Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

What's The Best All-Around Hunting Dog?

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Man's Best Friend
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

June 03, 2009

What's The Best All-Around Hunting Dog?

By David DiBenedetto

Ever since I brought Pritch home I’ve been hearing opinions about gun dogs. My brother told me I’d suffer because I was used to retrievers, and that Boykins “just don’t have the same fire.” And a fellow outdoor writer only half-joked that I had gotten a “chick dog.” But you don’t have to look too far back at the comments to some of my pervious posts to see that Boykin owners are certain they have the best dog on the planet…all of which makes for a great Hump Day discussion: What’s the best pound-for-pound hunting dog?

I know it’s not an apples-to-apples discussion. Comparing a hound to a retriever to a pointer is tough to do. But for the sake of discussion, let’s just say you’ve got one dog to choose for the rest of your hunting life. What’s it going to be? A Labrador? We all know they’re disposition makes them easy to train, and they’re great companion dogs. What about the German Shorthaired Pointer or the Brittany? No doubt we have some houndsmen who wouldn’t be caught dead without a Bluetick.

Me? Well, for now, after hunting with labs and Goldens, I’m pretty sold on my Boykin spaniel. If I don’t ruin her she’s got potential to be a great water dog, upland hunter, and even a tracker of deer. Plus, Pritch is not going to get too big, she’s already a dream around the family, and she’ll also be one heck of a fishing partner. But, yes, I’m biased.

Let’s hear it, gang. I’ll keep the tally and report back on a later post.

Comments (50)

Top Rated
All Comments
from -Bob wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Submitting this post is akin to sticking a "kick me" note on my back, but here goes -- my vote is for the Standard Poodle. I couldn't ask for more in a hunting dog.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I'm going to say the best all-around hunting dog is inevitably the one that becomes your best buddy, regardless of species. I've seen mutts hunt like machines, and high-dollar labs that seemed dumber than a stump. It's all about the rapport with the hunter/owner, and then birds, birds, birds. And more birds. Lovin' and birds.

Looks like you are well on your way.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

give me a 15 inch beagle any day . great with the family , small and easily transported on a four wheeler with a dog box. and the bawl of a little hound or hounds hot on a rabbit's tail is awesome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MikeD wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hands down its a Brittany. Affectionate, easy to train and hard working!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Well I have a lab german shorthair mix and he is a great hunting dog. But I don't think you can say which breed is best, it depends on the dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigblue0827 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

From a bird hunter perspective, what does a Lab do that a Boykin can not? Most lab owners will say handle a big canadian goose, and I will tell you that is simply not true. Abigail does struggle getting the goose back to the blind (when field hunting, water is no problem), but she will do it. You made a great choice with pritch, she will never stop suprising you while hunting (in a good way).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from taxidermygirl wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to say a Viszla. He is my best bud!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alaskahunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Our Boykin went out at 6 months of age, hunting quail with an older, experienced Lab. Her only retrieving training had been watching the other dogs retrieve the fallen birds. She not only retrieved a quail that the lab missed, she retrieved another so fast that the Lab was still out looking for it. She is the birdiest dog we have ever seen, constantly looking for birds and intuitively understands what to do with them. She also has an excellent nose and tracks constantly. She is a loving family dog and gets along well with dogs and people. You will have a great time with Pritch!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Lab, no doubt. But any dog that is your buddy and will hunt hard and retrieve is good to go, regardless of breed or looks!

Small and/or short-legged dogs have a hell of a time with geese in deep water and ice. I prefer a tall Lab of about 90+ pounds.

That Boykin looks a little foo-foo for me.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Okay...remember the topic is "all-around hunting dog." My labs have been the best field buddy you could ask for and to be able to retrieve upland birds and a couple months later tree a big Washington bear...my vote is cast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

English Setter, but that's just because of my Carly. I think almost every hunting dog has the potential to be a great overall dog. We humans are what typically mess up the works. Most hunting dogs, in my humble opinion, with just a little blessing of instinct can be taught to do just about any hunting task. We humans, with our "smarts" and predispositions, are the problems.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehorse918 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I just picked up a 14 month old English foxhound at my local ASPCA facility. He's big and gorgeous and loves chasing the rabbits. Needs some more training but is a fantastic companion and is as gentle and sweet as they come. I do use a high quality training collar with him and he is learning quickly. Love my Cooper!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bruce Wilkie wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

For me it would have to be the German Short Haired pointer. They point like a pointer retrieve like a lab ( land or water)and track like a hound there is nothing you can't hunt with a G.S.P. and they make great pets when properly exercised.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scampwalker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hopefully, for every gun dog owner out there, the best dog is the one they're hunting with. I picked my pointer and shorthair because they were bred for the kind of upland birds that I hunt most. Secondly, you should pick the breed of dog that pleases your eye... you'll be with them for a dozen years or more, so you might as well enjoy the view. Get good genetics, then follow it up with good training. What most guys don't realize is that while it's important to teach your dog, it's equally important to let your dog teach you. That means paying attention to them and learning their tendencies - you're a team, after all.
http:8moremiles.blogspot.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I agree with the Brittany. However, I will seriously look at a Boykin because my Brit won't swim, and I need a swamp dog for ducks as well an upland hunter.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hey Bob, does your poodle do upland or just ducks? How versatile is he/she?

