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#6869211 - 08/26/17 12:28 AM The most versatile breed?
BradyBuck Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Abilene, TX
Versatile: able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities.

Many times this question gets brought up. What is the most versatile dog breed? Or What is best all around dog breed?

Certainly there are dog breeds that specialize in certain areas and do an amazing job for what they were bred.

When it comes down to which breed is the most versatile I don't think you can argue against the Labrador retriever.

I am not against other breeds. They each have their place and I am looking at getting a GSP or Brit in the near future and I'm sure at some point a Boykin.

Here are the facts

Labrador Retrievers are used across this country in the following ways

Bomb detection dogs
Drug detection dogs
Diabetic alert dogs
Seizure alert dogs
Search and rescue dogs
Therapy dogs
Upland hunting (Flushing and pointing)
Waterfowl hunting
Dove hunting
Shed hunting
Blood tracking
Obedience competitions
Amazing family companions

Not only are they able to do all these things but they excel at them.

So by definition they are unbelievably versatile.

I know everyone loves the breed they own and I realize I am biased but I think I have a strong argument here.






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#6869234 - 08/26/17 04:44 AM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Old Stony Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/21/16
Posts: 171
Loc: East of Dallas
Others have their strong points....but a lab can do it all..

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#6869475 - 08/26/17 11:03 AM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
kman2017 Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/03/16
Posts: 83
Loc: Jersey Village
I think the fact of the matter is whatever breed you own is the most versatile dog and that when it squats down gold comes out. It is true that labs can do all of the things you listed, but it's important to highlight that no one lab can do all of those things. You may as well have 3 different breeds up there because a lab that is a seizure dog, therapy dog, etc certainly doesn't have the temperament to be any sort of hunting dog. Same goes for any lab thin and whippy enough to run in a field all day chasing quail or pheasant would make a poor waterfowl dog because it may lack the fat for icy hunts and would be too high energy for a comfort dog. Much as the same a deep chested 90-100lb lab that excels at hunting waterfowl couldn't run in a field for piss before it keels over. So maybe you have a lab that can do 2, 3, maybe even 4 of those things, but you can't have one that does it all. And I think once that distinction is made you'll find several other breeds that can do multiple things on this list as well. I have a lab so I am by no means knocking them and can tell you I'll always have at least one lab by me my entire life.

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#6869624 - 08/26/17 02:50 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Sniper John Online   happy
gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16630
Loc: North Texas
For fun I'll bite the hook. Labs can do all that and there are a lot of them. It is the most popular breed by far. Some individuals are very versatile. I raised, trained, and hunted one myself. But I would put a Vizsla ahead in overall and hunting versatility. The Labrador's origins are as a specialty dog for retrieving. Vizsla had versatile purposes from it's beginnings 100s of years before the Labrador. There are Vizsla that do all those things Labs do and more, but I bet there are more individual Vizslas that do multiple jobs rather than one specialty and from a smaller pool of dogs. For every working Lab Specialty dog you present, I think I can present a Vizsla that also works in that field, but not vice versa. The most titled dog in AKC history and first quintuple champion is a Vizsla.
FCH AFC MACH OTCH CH
Legacy's DeChartay UDX5, MH, MXG, MJS, VC, HOF
The first dog show I went to almost every Vizsla in the ring at my dog's level I had also seen at hunt tests or had seen hunting or hunted with.
I know of many individual V dogs doing multiple jobs and events. The breed as a whole in history includes all sorts of off the wall purposes. Big game hunting by Kings. Prison dogs. Falconry, and more. Maybe not the best in any one kind of a hunting, but my Vizslas can do any kind of hunting I ask of them with minimal training. My older Vizsla finished her last full working year as a Coyote decoy dog. My young Vizsla has pointer, retriever, natural ability titles, a five point major, and is owner trained. I ran him in events almost every weekend his first two years alternating between HRC and AKC retriever, AKC pointer, NAVHDA, Conformation, even did Barnhunt. And traveled to hunt all kinds of upland up to Sage Grouse, Field Goose and Crane. Pointed Snipe and Rail in Marsh, Open water Ducks. Rabbits and treed Squirrel. Turkey dog and stalking hogs ahead of me. He has been hunted on Ice below zero and desert above 100. The Vizsla breed has a 1000 years of breeding towards versatility as their specialty. Labradors are certainly versatile but for I do as a whole with individual Vizslas I could never accomplish with an individual Labrador. If I could I would still be hunting with one.



