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GSP/Lab Mix dilema
Last Post 01 Jun 2010 05:28 PM by Hillbilly. 26 Replies.
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spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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20 May 2010 11:16 AM

     I have a male GSP and a buddy of mine has a female cocolate lab, a male yellow lab, and a female GSP. We were wanting to breed them to get a German Shorthaired Lab for hunting/pet purposes, but mainly hunting. Does the combination matter? Does the female being the lab vs. the male being the lab make any difference in size, characteristics etc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    BobUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:550 Bob
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    22 May 2010 06:30 PM
    I would think the 2 GSP's would be a good match up. Breeding the GSP to the other is too much of gene mix for my taste.........Boib
    My Dog And I Are A Team. We Practice Every Day. I Always Trust Tony, He Knows More Than I do.
    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    23 May 2010 08:36 PM
    Why?

    I hate to say this, but I'm sorry, this breeding wont do anything other than make ill-bred dogs and work against all that has been put into the breeds from their ancestry and all the effort given by the people to make the Lab or the GSP. You will be undoing everything that those breeders have worked for.

    Shame on you.

    Keep it to the breed and within the breed. Don't just breed the dog for the "heck of it" or "because they would make good puppies and hunting dogs". You want a good hunting dog or "pet" dog? Then go to the pound. There are plenty of good "pets" out there that need homes right now. Want a good "hunting dog"? Then make the ones you have phenomenal and then breed them to dogs within their breed to make the puppy you want, or better yet, go buy a puppy from the top kennel out there. Enjoy your dogs before you try to breed them. Breeding is NOT for the faint of heart. Don't just breed to get the "hunting pet" you want, because there are more than one puppy in the litter, which I'm sure you know. You will need to find homes for those puppies before they are 8 weeks. You wont be able to sell them for big bucks because they are "mutts".

    Good reputable breeders don't breed to "make money". It is the reason why the Labradoodle, etc came to be. Because someone thought it would be a good idea and made a hefty wad of cash - and now look at them, people who respect dogs and dog breeding are at the scrutiny of every comment, the HSUS and PETA already want to stop dog ownership all together as it is.... there are enough mutts in the shelters as it is, why add any more to the mix?

    Labs have knee (ACL) issues if I remember correctly amongst other things. Shorthairs have Cone Degeneration in the eye, seizures, Hip Dysplasia, Heart issues, and some can get severe aggression issues late in life.

    You will have nothing to gain from breeding Labs to GSPs. My GSPs retrieve just fine and duck hunt with me in the middle of December. If it is about "enhancing" any retrieving issues, I'd say force fetch your GSPs and start your next GSP pup early on with retrieving. Same with swimming -- start them early and you don't have to think about issues in the middle of a December duck hunt. Labs can point just fine. It is all in the training, and sometimes BREEDING WONT FIX THOSE TRAITS. Breed your dogs to the right dogs, not just because you want something that you think is "cool".

    A guy I know at work has a Shorthair-Setter mix, and the dog has so many issues with it's bite it's not funny. The people sold the dog, who is now known as "Lacie", to this guy as a "German Setter", the dog has drooping eye-lids, bad bite, lanky, and long-furred. The dog is also extremely white, and was born deaf (which is common in the ES). The guy thought he was getting a "rare breed" dog and didn't do his research. He now has a dog that cannot hunt like he had planned to be doing.

    How disappointing is that? How upset would you be to get a dog that isn't what you thought it would be? Sit in your potential new "owners" shoes before you consider breeding. Would you want to get a "defective" puppy from a guy who was selling German Shorthaired Labs? If the puppy came down with some sort of illness and the owner couldn't take care of it, would you be willing to take it back knowing it might have a problem? Would you be willing to put a puppy down because it had a severe problem at birth? What if the whole litter developed issues when they were born? Would you be willing to admit that you're "breeding idea" was actually a selfish maneuver on your half because you wanted a new "personal hunting pet"?

    Now, why would you wish that on a dog you would keep, or a dog you would "sell/place" into a home? No family deserves a dog like that, and you don't need to have to deal with putting a 4-6 week old puppy down because you decided to do something that should have never been done in the first place. Think before you breed -- it's a common idea amongst people I know at my training days. If you have no real reason to breed, then don't do it. If you feel it is the right choice and will HELP your breed, then go ahead. No need to breed "mediocre dogs" for your personal benefit. At that point you're better off breeding your dogs to the dogs in their breed and progressing, versus moving backwards.

    I'm sorry if this sounds rude -- but it is the full-hearted truth. I'm against breeding Labs into the GSP gene pool. Bad enough we have to deal with Lemon, Orange, or White GSPs because the Pointer was supposedly "reintroduced" into the breed's gene pool sometime back in the 70s and 80s to make a more biddable dog.