Spud

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to go with the Lab. While my Yellow is not the best at any one task, I call him my Swiss Army dog as he is good at almost everything you could ask a dog to do, retrieve, flush, guard the house and camp, playing with the kids, packing his own pack backpacking, horn hunting, and just laying in front of the fire being a dog.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman18 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've been a reader of F&S for 40+ years and over that time have had a lot of great, and good dogs. I've had Brittany's, Labs, and now find ourselves with asoon-to-be 9-year old chocolate Lab named Muddy and a 2-year old Boykin Maggie. I live in the NW and primarily am a waterfowl hunter, but occasionally get out for upland game when the opportunity arises. Our dogs have ALWAYS been family dogs that live with us in the house and travel frequently. For my money you can't beat a good blockhead lab, but you really have to watch the breeding today. Our labs come from hunting stock bred by hunters for hunters, but equally important hunters with families. I've watched the Boykin with fascination for several years, and when my old friend Nick crossed over (my black lab) and after waiting a year, we picked up our new puppy, Miss Maggy.

Let me tell you, she is one unique dog! Everything you hear about them are true, some truths more than others. She is a fantastic family dog, and is an eager hunter under any conditions. Rain, snow, ice, whatever, she wants to go. No sign of shyness and, which can be an issue, she is also very dominant. Definitely an alpha female. Eager to please, but with a STRONG stuborn streak in her that drives us crazy. A great swimmer, Frequently we travel to the Washington coast and Maggie shows no fear of running and diving in to the surf to make a retrieve with as much enthusiasm as Muddy. She has all the atributes to make an excellent hunter and companion, if it were not for her stubbornness. Obviously the Chessie in her is quite strong. Now that the AKC is going to recognize thishunting breed, I sure hope the breed isn't ruined for the sake of popularity and a quick buck.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ibboykin wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

BOYKINS, hands down. When you are talking versatility, an all around dog, Boykins Rule!!! I hunt Quail here in the South, Ducks in the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta, and Pheasants in South Dakota and Boykins will not only hold their own, but when the others are out of energy, my Boykins still have GO!!
Clay Black
Yocona River Boykins
www.yoconariverboykins.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Spud, I've only done upland with my Standard Poodle thus far, but a friend of mine has had great success with his hunting Canadian geese.

We've hunted over poodles for years, and found them to be great hunters and companions. Clean, intelligent, easy to teach, and eager to please. About the only drawback I can think of is having to keep them groomed, but that's only every six weeks or so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sskeanderson wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Look to National Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and look which breeds take top honors year after year in events. German Wirehairs, Puddlepointers and German Shorthairs rank right at the top. If you live south, the GSP, If you live in Northern climates the GWP or Puddlepointer. Bottom line: A dog is a personal choice and what ever breed you think you can bond with and be excited about spending time with is the way to go. I've hunted over a lot of good dogs and it gets down to disposition and quality time spent with owner.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Years ago while hunting the frigid winters of Kentucky, I found an Australian Blue Heeler,"living" in the woods I hunted.I watched her eat acorns by cracking the shell with her teeth,and using her paw to separate the meat from the shell.

After several days of finding her in the same place,I took her home to be mine.One evening, I heard her barking at a squirrel in one of my huge oak trees that bordered the lake.

As I watched her go after the squirrel,I noticed her doing something strange. She would back up to get a better view of the tree, the squirrel had ran into.

She gazed steadfastly at the mighty oak, as the rodent moved, from one tree to the next. She followed with intent,I thought to myself.Intent on what?

She waited for the squirrel to make it's escape down the third tree it had ventured to. In all of my squirrel huntin' dogs, I never could get one to watch the tree for the squirrel moving from one to another.

Not only was she very observant,but if she could find a way, she would run up the tree after the squirrels.

Most squirrel dogs I had, would placate themselves waiting patiently at the base of the tree.

She could swim like a lab and jump bunnies like a beagle,she would dig for them too,if they ran into their hole.

This dog could do it all,she had to ...to survive out in the wild!

Holly,the Australian Blue Heeler!

