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tealitup

GETTING A DOG! What kind

39 posts in this topic

Just bought a house and the wife said "time for you to get a hunting dog."

Well now the debate - what kind? Mostly for waterfowl hunting and some upland hunting. However, I can not afford the price of some I have seen.

What do you all think?

Golden Lab? Chocolate lab? others?

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A BLACK lab would be ideal

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A lab would be ideal...but better make it a yella! grin.gif

JDM...where you at in Ham Lake? I grew up off of Lexington and Bunker.

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I would have to say "brown" is far superior to black or yello

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How about a Weiner dog or a shi-tzu laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

On a serious note, you are going to get people that are going to tell you that their breed is the best and why. All of which are valid. The real question here is what breed do you like? Narrow it down to a couple 3 - 4 breeds and then go take a look at how some of them work. A lot of people will say that Labs are the cats meow but, that is for them. Maybe the best dog for you is a golden retriever or a chessie. Those are probably the three favorites for waterfowl but, I have seen Springers, Cockers, Griffs, GSP, ECT ECT ECT. in the duck blind.

Good luck in your search.

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Do yourself the biggest favor you will ever receive and buy a nice BLACK Labrador male. Do the absolute best you can to get a dog from strongly BLACK ancestry, although its getting harder to do.

Hold off for the RIGHT puppy at a FAIR price. Don't, under any circumstances, get rushed into a decision to buy a VERY expensive dog of questionable quality. I would love to give you the name of a place where we have been buying Labs since the early 60's but I guess I can't do that here. Keep one thing in mind: you are going to have this fella for maybe 15-years. Be patient. I cannot urge you strong

ly enough to stay with a BLACK Labrador.

I envy you the joy of a new puppy. Have fun and be gentle. wink.gif

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And there is a reason he is saying BLACK and not yellow or chocolate. Especially not chocalate. Take it from someone who has trained quite a few dogs. It is all about odds with a pup. Give yourself the best you can. Ufatz gives great advise.

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Grew up by Mckinely, but now live near M.O. Did you go to BHS? If so, what year?

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"Do yourself the biggest favor you will ever receive and buy a nice BLACK Labrador male. Do the absolute best you can to get a dog from strongly BLACK ancestry"

ya know that sounds like racism shocked.gif

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Quote:

And there is a reason he is saying BLACK and not yellow or chocolate. Especially not chocalate. Take it from someone who has trained quite a few dogs. It is all about odds with a pup. Give yourself the best you can. Ufatz gives great advise.


Why do you say not a yellow? or golden?

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The Black and Yellow gene are both dominant. The Chocolate gene is recessive. I know there are plenty of great yellow dogs out there and if that is what you prefer, go for it. However, I prefer the black dogs and the majority of the great dogs in history have been black. I have seen plenty of chocolates with health and behavioral issues. Especially from chocolate x chocolate litters. Yes, I know there are exceptions. I do know pro's who basically consider chocolates to be different breed than blacks or yellows.

One thing, if it is going to be a house dog, that yellow hair shows up on everything. Same with the car.

I am sure I will get ripped for my comments, but I stand by my opinion.

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Black is the only dominant gene.

Yellow is a recessive gene, thus 2 yellows CAN ONLY produce yellow. Recessive X recessive always = recessive.

Chocolate is a mutated black gene. Many of the chocolate problems do not stem from their hair color... It stems from a decade and a half of indiscriminant breeding in the 70's and 80's. Breeders were producing them solely to get pups into people's hands that desired to own the "dog du jour". There are many good chocolate dogs out there, I've for the most part have stayed away from them, not because of these issues (I'm sure I could find a good brown dog if I set out to), but because I too desire a Black Lab, yellow secondary... but dandy chocolate pups are available if you put in your homework.

Most breeders of yellows (not sure about chocolates), will always bring their color lines back to black at least every 3 generations... sometimes more. If I breed for yellow, I generally will breed back to a black that throws yellow. That way the pups are infused with some of the dominant gene again. This also helps with keeping the pigment alive in nose, lips and eye rims.

In the end quality can be found in any color. Rules of thumb do apply (about temperment, health issues, etc), but can be used only as generalizations. It takes homework on pedigrees for ability and looking at health clearances for multiple generations to have an idea of what the prodigy of any breeding will end up as. I try to educate people that a breeder's word and guarantee are usually only worth the paper they are written on. Most owners would / will never surrender their dog to comply with the majority of guarantees. Thus the need to look deeply into your puppy buying decision. Price should be a factor that is way down on the list. Good pups can be found for $400 but can go up to $1000 also. The difference of a few hundred dollars is negligible in the realm of owning a dog.

Me? I'd look at breeders who extensively hunt their dogs, or have multiple generations of hunt test titles. Hunting dogs produce the best hunting dogs. Field trial titles are good, but can greatly increase the price of the pup. They are some of the smartest,most athletic, and hardest working of the breed, but many times come with a very high strung temperment. Look for parents with a working demeanor, and have a calm tractible attitude. I would pass on any pup without a minimum of 2 generations (parents and grandparents) of hips - elbows and eye clearances... 3 generations would even be better. A clearly written health guarantee is mandatory. It spells out what is covered and what will happen should a health problem arise. When the urge to buy a pup comes, many people throw all this criteria out the window and end up purchasing a pup from one of the 1st litters they look at. This may work in the end, but tip the odds in your favor and stick to find what you are targeting and you will be blessed with many years of 'happy hunting'!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Wow, thanks for the information. FM is always great from the informational help side.