    At the end of the day, you will do what you want to do. All I am hoping to do with this post is to make you think a little more about breeding before you do it. Breeding is not a game, it is the reason why you have your male GSP to begin with. Breeding is about the dogs, not about the person or breeder. Again, just my personal opinion. I'm sure I'm not the only one on here with this thought on breeding.
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    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    24 May 2010 01:22 AM

     Learn to be a little more polite with your reply ass hole. The dogs that the "mutt" would be coming from are great hunting dogs to begin with. So cross breeding the two strongest together would actually be a smart idea to get the traits I want out  of the dog. I didn't want your weak opinion on the actual cross breeding idea in general. All litters can have their problems. Just because I cross breed doesn't mean that the puppies are going to be at a higher risk of birth defection. GSP's themselves are the product of cross breeding and are, in my opinion, some of the best hunting dogs one can own. Why not cross beed them with another great hunting dog? Sound familiar? There have been many German Shorthaired Labs that have been great hunting dogs and great pets at the same time. The breeding would not be a selfish move to get a "cool dog". My dogs are like my kids and I treat them that way. To insult them the way you have is to insult me and is not taken very well. Please, someone give me an answer to the question I asked and not some obscure moral take on the issue.

    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    24 May 2010 01:31 AM
    Shame on you, jerk......
    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    24 May 2010 01:35 AM
    Thank you for a polite response Bob.
    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    24 May 2010 04:32 PM

    Ok Freefall is right. But that's just an oppinion. But breeding the cross like that can go 2 ways or actually 3. Either you will get a dog that acts like a GSP or a Lab or both. That is how it even works in breeding the same breed to the same breed unless you have a proven line breeding established. The dogs will hunt I've seen the cross before and for some reason most of the time a mutt (sorry for the phraze) will live longer. I only own and used to breed pure bred dogs but if someone wants to do something different that's up to them. All of this is just my oppinion. But please don't use bad words on this site use ----- instead but Freefall was just stating an oppinion and has some bad --- dogs that are titled to the hilt and trains a pile more for running trials and hunting.

    Life's Short Play Hard
    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    24 May 2010 05:02 PM
    Thank you, Hillbilly.

    Spencer Price -- I was being polite. In fact, I never called you or your dogs mutts. I care for all my dogs like they are my children, too -- all my dogs, including boarding dogs that are here for training, live in the house and roam the house without issue. I let my dogs sleep on the couch, ride co-pilot in the truck, and even sleep on the bed. They are all raised to be acceptable of the breed. I called the would-be puppies "mutts" if you decided to breed your Labs and GSPs together. Because they would not be purebred to the standards set by AKC, UKC, CKC, The European standards, etc. This is currently an "accepted idea" of what a "purebred" dog is. Anything else, is known as a mix/cross/mutt. They are only generic forms, but to respect your opinion, you would have a Lab-Shorthair mix. I never said they wouldn't make excellent hunting dogs or pets, either.

    I am aware of the GSP and it's origins. I have been in dogs for 20 years of my life. I know the ups and downs of dog breeding. You asked for advice on the matter, and I gave you my personal opinion. But it also with the completion of getting the "dog we want", that we keep the breeding strictly to GSP-GSP. It is because this is the dog we know and love, and why would anyone want to breed something else into it to make a change? Adding another dog to the gene pool itself can skew many things, bring out many recessive traits in the current line creating undesireable dogs. You might see "perfect" or "the best" dogs you have seen, but I think your intentions are a possible "counter productive".

    As I stated in my original post -- you will do what you want at the end of the day. I was only trying to give you the perspective of someone who sees dogs for what they are, and respects the work put into dogs to make them what they are today. My "weak opinion" is my honest opinion, thank you. Just like you think highly of the breeding you are looking at doing and think it is right, I will find "weak" according to you. So, we can say you and I sit on two different sides of the fence on this one. Good luck with your dogs and future puppies, I wish you the best.

