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I'd say it almost all fashion, most peolple i know with them would be far better off without 1, In Denmark where the tracking standard/knowledgle is far more advanced than here, the humble lab is still the most popular breed althou now level pegging with the wire and hound breeds.

 

Sometimes hpr's used mainly for beating/picking up will stop pointing as other dogs will go in and steal the point, also it'll depend on the ammount of birds in front. That 1 of mine would go completely bonkers on the ammount off scent present on some off the shoots i go to, i'd have absolutely no chance off stopping him, he's still young but he will always be a bit 'hot'

I'm also guessing ur GWP is not ur first gundog u've trained/worked, i'm also guessing the people who have got good hpr's also have a bit off experience, nothing wrong with the breeds but they are generally not for a first timer, not trying to be rude but if u have to ask if it's possible to train a dog to do something outwith it's comfort zone u probably don't yet have knowledge or experience to do it.and would be better off learning with a dog that will do it naturally anyway

 

My springer or older lab will both sit under a highseat no probs and take injured deer, springer took a fallow buck down the other week, had escaped from fence with back leg snapped att knee,

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Actually what you mention about loads of scent actually stops her as she has to think more. I've twice this year put her in small pieces of cover with 1000 plus birds in and she has simply stalked through as they flew. It's been very interesting and almost the best day this year was the last day of the season on our small syndicate taking her out and shooting some cock birds that were pointed properly over her. Fantastic sport with just two of us out and certainly beating hasn't stopped her pointing. Previously I've mostly had terriers and nothing conventional and really I got this one as I liked the breed looks wise. It's not been easy but you couldn't want for a better dog in the house but flip that switch and you have a machine with a nose that really is something.

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No point having a great retriever if it won't find game for you to shoot in the first place!

But there is you see. The pigeon shooter, the wildfowler, the driven game shot etc. None of these need a hunting dog. I am not having HPR's as a great pheasant beating dog in woodland either, they are on par with a similar brought on retriever in dense woodland. HPR's are great at covering open ground that doesn't hold stacks of game, yet doesn't warrant a brace or so of pure pointers and a retriever at heel. As regards deer and fox work, I have seen some stunning labs work on deer (never owned one yet) they aint keen to make a noise that's all and my current lab pup introduced himself to fox at 10mnths (unintentional) and to describe him as aggressive is just plain daft. my GWP was a fox nut but wouldn't go near them till he was well over a year old yet was teased with carcasses the lot

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But there is you see. The pigeon shooter, the wildfowler, the driven game shot etc. None of these need a hunting dog. I am not having HPR's as a great pheasant beating dog in woodland either, they are on par with a similar brought on retriever in dense woodland. HPR's are great at covering open ground that doesn't hold stacks of game, yet doesn't warrant a brace or so of pure pointers and a retriever at heel. As regards deer and fox work, I have seen some stunning labs work on deer (never owned one yet) they aint keen to make a noise that's all and my current lab pup introduced himself to fox at 10mnths (unintentional) and to describe him as aggressive is just plain daft. my GWP was a fox nut but wouldn't go near them till he was well over a year old yet was teased with carcasses the lot

 

Yea ok. I just do walked up and rough shooting so for me if the dog did not hunt it would be no good.

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Yea ok. I just do walked up and rough shooting so for me if the dog did not hunt it would be no good.

 

and I'll bet you get a great deal of enjoyment out of it and a dog that is cracking with children and round the house, hunting wise they are so much less frantic than a spaniel and have more go than a lab. There are severe differences in the breeding though and I think the ones that have Rory Majors breeding in there are very useful for work in the UK as they have decent temperaments and tend to be far more biddable than the hairy crocodile type anyway we could discuss this all day and really you get what you want and can cope with if you have a HPR I think you need to be the active type mine likes a good 4 mile walk a day and after that is happy to either sleep or work all day preference to the latter but if not she isn't that fussed.

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and I'll bet you get a great deal of enjoyment out of it and a dog that is cracking with children and round the house, hunting wise they are so much less frantic than a spaniel and have more go than a lab. There are severe differences in the breeding though and I think the ones that have Rory Majors breeding in there are very useful for work in the UK as they have decent temperaments and tend to be far more biddable than the hairy crocodile type anyway we could discuss this all day and really you get what you want and can cope with if you have a HPR I think you need to be the active type mine likes a good 4 mile walk a day and after that is happy to either sleep or work all day preference to the latter but if not she isn't that fussed.

