How versatile is your versatile dog?

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How versatile is your versatile dog?

Postby MAArcher » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:32 am

Hello, my first post here.

I've owned a GSP who I used primarily for ducks and woodcock. She's moved on to the happy hunting grounds so now I am now looking to get a Drahthaar. In doing some research, I think many people have a different idea of what "versatile" means. It seems most people think its just a dog that can do both waterfowl and point upland birds.

I'm hoping to train my next dog to not only retrieve ducks and point birds, but to also blood track wounded deer and coyote; and hunt rabbit, squirrel and sheds. Also pull a dog sled.

Is there anyone here who's had success training their dog to do all those things? My GSP didn't bother with squirrels but she'd point a rabbit if it held. I never got around to training her on sheds, sleds or did much blood trailing. I'd love to hear from people who have put the V in versatile with their dog.

Thanks!
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Re: How versatile is your versatile dog?

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:50 pm

I have had GWPs for over 30 years. Hunted them on Upland birds, Waterfowl, Fur and Blood Tracking recovery of deer and turkey as needed. One dog in particular was an excellent natural tree dog who started treeing squirrels on his own at 7 months of age and I hunted him on coons and bobcat in addition to upland, waterfowl and blood tracking.

My current dog is in his second season and has hunted alot of upland birds and good deal of waterfowl, a couple of blood track recoveries of deer here on my farm. He hunts fur on his own but I am not encouraging it as my priorities have changed over time. He has killed several coons this season while bird hunting, treed several in the daytime and at night, caught rabbits, treed squirrels, tracked and retrieved many possums. He has averaged pointing a coyote a week while hunting heavy CRP grass for quail and pheasants this season, got ahold of one of them and I broke it up with a come command and ecollar. I am burning him with the ecollar from giving chase on coyotes now when he points them. I only know it is a coyote he is pointing when I go into flush and a yote boils out ... He will point a rabbit, and bounce a few yards after it if the bird hunting is slow. I do not shoot them and do not encourage him to track them as I find it an unproductive distraction while hunting birds, but if I showed interest in them his would increase rapidly as he has the aptitude for it. I prefer to hunt with friends beagles and enjoy hearing them circle a rabbit. With a little work he would make a good still mouth coon dog, but that gets in the way of deer recoveries which are often at night and my interest in coon hunting is hearing a big mouth hound run a track and tree, so I am not going down that road with this dog either. I do engage in formal blood track training to better his skills and understanding at performing that task and it is a subject we will do more work on during the upcoming off season.

I gave this pup antler sheds from early on. He will hunt for them in heavy cover and retrieve them to me when he finds them. He has yet to bring me a fresh shed but we will keep trying as I think it is only a matter of time before it happens. He retrieves alot of dead deer legs and dead heads when he finds them so I feel confident he will pick up a shed and bring it to me when he runs across one. The time of year for shed hunting in Feb/March is when the possums run in the afternoons and he brings me alot of them, sometimes several in a day. I just ask him to sit at heel and deliver and then drop it behind me when we move on.

Your goals are very doable. I have done most it with prior dogs, but my tastes have changed over time. Best of luck with your next dog.
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Re: How versatile is your versatile dog?

Postby MAArcher » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:25 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I have had GWPs for over 30 years. Hunted them on Upland

My current dog is in his second season and has hunted alot of upland birds and good deal of waterfowl, a couple of blood track recoveries of deer here on my farm.

Your goals are very doable. I have done most it with prior dogs, but my tastes have changed over time. Best of luck with your next dog.


That's good to hear, thanks for posting! I hope training goes that well for me. I'd love it if this next dog would tree squirrels rather than just retriever them.

I live in a suburban area and there isn't a lot of game, no grouse, but some woodcock, stocked pheasant, some rabbit and squirrel. I don't have preference, I'd take whatever we could get on any given outing, especially since a limit of woodcock isn't enough for a meal. I have a few friends that do a good job of getting into deer, but they aren't the best bow shots so there's plenty of opportunity for deer tracking. I need all the help I can get for shed hunting, seems every time I go looking with a friend, they always find one right after I step over it. It would be nice if I had dog that could give me an edge.
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