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What to get. #8451753 11/17/21 10:19 PM
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rickym Online Content OP
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We are looking at bringing a new member of the family in. Never owned a hunting dog, we do have other family dogs.
Hopping we can get some guidance here.
The wife isn’t in favor of a lab, she loves the spackled/ spotted German shorthairs.
We dove and duck hunt. No upland in our experience backround, though we are open to trying it.
I want a Chesapeake bay retriever, or a chocolate lab.

Is there a pup we’re missing and should consider??



Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8451924 11/18/21 01:11 AM
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Tell her you think a lab is the way to go...

When she's says she wants a GSP, get one..

Then when she's pissed off at it tell her, "I told you so"...

Lol!

There is a reason Labradors dominate every competitive retrieving venue out there. They are easy to train and have great temperaments.

If you dove and duck hunt get a retriever.

Sure other breeds can do it but why try and fit a square peg in a round hole?

Chessi is fine if just want to be different but they are not necessarily the easiest to train and you will definitely need to get some good guidance from someone with experience.

IMO get a well bred lab from parents who display the characteristics you are looking for.



Last edited by BradyBuck; 11/18/21 01:11 AM.

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Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8452000 11/18/21 02:27 AM
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Can't really argue with BradyBuck. He's pretty spot on. It's hard if not impossible to beat a good lab either in the field or as a pet. They have long been the most popular breed in the country. (not sure if they are still though)

FWIW, I'm picking up a new lab puppy after Christmas.

If you want a smaller dog, you could look at Boykin spaniels. I've hunted with a couple really good ones.

Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8452053 11/18/21 03:06 AM
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Sounds like you need a retriever.
Lab would be my first recommendation and a good lab will be easiest to get your hands on than the other retriever breeds.

Golden retriever would be my second choice. I’ve seen some really nice Goldens and they are beautiful dogs. If you hunt in cockle burrs or grass burrs the coat on a golden will be a pain.

Third would be a Chessie. They are physical specimens but some can be more of a challenge to train. If you are a goose hunter the Chessie can manhandle big geese.

Another breed to consider is a Boykin. They are small but the few I have seen hunt were firecrackers. The Boykin is too small in my opinion for geese. For ducks and dove they are plenty capable. The smaller size of the Boykin makes transport more convenient.

Do your homework if you want a hunting dog and find a breeder with a proven track record of breeding for and producing dogs with the talent, temperament, and trainability you are looking for. A repeat breeding of a proven cross is the best way to stack the odds in favor of ending up with what you are looking for. When buying a puppy for a hunting dog, don’t go looking for bargains. Don’t overlook temperament. You need plenty of talent and juice but in my experience, a dog with an off switch will be much more enjoyable to be around.

Best of luck to you and your family with your first hunting dog.


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Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8452352 11/18/21 02:19 PM
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You'll never regret getting a lab, as long as it's black!

Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8452393 11/18/21 02:54 PM
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I've had a lab that was a fool-proof retriever, but I admit she had 6-months training with a retriever pro. Great in the house and around people. Mine had no bad habits. Made some unbelievable retrieves. One time she was gone in the surf for 20-minutes, we packed up the boat and figured she drowned. As we were about to go look, she came back with the duck. She would do fine on upland game too, pausing before a flush and remaining steady to shot. That is my one and only experience with owning a lab. It's hard not to recommend one! However, there are a lot of good Boykin and Springer spaniels out there that will do what you want. On the classifieds here there's both for sale and even a trained one for free. The spaniels have a different hair than labs and tend to get stuff stuck to them pretty easy. They are smaller and therefore should eat and poop smaller amounts. None of these resemble the Shorthair your wife likes. If she likes a certain color or the size or build that may be the way to go. As long as there is some natural retrieving instinct and a fondness for water a decent Shorthair can be schooled like any other retriever and force-broke to retrieve if necessary. Nothing wrong with the Chessie either, but it is a different animal and experience than a Lab or other breed so I am told. My advice is keep the wife happy and work with the dog she likes. That could also open the door to having 2 dogs if you desire.

Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8453074 11/19/21 03:31 AM
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At the risk of being struck by lightning and mobs of field trial folks rioting and burning my house down....

Find a breeder that has a family pet temperament, meat line. In my experience, the field trial championship lines tend to be tighter wound. There is pray drive and there is PRAY DRIVE. I've seen a couple of GSPs bred from field champion lines, that just did not turn off. I own an interest in just such a dog, but he lives with the other owner peep. When not in the field, he is still hunting something very minute he is awake...flies, grasshoppers, dust bunnies in the house, gophers, crickets.... It wears you out just watching him in the yard or the house.