I miss that dog ...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

My two favorite dogs are probably the two most common hunting dogs that I have seen in northern maine. A good old brittany, and a 13 inch beagle. Both of them have the heart of a hunter and from what i've seen (I will admit i'm not the best trainer) these dogs are somewhat easy to train for hunting. The only problem with beagles is that they can get into the hunt too much and keep on chasing the rabbit. ONe was found 50 miles from its starting point. No doubt these two tough dogs are perfect for our climate. Small, and tough they can get around in anything from thick alders to 2 1/2 feet of snow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from iainburguet wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I have to go with a Boykin for the best all-around bird dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quackwacker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

"jaz" is my 6th Boykin. Thats the best breed of dog I have ever owned.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to say a lab, their easiness to train as well as their retrieving abilites is nothing short of amazing and not to mention that they love to swim and jump. They are also good looking dogs that are very good with the family.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tee2 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Chessies for me A little protective (esp of my wife and daughter) Doves & ducks and a great companion ready to go anywhere I'm going. Full of energy outside but calm in the house. While they could possibly lack a litttle style in the retrieve the never quit makes up for that. Lost my 3rd chessie a few months ago but will start over in just a few short weeks from now. It will be nice to have one under foot at home again. Good luck on the Boykin- If Icouldn't get a chessie boykin would be next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ard wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to argue that the West Highland Terrier makes the best companion.
I would say that the White Lab accounts for the best hunting dog.
I will admit that all of the "yappy" dogs in this world are surely the most annoying.
My vote is for the White Lab.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Riverridge wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

what about a good ole treeing walker coonhound I owned and hunted them for 29 years and you want find a better pet thier a very gentle dog that can also be used for big game besr cat etc

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The Boykin sure is getting a lot of press here. I have seen them on the Westminister Dog Show, but have never seen one in the field. In the course of a year, I see a hundred or more dogs in the fields and bays waterfowl and pheasant hunting, but can not recall ever seeing a Boykin.

I am not slamming any breed, but what I see in the field is an overwhelming majority of black, chocolate, and yellow Labrador's here in W. Washington. Just my observation, that's all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ironsights wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

HANDS DOWN, its gotta be the curr dogs, My ABC curr is the best hunting dog I have owned. I have hunted with redbones, bloodhounds, labs, dogo argentino's, pit crosses, beagles, bird dogs, heeler, border collies, you name it, I have owned each at one time. My Black Mouth does it all, I use him on every varmit in the woods. We target squirrels, coons, fox, possum, deer(when a neighbor makes a bad shot), heck, he's even killed two snakes in the chicken house this year alone. He works a coyote better than anything I've owned, and tree'd a bobcat last fall, which for anyone who hunts them knows that an accomplishment in itself. We use him on hogs as a baydog or strike dog, and he pushes cattle if I ask him to do so. True, they aren't a specific breed, but as far as any good dog man knows, its about performance. Read the Big Thicket Legacy or watch Ol' Yeller, the movie was based off a book written about a cur. He even retrieves dummys from the pond. Their only downfall is that they are hot nosed, but who wants to take game for miles anyway?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

There's simply no such thing... there are retrievers, there are pointing dogs and there are flushers.

Some dogs that specialize in one do a passable job of the others but they'll never do a better job than the dogs that specialize in those others.

I can upland hunt with a lab or a chessie or a boykin, but I'm not dumb enough to suggest a retriever or a flushing spaniel is as good a pure bird finder as a brit, a setter or a pointer.

I can have a shorthair that will retrieve a duck but I'm not dumb enough to suggest that my duck-hunting shorthair is the equal of a lab or chessie.

I tried that "all-around" garbage once with a German wire-haired pointer. What happened was I ended up wishing I had my chessie with me in the duck blind and I ended up longing for my pointer when I was out chasing quail.

No offense to all you NAVHDA guys...

Every breed has its cheerleaders who say their breed can do it all better than any breed out there. Basically it's all proud-parent posturing. JMHO...

And just WTF is a "white lab" and what makes the "white ones" better hunters? I've never seen a "white lab" in a blind or in the field, nor have I ever seen one at a hunt test or field trial. I have, however, seen them cavorting with those registered labradoodles in dog parks...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mthunter, this is a Boykin-specific blog so naturally there are a lot of interested Boykin owners following it.

