Labs wrote:I know the pointing lines sound all sexy, but make sure you have done your homework. Many of the guys that are doing the pointing stuff, have bred for the point, and all the other stuff tends to take a back seat...like marking. I know this is a blanket statement, and there are some very good lines out there, but you will want to make sure the sire and dam have titles in multiple venues, not just the APLA...
On the steadiness question...I have two labs that I guide with in SoDak. We don't steady them to the flush, because usually we have a bunch of guys that don't shoot the best...crippling birds, so it is critical to have your dogs out on those birds as quickly as possible. We also want to keep the whistles to a minimum, so a quick "no here" on the hens is all you need.
If you train for steadiness and run your dogs in the hunt test venues, you shouldn't have any problem switching back and forth between the upland and the marsh....check out NAHRA, they are the best testing program for producing an all around hunting dog...They are tested in how they quarter a field, and at the higher levels, must be steady to flush and shot...
Pointing labs are tested on marking and if the parents are titled to multiple GMPR I would consider that proof of marking ability. The APLA mater test is conceptually tougher than a SH test (marks up to 100 yards, blind in contention with marks, blinds under the arc of marks) and if the dog is a 3x or 4x GMPR I believe this to be equal or superior to a SH title. That being said the vast majority of studs sport advanced titles in HRC and/or AKC.
To the OP I have a MPR HR JH YLM that will be 2 in Dec. they definitely know the difference between the duck blind and the pheasant field. OB is crucial and I highly suggest that train steady to wing and shot for safety reasons and steady to wing, shot, and fall if you plan on running APLA.
Just out of curiosity what breeder or lines are you getting your pup from? Parents?
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. - C.S. Lewis