Looking for a little help on a dog decision

EYJONAS!

Active member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
539
So, let me start off by saying my wife has won the decision to purchase our next pooch. That was the trade-off I took over not having anymore kids. I may have lost the battle but in my mind I won the war. I do a lot of lion hunting and have been kicking around the hound idea for a few years now and in my situation I can have hounds where I live so that isn't gonna work. I do a ton of waterfowl hunting also mostly rivers, some big water action some. I'm not a huge upland guy. So here's what I'm looking at, or I should say she's looking at.

My first choice is a lab after a blue tick but that isn't going to work. She isn't a big lab fan love the blue ticks though! However, she's dead set on these wirehaired pointing griffons from Hun Hill Kennels. They look like great dogs from a great upland breeder. I have had some conversations with the guy there and he seems very knowledgeable and cares a lot about his breed and dogs. He was very open to say he's had folks purchase his dogs and use them for waterfowl and have great success. My problem is the wirehaired "pointing" part. These dogs to me are bred for fast action, gotta run, cover country, pointing dogs. Not sit there and wait for a batch of greenheads. I have been reading forums on the breed and haven't seen much negative on the dogs and really none at all actually. Just curious if anyone here has much experience with these griffons or something similar in breed for waterfowl? Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks
 

406LIFE

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
2,078
Location
Bitterroot Valley, MT
I have hunted once behind a griffin and it was an enjoyable experience but the dog was trained and it was up land. A lot of people try to get a multi-purpose dog but the reality is you get a jack of all trades and master of none more often than not. A pointing dog has a lot of energy and generally cannot sit well in a Duck Blind. A duck dog does not have the same level of energy or structure as a pointing dog and will not last as long in a field. There are a course exceptions to this. I would encourage you to get a dog that will do the the type of hunting you do the most. And if possible you can Branch out after that.
 

maxx

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
700
It is a crap shoot honestly when picking up a dog. Have you called the breeder you are interested in and talked to him? I would get his opinion on it and then I would go as far as letting him know you want the dog more so for fowl and let him pick you the puppy out of the litter that you like best.

A lot lot lot of guys used wirehair dogs for waterowl work. A lot of what you want out of a dog is in the training. They need to have the want/drive but the sitting still part in a blind to me can be a trained thing.

I am on my second lab. The first one could sit for hours and do nothing until you shot and then she was money. The dog only broke a few times. I didn't have kids at the time and I had more time to train her.

The one I have now is just wired different. She isn't the most enjoyable dog to duck hunt with. She just wants to go she is a much better upland dog.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
5,731
Location
Somewhere in the basalt rocks
It all depends on the breeding temperament. The wire hair breeds, Griff, Drahthaars are bred to have on off switch for working in the blind. My recommendation is go watch the dogs work. It will be far more valuable than opinions on the internet.
 

gdgwp

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
73
I have a 10 year old wirehair and I have a love hate relationship with her. Here's my personal experience with them:

Pros:

- She's the hardest hunting dog I've ever seen. There is absolutely no give up in these dogs.
- She hunts everything (also see cons list)
- They're called versatile for a reason. She's retrieved pheasant, grouse, ducks, and geese. Also chases deer, skunk, raccoons and barn swallows with the same passion.
- She's found more cripples that should have been lost than any dog I've ever seen.
- She loves all hunting. She's a little more vocal in the duck blind and on the retrieve than most people like, but desire is desire. She literally screams/barks across the water.

Cons:
- She hunts everything...she cannot tell the difference between a rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, house cat, or your neighbors chiwawa.
- I have an alpha female so she's not the most dog friendly dog.

I love her but the fight and desire to hunt in her is more than I care for. I think it depends on your situation and how hard you're going to hunt them. I also have the alpha out of the group and know many people who have a pretty chill wirehair.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
5,731
Location
Somewhere in the basalt rocks
Ultimately you have to get what you want, but I've read a few misconceptions here.

