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Andrewsdad

British labs - contemplating geting a dog

7 posts in this topic

Lost my yellow lab two years ago and am now to the point where I want another dog. I have kids that are just getting into hunting and will be doing 75% upland and 25% waterfowl. I am thinking of a british lab based on their compact size, compared to other labs, and desire. What I haven't figured out is what is the difference between a regular lab and a british lab? Anyone have any other suggestions on a dog. First and foremost they are the family housedog. My wife has looked at german shorthair or wire hair but to me they seem oily and not sure I would want them in the house. Look forward to any comments.

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This is from a post of mine almost three years ago.

British Labs are slightly shorter than the American Lab standing 21”-23” tall. Their weights are also less with the males ranging from 60-75 lbs, and the females 50-65 lbs.

They have great stamina and are a strong dog that adapt well in the home, in the water as well as in the field. They will hunt everything from upland birds, to retrieving geese and ducks.

They have an undercoat which is dense and highly water repellant and their tails are thick, rounded, and

“otter-like” . They have a moderately square head with a naturally soft mouth.

They have a reputation as a dog that is easier to train for the non-professional. I can vouch for that compared to the other labs I have owned. They ALL still required a huge amount of time to get results with.

Because of their smaller size they are easier to have around the house and make an excellent family pet. Both of my kids are older, but I could see my dog around smaller children.

As with ANY breed do your research on the breeder. If you want a true British Lab you will have to ensure that no cross breeding has occured. Check the bloodlines carefully. You can expect to pay significantly more for a pure British Lab than with a normal lab. $750 on up for a dog with true British roots is the norm from what I found.

If you do a search for British labs you will come up with large amount of information about the breed. There are at least 4 or 5 reputable breeders I know of in the state of Minnesota, I am sure there are more than that but when I obtained my dog that was what my research turned up.

I know there are at least 3 or 4 other posters on this board that have British labs so you should get most of your questions answered. If you do your research and talk to different breeders you will find out if this breed is something that will work for you. Good luck in your search.

And a few recent threads on the subject, there are more.

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB36&Number=1129949&Forum=f36&Words="british%20lab"&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Main=1119377&Search=true&where=sub&Name=&daterange=1&newerval=2&newertype=y&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post1129949

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB36&Number=840205&Forum=f36&Words="british%20lab"&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Main=840205&Search=true&where=sub&Name=&daterange=1&newerval=2&newertype=y&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post840205

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If you are doing mostly upland why not consider a setter? You will not find a better family dog in my opinion.

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Quote:

My wife has looked at german shorthair or wire hair but to me they seem oily and not sure I would want them in the house.


Can't speak for a gwp but a gsp shouldn't be "oily". They should have less oil than a lab for sure. I would suspect the same to be true for a gwp so I wouldn't let that influence your decision making process.

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We have a brit lab and she is awesome. 1 1/2 yr old this is her first real year of hunting and she has over 20 retrieves. She has no problem swimming out for long retrieves on ducks and has great nose for upland birds. Small enough (50 lbs)to ride between my legs on the snowmobile but tough enough to pull my icefishing sled into the BWCAW for a couple miles. She has two gears lethargic and full speed. When indoors she is usually curled up somewhere and and when hunting she's tearing up the ground. Great with kids and very bidable. She does have a shiny coat but I wouldn't consider oily and I think its due to high protien food (Nutro). Can't say enough good about her.

redhooks

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I had the same question about 2 years ago and DBL had some good advice then. I had grown up with GSP's and loved how hard they hunted, but they were always going full speed and my wife wanted a melow dog she could cuddle with once in a while. We actually went with a Brit Lab that came from pointing lines and could not be happier. The wife has her 55 lb. lap dog, and I have a hard charging, intelligent, retriever that even points birds if they are holding tight. We just got back from her 2nd year in SD and I couldn't be happier.

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I'll echo the responses of the 2 guys ahead of me. My female is just over 2 years old. She was trained by Terry Holzinger and I couldn't be happier. When she gets in the house, it takes her about 5 minutes to smell everything and make sure nothing has moved, and then she may as well be a lap dog. Her first love is retrieving (especially water), and she will go all day. I've never seen another dog with as much retrieving drive as she has. She points pheasants very nicely. I've hunted grouse over her for 3 weekends, and it took about 2 of them for her to figure out what is going on. She definitely improved each time out. I definitely need to get her some more experience on them.

The only bad thing I can say is that like all labs, they shed a lot. To the point of having to vacuum at least every other day.

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