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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you think will yield you a better grouse dog?

1.) a 5 year old preserve guide dog that has never been hunted on wild birds yet has seen upwards of a thousand liberated ones.

OR

2.) A puppy born from parents that spent their lives hunting prairie birds mostly pheasants and had never seen the woods but you raise exclusively in the woods on grouse and woodcock.

Which is the better ruffed grouse dog after a couple of seasons experience?
 

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can't answer that. there are so many variables that come into play.
you should know that.
 

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I'd take the pup. It has more prime health years ahead. For that reason alone, I think the pup has the opportunity to become a better grouse dog.

I likely chose incorrectly.

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Way too many variables, but I would take the puppy. Seems that for some breeds you are buying pedigree and only hunting the dog, and training it for grouse. I believe that there is the chance for more of an upside with the pup.

But then again I know a guy who attempts to hunt grouse with a horseback quail dog, so who knows JK :)
 

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The pup...no bad habits you can't cure...a lot depends on the owner though

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Like others have said; way too many variables and unknowns.

Two years worth of experience on Grouse; I'd go with the pup, only because the preserve dogs have learned to crowd birds with little fallout. But if the preserve dogs are smart they stand an equal chance to adapt and be no better or worse than the pup could/would be in two years. JMHO.
 

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I can't answer your question, Scott.

But I do know I've got a loooooooooong way to go to get these grouse dogs in shape for the season!! Nothing like air conditioning on these dog days of summer. :lol::lol:

 

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What do you think will yield you a better grouse dog?

1.) a 5 year old preserve guide dog that has never been hunted on wild birds yet has seen upwards of a thousand liberated ones.

OR

2.) A puppy born from parents that spent their lives hunting prairie birds mostly pheasants and had never seen the woods but you raise exclusively in the woods on grouse and woodcock.

Which is the better ruffed grouse dog after a couple of seasons experience?
Just want to break down some of this question. Only listing factors that count.

Dog 1
  • 5 year old dog.
  • 1000+ preserve birds.
Dog 2
  • Puppy
  • Parents hunted (we don't know how well they hunted)
Like many have said there is information still needed. But with what you gave us there is only one factor that one dog has over the other and that is age. I would say in two seasons the puppy would make a better wild bird hunter. There is nothing to un-teach the puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So far it sounds like many would rather gamble on an unknown quantity than try to overcome the possibilities of someone elses mistakes.
 

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Depends on the string of dogs you have. My string I would take the puppy at this time I already have dogs in there prime so I have time to work in the pup
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So far it sounds like many would rather gamble on an unknown quantity than try to overcome the possibilities of someone elses mistakes.
I see it a little different. Some are simply willing to make a decision.


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So far it sounds like many would rather gamble on an unknown quantity than try to overcome the possibilities of someone elses mistakes.
I answered this question with the assumption we are talking about pointing dogs.

Hmm not sure I like the use of the word mistakes. It may have just been choices that the owner of the 5 year old made to suit how they like to hunt. The 5 year old may have habits that were acceptable to one person that would not be to me.

Those habbits may have been accetable to pen raised birds but not tollerated by wild birds. Will the 5 year old dog understand to much pressure on a wild bird. Pen raised birds will let the dog go on point 5 inches away. And if the dog has developed a habit of going on point that close and getting rewarded for it.

Since you did not tell us if the dog was steady or if it retrieved to hand or that it would even pick up a bird, I am still looking at the 5 year old as a crapshoot.
 

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I think one has to make some assumptions to play this hypothetical exercise.

I would assume you can look at the 5yr old dog. I would assume it is a flushing dog.

With those assumptions I think the real "crap shoot" is with the puppy. To be honest it is always a crap shoot with a puppy.

I have done this excercise numerous times in real life. I must admit though back 10 years or so ago I though I was above average as a trainer. Now after working with more dogs I see that I am at best a below average trainer. So knowing that fact I now lean heavily towards dogs that show they can work birds such as option one in the OP's excercise. 5 years old is a little older than I like to look, I prefer 1-3 year old, but would not shy away just because of age 5. In my experience the 2 older dogs that had loads of "planted birds" have both turned out ok, my first was outstanding, the second is solid. My average with puppies has been far lower, probably more like 50-50.

Now if you cannot look at the 5yr old or have someone you trust look at it then I may choose to get neither. I also like to look for that 1 year old that a trialer doens't think will quite make it so I can finish em off how I like, or to may ability and what I will accept.
 

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It is a difficult question. I would take a chance on the pup....if this was all of the info I had. But how do we know that the preserve dog doesn't point all of his birds from 15-20 yards down wind, steady to wing and shot, and is probably a great retriever.. A dog that handles bird well has a chance to be great regardless of prior experience. IMO
 
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