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#6061518 - 12/01/15 07:37 PM Waterfowl pup
Blue drake Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/08/12
Posts: 115
Loc: Hog eye duck hole
Ok guys I am looking to get a lab hopefully this summer. I need some good advice on selecting a lab. This includes where to get one. This will be my first pup and I will train it on my own. Hopefully!

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#6061534 - 12/01/15 07:43 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
BradyBuck Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5128
Loc: Abilene, TX
How far are you willing to travel?

Price range?

Are you wanting a pup with Hunt test or field trial pedigree?

What is your expectation of the dog?

Make sure parents have health clearances.

I just went through this process and learned a lot!

I put a deposit down on a pup from Washita Retrievers.

Kanati Kennels in Brownwoid has a nice litter on the way and is expecting another in the spring.

Check them out.


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#6061544 - 12/01/15 07:48 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Duke4456 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/29/15
Posts: 141
Loc: Naples Tx
Me and buddy trained his black lab ourselves he read several books and we probably put 200 plus hours in on working with the dog and I can say that he is no field trial dog but gets the job done every time we take him out and my buddy only paid $450 for him. It's not how much you spend on a pup but how much time you put in to training it.
_________________________
Your worst day of hunting is always better than your best day at work

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#6061581 - 12/01/15 07:58 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Ramball36 Online   content


Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 8963
Loc: McKinney
As long as the pup is healthy the rest doesn't matter as much, especially if you're training him on your own. I got our pup off cl and "trained" him myself. Sometimes I feel sorry for him for having an ignorant teacher, but he fetches birds, doesn't break, and stays calm while birds are working so overall I'm really happy with him.
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Custom Hunting/Outdoor Products
Dealer for West Texas Feeder Supply with "THE Timer"!

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#6061614 - 12/01/15 08:13 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Esh and Hattie Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/05/14
Posts: 310
Loc: N Texas
popcorn popcorn

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#6061697 - 12/01/15 08:47 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Texas Bowhunter Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 281
Hunters Creek Retrievers in Houston produces excellent family/gun dogs. I purchased one of his dogs as my first hunting dog and trained him myself. On Saturday my 2 year old black lab ran a 150 yard open water blind on a crippled goose and brought back that 15 pound live bird into the wind, and is currently asleep in my lap. These dogs truly have on and off switches. John Tate, the owner of the operation, truly knows his dogs.

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#6061789 - 12/01/15 09:31 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Txcatman1 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 802
Loc: S texas
Doesnt really matter the background or bloodline of the dog, the owner makes the dog, of any breed for that matter. You have to be stern and loving as well, but you can't let em get away with anything whatsoever when they're in that soak up knowledge stage of their life. The first 6 months is absolutely crucial, no bad habits learned and you won't have to work to fix anything. I worked with my lab 3-4 times a day from when she was about 8 weeks until she was a year old. Can't overdue a session, always end on a good note. You can get a dog off the street and work it enough an you'll see what their capable of. I've seen $3000 dogs that I wouldn't want to be in the blind with if you paid me to. Buddy of mine was given a lab at about 2 years old and she was a fat couch dog, and within 6 month she was an absolute machine, if you have the time and patience it doesn't matter where you get the dog from. Just train em right, if your gonna leave the dog locked up for 8 hrs at a time then don't expect much out of it. Just depends on what you want, if you want a kennel dog that gets fired up like a rocket when it's time to go then you have to find a way to harness that and control it or get more of a submissive relaxed home dog that your baby's can crawl all over and get the job done when it's time to hunt. Just train em right and it doesn't matter much where you get em from
_________________________
Texas fur and skull buyer
Greg Novak
Gnovakswa@gmail.com
361-793-6706

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#6061814 - 12/01/15 09:49 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
TrackQuack Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 438
To say that genetics don't matter is simply foolish. Your best bet is picking a dog who has parents that are good hunters with the characteristics that you want. Then make a plan and stick to it as far as how you will train the dog but be flexible as to when the dog will be proficient. Also, if your getting a puppy in the summer it would most likely be the following season that you would have a hunting dog. It's a big commitment but well worth it.

Still can't get over, an owner makes a dog and genetics don't matter.......

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#6061835 - 12/01/15 09:58 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: TrackQuack]
BradyBuck Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5128
Loc: Abilene, TX
Originally Posted By: TrackQuack
To say that genetics don't matter is simply foolish. Your best bet is picking a dog who has parents that are good hunters with the characteristics that you want. Then make a plan and stick to it as far as how you will train the dog but be flexible as to when the dog will be proficient. Also, if your getting a puppy in the summer it would most likely be the following season that you would have a hunting dog. It's a big commitment but well worth it.

Still can't get over, an owner makes a dog and genetics don't matter.......


X2

You stack your odds of getting a great pup by getting one that has great parents.

