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#5559045 - 01/22/15 07:38 PM how to select a gun dog
Rollin Shabbos Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 617
Loc: Allen
I am starting the search for a hunting companion. I am looking for insight and tips on how to identify good b readers and selecting a good dog. I have an amazing lab that came with a very nice pedigree. She ended up being gun shy. That's fine and she is an awesome family dog. That said I am hoping to find another lab that will be a better hunter. Preferably one that has been started. Any tips or pointers is greatly appreciated. What should u ask or look for?
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#5559138 - 01/22/15 08:20 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
A started dog should pretty much be a no brainer as you get to see the dog perform prior to purchasing. However IMO the first thing that you should do is take a self evaluation and decide what your goals will be for this dog. Do you want a young dog that is just picking up singles or do you want a dog that is a little further along and running multiples and blinds? How often and hard do you hunt? Do you go a few times a year with a son or daughter and shoot 4-5 ducks or do you run and gun with three buddies every day of the season. Do you want a barn burner with lots of style or a more tractable dog that is maybe a little less stylish or more of a team player. Most reputable people are going to ask these questions because they want to make sure that the dog is a good fit with the potential buyer. Beware of the bargain started dog, there is almost always a story. If the dog is over two make sure that health clearances have been completed. Ask for a grace period to take the dog to your vet and have him evaluated for general soundness. If possible take someone with you to look at the dog that is at least a seasoned amateur. Go watch some hunt tests or get with your local pro or training group to see what traits and level of training you like in a dog and compare when you go to look at a potential purchase.

This is a big time and money investment. Take the time to evaluate exactly what you want and be willing to wait until its available.

Good luck.
_________________________
Tony Marshall
Maximum Intensity Retrievers
https://m.facebook.com/maximumintensity.retrievers
(903) 720-6842

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#5559624 - 01/23/15 02:30 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
Rollin Shabbos Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 617
Loc: Allen
Thank you Tony. Great information. We are definitely not a run an gun duck hunter. I am more of take the kids hunting and knock down a few birds. That said, I like to do more than just duck. So the dog would be hunted more than just duck season. Primarily a family member first hunter second.
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#5559808 - 01/23/15 08:11 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
Ok. Your goals are very realistic and doable. Most people looking for a waterfowl dog usually want their dogs to dove hunt and pick up the occasional goose as well. I find that once a dog has the basics it is relatively easy to switch gears and hunt different species with them. My advice to people that have not really had a lot of experience with dogs is to visit your local pro or club training day and stand at the line and watch multiple dogs run and maybe even run a few if you can. Offer to throw some birds and see what the dogs look like out in the field. A lot of perspective can be gained being the birdboy. See what level of drive, style, temperament, and training you like and go from there.

One last piece of advice would be to start saving your pennies. A good dog is not cheap but is an investment that you get what you pay for. Research prices and get your significant other on board before anything else.
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Tony Marshall
Maximum Intensity Retrievers
https://m.facebook.com/maximumintensity.retrievers
(903) 720-6842

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#5559991 - 01/23/15 09:35 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
TXPride Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 1876
Loc: Lost

Another thing to keep in mind, is you may not necessarily want a hard charging full of go dog. they sure look pretty, but they can be the type where you will need to be quick with corrections and hold a good standard. (yes, there are exceptions)

I have had labs in the past that come from pet/hunt lines that make good duck dogs but aren't as stylish or a ton of drive. My new lab comes from hunt tests/ field trial lines and has sometimes almost too much go, and requires a lot more time on my part for training.

With that said, I'm getting more into the Hunt tests and training as a hobby, so I would rather have that than a slow dog with not much drive. They are also both great family dogs, one just takes more time to release energy.

Whichever route you go, take Tony's recommendations serious. Ask about health clearances and be honest with the breeder/seller/trainer on what you are looking for and expect. Budget at least a couple thousand if you go with someone reputable. Seems like a lot, but if you factor in cost of puppy, a year or so of training, feed, etc., you are coming out ahead.

Good luck.
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#5560132 - 01/23/15 10:47 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
TexasEd Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 5000
Loc: Cedar Park, Texas
I also have a dog from pet lines with plenty of go for hunting but relaxed enough to be a pet too. She's one of the best behaved dogs I've seen in a blind because while she has a desire to retrieve she does not whine or get too jacked up in between birds or when the birds are coming in before they're shot. She has also been excellent on hunts with more than one dog.

