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Hi Guys,

I'm new here and new to training. I do have a less than ideal situation that I wanted to run by some more experienced gentlemen. Here's the situation:

I work as a houseparent at a residential care facility. I'm an avid duck hunter and actually get the opportunity to take some of the students in the program out hunting. My administration has a rule, and understandably so, if a staff member's dog in anyway nips/bites a student, the dog has to go. SO.... for me, financially it wouldn't be all that smart to invest in a registered dog or a dog that is professionally trained. My thought is that at this point I think that the best bet is a craigslist or rescue dog. I might get lucky and find a breeder that has a dog that doesn't pass health, hip, eye inspections, but I'm not counting on it.

The question is this: do you guys have any suggestions as to how to identify character traits that would suggest a pup/young lab, that isn't necessarily pedigreed, might be a good hunting dog?

I'm new to this and look forward to learning as much as I can!

Thanks for any information!
 

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Or you could get a well bred dog with a pleasant temperament, and train him or her well. I've had seven retrievers over a more than twenty year period and I have never had a dog come close to biting or nipping someone. Odds are much greater getting a craigslist dog with biting issues...
 

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I currently have 5 labs and none of them nip or bite anyone. You might want to research the breed.

Lonnie Spann
 

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When you say residential care facility what type of client are you dealing with? The reason I ask is sometimes in certain settings such as you are mention no fault of the client but they may be upset at the dog or lack certain understanding regarding the dog and not necessarily mean to be mean but are mean to the dog through no fault of their own. I take my dogs all through the nursing homes and I advocate for my dog so as not to put him in any harms way of the clients. I have had only one person kick the dog. My dogs are not aggressive nor did the older guy do anything when kicked at. So what I am trying to say is a Lab is a very suitable dog in any setting but you are the dog's advocate and have to be watching all the time.Labs generally do not nite and are very congenial JMHO
 

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It's admirable what you are doing.
 

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Having a tough time following the logic of the OP.
So am I, starting w/ the "gentlemen" part. ;) OP, there are a lot of experienced women on this list also!

That aside, I have worked w/ rescue for a number of years, in addition to having my own Labrador breeding program. I have run into far more temperament issues w/ rescues than with Labs from known/respected pedigrees.

Many of the so called "Labs" and Lab mixes in the shelters and advertised on CL are pit or shep mixes, and do not have near the unflappable temperaments as our good old purebred Labs.

Get a well bred pup, go to training classes, and have fun! Anne
 

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I would think giving up any dog would be traumatic either way, especially after investing the time, money, and effort in training to the point of being a good hunting retriever. As stated earlier, it would be much more likely to have threat of a nip-induced injury from a rescued dog without known history and so forth. Granted, I would also be worried with any dog that if a student were to accept a bird from a dog and the dog mouthed at all when giving it up, any tooth contact could feasibly be perceived as a nip/bite. You may need to have strict rules in place where the only one doing anything around the dog's face (except perhaps petting when an appropriate time) is you?
 

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I have had labs for over thirty years and never had any of them bite, although one got my thumb thinking it was a hotdog and completely my fault. I have been bitten breaking up dog fights, but that is another matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info! The clients I deal with are children that have gone through some sort of neglect or abuse. The organization screens children and will only take students that show characteristics of potential. So we wouldn't be working with kids that outright want to cause harm. So that is a plus, in this situation.

I do apologize for being specific to gentlemen. I associate training dogs to hunting, which is primarily a mans sport. Not to say that women don't enjoy hunting. Its just predominantly a mans sport. Please forgive me, rocking the boat would be the last thing I would want to do. The information on here has already been invaluable.

I understand what is being said by the suggestions of buying a purebred dog and taking the pup to training. I'm having a hard time justifying the price/training. Especially because I'm not so certain that having a dog will work out for our family (I haven't owned a dog in 8 years).

John Robinson you bring up a good point. As I am still very green behind the ears, what are some good ways to identify a good temperament at a young age?
 

