Question about bird dogs?

2Aguy74

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Hi, I'm not a hunter but I'm very into bird dogs, and later on in the future maybe buy one and work one in the field if I can but I don't want to kill birds and eat them I'm not against hunting just not my thing. But I want to work with bird dogs manly labrador retriever is that possible I live in the city and don't have a house with 50 or more acres to fire a gun?
 
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2Aguy74

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I'm also interested in german shorthaired pointers.
 

Wingshooter

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Bird dogs do require regular work in the field they are energetic animals. A lab would still make a great pet that you could get out of the city and take a walk with. Some of the other breeds are more high strung and would be a poor fit for you IMO.
 
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2Aguy74

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Bird dogs do require regular work in the field they are energetic animals. A lab would still make a great pet that you could get out of the city and take a walk with. Some of the other breeds are more high strung and would be a poor fit for you IMO.
But what's the best work for them I want to do some sort of hunting activity with them like tracking or flushing but I just don't want to shoot the birds is it possible.
 

Buzby

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I would highly recommend you do not buy a GSP as a city dog, and not hunt it. That’s not a life that dog was bred for. Neither of you will be happy. Adopt a fat lab from a shelter, tell everyone you have a “bird dog” if that makes you happy.
 

MtnDunn

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As a GSP owner, I can tell you they are not the best dog to own if you live in an environment where you cannot run them and hunt them. Sure, they look cute on instagram and all that mess, but the dog will be miserable (and in turn you will be miserable) if the dog does not have a purpose or a job. Adopt a lab from a non-hunting bloodline, take it for walks in the park, play fetch, and it will be happy.
 

2ski

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You don't have to shoot birds. You could have the dog flush and let it get away. I would have a lab for that and not a pointing dog. If all you do is flush it would imagine that eventually the dog will lose steadiness.
 

WRO

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As a GSP owner, I can tell you they are not the best dog to own if you live in an environment where you cannot run them and hunt them. Sure, they look cute on instagram and all that mess, but the dog will be miserable (and in turn you will be miserable) if the dog does not have a purpose or a job. Adopt a lab from a non-hunting bloodline, take it for walks in the park, play fetch, and it will be happy.

I'll second that..

Unless you want to field trial it..
 

Jim1187

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All sorts of games and training you could involve any dog in that will reward and stimulate their instincts, it certainly doesn't need to be a hunting dog from the sounds of your wants. Just running your dog to flush birds may be considered wildlife harassment, a fineable offence, unless you actually get a hunting license depending on your local jurisdiction. I'd encourage you to look towards field trial training if you want to encourage and engage in bird dog behaviors without actually hunting. Not sure where you are located but most likely there is a retriever club in your community or nearby.

My current Lab after a successful first hunting season decided he was gunshy after the first retrieve he made on his second hunting season. He is still bird obsessed and loves swimming, retrieving, flushing and finding but its been a long process to get him back over his aversion to guns and he still is not keen on gunfire. So he gets to retrieve pigeons and squirrels dispatched with an air rifle and when I do morning hunts close to my house or camp I'll bring him out after the shooting has stopped to recover any birds friends dogs have missed because he blessed with a great nose.
 
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KurtR

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You can run hunt tests with the dog. You dont have to kill any thing but it will make you train him and exercise every night. Find a local hrc or akc club and they have training days you can attend. You will have a much better dog that is well behaved and more enjoyable life for both you and the dog.
 

Jagger0502

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I got my first GWP when I lived in an apartment in the city. At 2.5 years he was ranked #3 for amature bird dogs where I lived there. And after I moved I guided hunts with him for years after “BUT” I was single and ran him every day on birds. I used to drive around the parking garage at the mall with a fishing net and catch pigeons on my way home from work, then work him in a small construction area where they were building a Home Depot. I never shot the pigeons, caught the same ones weekly, worked him the first year daily on them and when he would point I would toss a frozen bird or a bumper with a wing to retrieve, then on weekends I would travel out to the game preserve and buy a few chukars or pheasants to run him on and shoot those.

A bird dog needs a purpose, it’s just like any working breed. No purpose and it will go crazy. If you don’t plan to hunt it, there are lots of other things to train and run your dog on. Dock dogs, retrieving (fetch) lead control, tracking and so on. Just mix in birds every once in a while and it will make it easier to train him on birds in the future. The first year or two is mainly basic training and fetch anyway.


My pap always told me, “Teach a dog to learn, the rest is easy”
 
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Holmes

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I have two GSPs, and I would not recommend anyone get one unless they're committed to getting the dog several miles of off leash running (almost) every single day. Beyond that, GSPs and other high-test hunting dogs really should have a mental job too, not just running.

If you want to get a labrador (or any other less high strung breeds) and work on retrieving games, AKC flushing dog trials, dock jump competitions, tracking...etc that's awesome. There are people in my local hunting dog training groups who don't actually hunt, they just do club trials.

