Meet a German Shepherd Duck Dog

Eastern Shore market hunters loved the Chesapeake Bay retriever. The new breed fetched ducks all day and guarded the boat all night—just what these men needed. But perhaps they overlooked a dog that would've been even better suited to those dual roles: the German shepherd.

Take the photo below, shared on Delta Waterfowl's Facebook page by avid duck hunter Keith Benning.

"Who says you have to have a lab?" writes Benning, a resident of northern Minnesota. "She's a double duty guard dog and retriever! First year trying her out for hunting, so far so good. Eight for eight on ducks, and two for three on geese. ... My Lab of 11 years passed away and I wasn't ready for another retriever. She loves the water, so a week before the season started I had a friend toss a frozen duck while I shot just to see what she would do. She brought it in every time. First real retrieve didn't go well as it was a goose and she wasn't sure exactly what I wanted her to do with it. I ended up having to go get it myself, but got her excited by it when I brought it in. Next goose she brought in without a problem. She's already watching the birds flying, watching where the gun is pointed when I shoot, marking well, and waiting to be sent. Only problem is she keeps leaving birds at the edge of the water. I decided to start formal retriever training since she is picking everything else up so well. Whole deal has been pretty cool so far."

I'm really curious how this is going to play out. Have any of you ever force-fetched a non-sporting breed?

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2 Responses to Meet a German Shepherd Duck Dog

Tyler wrote:
November 04, 2014

My 2.5 year old german shepherd hunts rabbits, ducks, and pheasant... hardest part was teaching him to stay until command... picked it up fast though... he loves to please... he will dive in that cold water for a duck or goose too. Most people are amazed or shocked when they see me unload him to hunt... some even talk smack until they see him retrieve or out hunt their lab. It took time and effort which would be needed for any dog. I truly believe they are one of the smartest dogs and best noses... This is why the Police and military use them. Very versatile. Of course I was worried about a hard mouth and I haven't even had an issue with that at all. he sure like to hunt. He knows when I grab gun, bow, or put on hunting close. when I bow hunt he pouts because I don't bring him. I was glad to see other people with an open mind. I truly believe that if more tried using them they would end up just going with the shepherd

Brian Young wrote:
September 01, 2014

so I have a 6 month old German shepherd and every one is telling me I cant use her for waterfowl. but she loves the water loves to retrieve and does just about every command I tell her to do. she is not gun shy and literally chases the wads out of the gun. is there anything else I should be doing to help me prove people wrong?