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Hello all,

I have been reading this forum every day for months now. I want to say that this is a great group of people with a tremendous wealth of knowledge.

This year was my very first time hunting over dogs. A few weeks ago I went pheasant hunting and have to say that I am now hooked. I also have decided I am going to get a dog to hunt birds over. Everyone I talk to say A Brittany is a great dog for hunting upland game and I think that it is the way I want to go.

Do you guys recommend a breeder in state? What do you guys think of Haps Spice Rum as a breeder? Would you recommend any other breeders? What do I need to know? Do you guys recommend a specific cores for a new hunting dog owner? I am going to go all in on this thing, but it is important to me that I learn how to and actually train the dog. Please any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated.
 

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KC,

Welcome to the Forum and to the wonderful world of Brittanys. (I bred Brittanys for 30 years, but have Pointers now). I feel I should tell you that Brittanys haven't been called Spaniel since 1980. That's when the members of the American Brittany Club voted and approved the dropping of Spaniel from the name. The use of Spaniel in searches could lead you to the French bred Brittanys which is a very different dog. Brittanys have the most color variety of ANY AKC recognized breed, with 10 possible varieties. If you plan to just hunt your Brit I would suggest buying it from a breeder that hunts. A trial bred Brittany is going to be just as capable of competing with any long tail and may not be what you are looking for. There are several Breeders in Michigan and some on these boards. The ones I consistantly recommend is Ron and Carol Auten in Oxford, MI. I know what they have, what they breed for, and I am confident they can supply you with a pup to fit your needs. Good Luck and have fun. FRANK
 

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Frank

Thank you for the information. I had read that they dropped the Spaniel part but figured I would list it anyway. I have also looked at the add for Auten’s Brittney's and they are beautiful dogs. What is the difference between a hunting dog and a trial breed dog? What is the difference between a French Brittany and an American Brittany? I have done a lot of reading so far mostly on the web but I can see that I have not even put a dent in the information available. Do you have a book you recommend?

Thank you for the reply and I am getting more excited the more we talk about it.
 

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KC,

Welcome to the Forum and to the wonderful world of Brittanys. (I bred Brittanys for 30 years, but have Pointers now). I feel I should tell you that Brittanys haven't been called Spaniel since 1980. That's when the members of the American Brittany Club voted and approved the dropping of Spaniel from the name. The use of Spaniel in searches could lead you to the French bred Brittanys which is a very different dog. Brittanys have the most color variety of ANY AKC recognized breed, with 10 possible varieties. If you plan to just hunt your Brit I would suggest buying it from a breeder that hunts. A trial bred Brittany is going to be just as capable of competing with any long tail and may not be what you are looking for. There are several Breeders in Michigan and some on these boards. The ones I consistantly recommend is Ron and Carol Auten in Oxford, MI. I know what they have, what they breed for, and I am confident they can supply you with a pup to fit your needs. Good Luck and have fun. FRANK
Also, spaniels are flushing dogs and Brits are pointers. Have you had a chance to hunt over each type of dog ie. flusher vs pointer?
 

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Welcome to the forum. Bonz 54 has given good advice above.

We ran and hunted American Brits all over the country for many years. IME they are the ideal first pointing dog. A well bred Britt will point early, retrieve naturally and handle kindly. The Autens are well known for producing typy Britts with lots of natural ability. But there are many good breeders in the Midwest too. The hottest field trial breedings may produce dogs with too much run for comfortable hunting on foot.

A good book would be Delmar Smith's (by Tarrant) Classic "Best Way to Train Your Gun Dog". I have no experience with French Britts but the gene pool is much smaller.

NB
 

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Biggest difference you will notice from a trial line vs hunting line may be the dogs range; with the hunting stock hunting a bit closer.

Ive found my Brittany to be a great hunter, companion and indoor home pet. He does have several of Auten's in his pedigree.

Bob
 

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Biggest difference you will notice from a trial line vs hunting line may be the dogs range; with the hunting stock hunting a bit closer.

Ive found my Brittany to be a great hunter, companion and indoor home pet. He does have several of Auten's in his pedigree.

Bob
I'm betting the dual dogs are also a little calmer. Doesn't pay to have a wiggly dog on the bench...
 

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Frank

Thank you for the information. I had read that they dropped the Spaniel part but figured I would list it anyway. I have also looked at the add for Auten’s Brittney's and they are beautiful dogs. What is the difference between a hunting dog and a trial breed dog? What is the difference between a French Brittany and an American Brittany? I have done a lot of reading so far mostly on the web but I can see that I have not even put a dent in the information available. Do you have a book you recommend?

