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Thread: Hunting dog / Companion

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Hunting dog / Companion

    hello everyone!

    I have been lurking and reading hundreds of posts about Labradors as I search for my new pup. Many or most of you seem to be Hunt Test and FT pros/amateurs. I most certainly am not that. I have had a wonderful lab in my past that I had to put down last year. He was a wonderful family companion and a perfectly capable hunting dog. I sent him to school at 6 months and he came back a new man and ready to hunt and sit at heal. We hunted dove, ducks, quail and geese for the next 11 years before he slowed down too much. As he got older I started letting him slide more on his hunting perfection (like let him roam instead of sitting at heal for 2 hours in a dove field when birds aren't flying). This probably makes most of you cringe! He would sit perfectly still in the duck blind however... but it was much more intense. Anyway, it is what it is and we were just having fun and I wasn't trying to win any events. He was truly a best friend. We went everywhere together if we were hunting or not.

    So, now I want the same thing. I have talked with several breeders about upcoming puppies and they won't sell a dog to a non HT or FT person. Totally understandable. Here is what I know...

    There is 95% chance I send him away to a pro for a 4 month gundog program. (so, the dog should at least be able to get a JH at that point). The remaining 5% is the off chance I get so involved with the Hillman tapes that I want to continue training myself. So, point being, they will be trained and worked, etc.

    I can't promise anyone that I will send my dog away for another 4 months to achieve a SH or another 4 months after that for a MH. I would love that but I just can't promise anyone that. I love hanging out with my dog and training and taking him everywhere I go, so I think it would be hard for me to send him away again if he's retrieving birds in way that is good enough for me. Again, I might get addicted and send him away for more titles but that might not happen as well. I want to have a dog that is my best friend, a family pet (we will probably have kids, the human variety, someday), and also a dog that is a great joy to hunt with. I totally understand that most people on this board do not see things this way and are looking for MH's and FC's.

    So, with all that being said, when I am looking for a puppy... is there a certain type of pedigree that I should look for? I feel strongly that both sides of the pedigree should have proven performers to find the dog I am looking for. Would you agree? But I certainly don't need a super high strung pup either. I want the pup to be happy with his life! Thanks so much for your insight.

  2. #2

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    Are you set on a lab only?

  3. #3
    Senior Member fishduck's Avatar
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    Most of the folks I know in the hunt test world started out wanting "just a hunting dog" or a better "hunting dog". The dog games become addicting to those who still want to work our dogs after hunting season ends and get ready for the next season.

    Plenty of litters in the classifieds!
    Mark Land

  4. #4
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    I have talked with several breeders about upcoming puppies and they won't sell a dog to a non HT or FT person.
    Keep looking. Chances are those are newer breeders that think they are going to make a name for themselves. There are lots of good reputable breeders out there that want their dogs to go to good hunting homes too. Look for a dog with the dam having a good pedigree also. Where are you located?
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  5. #5
    Senior Member quackaholic's Avatar
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    http://www.hilltopacre.com/upcoming-litter.php
    Try this link. I have a pup from her, and she may have exactly what you are looking for.

  6. #6

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    Seems to be plenty in the classified section here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcbullets View Post
    Seems to be plenty in the classified section here.
    And that's just the problem. Where to begin? After much research I am familiar with all of the popular Studs from today and even from yesterday.

    I also know that the female is maybe 60% of the equation.

    I also know that I want all of the health certs...etc

    I'm located in TX and would prefer to drive to pick up the puppy rather than have one shipped in or brought in from Move the Dog. Just a personal preference. So, I know I can at least narrow it down to Texas.

  8. #8
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    I spoke with a trainer and he said "no matter what, just get the best dog you can find even if you only want it as pet/hunting dog because typically a pedigree of FC's/AFC or MH's will tell you that the dog should be trainable and have a desire to retrieve." True or false?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Vicky Trainor's Avatar
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    Sorry that you've been in contact with breeders that won't sell to a non-hunt test/field trial home.

    As a breeder for over 20 years, I was/am more concerned that my pups go to loving homes where they will be well taken care of during their lifetime. I breed for that wonderful Lab temperament, health and trainability as I feel that the pup needs to be a companion as well as being capable of working. I've had some wonderful people that are active in hiking, dock diving, obedience, therapy, hunting and/or field work purchase my pups.

    So, there are breeders out here that would be willing to sell a pup to you for your purposes. Don't get dishearten. The right breeder and pup is out there for you.

    Best of luck!
    Vicky
    RTF Moderator
    http://www.oakdaleretrievers.com/Remembrance.html "You'll Cry"
    ____________________________________________
    Training is not science, it is art. A blend of this, a measure of that, a deep breath at the appropriate moment and always a loving touch.

  10. #10

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    I can only give you my opinion. Parents that have those titles indicate that they are good and the genes should be in the offspring. But that isn't a guarantee. From my standpoint, based on what you said you wanted, I would not be looking for a pup from those parents. I would be looking in the $800-$1000 range. Get a pup from a couple proven parents, MH. I have seen good dogs out of parents that are hunting dogs only, with no titles. Your not lookin for a powerhouse dog. I wouldn't be looking for a powerhouse pedigree. Any dog is probably only going to be as good as the training it receives.

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