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A new dog question.

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by AaronJohn, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. TheHighLIfe

    TheHighLIfe

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    Location:
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    agree.
    mom would take them to McD's for a kids meal - burger, fries and a shake
    tried to advise them, to no avail
    both of theirs died around 12 years old, stopped hunting well around 10
    mine were never fed meat or people food, hunted til 13-15 an died at 14-16
     
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  2. JBooth

    JBooth

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    Disagree. I hunted with some guys from Ohio that bred big labs. They had an honest to god, fit 130lb male we hunted over that was enormous and fit. He ran all day long and was good on birds. Got porcupined once and it took 6 of us to hold him down and pull quills.
     

  3. Anas rubripes

    Anas rubripes

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    If you got the lab route, pointing or flushing, knowing what I know now, I would drop in on one of your local retriever clubs training days before (and after) getting a pup. You get to see a lot of different dogs in action and talk to people about where they came from. You can see a lot of variations of temperament, drive, and size to help you sort out what you might be looking for. You can call or visit with a couple different breeders from there. I assume the same would go for an upland bird dog training club. And there's not just a lot of knowledge about breeders there, there a lot of knowledge about how to train dogs there as well. I'll give my club members all the credit for training me to train my dog.

    And whatever you get and wherever you get it from, make sure its healthy. I work with a woman that has a 7 year-old lab that's almost entirely blind. And when I see a young dog with a funny gait in the rear and pulls on my heart every time. At least for labs, both of those are genetic and avoidable through responsible breeding.

    Good luck. There's a lot of fun times ahead!
     
  4. Old Man

    Old Man

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    Amen to that.
     
  5. Hunters Edge

    Hunters Edge

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    You obviously have not hunted with many shorthairs in late season. Just takes a little more searching for a thick skinned and medium course coat on a shorthair.

    All dogs/pups will need training more so for those using them or plan on using them for both upland and waterfowl.

    I would choose a shorthair over a lab hands down. They range farther, hunt longer and most importantly have less health issues from the git go. I am talking about hip displasia, eye disorders, knee issues and social disorders example (separation anxiety) for one. Not saying you could not get a shorthair with displasia, just would be highly unlikely. Especially if you do your homework.

    So I see your probably going to buy a lab. What was said about slow down is correct. Do your homework and take the time to pick one with genetics you are looking for and make sure sire and dam have health documentation on hips, eyes, and knees all are issues on labs you should be concerned over prior to purchase rather than after.

    Best of luck on your new member to the family. Put or take the time in to train it to your expectations.
     
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  6. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    It should. Try monkeying around with getting a 100lb lab in and out of a boat, truck or around your shoulders if it gets injured in the upland. If I were you, I would seek a breeding where the breeder anticipates 45-65 dogs.

    There's a few guys in my retriever club with big labs, and they are excellent dogs, but not because they're big, it's because they have good trainers and handlers. I don't think there's a single good reason to have a lab or hunting dog over 70lbs, let alone 60lbs. I've been impressed by many 45lb labs, and that seems to be a trend in the field trial world. Regardless of proportion and fitness, larger dogs are more prone to arthritis and soft tissue issues, as well as bloat (which is already an issue with labs anyways). They are harder to pick up and control. And, contrary to what many people like to think, you do not need a large lab to retrieve geese. I have seen many a 45lb labs haul geese no problem. It is the drive, not the size.
     
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  7. goose schatt

    goose schatt

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    So true! Not sure why people think it's cool to have a 100 lb+ retriever. I want an agile fast dog with good stamina not a tub of butter with knee problems
     
  8. goose schatt

    goose schatt

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    Hard to believe there was 130lb lab that was fit...pretty much guarantee any lab at or over 90lb is going to have problems and shorter life expectancy....if you look at akc hunt test , the majority of dogs are 55lbs -78lbs. Absolutely no advantage to a 100lb plus dog
     
  9. goose schatt

    goose schatt

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    So true about the 45lb dog getting geese....I have a shorthair who has retrieved hundreds of geese and he is not 90 lbs if you can believe that!
     
  10. JBooth

    JBooth

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    It was a big dog. Not saying it’s ideal but big and obese aren’t the same thing. I have a 62 and 55 lb labs and that’s perfect for upland
     
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  11. goose schatt

    goose schatt

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    I agree with a lot of what you said. However about a shorthair going longer, running at a constant steady pace for upland , no doubt.
    I disagree about a shorthair lasting as long sitting next to an icy river late season duck hunting. I know a shorthair will go in an icy river, I own one and have seen him do it many times. But to sit in the cold after a retrieve and wait out a lull in action is where a shorthair looses in comparison to a lab.
    I'm a whore a I have both. Enjoy both.
     
