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Mar 25th, 2012
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Labrador Questions #6929090
10/22/17 09:57 PM
10/22/17 09:57 PM
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Aledo, Tx
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Looking to get our first Lab sometime in the next few months. Will primarily be a family pet. But would like to train and hunt some with it as well. Had a few questions:

1. What color is best for obedience, hunting, family pet? Or is there not really a big difference?

2. English or American Lab and why?

3. How should I expect to pay?

Thanks!

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6929138
10/22/17 10:49 PM
10/22/17 10:49 PM
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Your answeres...
1) Color is cosmetic only. Like saying what's faster, red or black corvette?
2) I say cosmetic again, you want block head or narrow head?
3) Cash is king.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6929377
10/23/17 01:33 AM
10/23/17 01:33 AM
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Probably unpopular opinion here...but if it's just going to be a house dog that you hunt with sometimes you can train any lab to retrieve ducks. By train I mean any lab will retrieve things already, you don't have to train them. You do have to train them to sit quietly in the stand next to you, be steady on gunfire, and bring the duck back to you. The time you spend training your dog is far more important than how much you forked over to get it home. If you have no interest in doing hunt trials or guiding professionally, a $300 backyard dog isn't going to be much different than a $2000 top pedigree dog. You are going to pay more for health clearances like hip and eye certs and AKC registered dogs. If both parents are available to see you might be able to evaluate temperament and drive a little better. Just have to decide if it's worth the money to you.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6929785
10/23/17 01:15 PM
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Thanks!

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: Exbellicus] #6929872
10/23/17 02:12 PM
10/23/17 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Exbellicus
a $300 backyard dog isn't going to be much different than a $2000 top pedigree dog. You are going to pay more for health clearances like hip and eye certs and AKC registered dogs.


I don't agree with this at all. The health clearances and breeding the right pair of dogs to set you up for success that is what you are paying for...almost all $300 are two buddies with labs hooking them up to get 2500-3000 for the litter and almost ZERO attention paid to health clearances and temperament/drive factors.

You get what you pay for in a high performing gun dog. Not saying there aren't deals out there because there is but they won't come at $300 and they aren't even close to being the same dogs.

I agree with Guy on his answers.


Originally Posted By: Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6929890
10/23/17 02:25 PM
10/23/17 02:25 PM
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If you have limited experience, one of those 2k might be too much for you to handle anyway.


Originally Posted By: Fooshman
I'll take a Black Female every time.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930110
10/23/17 05:39 PM
10/23/17 05:39 PM
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Here are a few things you need to really take into consideration.

#1 Color is just preference but in general there are more black labs overall and more black labs running upper level Field Trials and more in Hunt test as well. With that said you will have no issue finding very well bred and healthy pups from all three colors. Those colors are black, yellow and chocolate and those colors only.

The most important thing IMO is Health. It is more than worth the initial investment to purchase a puppy out of health tested parents. Minimum EIC, CNM along with OFA hips, elbows and eye certifications. You’ll want a breeder that offers a 26 month health guarantee.



#2 True English Field bred dogs don’t look any different than American Field bred dogs. The term “English lab” has been turned into a slang word for the bigger block headed type labs.

Buy pup that out of parents that are titled or at minimum you have been able to observe them work and know they can do what you want your pup to do.

#3 expect to pay $800-$1500 to get a pup out of titled, health tested parents. The initial cost could save you much much more in the long run.



I sold a litter of pups about 9 years ago and luckily all those pups that I’m aware of are healthy and good hunting/house pets. I didn’t know a lot about the “right” way to do things and got lucky.

I personally won’t buy or breed another pup or litter from untested parents. It’s to big a risk and you could end up paying more in the long run.




Last edited by BradyBuck; 10/23/17 07:35 PM.
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: Exbellicus] #6930388
10/23/17 09:35 PM
10/23/17 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: Exbellicus
a $300 backyard dog isn't going to be much different than a $2000 top pedigree dog.


that's pretty inaccurate (trying to bite my tongue). After having bought a backyard breed lab and watched it suffer with hips going out to having to make the decision to put it down, I'd highly suggest you do your homework and buy a quality breed dog with the health certifications. This dog will become part of your family. So, do yourself and your family the justice of buying a dog that doesn't have a history of a hip or eye disorder. I'm not saying run out and buy a $2000 dog, but I'd at least buy one where the sire and dam have hip and eye certs. I'd want my dogs to be EIC and CNM clear as well.


Re: Labrador Questions [Re: Judd] #6930421
10/23/17 09:54 PM
10/23/17 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Judd
Originally Posted By: Exbellicus
a $300 backyard dog isn't going to be much different than a $2000 top pedigree dog. You are going to pay more for health clearances like hip and eye certs and AKC registered dogs.


I don't agree with this at all. The health clearances and breeding the right pair of dogs to set you up for success that is what you are paying for...almost all $300 are two buddies with labs hooking them up to get 2500-3000 for the litter and almost ZERO attention paid to health clearances and temperament/drive factors.