They're pretty cool little dogs, but something of a regional breed. However, as I alluded to in the post above, just as with any other breed, Boykins aren't the be-all-end-all for everything, simply the be-all-end-all for those who own and love them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Julie Ann wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

It all boils down to one main ingredient: the dog's personality. Any breed can make a great hunting dog, but that of course can also depend on their genetics (pointers, flushers, or retreivers).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BOYKINSRUS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

My 12-year-old Boykin could come off the couch right now and out-hunt must dogs I've been out with. As far as that "lack-of-fire" comment, that is a bunch of hooey. When Brownie would get on birds she was like whirlwind and had the best nose I've ever seen. She once totally disappeared on me, much to my alarm. She had followed grouse sent up under some exposed tree roots on the side of mountain and was totally out of sight and sound. After an exasperating moment or two, a grouse and a little brown dog exploded out from under the roots. I'd like to see a lab do that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Bob, thanks for the udate on the poodle. I've read of folks that still use them for hunting. My wife and kids have alergies and there is an obvious benefit to this type of dog. They can be goofy looking but the standards I've known have been great dogs.

2poppa, I believe it. I used to have an ACD/Blue Healer. She was all dog and smart. Like a pit bull with a boder collie brain. I bought a car from a guy here in Colorado who had 2 ACDs he used to run rabbits. He had a beagle that stayed at home with his wife. I'd like to see someone train one to point or flush birds.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

labarador retriever all the way gets the job done for almost anything and is a great house pet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weinerdex wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

In my opinion, I think mini dappled dachshunds are the only dog worthy of calling themselves a hunting dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

We have owned dachshunds for years and can confirm that they are masterful hunters of a good place to piss and poop.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mthunter-- Now that's funny. -d

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

There's not much bird hunting in Ohio but rabbit are another thing. There is nothing more wonderful then the bark and howl of a beagle chasing a rabbit with 4 inches of snow on the ground. What a joy. It's like living in a Norman Rockwell painting.

I have become the accidental owner of a Wheaton. Someone told me they are hunting dogs? Does anyone know anything about this breed?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pommom913 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

pomeranians are perfect, small and portable, not to mention vicious. I'll take one any day

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've had 2 Springer Spaniels that were great hunting dogs and great house dogs too. Good swimmers, good noses, I just liked everything about them. My wife hated them. My dad had an English Pointer that was absolutely the best hunting dog in the world and could find birds anywhere but bit half the neighborhood and liked to kill other animals. My uncle always raised Brittany Spaniels and had quite a few with a nose and they had even temperaments too. My next door neighbor for years kept a pack of Beagles so I have learned to hate them even though they were fun to hunt with. I love Labs and one is sitting beside me right now but every one I have owned just wants to retrieve and will not find a bird for you. To me that's just not a hunting dog so I will have to say for strictly hunting you can't beat a good pointer unless you spend a lot of time in a duck blind but for a companion all around man's best friend hunting dog my favorite will have to be the English Springer Spaniel, which has a lot of the same characteristics as your Boykin. Are they by any chance related?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hrhodges1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

hi! i am thinking about getting a puppy in the near future for a first time hunting dog.i have read about different breeds but i am still not sure. i love the idea of the boykin, an all around hunting dog, small, and doesn't shed to much; but it is sometimes hard to find a pretty one. i have found acouple of breeders that have nice looking parents, but i was wondering where you got your puppy? and if they have a website?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cschuler wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

well-well-well- AFTER READING ALL THE COMMENTS i SEE THAT NOBODY HAS COME UP WITH THE RIGHT ANSWER! ALL 'YOUSE' GUYS SHOULD DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND GET THE CLEARCUT, STAND ALONE, HAS NO PEER -ALL AROUND BEST GUN DOG!--THAT DOG IS THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON-THESE DOGS WORK THE WATER-WORK THE FIELD-WORK THE SWAMPS-WORK THE CORNFIELDS-WEATHER AND HUNTING CONDITIONS ARE NEVER A PROBLEM-THEY DON'T CARE-THEY JUST HUNT AND HUNT AND HUNT-AND THEN YOU TAKE THEM HOME TO BE BOTH YOUR AND YOUR FAMILIES BEST FRIEND. i HAVE OWNED AND HUNTED SEVERAL OTHER BREEDS-NOTHING COMPARES TO THIS SOMEWHAT RARE BUT OH SO SPECIAL DOG-THEY AREN'T CALLED THE SUPREME GUN DOG FOR NOTHING!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jdennis wrote 3 years 1 week ago

I would have to say myself probably a chessie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LSUCamo24 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

ironsights,
I am actually looking for a hunting dog right now and am pretty much decided on the blackmouth cur. I was just wondering if you could give me a little more of your experience with them, e.g. ease of training, how well they do with existing dogs, general information, versatility, etc. Or any other tips or information that could be helpful in making a decision.
Im still comparing them to the german wirehaird pointer, but the cur seems to meet a larger range of my needs (cattle, hog, etc).

