Getting my first true gun dog

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placeupnorth
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:47 am

Getting my first true gun dog

Post by placeupnorth » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:02 pm

Hello everyone! My name is Riley and tomorrow I'm heading to a breeder/kennel to look at chocolate lab bitches. There are a few expecting litters and I'll be putting a deposit down on my first true gun dog. - I've been an avid waterfowl Hunter for as long as I can remember in my 26 years of life. - I'm excited to see what knowledge I can pull from here and what I can report back along the way.

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NEhomer
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 582
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:58 pm
Location: Western, MA

Re: Getting my first true gun dog

Post by NEhomer » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:07 pm

Welcome to GDF~

You'll love this place and all the helpful and knowledgeable folks who hang here.

Congrats on your impending new family member!

Timewise65
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:30 am
Location: Missouri

Re: Getting my first true gun dog

Post by Timewise65 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:44 pm

Welcome aboard, as you will see as you work on this website, many comments apply to Field Dogs that hunt upland game. A few of us are waterfowl hunters, like you. I have been hunting ducks and geese since I was 21 and both my adult sons are avid waterfowl hunters also. I am almost 70 now...

I have always used Golden Retrievers for my hunting. Although many who I have hunted with over the years had Lab's. Both dogs are generally fully capable of being good waterfowl dogs, with proper training. Although, sometimes the pups in the market may not have enough field line dogs in their line, and they do not have many of the natural instincts that a field bred dog will have.

Some who read this will comment that dogs do not come with grantees that they will be good field dogs, but if you find a pup who's parents and grandparents have AKC or HRC hunt test titles or AKC Field Trial titles, you have a real good chance of getting a pup that has all the natural talent to be easily trainer to hunt waterfowl.

Have you hunted over any well trained dogs? Have you trained a retriever before? What are your expectations for a trained hunting dog? What exactly do you expect from the dog when hunting? I ask this as different hunters have different expectations from their dogs. Some only want the dogs to find and retrieve any bird they see fall. Some expect the dog to be able to work with the handler/owner to find a down bird that the dog did not see...or working a blind fall. As you can imagine it take much more training to teach a dog to hunt blinds....it is wonderful to watch a well trained retriever work to a blind fall and retrieve it!

How are you going to select a breeder? Are you going to get the pup from a breeder who specializes in 'field dogs'? Or any breeder that has healthy Labs, will do?

I can give you more specific feedback after I better understand what your expectations are....

Good Luck

GrantD
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:09 am

Re: Getting my first true gun dog

Post by GrantD » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:54 pm

Sounds exciting for you! I've been enjoying the useful discussions around here.

fishvik
Rank: 5X Champion
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:48 pm
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Re: Getting my first true gun dog

Post by fishvik » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:02 am

Congrats on getting a lab puppy. I have always believed that if there were only one breed of dog in the world it would be a lab, they are so bidable and versatile. Now before you bring it home move everything you don't want chewed up out of the way and everything on your coffee table off of it. Lab puppies are a mouth on one end and no responsibility on the other. :D

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