You get what you pay for in a high performing gun dog. Not saying there aren't deals out there because there is but they won't come at $300 and they aren't even close to being the same dogs.

I agree with Guy on his answers.


I agree with all this. Spend the extra money and get a quality pup. Expect to spend $800-1,200 depending on the pedigree. A $300 dog will be WAY more likely to have hip and elbow dysplasia than a $1,000 due to lack of testing for health issues. You get what you pay for.

1. Color doesn't matter, but don't get one of the designer colors like silver or red. Labs should be Black, Yellow or Chocolate.

2. Doesn't matter assuming they both come from a good high quality pedigree with health clearances. From what I've seen the Americans tend to be a little smaller, lighter, faster and more hard charging than the British labs, but both can make damn fine dogs just depends what you want. I have an American field trail lab and he is really hard charging in the field but lazy as could be in the house. He is a great house dog, people call this the "on/off switch", but not all dogs are that way.

3. Most breeders will take a check but like Guy said cash is king.

Look on the Retriever Training Forum for upcoming litters.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930482
10/23/17 10:39 PM
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I agree with the above statement except for the thoughts about “red” labs.

Unlike the other designer colors like silver, charcoal or champagne the dark yellow/red color has been documented since the beginning of the breed.

There are several FC AFC dogs that would be concidered “fox red” the important thing with color is to streer clear of breeders breeding only for color or color being their main selling point.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930512
10/23/17 11:03 PM
10/23/17 11:03 PM
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1. Black
2. Both
3. Tamales (if "much" was supposed to be in your question, the answer is how many tamales do you want to part with)

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930522
10/23/17 11:08 PM
10/23/17 11:08 PM
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I was having a conversation with some buddies around the campfire I was dove hunting with a couple of weeks ago about their labs. I had my Shorthair pup with me. All of them had fine lab retrievers. One of them was selling his gyp for $7500 and having second thoughts about it, but his other dogs were just as good. I'm no lab guy and have only had one chocolate that was just ok. Every one of them swore against the chocolates and had different bad experiences with them. They claim they have been bred for the Color too much. They convinced me. If I were to buy another one, which I never would, it would be a black.

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: scalebuster] #6930557
10/23/17 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I was having a conversation with some buddies around the campfire I was dove hunting with a couple of weeks ago about their labs. I had my Shorthair pup with me. All of them had fine lab retrievers. One of them was selling his gyp for $7500 and having second thoughts about it, but his other dogs were just as good. I'm no lab guy and have only had one chocolate that was just ok. Every one of them swore against the chocolates and had different bad experiences with them. They claim they have been bred for the Color too much. They convinced me. If I were to buy another one, which I never would, it would be a black.


I think there is some truth to that. There have been breeders who bred just for the brown color.

However, the all time high point derby dog is chocolate and there are numerous AFC FC chocolates and too many fine Hunt Test dogs to count. One of top producing studs in the hunt test game is
4X GRHRCH UH Big Mamou's Run Forest Run MH, MNH5** who is chocolate




Last edited by BradyBuck; 10/23/17 11:39 PM.
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930602
10/24/17 12:10 AM
10/24/17 12:10 AM
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Well if you are a very experienced dog man and saw what you are looking for, regardless of where it is bred, I wouldn't even have to say go for it. For most everyone else, pedigree and health clearances along with a repeat breeding of a proven cross, really stack the odds of ending up with what you want in your favor. One thing that has not been mentioned is bidability. Ask the breeder. If you don't hear what you want keep looking. For a first time gundog owner, a very biddable dog can make things go sooo much easier.

As for color, anyone that has been around many labs has seen some very good ones in all three colors. Let performance be your guide. After saying that, lighter and tighter coats are an advantage in the Texas summers.

Good luck with the new dog,

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 10/24/17 12:11 AM.

Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930678
10/24/17 12:54 AM
10/24/17 12:54 AM
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Thanks everyone! Great info. I just realized I left out the word “much” in my third question. Haha!

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6930861
10/24/17 02:42 AM
10/24/17 02:42 AM
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Look for litters whose parents have the titles FC, AFC, or HRCH before their names, or MH title after. These dogs will hunt, no matter what color. You won't find any designer colors with these titles.

Robby

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6931615
10/24/17 06:04 PM
10/24/17 06:04 PM
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1 color is cosmetic, but I like black

2. ENGLISH, BS on it just being head shape. in my exsperience the English bred dogs are Healthier, more trainable, and overall less likely to be a psychotic waste of dog food or a giant baby/couch potato.

3. You get what you pay for... there are some great dogs without big pedigree... but if your playing the odds game the proven lines get you the best chance at a really great dog

For the record, I'm not a lab guy... Like a ton of breeds more. I have spent too much time messing with american labs that are just flat dumb. I know ppl will disagree with me but thats been my experience


Edit: just reread post... and I agree with above... Tamales would be a great trade medium if you can find a breeder willing to barter. The other option that comes to mind is renting out your children for manual labor... not sure of legality here though

Last edited by catslayer; 10/24/17 06:09 PM.

