Need advice- puppy or started/older dog?

npm352

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Get a Brittany puppy. Go with www.covemountainkennels.com

Brittanys are very personable, and good ones hunt top notch. Buy good, proven genetics as you will have the dog a while. Nothing wrong with started dog other than you are getting a dog that generally did not make the cut for someone else's hunting standard.

There is a litter ready for homes next week. The sire has 9 AKC field trial placements. The dam has 4. It'll be hard to find a breeding where both parents have been this well proven hunting by outside, impartial judges.
 

Samkha

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If you don't have time to train a dog, how can you have the time to hunt the dog?
Well I can go hunting 1-2 times a month during upland bird season. Maybe that isn't enough to justify getting a dog. But I would imagine training a dog is a much much larger commitment then hunting one is. But Im a newb what do I know. That's why I'm here trying to learn a thing or two.
 

Dos Perros

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Well I can go hunting 1-2 times a month during upland bird season. Maybe that isn't enough to justify getting a dog. But I would imagine training a dog is a much much larger commitment then hunting one is. But Im a newb what do I know. That's why I'm here trying to learn a thing or two.
I was really replying to the OP, sorry for the confusion.

How long is your upland bird season? When I was hard core into it I had two dogs, two buddies with two dogs each, and we hunted most every weekend of the upland season, and we traveled out of state to hunt a full week or two somewhere in there.
 

Samkha

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I was really replying to the OP, sorry for the confusion.

How long is your upland bird season? When I was hard core into it I had two dogs, two buddies with two dogs each, and we hunted most every weekend of the upland season, and we traveled out of state to hunt a full week or two somewhere in there.
No I figured you were responding to OP. But I am curious because I'm in a similar situation. Do you feel that if you don't have time to train a dog yourself then you shouldn't get one. If you don't hunt with the dog very often, does that diminish their hunting ability? Asking only because I know very little.
 

Dos Perros

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No I figured you were responding to OP. But I am curious because I'm in a similar situation. Do you feel that if you don't have time to train a dog yourself then you shouldn't get one. If you don't hunt with the dog very often, does that diminish their hunting ability? Asking only because I know very little.
I really just think it's a lifestyle, at least that's how I lived it. I threw myself into it completely. Like backcountry archery hunting is to me now, bird hunting was to me back then. Aside from paying the bills and maintaining existing personal relationships it was my life. Luckily I had the time and resources to devote to making it what it was for me.

I bought a puppy, hunted him as much as I could, and quickly realized I needed more dogs if I wanted to be successful hunting public lands here in Kansas. I got another dog. Even two isn't really enough to hunt a weekend. I made friends. We combined resources for the common good. I bought a house close to some public land I could run my dogs on. If we weren't hunting we were training, more physical training than obedience or bird manners training. I believed it took wild birds to make a bird dog. When the seasons were open I tried to put my dogs on as many wild birds as possible. That meant most every weekend I was gone doing that. Some years there were few birds and the hunting sucked, but we still went. Some years we reaped the rewards, killing 10 pointed pheasants on a public piece of WIHA in 40 minutes. One time we pointed 16 coveys of wild bobwhite in one 90 minute walk.

It took years to build up enough public spots to hunt. After 5 years or so we had so many spots we couldn't hit them all in a season. And we still wanted to find new spots. I have a 2006 Tacoma with 336,000 miles on it. Most of that is Kansas bird hunting. It was nothing to put on 1000 miles in a weekend, 30,000 miles in a year. My best friend has a 08/10/12 something like that Tundra with 230ish. We started taking his when he bought it. We've probably ridden a quarter million miles together, probably more.

Back in the day I'd fish one or two weekends a month and hunt every weekend of the bird season. Now, I've all but completely given up fishing, hunt out of state two weeks a year, and get out in Kansas with a bow when I can. Young kids at home. It's a little frustrating, but I know when they're older they'll be with me getting out. (To be clear, I'm not a family man begrudgingly, it is my single greatest source of joy and happiness.)

I know a lot of this is probably beyond what you were asking, just trying to share my experience. I didn't know shit when I bought my first puppy in 2005. That old dog is sleeping in my basement right now. Life changes, and it's tough to see what's coming sometimes. I don't regret much, for every time I was unfair to my aging dogs there were 100 times I extended myself to get them on birds.

Just, really know, it takes wild birds to make a bird dog. I was lucky to have two dogs that I believe achieved their potential, but that took lots of time money work and gasoline.
 

Samkha

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I really just think it's a lifestyle, at least that's how I lived it. I threw myself into it completely. Like backcountry archery hunting is to me now, bird hunting was to me back then. Aside from paying the bills and maintaining existing personal relationships it was my life. Luckily I had the time and resources to devote to making it what it was for me.

I bought a puppy, hunted him as much as I could, and quickly realized I needed more dogs if I wanted to be successful hunting public lands here in Kansas. I got another dog. Even two isn't really enough to hunt a weekend. I made friends. We combined resources for the common good. I bought a house close to some public land I could run my dogs on. If we weren't hunting we were training, more physical training than obedience or bird manners training. I believed it took wild birds to make a bird dog. When the seasons were open I tried to put my dogs on as many wild birds as possible. That meant most every weekend I was gone doing that. Some years there were few birds and the hunting sucked, but we still went. Some years we reaped the rewards, killing 10 pointed pheasants on a public piece of WIHA in 40 minutes. One time we pointed 16 coveys of wild bobwhite in one 90 minute walk.

