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Thread: Looking for a Lab

  1. #11
    Getting the hang of it

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    Hi I hope Bay Ducks does not mind if I hitchhike on his thread. I am also looking for a Lab pup soon. My old girl is 8 now and has slowed quite a bit. I have a feeling this fall or next will be the last she can be my #1 waterfowl dog. I also know good breeders have waiting lists so want to get a head start before I really need the new dog. It sounds like I am looking for a different type of dog than BD. I like a smaller dog, what I would call an "old fashioned lab". I want a birdy dog but also calm and naturally quiet. 90% of what a duck dog is supposed to do in nothing. I like the ones who are good at that part. Coat is also very important to me. I hunt a lot late season and many of the field trial labs I see these days have a coat which is little better than an English Pointer.

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  3. #12
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    I think there are probably a lot of us here, reading this thread, in the same boat. My boy is exactly like you are looking for and what I will be looking for again. My boy is 10 now and still going strong, but it has to come to an end. I try to avoid the late season with him now, figure the cold will be hard on him in icey water.

  4. #13
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    Well single Malt, with due respect you need to broaden your horizons. My FT labs all have great coats and hunt through until January. To make things simpler, it's like this, coat doesn't matter as much as heart.
    If coat carried the dog then the chessies would always have the edge.
    Sorry but a poor observation on your part.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlemalt View Post
    .....many of the field trial labs I see these days have a coat which is little better than an English Pointer.
    Huh????

    Must be those "silver" labs .... you know the ones that are part Lab / part Weimaraner!
    Last edited by Dakota Creek; March 20th, 2017 at 04:59 PM.
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  6. #15
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    Krakadawn, if your FT labs really do have the good old fashioned double coat I am very interested in one. However I heartily disagree with your statement that "coat does not matter as much as heart". My upland dog is a Working English Cocker. He has a heart bigger than his body can contain. If I sent him across the Niagara River after a goose in January he would go. However does this make it right or fair? A dog with bad hips will go and try but it is not fair to ask it of him. Instead we try and breed the deficiency out. In the past I had Labs who swam just for fun in January because their coats were so good they were comfortable doing it. I want another one like that. Not one that is so crazy to go they will put their own life and well being at risk to do so. I hope they still exist.

  7. #16
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    Come to a field trial and get a better perspective.

    I like your example about your English cocker. I believe it confirms my point...heart/drive/sagacity is what drives our dogs. I understand that you would question whether this is right or wrong but the facts are clear...he goes because of desire.(heart)
    A young person I mentored too has an English cocker. He has posted pics of his dog in January hunts with ice. Does he have a great coat, of course not but he has heart and wants birds!

    We all look for the type of dogs to do what WE do. It would be a gross misconception to put coat at the top of your list. Good coat and no drive gets you very little. No doubt a good coat along with solid breeding that produces drive, memory, intelligence and tractability are the qualities one should search for.

    My youngest who has been south with me since Feb has finally decided to blow his coat, you'd be surprised how much hair I clean out of his box each day.

    By the way, when conditions are perilous then it's 'Father knows best' and the dog is not sent, another good reason for a quality whistle and e collar when hunting.
    Cheers

  8. #17
    Has too much time on their hands

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    A neoprene coat for your hunting buddy(dog)always helps on those cold frosty morning duck hunts on the water.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellow dog View Post
    A neoprene coat for your hunting buddy(dog)always helps on those cold frosty morning duck hunts on the water.
    As well as a S.U.G.A.R. Coat to keep the wind off .....
    NMH GMH GMHR-V HRCH-UH Dakota Creek's Royal Navigator MH (HRC & NAHRA 500 pt clubs)
    HRCH-UH GMHR-I Dakota Creek's Royal Gem MH, HRCH-UH MHR Dakota Creek's Wreaking Havoc SH
    SHR UH Dakota Creek's Cute As A Bug SH WC, SR Dakota Creek’s Mirror Image

  10. #19
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    Krackadawn, apologize if you find me difficult but I am an opinionated old guy, but not ill-informed. I have been to many field trials. I don't know how old you are but I may have been to as many as you. I participated with enthusiasm in the '80's (not with huge success but I was a contender), I continued to volunteer through the '90's. I pretty much gave up in the early 2000's when I realized that if offered there were few of the winning dogs I would want to take home. They were so high strung, e-collar dependent and thin coated they were no longer what attracted me to the Labrador breed.

    My favorite gun dog was a was a whose sire was a FT CH but her mother was a show Lab. She had the great coat and calm nature of her mother but her fathers hunting desire. However, I know enough to realize this is a crap shoot. I could have ended up with a crazy high strung dog with a thin coat and no hunting desire. At this stage of my life I don't want to take that chance again.

    I shoot mostly at Long Point where there is still a pretty good gene pool of good hunting dogs bred to good hunting dogs. I may go this root but what I really do appreciate about you field trial breeders in the attention to genetic defects like hips, elbows and eyes you maintain. I recognize the value of this and know I won't get this with a backyard breeding of just two good hunters.

    I am hoping to find there is still a few out there whose idea of a good waterfowl dog is sound, calm, easily trained and birdy and with a thick double coat. They use to be pretty common. I don't believe I should need to give up everything else just to get desire.
    Last edited by singlemalt; March 20th, 2017 at 08:04 PM.

  11. #20
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    Single Malt, you're in a hellava great area with numerous field trailers and a local pro who grew up hunting/guiding at Long Point. No doubt you may find something there. Since you've no doubt worked at the LP trial you should have seen numerous great dogs over the years. I judged that trial a couple of years ago and judged it numerous other times over the years , even in the 70's so yup been around.
    I can name numerous dogs that won there and were also outstanding duck dogs in the marsh and in big ole Lake Ontario including a couple of mine.
    You don't need to give up many things to get desire but when desire is not there things can be a challenge.......

    PS don't forget about the other identified health issues currently being monitored....EIC, CNM
    Last edited by krakadawn; March 20th, 2017 at 08:40 PM.

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