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  12. goose schatt

    goose schatt

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    That's perfect size all around
     
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  13. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    I don't doubt there are shorthairs out there that can sit patiently in a duck blind like most labs would, but I think that would be the exception, not the rule. Most shorthairs want to get up and go, move and hunt and pursue.

    I think due to labs naturally having denser bone structure and more muscles, they typically don't have the stamina in the upland that many of the pointing breeds have (but I would say they have enough to be good upland dogs, just not as much stamina as a general matter unless you end up with a 45lb slight lab, which I see more and more of lately). My lab usually quarters and chops through the grouse woods at about a canter pace and he needs a rest after about 3 hours. If we are getting into a lot of birds he will pick up his pace and activity, and burns out even quicker. When I run him hard during retriever drills (so, he is sprinting), he needs a break after about 25 minutes. He is in fair shape though, not optimal shape, as with my job I can only run him about 3-4 times a week.

    I also think size is an issue in the upland. Grouse hunt with a well trained little rocket of a spaniel or a tiny britt and you'll see it do things 50+ lb dogs won't do (and things 75+ dogs maybe physically can't do). I've hit broomstick popple so tight my lab looks back and me like WTF do you want me to do in here, that I'd bet a little 30lb english cocker would rifle through no prob. Relatedly, I've noticed the field bred setters I often see in the grouse woods are half the size of the bench bred type, sometimes as small as 30 something lbs, and I imagine for good reason.
     
  14. Outdoor Gal

    Outdoor Gal

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    We have both a shorthair and lab in the home. My husband's GSP will be 4 this month, my lab just turned two. My husband and I are fairly new to "the dog world" but we've jumped in with both feet.

    Whichever breed you go with, do your research first. Find a reputable breeder, make sure they run breed appropriate health clearances on their dogs. The above advice to go to training days is great. You'll get to see dogs run, talk to the owners and learn. Look for an HRC club for retrievers in your area or a NAVDHA group if you'd like to see the "versatile" dogs.

    It looks like you're leaning towards a lab but a GSP can do the work if it's the right breeding. Look for versatile bred GSP's not just a field dog. Coat is very important if you want to run the dog when it gets colder. Our guy has a fantastic coat, and cam handle the same temps our lab does. Not all shorthairs do.

    A shorthair won't mark like a well bred lab, but that's where their nose and natural tendency to hunt plays in. It's a matter of preference really.

    In my personal experience, like NM Mechanical said, it does take longer and more work for a shorthair to get there than a lab. Ours is a bit vocal in the blind (he's a vocal dog in general). Lots of obedience work and a lot of early work with retrieving (though that came pretty natural to him). We've force fetched both dogs.

    Drummond was a complete basket case when he was younger lol. Just your typical crazy shorthair puppy and took longer to mature. Bravo, my lab, was a much easier pup to deal with. That said, as much as I hate to say it, Drummond has more personality. They are crazy smart dogs and Drummond can just about talk to us to tell us what he wants. Lol. Both dogs are fantastic with our kids. It took Drummond about 3 years to finally settle down in the house, where Bravo was pretty chill minus a few puppy antics from the start. Drummond and shorthairs in general are often "velcro dogs" and super snugglers when they do settle down. A tired shorthair is a happy shorthair. ;)

    We've run both dogs in HRC started tests and are working towards running seasoned tests this coming spring. Drummond brought in 20 geese opening day last September. He rocked it and put in some serious work on a few cripples.



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  15. Hunters Edge

    Hunters Edge

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    Do not judge a breed by a dog. That being said I have hunted over GSP'S all season long. Which includes breaking ice, rivers with ice shelves and also watched ice fishing as I hunted a river feeding into a chain of lakes. Actually several GSP'S not just one dog. I do not think they are the exception, or the rule.
    There are two distinct genetics. Some have thin skinned and softer hair. Those dogs can handle heat better, they can not handle the cold as well, or briars and thorns. After a hunt many will be bleeding, the same can not be said with the thick skinned and medium to course coat, if the hair happens to be ripped their is no blood, thick skinned.
    Also late season goose hunt in zone 3 have friend breaks ice in a golf pond he has access to. So not only my dogs I know of several others that hunt in severe cold weather, multiple retrieves, and handle the cold. I would also suggest a dog or bitch on the high side of the breeds standard. A glass of water will freeze solid sooner or before a gallon.