Where and why did you start?
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Thread: Where and why did you start?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Schmemdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Saint Louis, MO

    Default Where and why did you start?

    I became interested in retrievers because of my humane society adopted boy. I had fostered GSPs for a year or so before I adopted Remi, so I had already learned a lot about natural drive in a dog. By all accounts, Rem has a lot of natural ability. I got him and just could not believe how hard wired he was to retrieve. Like some pointers I knew, there was little instruction necessary. We went to a Ronnie Smith seminar a couple of months after I got him, and he blew several pedigreed dogs out of the water. Not only does he have a nose, but he marks and will retrieve until he falls over dead. He runs like a deer, launches into water, and is really just a site to behold. He's the healthiest, most athletic dog I've ever met, with the exception of a pointer or two, and has the nose and drive to match. That being said, he was too old to force fetch when I got him, and he's got some very-non-lab issues with aggression; he's overly protective of mom, and warms slowly to new dogs and somewhat to people. He's my best friend, but his drive and athleticism has got me thinking ahead to the next pup. Hopefully some day I can find a dog with his natural ability, and I can raise and train them right.

    So what got you started? One dog? One breed? Raised as a duck hunter and needed a competent partner?
    Lauren Burke
    "Sometimes you eats the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you." Daniel Boone, Davie Crockett, or a stranger at the bar?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Joe Dutro's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Zanesville, Ohio


    I got tired of carrying a fishing pole to retrieve ducks or having to hunt with someonewith a dog. I had the opportunity to go to Arkansas on a hunting trip in 2002 and watched a nice dog work. My comments still stand-- " I want a dog that will do that" I have/had 5 now that will do what I want.
    Lovin every minute of it.
    Joe Dutro

    Oakwood's Dora Duky Desire MH- (Dora) 3/3/03- 3/16/11
    Desire's Midnight Rose SH- (Rose) 1/29/08
    Desire's Big Launch MH (Rocket) 9/29/09
    Desire's Pine Ridge Lonesome Gus MH (Gus) 9/29/09
    Desire's Littlest Hellian JH (Izzie)

  4. #3
    Senior Member 7pntail's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Lodi ca


    Lauren -- I was raised in a non-dog family. As a kid, I can remember pleading with my parents to get a dog. I wanted a Golden Retriever. Never happened, as my dad just didn't like dogs for whatever reason.

    I was introduced to Brits by a friend, and Milo a butterfly nosed Britt, was my first right out of college. I was a horrible trainer, but the one thing I did right was to not shoot unless there there was a SOLID point. He didn't come when called (my fault) but that dog could hold a point for days. I shot countless wild birds over him, and my duck hunting obsession led him to the swamp. He was a good retriever, but was cold even with a vest out of the water in the rice fields.

    The natural progression was a Lab that was more suited for the cold weather. A competent partner he was for 12 years. Bramble is chillin by the fire as I type. Briar, with huge paws to fill is carrying the torch--he is three, and is becoming a very good duck dog.

    Good luck to you--there are many dogs with natural ability!
    John Stroh, Lodi ca

    There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace…........If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator.

    Aldo Leopold

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Peter G Lippert's Avatar
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    Mar 2011


    Ruger Duck.jpgGreat story about your pup and great thread topic. I have always been in to hunting and got serious about in college. I had plenty of time to hunt and there was a lot of great public land around that no one hunted. So needless too say I took advantage every time I got out of class or did not have a busy week. My second season hunting I figured I would get a pup for fun and see if he might hunt a little. I knew little to nothing about bird dog training so I hopped on to craigslist and found an ad for an accidental litter that was between a pure bred golden and a mutt "black lab".

    By shear luck I got a great dog to say the least. I trained him myself while consulting with Evan Graham bc he was in my area and we connected through the RTF. His first season (about 9 months old) he retrieved every duck I shot back to hand with style and excitement. He was not steady or FF but his love for the game carried him through with awesome results. Ruger.jpg

    He now is almost 2 years old and has double T down pat for some time now. And I think he is a pretty handsome pup as well.

