Thinking at changing breeds

KansasGsp

Member
Hey guys, hope you are all doing well. I've been pheasant hunting 25 years now and have always ran Shorthairs. I've been tinkering around with the idea of trying something different and have been looking at Brittany's and English Setters. Am I crazy??? Give me your thoughts please. Still not sold on the idea as I've always loved GSPs. But, the older I get the more I've been thinking about it.

I've also always had kennel dogs, but now I'm at the point in my life where we can have one indoors. It's exciting being able to have them indoors with us now. I have a while to think about it, not planning on getting a pup until next Spring. Thanks, Bryan
 

remy3424

Member
If pheasants are what you pursue, it is tough to beat a GSP as you know. They are fine indoors, but you will have fine short hairs everywhere, once they live with you. I say stick with what you know, but those others can be crazy good retrievers. GSPs are great inside once they grow-up and slow-down a bit (7 years or so).
 
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Jet

New member
I currently have 2 shorthairs. Have previously owned shorthairs, labs, and one English setter. If I could only have one dog it would be a shorthair hands down. That said I loved my lab and the setter was probably the most beautiful dog on point I’ve ever seen. Probably can’t go wrong either way honestly but then I’m a dog lover and think they are all great. Good luck whatever you decide.
 

Miforester

Member
I've had Brittany's all my life but started to sprinkle in labs and a setter in the last 15 years. I currently have a Lab, Britt and Setter. They are all very good hunters and more importantly very good house dogs. All my dogs have been part of my house. It is tough to break the cycle of breeds and remember they always say "change is good"! My britts have been strong hunters and great retrievers of both land and water. They have also been extremely good house dogs as well. My current brittany is a retrieving fool, when outside she either has a ball with her to play fetch and if she cant find a ball she will bring me a rock. My setter is pretty mellow in the house, when she is in the yard she is Velocer Raptor, she is patrolling the yard point birds and chasing red squirrels. I very much prefer a docked tailed dog in the house, the labs and setters tail are alway knocking things over. I have never felt my brittany's were under sized in the field if they cant go over or thru the cover they go under it. They are the ideal size the house. I don't think you can go wrong with any hunting dog that comes from good stock, it is just a matter of your personal hunting preference. Don't believe the myths that having a hunting dog inside makes them soft or lesser hunter, simply isn't true. Just my opinion that you have a better bond with your hunting partner the more time you share with them. Good luck with your decision!
 

KansasGsp

Member
Thanks for the replies. I'm torn, luckily I have some time to decide what to do. My 11 year old son has a buddy that just got a English Setter pup so he's really wanting us to try a Setter. Always exciting when you decide to get a pup! Been looking around the past few days on-line, reading up about Setters and Brittanies. Man, I love looking at bird dogs! Hope the birds survived the hail storm out West last night, looked pretty serious in some spots. Thanks again.
 

s.davis

Member
Get whatever floats your boat when the time comes. The bottom line is that field bred GSPs and Labs are about the easiest breeds to get a good hunting dog out of for the average hunter, as you likely already know. But easy isn't the only thing a person might want, and there's no compelling reason I can think of not to just follow whim when it comes to bird dog breeds. No one is feeding their family off of ducks and pheasants. Bird hunting is supposed to be fun, and so is owning a dog. Do what's fun for you. Life is short.
 

Prairie Drifter

Active member
You are 50 minutes away. Could see a number of setters here. Been trying to slow down at work and get more training time in. More than willing to share what I know.
 

Kismet

UPH Guru
KansasGSP?

Look up some of my posts about Young Bert, the not-right dog. Could serve as a cautionary tale, or get you interested in a very athletic, funny, and DRIVEN dog. The other GWPs I've had have been excellent hunters and all have been great house dogs.

Best wishes and many hunts to you.
 

