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Do-It-All Dogs

A look at the versatile breeds

Just like with the all-around gun, the concept of an all-around dog has always been fascinating to hunters. And to some degree, both are practical ideas. My all-around gun is a battered old model 500 12 gauge that I've had for 25 years. Back when you could shoot lead for everything, it was all I needed to get the job done. Now, with non-toxic shot, things are different and I use a new gun for waterfowl hunting. In the back of my mind I always thought I would shoot better if I could use my "old stand-by". When I started using bismuth shot, last year, I knew it was true. The more you use one gun, the better you shoot. So it is with the all-around, or versatile, as they're called, breeds of dogs. The more you do with one dog, the better you work as a team.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it was the Germans, inventors of the ingeniously versatile "drilling" (a firearm that features two smoothbore barrels and one rifled barrel), who introduced the world's most versatile hunting dog, the German wirehair. When well bred, drahthaars have the coat-and the will- to tackle the thickest of brush, as well as to fetch waterfowl from the coldest water. In North America you will find them hunting everything you can imagine including wild boar and mountain lions.

German Wirehaired Pointers

For more information on German wirehaired pointers click here and go the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America Webiste.

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Keep it Positive

Progressive training, such as moving a dog onto longer marks, can be hard on everyone, trainer and dog alike. The handler must coach the dog through lessons by using gradual steps and praise, rather than punishment.

Reasuring a dog when lining him for a retrieve can result in unwanted responses to words like "easy" or "alright," words that are not commands. Keep extraneous speech to a minium when asking a dog to perform.

Training Tip:

You can find a large selection of books on the subject of training gun dogs by clicking on the Barnes & Noble logo and searching from their home page for "dog training".

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

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Field Reports

E-Collar Transmitter Tip

When carrying a remote trainer transmitter while upland bird hunting, the transmitter needs to be secure form loss, out of the way but easy to access, and protected from moisture. Try carrying the transmitter inside a front-loading game bag. Have an upholstery shop install a heavy snap that secures the antenna. You can install snaps on each side of the game bag to allow for changing sides. This is much better than carrying the transmitter on a belt. It is very quick to move a hand from the transmitter to the gun.

J. A. Kreuscher

Field Trial Dates


German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Northern Sacramento Valley (AKC)
Marysville, CA


Hunt Test Dates


Lassen Retriever Club (AKC)
Anderson, CA

German Shorthaired Pointer Club, North Sacramento Valley (AKC)
Rio Vista, CA

German Shorthaired Pointer Club of California (AKC)
Rio Vista, CA


German Wirehaired Pointer Club of Northern California (AKC)
Rio Vista, CA

National Shoot To Retrieve Assoc. NoCal/Nevada Region STR
Red Bluff, CA


Sacramento Valley Retriever Club (AKC)
Pleasant Grove, CA


Sacramento Valley Retriever Club (AKC)
Beckworth, CA



Tamarin Spaniel Field Trial Club (AKC)
Gridley, CA

National Shoot To Retrieve Assoc. NoCal/Nev
Cahoon Hunting Club, Escalon, CA

National Shoot To Retrieve Assoc. NoCal/Nev
Birds Landing HUnting Club, Pleasant Grove, CA

American Chesapeake Club Inc. (AKC)
Los Banos, CA

Monterey Bay English Setter Club (AKC)
Los Banos, CA

NCN Region Elimination Trial
Birds Landing Huinting Club, Pleasant Grove, CA


Northern California Reterever Club (AKC)
Soda Springs, CA

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National Shoot To Retrieve Assoc. NoCal/Nevada STR
Susanville, CA


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