Question about choosing a Lab

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Question about choosing a Lab

Postby JBonesKY » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:40 pm

Hey guys. I'm am looking into my 1st hunting dog, my dog and I will be hunting quail, dove, and waterfowl. I've been back and fourth on labs and brittanys (I know 2 diff styles). My question is this, around here the pointers & setters are king for quail hunters, so the lab breeders around here tend to be geared straight at waterfowl only. So can a pup with pretty much waterfowl only pedigrees be effective in the quail world? I would assume yes, but would like se experienced input.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby bluestemkennels » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:52 am

Why not look for a versatile dog breed that can reliably do both?

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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Camspal » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:59 am

X2 :D
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby blue04 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:32 am

I Britt might be a good choice for you. I've heard people say that Britts are not great retrievers, but that has not been my experience. Mine have all been good retrievers, and have made fine waterfowl dogs for me. Just make sure you do the research and get a pup out of a litter whose parents have some retrieving ability.

Just be aware that training a V-Dog is approximately double the work of training a retriever (depending on how far you decide to take the training). You've got to train all of the retrieving skills, as well as all of the point work you have to do.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby JBonesKY » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:08 am

bluestemkennels wrote:Why not look for a versatile dog breed that can reliably do both?

Bluestem

BC I don't want a GSP/GWP :)

really though, I'm always open to suggestions being that I am still very much just in the research/comparing end of my search.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Hdc » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:17 am

Never seen a lab on a quail hunt. Try researching PPs.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby orhunter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:30 am

You used the term "hunting dog." This is what gave folks the opportunity to suggest something other than a Labrador because as we all know, a Labrador is a retriever, not a hunting dog.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby blue04 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:51 am

orhunter wrote:because as we all know, a Labrador is a retriever, not a hunting dog.


I think the guys who run labs for flushing pheasants in the Midwest would disagree with you. I've seen some very good labs in the pheasant fields, and those dogs certainly did "hunt". Having said that, I've also seen some labs that were too lazy to get off the couch and "hunt" for their food bowl :-)
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby orhunter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:05 pm

Blue: Yea, those dogs have a distinct advantage over the average person's Labrador which gets a limited exposure to actual hunting. Most never have the opportunity to gain the skills necessary for serious pheasant hunting but those that do it day in and day out, will probably acquire some skill.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby JBonesKY » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:38 pm

orhunter wrote:You used the term "hunting dog." This is what gave folks the opportunity to suggest something other than a Labrador because as we all know, a Labrador is a retriever, not a hunting dog.


Point taken, and I do apologize for my mistake. What if I said I was considering a Lab as a gun dog in which I would attempt to train to seek out quail, then flush them for me to hopefully shoot so that the dog could then retrieve them? Does that change anyone's input?
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby orhunter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:41 pm

JBones: Don't take it personal. I just like to take a jab at the lowly Labrador from time to time.

Take a look at the PP thread on duck hunting and blind retrieves. Might give you a different perspective on how us versatile owners view the different dog types, flusher vs pointer.

There are two strikes against the Labrador when used for upland hunting. One is their range. They have a very confined search and require some guidance to produce game over a large area. They will also require much more experience to become proficient at producing game for the gun as opposed to the pointing breeds where it is bred in. Utilizing the pointer in its natural style, you'll have to flush the birds yourself but you will know where they are. They won't come as a surprise.

The versatiles don't shed like a Labrador. The versatiles wear their hair.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby blue04 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:00 pm

JBonesKY wrote:What if I said I was considering a Lab as a gun dog in which I would attempt to train to seek out quail, then flush them for me to hopefully shoot so that the dog could then retrieve them?


This can be done. It's not so hard as you might think. Once a year I organize an outing at the put and take preserve where I invite all of my hunting friends to come out and bring their wives and kids and have some fun shooting birds over my dogs. It's a good way to make sure everyone gets some shooting.

One of the crew has only one dog, a lab. He always brings his dog, and I always plant some birds for his dog to hunt up. Over time, his lab has gotten pretty decent at finding the birds and producing them for the gunners. He's certainly not what I'd call a top notch upland dog, but it's fun for my friend and his kids to get to shoot some birds over their own dog.

The moral of this story is that, given enough time and effort, you can get it done with a lab. Having said that, I'll probably never go back to labs. I had them for years, and they are great dogs. But they don't match up perfectly with all of the hunting I do. And the shedding...... YIKES!

Here is another thought. I've never owned one, but if I was looking for a flusher/retriever, I would probably start looking into the Boykins. They're similar in size to a Britt I think (which is one of the breeds you said you were considering), have a coat for cold water, and I've heard a lot of good things about them. I have a friend who is probably going to be looking for a dog this year, and I think we're going to evaluate some Boykins. They seem like a good fit for his needs.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby orhunter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:17 pm

Another vote for the Boykin.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby JTracyII » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:54 pm

JBonesKY wrote:Hey guys. I'm am looking into my 1st hunting dog, my dog and I will be hunting quail, dove, and waterfowl. I've been back and fourth on labs and brittanys (I know 2 diff styles). My question is this, around here the pointers & setters are king for quail hunters, so the lab breeders around here tend to be geared straight at waterfowl only. So can a pup with pretty much waterfowl only pedigrees be effective in the quail world? I would assume yes, but would like se experienced input.


I think a Boykin would fit your needs pretty well. However, I think you need to start this process by asking yourself a question and answering it honestly. That question is: what will you spend the vast majority of your time afield hunting? A good lab would be hard to beat for dove and waterfowl. If quail is something you will only rarely hunt and you hunt the other two often then get a lab or Boykin and use them to retrieve the quail you shoot. If your lucky they turn into decent flushers. If it will be an even split between the three then a versatile may be more useful to you with there ability to locate and point the birds for you. Just start by being honest with your self. That will most likely lead you to happiness.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby jlw034 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:10 am

blue04 wrote:
orhunter wrote:because as we all know, a Labrador is a retriever, not a hunting dog.


I think the guys who run labs for flushing pheasants in the Midwest would disagree with you. I've seen some very good labs in the pheasant fields, and those dogs certainly did "hunt". Having said that, I've also seen some labs that were too lazy to get off the couch and "hunt" for their food bowl :-)


As I do most of my hunting in SD, I'd have to agree with blue. That being said, my next dog with be a versatile. Please disregard the irony in this post :lol:
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