Ask C.J.


C.J. Steely is an expert hunting dog trainer and upland game guide with over 30 years of experience training and guiding bird hunters. CJ takes an honest approach to his reviews to provide a real hunter’s perspective to his readers.  His trusted opinion is based on the gear he would use and or the hunting dog breed experiences he and his network of fellow hunters have. More than ever, upland game bird hunters have more gear to choose from, services to use and places to go hunt. Online capabilities provide access to upland game opportunities bird dog breed acquisition. He maintains a love for the dogs and an honest perspective about his own experience with each breed.


From the author:


Dear Reader,


I have a deep appreciation for the various and many different breeds of hunting dogs available today.


Your decision to research a particular canine hunting companion, select a breeder and then bring the animal home should be taken seriously. Dog rescues are inundated with mistreated dogs who’s owners weren’t prepared for the partnership obligations inherent with the decision to bring them home. Just as culpable are breeders, professional or backyard, who incompetently or with whatever misguided intention, choose to proliferate breeding(s) that shouldn’t have ever taken place.


My experience is that each breed comes with positives and less positive attributes. I have never met a perfect breed. This is especially true in regards to the countless ways hunters utilize their hunting companion. Climate, upland game bird hunting focus, the dog owner's personality and preferred style of hunting, experience, family life, breed costs, and access to reliable breeders all play a significant role in selecting the right hunting dog for you. In general, folks associated with the various breeds have an ingrained raving fan bias making it difficult to sort through the noise towards breed selection. Everyone’s hunting dog breed of choice will be touted as the best hunting dog ever, with amazing drive and a nose that will find any bird, anywhere. Let’s not forget that they will also be promoted as the family dog of choice. Needless to say, it is difficult to get a fair neutral assessment.


I provide my readers with an honest personal experienced appraisal. For the most part, I have hunted intimately with the breeds I review or have a close experience with the breed. If I don’t I will tell you and review the breed differently. I don’t come to the review process with a predetermined bias. If it were possible, I would have one of each dog breed available. I hope you find the following summary reviews insightful, thought provoking and informative towards your decisions to purchase and work with your next gun dog. My reviews are not intended to be comprehensive, I will get you started and you can then decide to further your research with the expert breeder(s) and the respective breed organization(s) promoting the breed you are considering. I leave an open forum following each of my reviews for those of you wishing to add to my pros or disagree with my stated cons. Please do so articulately, leave emotion at the gate and be respectful.





C.J. Steely