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#6869652 - 08/26/17 03:20 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
BradyBuck Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Abilene, TX
I can agree with much of what Kman and Sniper have said. I do believe it takes a special dog no matter what breed to be able to preform a wide variety of tasks. I have an older lab that is a certified therapy dog and also a great retriever but would not be ideal for Upland. I also have a young lab who is a great retriever and has the makings to be a good upland dog and I see no reason why she couldn't become a great blood tracker or she'd hunter. She is a great family companion might not be the best candidate for a therapy dog.

I find that most people in this part of the world want a dog that is a great family dog, will retrieve dove, ducks and might Upland hunt. A field bred lab fits that description.

Sniper, you have found a great dog but would you say that I could just go pick any vizsla breeding and get that? It's the same with labs and most breeds. I think a lot of people have the 100 lb couch potato lab in their heads when they can be so much more.

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#6869679 - 08/26/17 04:05 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
NewGulf Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 16166
Loc: New Gulf, Texas
Catahoula...but then again i raise them. smile
_________________________
"Continuously feeling superior is a characteristic of immaturity"

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#6869800 - 08/26/17 06:13 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: NewGulf]
bobcat1 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 2481
Loc: Sanger, Texas
I like 25lb couch potatoes. roflmao




That would rather be wet hunting.. Just say bird to Buster and it lights a fire.

_________________________
Bobby Barnett


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#6870336 - 08/27/17 11:15 AM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Smokey Bear Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 246
Loc: Texas
For a pure versatile gundog the pudelpointer is the best I have seen. Serious wheels and lung capacity. Tireless in the uplands and points. Strong retriever, water or land. Tracks hot or cold. Will blood trail a deer and bay when it gets there. Can be used on and will engage most fur. Damn nice dogs, also hard to get.
_________________________
Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.

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#6870667 - 08/27/17 05:42 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 27227
Loc: Lake X
Originally Posted By: BradyBuck
Here are the facts

Labrador Retrievers are used across this country in the following ways

Bomb detection dogs
Drug detection dogs
Diabetic alert dogs
Seizure alert dogs
Search and rescue dogs
Therapy dogs
Upland hunting (Flushing and pointing)
Waterfowl hunting
Dove hunting
Shed hunting
Blood tracking
Obedience competitions
Amazing family companions

Not only are they able to do all these things but they excel at them.

You nailed it Buck! You had a contest with all that, a lab would win it! Sniffer would do all that!!

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#6870750 - 08/27/17 06:58 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: Guy]
BradyBuck Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Abilene, TX
Originally Posted By: Guy
Originally Posted By: BradyBuck
Here are the facts

Labrador Retrievers are used across this country in the following ways

Bomb detection dogs
Drug detection dogs
Diabetic alert dogs
Seizure alert dogs
Search and rescue dogs
Therapy dogs
Upland hunting (Flushing and pointing)
Waterfowl hunting
Dove hunting
Shed hunting
Blood tracking
Obedience competitions
Amazing family companions

Not only are they able to do all these things but they excel at them.

You nailed it Buck! You had a contest with all that, a lab would win it! Sniffer would do all that!!


Haha roflmao

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#6871990 - 08/28/17 07:14 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Sniper John Online   happy
gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16630
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: BradyBuck


Sniper, you have found a great dog but would you say that I could just go pick any vizsla breeding and get that? It's the same with labs and most breeds. I think a lot of people have the 100 lb couch potato lab in their heads when they can be so much more.


I am not basing my opinion on a single dog. Except for a flusher/Spaniel, I have owned trained hunted at least one of every basic type of hunting dog before my Vizslas be it Pointing, Retrieving, or Hounds. I would have bit on this discussion before I owned Vizslas.

The thing I noticed about the Vizsla breed is the same individual dogs in the show ring where the same exact dogs at the hunt tests and field trials, and the same dogs were being hunted during season, and many of those same individual dogs had other mixed title for all sorts of off the wall things. There are no major type splits in the breed that I have seen. Though I am not sure anyone noticed in on the ground, historically it has been said some American hunting dog breeders focused on smaller dogs and pointing ability rather than versatility while overseas versatility stayed a focal point. But if that was true, that mindset has changed with more and more breeders in the US importing Vizslas for their breeding programs and using versatility as a main selling point.