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    "A good bird dog is only as good as your aim, as the proof is always in the bag." - Unknown
    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    24 May 2010 10:06 PM
    I apologize for my rude comments earlier. I just took certain phrases you used, such as "shame on you", negatively. We can agree to disagree but that does not mean I am doing something "wrong", it just means you wouldnt do it yourself and that is okay. But I still have some questions for you if you dont mind since you claim to have extensive knowledge on the subject. Even though you dont agree with the crossbreeding in general is there actually any risk in doing it? I mean any more of a risk than having a litter between two GSPs? If so, why? It seems to me that If i crossbreed a great hunting lab with a great hunting GSP then i should get a great German Shorthaired Lab in return regardless of whether it shows more lab or GSP traits. I should get a dog that looks like a lab but has GSP tracking traits embedded in it which seems like a win for me and the dog. Also, what exactly is a lemon, yellow, or white GSP? My GSP is white with dark spotting and a brown patch on his back and a brown head. Is he considered to be one of the unfit GSPs or are you refering to another pattern?
    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    24 May 2010 10:53 PM

     

    It is fine. Just a typical misunderstanding. I can see where you might want to do the breeding, but I think you'd be better off keeping it GSP to GSP and Lab to Lab versus mixing the two. I've seen some nice Labs track at tracking events by AKC, just as I've seen several Dobes track for Schutzhund (my mom was a big Schutzhund person here in WI about 10 years ago). I don't think breeding will enhance the tracking trait, as both parents need to exhibit exceptional tracking. I think what you will pull out none the less in a GSP x Lab puppy would be more birdiness and desire to work. However, this can also be found in straight GSP and straight Lab breedings, too if done right and used with proven and/or titled parents.

    The risk you could have would be that the Lab head type and the GSP head type or body types don't match up. GSPs are supposed to have a more slender muzzle and more "sleek" and stealthy appearance when searching for game. They are to cover ground effortlessly and be able to hunt non-stop. It is because of their streamline build that so many hunters use them to get pheasants, etc. Because the GSP is truly a versatile dog that can point, retrieve feather and fur, and swim. They are to be good "gentleman's gun dogs" that stay within a comfortable range for a foot hunter without being able to "kick up" game without a command or waiting for the hunter.

    Labs, on the other hand, are to be stocky, and wide. Able to bust through cover with ease and work slower. They are more massive in build and have a wider head and wide muzzle but a shorter muzzle than the GSP so that it can use jaw strength versus neck strength to pick up game. It is the reason this breed or any retriever or flushing dog (spaniels) make excellent retrieves. Grip is important to Lab people, a dog that cannot hold a 40lbs goose is not fit to be a reliable dog up here in Wisconsin. Out of all the hunting dogs I have trained and placed titled on or even bred myself, the GSP was by far the best dog for the job. I hunted behind a friend's pointing labs, and what I can say about labs is that they are what us "Pointer people" would call boot-lickers. It means they work waaaay too close for the gun. You're going to have better luck stumbling across a bird in the cover versus the dog finding it for you. Hence "flusher" versus "pointer". Labs have a wider face and more closely directed eyes to mark game. Shorthairs have a somewhat wider eye set to see peripheral view of the landscape while running.

    So you could wind up with an extremely stocky and long-coated version of the shorthair, or a very skinny looking lab with a long or short muzzle. This means you might also wind up with bad bites, like parrot mouth (over bite) or an under bite. Means the dog might not establish a good grip on birds. I have seen GSP puppies with a bad palette too, which the breeder had to put down. He had been very excited about the puppies, but didn't take into consideration that mom had a more of a "collie shape" muzzle and dad was more blocky. Genetics was also a big factor here. I'm not saying it will happen with your puppies, but the odds are there sometimes.

    You also have to remember that a dog that looks like a lab but "should have" the traits of a GSP tracking dog, does not mean you will get it. You need to raise and train a dog to be an excellent tracking dog. We do it for NAVHDA testing with the Natural Ability and a running pheasant, or the Utility test with a cold dead duck dragged across the ground in a pattern, or even in the DK system when we use fox/rabbit drags. It is all about training, training, training! Just because one dog has an excellent natural ability does not mean it will automatically be passed down to it's offspring. Both parents need to have a proven pedigree saying that "Yes, __________ was an excellent tracker." or something that proves that you are breeding quality to quality, and not just on a whim. We already have people breeding dogs on a whim because they "are the best in the hunt club's guide service". That's not how you make a proven line, because in 10 years from now, someone will look at buying a puppy with no titled dogs, and they will go: "I thought this was a good puppy? It's just "mom and pop" hunting dogs!". This turns off a lot of buyers... especially when they are looking for competition worthy dogs, or dogs that are proven as a "canned bird dog", aka a dog they can practically take hunting at 4 months old in the Fall. It also scares a lot of potential owners because they "know nothing" about the breeding, too -- so they might be turned off by it too. Versus keeping it GSP-GSP and Lab-Lab, they can do research and decide if this is a good match, especially if you have dogs in the pedigree that are noteworthy. People are more inclined to purchase a purebred puppy if they know what they are getting themselves into and they can trust you as a breeder. After all, you will have to answer to these people when their dogs age and develop, especially should they develop something later in life or early in life that will affect them as pets. A wild outcross like this is okay, but you'll have to do some research on the dogs you plan on breeding and determine if the breeding is a good idea. Remember, benefits (not just for your gain and because you want a German Shorthaired Lab) to the puppies and the health of the puppies is what comes first.

