding is everything. If for some reason the pup doesn't turn out at least you'll have a nice family dog.
 
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Joe5000

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This is a great thread. Gives us a ton to think about. Thanks. My one other immediate "new guy" question is regards to bringing ticks in the home after running in the field. We live in the northeast with lyme disease etc.

Imagine dogs are covered in deer ticks after running all day in warmer weather?

So if this is a concern, go with a shorter hair dog? Or should I not be worried about this?
 

Donjuan

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This is a great thread. Gives us a ton to think about. Thanks. My one other immediate "new guy" question is regards to bringing ticks in the home after running in the field. We live in the northeast with lyme disease etc.

Imagine dogs are covered in deer ticks after running all day in warmer weather?

So if this is a concern, go with a shorter hair dog? Or should I not be worried about this?
That is a major concern. The most effective control are the new chewable flea and tick preventative available from your vet...ie NexGard, Simparica, Credelio
 

Michael54

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This is a great thread. Gives us a ton to think about. Thanks. My one other immediate "new guy" question is regards to bringing ticks in the home after running in the field. We live in the northeast with lyme disease etc.

Imagine dogs are covered in deer ticks after running all day in warmer weather?

So if this is a concern, go with a shorter hair dog? Or should I not be worried about this?
My buddies use seresto collars. I use python cattle tags attached to my dog collars. Everyone has been complaining about ticks all year here in pa and we haven't had any issues. If its a house dog id imagine its gonna get bathed quite regularly. So shouldnt be a real issue for you
 
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Joe5000

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Thanks...are these collars/tags things that are supposed to keep ticks off dogs or they kill ticks if they bite dogs? Probably dumb question but no idea how they work...
 

Donjuan

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They will help to repel the tick or kill them when they bite.

Please do not use a fly tag. It can make the dog sick. Kill him if he eats it and not good on your little ones if they ingest the residue
 

Michael54

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They will help to repel the tick or kill them when they bite.

Please do not use a fly tag. It can make the dog sick. Kill him if he eats it and not good on your little ones if they ingest the residue
I use a half a tag wrapped around their collar and pinned. It has never made my beagles sick at all and was actually recommended by my vet at the time. (My dogs aren't house dogs. They have insulated boxes with 8' x 4' above ground runs off of the boxes and the collars come off when they aren't in the field)
 

403AL

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Puppies are awesome. As recommended above line up a trainer. Obedience is key. Recall being a big one with a bird dog.
 

I10duck

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a dog need to be let out every hour for every month old it is, 2 months old = Every 2 hours roughly . I slept on the couch a lot.

My Pudelpointer pointer went to obedience/ retriever school at 6 months old. She went for almost months. I then taught her upland.

I will donut the same way again. She is a much better hunter than me.
She’s a great family dog as well. Now at ~17 months we leave her out of kennel during the day
We train more days than not for about 15 mins and my wife runs ~ 5k with her a few times a week.
 

Samkha

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What should one expect to pay for a started or finished dog? I am seeing a huge variation in price out there and I want to know what is typical versus too cheap/too expensive
 
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