Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my lab But he is 105 lbs and 25" tall. Very big guy, looks like a grizzly bear cub carrying geese back but he gets so Tuckered out after 1 hour of thick cover upland hunting. If I do get another lab I want to find a smaller parent litter. I love all breeds of dogs! That's what make this decision so hard. Each and every breed has something different and amazing to offer!
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All heck let me throw my $0.02 in. Check out the curly coated retriever. They are big enough to handle various game and athletic enough to go all day in the upland fields. I know a guy in Mi who hunts with his out of a canoe. And he's easily 27-28" at the shoulder and 90-100lbs. Also there's a breeder MN. Who would be glad to show you how hard these dogs work. There's also the notion these dogs don't like water. Well someone lied to my pup. Doesn't hurt that his momma is a CH/MH. So you can get looks and drive in this breed. Now they do have there flaws as they don't mature as quickly as other breeds. My pup didn't start losing teeth until 6-7 mo. and finished at 8 mo. They are thinkers so owners need to stay on top of the training. I must say though one nice feature is after getting wet it only takes a couple of shakes and they are almost completely dry.
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To the OP, you might want to take a look at the Springer. I've owned Labs and Goldens and now have a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. However, my brother, who lives in northern MN, has a Springer that he uses on SD pheasants and MN grouse and ducks. Says he's the best dog he's ever hunted over and he's been around a lot of dogs. Cold weather is not a problem for his Springer. Last year, he was offered big money by the owners of one SD hunting lodge for his Springer after they saw him put up so many birds. There's no price he would take. Good luck on your decision and good hunting.
i love labs have had them as pheasant dogs my whole life and wouldn't trade them. other breeds are great also, ive had a springer and she was fun to watch and a very good pheasant dog. Ive had no name labs that I got from a farmer and they where awesome out hunting really expensive gsp and spaniels and some other labs also. A big dog will be able to have indurance, just like an athlete they need training and work. Go run a mile and see how u do, run every day a lil bit and run a mile later and see how u do same concept towards dogs for hunting imo. I had a buddy who had a gsp and I had my lab and in their prime they were unstoppable together and so fun to watch it was surprising how well they worked together. I enjoyed it so much that ive considered getting a gsp to run with my lab for pheasants. I was thinking I have my lab now not even a year old wait prolly 2 years get a gsp and 5 or 6 god willing more years get another lab and repeat just a thought I had but I love labs and ill always have a lab in my house if not a couple
Is there a breed other than labs?
DISCLAIMER: The above post is the opinionated and biased view of your's truly, Lonnie Spann, and is in no way intended to reflect the opinions or views of the unfortunate individuals named below who just happen to be doomed with guilt by association.
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If you're looking for a different breed nothing is going to beat a spaniel in the pheasant field and they are all very natural retrievers and can be trained nonslip just as your lab is. I'm partial to english cockers, but a field bred springer or a boykin would probably fit the bill perfectly for you as well and might be a bit easier to train than a cocker... they're a bit quirky to say the least hahaha. However my guy will upland hunt for hours without slowing down. They have incredible speed and stamina.
Last edited by Cass; 10-17-2013 at 12:04 PM.