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I would suggest, that you really discuss this matter with your family before you get ANY dog, rescued or purebred, and if you choose to go ahead, that you have a plan and the determination to really make it work. A dog is a commitment for the life of the dog, and it's really not fair to go into it thinking that you'll keep it if it works out and get rid of it if it doesn't. If you can't find someone to take that dog, that means the dog gets put down.

Puppies are demanding, and messy and loud and you can double all that if you already have kids too. They need constant attention, and constant training, and if you're not committed to do that, it's not going to work.

That being said, I have had both rescue dogs and now a purebred Chessie, and I highly recommend getting a purebred dog from a reputeable breeder. With a rescue dog, you do have a chance of getting a really nice dog, but there's a much greater chance that the dog will have health, behavior, or temperment problems. Remember, there's a reason it's at the shelter and not with an owner. If you do find a litter of puppies at a shelter, there's a high liklihood that it was a completely accidental breeding, that should never have taken place. I know a lady that used to sell "purebred" GSDs, for a really reasonable price. It sounded like a great deal...it was cheap...the parents were so nice...they were also mother and son, and there had been so much inbreeding, that the sire (dam's son) was dumb as a box of rocks. That is commonplace with shelter dogs.

There's also the price issue. Shelter dogs in my area generally run from $150 - $350 a piece...plus the fee to spay or neuter (neuter through our local vet is $300.00, though you usually get a $50. off coupon) You are contracted to spay or neuter the dog. Vet care for the first few months is a couple hundred $$$ more....add on a decent food, heartworm and tick protection, and that shelter dog isn't much cheaper than a purebred in the long run.

My advice, would be to really hash this out with the family, and if you're committed to making this work no matter what, then contact a few local breeders of decent hunting dogs. You don't need a champion, you need a decent dog with good hunting potential with a sire and dam with excellent temperments and good health. If you get a well bred dog, you up the chances of this being a great experience.
 

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Also, regarding temperment, visit the breeder, talk with him/her about your needs, and check out the sire and dam. When I found our Chessie's breeder, we had a long discussion on what we wanted our pup to do, and what kind of temperment we needed it to have. She made her suggestions on which sire would be better considering our situation, and she was right.
 

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Hi Guys,

I'm new here and new to training. I do have a less than ideal situation that I wanted to run by some more experienced gentlemen. Here's the situation:

I work as a houseparent at a residential care facility. I'm an avid duck hunter and actually get the opportunity to take some of the students in the program out hunting. My administration has a rule, and understandably so, if a staff member's dog in anyway nips/bites a student, the dog has to go. SO.... for me, financially it wouldn't be all that smart to invest in a registered dog or a dog that is professionally trained. My thought is that at this point I think that the best bet is a craigslist or rescue dog. I might get lucky and find a breeder that has a dog that doesn't pass health, hip, eye inspections, but I'm not counting on it.

The question is this: do you guys have any suggestions as to how to identify character traits that would suggest a pup/young lab, that isn't necessarily pedigreed, might be a good hunting dog?

I'm new to this and look forward to learning as much as I can!

Thanks for any information!
when you say have to go does that mean put down? it sounds like a no win situation even if you get a rescue dog you will have to put in lots of time training I don't think I would risk it
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everyone for the great advice. I am finding out more and more quickly that this isn't going to be a situation we blindly walk into. I will clarify by saying this. I would never put down a dog. I might, however, have to give it to a buddy of mine rather than keep it. I really appreciate the depth of insight you all have been able to offer! My wife and I will be talking rather deeply about it.

Thanks again!
 

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Another thing to consider, is that some teething puppies nip and gnaw on you and you have to actively train them not to. Our Chessie chewed on everybody in our house and it was not an overnight thing to cure him of it due to the teething. We had to be committed as a family ( kids included) to train him not to do this. With your job's nip/bite rules, it may be an issue in your situation where you cannot let your clent's interact with the dog until it's past that stage.
 
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