A few years ago, I fully expected that when I got my first bird dog, it’d be a German shorthaired pointer or a Lab; a GSP because it’s what I’d grown up with, or a Lab because, well, you really can’t beat a good Lab. But I’m a bit more open minded these days. Or confused.
Being on assignment for Pheasants Forever and hunting with at least a dozen different breeds (that I can remember) gave me plenty more to think about. There’s also a future Mrs. Hauck in the picture now, meaning “My First Bird Dog” also means “Our First Bird Dog,” and that means she has some say in the matter.
Together, Kaily (she’s the future Mrs.) and I jotted down a list of factors to help narrow down our breed search:
We’re apartment dwellers. Thanks to the NRA American Hunter’s Kyle Wintersteen for his blog post Five Bird Dog’s For Today’s Suburbs. We’re trending toward a smaller dog.
Ringnecks, naturally, top my favorites list, but I want a dog capable of hunting other upland birds and waterfowl. I told Kaily this is what she wants too.
I’ll bet someday I’ll have a pointing dog, but that day won’t be the day I get my first dog. Retrievers and flushers, please move to the front of the line.
Hair. Despite having an abundance of it herself, the soon-to-be Mrs. does not want long hair on her dog. This, regrettably, eliminated the Golden Retriever from my wish list.
Maybe we’ve seen one overweight, suburban Lab too many. Maybe we’re just suffering from Lab overload. Maybe it’s as simple as we want to be different. Whatever the reason, the Lab’s stock is dropping on our list. Are we crazy?
Standard Poodle has been crossed off. It was never on the list, but just making sure.
That’s where the process of elimination currently stands. What breed is it looking like to you?
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Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauck.