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Bowfin

Lab Pups: Field Trial vs, Hunting Lines

24 posts in this topic

When selecting a lab pup in the past, I always looked for excellent field trail champions in the pedigree. I have heard (and somewhat experienced) dogs bred for field trails can be high-strung (i.e. fastest dog wins). I have since began hearing about an alternate breeding strategy - the hunting lines. I've heard that pups from master and junior hunting championship lines will have excellent hunting ability and be less hyper. My current lab is 8 years old and I was wondering if any folks have any advice or experience with hunting lines (MH & JH).

My dog is a hunter for part of the year and the family pet (admittedly spoiled!) all year. For my next pup should I stick to field trail pedigrees or hunting champion pedigrees (MH, JH)?

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Not sure what goes into a JH for a retriever but for pointers it would mean nothing to me. I'd look at MH & SH dogs, not JH dogs, and I would absolutely make sure I could see the dog perform. Hunt tests are based on standards and there are many ways to meet the standard. Again, don't know much about retrievers but I've seen some MH pointers that you couldn't pay me to feed. No run, no range, no intensity, no style. They just met the standard requirements and passed but were total yawners to me.

Bottom line: Do your homework. Watch the dogs perform. Check references, etc... to ensure you are getting what you want.

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Most of your SH or MH titled dogs are Field trial dogs. You probably would find it very difficult to fine a pedigree made up of strictly SH or MH titled dogs. Yes, there are some high strung dogs in the FT side but there are also the laid back ones as well.

Because Hunt Tests are not as extreme as a Field Trial and do not require the same overall abilities a lot of the titled Hunt Test dogs are "wash outs" from Field Trials.

I don't think you will find a huge difference in the way they act. You will find a lot of breedings taking place where the stud is an FC-AFC and the female is a SH or MH.

I would agree completely with setterguy on his comments. A breeding that contains a JH titled dog should do nothing for you. A JH titled dog is a dog that can basically go out 60 yards and retrieve a bird.

Do your research on the breedings. Look for the parents who are not high strung and go from there. Do not kid yourself though, FT dogs are going to have more up stairs than your HT dogs or untitled dogs.

GOOD LUCK with your search & take your time!!!!

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Both the above posters hit the nail on the head!

Most titled hunt test dogs come from field trial stock. So you will find little difference for the most part. Filed trials do not equate to "the fastest dog wins"... the dog who completes each series with as few mistakes as possible and the most style as possible wins. With that said, do most FT dogs tend to be on the "hyper" side? Maybe... A higher strung dog is usually one that is more athletic and many times a dog with boundless energy. When controlled, it will give you a dog with unlimited style and drive. But there-in lies the key... how much was put into these dogs to teach them the basic fundamentals to being good citizens. You can high a "higher strung" dog and still have a dog totally in control. Don't beleive it? Come on over and I will show you one! She is probably one of the most obedient dogs I have ever owned... but yet has a style and drive that is up there... hyper? many people think so at first site, but then realize that is not the case at all, just zealous for life! Very obedient and actually will calm down as the situation demands (ie: in a building).

There are field trial lines that tend to be 'calmer', though they are becoming more infrequent as the demands of trials increase. A MH dog of today, probably would have been an FC 30 years ago... A FC of today probably could have walked away from the pack and became a NFC 30 years ago... A JH only tells you that the dog has the basic instincts to become a gun dog. You are generally testing it's natural instinct to retrieve... A MH is a truley finished gun dog... Having a hunt test title or 2 in the 1st two generations of a FT pedigree insures little as to the compatibility of those pups to become gun dogs. But with PROPER training, almost every lab bred, will be a pleasure to hunt behind...

For a "true" gun dog that hasn't taken on the field trial tempermant and attributes, look to what is called 'dual breedeing'. It is generally a meld of field dogs (gun, hunt test and field trial) with conformation and obedience champions mixed in. The people who are breeding these dogs, are trying to keep the "old" style lab available to the public and produce some of the most inherited disorder, "clean" dogs being bred. They also generally take on the look of a classic lab. Bigger boned, better coat, proper tail and nice facial features. You generally have to search around a little more to find these breeders, but they are out there and will almost assuredly give you what you are looking for.

With that said, I would not shy away from a field trial breeding, nor a breeding that has hunt test dogs in it. It comes down to what the parents are like, and as always get a minimum of 2 generations (3 is better) of hips, elbows and eye clearences. There will be a lot of breedings in the future that will show clearance for ather issues like EIC and this will be important as one of the top FT studs used in the last 10-15 years threw a high preponderance of EIC dogs. Research, Research Research! Then you will find the dog you are looking for.