1) Griffs aren't bred to be big running dogs like some pointing breeds. They are actually bred to be a closer working dog for the foot hunter. You will certainly have variance within a breed (refer back to my earlier comment on breeding selection and watching the individual dogs work), but by in large, Griffs and Drahts both are not big running dogs. I've seen some wirehairs run 3-400 yards, and others 50. The breeder should be honest about what they select for.

2) They CAN have an incredible prey drive. However, if you tell the breeder you are more interested in biddability and cooperation than an off the chart prey drive, they should be able to fit a dog more in line with what you are looking for.

3) Sitting still in a blind is both a trained thing and a breeding selection thing. Mental stability is a genetic trait.

4) There is a reason most waterfowl clubs have labs, but IMO it's not all performance related. The versatile breeds are very smart and it is a completely different training process than you would go through training a lab. That said, I would match a well trained versatile dog any day of the week against a well trained lab when it comes to the duck marsh.

5) I can't reiterate enough to select a breeder who you think aligns with what you want out of a dog. My last wirehair was a disaster, but I did NOT do my due diligence with hanging around the dogs. I don't know it would have changed things, genetic outliers are just that and aren't predictable. My current Draht is as pleasant a dog as I have ever been around and is one of the most trainable dogs I've ever handled.

If the breeder is comfortable selling you a dog to a waterfowl only hunter, then spend a day duck hunting with his female. You should see all you need to see.
 

gdgwp

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
73
Ultimately you have to get what you want, but I've read a few misconceptions here.

1) Griffs aren't bred to be big running dogs like some pointing breeds. They are actually bred to be a closer working dog for the foot hunter. You will certainly have variance within a breed (refer back to my earlier comment on breeding selection and watching the individual dogs work), but by in large, Griffs and Drahts both are not big running dogs. I've seen some wirehairs run 3-400 yards, and others 50. The breeder should be honest about what they select for.

2) They CAN have an incredible prey drive. However, if you tell the breeder you are more interested in biddability and cooperation than an off the chart prey drive, they should be able to fit a dog more in line with what you are looking for.

3) Sitting still in a blind is both a trained thing and a breeding selection thing. Mental stability is a genetic trait.

4) There is a reason most waterfowl clubs have labs, but IMO it's not all performance related. The versatile breeds are very smart and it is a completely different training process than you would go through training a lab. That said, I would match a well trained versatile dog any day of the week against a well trained lab when it comes to the duck marsh.

5) I can't reiterate enough to select a breeder who you think aligns with what you want out of a dog. My last wirehair was a disaster, but I did NOT do my due diligence with hanging around the dogs. I don't know it would have changed things, genetic outliers are just that and aren't predictable. My current Draht is as pleasant a dog as I have ever been around and is one of the most trainable dogs I've ever handled.

If the breeder is comfortable selling you a dog to a waterfowl only hunter, then spend a day duck hunting with his female. You should see all you need to see.
I totally agree with all this. My pup was the one barking at the breeder, pulling the wing away from all the other dogs and showing drive/dominance from day one. At that time I wanted that. My parents have a wirehair from the same mother and he sleeps all day, is a great hunting dog and has never gotten in a fight.
 

OwyheeHuntr

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
93
Location
S. Idaho
I'm partial to WPG, I own three and have an occasional litter. My dogs are close working, but I hunting 95% upland, and if I do shoot a duck it's in a small pond or canal. There are guys that love Griffs for waterfowl. My male wouldn't mind sitting around in a blind, my female would go nuts. I owned Chesapeake's before...now if you want a waterfowl dog :)
 

onpoint

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
2,025
Location
Gallatin Valley, MT
Get the dog you want.
If the wife doesn't like your choice - worst case scenario, you still have a good dog who won't complain about your choice of human female companion(s).
Just make sure the dog she never wanted doesn't end up leaving with her via the legal proceedings - that has happened.............................
 
Last edited:

pointingdogsrule

Active member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,416
Location
northeast Iowa
Lots of good comments.

I have had WPG's since 1990.