Have any one heard of a British Lab? I was doing some Internet research and found a couple - good looking dogs.

I know many good bred dogs can run to $1000+ but that is just not in my budget. $400 would be great. Maybe I should just wait a year - but would love to have this addition to my family.

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Sure glad I took the time to double check this thread and hear a voice of reason before I traded off my terrible chocolates for a box of shells or whatever I could get. wink.gif Rediculous statements regarding color vs. end result of proper breeding and training. confused.gif

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a british lab or english lab from what i herd is a shorter stockier dog thats more mellow.

and an american lab is more of a thinner sportier style dog thats got a little more snort and is "more wirey additude wise" kinda similar to a gsp or other pointing/hound style dogs

Im no expert but thats what ive seen & herd if someone else has more knoledge on this feel free to correct me

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Bryce is correct. A well bred and trained dog, is just that a well bred and trained dog. My preference is pointing breeds, liver and white, very little if any Elhew blood (Bob Whele did the same thing to pointers that Labs talked about with chocolates in the 80's), and tight working when necessary, but able to turn a 200+ yrd cast all day when hunting the open fields.

One thing you might want to look at is OFA disease database. Labs do have inherent problems, and if you add up the % from hips (12.2), elbows(11.4), patella(14.2) you get 37.8%. Where as adding the same numbers for a GSP yields 5.5% and English Pointers 9.2% total.

Bottom line is pick a dog that is suited for your style of hunting. You have to look at what percentage of each type of hunting you do. If you are a die-hard foul hunter but do a little upland a retrieving breed is likely a good choice. If you are going to be hitting the grouse woods and CRP for ringnecks and ruffies, but like to hunt duck once a year on opener, I would say a pointing breed would suit you better. If you go with a "non" retrieving breed all you have to do is drive around the suburbs and you are sure to find tons of labs that will be home opening morning that would love to go hunting once in their lives. laugh.gif

CW

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I too am a GSP man but would say a retrieving breed is the one for you. But deciding to pay $400 or $1000 for the pup shouldn't be a budget concern. What you pay for the pup is the cheap part. It's the vet bills, dog kennel, pet taxi, food, Shock collar, training supplies, etc. that costs the money. I would also stay away from profession breeders who's dogs are just puppy factories. The parents come from this bloodline with this and that champion in it's history. Find someone, professional or not, that have a good health history and aren't affraid to let you see the parents in action. I would take a pup from a dogs that have no champion history if the parents are excellent hunters with good temperment over a pup with a sheet of champions a mile long if the breeder won't let me see them in the field or tell me the other parent isn't around for you to look at. I also wouldn't buy a pup from someone that isn't a hunter himself/herself.

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Not that it is needed but I will put in another plug for a lab. I am a little partial to black labs because I have two. I wouldn't shy away from any other color though. There seem to be some good breeders that post on this site and from time to time you will see some litters in the puppy section.

Good luck finding a pup.

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Oh! I forgot one final reccomendation Teal..very very carefully consider having your new male black puppy neutered. In my opinion and experience it does nothing to diminish their hunting abilities and it makes them a better dog to deal with, especially for a first time owner. But, and most importantly in my humble opinion, the LAST thing we need in the world is another batch of Lab puppies! Let the proffesional breeders do that. I get sick to my stomach every time I see another "batch" of "Lab puppies" for sale, bred by somebody who just wants to pick up some quick cash to use to buy a new video game.

Thank you and goodnight. grin.gif

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If you're primarily a waterfowler with some upland, I would agree a retriever would be your best choice. Just be sure to get one thats well bred from hunting and trial stock. If you mostly upland hunt, then one of the pointing breeds or flushing spaniels might be a better choice. I use to do both waterfowl and upland, and have had labs for years. I think they're a great all around choice for the guy who does a little of everything. I really only upland hunt and now am pretty exclusively using flushing spaniels (english cocker, springer) and have been very happy with them too. But a good representative from any gund dog breed will work well for you.

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Quote:

Sure glad I took the time to double check this thread and hear a voice of reason before I traded off my terrible chocolates for a box of shells or whatever I could get.
wink.gif
Rediculous statements regarding color vs. end result of proper breeding and training.
confused.gif


I agree!

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Yes, I mostly waterfowl hunt - some upland hunting.

Labs4me, I have read alot of what you talk about on FM and respect your opinion alot - thank you - AND thank you to everyone else who replied to this posting.

My problem is finding a good breeder - I am unfamiliar with local breeders and ... well - out of my element; and for $400 can you get a "good breeder"?

I might take a trip this weekend to see some pups from a FM member who is selling.

The excitment is starting just thinking about a pup in the house!

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as the saying goes...the cost of a puppy is the cheapest part. If buying a lab, do yourself a favor and get a good one, preferably from an experienced breeder whos dogs hunt a lot. Most likely gonna cost you more but you shouldn't have to worry about health or temperament issues. Labs are outstanding dogs but way overbreed. My best lab died a few years back due to age. Was ideal lab. Since, i've had a couple and they are so different in temp. etc. One was too wired one is too laid back. Hard to find the perfect one so best bet is to let a breeder do the work.

Ever think about a chesapeake? They aren't cheap either but they are not overbred and retain all natural instincts. I am leaning towards one myself next spring.

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I always thought Chessies are a very big dog. I was looking at a British Lab also.

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Whats the temperament of Chessie? Seem like I remember reading some info about them being not so kind in some cases.....but I can't remember exactly what I read so this may be hearsay.

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