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Thread: Germans water dogs?

  1. #1

    Default Germans water dogs?

    Anyone have any experience training a German shorthair for waterfowl, if so where there major differences than a lab?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CodyC's Avatar
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    Grew up hunting a german shorthair for ducks. In my opinion they are the most versatile dog there is.

  3. #3
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    Depends on the lines, issues can be coat,body mass,water love (or lack of),lack of retrieve drive and
    whining
    As far as training, they should train the same. I have DKs and they train the same as retrievers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    I have one and he'll run the same setups as my retrievers, he marks really well and retrieving is not an issue. He can't hang with the labs in the really cold or bigger water but a fine allaround gundog.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

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    The biggest issue is cold tolerance and swimming strength, not talent. In many parts of the country they are better than fine but in the end lower body mass and the narrow torso is hard to overcome. To be honest of the versatile dogs, the Spinone is the only one that can hang in cold and bigger water.

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    I've had one that I was sure would drown if she ever accidentally fell into a body of water, and I've had one that seemed to love the water as much as my labs. For this discussion I will focus on the second one. She marked well and I ran her through a lot of the same marking sets and drills as my labs. She wasn't as fast as my labs in the water and didn't have a big water entry, but would definitely retrieve in the water with plenty of drive. I think location will prove to be your biggest hurdle if you are set on using a shorthair for a duck dog. They can't handle the cold the way a lab can. Question I have is do you already own the dog or are you looking? If you are looking and are wanting a duck dog, why stray away from the breeds specifically bred to do the work and excel at it in any conditions?

  7. #7

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    Had one that was about 80 pounds and solid Liver colored. Did not hunt test him, but he was a super retriever in a hunting situation. Used him like a lab guiding on the Katy Prairie for years. Everyone thought he was a chocolate lab that had an accident with his tail. Quail or pheasant hunting you could just leave him looking for the down bird and keep hunting the pointers, he would catch up with the lost bird in hand.

    He could not take the cold like a lab. It never bothered him much except in the panhandle when it would get really cold. He would look back at you when you asked him to break ice for a retrieve but he always went. I have a widgeon mounted on the wall he swam underneath 6 foot of sheet ice to get. If you can let them move around after they get wet they are fine.

    I used to hike 1.5 miles through chest high muck into McFadden Wildlife Refuge with him past 150 to 250 gators both on the way in and out to get to our duck hole. Never left that hole without a limit. We were both young and dumb but made up for it with energy and enthusiasm. Most of the time I was in jeans and canvas hightop tennis shoes. Ah the good ole days.

  8. #8
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    The Versatile Dogs ( all Gsp i think) just had their international competition last week on Alabama at the Barnett Lawely Ft grounds
    They had imported judges ( further than Tenn)
    Like from Germany.

    Bottom line is they had a water test or 2
    Dk

  9. #9
    Senior Member ad18's Avatar
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    One of my buddies has had several and they worked fine in all hunting situations. Only issue was when it starts to get cold. Their overall body makeup they just couldn't take it. He had one BIG solid male that was pretty tough, but none where near what our labs will take. I guess dependant on where you live will define cold though.
    HRCH Scaupgetters Seminole Ben SH WCX
    NMH GMH HRCH Heads Up Lightning Strikes WCX

  10. #10
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    My buddy had them and we hunted them all the time for waterfowl into the winter, Im partial to the fuzzy face hippie GWPs I miss my Guy was a darn nice dog
    HRC- Our season never ends

    "Shoot fast or shoot last"

    HR UH Nilsson's on a wing n a prayer SH WCX

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