Thank you for the reply and I am getting more excited the more we talk about it.

I have seen haps dog run he is a very nice dog. if u want a dog that hunts in gun range ( don't know why anyone would want a pointer to hunt in gun range that's what flushers are for ) then he may not be the dog for u. although u can always bring their range in but can't extend it. he is a very good bird dog and u won't be disappointed

that dog is impressive even for a Brittany haha
 

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You will be very pleased with a Brit from spice rum. Hap has been in the game for a long time. I have known his dogs for 15 years and the ones I walked behind last year at highland were nice foot hunting dogs with style.
John and tara at variety farms in hartland have a nice dog they call Alvin
they may be breeding with.
Also try bob bricker in Clifford, dogwood kennels I think. Bobs been doing Brits for a long time too and has nice dogs
 

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KC, I know most of these breeders talked about in this thread. I don't think Ron Auten is breeding anymore. If you want to drop me an email, I think I may be able to help you out. ...... Now I have to see if I included my email address in my profile :)
 

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KC,

Sorry I took so long getting back to you. I've been up to my **** in snow removal (like everyone else). The difference in French and American bred, is that the French do not penilize for having black noses or black in their coat (in French events). They cannot compete in AKC Bench events. The French also seem to handle and train slightly different than American bred dogs. I would stay away from Field Trail stock (if you can or focus on Dual purpose dogs, Bench and Field) for the big run. Some people (like Chewy above) want a BIG going dog and I couldn't disagree more with the flusher/pointer comparison. I am currently running two EP's out of Grouse hunting stock that hunt to the gun. Which is exactly what I want. I hunt pointing dogs and want to watch them work. Otherwise, you are just going for a walk in the woods and you can do that without a monthly dog food bill.

As I said earlier, there are MANY Brittany breeders in Michigan. If Ron and Carol are not breeding anymore I have not heard. They are running an ad in the M-S classifieds (or were). If you have any questions feel free to P/M me. Good Luck. FRANK

BTW, the Delmar Smith book is very good.
 

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KC,

Welcome to the Forum and to the wonderful world of Brittanys. (I bred Brittanys for 30 years, but have Pointers now). I feel I should tell you that Brittanys haven't been called Spaniel since 1980. That's when the members of the American Brittany Club voted and approved the dropping of Spaniel from the name. The use of Spaniel in searches could lead you to the French bred Brittanys which is a very different dog. Brittanys have the most color variety of ANY AKC recognized breed, with 10 possible varieties. If you plan to just hunt your Brit I would suggest buying it from a breeder that hunts. A trial bred Brittany is going to be just as capable of competing with any long tail and may not be what you are looking for. There are several Breeders in Michigan and some on these boards. The ones I consistantly recommend is Ron and Carol Auten in Oxford, MI. I know what they have, what they breed for, and I am confident they can supply you with a pup to fit your needs. Good Luck and have fun. FRANK
This trial dog versus hunting dog issue is argued on this and every other forum going. 99 percent of the hunting dogs out there have trial bloodlines in their make up.
Been training dogs for the public for twenty years, I can't say as I have ever seen a dog that could not be hunted off of foot. That is both hunting and trial dogs.Closer working is simple a matter of training not breeding. As the old saying goes "you can always reel them in but ya can't push them out".Breed for all the run you can get and train for range.TRAIN for range.Run is/equals desire. Desire is what produces birds.Be them trial or hunting dogs.
Some of the worst examples of dogs I have delt with over the years have come from lines with no or very little trial bloodlines in them. They lack in many areas but the biggest fault was almost always very little drive.
As far as Haps britts go they are top notch dogs. If I am not mistaken they also carry some of the Auten bloodlines . Ron Autens dogs which all go back to trial bloodlines are also top notch dogs I have broke dogs fom both lines and would recommend either. For both hunting and trialing.

Good luck hope ya get a good one.
 

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Crosswinds, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've been into pointing breeds for going on 36 years and have seen it time and again. A hunter buys a pup for trial campaigned parents and is very unhappy with the results. A dog from All Age competing parents is not going to make a good foot handling companion for the general hunting public. FRANK
 

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Crosswinds, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've been into pointing breeds for going on 36 years and have seen it time and again. A hunter buys a pup for trial campaigned parents and is very unhappy with the results. A dog from All Age competing parents is not going to make a good foot handling companion for the general hunting public. FRANK

I just measured some of the trial grounds that we run. According to Google Earth, Nick Miller's A field is about 610 yards long. I have had Hawkeye burn to the back of the field right off the line and stick birds in the farthest corner on several occasions. His range is pretty big on those fields. However, he know the difference (after some training) not to do that in the grouse woods. Most, if not all, of my hunting buddies own trial bred dogs. None are these run away hunt-for-themselves bird dogs. It all about the training. Sheet in, sheet out.