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Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6932027
10/24/17 10:58 PM
10/24/17 10:58 PM
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As a new black lab owner I'll give you my thoughts after doing some research
1) color - while I do believe this is mostly a cosmetic issue the theory that black labs 'pick up' more heat than others makes sense. My black lab also is very sneaky in the dark as I can barely see her hahah
2) She is a "British lab." I watched a documentary on the breed it was really interesting I'll post it when I find it. While the AKC and the BKC does not recognize a difference there is obviously a difference in build. The documentary also pointed out the "American" lab generally has a longer snout which aids in the retrieval of larger game. Now I know both dogs perform very well at retrieving larger game such as geese. My wife's family has a family dog which is also a British lab and they swear that it was the easiest dog to train and her temperament was very 'mellow.'
3) While a great dog can come from the local pound I think when looking for a hunting partner for life I like to make sure their parents are trained and they come with the health guarantee.

Here is the video I watched and found very informative - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSR18Q1ze2w&t=858s

Last edited by adam94; 10/24/17 10:59 PM.
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #6934255
10/26/17 12:27 PM
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1. Color is cosmetic - I personally prefer yellow. Don't be suckered into anything other than black, chocolate, or yellow (or shades of yellow ranging from near white to fox red - those are all OK). Health is absolutely the most important.

2. There is a difference in American/English labs...it should correctly be labeled field bred (American) and confirmation bred (English). We have two English labs. We personally will not own anything else ever again. You certainly will pay a premium for a confirmation bred dog. I have been around a lot of dogs. Generally - English labs are a bit more laid back in the home. People try to say english dogs are lazy in the field. I disagree. One of mine is a solid meat dog. The other is a firecracker and if I so desired could probably take him far running trials, but I could not care less about that. Both were very trainable - a lot of that goes back to pedigree. Wife is in the vet medical field and sees 100s of dogs a week - she'll tell you straight up there is a difference in the two in overall demeanor and attitude.

3. Usually - as with anything - you get what you pay for. American labs with good pedigrees and health clearances will cost a premium. As will English labs in general. Both of mine were in the $2,000 range

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: BarneyWho] #6934289
10/26/17 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: BarneyWho
Originally Posted By: Exbellicus
a $300 backyard dog isn't going to be much different than a $2000 top pedigree dog.


that's pretty inaccurate (trying to bite my tongue). After having bought a backyard breed lab and watched it suffer with hips going out to having to make the decision to put it down, I'd highly suggest you do your homework and buy a quality breed dog with the health certifications. This dog will become part of your family. So, do yourself and your family the justice of buying a dog that doesn't have a history of a hip or eye disorder. I'm not saying run out and buy a $2000 dog, but I'd at least buy one where the sire and dam have hip and eye certs. I'd want my dogs to be EIC and CNM clear as well.


2x



Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #7110464
03/14/18 02:49 AM
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I have had 5 Labs since 1980. 3 Black, 2 yellow. 2 males , 3 females.
Never wanted a Chocolate as that is the recessive trait.
Acquired All of them as pups. All were papered , and I was very selective about the stud / bitch, AND the owners.
Never paid more than $500 for any one of them.
They were/ are All Excellent Hunters.
My latest is an 8 year old female that is a retriever and a pointer. Yes, she hunts pheasant.
She is very intelligent and a great house pet.


MASTER CLASS BULLETS - Quality, Price, Service
masterclassbullets@yahoo.com
Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #7137609
04/10/18 05:07 PM
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Most would be personal preference if you've had one before. I am partial to British, size and temperament. One thing I agree with everyone else is HEALTH. I have learned in the past year that just because the BVA says a dogs eyes are clear dont mean S***. My yellow female has PRA and will go blind before long. She had just finished Junior title so training money and everything else is now a waste other than having a wonderful sidekick. IMO, if its British, make sure the eyes are DNA clear, not a just a vet looking in their eyes. I learned the hard way. Breeder agreed to give me another dog but it does this one no good. I found out when I decided to breed her and was absolutely heartbroken. Not just for me, but for her too. Live and learn i reckon. I trusted what I read only to find out after talking with BVA their "CLEAR" criteria, is not as stringent as AKC. Things may have changed, but it doesn't do us any good right now.

Good luck with your decision

Re: Labrador Questions [Re: TurkeyWhisperer] #7137633
04/10/18 05:34 PM
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If you are hunting dove, but not ducks you should consider another breed. Because they are larger dogs with a tendency to gain weight easily they are a little more susceptible to heat stroke not a good thing for dove hunters. You really need to watch a lab's diet closely they can easily get really fat. With ducks and geese it is another matter--that bulk makes it easier for the dog to handle cold, big water and big birds. You don't wan't to be next to a shorthair in the duck blind when the temp is in the 30s and the wind is out of the north.
Another point in favor of labs--lots of dogs=big gene pool= better chance of getting a good dog from a reputable breeder.

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