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Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? #8354188 08/17/21 02:42 PM
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My family is moving to a 42-acre property with plenty of room to roam, and I've decided it's finally time to get a proper hunting dog now that I can give it the time, exercise, and attention necessary. I've been doing quite a bit of research on different breeds, and seem to have it narrowed down to the following potential breeds:

- Pudelpointer
- Brittany
- Boykin Spaniel
- English Cocker Spaniel

Do y'all have input from personal experience? I'm looking for a great family dog that can accompany me on hunts. I do a little bit of a lot, but wouldn't consider myself "hardcore" in one single pursuit. I go on several dove hunts, a few pheasant hunts (Kansas/South Dakota), a few duck hunts, potentially quail (though I don't have much experience), and even some rabbits and squirrels. I'm fully aware that I can't have everything but would love input from folks who are more experienced than me. Essentially, I need a great family dog who can be at least functional at a lot of different pursuits—doesn't need to be a master at one thing.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354258 08/17/21 03:59 PM
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Pudlepointer can do all you are asking. [Linked Image]
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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354259 08/17/21 04:00 PM
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To even be seriously in the conversation of what is best all around takes a lot of dog.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 08/17/21 04:21 PM.

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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354272 08/17/21 04:25 PM
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You need to decide if you want a dog that flushes or points. That will cut your choices in half. I like a dog that points and covers a lot of ground.

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: Smokey Bear] #8354326 08/17/21 05:42 PM
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Does the pudelpointer handle Texas heat fairly well? I've read mixed reviews in that regard.

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354345 08/17/21 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by steventtu
Does the pudelpointer handle Texas heat fairly well? I've read mixed reviews in that regard.

The one I have is slick coated handles the heat well. From what I have seen, slick coated white dogs usually handle heat the best. When it is bad hot you will need to pay attention with any dog though and an out of shape dog that stays inside will flounder in the heat, regardless of coat. A wooly one will do better in extreme cold. I specifically sought out a slick coat for Texas weather. There are a few more on this board that have them that will probably speak up when they see your post. I think several on here have Britney’s. I think Scalebuster has some good ones. There are also Boykin and Cocker owners on this forum that will probably post up.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 08/17/21 06:22 PM.

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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: Smokey Bear] #8354356 08/17/21 06:19 PM
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Ok, thanks for the info! I'm sure all of these breeds are great in their own way. It's a tough decision to make!

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354467 08/17/21 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by steventtu
Does the pudelpointer handle Texas heat fairly well? I've read mixed reviews in that regard.

Mine has a wiry coat so I have to maintain it in the summer. From June thru August I strip and rake her coat every couple of weeks. Mine also doesn't shed, which the wife likes, so her coat will get really thick if I don't. She is acclimated to the heat tho since she spends plenty of time outside. When I let her coat go it does come in handy for cold weather hunts.

The biggest problem I have with her winter coat is that she becomes a magnet for any type of sticker or burr you can imagine. I could only imagine how bad a Boykin can get LOL.

I also have an old Brittany. She was one heck of a pointer and dove finding machine in her day, but she couldn't care less about ducks. There are plenty that will retrieve tho. We had several when I was growing up. You'll have a lot better luck finding a Britany, too. I wouldn't rule them out.

Before I ended up with a pudelpointer, I thought I was going with a Boykin. After more research I decided I wanted a dog that would cover more ground and point (not a "hesitant flush").


Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354482 08/17/21 08:43 PM
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They are versatile with a big V.

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354503 08/17/21 09:04 PM
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The two that are going to be the easiest to find, would likely be the Brittany, or English Cocker.
Out of the two, you will have better luck getting a duck hunter out of the Cocker.
The other two breeds are very nice dogs, but expect a longer wait to get one.



Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8354689 08/18/21 12:08 AM
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I have cockers and they do all I need. Best all around would probably be the Pudlepointer. They will point birds, retrieve and swim. My cockers are great flushers and retrievers. Good family dogs but their coats require maintenance. I love them and would not trade them.


Bobby Barnett

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8355134 08/18/21 01:56 PM
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Only dog id consider over a lab would be a Pudelpointer...

But get a lab

Last edited by BradyBuck; 08/18/21 01:56 PM.