Thanks :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom Cannon wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

The best hunting dog in the world is the Welsh Pembroke Corgi - never saw a dog hunt for love, food, or a god place to sleep like our little Tucker! Depends on what you're hunting for - but if its a companion - Corgi's are the best! :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ScottyBee wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Depends on what you're doing I guess. For Duck Hunting, the DC guys ( www.duckcommander.com ) use black labs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dp1099 wrote 5 sec ago

I have a Jagd Terrier. She blood trails like crazy, bays hogs, will fight and kill a coon, brings me birds and even catches mice and rats around the house. Have to say she is a little rough on the birds sometimes, but I have not primarily trained her in bird hunting like many do in Germany. But POUND for POUND is a dream! This breed can hold its own in any type of hunting and only weighs around 20 pounds!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I'm going to say the best all-around hunting dog is inevitably the one that becomes your best buddy, regardless of species. I've seen mutts hunt like machines, and high-dollar labs that seemed dumber than a stump. It's all about the rapport with the hunter/owner, and then birds, birds, birds. And more birds. Lovin' and birds.

Looks like you are well on your way.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Submitting this post is akin to sticking a "kick me" note on my back, but here goes -- my vote is for the Standard Poodle. I couldn't ask for more in a hunting dog.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ibboykin wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

BOYKINS, hands down. When you are talking versatility, an all around dog, Boykins Rule!!! I hunt Quail here in the South, Ducks in the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta, and Pheasants in South Dakota and Boykins will not only hold their own, but when the others are out of energy, my Boykins still have GO!!
Clay Black
Yocona River Boykins
www.yoconariverboykins.com

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman18 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've been a reader of F&S for 40+ years and over that time have had a lot of great, and good dogs. I've had Brittany's, Labs, and now find ourselves with asoon-to-be 9-year old chocolate Lab named Muddy and a 2-year old Boykin Maggie. I live in the NW and primarily am a waterfowl hunter, but occasionally get out for upland game when the opportunity arises. Our dogs have ALWAYS been family dogs that live with us in the house and travel frequently. For my money you can't beat a good blockhead lab, but you really have to watch the breeding today. Our labs come from hunting stock bred by hunters for hunters, but equally important hunters with families. I've watched the Boykin with fascination for several years, and when my old friend Nick crossed over (my black lab) and after waiting a year, we picked up our new puppy, Miss Maggy.

Let me tell you, she is one unique dog! Everything you hear about them are true, some truths more than others. She is a fantastic family dog, and is an eager hunter under any conditions. Rain, snow, ice, whatever, she wants to go. No sign of shyness and, which can be an issue, she is also very dominant. Definitely an alpha female. Eager to please, but with a STRONG stuborn streak in her that drives us crazy. A great swimmer, Frequently we travel to the Washington coast and Maggie shows no fear of running and diving in to the surf to make a retrieve with as much enthusiasm as Muddy. She has all the atributes to make an excellent hunter and companion, if it were not for her stubbornness. Obviously the Chessie in her is quite strong. Now that the AKC is going to recognize thishunting breed, I sure hope the breed isn't ruined for the sake of popularity and a quick buck.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I agree with the Brittany. However, I will seriously look at a Boykin because my Brit won't swim, and I need a swamp dog for ducks as well an upland hunter.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've had 2 Springer Spaniels that were great hunting dogs and great house dogs too. Good swimmers, good noses, I just liked everything about them. My wife hated them. My dad had an English Pointer that was absolutely the best hunting dog in the world and could find birds anywhere but bit half the neighborhood and liked to kill other animals. My uncle always raised Brittany Spaniels and had quite a few with a nose and they had even temperaments too. My next door neighbor for years kept a pack of Beagles so I have learned to hate them even though they were fun to hunt with. I love Labs and one is sitting beside me right now but every one I have owned just wants to retrieve and will not find a bird for you. To me that's just not a hunting dog so I will have to say for strictly hunting you can't beat a good pointer unless you spend a lot of time in a duck blind but for a companion all around man's best friend hunting dog my favorite will have to be the English Springer Spaniel, which has a lot of the same characteristics as your Boykin. Are they by any chance related?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from alaskahunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Our Boykin went out at 6 months of age, hunting quail with an older, experienced Lab. Her only retrieving training had been watching the other dogs retrieve the fallen birds. She not only retrieved a quail that the lab missed, she retrieved another so fast that the Lab was still out looking for it. She is the birdiest dog we have ever seen, constantly looking for birds and intuitively understands what to do with them. She also has an excellent nose and tracks constantly. She is a loving family dog and gets along well with dogs and people. You will have a great time with Pritch!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Bob, thanks for the udate on the poodle. I've read of folks that still use them for hunting. My wife and kids have alergies and there is an obvious benefit to this type of dog. They can be goofy looking but the standards I've known have been great dogs.