Good Luck!

Ken

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LABS, you wouldn't be talking about a dog with the initials of LM would you now?

If so, you are correct. He has that reputation. A very good friend of mine has 2 dogs out of LM sons and both have the EIC mutation.

One HE** of a sire though, wouldn't you agree?

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Yep, that was the final nail as to why I never again bred my LM son.... though I know of no offspring of his with EIC issues and the test was not available when he was in his prime, I couldn't risk it.... Too bad! Nice looking, calm, tractible, derby points, QAA, open jams and never bred after 6...

Good Luck!

Ken

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot,

and a heck of a gundog to boot!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Did you have the test done on yours?

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No I didn't. He's old and retired. It's been 5 years since he's studded a litter. All his pups were sold on a limited registration (only 2 litters) since I aquired him and the only one that has had the "limited" portion removed was Trace. If the test was around 4 years ago, I would have probably done it to see if he was a carrier and if he could still be used to breed... he threw some awefully nice dogs.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I talked to a guy in Pennsylvania last night about my breeding to Ford last winter. He told me that both Ford and Patton are carriers BUT he believed LM was not. He believes the problem came from their mother, Dust Devils Desert Duk.

My friend has 2 dogs with LM as a GP but both fathers were of the LM/Dust Devils Desert Duk litter.

Have you heard of any other LM sons other than Ford, Patton or Cruise to be carriers?

Thanks

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No... but I haven't looked into specific carriers. As of now I stay away form the whole line.

I can probably find out more by talking to Fran Smith. She must've known something because she was the one to alert me about it knowing that I had a direct son from him. That was the reason I shut down breeding him. I couldn't take the chance. She described what it was and how debilitating it is, and I just no way was it worth risking, even knowing that I didn't have any show up from previous breedings.

Good Luck!

Ken

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The field trial lines might be harder for your average Joe to train. They aren't breeding these dogs for tempermant, soft mouth etc. They are breeding them because the have titles. Titles mean they can get more money for a litter of pups. The FT lines should be great markers, because that's what they do most of the time is mark multiple retrieves. A field trial dog that was completely amateur trained would probably be a great dog to breed. The NAFC dogs spend months at the trainers and usually aren't handled by the owner at the events.

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My female came from the litter of 10. No EIC. Bred the next time to Ramblin' Man, 3 with EIC out of 8. You tell me. Some believe that "Harley" is the common denominator.

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 Originally Posted By: duckbuster
He told me that both Ford and Patton are carriers BUT he believed LM was not. He believes the problem came from their mother, Dust Devils Desert Duk.

If GP is a carrier, then both LM and DDDD "could" be carriers, but it does not mean that only one is a carrier and one in not. If two carriers are bread that will produce 25% affected, 25% unaffected, and 50% carriers.

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 Originally Posted By: Snag
The NAFC dogs spend months at the trainers and usually aren't handled by the owner at the events.

NAFC = National Amatuer Field Champion... it HAS to be handled by the owner of the dog. Most times you are correct they spend a lot of time with a pro, but at any Amatuer event ( in pursuit of AFC or NAFC) they have to be owner handled and cannot be handled by the Pro...

But you are not required to do the training yourself.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Hemi...

You know way more about the disease than I, is it a recessive trait? Do both parents need to carry it to pass it down to a dog to be a "carrier"? Or can one parent pass it on to 50% of their progeny to produce carriers?

I don't know the answer and I guess I should read up on it to learn more about it. As of now, I find it easier to just steer clear of any line with... talent or not!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Ken,

Sorry....I posted the wrong info above (and fixed it). If GP is a carrier, then both LM and DDDD would not necessarily be carriers by nature of the disease, but still could be. If any of the pups from this pairing produced an affected dog, then both would have to be carriers (or affected).

You are correct in that breeding a non-carrier to carrier can produce 50% carriers and 50% non-carriers.

EIC is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, with affected dogs obtaining one copy of the mutated [bad] gene from each parent.

 Quote:

-Children of an affected person will typically not have the disease (except in the rare case that they too marry someone who is also affected or a carrier of exactly the same disease), but the odds are 100% the child will be a carrier. The affected parent has two bad copies of the gene, so the child gets a bad gene from that parent, but usually a good second copy from the other unaffected parent.

-If only one parent is a carrier (and the other unaffected), the child cannot get the disease, but might still be a carrier (typically 50% chance of being a carrier).