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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8374058 09/03/21 10:09 PM
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Lots of good choices being talked about. Over the 53 years of marriage and 2 rambunctious sons it goes without saying ...we've had numerous dogs. Most times they were not house dogs like the couple of terrier companion dogs, or when I was running Shoot to Retrieve field trial English Setters until I changed jobs to 100% travel and gave away all of the setters including really high bred stud dog I was given in a friend's bad divorce settlement.

Recently we "inherited" our first lab who was a hand me down thru 2 other households and never trained to do anything. He's a good do all companion but sheds like crazy. We've had 3 Golden Retrievers that I could trust implicitly in the house and with guests. I guess the favorite though was a French Brittany that was the best do everything go anywhere dog we ever had. We'd had an American Brittany who didn't work out as a family animal...and almost went back to a Springer for a do all family animal.

I'm told the French Brittany's ( Epenol Breton ?spelling ) originated in 1600's (there are provable bloodlines) as the French peasant's dog who was bred to hunt small game - Nobility would not allow them to hunt deer- but allowed peasant farmers to hunt small game to supplement their food source, guard the farm and sleep with the children, guard the livestock and fowl. Our dog showed us all of those traits without being trained.

When we bought her we were living at Lake Texoma while I went thru 11 years of ill health with 5 major surgery's and rehab at VA Dallas's botching 2 of the 5. Our place at Texoma was 1/2 way up the peninsula, facing the Little Mineral Arm & Corps Front with no protection from the Public Access to our property or boathouse. The first command she learned was "guard" at 10 weeks and could ID an intruder including possums and coyotes walking across our yard 24/7 and ignore the wind blown sounds. We had lots of drug drop traffic & illegal bonfires on the beach that the Grayson County Sherriff just never could quite seem to catch despite frequent & numerous 911 calls , and she & I spent lot's of nites on the front porch with an "attention getter" for all to see and never had anyone damage or steal our property, unlike our dogless neighbors. She also would "point" schools of fish when my wife was hammering the Sand Bass & Stripers on the beach slinging a top water ...and alert us when folks ignored the No Trespass signs on the boat house 200+ yards down the hill.

There is a French Brittany national club that maintains the bloodline history's, with a series of performance tests called TAN for performance Certification at a national convention get together and maintain the bloodline history. These are real hunting dogs and used in the Rockies in packs but for a 35lb all around family dog I'd go back to the breeder in Ardmore and get another one without hesitation....might even do it from here in Palestine now that the 16 year old Siamese/Persian cross cat has passed recently and the Labrador is lonesome and looks for her anytime anything of hers is around...he used to let her clean out the inside of his ears with that rough tongue of hers, and they frequently slept together.
Ron

Last edited by WileyCoyote; 09/03/21 10:18 PM. Reason: Gud Spealling is not my favorite thing

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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: WileyCoyote] #8374359 09/04/21 03:53 AM
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The French Brittany that we got our dog from is in Ardmore Oklahoma. Rolling Red Prairie Kennels and is still owned and operated since 1984 by R.L. & Pat Dalrymple according to the web site.
Ron

Last edited by WileyCoyote; 09/04/21 04:11 AM. Reason: dang keyboard and my fat fingers don't work always work well together .... together

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"These are the times that try men's soul's"...Thomas Paine

"Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it" ....Santayana
Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8386129 09/15/21 07:43 PM
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I have a Boykin Spaniel that is 3 years old. The family loves her. She hunts much like a lab and has been a great fit. Also, she will be having pups in Oct. You can pm me if you want details.

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8388283 09/17/21 07:18 PM
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I would go Pointer but I only say that because my last one would retrieve over water. Not many will.

So,
American Brittany or Lab.


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Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8388338 09/17/21 07:59 PM
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Saw a few nice pudlepointers in Montana recently. They peaked my interest, I need something to hunt dead better than my pointers do.

Re: Need Help Deciding — Best All-Arounder for Texas? [Re: steventtu] #8388919 09/18/21 10:17 AM
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I have 3 Brittany's and the one that gets to run loose on the place is a heck of a bird dog that is without question the best dead bird dog I've ever hunted, good squirrel dog that barks on tree like a Cur Dog, and retrieves anything I shoot on land or water. She is four years old. The other two are year and a half and too rambunctious to let run loose but they show promise as all around dogs too, just need that personal time. I have EP's and Setter's as well but they are not in the little Brittany's class as all around dog.

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