1. As mentioned they are "close working" dogs. They are often referred to as an "old man's dog". They are slow and methodical in working birds.
2. They will be the "most loving" dog that you will ever own. They live to hunt birds and please the owners. Great around kids.
3. They are easily trained and will sit in a duck blind all day long. Excellent retrievers (they will do this all day long) :)
4. They love the water and the "undercoat" keeps them dry and they dry off very fast.
5. Temperament: I have never met a WGP that was NOT loving. Also: I can count on one hand the number of times that they bark (this is usually when they have a woodchuck or raccoon cornered) :)

the bad: The "proper coat" Griffons will collect cockle burrs. The coat takes some care. Very low shedders. There are some Griffons with shorter coats that do NOT collect burrs. My first Griffon had a shorter coat.

Here is a photo of my current Griffon "LOLA" she just passed her "AKC Junior Hunter" this past spring. All 4 required tests in two days. Lots of compliments from the judges on her working ability. I have a friend that shows "LOLA" and she is currently #6 in the nation for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons :)






If you have any questions on the breed... do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Last edited:

onpoint

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
2,025
Location
Gallatin Valley, MT
I'm a Grif guy, too. I currently luckily graced with 1 1/2 of them :rolleyes:, a three year old and an 11 year old.
Glad to see pointingdogsrule give an experienced and factual description of the breed.
While I do not hunt flying liver, I have friends with griffons who do - and they do well in the blind as well as jump shooting creek ducks.
I will never be without grifs.
Mine have a definite switch. When the hunt is on they're pure business. Otherwise absolute entertainers, clowns, lap dogs, heart stealers, scary smart.
My younger girl took MT Sharptail NAVHDA prize one in Natural Ability at 1 year 3 months old. All her, none me.
A little different aspect in coat composition than pointingdogsrule's Lola......
DSCN6453.jpg
 

Summitthunting

Active member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
1,056
Location
Crazy, CO
I ran labs for 20 years and really like them. I’ve had Kona for 8 months and she is by far the best dog I’ve ever had. Intelligence and demeanor are outstanding. I’ve heard from a few people there can be a little high strung but Kona is mellow as can be.

11A54F89-6B69-4015-A061-857219B134BC.jpg
 

6mm Remington

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
913
Location
Westen Montana
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Our female Hazel weighs about 36 pounds full grown. She looks similar to a golden retriever but about half the size and reddish color hair with white markings. She has white socks on all four feet, a white tip on her tail, a white chest patch, and a white patch on her nose. Very smart and affectionate. I have not honestly worked with her much. Took her our recently jump shooting ducks on ponds and pheasants in the brush. She did a great job and seemed to have a sense to stay and work the grass while not straying too far away. I was impressed because she's really not a pointer but any birds flushed would have been in shotgun range as she stayed pretty close without having to holler at her a lot. Very smart and wants to please.

David

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_Scotia_Duck_Tolling_Retriever
 

onpoint

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
2,025
Location
Gallatin Valley, MT
An interesting twist in the topic, to me at least....
My older girl is the product of a AKC Choc lab molesting a NAVDHA Wire Haired Pointing Griffon. Wasn't supposed to happen.
Turns out an absolutely lights out cross. Points when supposed to, flushes when needs to, water machine, tough as hell. At 11 with two redone ACL's she's still hunting strong.
Breeders hate this sorta thing - I completely understand - but interesting things can happen with these accidents. A wire haired pointing griffador retriever.
Most likely never happen, but if this ever became a breed - I'd be allover it in a heartbeat again. Otherwise, probably never be lucky enough to have one like her again._DSC0370.jpg
 

EYJONAS!

Active member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
539
Wow thanks for the response guys it's much appreciated I have some decisions to make in the upcoming couple months and will take all the responses into my thought process. When the time comes I'll update with the decisions and story. Good luck this season with your pooches!
 

IDFireLass

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
93
Location
Idaho
Go with the Griffon. Friends have had them for years. They are a great hunting dog for birds and my friends dog even hunts waterfowl. They will make a great family dog. You won't like a blue tick. Have had hounds and they actually are great family dogs but they have energy and they take training and they need to be exercised. They will follow their noses and they will get into trouble. They bark a lot especially if a cat walks through the yard and so forth. They are big and their tails can be whips.
 
Top