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Dog for Upland and Waterfowl hunting.

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by TheHighwayman, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Hey this post comes together from two separate veins. My buddy and I went pheasant hunting today and came home empty handed, losing out to 8 hunters and 3 dogs. We figured out very quickly that its a lot easier when you bring your luck in the bed of your pickup.

    Also, my girlfriend wants a puppy for Christmas. She hinted heavily at an Irish Setter.

    So I got to thinking that maybe I could combine her pup with my hunting concern is that I'd also want a dog for water-fowling. Is the long coat on the Irish going to bog her down or be risky is cold water (hypothermia?)

    I don't know much about hunting dogs, (though I've owned and trained family dogs since I could walk). As always any input would be very greatly appreciated to someone who is teaching himself to hunt. (Good thing I don't depend on it, I would have starved to death long ago, lol.)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. Brandon G

    Brandon G

    Nov 12, 2009
    can't go wrong with labs, good all the way around, and easy to train

  3. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    It depends on what you are lookng for really.

    I never owned Labs until I pheasant hunted with one about 30 years ago. It retreived prefectly, and more importantly, stayed close and didn't range out and push the pheasant ahead and out of range. The lab really isn't built for pheasant hunting and the miles will take their toll. You need to take extra care to take of your dog if he is used to hunt pheasant. if you are looking for a Lab to pheasant hunt, look for a puppy who is small, long legged and thin. (a runt puppy with long legs, seriously)

    What the Lab really sucks at is pointing the pheasant. For that I recommend a German Shorthair. Great dogs, very smart, outstanding hunters. If hunting pheasant is going to be your primary prey, teach it young to hunt close and slower. If you allow them to range and follow their nose a pheasant will never sit and by the time they go on point the pheasant is likely as not to have run ahead by the time you get there.

    If you want a duck dog too, I say, congrats on your new Lab.

    As far as all around pets.. The lab wins hands down!!! Get one with an english blood line. They have the smoother head and not the block head of the American lines. The english lines make outstanding pets!!!,, The American lines just aren't as friendly. And I say that with one sleeping about 3 feet from me. I've owned both and had heard that before. From my personal experience it is true. The American lines have been bred for field trials and some of the all loving personality got lost along the way. I can't say it is true on all Labs, but it is true of the ones I have owned.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  4. I would second the suggestion of a lab. I hunt pheasants exclusively here in SW Minnesota and have never had a problem with my lab. I find that labs actually make better pheasant dogs because these wild birds we hunt never sit tight, they are always running and pointing dogs have troubles. I would also recommend an English lab. I have had both and much prefer the size and demeanor of the english labs over american lines. I currently own a white english lab. She is much smaller and has better stamina than my previous dog. Here is Lizzee!-
  5. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    Labs? pffff....

    Honestly, get a proper hunting dog, I'd recommend one of the German Pointer breeds, either Wirehaired or Shorthaired. I personally would go for a wirehaired, but that's just me
  6. gunrunner0


    Apr 30, 2009
    Labs are great for pheasants and waterfowl, you might look at chesapeake bays they're tougher than nails do great on waterfowl and pheasants and they make a great guard dog too. But whatever dog you go with, go with good blood lines and a good trainer.
  7. Lab...Hands down, any color, great with kids too.
  8. Guys, I appreciate the feedback. but the question was more about irish setters and how well they hold up for waterfowl.

    I would love a lab, but I can only afford to buy and keep one dog right now.
  9. chevy01234


    Jul 19, 2004
    Your setter will not handle the cold like a lab will. Plus their hair would be a pain in the ass waterfowl hunting (Ie getting wet every day) The hair alone would be alot of maintenance. If you want a very versatile dog, get a lab, if you want what your wife wants, get what she wants!

    I personally like irish setters, just never seen one hunt waterfowl down here.
  10. thats what I thought...just needed to hear someone else say it. The canoe isn't broke yet. I'll keep saving for the second dog and sleep inside this christmas.