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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a new fishing & hunting companion. My research has pointed me to a German Shorthair Pointer, but I do not know anyone who has owned one. I'm looking to kennel raise it, hunt with it a few times a year, and take it fishing most weekends here in SE Idaho. During the week I'd take it running and let it run in the fields around our home. Has anyone here owned one that could give me their opinion of it as a breed?

We have a German Shepherd, and it likes the water ok, but it prefers hanging out with my wife just as much as it does hitting the rivers. I want a dog that loves the water.

Thanks - Sam
 

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Hot Carl
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I had one growing up as a kid. I loved the hell out of it, but they definitely like to take off on scent trails and roam off. They're typically more eager to take off sniffing scents and chasing things than to be heeled at your side like a lab would. My uncle has 3 now, and I see the same things in his as well. He uses them for hunting pheasants, and they do quite well at that though.
 

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Good bird dogs and love to cover ground, but with your program, you want a water dog, and the GSP ain't. I'm sure there are some who will disagree, but Evan nailed it. This breed is a runner--that's what it does--and it really isn't a dog for fishing unless you want to keep looking for it.
 

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Good bird dogs and love to cover ground, but with your program, you want a water dog, and the GSP ain't. I'm sure there are some who will disagree, but Evan nailed it. This breed is a runner--that's what it does--and it really isn't a dog for fishing unless you want to keep looking for it.
Amen. I had an English Pointer and he was a great dog but I couldn't fish with him. The last time I tried he chased down the scent of some chickens about a mile from where I was fishing. I found him the next day. They are bird dogs. That's what they do best.
 

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Haven't owned one myself but have hunted with them plenty of times. Some will love the water but I would consider it an exception. That short coat tends to let them get cold pretty easily.

We are planning on getting a pointer in the next couple of years and it is down to the GSP or a German Wirehaired pointer. For water, the GWP is a better fit but is obviously still far from other "water" dogs such as a lab or chesapeake.

IMO I'm not sure I would go for a dog that "loves" the water. My labs can get pretty disruptive when I'm fishing. They think they are there to swim and fetch ducks. Keeping them in the boat when a fish is on can be a sketchy proposition if they haven't had the batteries run down a bit. But to be honest, it doesn't keep me from taking them. :)
 
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Ideal fishing dog in my opinon but I might be biased as I have one sleeping on the couch next to me.

They like the water but most won't spend all day trying to get in the water you are fishing. They can be long running but can usually be trained to "stay close" with some effort. My dog is excellent in a boat as well.

I don't want a water crazy dog for a fishing/upland hunting companion since I like her to ride up front in the truck when we go.

Mike
 

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I would think the best fishing dog would be the one that enjoys being with you, but doesn't particularly like the water (so it'll stay out of your way while you fish). My dog loves both, but I don't take him fishing because he wants to be in the water, either fetching sticks, swimming, or standing where my D loop should be.
 

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I have a 13 yr old GSP. We got here as a two year old. High Energy!!! We would take her to the park and she would just run or if there were any birds around she would chase them. Just after we got her my wife thought she lost her. Saw a deer and she was off, 15 minutes later out she popped. One of several time she would disappear, but always made it back. She is the most graceful and athletic dog I have ever been around.
We were told she hated water, but she loves to swim. She also loved the snow. They can take cold or wet, but not together (especially when they get older). I about watched her go down the river twice. Once chasing birds in swift moving water (birds kept flying overhead and she just kept swimming and yelping as she went down river). Also she tried to cross with me and current was to fast, she would not stay on the other bank. Very focused on birds. She would go in after ducks. We have a canoe and I would not take her, one duck and she would swamp you I fear.
Over the years we have had to have her stitched up 3-4 times. Once running through a fence in Nevada chasing birds and the rest going into brush.
They are loyal, sweet, wants to please. Also wants to be a lap dog. Gets along with other dogs.
As a pointer she always has to be out front. That and wanting to take off after anything that moves makes them an interesting jogging partner. But plenty of energy., I took her mountain biking and she kept up. Will never quit.
I would not trade her for the world, but would not want another in this climate (if I wanted a hunting dog would definitely consider another). So would not be the worst fishing dog, but you may want to consider others?
 

