If you could have your way every time what would be the perfect size for a gun dog and a competition dog? Obviously mental stability and drive matters more then anything just curious on what everyone thinks on size?
We have tall, big, powerful female Labs. There are advantages to being tall, big, and powerful. They can see over cover when on the line as very little obstructs their view. They are powerful swimmers; they can fight a cross-wind and hold a line in water.
The down-side is... big boned, large dogs do seem to break down as they age. Knowing this, we keep our big girls lean and well-muscled. Running weight: 80 - 82 lbs.
See my avatar. That's 82 lb. Ruby. Her daughter Sally (same height) is 80 lbs.
I like the big and tall well balanced Front and Rear, Mainly because they eat up long water swims, and have less problem with current/tide. When your hunting its about getting the birds back as fast as you can so you can go get some more. Goose hunting it's fun to watch a little lab drag in a big goose, but the big dogs can do it all day I do have friends with pocket labs (~47-55lb), they are untouched for quail hunting can get in pretty much anywhere, where as my bigger dogs, although they try, get pretty tore up. So for upland maybe a smaller dog is better. Better yet you can be like one trainer I know. He has one of the biggest Males (~90-95lb) and one of the smallest (~45lb soaking wet), makes for a photo opportunity, when he runs them together. Ironically they are both out of the same normal sized lines, never know what your going to get when you breed labs
Males not less than 75#. Females 65-80. Should look like a lab in terms of head and body style ( not like you could stab them into a tree hole but not one with short stubs and a head like a newf..)
All in a perfect package of trainability and marking, please....
I know I dont ask much.
I think it's your preference! I like a tall dog for HT. Although I hunt out of a pirogue which tips very easy. So the way I perfer to hunt a small dog is best. No matter what size they need to be intelligent and stylish.
My BLM is about 67# he can go all day though an advantage of a smaller lab seems like. He is a good swimmer as well. Sometimes I wish he was a tad bit bigger but then I realize be thankful for whatcha have !!
I like black dogs who are exceptional markers, have an above average level of retrieving desire, are highly trainable with a good response to pressure, who have a good attitude about water. Size, who cares but big can be too big for me. Two of my all-time favorite bitches, FC-AFC Trumarc's Lean Cuisine (68lbs) and FC-AFC Trumarc's Li'l Ms Pogo (50 lbs), very similar in ability very dissimilar in size.
At our hunt test last weekend my 52 lb. female sat up like a bunny on her back side to watch a mark. I’ve never seen her / any other dog do that ... There are advantages to have a bit larger dogs I suppose - but all 4 of my girls are between 42 and 53lbs .... I like my "pocket rockets".
I prefer a smaller lab. My current dog is 48lbs and will flat it move across a rice field. She will also hit a crippled goose like she is about thirty pounds heavier. Like someone mentioned above, its all about drive and desire though. My brothers dog is about the same size and does not move near as quick as Missy. But she also doesn't have quite the drive.
I could be wrong but it seems like the trend I was seeing down South before I moved up to Canada was a preference for smaller dogs. If I'm right about that, i think it has a lot to do with hunting conditions, heat etc.
I've got one that is about 70 lbs and another one that just turned 1 year old and she is tiny (40 lbs). I was hoping she'd be in about the 50 lbs range but the smaller size is nice around the house. She has tremendous drive and desire.
My yellow female Maggie weighs in at 55-57# and 22 1/2" at the withers. She's the smallest lab I've ever owned but also the most powerful. Her chest muscles are well developed and she's the best swimmer I've owned. I guess she'd be called a pocket rocket.
I prefer a smaller lab for only one reason....jumping out of the boat!....My buds 95 lb. beast damn near flips us when we're out on the little 8 footer hunting the backwater areas. We shoot a duck and then grab our coffee cups and guns and brace ourselves before sending him....LOL.
When we are out on the 16 footer in big water it doesn't make much of a difference.......but that made up my mind in looking for a smaller dog.
My current dog tank will probably only weigh in at 50-60 when he's full grown and I'm happy with that.
drive, heart, blah blah....I agree but you can't tell that kind of stuff until the dogs older....usually you can predict size based upon the pup and parents......size should be a consideration when choosing a pup.