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Thread: Looking for a Lab

  1. #21
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    Ok Krackadawn sorry for taking you for a younger fellow. As you were judging in SW Ontario in the late '70's and early '80's you are no doubt part of the reason I have so few ribbons on my wall. Perhaps you, like all the other judges, don't have the same appreciation I do for a "free range labrador" .

    However, I am still looking for a calm biddable pup with reasonable desire and a good coat. I have no interest at this stage of my life for trials or tests. I want a dog who is a quiet companion in my boat and who goes finds the ducks I shoot in reasonable range. I believe for the very few times a year that a 200 yard retrieve are required in hunting it is easier and less time to walk out there with your dog than the months it takes to teach it to do it with direction.

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  3. #22
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    I would recommend our breeder but our two Goldens are broken. We wanted retrievers but found out they were leavers. The never return anything.

    Great family dogs and are just giant teddy bears. The kids love them. Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by krakadawn View Post
    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
    I would be that guy with the cocker. Like kraka said, being an english cocker he has a shaggy single coat - not ideal for late season waterfowl but that doesn't stop him! IMHO any lab you get will have a better coat than a spaniel so I would not get hung up on "coat". It's amazing how well neoprene vests work and there are other products on the market too if necessary. I try to keep my guy as dry as possible between retrieves but that is most often a losing battle that time of year. Heart and work ethic are what make a great hunting dog. Nice to hear there's another english cocker out there. They're great little natural hunters and retrievers. We hunt everything from grouse, woodcock, and pheasants to ducks and geese. Don't discount 'heart'. My guy has no problem breaking ice for retrieves. Birds are king.
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    "You don't own a cocker, you wear one"

  5. #24
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    Wish you the best in getting a dog that fits your needs, I believe there are a couple of upcoming litters in your area.

    Sorry about the ribbons....

  6. #25
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    Cass, nice to run into you here. We have talked on the UK forum. I certainly don't discount desire I just am not willing to sacrifice everything else to get it. Its why I am starting my search early. I know my old girl still has another season, maybe two, in her and the Cocker can certainly fill in as a duck dog as well at least until the middle to end of November.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlemalt View Post
    Ok Krackadawn sorry for taking you for a younger fellow. As you were judging in SW Ontario in the late '70's and early '80's you are no doubt part of the reason I have so few ribbons on my wall. Perhaps you, like all the other judges, don't have the same appreciation I do for a "free range labrador" .

    However, I am still looking for a calm biddable pup with reasonable desire and a good coat. I have no interest at this stage of my life for trials or tests. I want a dog who is a quiet companion in my boat and who goes finds the ducks I shoot in reasonable range. I believe for the very few times a year that a 200 yard retrieve are required in hunting it is easier and less time to walk out there with your dog than the months it takes to teach it to do it with direction.
    you are entitled to your opinion and by all means if that is the dog you want then by all means that is the dog you should look for.now you can believe what you want but I happen to love taking the time to teach the dog to do it with direction (handle).I guess every one needs something to do in their spare time and it seems to work out well with my other love hunting

    now ive had some dam good hunting labs throughout my life but not until my eyes got opened at a field trial did I have some tremendous dam good hunting labs,why? just my opinion here but im pretty sure its the breeding along with the time effort I put into training them.i hunt extensively over my FT dogs and ive had no complaints about their behavior from anyone that comes along. in fact nothing but appreciation and admiration for the animals.frigid temps do not stymie their desire but it is just common sense dictates you do all you can to keep them warm in between retrieves and if you cant you do not send,coat or no coat it is when they are out of the water and waiting to go they will need a way to be kept warm,and they have properly fitted neopreme jackets.FT dogs are bred for all the attributes that im looking for in a hunting companion, but realize it is still a crap shoot,guess ive been lucky so far but believe my odds are better.

  8. #27
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    Go to a FT or HT or get out with a local HRC and see the dogs in person. Everyone is friendly and if you see a dog you like the looks of and which handles like you want, ask the owner about the blood line. Nothing beats seeing the dogs in person versus some claims on the internet. Once you get a short list of breeders, visit them and ask to see the dogs work. With the warmer weather starting the HRCs will be out in force, several not too far from you.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlemalt View Post
    Ok Krackadawn sorry for taking you for a younger fellow. As you were judging in SW Ontario in the late '70's and early '80's you are no doubt part of the reason I have so few ribbons on my wall. Perhaps you, like all the other judges, don't have the same appreciation I do for a "free range labrador" .

    However, I am still looking for a calm biddable pup with reasonable desire and a good coat. I have no interest at this stage of my life for trials or tests. I want a dog who is a quiet companion in my boat and who goes finds the ducks I shoot in reasonable range. I believe for the very few times a year that a 200 yard retrieve are required in hunting it is easier and less time to walk out there with your dog than the months it takes to teach it to do it with direction.
    Stick to your choice of what you want in a Retriever, you will find it.
    I find it really amazing that there are so many out there that are constantly trying to tell people what they should buy based on their own choice.
    Here we have an retriever owner that has been with Labs for a long time and knows what he wants, yet others are trying to change his mind because "this is the type of dog that I have and like, and I believe that you should have one also ".
    This is just like someone saying "I drive a Chev, So it is the best truck for you , because I say so" .

    This is what "singlemalt " was looking for;
    [COLOR=#000000] 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.

    So why not help him find WHAT HE WANTS !
    Last edited by jaycee; March 22nd, 2017 at 10:02 AM.

  10. #29
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    Thanks Jaycee, I was about to give up on finding what I was looking for through this forum. I will find what I want because I know what I want and I know others like dogs of this style as well. I have set aside time and I intend to be fussy as hell. I have had 50 years of gun dog ownership and none of my dogs has embarrassed me, ever. Sadly this will probably be one of my last so I don't intend to get talked into anything I don't like. I have a few leads and am talking to a couple of breeders who are respectful of what I am looking for. I will find it.

    Again apologies to the OP whose thread I really seem to have high-jacked here. It sounds like he is looking for a very different type of dog and I hope he finds what he is looking for as well.

  11. #30
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    I have come and gone on this whole forum, just because of the type of thing that happened on this thread. Ask a question, explaining what you want and everyone take off in different directions say you really need this or that, that has nothing to do with what you want. Good luck. When it is my time to look, I think I will just troll around and not ask any questions.

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