Pointers as an all round dog?

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
So I do a little stalking, mostly wildfowling and the odd bit of rough shooting/crows. Now the sensible option has always been labs. I've always fancied a pointer but mainly to work at heel, hide dog and work out to say 20 yards. Is a pointer eg gwp a waste of time? I get on fine with labs but just always fancied one. Would be nice to have a quiet dog that went on point.


just interested in how people find them as actual HPRs all round? Hard mouthed? :lol:
 

300winmag

Well-Known Member
Hi I have a gwp for stalking and rough shooting so far very happy with him my old lab is 15 years young so he just gets a few hours rough shooting and a few evenings roost shooting gwp to a bit more training and at 16 months still a bit puppyish but very happy with him
 

highland stalker

Well-Known Member
Great dogs. My two year old GWP bitch will walk at heel all day when stalking and hunt out on front all day when on birds. It is like having two different dogs. Couldn't ask for better and she is still improving.
 

McKenzie

Well-Known Member
Had a few GSP's & they're fantastic dogs. I've had some that hated water (& some that loved it) so the wild fowling aspect is the main area that would concern me with what you want to do. Currently I have a soft mouthed one but the hard-mouthed ones are easier to find!
 

arron

Well-Known Member
How about a wirehaired viszla , I have one for everything , duck shooting, rough shooting , grouse , stalking , working with falcons , can't see me having anything else ever !
 

wildfowler1

Well-Known Member
Wirehaired Vizsla They do the lot I have 3. Had most of the other breeds in my life would never have anything else now. Just bought a new pup.Wf1
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Personally i'd say a waste of time, for wot u want.
Great dogs/breeds but none of wot ur looking for are there strong points, infact most of wot u want are there weaker points. Most of the smooth coated breeds are not fond of water and many will hardly paddle never mind swim and most hor breeds are noisier than 'normal' gundog breeds

If u put the time and effort in and get lucky with the individual dog u could train it do do wot u want, but there is still a chance it won't.
And even if u get very lucky with the dog and put a lot of time and effort in and it turns into a decent dog, it will still not be as good as an average lab at wot ur wanting

If u want a change i'd have a look at other retriever breeds ur flatty's, golden or curly coated or irish water spaniel, but its just getting decent working stock at 'normal' prices, and to be fair none of them will be as good as a lab either

Labs are so popularfor a reason, granted they are also quite boring but thats because there a doodle to train and just want to please u, and u don't have to watch them every second.
 

highland stalker

Well-Known Member
Personally i'd say a waste of time, for wot u want.
Great dogs/breeds but none of wot ur looking for are there strong points, infact most of wot u want are there weaker points. Most of the smooth coated breeds are not fond of water and many will hardly paddle never mind swim and most hor breeds are noisier than 'normal' gundog breeds

If u put the time and effort in and get lucky with the individual dog u could train it do do wot u want, but there is still a chance it won't.
And even if u get very lucky with the dog and put a lot of time and effort in and it turns into a decent dog, it will still not be as good as an average lab at wot ur wanting

If u want a change i'd have a look at other retriever breeds ur flatty's, golden or curly coated or irish water spaniel, but its just getting decent working stock at 'normal' prices, and to be fair none of them will be as good as a lab either

Labs are so popularfor a reason, granted they are also quite boring but thats because there a doodle to train and just want to please u, and u don't have to watch them every second.
Wise words as always........................but I still wouldn't change my GWP for one.
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
I cannot get my head round some of the really poor comments on this thread about Pointers
I am going to make some broad statements, therefor I will explain my reasoning and experience first.
I have kept, trained and worked dogs for 60 years, Fell terriers to Afghan hounds, Golden Retrievers to GSPs and a lot in-between.
And I have seen a lot of working dogs all over the world.
Firstly ALL mammals are born with the ability of swimming in water, it is only if frightened or badly entered that any mammal fails and that includes humans, I have yet to see a dog that doesn't swim if entered correctly.
When it comes to Pointers, do people not find it strange that water work is a major part of continental dog tests? and until the working pointer test were cancelled in the UK it was the only dog test that contained water work as mandatory, there was a nice article about it the sporting press last year.
Hard mouth yes, some pointers are hard mouthed, but so are more than a few labs, just look in a game cart at the end of a day.
I take people out wild fowling most of the winter, on most days the wildfowlers take their own dogs, normally Labs or Chesapeake's, but when there's un retrieved ducks or geese, its my GSPs that do the finding and retrieving. Yet by the very nature of my work, they are not out in the field as much as the clients dogs, so it should be their dogs that work better.
When I'm out stalking they work at heel and point deer, fox and find lost large game.
When out on Driven shoots they both sit at the peg without a problem and retrieve when asked and I could go on, but you get the picture!, they are not some sort of magic dog, they are the product of hard work and training, the same as hundreds of other good dogs.
A GSP or GWP can be a perfect all round dog, but it takes a lot more effort and understanding then a Labrador retriever.
And this is the final clincher, MOST British dog men do not have the know how or patience to successfully train a pointer to a high standard and then they make the excusers about the dogs are useless etc.
 

