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Keith
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PostPosted: 02/23/04, 7:19 pm    Post subject: NAVHDA Reply with quote

I was looking in one of my NAVHDA magazines and was impressed with the wirehairs performances. Among the utility test prize 1 in 2003 GSP's and GWP's were the two breeds most represented. All other breeds combined for 19. There were 69 GSP's and 28 GWP's. Considering that there are 10 times more GSP's registered with the AKC than GWP's that is pretty impressive. It seems that many hunters that are serious enough about their sport to go through all of the training required to reach a prize 1 utility have chosen GWP's as their breed. Just think what the results would have been if the ducks were shot in real winter hunting conditions where the dogs had to break ice and then sit by the trainers side and go back again and again like my wirehairs do every duck season. It is that cold weather that really separates out the true duck dogs. Many will refuse to retrieve when the going gets really tough and really cold.

Last edited by Keith on 02/23/04, 10:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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maverickdvm
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PostPosted: 02/23/04, 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And you can get a complete list of each GWP that tested in NAVHDA events in 2003 off of their website. It has their scores, breeders, sire/dam, etc. Just FYI.
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Baron
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PostPosted: 02/24/04, 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GWPs are great versatile dogs and traditionally do very well in NAVHDA tests. However, when you compare breeds, you have to look at the number of dogs tested rather than the number of dogs registered. Many GSPs (and some GWPs) are bred for show, trials, and as pets, and not as versatile dogs. When you look at the number of dogs from each breed that were tested, and the percentage of each that earned a UT Prize I, the percentages for GWPs and GSPs are pretty comparable. With the other versatile breeds, so few dogs are tested at the UT level that the numbers aren’t really relevant because the swing caused by one dog failing to pass instead of earning a Prize I, or vice versa, can really skew the percentages.
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Keith
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PostPosted: 02/24/04, 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your point but disagree. I think you can look at the overall numbers when comparing breeds. It tells you how those dogs are used. Lets face it, most german shorthairs will never be called upon to retrieve a duck from a duck blind. Most are not even bred with that as a consideration. I hope the same thing doesn't happen with wirehairs. I hope they don't go the way of most shorthairs that are just bred for upland hunting. Kind of a shorttailed english pointer. I hope wirehairs will slowly grow in popularity as more and more hunters discover their versatile potential until they reach the top in the versatile field like in Germany. They are better equipped physically and mentally than their shorthaired cousins for real duck hunting in the cold weather typically encountered in most of this country during duck season. The shorthairs I have been around were much less inclined to want to sit still and be quiet than the wirehairs I have known. I remember at the training days at my local NAVHDA chapter the shorthairs would quickly wear the ground bare under them while my wirehairs would quietly sit there and wait their turn. Much more intune to their owners wants and needs. Less like pointers than shorthairs. Shorthairs have been popular in this country for upland hunting for years. Yet I have yet to see them in the duck blinds at least in the parts of the country where I duck hunt. I find it odd that with such a popular upland dog their owners haven't discovered yet the breeds potential in the duck blind. I don't think they ever will. In moments of candor I have heard shorthair owners admit that their dogs do not do well in cold water. I hunt my wirehairs all season, sometimes right up until freezeup. Even though they are still a rare breed by comparison I have run into fellow wirehair owners on duck hunts. I am STILL waiting to see my first shorthair. I am not saying that it is not done. I am sure somewhere in this big country there is a shorthair owner that has his shortcoated hyper dog by his side in the duck blind. I just haven't seen them yet. I will let you know when I do. I hunted my wirehair with two lab owners this year. My wirehair showed up both dogs. Even doing a better job of retrieving on land. I have hunted with a few labs, two goldens and one chesapeake bay retriever. I have had two wirehairs that were at least the equal of any of those dogs duck hunting. But while quail, pheasant or woodcock hunting there is no comparison. I would rather they leave their retrievers at home than have them get in the way on an upland hunt. I really think GWP's are the best choice for a hunter wanting to hunt upland and waterfowl. Not the only choice, the best choice. I know this will upset some people but I am just going on what I personally have known and seen.
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Chinchy
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PostPosted: 02/25/04, 10:41 am    Post subject: Versatile GWP`s Reply with quote