2poppa, I believe it. I used to have an ACD/Blue Healer. She was all dog and smart. Like a pit bull with a boder collie brain. I bought a car from a guy here in Colorado who had 2 ACDs he used to run rabbits. He had a beagle that stayed at home with his wife. I'd like to see someone train one to point or flush birds.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to go with the Lab. While my Yellow is not the best at any one task, I call him my Swiss Army dog as he is good at almost everything you could ask a dog to do, retrieve, flush, guard the house and camp, playing with the kids, packing his own pack backpacking, horn hunting, and just laying in front of the fire being a dog.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Years ago while hunting the frigid winters of Kentucky, I found an Australian Blue Heeler,"living" in the woods I hunted.I watched her eat acorns by cracking the shell with her teeth,and using her paw to separate the meat from the shell.

After several days of finding her in the same place,I took her home to be mine.One evening, I heard her barking at a squirrel in one of my huge oak trees that bordered the lake.

As I watched her go after the squirrel,I noticed her doing something strange. She would back up to get a better view of the tree, the squirrel had ran into.

She gazed steadfastly at the mighty oak, as the rodent moved, from one tree to the next. She followed with intent,I thought to myself.Intent on what?

She waited for the squirrel to make it's escape down the third tree it had ventured to. In all of my squirrel huntin' dogs, I never could get one to watch the tree for the squirrel moving from one to another.

Not only was she very observant,but if she could find a way, she would run up the tree after the squirrels.

Most squirrel dogs I had, would placate themselves waiting patiently at the base of the tree.

She could swim like a lab and jump bunnies like a beagle,she would dig for them too,if they ran into their hole.

This dog could do it all,she had to ...to survive out in the wild!

Holly,the Australian Blue Heeler!

I miss that dog ...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigblue0827 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

From a bird hunter perspective, what does a Lab do that a Boykin can not? Most lab owners will say handle a big canadian goose, and I will tell you that is simply not true. Abigail does struggle getting the goose back to the blind (when field hunting, water is no problem), but she will do it. You made a great choice with pritch, she will never stop suprising you while hunting (in a good way).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MikeD wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hands down its a Brittany. Affectionate, easy to train and hard working!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sskeanderson wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Look to National Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and look which breeds take top honors year after year in events. German Wirehairs, Puddlepointers and German Shorthairs rank right at the top. If you live south, the GSP, If you live in Northern climates the GWP or Puddlepointer. Bottom line: A dog is a personal choice and what ever breed you think you can bond with and be excited about spending time with is the way to go. I've hunted over a lot of good dogs and it gets down to disposition and quality time spent with owner.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ard wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to argue that the West Highland Terrier makes the best companion.
I would say that the White Lab accounts for the best hunting dog.
I will admit that all of the "yappy" dogs in this world are surely the most annoying.
My vote is for the White Lab.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BOYKINSRUS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

My 12-year-old Boykin could come off the couch right now and out-hunt must dogs I've been out with. As far as that "lack-of-fire" comment, that is a bunch of hooey. When Brownie would get on birds she was like whirlwind and had the best nose I've ever seen. She once totally disappeared on me, much to my alarm. She had followed grouse sent up under some exposed tree roots on the side of mountain and was totally out of sight and sound. After an exasperating moment or two, a grouse and a little brown dog exploded out from under the roots. I'd like to see a lab do that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

English Setter, but that's just because of my Carly. I think almost every hunting dog has the potential to be a great overall dog. We humans are what typically mess up the works. Most hunting dogs, in my humble opinion, with just a little blessing of instinct can be taught to do just about any hunting task. We humans, with our "smarts" and predispositions, are the problems.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The Boykin sure is getting a lot of press here. I have seen them on the Westminister Dog Show, but have never seen one in the field. In the course of a year, I see a hundred or more dogs in the fields and bays waterfowl and pheasant hunting, but can not recall ever seeing a Boykin.

I am not slamming any breed, but what I see in the field is an overwhelming majority of black, chocolate, and yellow Labrador's here in W. Washington. Just my observation, that's all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

We have owned dachshunds for years and can confirm that they are masterful hunters of a good place to piss and poop.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from iainburguet wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I have to go with a Boykin for the best all-around bird dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hey Bob, does your poodle do upland or just ducks? How versatile is he/she?

Spud

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Spud, I've only done upland with my Standard Poodle thus far, but a friend of mine has had great success with his hunting Canadian geese.