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BAMF
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this my opinion...

if you train the dog with the most focus being on obedience then it shouldnt be a problem with the dog going in the water or roaming no matter what dog it is. The basic sit, heel, and stay engrained in a dogs skull will get you a dog patiently sitting on the shoring waiting on you to get done fishing. if you train the dog to hunt close and not to range the dog will be the same way on the river. I know alot of guys that have pointing dogs that like to let their dog roam free and as far as they want to, but i have never agreed with it, i believe it lets the dog know that it can go and come as it please. I do normally let my lab roam when on the river unless other people are present but he's been trained to go no farther than around 50 yards from me(his maximum hunting distance), and always comes backs and "checks in" onces he hit his range. If someone is around he stays on heel.
if you take the time to train the dog for the river environment then all should be well.
Most duck hunters train their dogs to stay on shore, in the boat, or on its stand when the hunter is setting up decoys and there's no difference with this than walking into a river to fish.

i had a GSP once and it loved the water, but only when the water was warm. I dont think they are the greatest fishing dogs since they dont particularly like the cold weather and water. The next best thing, in my opinion, would be a GWP. The GWP has a higher temperance to the cold than the GSP. If i had to chose the best fishing/hunting dog it would be a lab or chessie, maybe even a golden. The retrievers typically take the cold weather and water much better, and are not as strong winded as most pointers. Usually after a few of hours of hiking and fishing my dog is more than pleased to lay down for a rest while i fish a run for a bit.
plus, its always nice having your loyal buddy next to you to talk to on the way home after a good day of fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the great feedback. Definately provides some food for thought.

Good looking dog Mike. The pup I have my eye on has very similar liver/brown distributions.

I still haven't ruled out a lab or even a chesapeake, but from the range of responses and talking with the breeder a GSP or GWP is probably what I'm looking for. With a sporting or hunting breed, I'll only get a pup so that I can train him to stay heeled or in a close distance. I probably won't train him to trail scents right off the bat, but I would like to take him deer/bird hunting to see how he does. The pup we are looking at has very good hunting lines.

My wife and I work with our current dog regularly, and taught him standard obedience commands when we rescued him from two years of neglect. He's a great dog for hiking, X-country skiing, showshowing, football watching etc but he just doesn't enjoy riding in the boat a whole lot. I should correct my original post to change loves the water to feels very confident in the water.

We just moved down to a place in Idaho with no dog parks, so I'd like this next dog to serve as a companion to our German Shepherd. I'd think that a GSP would fit in pretty well with my current dog's temperment.

Again, thanks for the comments. If anyone has a good story or opinion I'd like to read it.

Sam
 

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Sporting dogs of any kind suck as a good fishing dog. I have a very well trained Lab that is totally disruptive(if I let him) while I fish. He is very well trained so I can get him to just sit there on the bank while he burns a hole in the back of my head staring at me (waiting for a command). All in all...very un relaxing. The best fishing companions I have seen are simply well adjusted muts with thick coats that just chill out or play by themselves on the bank. I promise....a sporting dog will not just chill out when you fish....they may be under control (like my lab) but they are far from chilled out.
 

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a well trained dog is what you are going to need. Dogs are just a product of their owners and what the owner(s) instill in them.
not knowing much about you or your lifestyle i would be hesitant to make a reccomendation on the dog you should have.
BUT in general a shorthair is not a house dog. it is not a dog to be hunted a couple times per year. i wouldnt turn any shorthair that i have ever known loose to just roam the area around the house. They get a scent or an idea and can just take off. i have found several GSPs while hunting chukars that have been left out over night because they took off on their owners, and most of these dogs are highly trained hunting dogs. high energy hunting dogs, if thats not what you are going to be doing with your pup i would look at a different breed.
 

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My wife and I had one nearly exactly colored as all of the photos. She was an incredible dog. None has ever matched up to her. We lost her in about 1975 when she ran away on the 4th of July. It was probably the saddest day of our entire 4o year marriage. We were never able to find her though we looked for months.. You couldn't ask for a more intelligent, gentle bread that loves to hunt and fish. Because of the loss, I'm now a cat person and my cat never goes outside.
 