Kennel dogs and family members are very different creatures. Your new pup will be a family member 365 days a year...he\she will only be hunting a tiny fraction of that time. Based upon that, temperament of the parents is much more important to me than the alphabet soup on their AKC Papers.


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Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8453347 11/19/21 02:10 PM
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Listen to your wife...
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Re: What to get. [Re: First_Chance] #8453591 11/19/21 05:44 PM
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A GSP is a high energy dog,. It will be hard to keeping one still in a duck blind or sitting next to you in a dove field. They do a good job retrieving but keeping one still can be very problematic. I speak from experience.

Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8453593 11/19/21 05:45 PM
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A GSP is a high energy dog,. It will be hard to keeping one still in a duck blind or sitting next to you in a dove field. They do a good job retrieving but keeping one still can be very problematic. I speak from experience.

Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8453758 11/19/21 07:40 PM
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Worth repeating.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8453763 11/19/21 07:44 PM
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Get a lab. From hunting parents. You can get a gsp to retrieve but he will be uncomfortable on chilly days duck hunting. I'd recommend a gsp if you intend to do a lot of upland, otherwise stick to a lab. Golden's are good dogs but you will find that hunting lines are very expensive, and they are susceptible to cancer.
Avoid Chessies-- great dogs but not as a first dog. Also very territorial and possesive.. A boykin or a poodle is also a possibility. Especially if you aren't hunting big water. Again look to hunting lines. If you have the time spend time wih a trainer who has a mentoring program-- you will be glad you did.

Re: What to get. [Re: hunt15] #8453768 11/19/21 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hunt15
A GSP is a high energy dog,. It will be hard to keeping one still in a duck blind or sitting next to you in a dove field. They do a good job retrieving but keeping one still can be very problematic. I speak from experience.


And a slap happy lab who wants to fetch for hours is not?

Never buy a dog by color-- look to to dogs from hunting backgrounds. Black labs dominate field trials because black is the dominat color. Kep in mind that dove hunting is
hard on retrievers due to heat and if you take any dog dove hunting on a warm day you should have plenty of water--preferably a washtub full.

Last edited by Mundo; 11/19/21 07:54 PM.
Re: What to get. [Re: rickym] #8454113 11/20/21 02:16 AM
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I've owned several labs and all of them have had different temperaments.

The craziest lab I ever had was yellow male form a "meat" line, no titles or anything like that. He had one speed and if he wasn't sleeping he was running.

Yes, there are some field trial and hunt test breedings that can produce harder to handle dogs, but so can any breeding.

That is why it is extremely important to learn about the parents and ask a lot of questions. Go meet the parents is at all possible. Especially if you decide to get a lab, they are extremely diverse and they are bred so much.

Many many field trial Labradors live the majority of their lives in the house.

Last edited by BradyBuck; 11/20/21 02:18 AM.

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Re: What to get. [Re: BradyBuck] #8454250 11/20/21 04:05 AM
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No argument with anything BradyBuck has commented but I will chime in. The first requirement is everyone at the house should love dogs so much they will love whatever you bring home. You going to love them anyway but it sure is great to have one that is awesome and what you need for what you do. Unless you hunt only upland (and dove ain’t upland) or you are going to have more than one dog, get a lab (and one would still need to be a lab). You can get a great lab anywhere from 45 lbs to over a hundred. There are several body types and 3 colors for your preference. Yes, even though I will never own one there are great chocolates now. I hear people say you don’t want or need a dog that has a lot of titles close in their pedigree but I totally disagree. I would be never buy one that “dad was a good hunting dog and mom was super sweet and went hunting”. I want immediate sire, immediate dam, grand sire, grand dam and on VERY proven. I ain’t talking Junior//Started/Seasoned. There are some great dogs without titles but why chance it? If you take your time and work with great breeder and trainer, you can get about exact on everything as you want. Some of the top dogs live in houses with their trainers or owners. Any high achieving lab has to have an on and off switch. Some of the highest energy and highest rolling labs are the quietest and best in the house. That is breeding and training. When you see one that isn’t, they are missing some of one or both. If you will take your time, work with right people, and spend more than the uneducated think you should, you will have something that will mean so much to not just while you have them but long after they are gone. I am not an expert or promoting a breeder or trainer. Just been around enough and seen enough to know what has worked for me and what I will do with any future ones in my life.

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