weeman

Well-Known Member
How about a wirehaired viszla , I have one for everything , duck shooting, rough shooting , grouse , stalking , working with falcons , can't see me having anything else ever !
I can vouch for arron's hwv. I've seen it work on deer before and after a shot on how it scents.
ive also been with arron duck shooting.
one thing I did notice with his hwv was on deer it would have his nose to the ground when scenting. When on ducks it would lower its neck with his head pointing forward. So the hwv clearly new what was expecting from it.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Not saying u don't have a point levi about them swimming if entered correctly, but i've seen an awful lot that won't go near water even in middle of summer, speak to some of the FT boys esp some of the older ones plenty of cracking stories about very tidy well trained dogs failing at the water test at the end of the day. I've heard quite a few stories of them throwing stones in etc to try and entice them in. And i'm not talking about amatuer/novice trainers here some very experienced trainers still have problems with water
It does tend to be more the smooth coated dogs thou, seen plenty sitting shivering too after it, but u could say the same for some of those modern FT bred labs that don't have a real proper coat.

When u start making broad assumptions about breeds u will always get proved wrong by indivdual dogs, but by and large most have some truth in them but with the right handling/training it can be overcome, but u can also sweep water uphill if u try hard enough.

I've been lucky enough to train with some of the top trainers in UK for hpr and shot over some of the best dogs (inc some FTCH) absolutely fantatsic dogs on the moor or a snipe bog, big rashy field for pheasants, but i've also picked up along side them and seen them 'beat' on keepers days (granted they have been trained for FT) just not wot there designed for.
I've heard off some dogs/breeds never miss a bird, yet to see 1 (including my own) but picked birds in areas hpr's that never miss have swept but by same token they have found birds my mutts have missed too

If u scored ur dog out of 10 for different skills etc, swimming obedience, retrieving, even stalking/tracking they're would be very very few categories most hpr's would out score an average lab.
Must admit i've yet to see an hpr that comes near an average decent trained lab, at doing normal shoot work/rough shooting or wildfowling.
Seen plenty of decent hpr's but seen a lot of terrible ones aswell, u can live with a poor lab (even a poor spaniel) but a poor hpr will be a nightmare for 10 years.

For me it is horses for courses, and every dog breed has strengths weaknesses pros and cons but if u don't need a dog to point or range far (hpr's biggest pro's) ur picking a breed for its weaknesses.
With the right training yes it will do wot u want but u will have to put atleast double the effort in take longer to train/mature and the chances are u will end up with just a bang average lab standard, if u put that time and effort into a lab it would be brilliant

Every breed has its place, but i just think hpr's are far over rated (and i'll probably always have 1) but just don't buy into all the BS about them
 

levigsp

Well-Known Member
Not saying u don't have a point levi about them swimming if entered correctly, but i've seen an awful lot that won't go near water even in middle of summer, speak to some of the FT boys esp some of the older ones plenty of cracking stories about very tidy well trained dogs failing at the water test at the end of the day. I've heard quite a few stories of them throwing stones in etc to try and entice them in. And i'm not talking about amatuer/novice trainers here some very experienced trainers still have problems with water
It does tend to be more the smooth coated dogs thou, seen plenty sitting shivering too after it, but u could say the same for some of those modern FT bred labs that don't have a real proper coat.