KansasGsp

Member
You are 50 minutes away. Could see a number of setters here. Been trying to slow down at work and get more training time in. More than willing to share what I know.
Thanks Troy. I drive by your place on my way to the in-laws out by Ulysses. I just might take you up on your offer. Thanks
 

Straightup82

New member
Of the two you're considering, pick a setter. You should have some nice one's to select from in Kansas. If you cannot find something you like, PM me. I know of some in IA. I'm a pointer guy, so I have nothing to hock. Good luck in whatever you decide on.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
Here is my 2 cents for what it's worth. :) I've had Springers, Labs and now for the last 25 years Brittanys. In the past 25 years I've considered several times of trying another pointing breed. I've looked seriously at English Setters, Gordon Setters, French Spaniels, Small Munsterlanders, Large Munsterlanders, Braque du Borbannais, Blue Picardy, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and others. I've always ended up going back to a Brittany. I'm now 74 years old and very likely on my last dog. I now regret not trying another breed. So, with that said, I would recommend trying another breed or two before it's too late. Lots of very good Setters and Brittanys in Kansas. My Brittanys have been excellent hunters and all very laid back house dogs. But whatever breed you decide be sure to do your homework on the litter you select. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
 
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Straightup82

New member
Here is my 2 cents for what it's worth. :) I've had Springers, Labs and now for the last 25 years Brittanys. In the past 25 years I've considered several times of trying another pointing breed. I've looked seriously at English Setters, Gordon Setters, French Spaniels, Small Munsterlanders, Large Munsterlanders, Braque du Borbannais, Blue Picardy, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and others. I've always ended up going back to a Brittany. I'm not 74 years old and very likely on my last dog. I now regret not trying another breed. So, with that said, I would recommend trying another breed or two before it's too late. Lots of very good Setters and Brittanys in Kansas. My Brittanys have been excellent hunters and all very laid back house dogs. But whatever breed you decide be sure to do your homework on the litter you select. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Excellent post
 

Chessie 67

New member
The only thing I have to say about Setters is that their coats can become quite matted with burrs, foxtails, etc. I’ve got a buddy I hunt with who has Setters and at the end of every day he spends lots of time de burring. He doesn’t like it and neither does the dog.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
Chessie brings up a good point about longer haired dogs. But if you watch the breeding you can find those with a shorter, flat coat in both Setters and Brittanys. My last two Brittanys have had very flat and short coats with only a little feathering on the back legs. Burrs, etc. have not been an issue at all. Coats can vary greatly in any breed so you need to watch the breeding.
 

KDGJ

New member
I have hunted with Gordon setters since 1986. This year I'm getting a red setter. Unless you like spending time getting cockle burrs and sand burrs out their hair, you may want to stay with a GSP. However, a lot of the field bred setters have shorter and thinner type coats to keep the burr collection down. If you get a setter you'll need to change your handle.:)
 

KansasGsp

Member
Zeb, your post summed up my thoughts exactly on trying something new. A lot of great info coming in, sure do appreciate it. The burr problem has me a little concerned and I will keep the above info in mind. Went out to our friends house last night for a BBQ and played with their setter puppy, my family is ready for a pup!
 

Prairie Drifter

Active member
With my setters, I go out a week or two before the season and trim their coats so that everything is no longer than my fingers are thick. Burs will stick to them, but will not wrap up. Then I simply comb them with a rake style dog comb and they are good.
 

5 stand

New member
Last fall I purchased a setter pup, first bird dog I've had in 30 years. He's been a lot of fun. I've had labs for the last 20, I duck hunt a lot.Chase pheasants twice-a-year South Dakota. He's going to add a whole nother dimension to my bird hunting, we will be doing more of it.
He has a very thin coat (to me). He ran all over the place on our Thanksgiving trip in South Dakota last year, burs entanglements weren't a problem. He has fuzzy ears, so we will do a little trimming on them this fall. He hasn't been through a full season, so I'm sure we'll have some issues. Disclaimer: I'm not trying to persuade you on a setter pup by any means. I don't think you could go wrong with a Brittany either. He does not have free roam of the house, none of my dogs do. They stay in the laundry room, and have a doggie door they can go in and out. I don't think you can go wrong with any choice you make, your new adventure awaits.
 
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Toad

New member
I went from having pretty large breeds of dogs (lab, golden, GWP), to getting my first American Brittany around 9 years ago. She's on the small side for ABs, and slim too, not the piggy-looking ones you see sometimes. I was so impressed with everything you get from a small package, I decided to add a French Brittany a couple years ago. The FB is even smaller, and still has all the skills.

It has been wonderful running the two brits, and I have never felt like I needed a bigger dog. They can both kennel together in one kennel and it only takes up half of the cargo area of my 4runner, and I don't even have to fold the seat down. They are great in the house, sometimes I forget they're even inside.

Anyway, if a smaller size dog would be a benefit to your lifestyle, I would recommend taking a look at French or American Brittanies. Have fun shopping.
 
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