-If both parents are a carrier, there is a 25% chance that their child will have the disease. There is also a 50% chance the child will be a carrier, and only 25% chance the child will be neither diseased nor carrier. The situation where both parents are carriers is the most likely way that children with the disease are born.

-If one parent has the disease, and the other is a carrier, a child has a 50% chance of getting the disease, and 50% chance of being a carrier. The child definitely gets one bad gene from the diseased parent, and has a 50% chance of getting a second one from the carrier parent.

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How do I know if my pup has EIC? He's 5 months old and out of the LM line (3rd generation). Should I be concerned?

PL

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I will post an article I wrote about EIC....should give you more in site.

There will be a test available sometime this spring.....but at this point you would not know unless the breeder knew of any conditions related to any of their pups or dogs, or they had their pups tested during the study that was preformed last year. Should be of no real concern unless you see your pup collapse during expercise.

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Thanks!

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 Originally Posted By: 311Hemi
 Originally Posted By: duckbuster
He told me that both Ford and Patton are carriers BUT he believed LM was not. He believes the problem came from their mother, Dust Devils Desert Duk.

If GP is a carrier, then both LM and DDDD "could" be carriers, but it does not mean that only one is a carrier and one in not. If two carriers are bread that will produce 25% affected, 25% unaffected, and 50% carriers.

Hemi: GP in this paragraph is meant that LM is the grand parent.

Jeff Goodwin felt that he probably was not the carrier but the mother DDDD was. In any case others have stated they felt the LM line was a carrier.

By the way, have you posted or are you active on that site from which you transfered the hunting story?

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 Originally Posted By: Snag
The field trial lines might be harder for your average Joe to train. They aren't breeding these dogs for tempermant, soft mouth etc. They are breeding them because the have titles. Titles mean they can get more money for a litter of pups. The FT lines should be great markers, because that's what they do most of the time is mark multiple retrieves. A field trial dog that was completely amateur trained would probably be a great dog to breed. The NAFC dogs spend months at the trainers and usually aren't handled by the owner at the events.

This years NAFC winner in June and the NFC winner in November believe it or not are owned by the same person, Ken Neil of Florida AND he won the events with 2 different dogs!!!!!!!!

Ken does all of the training with the dogs. Ken is one of the most recognized and respected handlers in the field trial game. Because of that he does have opportunities to train with pro's while he travels the country campaigning his string of dogs.

Most pre-national training groups always contain one or two Pro's.

One other thing, the 2 National champions from 2006 were both Amateur trained and handled.

As far as the breeding thing goes, very few titled females are bred simple because it would take them away from trialing for a few months. Getting "more" for a litter is not the object for people who are doing a title to title breeding. Simply put, they want one or two or three of the pups for themselves.

Owners of Titled males will get $1,000 to $2,500 in stud fee which is the way to go. A dog like Creek Robber will get his owner close to $100,000 each year in stud fees.

I am curious to know why you would think an amateur trained trial dog would be any better for breeding than a trial dog completely trained by a Pro?

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 Originally Posted By: duckbuster
 Originally Posted By: 311Hemi
 Originally Posted By: duckbuster
He told me that both Ford and Patton are carriers BUT he believed LM was not. He believes the problem came from their mother, Dust Devils Desert Duk.

If GP is a carrier, then both LM and DDDD "could" be carriers, but it does not mean that only one is a carrier and one in not. If two carriers are bread that will produce 25% affected, 25% unaffected, and 50% carriers.

Hemi: GP in this paragraph is meant that LM is the grand parent.

Jeff Goodwin felt that he probably was not the carrier but the mother DDDD was. In any case others have stated they felt the LM line was a carrier.

By the way, have you posted or are you active on that site from which you transfered the hunting story?

I read your post again and see what you saying. I was mainly posting about the LM and DDDD breedings which GP is of. If any of GP's brothers/sisters are "affected"...then both parents are carriers. I really don't know much about the FT lines....but have heard plenty about the thoughts on this and LM. Non-the-less...a very good dog!!! It will be nice when the test is available though so we can know for sure.

I signed up for an account at that forum a long time ago but it never got activated and I never pressed to get it done. I just tried registering again tonight and it looks like it was successful and doesn't require activation....so thats cool. I enjoy reading the info there....you may see me there at some point now!

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Thanks for all the info. Its been 8 years since I've had to reasearch and pick a pup. Sounds like I have a few new things to consider - I haven't heard yet about EIS.

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