Labradors on the other hand. Though my Lab was just a family pet and meat dog, I have hunted with many others Labradors and several pet dogs considering it is the most popular breed. More recently I did pay attention at the HRC and AKC retriever tests, and in the Show ring. The thing I noticed about Labradors is the dogs in the Show ring, look and act nothing like the dogs at hunt tests and trials. I doubt many of them are seriously hunted on anything. Handlers working to put titles on them like to comment about that fact as welll. Though not as great a split, there is the age old argument between competition field dogs and hunting pet meat dogs. Then of course there is the British Lab/American Lab split that too look and act like completely different dogs. One could make the argument that all these splits in the breed make the breed versatile because you can choose the breeder with the individual dog type from breed that has the demeanor and build for the purpose needed.

So to answer your question. If one were to take an individual random purebred pup from the Vizsla breed from anywhere in the world to be trained for multiple uses, I do thing there would be a much greater percentage of those pups by far that would be successful if not most of them than if doing same with an individual Labrador plucked at random from that entire breed population.

_________________________


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#6872031 - 08/28/17 07:40 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: Smokey Bear]
Sniper John Online   happy
gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16630
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: Smokey Bear
For a pure versatile gundog the pudelpointer is the best I have seen. Serious wheels and lung capacity. Tireless in the uplands and points. Strong retriever, water or land. Tracks hot or cold. Will blood trail a deer and bay when it gets there. Can be used on and will engage most fur. Damn nice dogs, also hard to get.


From my experiences watching these dogs at NAVHDA events, this is the only other breed I would want to own for the purpose of hunting versatility. It is the most accomplished breed with NAVHDA. From what I saw it has to be the most laid back hunting dog I have ever seen, but that can turn it back on when it is time to hunt. If this discussion was about hunting versatility only and not versatility for all purposes, I could not make the same argument over the Pudelpointer. Nor could I with the DD either. Hard to make that argument with what the Verein Deutsch-Drahthaar has done with the DD breed.
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#6872594 - 08/29/17 10:58 AM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
Smokey Bear Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 246
Loc: Texas
Sniper John, no arguement here regarding the Vizsla's achievements. I'm also a long time dog man and have owned and trained some stellar Labs and pointing dogs. There is no doubt the Lab wins the popularity contest. A winning combination of temperament, ability and determination account for their popularity. The continental breeds are a relatively unknown quantity by most sportsmen in this country. While a specialist may be the best choice for a one dimensional hunter, the versatiles bring a lot to the table for the guy that hunts a varied range of game. I concur with your assessment of the laid back nature of the Pudelpointer. Those I have been around posses a degree of level headed bidability that is rare in a dog that is wired hot. For a hunter looking for a solid dog, there is not much chaf to sort through. One of the few hunting breeds that has absolutely not been diluted for the show ring or the pet market....
_________________________
Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.

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#6872768 - 08/29/17 01:35 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: bobcat1]
colt45 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 7326
Loc: bastrop county
Originally Posted By: bobcat1
I like 25lb couch potatoes. roflmao




That would rather be wet hunting.. Just say bird to Buster and it lights a fire.


I absolutely love this.... bounce
_________________________
hold on Newt, we got a runaway

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#6873300 - 08/29/17 10:39 PM Re: The most versatile breed? [Re: BradyBuck]
super Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 134
Loc: FT. Worth TX
After being involved with the north texas navhda chapter for the past 6 years along with making it to most of the monthly training days i have been able to witness every brred talked about and many more. I have come to find that there are very versitle and not so versitle in every breed. There are generalities that you notice over time within each breed and some tend to have more versitle traits than others. Every one likes their breed of choice but to come out to a versitle training day and watch all types of dogs is the best way to go.
I did not go looking for a versitle breed just had a friend that had a litter right after i put 2 of my previous hunting dogs down. I ended up with a gsp bred from the original german lines (DK). Not knowing any difference from the akc gsp i have learned over the years the subtle differences from some of the less versitle field bred gsps here in Texas. Like the German DD mentioned above the DK must pass certain versitle tests/requirements to breed and register DK pups. Now this dosent make them the best at any one versitle trait but helps to improve the likelihood of the offspring maintaining these attributes. Of course it is not always a sure thing but all the dogs(DD, DK,large and small mustlanders, longhars,wiems, and im sure there are more i haven't seen) that test in the German system are focused on versatility. Many breeders use navhda to evulate their dogs versatility and look to breed to other navhda tested dogs. These tests (German or Navhda) do not make anyone's dog better than another but can be used as a tool to try to create a better versitle pup. My personal gsp's (DK's) male tested utility prize 1 at 2 years and my female tested prize 3 at 13 months. Find a breed you like and look for versitle pedigrees.
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Jason

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