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1/2 lab 1/2 golden retreiver good combo?


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Was up north this weekend and stopped in at a garage sale and they had free pups, I was with my 3 year old and 6 year old so guess what I went home with. I was thinking about getting another dog soon so the additional dog was'nt so much the issue but I was planning on a pure bred lab with some decent bloodlines. The new pup seems like a good one I just hope the combo of lab and golden is a good one. Also the pup still has her dew claws, what are your opinions on wether they should be removed on a hunting dog? So far she is doing well and getting along well with my gsp. She looks like a pure bred black lab and loves to retreive a tennis ball. Man I forgot how loudly they cry the first few nights!!! Any thoughts would be great thanx DieselDan

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Don't let the mix become an issue. The traits from both breeds will likely be more of a benefit than a detriment. The 1st dog I trained for hunting waterfowl and upland was a mix Doberman, lab and Retriever. Body and Coat length of the retriever and colors of the Doberman (Black & Tan). I have since trained many hunting dogs both mix and many, many pedigree dogs. I cannot say with any certainty that one was truly better than another. The most important thing to recognize is the amount of time and effort you put into the training. I still remember that first pet, called him Heinz or Hiney for short. Stood for Heinz 57. He was a truly amazing animal not only for exceptional bird work (Around 6 years he new exactly what I was thinking) Perfect manners that would put many of the purebreds to shame. One night he actually kept two black bear out of the yard by constantly charging and darting away. He was a very calm and sensitive dog but new the difference between friend and foe. Retrieved money to the front step and would sniff out my lost arrows when I missed the target. Don't be afraid of the mix and don't worry about the guys who lift thier nose in the air or make claims against the mix breeds for whatever reason i.e.: purists, paid too much, can't imagine a mix performing to the level of a purebred. They simply aren't true especially when it comes to the Lab / Retriever's. Both are exceptional swimmers, have great noses and temperaments, an insane desire to please and are usually very easy to train. Put as much into your mix pup as you would into a $1500.00 pedigreed dog and I am confident that you won't be disappointed.

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Xrap says good things-that little girl could become not only a great family dog but a fine hunter too. Have her spayed when time arrives. There are two schools of thought on dew claws. I've never worried about them and never had a problem with one either although I admit it is possible. Make it clear to kids that YOU are the trainer-in-chief and they can play with the dog but not abuse it-sometimes little kids get carried away, as I'm sure you know.

Sounds to me like you will have a nice little dog and what do you care what I think about her? Or anybody else? Frankly, some of the "pure" Labs I see today make me retch.

First lesson: SIT and wait before eat. Get control right at the git go.

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  • 1 month later...

I know this post is a little old but just wanted to say that my last dog was a retriever/lab mix and was the best bird dog that Ive had and an excellent family dog as well. I dont think you will be disappointed. If the lil guy I'm picking up on Tuesday is anywhere as good, I will be lucky. Good luck!

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I have to agree with everyone; Half breeds are just as good if not better than purebreds. It all comes down to their natural abilities and the effort you put into training him/her.

My pup, Bella is half lab and half english setter. I got to see her after 1 wk of age and made weekly visits to see hoe she and her 12 other siblings. Helps that the owners live in my town. After about 5 weeks we were ask to pick our pup out and Bella had the best nose and temperment of the 5 females.

I have been training her everyday to retrieve bumpers and birds and she is really excelling at it. She does get distracted when new smells present themselves. But that just stokes my ambitions to see hwer trail a scent and put up a point. She is now at cannon river kennels for their 2wk gun and bird intro program and I can't wait to see the progress she has made.

I always felt that you get the best of both breeds when you get a halfbreed.

Keep us updated dieseldan on your pups progress. Love to hear it.


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I need to pipe in and state my case for pure breeds. There are hunt tests and field trials, competition for pure bred dogs. These competitions are not just for fun and games, they mold the breeds towards traits that are desired in hunting dogs. Professional trainers don't enter these for the trophy, they enter to gain a championship for their dog. Then the name becomes valuable for breeding. Now, I am not the kind of guy that will throw chance at the wind and pick up a puppy from the trunk of some guy at Walmart. I need to have some assurance that the dog has been bred for the type of hunting that I want, that his health, (hips, eyes, etc.) have been checked out, and that if trained properly will do what I want it to do. Some may say the cost of a puppy is too much. Well, after vet bills, dog food, and all the other things involved with owning a dog, the initial cost of a pure bred pup is insignificant.

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My pup, Bella is half lab and half english setter.

I am curious if you plan on using her as a pointing dog or a flushing dog?

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I own a pure bred vizsla and the reason I went that route is because I wanted to know what I was getting in a dog.

I have a friend who bought a golden retriever from a friend of a friend who had an unexpected litter and he planned on using it for hunting. When he bought the dog he had no idea of the bloodlines and no idea what to expect out of that dog.

Now he has a 5 year old retriever that is about the worst hunting dog imaginable. He works her out all year long trying to get her in shape but after about 10-20 minutes of exercise she just quits and lays down. Absolutely the laziest dog I've seen without any sort of drive at all. Her nose is passable but she doesn't seem to have any natural instinct.

Don't get me wrong she is still a great family dog but if you planned to hunt her at all you'd be very disappointed.

Now after saying all that the lab/retriever mix certainly sounds good in theory and it will likely have some natural hunting instinct. But there is always that chance that you can end up with a dog like my friend did. In that case you'll have a nice friendly dog that just lays around the house all day, which is fine just don't expect her to help find any birds.

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There are some good opinions above on both sides of the debate.

I think that since you are getting it for free and understand the risk of it not being a good hunting dog or potentially having some inherited health problems, I say go for it. It could work out well, or it could not. As long as you have that mentality going in to it, throw the dice.

The Lab/Golden mix could be a good, but the inherited characteristics will make all of the difference.

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I've been trying to expose the new little girl to lots of new experances, I think that what helps make a well adjusted dog. So she has been with me on many car rides seen and met many different people and dogs etc, but what really makes me pleased is when she came with me and my gsp to south dakota pheasant hunting last week and for a 15 week old pup did very well. She walked along with us almost all day and seemed very interisted in the birds. I took one of the pheasants and tossed it out for her and she did'nt even hesitate she picked it right up, as well as a pup of about 30lbs could, and brought it right back to me so I even tried a few retreives in some long grass and she sniffed around until she found it and brought right back. A few times my buddies 2 year AKC pointing lab tried to get in on the retreiving and the little girl found the bird first and retreived it! I think she is going to be a good one.


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