We've hunted over poodles for years, and found them to be great hunters and companions. Clean, intelligent, easy to teach, and eager to please. About the only drawback I can think of is having to keep them groomed, but that's only every six weeks or so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

There's not much bird hunting in Ohio but rabbit are another thing. There is nothing more wonderful then the bark and howl of a beagle chasing a rabbit with 4 inches of snow on the ground. What a joy. It's like living in a Norman Rockwell painting.

I have become the accidental owner of a Wheaton. Someone told me they are hunting dogs? Does anyone know anything about this breed?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Well I have a lab german shorthair mix and he is a great hunting dog. But I don't think you can say which breed is best, it depends on the dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

My two favorite dogs are probably the two most common hunting dogs that I have seen in northern maine. A good old brittany, and a 13 inch beagle. Both of them have the heart of a hunter and from what i've seen (I will admit i'm not the best trainer) these dogs are somewhat easy to train for hunting. The only problem with beagles is that they can get into the hunt too much and keep on chasing the rabbit. ONe was found 50 miles from its starting point. No doubt these two tough dogs are perfect for our climate. Small, and tough they can get around in anything from thick alders to 2 1/2 feet of snow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to say a lab, their easiness to train as well as their retrieving abilites is nothing short of amazing and not to mention that they love to swim and jump. They are also good looking dogs that are very good with the family.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Okay...remember the topic is "all-around hunting dog." My labs have been the best field buddy you could ask for and to be able to retrieve upland birds and a couple months later tree a big Washington bear...my vote is cast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

labarador retriever all the way gets the job done for almost anything and is a great house pet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

There's simply no such thing... there are retrievers, there are pointing dogs and there are flushers.

Some dogs that specialize in one do a passable job of the others but they'll never do a better job than the dogs that specialize in those others.

I can upland hunt with a lab or a chessie or a boykin, but I'm not dumb enough to suggest a retriever or a flushing spaniel is as good a pure bird finder as a brit, a setter or a pointer.

I can have a shorthair that will retrieve a duck but I'm not dumb enough to suggest that my duck-hunting shorthair is the equal of a lab or chessie.

I tried that "all-around" garbage once with a German wire-haired pointer. What happened was I ended up wishing I had my chessie with me in the duck blind and I ended up longing for my pointer when I was out chasing quail.

No offense to all you NAVHDA guys...

Every breed has its cheerleaders who say their breed can do it all better than any breed out there. Basically it's all proud-parent posturing. JMHO...

And just WTF is a "white lab" and what makes the "white ones" better hunters? I've never seen a "white lab" in a blind or in the field, nor have I ever seen one at a hunt test or field trial. I have, however, seen them cavorting with those registered labradoodles in dog parks...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mthunter, this is a Boykin-specific blog so naturally there are a lot of interested Boykin owners following it.

They're pretty cool little dogs, but something of a regional breed. However, as I alluded to in the post above, just as with any other breed, Boykins aren't the be-all-end-all for everything, simply the be-all-end-all for those who own and love them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehorse918 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I just picked up a 14 month old English foxhound at my local ASPCA facility. He's big and gorgeous and loves chasing the rabbits. Needs some more training but is a fantastic companion and is as gentle and sweet as they come. I do use a high quality training collar with him and he is learning quickly. Love my Cooper!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ironsights wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

HANDS DOWN, its gotta be the curr dogs, My ABC curr is the best hunting dog I have owned. I have hunted with redbones, bloodhounds, labs, dogo argentino's, pit crosses, beagles, bird dogs, heeler, border collies, you name it, I have owned each at one time. My Black Mouth does it all, I use him on every varmit in the woods. We target squirrels, coons, fox, possum, deer(when a neighbor makes a bad shot), heck, he's even killed two snakes in the chicken house this year alone. He works a coyote better than anything I've owned, and tree'd a bobcat last fall, which for anyone who hunts them knows that an accomplishment in itself. We use him on hogs as a baydog or strike dog, and he pushes cattle if I ask him to do so. True, they aren't a specific breed, but as far as any good dog man knows, its about performance. Read the Big Thicket Legacy or watch Ol' Yeller, the movie was based off a book written about a cur. He even retrieves dummys from the pond. Their only downfall is that they are hot nosed, but who wants to take game for miles anyway?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from taxidermygirl wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would have to say a Viszla. He is my best bud!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mthunter-- Now that's funny. -d

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

give me a 15 inch beagle any day . great with the family , small and easily transported on a four wheeler with a dog box. and the bawl of a little hound or hounds hot on a rabbit's tail is awesome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quackwacker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

"jaz" is my 6th Boykin. Thats the best breed of dog I have ever owned.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bruce Wilkie wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