When u start making broad assumptions about breeds u will always get proved wrong by indivdual dogs, but by and large most have some truth in them but with the right handling/training it can be overcome, but u can also sweep water uphill if u try hard enough.

I've been lucky enough to train with some of the top trainers in UK for hpr and shot over some of the best dogs (inc some FTCH) absolutely fantatsic dogs on the moor or a snipe bog, big rashy field for pheasants, but i've also picked up along side them and seen them 'beat' on keepers days (granted they have been trained for FT) just not wot there designed for.
I've heard off some dogs/breeds never miss a bird, yet to see 1 (including my own) but picked birds in areas hpr's that never miss have swept but by same token they have found birds my mutts have missed too

If u scored ur dog out of 10 for different skills etc, swimming obedience, retrieving, even stalking/tracking they're would be very very few categories most hpr's would out score an average lab.
Must admit i've yet to see an hpr that comes near an average decent trained lab, at doing normal shoot work/rough shooting or wildfowling.
Seen plenty of decent hpr's but seen a lot of terrible ones aswell, u can live with a poor lab (even a poor spaniel) but a poor hpr will be a nightmare for 10 years.

For me it is horses for courses, and every dog breed has strengths weaknesses pros and cons but if u don't need a dog to point or range far (hpr's biggest pro's) ur picking a breed for its weaknesses.
With the right training yes it will do wot u want but u will have to put atleast double the effort in take longer to train/mature and the chances are u will end up with just a bang average lab standard, if u put that time and effort into a lab it would be brilliant

Every breed has its place, but i just think hpr's are far over rated (and i'll probably always have 1) but just don't buy into all the BS about them
So, take a look where I live, my dogs certainly don't sit shivering, neither do the GSPs I shot over in Sweden and Norway when it was seriously cold[all smooth coated]

Google loch Watten, and have a look at how broad it is, I've seen five dogs swim that chasing down a winged goose successfully, a lurcher! a Chesapeake and 3 of my own GSPs, Ive seen dozens turn back.
I shoot occasional days in Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire, Notts, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, etc and on some great shoots, my dogs have NEVER let me down in public and they have wiped the eye of a lot of dogs.
Its strange when I first started to show people my original pointer work, I got comments like, " some special dog that! if you breed from him Ill buy one", those comments are still coming thick and fast, yet every pointer I've owned has been bred differently.
I have seen a lot of poor GSP etc but that's not the breeds fault, its simply poor understanding and training. I've seen good dogs of all breeds especially labs, but as said many times they are born half trained, and can be finished to a good standard easily, but as I said earlier, Pointer take a lot more time and a lot more effort, but the rewards far out way that effort.
One final point about retrieving by dogs, I have had witnessed retreves of the following by one dog, Ducks including divers, Geese, Pigeons, Crows, Rooks, Jays, Magpies, Snipe, Woodcock, Ptatamigan, Grouse, Black Grouse, Capacallie, Pheasants, Partridges Squirrels, Rabbits, Hares, Rats, Coypu, Fox, Badger, Martens, Roe, Stoats, weasals,Polecats, Raccoon, Raccon Dogs, and possibly more a lot of these were alive and kicking and quite a few from water all by a gsp, I would like to see any Lab pick a lot of these! yet most Polish, Czeck, Slovack dogs are expected to retrieve these things!and people over there do not find it unusual.
This is my last beat of the Pointer drum.
 