Keith
We use our dog`s on every thing we hunt,had`nt thought much about it, till reading your post about waterfowl hunting! Until I bought my first GWP many of the thing`s I now hunt,I had never cared to hunt before! I had never been much of a waterfowl hunter before, & I thought some of my friends were Crazy for standing in freezeing cold water, or laying on the cold ground waiting to shoot a Duck or Goose! A friend invited my Son & I on our first duck(2 yrs ago) and kinda mockingly said what don`t you bring 1 of those old ugly dog`s along. I told him later that probally was a thousand $$ hunt,because I was HOOKED & was going out to buy dekes, & every thing else that was needed ! Goose hunting was worse because we "HAD" to have 2 kinds of goose decoy`s ,ground blind`s, blinds for the dog`s,flags,etc,etc!! This year dog`s have been used on Doves,Praire Chickens,Sharptail,Hun`s,Pheasant,Quail,Duck`s,Geese,& even to retrieve Crow`s we call in & shoot! Until I bought my first GWP I never realized how much extra hunting time I was missing out on ,& more importantly how much time I could spend with my Son before he grows up!!!
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Keith
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PostPosted: 02/25/04, 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of came in the opposite way. I was buying a dog for duck hunting. Growing up we never really needed a dog to hunt the ponds we hunted so we duck hunted. But quail hunting without a good dog is almost impossible so I rarely quail hunted. They were taken incidental to rabbit hunting when we just walked a covey up. I then bought an airedale as a pet but used it to flush up game. It was pretty good at finding and flushing quail but you have to really pay attention and keep up when they get birdy. After that dog I decided to get a dog just for hunting. I was still primarily a duck hunter. So I wanted a chesapeake bay retriever. But one day I read an article about a dog that was retrieving a duck and pointed a pheasant on the way back. It was a griffon. But the thought of a dog with that capability excited me. Upon more research I read about wirehairs and decided that I would like them better. I sent off for information and pictures from two different kennels, one for chesapeakes and one for wirehairs. At that time the limit for ducks was just 3 birds and the season was short. When I got the picture back with the little wirehair pup I had to have one. The first two dogs I bought were from the same kennel and to be honest were not very good dogs. But I could see the potential for the breed even in them. I later got dogs from better bloodlines. And now I like quail hunting every bit as much as duck hunting. And even discovered that we have woodcock here. I even take out of state pheasant trips every year. Or prairie grouse. I would like to try ruffed grouse next year.
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Baron
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PostPosted: 03/02/04, 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the trend of hunters wanting versatile dogs continues to grow, you will see more and more of all the versatile breeds hunting a variety of game, including ducks. This whole trend is the reason NAVHDA has gotten so popular. As a result, there are now several GSP breeders around the country consistently producing quality versatile dogs.

I am not a dedicated duck hunter, but I take my share during the season. I also have friends with GSPs that are avid duck hunters (I usually hunt with them because they have already bought all the expensive equipment). This season we hunted from blinds on shore, boat blinds, and even drifted some rivers and shot ducks. In each case, the dogs sat calmly until sent to retrieve downed birds. When the water and air temps got cold, we put vests on the dogs and kept hunting. The dogs never refused a retrieve because the water was too cold.

However, the true measure of a dog’s versatility is how well it handles a variety of game. This season I successfully hunted ducks, geese, ruffed grouse, woodcock, pheasant, quail, sharptail grouse, Huns, and sage grouse, and even a few rabbits over my dogs. I even took my first snipe over one of my dogs this season (the first one I’ve ever seen). We hunted early season sharptails when it was 80 – 90 degrees and Huns when the high for the day was 2 degrees.

Several times you mentioned how hyper GSPs are. Well, some of them are and some of them aren’t. That is largely a matter of breeding. If you do your research and select the right lines, you won’t have that problem. But, to insinuate that all GSPs are hyper is a gross over-generalization. It’s much like saying all GWPs have aggression problems. Some do, and some don’t. Again, it is largely a matter of breeding.
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Keith
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PostPosted: 03/03/04, 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still waiting by the duck blind. Such a popular breed. But I look left, I look right, NEVER see any shorthairs. Of course I hunt mostly big reservoirs. Very popular with duck hunters. We all pull up to the same boat ramps before and after the hunts. I have seen 4 different breeds at these ramps. Labrador retrievers, German wirehaired pointers, Chesapeake bay retrievers and golden retrievers in that order. Not one shorthair. Still waiting and looking. You have to remember that these reservoirs are big cold water. This is not the typical jump shot duck during a quail hunt that a shorthair would be capable of handling. This is real duck hunting where the dog must sit still and watch the sky and then make multiple retrieves in cold water and sometimes big waves. I can see why they leave the shorthairs at home. Save them for the occasional jump shot duck and the warm water NAVHDA exhibitions.
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Keith
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PostPosted: 03/03/04, 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to add that these wirehairs I run into duck hunting are not NAVHDA trained. They are just hunters that discovered that their wirehairs were real good duck dogs. They didn't need an organization to tell them that.
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Baron
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PostPosted: 03/03/04, 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, by coincidence, I’ve never run into any wirehairs on the lakes I hunt, but that doesn’t mean people don’t, or can’t, use them for duck hunting. And, as far as hunting big, cold bodies of water, we do some of our hunting on the Great Lakes (Lake Huron & Lake Erie). Are the reservoirs you’re hunting much larger than that? Oh, and by the way, MI gets pretty cold in the winter (although it doesn’t seem to bother the dogs).

That being said, I will end this conversation here. I have no interest in engaging in a childish, breed bashing, “my dog is better than your dog” contest. What would you have come up with next, “my dad can beat your dad?”
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Keith
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PostPosted: 03/04/04, 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do agree that the conversation is childish. Even a child could look at the two breeds side by side and see which one is better suited for cold weather hunting. And it really doesn't matter what two people say on a message board. Shorthairs will still be used as upland dogs and wirehairs will still be used a versatile dogs.
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