Thanks everyone. A lot of good feedback here.
I train about 50/50, pointing breeds to retrievers, and work closely with the Delmar Smith method. I also write for Pointing Dog Journal with Delmar's son, Rick.
There are good dogs and bad dogs in most all breeds. A Llewelyn setter would be a fine choice, as would a well-bred dog of any of the pointing breeds. I currently own a Brittany, and have two GSPs in my training string....have had some of all the pointing breeds pass through here. If you buy a well-bred pup, what you put into it is what you'll get out of it. My next pointing dog will be an English pointer, preferable with a little Elhew in the mix.
To speak to your original question: With the pointing breeds, there is a lot less control during the first year as opposed to retrievers, and a lot more fun afield to encourage prey drive and birdiness. Birds, birds and more birds. If you compare the retrievers vs. the pointers as far as AKC hunt tests, a MH for pointing dogs is light years easier to train for and achieve than a MH for retrievers.
And cross-training is possible.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.
Why would you want a setter when you could have one of these......
VC TJ's Miss Filson MH, UTI
VC TJ's Highfalutin Hawkeye MH, UTI
I think that force fetching was a little more tedious than what I do for retrievers.
The Brit that I am currently helping a friend with is the most natural retriever of the ones I have dealt with and is very good in the water.
I have to add that I had the opportunity to watch two Muensterlanders work. I really liked what I saw.
Last edited by gdgnyc; 12-12-2012 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Muensterlanders
"I love the rod and gun and where they take me."
"Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."
Personally, I love my big running horseback english pointers..all 7 of them. But, I also have an excellent shorthair, a setter, and recently lost an elderly Braque D'Auvergne. All have their strong points and weak points. Nothing gets your attention more than a stunning 12 o'clock tailed english pointer reaching to the front, but they are not for the faint of heart and are generally less interested in retrieving than the Continental breeds. If I were limited to just one foot hunting dog, it would most likely be a shorthair...as long as it was mostly white for visibility purposes. BTW, those big running pointers make excellent house dogs. All of mine are raised in the house and at least two live in the house at all times.
These are some pictures of our pointers (GSP Jack) and my husband's pointer "Big" (Derby Dog of year OVFTC) along with our trainer's setter that I took for his client. These are all cool dogs BTW we live in Western KY and train WMA all the time. Would be glad to recommend a trainer if you want to send a PM
Lab crew from KY Breeze and Wilson
Great pics- Love those high heads and tail sets-