Labrador retriever?
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Thread: Labrador retriever?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Labrador retriever?

    I am getting a new Labrador soon. If I am never going to hunt is there any advantage in training my dog for field trials and hunting tests, or should I just concentrate on agility and obedience work?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    May 2009
    Chewelah, WA


    If you have a retriever club nearby with club matches and training days, take your pup to see how it--and you--like field work. If interested then you can train for hunting which uses basically the same training techniques for hunt tests.

    Obedience is great and needed for whatever you decide to do with the pup.


  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2012
    Linden, VA


    If you dont hunt because of an adversion to hunting, then you wont want to participate in hunt testing or field trials either.
    Last edited by freezeland; 01-21-2014 at 04:04 PM.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Trent Goree's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Fate, TX


    The majority of the folks I know that run hunt test or field trials and train retrievers for hunting, actually hunt. However, there are some people that do not hunt and simply run tests and field trials. You may really enjoy the game. I certainly enjoy spending time with my dog, my friends I've met at training days and hunt tests. As mentioned earlier, if you don't have any issues dealing with dead birds, then you may really enjoy the game. I don't know that I would consider them blood sports, but there is no doubt death involved with the use of dispatched waterfowl or upland birds, etc. However, that's what labradors are bred to do. As far as a benefit, obedience will benefit any dog, but I imagine you'll have to do obedience for agility tests as well. Good luck with your decision and enjoy the ride.

    HR Goree's Flight School Drop Out SH "Maverick" 11/20/04---2/6/14
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  7. #5
    Senior Member Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Macon, IL


    Quote Originally Posted by freezeland View Post
    If you dont hunt because of an adversion to hunting, then you wont want to participate in hunt testing or field trials either.

    There's no good way for folks to suggest what activity you and your dog should do. Chances are, your dog will be happy doing anything you expose him to. He will enjoy being with you and having fun.

    What makes you happy? What do you think is fun?

    If you are an outdoors kind of person and want to be exposed to the hunt test/field trial atmosphere, you should give it a go. If you are more about enjoying the training and obedience (you still can get plenty competitive with obedience and agility) you may want to go that route.

    Have fun and good luck!

    "A smile relieves a heart that grieves"

    - Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

  8. #6
    Senior Member Lonnie Spann's Avatar
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    May 2012


    Train your dog, and if you so choose, compete in hunt tests or field trials. My dog has been judged in hunt tests where at least one of the judges obviously didn't hunt.

    L Spann
    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.

    Member of CAHRC and North AL HRC. I train with AND AM FRIENDS WITH: Fishduck, Laidback, Splash_Em, RF2, Drake2014, Claimsadj, Hooked on Quackers, RookieTrainer and Roseberry.

    HRCH Spann's Quacker Jack "Jack" 500 Pt. Club (New & IMPROVED jacket).

  9. #7
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    N. Cackalacky


    Quote Originally Posted by freezeland View Post
    If you dont hunt because of an adversion to hunting, then you wont want to participate in hunt testing or field trials either.
    Good point. If you have something against it, you probably won't like HTs, FTs or the training for them. However, I know more than one person who had retrievers and decided to try the field stuff just because it was what the critters were bred to do. They got into it and became very successful and serious and many even started hunting some.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Sep 2010


    I figure there have to be many people who just enjoy the Hunt test and Field trial games, because they are games. I'm pretty convinced based on the sheer number of Trials and Hunt tests that take place during Prime Time Hunting season, and all the phone calls-emails I get to come shoot a test while I'm in a duck blind. Ergo If you like to play the games, challenge yourself and your dog, get ribbons-titles and have a good time, with your dog; Hunting is not really a necessity. But I do feel a bit sorry for a well-trained dog who never gets to see 21 live-flyers in a row .
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 01-21-2014 at 05:27 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"; "I train dogs, Not papers"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"

    GMRH-I HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
    GMHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
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  11. #9
    Senior Member David Maddox's Avatar
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    Jan 2004


    Dance ken,
    When I bought my first lab Char I was a golfer. I bought Cherolyn Loveland's book on puppy retriever training. Once I got thru that book, I needed more to do with him, and remember a friend of mine that had his dog trained while we were in HS. I remembered how amazed I was when he worked him!!!
    We'll when I finished Cherolyn's book, I thought it'd be neat to teach him casting drills. Well one thing led to another and the next thing ya know he's an HRCH/SH.
    I then started hunting.

    I do have several friends that have focused on obedience, agility, dock dogs, and/or tracking. All seem to really enjoy their chosen dog games. Another friend just trains for retrieving and has never hunted or run a test.
    Last edited by David Maddox; 01-21-2014 at 06:04 PM.
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Mid Wales UK


    Competitive obedience is really challenging for both you and the dog, and agility is a lot of fun too, so I'd recommend you do both.

    By all means train your new dog as a hunting retriever; it's what he was born to do and 200 generations of his ancestors are telling him so. In our training group we had a lot of folks like you who were not hunters but wanted to give their dogs a chance to do what comes naturally. Quite a good number of them went on to work their dogs for other hunters, or even take up the sport themselves. Others were just pleased to have well trained dog who was happy in himself.

    One thing no one has mentioned so far; if you go in for competitive obedience, agility, Tests / Trials, or hunting, your dog will take you to places you never knew existed, and you'll make long term friendships amongst the nicest people you'll ever meet. In brief your world will change for the better.

    'Get on!"

    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

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