Before I hunted birds, when I lived in a city, I had a labrador mutt and we worked on retriever trial training all the time. It was really fun:

Retriever stuff and dock jumping is a crazy rabbit hole that swallows people ;)

Here's a video from an AKC Flushing Dog Trial. You don't have to hunt, but birds will be shot in front of you:

Here's more about field trials:

Teaching any dog to do scent tracking is rewarding for you and the dog and can be done almost anywhere:
I haven't done any scent work with my dogs, but my wife has started teaching them
 
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2Aguy74

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May 19, 2022
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I have two GSPs, and I would not recommend anyone get one unless they're committed to getting the dog several miles of off leash running (almost) every single day. Beyond that, GSPs and other high-test hunting dogs really should have a mental job too, not just running.

If you want to get a labrador (or any other less high strung breeds) and work on retrieving games, AKC flushing dog trials, dock jump competitions, tracking...etc that's awesome. There are people in my local hunting dog training groups who don't actually hunt, they just do club trials.

Before I hunted birds, when I lived in a city, I had a labrador mutt and we worked on retriever trial training all the time. It was really fun:

Retriever stuff and dock jumping is a crazy rabbit hole that swallows people ;)

Here's a video from an AKC Flushing Dog Trial. You don't have to hunt, but birds will be shot in front of you:

Here's more about field trials:

Teaching any dog to do scent tracking is rewarding for you and the dog and can be done almost anywhere:
I haven't done any scent work with my dogs, but my wife has started teaching them
I looked up some clubs in my area and there is one close to my house. I'm also interested in tracking because I'm a little bit interested in doing hog hunting for eradication since they are not native to the United States I know there are people who use labs to trail down deer is that possible to do with hogs?
 
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2Aguy74

Junior Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
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I got my first GWP when I lived in an apartment in the city. At 2.5 years he was ranked #3 for amature bird dogs where I lived there. And after I moved I guided hunts with him for years after “BUT” I was single and ran him every day on birds. I used to drive around the parking garage at the mall with a fishing net and catch pigeons on my way home from work, then work him in a small construction area where they were building a Home Depot. I never shot the pigeons, caught the same ones weekly, worked him the first year daily on them and when he would point I would toss a frozen bird or a bumper with a wing to retrieve, then on weekends I would travel out to the game preserve and buy a few chukars or pheasants to run him on and shoot those.

A bird dog needs a purpose, it’s just like any working breed. No purpose and it will go crazy. If you don’t plan to hunt it, there are lots of other things to train and run your dog on. Dock dogs, retrieving (fetch) lead control, tracking and so on. Just mix in birds every once in a while and it will make it easier to train him on birds in the future. The first year or two is mainly basic training and fetch anyway.


My pap always told me, “Teach a dog to learn, the rest is easy”
I'm interested in tracking a little bit.
 

KurtR

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
2,250
Location
South Dakota
I have two GSPs, and I would not recommend anyone get one unless they're committed to getting the dog several miles of off leash running (almost) every single day. Beyond that, GSPs and other high-test hunting dogs really should have a mental job too, not just running.

If you want to get a labrador (or any other less high strung breeds) and work on retrieving games, AKC flushing dog trials, dock jump competitions, tracking...etc that's awesome. There are people in my local hunting dog training groups who don't actually hunt, they just do club trials.

Before I hunted birds, when I lived in a city, I had a labrador mutt and we worked on retriever trial training all the time. It was really fun:

Retriever stuff and dock jumping is a crazy rabbit hole that swallows people ;)

Here's a video from an AKC Flushing Dog Trial. You don't have to hunt, but birds will be shot in front of you:

Here's more about field trials:

Teaching any dog to do scent tracking is rewarding for you and the dog and can be done almost anywhere:
I haven't done any scent work with my dogs, but my wife has started teaching them
Long term goal is to run in the srs crown some day. And its a rabbit hole that swallows people i can attest to that haha
 

Mak335

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Aug 21, 2020
Messages
214
Get a Lab.
In your situation.. living in the city with no intentions of hunting? don't get a GSP. You will be holding the dog back from what it wants to/ breed to do, which is hunt.
They require training and exercise. They are very active.
 
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cacklercrazy

Well Known Rokslider
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Apr 15, 2014
Messages
247
Hi, I'm not a hunter but I'm very into bird dogs, and later on in the future maybe buy one and work one in the field if I can but I don't want to kill birds and eat them I'm not against hunting just not my thing. But I want to work with bird dogs manly labrador retriever is that possible I live in the city and don't have a house with 50 or more acres to fire a gun?
Start with a good training program. Plenty of online classes or DVD's. A lab is definitely the way I would go. You can do most of your work at a park. The added benefit is they make great house pets. By far the most loving breed of dogs. Even if you don't hunt the dog it will love to just go to park and retrieve and play. I used the DVD series duck dog by Cris Akins. Very simple and easy to follow.
 

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2Aguy74

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You can run hunt tests with the dog. You dont have to kill any thing but it will make you train him and exercise every night. Find a local hrc or akc club and they have training days you can attend. You will have a much better dog that is well behaved and more enjoyable life for both you and the dog.
I'm interested in that I looked up some clubs and my area and there is one close to my city.
 
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