For me it would have to be the German Short Haired pointer. They point like a pointer retrieve like a lab ( land or water)and track like a hound there is nothing you can't hunt with a G.S.P. and they make great pets when properly exercised.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scampwalker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Hopefully, for every gun dog owner out there, the best dog is the one they're hunting with. I picked my pointer and shorthair because they were bred for the kind of upland birds that I hunt most. Secondly, you should pick the breed of dog that pleases your eye... you'll be with them for a dozen years or more, so you might as well enjoy the view. Get good genetics, then follow it up with good training. What most guys don't realize is that while it's important to teach your dog, it's equally important to let your dog teach you. That means paying attention to them and learning their tendencies - you're a team, after all.
http:8moremiles.blogspot.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tee2 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Chessies for me A little protective (esp of my wife and daughter) Doves & ducks and a great companion ready to go anywhere I'm going. Full of energy outside but calm in the house. While they could possibly lack a litttle style in the retrieve the never quit makes up for that. Lost my 3rd chessie a few months ago but will start over in just a few short weeks from now. It will be nice to have one under foot at home again. Good luck on the Boykin- If Icouldn't get a chessie boykin would be next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Riverridge wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

what about a good ole treeing walker coonhound I owned and hunted them for 29 years and you want find a better pet thier a very gentle dog that can also be used for big game besr cat etc

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Julie Ann wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

It all boils down to one main ingredient: the dog's personality. Any breed can make a great hunting dog, but that of course can also depend on their genetics (pointers, flushers, or retreivers).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weinerdex wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

In my opinion, I think mini dappled dachshunds are the only dog worthy of calling themselves a hunting dog.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pommom913 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

pomeranians are perfect, small and portable, not to mention vicious. I'll take one any day

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hrhodges1 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

hi! i am thinking about getting a puppy in the near future for a first time hunting dog.i have read about different breeds but i am still not sure. i love the idea of the boykin, an all around hunting dog, small, and doesn't shed to much; but it is sometimes hard to find a pretty one. i have found acouple of breeders that have nice looking parents, but i was wondering where you got your puppy? and if they have a website?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cschuler wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

well-well-well- AFTER READING ALL THE COMMENTS i SEE THAT NOBODY HAS COME UP WITH THE RIGHT ANSWER! ALL 'YOUSE' GUYS SHOULD DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND GET THE CLEARCUT, STAND ALONE, HAS NO PEER -ALL AROUND BEST GUN DOG!--THAT DOG IS THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON-THESE DOGS WORK THE WATER-WORK THE FIELD-WORK THE SWAMPS-WORK THE CORNFIELDS-WEATHER AND HUNTING CONDITIONS ARE NEVER A PROBLEM-THEY DON'T CARE-THEY JUST HUNT AND HUNT AND HUNT-AND THEN YOU TAKE THEM HOME TO BE BOTH YOUR AND YOUR FAMILIES BEST FRIEND. i HAVE OWNED AND HUNTED SEVERAL OTHER BREEDS-NOTHING COMPARES TO THIS SOMEWHAT RARE BUT OH SO SPECIAL DOG-THEY AREN'T CALLED THE SUPREME GUN DOG FOR NOTHING!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jdennis wrote 3 years 1 week ago

I would have to say myself probably a chessie

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dp1099 wrote 6 sec ago

I have a Jagd Terrier. She blood trails like crazy, bays hogs, will fight and kill a coon, brings me birds and even catches mice and rats around the house. Have to say she is a little rough on the birds sometimes, but I have not primarily trained her in bird hunting like many do in Germany. But POUND for POUND is a dream! This breed can hold its own in any type of hunting and only weighs around 20 pounds!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LSUCamo24 wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

ironsights,
I am actually looking for a hunting dog right now and am pretty much decided on the blackmouth cur. I was just wondering if you could give me a little more of your experience with them, e.g. ease of training, how well they do with existing dogs, general information, versatility, etc. Or any other tips or information that could be helpful in making a decision.
Im still comparing them to the german wirehaird pointer, but the cur seems to meet a larger range of my needs (cattle, hog, etc).

Thanks :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom Cannon wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

The best hunting dog in the world is the Welsh Pembroke Corgi - never saw a dog hunt for love, food, or a god place to sleep like our little Tucker! Depends on what you're hunting for - but if its a companion - Corgi's are the best! :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ScottyBee wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Depends on what you're doing I guess. For Duck Hunting, the DC guys ( www.duckcommander.com ) use black labs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Lab, no doubt. But any dog that is your buddy and will hunt hard and retrieve is good to go, regardless of breed or looks!

Small and/or short-legged dogs have a hell of a time with geese in deep water and ice. I prefer a tall Lab of about 90+ pounds.

That Boykin looks a little foo-foo for me.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs