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Hello all!

My husband and I are looking for puppy or a young started to use for upland hunting and for hunt tests.
What do we need to look for in order to find the appropriate breeder and bloodlines?

We currently have a 3 yr old yellow lab that we had purchased when he was 9 months old. He loves to retrieve and hunt however, despite some help from trainers, we have issues with him freezing on birds during hunt tests. In the field hunting he seems to be good with the birds but he does have a collar on. We had agreed that he wouldn't be a hunt test dog and we would continue to hunt underneath him, however he recently tore his CCL and will need surgery. The vet was not sure on how well he would return to hunting or how his other leg would handle things.

While we love our current dog, we didn't really know what we were looking for when we purchased him. His papers show accomplished dogs and he was cleared for hips/eyes/ etc. Now we are wanting to start looking for what we want to purchase next and hopefully find a puppy/young dog that doesn't have a breeding background with known freezers, bad knees, etc.

This what we know that we are looking for:
- We want a male- prefer yellow but would be OK with black
- A smaller dog- around 60-65 lbs
- A very stout dog that carries muscle
- One that is very driven and runs on high octane
- One with a background of being a good family dog
- Background of hunting and hunt test accomplishments

We are willing to travel to find the right dog and we don't have a set timeline to when we "need" a dog. We just want to find the right fit for us whether it be a puppy or a slightly started dog.

Anyone have any input on how to check bloodlines or which are known to be superior vs ones that carry some undesirable traits?

thanks!
 

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Whenever I'm looking for a dog that needs to do something in particular. I buy a pup out of 2 parents, That I'm familiar with and like; that actually do the tasks that I need the pup to do. Health Clearances etc. Then it's still a crap-shoot, but the odds are stacked in your favor. ;).

Even more stacking in your favor is buying a Started dog that already does it ;). Finding such can be tricky, but most sellers of Started dogs are willing to show you what the dog can do. If your unfamiliar with reading dogs etc. you might enlist a trusted friend-pro to help with evaluation.

I've always questioned whether Freezing was genetic or more an environmental factor, Juries still out on it, but I'm leaning towards some dogs having a predisposition towards such, but others being entirely environmental. Still might stay away from particular lines, if you've noticed the tendency. Might also ask about CCL issues with any lines-parents-litters your looking at, juries out on genetic vs. environment with that as well, still doesn't hurt to ask about such.
 

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Hello all!

My husband and I are looking for puppy or a young started to use for upland hunting and for hunt tests.
What do we need to look for in order to find the appropriate breeder and bloodlines?

We currently have a 3 yr old yellow lab that we had purchased when he was 9 months old. He loves to retrieve and hunt however, despite some help from trainers, we have issues with him freezing on birds during hunt tests. In the field hunting he seems to be good with the birds but he does have a collar on. We had agreed that he wouldn't be a hunt test dog and we would continue to hunt underneath him, however he recently tore his CCL and will need surgery. The vet was not sure on how well he would return to hunting or how his other leg would handle things.

While we love our current dog, we didn't really know what we were looking for when we purchased him. His papers show accomplished dogs and he was cleared for hips/eyes/ etc. Now we are wanting to start looking for what we want to purchase next and hopefully find a puppy/young dog that doesn't have a breeding background with known freezers, bad knees, etc.

This what we know that we are looking for:
- We want a male- prefer yellow but would be OK with black
- A smaller dog- around 60-65 lbs
- A very stout dog that carries muscle
- One that is very driven and runs on high octane
- One with a background of being a good family dog
- Background of hunting and hunt test accomplishments

We are willing to travel to find the right dog and we don't have a set timeline to when we "need" a dog. We just want to find the right fit for us whether it be a puppy or a slightly started dog.

Anyone have any input on how to check bloodlines or which are known to be superior vs ones that carry some undesirable traits?

thanks!
Hi Bird, welcome to rtf, I may have what you are looking for, I see you don't have enough posts to private message.

You can call or email me

Gregg
404-580-6268 mobile
[email protected]
 

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Bird,

Having just bought a puppy I've found that talking with a pro is highly recommended. They know which dogs are soft, stubborn and what dogs would throw a puppy that will suit your needs. There's plenty of choices in the the 3-4 state area....pro's around here are some of the best in the country. You shouldn't have a problem reaching one that will help.
 

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You're in Minnesota, the problem for you will be narrowing down the dozens of nice choices within an easy drive, depending what part of the state you're in. Reliable started dog with no issues is likely to be tougher than a nice puppy, but you may have a better idea of what you're getting, assuming the seller is honest. I would suggest going to www.entryexpress.net, look up the AKC HT & FT (there are HRC and NAHRA events too, I just don't know where to look for them) being held pretty much every weekend in MN and the surrounding states all summer, go watch some dogs if you can. If you can't, call the club members and pros for some references. If there's a known "freezer", they'd likely have heard about it, if not seen it. That's presuming you consider freezing to be genetic.

Aside from the usual hip/elbow/eye/EIC/CNM clearances, be sure to ask about CCL repairs in either sire, dam or offspring if a repeat breeding.
 

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You need to ask questions to the breeder on your goals...no one else.....
This animal is going to be with you the next 10 or so years...big comment on your part.
This animal can be a great companion to your family...Take some time for your decision...
 

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+1

Gregg has a couple of very nice litters. One is a steal if he has any left.

Gregg, do you have any Sniper female pups left?
Hi Brian, yep, got a female and a male left to place.

Thanks,

Gregg
 

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Second Torgs in Bemidji, they have several nice males, Tanner is an FC AFC Snapper son, old enough to know if his offspring have had health problems, same with their Rooster, I've had nice puppies from both, Torgs do clearances, have been breeding a long time and producing many hunters/HT dogs. Also Bob Owens in Duluth, Romeo is his kennel name though you'd have to search for him on Facebook or call his trainer, Tim Springer/Dynamic Retrievers, he has some super nice females and breeds to good males. TNT /Troy Tillerraas, whelps very nice litters for his own and others, http://tntlabsandkennel.com South of the Cities in Hastings. Those three, I'd not hesitate to buy from (I have bought, bred and trained with all 3) and they know what they are doing. Plenty of other litters from some who don't breed often, just have a litter now and then from their own females, but if you're concerned about the CCL issue, etc, then go with someone who has the experience and history behind them, as well as a decent reputation, because they are going to be paying attention to the stuff like CCL issues, who's maybe throwing more than their share, avoiding doubling up on pedigrees that are known for particular issues, etc. In other words, they are invested in more than just breeding what's on paper that might look good.
 

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if you're concerned about the CCL issue, etc, then go with someone who has the experience and history behind them, as well as a decent reputation, because they are going to be paying attention to the stuff like CCL issues, who's maybe throwing more than their share, avoiding doubling up on pedigrees that are known for particular issues, etc. In other words, they are invested in more than just breeding what's on paper that might look good.
I agree, even though we don't know what the cause is of ccl injuries, we do know certain lines have had their share, and doubling up on them is risky.
 

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Second Torgs in Bemidji, they have several nice males, Tanner is an FC AFC Snapper son, old enough to know if his offspring have had health problems, same with their Rooster, I've had nice puppies from both, Torgs do clearances, have been breeding a long time and producing many hunters/HT dogs. Also Bob Owens in Duluth, Romeo is his kennel name though you'd have to search for him on Facebook or call his trainer, Tim Springer/Dynamic Retrievers, he has some super nice females and breeds to good males. TNT /Troy Tillerraas, whelps very nice litters for his own and others, http://tntlabsandkennel.com South of the Cities in Hastings. Those three, I'd not hesitate to buy from (I have bought, bred and trained with all 3) and they know what they are doing. Plenty of other litters from some who don't breed often, just have a litter now and then from their own females, but if you're concerned about the CCL issue, etc, then go with someone who has the experience and history behind them, as well as a decent reputation, because they are going to be paying attention to the stuff like CCL issues, who's maybe throwing more than their share, avoiding doubling up on pedigrees that are known for particular issues, etc. In other words, they are invested in more than just breeding what's on paper that might look good.
I too would recommend Torgerson and Tillerass camps. I too know both of them well. I have judged these two breeders in the hunt test arena, and have run alongside them in tests for many years. They are concientious breeders of fine dogs. And they and their dogs don't all...HT, NAHRA, HRC AND HUNT! As you are from Minnesota, why go a long ways to find what you are looking for right in your backyard. And I know personally a number of folks and dogs that have come from these kennels and have been just what you are looking for. My cousin has a very good yellow bitch from Torgerson and has had success in the AKC and HRC venues as well as few South Dakota Pheasant excursions. Some of my training partners have dogs from TNT doing well also. Troy Tillerass guides in South Dakota along with others who have some of his pups.
 

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I'm going to jump in here and tell you about my pup - a british FT line lab I purchased from Clay and Martha Stewart at Prairie Plains British Labradors.

Toby successfully completed a 60 yd trail of a freshly shot mallard at 12 weeks of age that was downwind and with a corner and through a cover change. He did this with no help and it was his second ever time to work a trail - first being at 9 weeks of age and very short (this is on youtube and I can pm you the link if you'd like to watch - it is really quite amazing to see the lightbulb come on and then watch him 'line' the trail all the way to the end). His ability to use his nose is amazing and I would give my left nut (oh, wait. I don't have those! LOL) to take him pheasant hunting.

He is VERY quiet. He has a wonderful mouth with birds. He is also compact (11 months now and about 65 lb, tops) and I think very classic field type look (british field). He is a pretty decent marking dog - we run marks to 250-300 yd, but mostly in the up to 150 yd range. So far doing well with double marks and has an impressive water attitude. He is also bird crazy.

I am not saying every brit line lab is like this - I did my research and chose a breeding in which the sire was know to throw his ability, and the dam has her HRCH. I personally would not buy any pup that at least one parent was not field titled in an upper level venue (MH, HRCH, or FC, AFC type).. and I would want to have a fairly good description of each of the parent's attributes - if possible visit in person.

Personality wise, you couldn't ask for better, IMO. He is happy, loves everyone (other dogs included). Wants to please in the worst way and yet does not fall apart under pressure. If he has one drawback it is that he is not terribly keen on yardwork/drills. But that is not terribly unusual.

Juli
 

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Why not look into an American Water Spaniel if you want to upland hunt and run hunt tests (you didn't say if you wanted to run Upland ht's or Retriever ht's). But an AWS can do all of what you want very nicely. We run all of ours in HRC and AKC hunt tests, both Spaniel (upland) and Retriever. They also waterfowl and upland hunt. There are several AWS breeders in MN and WI.
 

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The idea of attending local HT's is a great idea.

As you see dogs you like, simply wait for one to be put on lead for the honor.

Approach the owner leaving the line in disgust with his head hung low and show him your check book.

You should have a good dog at a great price in no time..... ;)
 
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