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Thread: Deer Dogs

  1. #1

    Deer Dogs


    I am interested in a deer dog, however I would ideally like something that I could stalk with and the dog would accompany me and aid stalking by scenting/spotting deer ahead... As well of course for the follow up of wounded deer...

    From what i read i believe that a GSP would probably be my best bet...

    However I would like to know more about Labradors, who of you stalk with Labradors, or have done...? Many people rate Lab's for stalking, why is this, I am assuming it is because they are normally very steady and trainable, however what else can they add will they scent/spot deer ahead as although I of course want a dog that will track wounded deer as a priority i would also like a dog that is an asset when in the field before the shot is taken...

    I would be grateful of any help...



  2. #2
    If it's a dog purely for stalking/blood trailing then one of the specialists such as a Bavarian will be a good bet.

    If you want a calm dog that will also do retrieving, and general shooting etc. then a Lab would be, (has been), my choice.
    Last edited by Orion; 15-05-2010 at 13:43.

  3. #3
    A lab would fit the English way of stalking well. The Bmh are nice but they like any other dog are only as good as the training they get.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your responses guys...

    Much appreciated...



  5. #5
    nielaj,i'm a lab fan as are many of my stalking mates, being an intelligent breed the they soon pick up on what your looking for and will indicate unshot/unseen deer for you just a matter of reading the signs. I/we all use our dogs for retrieving work in the winter, so they are very multi purpose.A lot depends on how much stalking you do in a year before you go for a specialist type hound. If you go for a lab try and find a pup from parents that work deer, as some can be relluctant hang in there when it matters.
    Hope this helps


  6. #6
    Thanks Nell,



  7. #7
    Jist a wee drawback on labs, which shouldn't put u off a lab as is quite advanced.
    My old boss has trained a lot off deer dogs in his time but uses a more continental system and the bringsell(spelling?) collar. He sometimes found that in the labs keenness to please u and it's natural retriving instinct, it would occasionally bring back the bringsell when it hadn't found the deer to try and please him. Like i said its a tiny drawback which shouldn't effect ureally, if u are that serious about ur training u prob wouldn't be buying a lab anyway.
    Labs are cracking dogs and easily trained, like others have said it matters more the training u put into the dog.

  8. #8
    While the advice on labs’ is good and for a lot of stalkers they are a ideal dog and make a lot more sense that one of the "one trick pony” hound breeds.

    But the ideal dog form your first post would be a HPR IMO, of cause the ideal dog for the job is not the same as the ideal dog for you, it will depend on you temperament, dog training experience and ability. A lab’ would never suit me, in general they do not have enough sprit and athleticism for me, but for others they are the perfect match.

    Firstly the tracking, if your dog is going to accompany you on your stalks and if you want it to indicate unseen deer then it will have to, don’t worry about tracking ability you will be following up on 15 minute old trails and to be honest any dog of almost any breed will be able to do this, to any gundog it will be too easy. In the UK the oldest trails you should be working are 12 hours old, i.e. following up the morning after a shot at last light; this should be in the ability of any of the gundog breeds once trained. Then how many wounded deer are you realistically going to be following up on? I would say at worst 9 out of 10 shot deer do not need any follow up, if you are needing a dog more than this perhaps you need to look more closely at the person doing the shooting be that guests/friends or yourself.

    In conclusion any gundog breed will be more than able to follow any trail you will need to work.

    Secondly, but ironical the thing a deer dog will do 100% of the time of every stalk is indicating unseen deer, as been said breeds other than HPRs will indicate unseen deer, the problem is reading these signs. My old ESS would indicate unseen deer but you had to be watching him and not looking for deer yourself, while other breeds Lab’ many be more distinctive in the way they show you deer there is not guarantee that the one you get will do this. With a pointer they are no misunderstandings, the point is very distinctive.

    A dog scenting for unseen deer will be “air scenting” it will need to carry it’s head high, hounds and spaniels tend to keep there noses glued to the ground unless game scent is picked up close by.

    But the most important thing is you get a dog you like, the HPRs require a firm hand but if you are up to the task they will provide a superior deer dog, however if you can’t or are not prepared to give the dog 100% a lab’ might be better for you, at poorly trained lab’ is a bloody nuisance, a poorly trained HPR could be a disaster.

    The ideal dog for the job you describe is a HPR of one breed or another; I like GWPs, whether that is the ideal dog for you is one only you can answer.



  9. #9
    the HPRs require a firm hand
    very limited experience but from owning one Wirehaired Viszla, and from what I gather from others, temparementally they are as soft as butter. Firm hand not required, sense of humour essential.

  10. #10
    Hi Mudman

    I have heard this of Wirehaired Viszlas, but having not owned one, I can only comment on the other type of wirehair.



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