Do you know him and have you ever discussed this with him? I think if you had you will find him very straightforward about all Breeds Labs, spaniels and HPR's of all types.

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Yea ok. I just do walked up and rough shooting so for me if the dog did not hunt it would be no good.

That's sort of my point "right dog, right purpose" I think the Versatility of HPR's has been taken out of context by many, compromises have to be made

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Do you know him and have you ever discussed this with him? I think if you had you will find him very straightforward about all Breeds Labs, spaniels and HPR's of all types.

 

I must confess I haven't asked him just gone on the 10 or so dogs that I've met with bryantscroft in their pedigree, none have tried to eat me or required shooting either. Just because you couldn't manage to get what you wanted out of one doesn't mean they can't be versatile yes they aren't for everyone but if you make the effort they are a very rewarding breed

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I've been reading this thread with interest for obvious reasons, and whilst doing homework on what I am looking for, I came accross this article in the Gundog Training Magazine:

 

Traditionally labradors and other retrieving breeds have been used by waterfowlers, peg Shots and pickers-up while cocker and springer spaniels have been favoured by roughshooters and those who join the beating line on driven shoots. A minority of gundog enthusiasts keep bird dogs - setters and pointers - for use on grouse moors or on a few walking shoots where the Shots enjoy shooting partridge or pheasant "over dogs".

This differentiation and specialisation is unnecessary, however, and the all-round sportsman can, if he or she so desires, have an all-round dog to match his pursuits. The various HRP breeds have been increasing markedly in popularity over the past 30 years or so and are no longer the rarities that they once were. To be fair, those breeds have always enjoyed greater popularity in mainland Europe but now they are becoming much more acceptable in the UK and, over the Atlantic, in the USA. "Acceptable" is maybe the wrong word - their owners tend to by enthusiastic advocates of the merits of their particular breed.

HPR, for the uninitiated, stands for "Hunt Point Retrieve" and, as the name suggests the dogs can be trained to hunt like a spaniel, point like a true pointer and retrieve like a flatcoat or golden. As with all compromises, of course, we must not expect too much. An HPR will never face the dense thorny cover that a good ESS will enter with relish; it will never look quite as stylish on the moor as a top English setter and it will not have the inborn retrieving ability of a well-bred labrador. It can, however, be trained to do almost everything the shooting man or woman will demand of a dog to an adequate standard and it has the huge advantage of obviating the need for a kennel of several different breeds. For the sportsman who wishes only one dog, an HPR could be the perfect solution.

Probably the best known HPR breed is the German shorthaired pointer which was "custom designed" from the Spanish pointer, the English pointer, the foxhound and the Hanovarian schweisshund - basically a mix of two true pointers and two tracking hounds. The GSP is a smooth coated dog in a variable mix of liver, black and white or in solid liver or black. They can be excellent pets as well as hard working dogs and are extensively used for falconry as well as shooting sports.

We then come to the German wirehaired pointer which are reputedly less easy to train than the GSP but, having said that, there are some very good examples in the field today. They are particularly popular in America, perhaps because sportsmen on the western side of the ocean are willing to use a wider range of training techniques.

The large munsterlander is arguably the most handsome of the HPR breeds and is not dissimilar to a long-haired setter in appearance. Widely regarded as an enthusiast's dog because they can be strong-headed, there seem to be many more "soft" examples around today which are more readily trainable and are credited with a high level of intelligence.

Weimaraners from Saxony and vizlas from Hungary complete the list of more common HPR breeds although interest in "lesser" breeds such as Italian spinones and Brittany "spaniels" does seem to be increasing at a fairly fast rate. At the end of the day, with the exception of the GSP, most HPR owners probably choose their particular breed on grounds of appearance rather than any other factor. And why not?

When it comes to training any of the HPR breeds it has to be remembered that their genetic makeup tends to favour an inborn aptitude for the hunting skills (because of the prominence of hound breeds in theor origins) rather than pointing or retrieving. You can be lucky and get a dog that will point naturally and retrieve without much work on the owners part but, in general terms, the new owner of an HPR should be prepared to spend some time training it to point and, especially, to retrieve. When the job is completed, he will have a dog to be proud of, and which will be a great shooting companion for many a year.

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You do not necessarily have to train an HPR to point. Given the right introduction to game scent, most HPR's in my experience will point naturally. What will need training is usually the steadiness to flush, shot and fall, as with any gundog. Given their slowness to mature, they can be sensitive and won't take bullying. Training has to be done with positive reinforcement and not inadvertently creating situations which allow bad behaviour.