  7. #5
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2005
    Tylertown, MS


    Cleo and I used to run "Gun Dog Trials" before there were hunt tests and we had a dog Gator Point's Chocolate Candy that every one said we should run her in Derby. We entered her in one at Staple's Dairy in central Louisiana and when we came on the trial grounds with Candy a fellow said "Look at that fool, coming on the trial grounds with a Chocolate, they ain't got no sense and can't count to three. Nitram Bull Market and Candy were the only Chocolate Labs on the grounds that day, and Cleo said, "I think we can breed a Chocolate that CAN count to three" and so the story goes. Thanks to Mark Huffman and "Taduh" at least one of them did. Watch the rest of the story in time. The Brown Dogs are acomming believe me! Bill
    'Show up for work, do the best job you can and treat others the way you would like to be treated'

  8. #6
    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Rockwall, TX


    After being over served at the Jesuit Scholarship Auction in Dallas 25 years ago, we came home with Deacon, a BLM. Six months later we bought a Zip Code pup, Lacy, a BLF. Been up to our arses in Labs ever since.
    M&K's HR UH Tucker of Texoma JH
    M&K's SHR Prime Black Angus
    M&K's Miss Jessie Girl JH
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    Mike Whitworth

  9. #7
    Senior Member Scum Frog's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada


    It was a hunting show on PBS in the mid-90's that got me hooked. It was an episode on grouse hunting with a Lab. Always loved Labradors and 6months after getting married we brought home a BLF. I'm just vstarting on Lab #2 with a 9 week YLF....it's gonna be fun!

  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    I have always had dogs growing up, as my granddad was a weekend upland hunter. I took over his business in my early twenties, and working for the public day in and day out has its advantages and disadvantages. The dogs are my release from everyday life. I can go to the farm and work the dogs and get away. The dogs dont call, complain, wonder why it wasnt done yesterday?, or not pay when the work is done. I love being around the dogs and they return the favor ten times over!

  11. #9
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Bigfork, Montana


    I started duck hunting with my best friends and their Dad in 1965. We lived in an apartment complex in LA so no dogs, but before the Finks had moved to LA they had a black Lab named Tar. I heard many stories about Tar and his legendary retrieves, so was intrigued. That was the late sixties, I hunted another 25 years without a dog when two things happened;

    1) While on a duck Hunt in Colusa CA with my Dad, we were walking out to the pond and met a guy and his yellow Lab walking back to the parking area. He had a limit of ducks hanging on a duck strap across his shoulder, I said "nice shooting". He said "not really, my dog dug most of these cripples out of the marsh", they were birds other guys had shot and lost. Right there I knew I had to have a dog.

    2) In 1991 new wife and I moved to Montana, so for the first time I had a home with enough property for a dog to roam. We bought a seven week Golden pup out of the paper, I just wanted a duck dog, had never heard of field trials or hunt test and wouldn't have been interested if I did. Then I hooked up with Jim Mitchell and started training. Turned out I had the perfect dog for a beginner, tractable, anxious to please, birdy, well built for the marsh, and happened to be a good marker. Oh and did I say birdy? He was super birdy, so after a season of training Jim talked me into entering a Hunt Test, we earned two ribbons that first weekend and the rest is history.


  12. #10
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Mission Valley,Mt


    I started duck hunting in 1969 at Gilbreath Bros club outside Bakersfield. Did a day hunt,gave us a bag of decoys and since didn't have waders got wet. Wound up chasing and shooting coots all day.Started hunting with a guy that had a Chief x Kara washout. What a marking dog. I had horses and got an Aussie,actually FF her and trained on hand signals.She'd sit next to a dying duck and then pick it up.Got a GSP and hunted great until moved up to Sacto and colder weather. I got into GSP FT and got my first lab in 1982 almost two year old out of some dog named Cody, bred to a Thunder daughter (littermate to Jay of LLano).Been downhill ever since.Hence the moniker labsforme.
    Jeff Gruber
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