It took years to build up enough public spots to hunt. After 5 years or so we had so many spots we couldn't hit them all in a season. And we still wanted to find new spots. I have a 2006 Tacoma with 336,000 miles on it. Most of that is Kansas bird hunting. It was nothing to put on 1000 miles in a weekend, 30,000 miles in a year. My best friend has a 08/10/12 something like that Tundra with 230ish. We started taking his when he bought it. We've probably ridden a quarter million miles together, probably more.

Back in the day I'd fish one or two weekends a month and hunt every weekend of the bird season. Now, I've all but completely given up fishing, hunt out of state two weeks a year, and get out in Kansas with a bow when I can. Young kids at home. It's a little frustrating, but I know when they're older they'll be with me getting out. (To be clear, I'm not a family man begrudgingly, it is my single greatest source of joy and happiness.)

I know a lot of this is probably beyond what you were asking, just trying to share my experience. I didn't know shit when I bought my first puppy in 2005. That old dog is sleeping in my basement right now. Life changes, and it's tough to see what's coming sometimes. I don't regret much, for every time I was unfair to my aging dogs there were 100 times I extended myself to get them on birds.

Just, really know, it takes wild birds to make a bird dog. I was lucky to have two dogs that I believe achieved their potential, but that took lots of time money work and gasoline.

Man, thank you for writing this and sharing your experience. It sounds like you're living the dream. I have been a long time angler and do my fair share of spear fishing and lobster hunting here in CA. I am just getting into hunting but I am hooked and wish I could head out every Friday after work. But alas, I have a wife and a youngster at home.

But I see what you mean about the lifestyle. I think based on your advise I will likely wait until my son is older and I have more free time to dedicate to the task of training and hunting with a dog.
 

wildwilderness

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CO to AK
Where do you live?

What species of upland game do you plan to hunt?


I would NOT recommend getting a dog until you first hunt the upland game. You need to find other dog owners in the area and see a number of different dogs working. You will need their help for effective training and hunting. then decide if a dog is right and which breed and breeder.


Honestly is sounds like your dog will be more of a family pet than gundog, but that's fine. In my experience pointing dogs take a lot more training than retrievers.
 

Wasdensid82

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Dec 4, 2018
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109
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.
I too had this question. I decided to get a puppy and it was a great choice. The breed is important. I got a pointing lab and it was great for my young children. He is now a good hunter and because I was the person that trained him from the time he was a puppy he is so much more aware of what I’m doing, saying, going. I think puppy is the only way to go
 

Michael54

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Oct 18, 2019
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I'm on the verge of buying my son a GSP puppy for christmas. I just gotta get the wifes ok lol
 

*zap*

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I trained dogs for a while, drug, patrol, protection, field & waterfowl. A puppy is a chance, with a year old or so dog you can see what your getting. I would never buy a puppy for hunting or a pet.
 

BroodBuster

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Bothell, Wa
I was on strike and sitting in a duck blind for the first time and asked my buddy, “You actually sit here all day listening to pheasant cackle all around and and just sit here??”

Month later I got my first Britt. I didn’t know shit and mostly still don’t. But I hunted him hard and he did know what he was doing and we shot plenty of birds.

I may be a bit different but I’m not willing to force train the perfect bird dog. I’ll live with and train around their quirks. For instance my last dog Sage wasn’t a great retriever. She was fine getting them out of the water or swamp but the second her feet hit dry ground she’d drop it and start plucking feathers while making very weird whining sounds. Rarely lost a bird and was a great excuse to point and laugh at her.

I’ve hunted with a lot of “perfect” dogs with owners who spent ALOT of money on training and frankly I don’t see the ROI when in the field. Sure they are beautiful to watch and easy to be proud of but at the end of the day Sage would point and find just as many birds. Not always pretty but we got it done!

I’m most interested in a dog I can live with that’s adaptable to the things I like to do. Mainly fish, hike and hunt and is well behaved in those environments.

Sit, stay, whoa, here and heel pretty much the only commands I taught in the backyard adding dead bird once in the field.

I’m a firm believer in spring pups so come that first hunting season they’re physically strong enough to hunt all day but still puppy enough to learn.

I’ll be bringing home my third Britt, probably French this time, spring of ‘21 as I’ll be retiring Sept ‘21 and taking a year off working. There will be no elk hunt. Backcountry mule deer hunt or eastern Wa whitetail hunt. It’ll be bird hunt after bird hunt after bird hunt. That first year is critical to get the pup on tons of birds. Especially for someone like me who really doesn’t know what he’s doing and depends on the pup to learn his trade OJT.

Fortunately Britts are an excellent breed for this.

p.s. I put Sage down this past August at 16. She pretty much self retired from hunting three or four years ago so a haven’t been on a bird hunt for awhile. Which was fine when Sage was around but now that she’s gone I’m losing my mind and am just now realizing how much I miss upland bird hunts. Gonna be a loooong year!!

Anybody who has a pup that smells like a swamp and is covered in burrs this fine fall evening please give them a hug for me. Thanks in advance!!!
 
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