 

Hunting and Retrieving will be familair to spaniel owners, so it is the point which seems to be the challenge and as stated, it's not really the point, it is steadiness. Pointing and flushing can be practised in the larger rabbit pen,

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I've been reading this thread with interest for obvious reasons, and whilst doing homework on what I am looking for, I came accross this article in the Gundog Training Magazine:

 

Traditionally labradors and other retrieving breeds have been used by waterfowlers, peg Shots and pickers-up while cocker and springer spaniels have been favoured by roughshooters and those who join the beating line on driven shoots. A minority of gundog enthusiasts keep bird dogs - setters and pointers - for use on grouse moors or on a few walking shoots where the Shots enjoy shooting partridge or pheasant "over dogs".

This differentiation and specialisation is unnecessary, however, and the all-round sportsman can, if he or she so desires, have an all-round dog to match his pursuits. The various HRP breeds have been increasing markedly in popularity over the past 30 years or so and are no longer the rarities that they once were. To be fair, those breeds have always enjoyed greater popularity in mainland Europe but now they are becoming much more acceptable in the UK and, over the Atlantic, in the USA. "Acceptable" is maybe the wrong word - their owners tend to by enthusiastic advocates of the merits of their particular breed.

HPR, for the uninitiated, stands for "Hunt Point Retrieve" and, as the name suggests the dogs can be trained to hunt like a spaniel, point like a true pointer and retrieve like a flatcoat or golden. As with all compromises, of course, we must not expect too much. An HPR will never face the dense thorny cover that a good ESS will enter with relish; it will never look quite as stylish on the moor as a top English setter and it will not have the inborn retrieving ability of a well-bred labrador. It can, however, be trained to do almost everything the shooting man or woman will demand of a dog to an adequate standard and it has the huge advantage of obviating the need for a kennel of several different breeds. For the sportsman who wishes only one dog, an HPR could be the perfect solution.

Probably the best known HPR breed is the German shorthaired pointer which was "custom designed" from the Spanish pointer, the English pointer, the foxhound and the Hanovarian schweisshund - basically a mix of two true pointers and two tracking hounds. The GSP is a smooth coated dog in a variable mix of liver, black and white or in solid liver or black. They can be excellent pets as well as hard working dogs and are extensively used for falconry as well as shooting sports.

We then come to the German wirehaired pointer which are reputedly less easy to train than the GSP but, having said that, there are some very good examples in the field today. They are particularly popular in America, perhaps because sportsmen on the western side of the ocean are willing to use a wider range of training techniques.

The large munsterlander is arguably the most handsome of the HPR breeds and is not dissimilar to a long-haired setter in appearance. Widely regarded as an enthusiast's dog because they can be strong-headed, there seem to be many more "soft" examples around today which are more readily trainable and are credited with a high level of intelligence.

Weimaraners from Saxony and vizlas from Hungary complete the list of more common HPR breeds although interest in "lesser" breeds such as Italian spinones and Brittany "spaniels" does seem to be increasing at a fairly fast rate. At the end of the day, with the exception of the GSP, most HPR owners probably choose their particular breed on grounds of appearance rather than any other factor. And why not?

When it comes to training any of the HPR breeds it has to be remembered that their genetic makeup tends to favour an inborn aptitude for the hunting skills (because of the prominence of hound breeds in theor origins) rather than pointing or retrieving. You can be lucky and get a dog that will point naturally and retrieve without much work on the owners part but, in general terms, the new owner of an HPR should be prepared to spend some time training it to point and, especially, to retrieve. When the job is completed, he will have a dog to be proud of, and which will be a great shooting companion for many a year.

 

I've been shooting for a good number of years now.Walk up, rough shooting, wild fowling and driven and I've encountered many HPR's of different breeds and other than on the grouse moor non have performed anywhere near a Lab, Springer or Cocker.

