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Can you train a German Shepherd to be a bird dog? I have heard they are very smart and want to know if I could do this with a pu

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  • Can you train a German Shepherd to be a bird dog? I have heard they are very smart and want to know if I could do this with a pu

    Can you train a German Shepherd to be a bird dog? I have heard they are very smart and want to know if I could do this with a puppy that you raised since it was very young. What if you started training it when it was still pretty young?

  • #2
    hjohn429,
    Your the man. I love German Shepherds. Best dog in the world in my opinion. But don't want to start a fire storm here.
    My G. Shepherd was smarter than me and would do anything I asked but, I don't know if you could expect them to hunt. That's not their nature. Protect, search, family friend.

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    • #3
      I don't believe they would have the "mouth" for this type of work. Sorry. Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        They are GREAT dogs but they are not hunters. They don't have the nose nor the disposition for it. They will gladly treck along with you and if you allow them, they will be happy to eat what you get but to go out and find it for you, they are not too likely to do so.

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        • #5
          My German Sheperd started treeing squirrels for me on her own. I just started taking her with me when I went hunting and she got the hang of it. She runs up to a tree and jumps around it and 9 times out of 10 there is a squirrel in the tree, you just have to look for it. Like Jim in Mo said German Sheperds were bred for herding, search and rescue and all forms of police work. They are not built with a light bone structure and a light coat to run all over the open country looking for birds. I know they could but it is not what they are bred for. If a Sheperd can do the schutzen dog training I don't see why they cant find up land game birds, they just would not be as suited for the work as a bird dog. I will ask my neighbor what he thinks, he is a retired k-9 unit for the Govonors drug task force.

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          • #6
            OH DakotaMan,
            German Sheperds have one of the best noses of all the k-9 breeds. Why do you think they use them for bombs, drugs, tracking people (dead or alive) and all manor or other search work. They were even used for finding mines in Vietnam because they have such a keen sense of smell and hearing. I have done tracking and drug work with German Sheperds and it is amazing how even in a cross wind they will find you like flies to a trash can. They can either smell you scent on the ground or in the air, either way it doesn't matter. The only other dog that has a better nose would be a blood hound.

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            • #7
              By the way, to both Jim in Mo and hjohn429.
              Are your sheperds German blood line or AKC sheperds? There is a huge difference in breeding and over all performance.

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              • #8
                We have a six month old female German Shepherd...AKC, from good lines. She is hell on the squirrels and chipmunks. I have not really encouraged or discouraged her from chasing them, but she goes crazy after the little devils. I do not know how she would bird train, I don't really have any experience training bird dogs or any other dogs for that matter. I have hunted with a lot of different dogs for upland and waterfowl, and I get the sense that if a person put the effort into a GSD, they would probably do whatever you wanted them to. Of course realizing that there are better suited breeds out there, and to be willing to accept the limitations of the GSD breed as mentioned above.

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                • #9
                  I know next to nothing about bird dogs but I have a buddy who takes me grouse hunting from time to time and he has a pair of crackerjack short hairs.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, by the way I plan to get a "fixed" male or female German line dog.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry about that, I hadn't had that first cup of coffe yet, I thought your post said "german shorthair". I wondered why anybody would question their worth as a bird dog. I'm a baaaad boy.

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                      • #12
                        German Shorthaired would be a much better choice for birds. My new dog Jill is smart and has a great nose.

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                        • #13
                          German Shepards are wonderful dogs. But I think they are not well suited for bird hunting. That said, you could probably train a smart one to do most anything. Dogs have been bred for specific purposes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. All dogs have a basic hunting instinct, but the breeds commonly used for bird hunting are usually the only ones "birdy" enough to be good at it. Enjoy your pup!

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                          • #14
                            007

                            Ok, buddy. Step away from the keyboard until you have had a couple cups of joe! LOL

                            WMH

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                            • #15
                              They could do well bird hunting, if you weren't planning on doing any of the hunting.

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