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I've been throwing around the idea of getting another dog. I love labs but I've been looking into GSP's. My lab Howie I got from

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  • I've been throwing around the idea of getting another dog. I love labs but I've been looking into GSP's. My lab Howie I got from

    I've been throwing around the idea of getting another dog. I love labs but I've been looking into GSP's. My lab Howie I got from college kids after the landlord found him living there. He was around 1 1/2 - 2 years old when I got him. He had many bad habits as you could imagine, knowing that it was due to being raised by college kids who could barely take care of themselves, but it was fairly easy for me to break those habits and now we live in peace! With me considering GSP's I came across some needing rescued, my main concern is a 1,2,3yr old dog to old to start training for upland hunting? Also being that age are they a hard head in re-training?

  • #2
    Blasphemy.

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    • #3
      I had GSP's for years, 4 total including a rescue dog they told me was 5 but was realy older. He was my best hunter but only lived a short while but was well worth it. I now own a lab and would not go back. The GSP is by far the better hunter but they are very very energetic. They are born to run and jnow how to hunt but compared t a Lab are very energetic. Their puppy period lasts a long time and even when committed to training they take regular effort and are harder than labs for obedience and calming down. German shorthairs are my favorite breed by the way but labs are just plain easier and less frustrating. Both make great hunters but labs suit most folks better. All my GSP's were males I have seen very docile females but I have no experience with them.

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      • #4
        One other thing, 1-3 is fine for training to hunt. I haven't ever seen a dog too old but the younger they are the more benefit you get from all the time you put in and the more seasons they can hunt.

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        • #5
          I have had two German Shorthaired pointers, and the only fault I found with them was that they were too high-strung, or too energetic, as Hobob put it.
          That is a good thing in the field, but around the house, they are just too nervous and never just settle down and sack out like a Lab.

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          • #6
            Look, if you can rescue one of these dogs, spend time with the dog and attempt to train it to do what it was breed for you can not fail and the dog will be ever so grateful. It is a no lose situation, you will gain a wonder friend and maybe a good hunting dog, but who cares about that? Give a dog a new life, what a great Christmas present!!!!!!

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            • #7
              Ditto, 'woof

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              • #8
                There are dogs that are born to be worthless no matter the breed or the pedigree. They often wind up in the rescue bin. So be careful.

                As to the breed, if you're thinking about a pointing dog, give some serious thought to Brittany. I am absolutely delighted with my little Coral. She's 2.5 years now and just finished up a GREAT hunting season. Boy, did she pin down the birds! She's not retrieving but really has no chance at it with the two big labs dominating that aspect. However she does find the cripples the labs miss and won't leave them till we come and find her. Coral is very dedicated to me. Sleeps in my bed every night and she has to be heart to heart with head on my pillow. No kidding. Not a nervous runner but she does have lots of personality. And easy to train! Very sensitive and anxious to please. Not at all hard-headed. I did NOTHING to train her beyond simple obedience. Even though she started behind the flushing labs she has become an absolute master at handling birds. Knows how to work the wind and circle around if they move off her point. Perhaps her greatest plus is her size. Only 28 lbs! Still lays in my lap while I'm watching TV. She swims like a fish too and though she has long hair it's not very thick so no cold water work. A lovely companion and wonderful hunter. And she gets along with the two labs famously. I guarantee your wife would love a Britt!

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                • #9
                  Stick with a LAB they are great loyal dogs.

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                  • #10
                    I have two GSP's right now. I've been around GSP's my whole life. I absolutely love them. As others have said they are balls of energy. This is why I think some people have trouble training them. The problem comes when the trainer doesn't have enough time to work with the dog. GSP's are very loyal dogs with great personalities. Their prey drive is second to none. A GSP may take a little longe rto train than other breeds, but when you do get them trained it is well worth it.

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                    • #11
                      I loved my shorthair!!! He was a genious and had a nose that could sniff anything out. They are "FULLY LOADED" so to speak, they come from the factory with twin turbos!lol Dont take a shorthair if you cant run it everyday for a good solid hour or two. They will be miserable if they cant run. I used to take mine to an old resivore up the hill with nothing aroung. It was probably a good mile and a half around that thing, he would run about 8 or 10 laps before he would even stop for a drink! I miss ole Merle alot, best dog I ever had!!!

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                      • #12
                        Also Shorthairs are very versatile. If its upland you want he can point and run all day, if you train him for it he they can even make a good duck blind companion. They generally take well to water and have webbed feet to help swim. Id say if you did it right hed be at home with a bunch of Hounds on the trail also. Not much a pointer cant hunt!

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                        • #13
                          Given my bias toward Labradors, I will say this, the most versatile dog I have ever seen was a GSP (whose owner I loathed). This dog would point quail, fetch ducks, tree squirrels (in daylight),tree coons(at night) and trail up wounded deer. They are harder to steady than labs if your primary purpose is waterfowling and do not handle really cold water as well.
                          I really do not know what you want the dog to do primarily, but will assume upland hunting. The dog should quarter and point naturally, so really the only thing you need to teach would be 'Whoa' to keep it from busting birds, if the dog has one iota of it's predatory instinct left in the genes, it should be OK. Teach it to retrieve just like you would a lab, as it may have some possession issues as far as bringing it straight back to the gun. Good luck whatever you decide.

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                          • #14
                            I once ordered one of my GSPs to fetch a dead duck that landed in the middle of a farm pond.
                            He had not been present when the duck was shot, so he was puzzled by the command at first. I repeated the order and he jumped in and swam around until he saw the duck and retrieved it.
                            I was so proud of that, I must have told the story a hundred times.

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                            • #15
                              99, not bad for a dog that had not one iota of what a blind retrieve is. The hardest part is getting them to go. The dog just basically hit the water and hunted dead until he came up with the bird, much as it would have had the bird hit on land. You have to love the drive and predatory instinct in GSP's.
                              Sorry, I guess I'm just a Lab snob.

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