I know everyone doesn't want to follow the same path and I 'm happy that we need variety but my experience is that they fall short of what most shooters want from their dog

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I must confess I haven't asked him just gone on the 10 or so dogs that I've met with bryantscroft in their pedigree, none have tried to eat me or required shooting either. Just because you couldn't manage to get what you wanted out of one doesn't mean they can't be versatile yes they aren't for everyone but if you make the effort they are a very rewarding breed

 

 

its difficult to get one without bryantscoft appearing, up until quite recent there was only three or four "names" . All the lines have some issues you take your pick and take your chance. Not running Bryantscroft down and I do actually know the guy and some of the challenges he has had dealing with the breed over the years, he is still IMO the top guy. Listen up I still like HPR's I would still have another if the nature of my ground wasn't changing. Would I have a GWP over other HPR breeds? No probably not as good as they can be aggression, epilepsy seem linked to strong working dogs and yet I do know of others that are nothing but nice pets- there seems to be a centre void in the breed at present

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I got a 4½ year old HWV seven years ago. He had been professionally trained then 'ruined' by going on stand and walk shoots every Saturday where he discovered that a: all his points got stolen by spaniels, and b: the quickest dog got the retrieve, and he was the quickest dog! By nature a soft intelligent dog, fanatastic in the house and with other dogs and people. most of the time just plain daft and makes me laugh alot with his antics even at 11 years old.

 

so in no particular order:

 

deer stalking, great, self taught tracker, loves deer heart as a reward, indicates deer by standing and snorting as he catches their scent, he does this on no other quarry. Does not give tongue, does not drag down wounded deer but will dance around them holding them at bay. Sits patiently under a highseat without protest.

 

Game shooting- ran in like the proverbial and has to be staked down. When released brilliant retreiver who only ever delivered game into hand, very strong hunting drive. When younger and very hyped up first retrieve or two would often have crushed ribs, grown out of that now and has not damaged a bird for years. Picked up hand signals with no training, he just did it, very attentive and looks back at me for instructions when struggling on a bird, my 2 labs never did that. He is a bit of a retrieving machine and could do long distance work with no problems.

 

Rough shooting, well he would point if no other dogs around, hates thick nettles or brambles but would go in for a retrieve. Open ground ranges wide, thick cover hunts close.

 

Beating, got better as he got older and slowed down, a bit too hot when young, had to put him on lead when he could see birds being shot as he ran in to pick them up. Not really bothered by hundreds of birds in front of him, his 'thing' was retrieving. If he did get away and into a group he never ran riot like I have seen many times with labs and spaniels, just worked his way methodically putting up birds.

 

Wildfowling, very patient, sits for hours without a murmur, his weak point is he will not do long distance water retrieves, he bottles it at about 50 yards and turns back. I am sure this could have been rectified when he was younger.

 

Overall if his running in had been nipped in the bud he would have been a much much better dog for me as it was his major vice.

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Wot kent has said as well as a few others contains a lot off sense. Most people have the rose tinted spec's on when they look at there own dog or favourite breed (me included) but all dogs/breeds have strengths and weaknesses some can be worked on others cannot.(like coat thickness)

 

Somone mentioned earlier about a Ferrari, I'd say it is like buying a Ferrarri to do the school/shopping run, it will do it no prob's but will spend it's whole life in 1st or 2nd when it has been designed to be ran at full rev's, it will catch everyones eye and be something 'different' yet if u were being entirely honest ur life would prob be easier with a Fiesta. U will spend ur life fighting trying to control the inner beast, when u can buy a car that is actually designed for the school run

 

I really can't see the point in talioring all ur training to trying to hold back/steady a breed that has been selectively breed to 'GO' when a ready made dog which would thrive on exactly what ur trying to train it to do.

Hpr's are capable of so much more so why spend ur life trying to hold it back, waste of a good dog.

 

As above there are very few 'decent' names out there depending on ur breed and also there tends to be massive differences between lines or even individuals out off the same litter, with a headstrong 1 being poles apart from a sensitive 1 while with a more normal the differences are not so massive. In general i would not say an HPR is for a novice trainer and even more so when trying to train it agganst it's natural instincts

If u read a few of the HPR training books unlike normal dog training books they don't really come up with some master plan to train ur dog because there is so much variation between breeds/individuals, some are encouraged to run wild and brought back undser control while others are kept very much in tight as they have plenty off drive..