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If you want that GSP to hunt worth a sheit, you better take it hunting a heck of a lot more than a few times a year. They aren't labs that can just jump off the couch and hunt after 6 months off. They are a lot of work, but are awesome hunters if you put the time in. I'd get a mutt with some herding blood in it if you want to take it fishing. :thumb:
 

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I have a 3.5 yr old male GSP. Ol Karl is a fine dog. Or he was. First couple years in the field, that boy was a machine. Couldnt tucker him out with a full day of running fields for pheasant, the cliffs for chuckar, you name it. Always just looking back as if to say, "Come on fatty, git movin'!" But as the above post notes, I didn't work him hard enough. With only a half dozen or eight hunts each year, and a long off season of sleeping on the bed with my wife, this year he has decided he doesn't want to hunt anymore. Literally jumped out of the truck and ran back into the house and jumped on the bed, despite the guns and hunting gear that used to drive him nuts. Got him out in they field, and he just strolled along as if we were on a walk. But you know, as I write this to vent my frustrations about my broken hunting dog, I am thinking....wait. Maybe he's just turned into a fishing dog! I used to not be able to take him fishing because of his drive to run. Now maybe he's just telling me he'd rather hop in the boat or cruise the riverbanks with me at a leisurely pace? Guess I better take him fishing and find out. Or...make me an offer and you can have him ;) (Please don't tell my wife I said that.)
 

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GSP's are great bird dogs, but as most have expressed, they need to be hunting birds, not a fishing campanion. I would recommend a retreiver, they love to be around water and are a lot more interested in where you are, than where a bird might be lurking. I have a Brittany and a Golden. When fishing, I'm always concerned about where the Brittany's nose has led him off to, whereas the Golden is usually nearby watching my every move. Sometimes, too close, as water dogs they don't hesitate wade or swim right out to where you are fishing.

My recommendation would be for a Golden, Lab or Wirehired Pointing Griffon. They can hunt upland game and love being invited along on any trip involving water.
 

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BAMF
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GSP's can be good house dogs, but its a crap ton of work to make it happen. I would like to also add that not properly excerising a high energy bird dog can be devestating to you, the dog, and your house (if you plan on keeping him indoors). They demand a lot, i repeat, A LOT of attention in the exercise department, A LOT! They are a breed made specifically for bird hunting, they live for it, most GSP's can damn near figure out the hunting thing on their own and a fine bloodline GSP usually only needs to be taught his mannors and a little fine tuning in the hunting department.
if you do only plan on hunting the dog only a few times a year i would reconsider, this is just my personal opinion. Owning a GSP and not hunting the dog like it should be hunted would be like owning a Indy car and only driving it to the grocery store.
When i moved up from Alabama to Minnesota i came with a GSP that was only 4 months old. The dog and I moved into a apartment with my wife (girlfriend at the time). I figured if i exercised the shit out of him i would be able to get away with keeping him in the apartment, no dice! The dog grew a bad case of seperation anxiety and unless totally worn out, he would destroy the apartment during the day. he even had our roommates puppy rotweiler(spelling?) to play with when we were gone. Needless to say after about a $1000 in damage to the apartment i ended up having to sell him. This totally sucked as he was one of the best dogs i had ever had at his age, he would point anything at 8 weeks, took 2 session to teach to fetch, and whoa trained in a record time. The guy that ended up buying him shot 70+ birds over the dog during it's first season. The dog was only 1 year old at the end of that bird season.
anyways, it can be done, but just realize what you could be getting into. If your a high energy person then the dog could fit well with your personality. If your like me and love your couch time when you get off work, dont plan on it with that breed of dog.

good luck with your decision!
 

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BAMF
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Here's are a few pics of Duke "The Hoss" Nelson. The frist two pictures are showing his normal routine while i fish, he was just a pup the first two pics but his river and boat mannors are pretty much the same. The third pic is him all grown up. He's a big dog as you can see in the pic, he's all shoulders with a heart just as big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dang I'm glad I posted, I never realized that GSPs NEEDED to be hunted so much. I think I'll take a look at this pup and his parents, to see how mellow he is and how they parents are tempered. Our German Shepherd needs a lot of exercise like the GSP, and we are good at making sure he gets it. I do think that a GSP would make a great companion to our dog, but I just want to make sure that we give him opportunities to become a good general outdoor and family dog. I do know of some good labs, but I've also known plenty of berserk ones too. Probably owner fault, but I know that if they were bought from good lines they could excel for what I would want them to do.

I did some research on other dogs in the GSPs category, ie wirehairs and weimreiners, but the GSPs are presented as better family and companion dogs.

Thanks again for the responses. I had hoped that the results would be more positive, but mostly I just want to make sure I find a breed that will fit in with my lifestyle.

IBN - it appears that your GSP is a great fishing dog, what can you tell me about your experience? If you have a minute, I'd like to hear your opinion.

Thanks,

Sam
 
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