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Best breed of dog to retrieve waterfowl??

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by bodybuilder, Feb 1, 2012.

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  1. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    Thinking about getting a dog and training him to retrieve ducks and geese. What is the best breed and easiest to train?
     
  2. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    Lab without question.
     
  3. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Labs and Chessies rule this game. They have a number of other great qualities as well.
     
  4. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Member

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    Is this a trick question????
     
  5. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    No not a trick question I know nothing about using a dog but I'm tired of chasing down birds myself
     
  6. psfive

    psfive Member

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    Lots of things to think about. Location, in water (standing or running) tempeture, ice, on land, live inside or kenneled outside when not working. Will this be a family dog or a one man working dog. How many day a yesr? I grew up in a kennel training hunting dogs for just this purpose. Lots to consider. One lab may be an easy dog to train the next one may be an awsome dog and have an attitude that makes it hard to train. My choice for me is a Chesapeake Bay Retriver. Paul in Nebraska.
     
  7. NMULTRARUNNER55

    NMULTRARUNNER55 Member

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    I have owned Chessies and Labs for years. In my experience the Chessie is harder to train if you are planning to do it yourself. Also in my experience the Chessie can take colder temperatures. Chessies are better watchdogs and will bite intruders (and sometimes they bite your buddies). Our Labs have been better pets and family dogs.

    For me, there was only one or two times where having a Chessie made a difference. A Lab would have been just as good all the other times.

    Your question is a good one but in some ways it's like the Chevy versus Ford or .45ACP versus 9mm discussions!

    Steve Nunley
    Albuquerque, NM
     
  8. ismah

    ismah Member

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    A friend of mine went to the pound and got a mutt. Says he's the best bird dog he's ever seen. It would be a way to save an animal. Bill B
     
  9. bkt514

    bkt514 Active Member

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    I have had Labs (from solid hunting stock), and been very pleased. The one Chessie I had was good, but had personality issues. Find a good retriever club in your area, talk to members, and go to some of their training sessions, before you buy da pup!! Most of the guys are all good people like Trapshooters, and all have opinions....you will figure out how to sort out the Fly-shi_, from the pepper!! Good luck
     
  10. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    Would be a family dog most all the time. I have a 2 year old purebred cocker spaniel but even if I could train him to retrieve I don't think at 40lbs he is big enough for geese
     
  11. chuckie68

    chuckie68 Active Member

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    I think one that knows how to swim would be appropriate, LOL
    Chuck
     
  12. MKW

    MKW TS Member

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    If I were you, I'd strongly consider a "finished" Lab. Most folks just don't have the patience to get a hunting dog where he needs to be to make hunting experiences fun for the owner and the dog. You just have to spend a little time with the trainer to learn the commands that the dog knows and how to handle him/her afield. A well trained dog can be the best hunting partner a man can have, a half-trained dog can be a hassle. Just my opinion.

    Mike
     
  13. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Regardless of dog- you have to get them from a good breeder- expect for a well bred lab pup to cost between 700-2000 at 8 weeks of age

    I would pass on the chessie idea if you have never had a hunting dog

    Percentage wise labs rule but only from good blood lines

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  14. Nutso

    Nutso Member

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    As former field trialer, I can tell you the best choice is a Black Lab, and probably female if this is your first. DO NOT get sucked into the Botuiqe Labs, chocolate (S#it for brains), Yellow's (deaf), or god for saken Pointing Lab, or silver lab (what ever that is). You will hear of ton of sales pitches for these dogs, but go to a field trials or hunt tests and 90% of the high performing dogs will be black labs.

    Buy a well bred dog, and if you can afford it, a started dog. Check and recheck the health history of the parnets, grand parents etc. DO NOT take this matter lightly, as there can be a host of problems with Labs, and if you are unlucky in your choice, you will end up with a broken heart. Nothing is worse than seeing a Lab in the prime of its life suffering.

    Of course you can tell I have no strong opinions on the matter.
     
  15. Nutso

    Nutso Member

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    Oh ya, and do this right and it could be one of the most rewarding parts of your life.
     
  16. Grade VI

    Grade VI Member

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    A very close friend of mine was a dog trainer and he had some out standing national championship Labs. He always told me to stick with the black Labs because they were the original breed and they had the best genes. Any time you cross breed a dog, as in a yellow of chocolate lab, you also cut the genes. I have always had black labs and they were the best and easiest to train.
     
  17. Bird30

    Bird30 TS Member

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    I have had them all. For a family dog along being a good field and water dog with good temperament I choose a American Water Spaniel. He will retrieve any thing on land or in the water except (they don't like doves) but they will retrieve them. They are a lot of fun watching them with a wounded goose. I have had Labs that bite people and have had Chessie that are so aggressive that the whip other hunters dogs and bite people but Labs and Chessie are strong swimmers and good retrievers. It is your choice.

    Dave
     
  18. chiefjon

    chiefjon Active Member

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    OK, I might take a little heat for this, but, I was a breeder of Standard Poodles for 20 years. They require a bit more grooming care, but they were bred as water retrievers. Smart, easy to train, no sheding and great companions. I had one "stud" that stood 29" at the shoulders and weighed 90lbs. A great dog.

    JON
     
  19. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    BKT514 gave you some very good advice - find a retriever club in your area, talk to some members, watch their dogs work, and proceed from there. If you let us know where you are perhaps we can help you make a contact.

    "easiest to train" is a very loaded question. A lot depends on what level of performance you want. At the level I want to achieve, none of it is easy - it is very time consuming and expensive. In AKC field trials most of the top dogs are black labs, and most of them are at least distantly related. There a some successful yellow labs, and a few chocolates, a few goldens, and some Chesapeakes. I even judged a field trial this past summer where my co-judge and I awarded second place in a Qualifying stake to a Flat-coated retriever. That may have made her the only qualified all-age Flatcoat currently running. In AKC Hunt Tests you will see more variety of dogs running, including all of the above plus Curly Coats and standard poodles. I still have not seen an American Water Spaniel compete, but there may be one or two. Most professional trainers prefer black labs from field trial lines, because they are very predictable in their response to standard training methods. Peakes and goldens sometimes require a bit more adaptability in their training approach. In any case, if you do not have a lot of background in training retrievers yourself, you will probably quickly find yourself way in over your head without experienced help. Don't expect much help from books or videos. Instead find a qualified pro (beware, there are a lot out there who aren't very good), or join a training group from a local retriever club.

    I'd agree with the sentiment above that expected conditions should play a role in your choice. My current dog is a Chesapeake who will turn two on Valentine's Day. The picture above was on his first birthday. He sleeps outside most of the time. We had him in two nights so far this winter, both times when the wind chill overnight was 20 below or lower. There were several times while hunting where the temperatures were about 0 and he had chunks of ice freezing on his coat. It didn't bother him at all, and he had fun playing in the water. Many labs around here wear the foam jackets in those conditions.

    I think the opinions about Chesapeakes always being aggressive is a bit wrong. Mine is very friendly towards other people and dogs in most situations. He is sometimes concerned when a stranger shows up at the door, and may let out a bark, but I've never heard him growl at someone. On the other hand, I'd pity the fool who tried to harm one of the family in his presence.

    A well-trained retriever is a joy to own, and not only for hunting. Get a good one, put in the time and effort, and you'll be well rewarded.
     
  20. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the hunter owns is the best one
     
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