 

As for the GWP's there seem's to be better lines coming out of Denmark than the more pure german/DD lines. Danes dog work is more birdy and similar to wot we do in the uk while the germans still favour the more aggresive types for more tracking type work

 

If i had to go down to only 1 dog i have no idea wot it would be (4 dogs, 3 breeds) if i didn't want a dog to point ie roughshooter/beaters dog would be a Lab, but i'm gettin more into the pointing side of things and i'm very lucky that got plenty of ruff ground and grouse moors to work an hpr on. Thankfully i don't need to make the choice

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A very honest post Scolopax, :good:

 

If a WHV struggles with nettles/rough cover i'd imagine the smoother haired breeds would be worse also the smoother haired breeds tend not to like water very much too (dunno if nature or nuture) but seen some very well trained dogs at trials that will hardly swim or even enter water and it has cost them a place when they have to do the water test.

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Scotslad I agree, if only one dog I would have a lab. It can do everything and will push birds from cover for a rough shooter. I am a spaniel man at heart, but I would rather have no spaniel than a plodder happy to sit in a hide. For me, the fun in a spaniel is seeing a good one hunt hard and fast.

 

And HPRs are for grouse on the moor or woodcock in large open woodland.

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Scotslad I agree, if only one dog I would have a lab. It can do everything and will push birds from cover for a rough shooter. I am a spaniel man at heart, but I would rather have no spaniel than a plodder happy to sit in a hide. For me, the fun in a spaniel is seeing a good one hunt hard and fast.

 

And HPRs are for grouse on the moor or woodcock in large open woodland.

One dog, what would you choose if you could have two? I am seriously thinking of adding spaniel as the nature of my ground is now very rushy to the extent I cannot see a point. working a spanner close in and never letting it go out on any out of step to retrieve and the lab tight at heel for anything that falls further ( never had a dog that stayed wrapped right round my leg coz I tend to tred on them or fall on them) but I do mean tight in, not lending a hand to the spanner. I have never been a great spaniel fan but I miss having a hunting dog. I agree whole heated a hunting dog is better to see hunting and one that's too settled in one spot aint no hunter in my book though my wire stayed in some muddy holes but he realy lit up when it was time to walk off and it was nerve jangling for us both, his sky points at incoming birds were impressive but the dirty backwards looks when I missed all contained rude German swear words I am sure.

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Much as I love my springer but i think if i had 2 dogs it would be a lab and an Hpr.

 

My lab's hunt away fine not as hard as a spanner but seen them enter cover some spaniel's have refused (albeit **** spaniels), will enter heavy cover if some scent but won't crash needlessly throu real heavy stuff (my labs are old fashioned breeding ie stocky, square heads, otter tails and a proper thick double coat ) I train my lab's and spaniels pretty much the same and use them all for beating/shooting over or picking up, Very little in it

I just feel Lab's are a slightly more versitile dog than a spaniel althou not a lot in it, prob the biggest prob a spaniel has is its coat, they do tend to get cold quick if wet windy cold, so not so good for flighting/wildfowling but a neoperene jacket would fix that.

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Much as I love my springer but i think if i had 2 dogs it would be a lab and an Hpr.

 

My lab's hunt away fine not as hard as a spanner but seen them enter cover some spaniel's have refused (albeit **** spaniels), will enter heavy cover if some scent but won't crash needlessly throu real heavy stuff (my labs are old fashioned breeding ie stocky, square heads, otter tails and a proper thick double coat ) I train my lab's and spaniels pretty much the same and use them all for beating/shooting over or picking up, Very little in it

I just feel Lab's are a slightly more versitile dog than a spaniel althou not a lot in it, prob the biggest prob a spaniel has is its coat, they do tend to get cold quick if wet windy cold, so not so good for flighting/wildfowling but a neoperene jacket would fix that.

I like the sound of your labs, mine has a very thick double coat shortish but built like a tractor. I don't let him hunt up but he will go into anything and I do mean anything and will break or pull down cover and actually bite through growing branches as thick as a finger in cover to get at a retrieve. Retriever and a HPR? why not just go pointer and lab? The proper wildfowling double coated dog seems to being gradually bred out in favour of a thin coated trialing wippet which is a great shame, water tests after a trial mean nothing a lab should be tested and prove itself in proper water with waves and current- even better if it gets to stick its head under and or dive

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A hpr can retrieve like a flatcoat?. **** me !, its gets worse !!!!!.

 

Judging by my friends 12 or so flatcoats I can say my hpr doesn't try and just eat the game, so the retrieve is different :lol:

God that pack living in a normal house put me off the breed forever but they are showing dogs much as she tries a spot of Gundog training. The serious side though is they aren't made for work they struggle to make it to 10 with an easy life. Picking up trained properly I guess they would be ok but I'd never try and get one hunt hard all day. Look pretty though....

 

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