    If there is even a question that something might happen, I wouldn't do it. I don't do it with my breedings -- I had a lady approach me about breeding to my "Bizzy". I turned her away because I wasn't comfortable with the breeding. She wanted to breed without clearances, and even though she was a decent and respectable bitch and specimen -- no clearances and no health screenings is an automatic "thanks, but no thanks." response from me. Because at the end of the day -- it's your name on the line and your dog's name on the paperwork. Something pops up in those puppies it will always be the "stud dog's fault" in many breeding situations, I don't think you'd want to ruin your relationship with your friend.  I lost a good friend over breeding dogs because of a puppy that came up with bloating at 6 months and died. Granted, my dogs have never bloated, and most times it is because the owners let the dog eat and then drink a lot of water and run around like a wild child. It's like sending your kids swimming after eating - and that's what happened. But it was ultimately my Stud's fault for the issue. The blame wasn't pointed in the situation itself, but so be it. "---- Happens" in accidents like that, and most owners will blame the breeders for their dog having an issue.

    Because if you don't know the line of your dogs (such as who had an eye condition, died of cancer, etc) it could pop up in the puppies. Especially if you have no idea about the Lab breedings behind the dogs you're using. The current parents might be fine, but some GSPs carry von Willebrand's disease which is a blood condition which acts like hemophilia. This might pass to the puppies, so a small cut on the foot or ear while hunting could mean the dog could potentially bleed out and die if not caught and taken care of in time. If you don't know if it affects your dog, get the testing done. Be responsible about it before you breed, because you also don't want to be breeding hip dysplasia, either -- it can cripple dogs and make them useless in the field if they are affective. 

    The coloring of your male is fine. Liver and White (Brown/White) is perfect according to AKC standards. There are also Black and White GSPs, that AKC currently does not allow in the show ring. I have no issue with B/W dogs, I have trained many and they are fine with me. The Lemon-Orange-Whites came about when Pointers were bred into the GSP. You'll notice "Orange", "Brown", "Black", and "Lemon" colored pointers. They are exactly what they describe --- color.

    Here is a picture off a breeder's website of his "Lemon-Creme" GSP. This is a recessive gene and should be neutered. They are breeding this dog to other dogs and selling it as a "rare" color. It is not, it is the result of someone breeding too close on a particular dog. This is where linebreeding can go too far. This might also appear on your GSP-Lab puppies as well, because you wouldn't know the genetics behind mom and dad. It is the same with Silver Labs, Blue Weims, etc. There is always a dog that has something that is a fault and should never be bred. Typically because they bred another dog into the line and said "Heyyy, this looks pretty darn sweet!"

    This is where I have issues with some breeders wanting to bring that into their lines -- it's a fault. And it should never happen, just like "German Setters" or "German Labs"... to me, they are all the same - someone wanted to experiment with their dogs, versus trying to improve the breed they love. You can get extremes in both, and sometimes pull up too many recessive genes to count with such an extreme outcross. That's why linebreeding is considered a good thing (not in-breeding), because it can enhance the desired trait through relatives and bringing up dogs several times, but too much of a good thing can hurt, too. So just be careful if you do. 

     

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    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    25 May 2010 12:18 PM
    Apparently you aren't the only one with this concern -- I found this on another forum I visit regularly. A poster made the comment about a GSP-Lab puppy they were looking at getting. I would say read this and make your decision, some of these people have been breeding dogs longer than I have been around. I know this gives fuel to my fire and my opinion, but you'll find quite a few people have issues against these breedings.

    Just give it a read, I'm not condoning you or your opinion, just saying there are a few other people that have their eyebrows raised too.

    http://www.gundogbreeders.com/forum...-t419.html
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    Suma Kiss of Kings MH


    Hunter's Ridge Sinking the Bismarck MH
    Get Your Free Pedigree Today!

    "A good bird dog is only as good as your aim, as the proof is always in the bag." - Unknown
    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    25 May 2010 12:42 PM
    Thanks for the advice and the 3 pages of info lol. I will continue to think on this. We wouldnt be doing the breeding for another 5-6 months so I have some time to think. I would love to have another GSP just like the one I currently own. Is gun shyness something that can be passed on to puppies or is that something a dog developes through a traumatic event? My buddy owns a few GSPs, all of which are great in the field except for one. She is gun shy and has become a family pet because she is worthless in the field. Just wondering.
    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    25 May 2010 03:15 PM
    You're welcome.

