Question about choosing a Lab

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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Chadwick » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:33 am

I hunt in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Kansas. When I have been hunting quail in KS, it has been helpful to have a large ranging dog when you are trying to find that covey in a large area.

If you are thinking about a Brit, then take a look at the French version. They are as much a versatile as a GSP, GWP, or PP, but bred specifically for small game. If you are going to waterfowl hunt, you can get the French Brit in roan.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:34 pm

orhunter wrote: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.


Our current lab hunts pheasant, ducks, and coon. Cripples never get past her, great nose and tenacity for finding game. However, this is rare in a labrador these days, and instead of trying to find another dog like Meg, we got a DD.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Duckdog17 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:31 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:Our current lab hunts pheasant, ducks, and coon. Cripples never get past her, great nose and tenacity for finding game. However, this is rare in a labrador these days, and instead of trying to find another dog like Meg, we got a DD.


Not if you know how to research a breeding/litter.
This is NOT an accurate statement...
"Rare" amongst the show ring, agility circles, or rescue dogs??
Maybe...
"Rare" amongst gun dog breeders? Uhhhhh, NO.
If a lab is what you truely want, a lab is what you should get.
Just research breeders who breed hunting dogs.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:36 pm

Duckdog17 wrote:
Misskiwi67 wrote:Our current lab hunts pheasant, ducks, and coon. Cripples never get past her, great nose and tenacity for finding game. However, this is rare in a labrador these days, and instead of trying to find another dog like Meg, we got a DD.


Not if you know how to research a breeding/litter.
This is NOT an accurate statement...
"Rare" amongst the show ring, agility circles, or rescue dogs??
Maybe...
"Rare" amongst gun dog breeders? Uhhhhh, NO.
If a lab is what you truely want, a lab is what you should get.
Just research breeders who breed hunting dogs.


Neither one of us really wanted another lab. Jeremiah got lucky with Meg, she was a back-yard bred dog and all they were looking for was a chocolate lab for the ex-wife. There were two litters on the ground with 23 pups to choose from, I can't even imagine trying to choose with that kind of selection. She went hunting with the chessie and the coon dogs and turned out to be a great hunting dog. Those are big shoes to fill, and blood tracking, horn hunting, coon and pheasants are our primary pursuits. Just like you recommended a versatile for the OP, a versatile was the best choice for us. I wanted a patterdale terrier (or another pit bull), he wanted a pointer - we got a DD.

I wasn't saying that a lab wouldn't be the right choice for the OP, in fact the opposite. I said they do exist, we have one, and she's an amazing dog. They are harder to find because the majority of labs are bred for pets. We got damn lucky considering where she came from and we know it. The majority of DD's are bred as hunters, it was a lot easier to find a good DD.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Duckdog17 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:58 pm

Just like you recommended a versatile for the OP, a versatile was the best choice for us.


I never recommended anything to anyone in this thread that I recall.

They are harder to find

Still,...not accurate. All one has to do, to find a breeder that breeds hunting labs is,
Well, pretty much what you did to find your DD. RESEARCH!!

I don't know this to be fact, but I'd be willing to GUESS, there are WAAAY more labs bred for hunting in the USA, than DD's.

Your choice was your choice,...and I think you made a good one. I love my DD too, but keep it to the facts!
There are a BUNCH of hunting lab breeders!! Maybe even more than any other breed for the purpose we're discussing..??
But, again,...that's just speculation.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:32 pm

Duckdog17 wrote:Still,...not accurate. All one has to do, to find a breeder that breeds hunting labs is,
Well, pretty much what you did to find your DD. RESEARCH!!


I agree, but sorting out the excellent from the mediocre was still a helluva lot easier with the DD. In hindsight, that alone was a major factor of choosing a DD when Jeremiah mentioned "Now thats a mans dog!" and asked me to look into them...

Now that I know a lot more about PP's, Griffs and the like, I would imagine I would feel the same if we'd looked into those breeds first.

To get this back on topic, If you were to recommend somewhere to start comparing breeders, is there a page you would recommend? Other than OFA testing and titles, or a personal recommendation of a good breeder from someone who knows their stock, how do you separate the mediocre from the best?
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Duckdog17 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:00 pm

how do you separate the mediocre from the best?


I am no authority on the subject, but "best" to me,...would have to carry a lot of titles.
I really don't like "best" to be honest... Did you find the "best" DD litter available when you picked your litter, or was it a good fit? A good fit, for most of us, is more realistic.
If I were going to shop for a lab right now, I'd probably start with the breeder I got my last lab from. They no longer breed, (to my knowledge), but I'd want their opinion, and it'd be a starting point.
From there, I'd be making calls and talking with breeders.

DocE and Evan Graham on here would be another great resource to tap for knowledge of a potential breeding. And, a lot of the time, good litters are sold before they're even "consummated".
I had a deposit down on my last lab before the sire and dam had ever even seen each other.
By visiting with other breeders, and discussing my wants and needs, I'd got wind of a potential breeding that led me to my last dog.
He was only the 9th best dog on the planet,...but I was OK with that and no one would try to argue me out of it! ;)
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby crackerd » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:34 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:Our current lab hunts pheasant, ducks, and coon. Cripples never get past her, great nose and tenacity for finding game. However, this is rare in a labrador these days...


What little worldview are you coming from with such a preposterous statement?

OP, you can find a performance Lab for every occasion and hunting opportunity - and they're "b*lls to the wall" at everything they're asked to do afield. Or on water. Though I wouldn't argue with Harvey's call for a Boykin in their stead, either.

MG
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Duckdog17 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:15 pm

Just for the record, this post was a year old. :D
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:13 pm

Of the 125,000 Labradors registered last year, what percent would meet the OPs needs?

I say the same thing about finding GSDs with solid temperaments. Popularity is rarely good for a breed, and the average Joe without contacts might have a bit of trouble sorting the seed from the chaff. I didn't say there weren't thousands of great dogs out there. 1% of 125,000 is still a lot of dogs.
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Re: Question about choosing a Lab

Postby lanco » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:00 am

It's a different world when you are a veterinarian guys, and MK is right the vast majority of labs we see are just big slobbering oafs devoid of prey drive (and seemingly intelligence). More over even down here in LA where maybe 5% of labs hunt you couldn't compare 85% of those dogs with the intensity of my DW or Boykin for actually hunting and seeking game, let alone gameness on predators. I can remember helping a my old pro-trainer friend out and at the end of running all 10 dogs in his string we turned them all out to play, all the labs wrestled and rolled in the mud while Ava tore off to chase marsh hens, and the AWS followed suite shortly. No doubt on the plains there are lots of labs doing amazing things on pheasant and prairie grouse. However most working labs are selected and bred for biddability and willingness to tolerate highly rote training. V-dogs are selected for a balance of biddability, prey drive and point (or vigorous flush). It's easy to find a good duck dog prospect amongst American labs , but finding a dog that will be an effective hunting dog and not just a non-slip retriever is less certain and on average it is likely to take more exposure to develop a strong search from a typical lab. Conversely it's often a good bit more work to get any non-retriever to line to infinity. At this point (most unfortunately) boykins are too often less than a sure thing as well these days so you want to make sure the parents and grand parents were serious hunters (hunt tested is best). Breeds are what they are at best (and puppy mill left overs at worst) its best to choose by looking at the rule and not the exception.
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