Some of the high octane dogs have problems with those things and it takes a lot of extra training.
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#5560376 - 01/23/15 12:53 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
kindall Offline


Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Spring, Tx
The hardest part has always been knowing exactly what you want from a dog. I think you have that part figured out.
Next is knowing someone that has been around a lot of the bloodlines, and knows what litters will be coming up, or who has a started dog that would fit you perfect. Retriever clubs, and hunt tests are the perfect way to meet those type of people. If you have all your ducks in a row, you could probably ask Tony to keep an eye out for you.
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Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



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#5560794 - 01/23/15 04:42 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
colt45 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 5397
Loc: bastrop county
imho, every future hunting dog owner should evaluate ones self, in other word's, do I have the knowledge to start with a puppy, do I have the knowledge to hunt with a broke dog, not saying you fit this category, I have taken guest's on hunts that absolutely did not know how to hunt over dogs. this reason I bring this up, in your words the lab that you have now turned out to be gun shy, that was a man made mistake.
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#5561725 - 01/24/15 08:36 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
Rollin Shabbos Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 617
Loc: Allen
Great advice. I really appreciate all the feedback. Interesting comment from Colt45. Not sure how my lab became gun shy. She came from a great line of field trial dogs. Regardless she worked out extremely well for our family. She likes to hunt sheds. Not great at it but I blame the trainer (me) she has found some. Anyway, I am going to listen and take all of the advice below And start my hunt for a started dog. I prefer a started dog over a pup as I am great at training manners and home obedience but don't have a clue on hunt trainer. What ever dog I end up with I am hoping the trainer can train me on keeping the dog up and how to work her. (I prefer girl dogs)


PS. This was my Wife's idea. So she is on board!!!
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#5561873 - 01/24/15 10:25 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
Originally Posted By: Rollin Shabbos
Great advice. I really appreciate all the feedback. Interesting comment from Colt45. Not sure how my lab became gun shy. She came from a great line of field trial dogs. Regardless she worked out extremely well for our family. She likes to hunt sheds. Not great at it but I blame the trainer (me) she has found some. Anyway, I am going to listen and take all of the advice below And start my hunt for a started dog. I prefer a started dog over a pup as I am great at training manners and home obedience but don't have a clue on hunt trainer. What ever dog I end up with I am hoping the trainer can train me on keeping the dog up and how to work her. (I prefer girl dogs)


PS. This was my Wife's idea. So she is on board!!!


Does she know its going to cost as much as a new high efficiency washer and dryer?
_________________________
Tony Marshall
Maximum Intensity Retrievers
https://m.facebook.com/maximumintensity.retrievers
(903) 720-6842

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#5561903 - 01/24/15 11:02 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
Rollin Shabbos Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 617
Loc: Allen
LOL. I don't think I want to approach it that way. Lol. I rather approach it as a way to bond with my boys and introduce them to the world of bird hunting.
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#5562513 - 01/24/15 07:23 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
bentman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 1175
Loc: tx
Call Burnt Oak kennels the owners name is Will White he will point you in the right direction. .burntoakkennels.com He has plenty of refrences
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#5563712 - 01/25/15 02:40 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
TXPride Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 1876
Loc: Lost
How old is your other dog? Have you considered taking it to a pro for a while to see if the gun shyness can be overcame?

Just another option for you to consider.


Edited by TXPride (01/25/15 02:40 PM)
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#5564372 - 01/25/15 08:58 PM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: Rollin Shabbos]
kbobbjr Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/01/05
Posts: 2610
Loc: Josephine, Tx
I have 2 males available. I know you said you prefer females. You're welcome to come out to look at them (even if you're not interested in buying them) just so you have an idea of what a started dog is and what they should be able to do. I'm in Farmersville which isn't far from you.
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Castile Creek Kennels South
214-491-9257
www.castilecreekkennels.com
www.facebook.com/castilecreekkennels.com

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#5593989 - 02/11/15 10:33 AM Re: how to select a gun dog [Re: TXPride]
Rollin Shabbos Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/25/10
Posts: 617
Loc: Allen
Originally Posted By: TXPride
How old is your other dog? Have you considered taking it to a pro for a while to see if the gun shyness can be overcame?

Just another option for you to consider.


Belle is 4.5 years old. Would love to learn how to coach it out of her...
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