    As for gunshyness... Hillbilly feel free to add something here too... Lol.

    I feel gunshyness is a learned behavior. There are no such things as "genetic
    gunshyness". The only thing you can have is "sound sensitive" meaning at 7 weeks
    old if you make a loud pop with a pan and a spoon while the puppies are playing, and if one turns it's head and looks almost concerned, this is the equivalent to a puppy that might have a possibility of being gun shy if the gun is not taken slowly when introduced. No firing cap pistols when they eat or play, only on birds is when I introduce gunfire. And when they are older at about 6-7 months old. No need to ruin a 8 week old pup! The old addage that gunshy dogs should not be bred is an old wives tail, my Trappers brother is gunshy, and I will breed Trapper.

    Each dog is different, as a breeder and trainer one must realize that not all dogs can be excellent dogs in 3 months. Some mature quick while some mature slow.
    Home Of:

    Suma Kiss of Kings MH


    Hunter's Ridge Sinking the Bismarck MH
    Get Your Free Pedigree Today!

    "A good bird dog is only as good as your aim, as the proof is always in the bag." - Unknown
    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    25 May 2010 08:12 PM
    thanks again!
    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    26 May 2010 04:08 PM
    Darn. I thought I had wormed my way out of this and then you throw me on the fire. As for gun shyness. The only thing I have to say to add to Freefall is that puppies that are poorly socialized stand a way worse chance of being gunshy not all ways but I've seen hole litters like 6 to 8 pups and 1 that was worth messing with due to poor and I mean poor socialiation. As for waiting till their older I have done that on dogs that just were a little timid and it works wonders. But bird drive is the biggest key in any bird dog you got that and you can go most anywhere with the training. I got a 12 week old Griffon pup that I shot over already but he is bird crazy and I'm not talking a 12ga just a starter pistol but I also know how to evaluate pups only done like 1000 or so. As for the line breeding thing I love linebred dogs but only linebred 1 litter yes 1 really like to out cross linebred dogs more. but. I did have a litter last fall of gsp pups and 1 of them looked like a English pointer (got pic to prove it). Good pup though almost kept her but kept her sister instead. I know the lines these pups came out of and yes I believe they crossed big running pointers in but I would bet you could dna that pup and it's a shorthair. Now if you where going to breed a pointing breed dog to another pointing dog breed or say using flushing dogs beside the chance of genetic defect they are great and I know for a fact most live longer. But I the note of defect sometimes you can't tell for a awhile long enough for your buddies kids to get attatched to Scruffy and then have to put him down so on that not. Always give them away and tell the people that it is an experiment and there are no guarentees. They still might hate you but not so much if they paid for it. Alot of the hunting lodges do crosses to save money. Which make no sense at all to me their some of the only ones making money right now. Spencer I wish you the best of luck and if you do do it I love puppy pics.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    26 May 2010 04:10 PM
    Wow I spell like crap and you would think I never went to school with my gramer.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    BobUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:550 Bob
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    26 May 2010 05:39 PM

    If I can jump in here Ed, I feel any dog will be gunshy if mishandled. I will use Gunne as my example. I broke him to gun the way I posted on here. He is not gun perfect but he is not afraid of the gun either. Gunne on his 1st points and as we flushed the pigeons I shot the blank gun. He did not flinch one bit. That is why I think it is a matter of training and going it right away while they are young.


    My Dog And I Are A Team. We Practice Every Day. I Always Trust Tony, He Knows More Than I do.
    freefallgspUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:65 freefallgsp
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    26 May 2010 06:23 PM
    Throw you into the fire? Never. Just figured you've bred more dogs than I have of all hunting disciplines. I've only worked with pointing dogs -- so a few more opinions on Gunshyness and trying to get away from it happening wouldn't hurt.

    Good point Bob -- get them while they are young, teach good behaviors at 7 weeks versus correcting all the bad ones at 7 months.
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    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    26 May 2010 08:24 PM
    I don't mind being throw in the fire if you met me you would just go wow he is a Hillbilly. But Bob you have a really good point and thanks for taking the heat off me a little.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    spenser_price87User is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:10 spenser_price87
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    28 May 2010 10:08 PM
    I know "experimenting" with two different breeds to get another dog doesnt seem right to you Freefall, but how exactly did GSPs come to be? No disrespect at all, but aren't they the result of "experimenting" with Spanish Pointers and various German scent hounds( from what I could find on their background from AKC)? Could German Shorthaired Labs not become the same way? I dont know very much on breeding so I could be completely wrong but it seems to make sense to me. Just wanted your input.
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