Looking for some pup advice

jlong17

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Well... my daughter is almost 5 years old and her energy levels currently outpace that of our 11 year old German Shorthaired Pointer. He has certainly earned his lazy retirement years. Gunner has been the best dog I have ever had, but I know we will have to face that unfortunate day soon enough. I was talking with my wife last night and it led to hours of flipping through puppy ads and dog breed research. We stumbled across the French Brittany's, and now we are chewing on the idea of looking for a breeder.
I'm wondering what your guys' opinion/advice is on the topic. Would you get a new puppy while having an old dog still around? I feel like it could breathe new life into him? Gunner has always been VERY good with other dogs, so I'm not worried about him being aggressive. I would love to get another GSP, but my wife has requested a smaller breed (easier to travel with). I read some forums and I know guys like @OntarioHunter have nothing but praise for the Brittany's.
We want a dog that is:
Under 50 lbs (preferrably 40)
Loyal & loving family dog
Hiking companion and travel dog (RV/roadtrips/hunt camp)
I would love to do some bird hunting with him/her, but can't say that bird hunts > elk hunts
Possibly shed hunting? (don't hate)
Let me know what you guys think/ I appreciate it!


Here's our beloved Gunner for back in his prime
IMG_1465.jpeg
 
Both my female GSP's are less than 50lbs. Think the wife would go for that?

Edit: To clarify, not selling my dogs, lol. See if you can find a small female GSP
 
Both my female GSP's are less than 50lbs. Think the wife would go for that?
I don't know. When we bought Gunner, we were expecting a 50 lb boy.... he turned out over 90 hahah!! I realize that is not typical but my goodness he's a brute. Where did you pick yours up?
 
Had a Brittany years ago and he was a great dog. His name was Reload . Long hair and shedding can be a minor issue. I personally love Labs but you can’t go wrong with a Britttany either
 
Burkhart Kennels, Byron NY

Obviously you never can guarantee what size a dog will grow to but small parents make small pups. A 45-55lb female and a 55-65lb male should make a pretty small female GSP. Our females are near clones of their mothers in body size and build.
 
I am an Airedale man, and would recommend an Airedale - they don't shed much, are goofy for life, and great in the woods (if you buy from a hunting line). Great companions. But any breed you get, intersected with a 5-year-old, is going to take a bit of extra effort on your part, because the kid isn't old enough to tell the pup what to do and have the pup obey.

David
NM
 
I have never owned one but hunted behind some. Nice dogs close working. Another smaller breed that I have had good luck hunting behind is vizslas.
 
I am an Airedale man, and would recommend an Airedale - they don't shed much, are goofy for life, and great in the woods (if you buy from a hunting line). Great companions. But any breed you get, intersected with a 5-year-old, is going to take a bit of extra effort on your part, because the kid isn't old enough to tell the pup what to do and have the pup obey.

David
NM
Ya I already know it’s going to be a lot to juggle. I brought home gunner 11 years ago and spent hours a day training for much of his first year. I thought I’d hunt him a lot… but he ended up being a hiking, camping, Home Depot running, coffee shop sittin kind of dog. I’d really like to get another pal like that
 
A female Golden from a smaller line would be one to consider. I encounter TONS of dogs at work and by far Goldens are the most consistently good with people. Disclaimer- I am Daisy's (she is 14) dad ;)
 

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I am biased for two reasons: first, I sell American Brittany puppies and secondly, I am a pro trainer.

If you want a good hunting dog, stay away from French Brits. Not trying to offend anyone. I've trained several. They aren't impressive in the field. Bird drive is generally lacking and they just don't have much juice. They mostly hop and don't run. They have the economy of motion of a three year old who just learned to run.

An average GSP or American Brit is like a new Tacoma...plenty to get the job done in style. A well-bred GSP or American Brit can also be a Corvette or Ferrari, if the parents are great and you get a lucky. It is hard to go wrong with a GSP because no one breeds them for the cute factor. American Brits are gorgeous dogs so unfortunately some get bred for the wrong reasons....but they are a dual dog and have more DC titles than the other pointing dogs combined (meaning the lines of proper confirmation and hunting skills have not split).

French Brittanys are like the equivalent of a 1982 Geo Metro. It may get you a bird, but the ones I've seen like to frolic around sniffing asses of the better dogs. The clients were happy because I got them steady-to-wing and they didn't know what they didn't know, but I would stay away.

Find a dog that is bred hot and whose parents hunt hard and run big. It is way easier to pull a dog back and reign him in then to try to push some French Brit to range past forty yards.
 
Female will help with the size issue and suggest, I am very happy with my pudelpointer. You said shedding is ok but most of them don’t shed and the ones that do shed very little. Great versatile breed for waterfowl and upland, and are great family dogs.
 