Even my young Danner dog will do the same thing as Hawkeye, but about 10 times faster........:D
 

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KC,

Sorry I took so long getting back to you. I've been up to my **** in snow removal (like everyone else). The difference in French and American bred, is that the French do not penilize for having black noses or black in their coat (in French events). They cannot compete in AKC Bench events. The French also seem to handle and train slightly different than American bred dogs. I would stay away from Field Trail stock (if you can or focus on Dual purpose dogs, Bench and Field) for the big run. Some people (like Chewy above) want a BIG going dog and I couldn't disagree more with the flusher/pointer comparison. I am currently running two EP's out of Grouse hunting stock that hunt to the gun. Which is exactly what I want. I hunt pointing dogs and want to watch them work. Otherwise, you are just going for a walk in the woods and you can do that without a monthly dog food bill.

As I said earlier, there are MANY Brittany breeders in Michigan. If Ron and Carol are not breeding anymore I have not heard. They are running an ad in the M-S classifieds (or were). If you have any questions feel free to P/M me. Good Luck. FRANK

BTW, the Delmar Smith book is very good.

well I can't disagree more. I think what your saying is most people want s dog they can hunt with right out the box. that means they don't want it to run so if it bumps a bird they can shoot it.

i would think a flushing dog is more effective than those bootlicker dogs a pointing dog should be bold not afraid to get out and search for birds. when he finds one he points and waits for the handler

If u encounter spooky birds wether out west in the woods or down south. a larger ranging dog will equal more birds in the bag. birds aren't going to sit tight while u stomp through the terrain and your dog 20 yards in front of u running back and forth.

as crosswind said a close working dog generally doesn't have the drive. hunting behind a dog without drive makes me sick to my stomach.

you dont bring a toy poodle to a dog fight.
 

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I got a big runner and a closer working dog. I don't know why the OP wants a closer working dog; but for me I enjoy seeing the dog work, this said if i had my druthers for enjoyment of the total hunt i would have my bigger runner work more like my closer working dog.........but my bigger runner has been locating more birds so I enjoy having one of each.
 

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I'm not going to argue either side, but I think this quote is appropriate now.

"Every breeding program should include the complete dog. By the complete dog I mean not only his performance, and his personality and his disposition but his confirmation as well. It is such a mistake to breed for special qualities. There seems to be a great fad for the running dog now. I think it’s a manifestation of the macho syndrome practiced by the young Turks, “my dog can run further than your dog.” This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me—to sacrifice these other great qualities for range alone. Confirmation and hunting ability, pointing instinct—all these great things are being sacrificed for a dog that can run the furthest. This is what happened to our show dogs who bred only for confirmation or coat alone. If the dog is bred properly with a full amount of intelligence, he can be trained to run either a shooting dog race or all-age race. "

Robert G. Wehle
http://www.elhewpuppies.com/news/bob-wehle-breeding-bird-dogs/
 

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I'm not going to argue either side, but I think this quote is appropriate now.

"Every breeding program should include the complete dog. By the complete dog I mean not only his performance, and his personality and his disposition but his confirmation as well. It is such a mistake to breed for special qualities. There seems to be a great fad for the running dog now. I think it’s a manifestation of the macho syndrome practiced by the young Turks, “my dog can run further than your dog.” This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me—to sacrifice these other great qualities for range alone. Confirmation and hunting ability, pointing instinct—all these great things are being sacrificed for a dog that can run the furthest. This is what happened to our show dogs who bred only for confirmation or coat alone. If the dog is bred properly with a full amount of intelligence, he can be trained to run either a shooting dog race or all-age race. " Shooting dog or all age. Neither of those are even remotely related to close working dogs.
you are quoting a man that made a ton of money selling field trial dogs. His culls (the ones that wouldn't run or lacked in one area or another) that he talks about in his book were often sold to Joe Hunter. At outrageous prices.LOL I have had the displeasure of working with some of his rejects/culls that hunters had bought straight from him.But I have also had the pleasure of working with some excellant dogs from his kennel and bloodlines also.

Robert G. Wehle
http://www.elhewpuppies.com/news/bob-wehle-breeding-bird-dogs/
...
 
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