ILoveBambi

Well-Known Member
I cannot get my head round some of the really poor comments on this thread about Pointers
I am going to make some broad statements, therefor I will explain my reasoning and experience first.
I have kept, trained and worked dogs for 60 years, Fell terriers to Afghan hounds, Golden Retrievers to GSPs and a lot in-between.
And I have seen a lot of working dogs all over the world.
Firstly ALL mammals are born with the ability of swimming in water, it is only if frightened or badly entered that any mammal fails and that includes humans, I have yet to see a dog that doesn't swim if entered correctly.
When it comes to Pointers, do people not find it strange that water work is a major part of continental dog tests? and until the working pointer test were cancelled in the UK it was the only dog test that contained water work as mandatory, there was a nice article about it the sporting press last year.
Hard mouth yes, some pointers are hard mouthed, but so are more than a few labs, just look in a game cart at the end of a day.
I take people out wild fowling most of the winter, on most days the wildfowlers take their own dogs, normally Labs or Chesapeake's, but when there's un retrieved ducks or geese, its my GSPs that do the finding and retrieving. Yet by the very nature of my work, they are not out in the field as much as the clients dogs, so it should be their dogs that work better.
When I'm out stalking they work at heel and point deer, fox and find lost large game.
When out on Driven shoots they both sit at the peg without a problem and retrieve when asked and I could go on, but you get the picture!, they are not some sort of magic dog, they are the product of hard work and training, the same as hundreds of other good dogs.
A GSP or GWP can be a perfect all round dog, but it takes a lot more effort and understanding then a Labrador retriever.
And this is the final clincher, MOST British dog men do not have the know how or patience to successfully train a pointer to a high standard and then they make the excusers about the dogs are useless etc.
Spot on! You get out what you put in. I used to breed & work ESS before I seriously got into deer stalking. I'm now a Weimaraner man on my 3rd one now. My last one did a bit of everything well, not perfect but good enough. Deer stalking was exceptional. Hard mouthed yes as is my present one now 2 years old. But hard mouthed is what I want no good being a pussy trying to hold down a big stag or lively wounded roe for that matter. Mine does fine but is in constant training. 2 years 4 months old & taken 9 deer so far.
Wildfowl training starts on the job next month.
ILB
 

243 fallow

Well-Known Member
For what its worth i have judged some local working tests and the last one i did was on the water test, i see all the usual breeds from HPR,s to spaniels and labs. With out a doubt the Labs and spaniels ruled the roost whilst the HPR folk seemed to get quite upset that their dogs struggled with the water test, i think that maybe the HPR,s would be a better dog for more experienced handlers. You will not find a better dog than a lab as long as he comes from good lines and for hunting a good ESScant be beaten, theres a reason why there so popular in the UK. HPRs have their place though and suit the European style of hunting/shooting.
 

9.3x64

Well-Known Member
Well I am a very inexperienced at dog training nothing like most of you guys, however I have been a shooter and hunter for 40years. My GSP is brilliant on deer, quail, pheasant, duck, and anything I care to hunt or train him to do. I have even trained him to immediately avoid snakes. He was not hard to train it just took commitment.
Try and train a fat lab to jump 6 foot in the air in a heartbeat at the sight of a red bellied black snake and see how you go.
 

243 fallow

Well-Known Member
Not all labs are fat mate< bloke down the road has am over weight GSP i will ask him if it jumps 6ft in the air at the sight of an adder or grass snake, this is going to turn into a my dogs better than yours. Ive yet to see a HPR thats an alrounder but have seen plenty of Labradors that are. All my pickers up use Labs or Spaniels.
 

9.3x64

Well-Known Member
Never see a HPR that's not an all rounder. I have heard it all now.
I also use a English Cocker and she is a brilliant dog but not an all rounder.
 
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long gone

Active Member
So I do a little stalking, mostly wildfowling and the odd bit of rough shooting/crows. Now the sensible option has always been labs. I've always fancied a pointer but mainly to work at heel, hide dog and work out to say 20 yards. Is a pointer eg gwp a waste of time? I get on fine with labs but just always fancied one. Would be nice to have a quiet dog that went on point.


just interested in how people find them as actual HPRs all round? Hard mouthed? :lol:

Try a Brittany.
Mine loved wildfowling, would sit in a hide and pick up pigeons, went beating and wiped the eye of spaniels and labs, no good at stalking though as she was a bird dog. Can be sticky on the point, but gave you plenty of time to get up with her. Great house dog and not so big that you need a second mortgage to feed it. And soft mouthed until she saw a rat or squirrel.
 

Chasser

Well-Known Member
Korthals Griffon. Not had the hunting bred out of them by pet breeding. Bloody keen on water. Very intelligent and work a lot of things out for themselves. Really good in the house too! As they are so loyal!

HPR's always hunting both air and ground scenting, instinct tells them how to quater the wind. seems a lot of retrieving breeds need to be told when to start hunting with the likes of a whistle or command.
 
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