I am biased for two reasons: first, I sell American Brittany puppies and secondly, I am a pro trainer.

If you want a good hunting dog, stay away from French Brits. Not trying to offend anyone. I've trained several. They aren't impressive in the field. Bird drive is generally lacking and they just don't have much juice. They mostly hop and don't run. They have the economy of motion of a three year old who just learned to run.

An average GSP or American Brit is like a new Tacoma...plenty to get the job done in style. A well-bred GSP or American Brit can also be a Corvette or Ferrari, if the parents are great and you get a lucky. It is hard to go wrong with a GSP because no one breeds them for the cute factor. American Brits are gorgeous dogs so unfortunately some get bred for the wrong reasons....but they are a dual dog and have more DC titles than the other pointing dogs combined (meaning the lines of proper confirmation and hunting skills have not split).

French Brittanys are like the equivalent of a 1982 Geo Metro. It may get you a bird, but the ones I've seen like to frolic around sniffing asses of the better dogs. The clients were happy because I got them steady-to-wing and they didn't know what they didn't know, but I would stay away.

Find a dog that is bred hot and whose parents hunt hard and run big. It is way easier to pull a dog back and reign him in then to try to push some French Brit to range past forty yards.
Yeah sure. Get an American Britt if you want a hunting dog that runs all over hells half acre. Give me a pointing dog that stays with ME so I don't have to keep up with IT. I prefer to hunt birds late when I don't have to worry about crowds or rattlesnakes. My two dogs (both Lab and Fr Britt) work close and point well. We kill a lot of roosters then while the guys with "big running" dogs are watching their dogs work with binoculars ... and the spooky birds flying off before they can get half way to them. For the life of me I just don't understand the fun in watching a speck on the horizon working vs watching a dog getting birdy 15 to 40 yards away. If my granddaughter leaves the front door open I don't have to worry about finding my Fr Britt in the next county, like "big running" pointing dogs. She MAY go across the street to check for the squirrel that comes to Dan's bird feeder. And then back in my yard (for an arse chewing!).

Oh, and my dogs don't have to be "reigned in" with electronics. I've been raising hunting dogs since 1964 and still have yet to push a button on one of those gizmos. Big running dogs are generally scatterbrained or bullheaded or both. If the batteries give out, those dogs are worse than useless. I have seen that enough times!

My soon to be TWELVE Fr Brit outlasted my long legged lean seven year-old Lab every day I hunted them together last fall. And if you don't think we hunt hard, take a look at this photo of my Lab Ellie after we got back home.
Edit: And all the while that little Fr Brit was hunting with a cancer tumor the size of a softball hidden in her abdomen.
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Some of the field-style female English/British labs run small. Our is right at about 52-53. They are the best family dogs with kids, great outdoor companions and outstanding hunting dogs. Find a good breeder and ask for smallish parents.
 
I won’t make a recommendation on breed… my family has two doodles as companions for the kids due to allergies and shedding (one DOES shed, though)

But I will comment on your “succession plan” idea. We did exactly that with our dogs. Had a GREAT boxer mix that was the best dog ever. She was getting old and starting to show her age (around 10) so we got our current oldest dog so that our boxer mix could show her the proverbial ropes. It worked out pretty well overall, but their personalities were so very different that it wasn’t by any means a groundbreaking success. I still think that it helped with housebreaking and other things though.
 
Hunting is so far down your list you may as well cross it off. Look for a dog bred to do what you want. Expecting a dog to be bred to excel at more than one thing just isn't reasonable.

Also, you can no more get any dog person to be objective about their breed than you can get a groom to admit his bride ain't all that pretty. Yet we see ugly wives all over every day.
 
Hunting is so far down your list you may as well cross it off. Look for a dog bred to do what you want. Expecting a dog to be bred to excel at more than one thing just isn't reasonable.

Also, you can no more get any dog person to be objective about their breed than you can get a groom to admit his bride ain't all that pretty. Yet we see ugly wives all over every day.
I completely hear what you're saying, and appreciate it. I still carry a multi-tool on my hip, and find that it is just ok at doing a lot of things... but that's the point. I'm not looking for a dog to compete or do shows, but to just be average at many things with the exception of loyal, family pup... that I want 110%.

And you keep the wives out of this mister :LOL: Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!!
 
I am pretty much a GWP guy, have had labs as well. Much of what has been talked about above is a result of training. I have trained those big running pointers to work in close, 40-50 yards. I have seen labs run like jackrabbits because they didn’t have the training they needed. Bottom line is no matter what breed you get you need to put the time to train it. I think a French Brit will do the job you want it to do, just realize there may be some limitations because of its size. Get the dog you want, train it to do what you want, and enjoy it!
 
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