Do Hunting Labradors Make Good Pets?
We are breeders of top quality field Labrador Retrievers in California. We breed attractive, trainable, sociable puppies with lots of natural hunting instinct. Our breeding dogs are members of the family. We look forward to their first swim, their first hunt, and every litter they have. Please call or email us to learn more about our breeding program and how you can become part of the Duck Fever Retrievers Family!
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Do Hunting Labs Make Good Pets?
Yes! Because Hunting Labs are bred for a calm temperament, good looks, and intelligence in addition to working ability, they make wonderful additions to families who have no intentions of hunting with their dogs. Furthermore, these dogs excel in Obedience and Agility, for those who want to show their dogs, plus hold titles like Lake Mascot, Hiking Buddy, Babysitter, and Official Ball Catcher, for those who wish to "show off" their dogs.
Due to their Field Labrador backgrounds, which helped to solidify their hunting ability and intelligence, occasionally there will be a puppy or two in a litter which exhibits a bit more "go" than we would like to place in a pet home. It is for this reason we watch our puppies' behaviors so closely, and do not allow people to pick out their puppy until the litter is six weeks old. At this time, their personalities have emerged, and we can better advise the buyer as to which puppy would be best suited for them.
Hunting Labradors, Field Labradors, and Show Labradors - What's the difference?
You know Labs come in three colors, Chocolate, Yellow, and Black. Were you aware there are different types of Labradors, each bred for a distinct purpose?
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Due to the many challenges at great distances, these dogs need to be fast, agile, and SMART. They are bred to compete in Field Trials. These are events where up to four birds, one at a time, are thrown and shot before the dog is released to retrieve. Many retrieves exceed 300 yards, some of which are long challenging water retrieves. Much of the success of the dog depends on its marking ability because he/she must take a straight line through quite challenging terrain and water. In addition, the trial includes blind retrieves that require precise handling to keep the dog in a straight line to the hidden bird at distances of up to 400, sometimes 500 yards. On a blind retrieve, the dog must not break into a hunt, but rely on hand
signals and whistle blows to find the downed bird. Because of the complexity and difficulty of these trials, breeding dogs must have great marking ability, athleticism, intelligence, retrieving desire and be excellent water dogs. As a result, these dogs are often leaner built, with long legs and a lot of energy, but completely trainable, owing to their quite amazing intellect.
As only first place through fourth place receive points towards their field titles in each respective division, there became a call in the late 1970's from many hunters/trialers who wanted a test that more closely resembled realistic hunting situations. (At 400 yards out, what are you shooting the bird with, anyway?) This idea lead to the development of the hunt tests.
One of these types of tests is the AKC Hunt Test. The AKC offers three increasingly difficult levels, Junior (JH), Senior (SH) and Master (MH), where you compete against a standard rather than competing for a placement. The hunt tests put greater emphasis on steadiness and honoring which are important for a good duck dog. The marks and blinds were also decreased to realistic distances which do not exceed 100 yards