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#6061958 - 12/01/15 11:35 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Txcatman1 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 802
Loc: S texas
Lol I didn't mean that genetics didn't matter, I should have stated that better, of course it helps but it's honestly about 20% of what that dogs potential will be, the other 80 is what the owner does. I'm just saying I've seen dogs that have come off the street that will out perform field trial champs, I've trained plenty of dogs and used to work field trials outside of rockport. I've seen amazing dogs work, you know why those dogs are awesome, because they are trained and worked every day all day long, not because what his dam or sire did 5 years ago, you can buy the most expensive dog with the best paperwork out there but if you don't put the time in then it doesn't matter, that's all I was saying.
_________________________
Texas fur and skull buyer
Greg Novak
Gnovakswa@gmail.com
361-793-6706

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#6061982 - 12/02/15 12:19 AM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: TrackQuack]
Txcatman1 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 802
Loc: S texas
Originally Posted By: TrackQuack
To say that genetics don't matter is simply foolish. Your best bet is picking a dog who has parents that are good hunters with the characteristics that you want. Then make a plan and stick to it as far as how you will train the dog but be flexible as to when the dog will be proficient. Also, if your getting a puppy in the summer it would most likely be the following season that you would have a hunting dog. It's a big commitment but well worth it.

Still can't get over, an owner makes a dog and genetics don't matter.......


As far as hunting the first season, Just depends how much you work with em like I said, you get that dog living for retrieving they'll be ready to go 6 months.






That's my dog at like 10-12 weeks, sitting on hand signals next to me and staying until I sent her and putting the bird in hand. She hunted 3-4 times a week at 6 months old with 20 plus retrieves a hunt. You want a machine you gotta build it


Edited by Txcatman1 (12/02/15 12:29 AM)
_________________________
Texas fur and skull buyer
Greg Novak
Gnovakswa@gmail.com
361-793-6706

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#6063069 - 12/02/15 03:20 PM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
Creek2Creek Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 272
Loc: NTX Bottomland
^^^^what he said...

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#6064204 - 12/03/15 08:03 AM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
cactusflyr Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/08/12
Posts: 134
Iron Spike Kennels.....hands down. Lots of guys on forum have her dogs. Best dog I have owned. NE of Houston. http://www.ironspikekennels.com/

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#6064301 - 12/03/15 08:53 AM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: Blue drake]
BarneyWho Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 2792
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
WOW at some of the responses. scared

I've been down both roads. I bought my first lab from a back yard breeder. Dog was great and a life long friend. Still miss him to this day, but I'd say I got very lucky with that purchase. His hips went out, and I had to have him put to sleep. Not something I ever want to go thru again!

Buying a puppy from a proven line with certain traits isn't 100% a sure thing, but it greatly reduces the variables of just picking one off craig's list with the #1 thing being the health of the dog. There's nothing worse in this world short of losing a family member than loosing a retriever. It's a bond most people who don't hunt will never understand and a commitment. I'd hate to know I shortened that experience of ownership with hip and eye issues in my dog that could have been avoided with buying a quality puppy. That's first and foremost in my mind. You also can't teach drive in a dog. They either have it or they don't. Sure labs are smart enough that you can get them to retrieve if they don't have it, but again you greatly reduce this chance if you pick from a quality litter. Puppies are like children. They are going to have qualities their parents have. So here's a question:

If you were the GM of an NFL team and had to burn a draft pick on a 6 month child, would you:
A) pick the child from a proven Hall of Fame NFL player who's wife was an Olympic champion or
B) from two little people you meet on the street with zero knowledge of their background?

I know. Extreme example, but I think we both agree the odds of having an NFL player from one of the examples far exceeds the other although neither is 100%.


If you are wanting a pure meat/hunting dog, I'd find at the very least an HRCH sire and dam that have both hip and eye guarantees. Just my .02!
_________________________

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#6064336 - 12/03/15 09:11 AM Re: Waterfowl pup [Re: BarneyWho]
Jeff Elder Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 6203
Loc: Weatherford/Albany / Matagorda...
Originally Posted By: BarneyWho
WOW at some of the responses. scared

I've been down both roads. I bought my first lab from a back yard breeder. Dog was great and a life long friend. Still miss him to this day, but I'd say I got very lucky with that purchase. His hips went out, and I had to have him put to sleep. Not something I ever want to go thru again!

Buying a puppy from a proven line with certain traits isn't 100% a sure thing, but it greatly reduces the variables of just picking one off craig's list with the #1 thing being the health of the dog. There's nothing worse in this world short of losing a family member than loosing a retriever. It's a bond most people who don't hunt will never understand and a commitment. I'd hate to know I shortened that experience of ownership with hip and eye issues in my dog that could have been avoided with buying a quality puppy. That's first and foremost in my mind. You also can't teach drive in a dog. They either have it or they don't. Sure labs are smart enough that you can get them to retrieve if they don't have it, but again you greatly reduce this chance if you pick from a quality litter. Puppies are like children. They are going to have qualities their parents have. So here's a question:

If you were the GM of an NFL team and had to burn a draft pick on a 6 month child, would you:
A) pick the child from a proven Hall of Fame NFL player who's wife was an Olympic champion or
B) from two little people you meet on the street with zero knowledge of their background?

I know. Extreme example, but I think we both agree the odds of having an NFL player from one of the examples far exceeds the other although neither is 100%.


If you are wanting a pure meat/hunting dog, I'd find at the very least an HRCH sire and dam that have both hip and eye guarantees. Just my .02!


up
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www.silvercreekguideservice.com

Cell 817-597-0781

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