Does your retriever's attitude change?

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Does your retriever's attitude change?

Postby ol' yeller » Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:54 am

My lab does a complete 180 from the time dove season kicks off in September until we're done hunting snows in February. Her personality doesn't change much at home, but in the blind it's a big change. She is normally an attention hog, but you put her in a field or blind and all that stops. It's all business. "Don't pet me. Don't play with me. I'm workin' here!"

I swear you could break into my house, beat the snot out of me and my fiance, but if you are to drive your boat or walk within 75 yards of the boat/decoy spread you best get ready to watch a beautiful, loving yellow lab turn into a possessive Chessie. That is one thing she will not put up with and will let you know. I have heard her bark maybe 30 times in her 4 years of life and 29 of those times were in the duck blind when people, according to her, got too close. It sure helps when people decide to set up 50 yards down the bank 30 min. before shooting time.

Another thing she does during the season that reminds me a lot of the Chessies I've been around is guard the ducks/geese/dove that have been shot. I am the only one allowed to pick them up after the hunt to carry them to the boat. My good buddy, who I've been friends with for 14 years and who has hunted 30+ days with us for the last 4 seasons, isn't "allowed" near the birds which I find hillarious. The stare down she gives him cracks me up every time. After a retrieve she will actually nose through the birds on the strap so she knows they are still there and no one has swiped them.

It has now moved from just hunting season to any time she's in my duck boat while fishing or scouting for new spots. She could care less about anybody coming up to my fishing boat, but gives the same duck season type treatment to anyone who dares to say hi if we're in the camo'd boat.

It amazes me how something like this...
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Can turn into something like this 4 years later. :laughing:
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Do any of your retrievers do things like this?
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Postby phillipstd » Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:24 pm

my dog got into a bad fight last early goose season cause another dog wanted to smell the geese, but he is a chessie, he's never realy been that agresive anyother time.
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Postby shrpshtr » Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:56 pm

beautiful pics ol'. what a sharp gal. :thumbsup:

my dog does the same thing. he's a chocolate lab and a big ole' boy. 125lbs right now, down from mid-130's. he is the coolest, calmest customer around the house. lays around and sleeps all day or plays with the kids, etc. he is very protective though and can be a real bull. he doesn't like strangers coming around too much, especially when the wife and i aren't home. it's not a good thing when other dogs wander into my yard.

while hunting he doesn't play around at all. just heels by my side, and waits. when the birds start flyin' it's all business. i have had to leave him at home on several hunts cause he really doesn't do well with other's dogs trying to retrieve his birds. he will listen, reluctantly at times, when he has to honor another retriever.

away from hunting, when we are out of his territory (walks, vet, etc.) he never pays other dogs attention but if another dog gets aggressive towards him he doesn't tolerate it at all. i was at our SE wildlife expo a couple years back and a guy had a female chessie that tried to show her behind to him. the fella turned his dog loose and that was a mistake. it didn't take long for her to tuck tail and retreat behind her owner. it was pretty tense there for a minute cause i thought me and the fella had business after that. he shouldn't have dropped the leash and threatened me with the vet bills. five minutes later, he is wagging his tail like nothing ever happened.

his attitude changes are quite comical sometimes...
Talk 'em into givin' up!

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Postby ol' yeller » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:38 pm

shrpshtr, that's big ol' boy!!! :eek:

During the summer my "little" girl weighs around 85 lbs., but 2 months before season starts in November I kick her up to some high protein food and start feeding her more. She probably gets up to 95 lbs. by the time season rolls around. Even though this is the south it does get pretty cold. Single digit mornings aren't uncommon in mid to late January. She's definitely not a lap dog (unless my fiance is sitting in the floor), but in her mind she's the size she was when she was 8 weeks old.

I find it funny that our dogs are possessive over the birds we shoot. You know in their mind they wouldn't care much if we weren't there as long as the ducks fall out of the sky. :yes: :yes: :yes:
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Postby tstrong » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:01 pm

Same here - put him in the blind or the field and he's a completely different dog.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:31 pm

shrp, you discribed my pup almost to a T. Except he is a lean mean 73lb. retrievin machine. He's still young and will probably get another 15 on him but i'm not to anxtious to load up his hips.

ACE is very calm most days unless it is training time. In the blind he just sits on his dog stand and waits for his next bird. When the bird goes down, he is fired up about the retrieve, then returns to his stand, Licks his unit and waits for another.
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Postby Quackcephus » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:53 am

Nilla does the same thing... but when the GREEN starts fallin' she's out there haulin'. :yes:

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Postby the_duckinator » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:57 pm

My Springer Spaniel Sadie is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. She wouldn't hurt a fly. When retrieving she barely holds on to the birds so she doesn't hurt them. But make no mistake about it, they're HER birds. She has no problem with people going through the bird pile but if another dog comes close she'll protect them. One day I shot two bluebills and I brought them into my basement to clean because it was cold as heck outside. Someone decided to let our lap dog (a 12 pound boston terrier) into the basement. She wanted to check out the birds so by springer picks one up in her mouth and kicks the other like a soccer ball so the little dog couldn't get it. That was pretty amusing. But overall Sadie is spoiled at home and spoiled in the blind. She just likes her birds.
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Postby pitboss » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:42 pm

i like to think my girls know the difference between training and duck season...


the all are house dogs and get rotated in some degree during my 90+ days while guiding.
from early feb. in south carolina right through the rest of the spring and summer here in maryland they trian everyday. from my perspective they enjoying training much like they enjoy anything we do during that time of the year, but there is a certian amount of "pressure" that comes along with training everyday and running field trials & hunt tests.

i like to think of duck season as the "off season" for my girls... having "fun" doing what the training has been all about, not wearing collars, etc... its not about training daily, placements and or ribbons... its about being a pleasure to be around them, gunning over "trianed dogs", atleast thats my opinon... :thumbsup:


none of my girls are over 80lbs... 2 of them in the 70-78lbs range and the youner is 55lbs.




Coot turned 4yrs old back in march, this was her 4th season and broke the 9000 bird mark...


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Diamond was 3yrs old back in april...


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and then there is Poacher, she turned 1yr old in april...
gunned her some for seaducks but my hopes for her are more in all age work 1st and gunning 2nd.


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Poacher at 8 months..

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jeff
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Postby Dogman » Sun Jul 03, 2005 4:23 pm

Nice pics pitboss :thumbsup:

I too have seen a big difference in my lab when it comes to field/home comparisons.Around the house he is a big puppy,sucking up attention when and where ever he can find it.Out in the field he's a different dog all together,all biusness no fun and games.He gets intense and seems to read my every thought,keeps a good watch for birds and does very well identifying them.His expressions tell whether or not its a duck or goose or just a crow.He reacts to my body language without a word spoken from me and usually gets it right.
Back at home he turns back into a couch potato again till the next hunting trip.
My lab is still the best hunting partner there is.
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Postby shrpshtr » Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:39 pm

more great pics pit! keep 'em coming. that is some great camera work. beautiful dogs too!

btw, where abouts in SC do you come in February?
Talk 'em into givin' up!

It's easier to get forgiveness than it is permission!
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:37 pm

Great lookin dawg pitboss! I love to see labs cut up muscles. Thats how mine looks, except he's yella. Most people think labs are suppose to look like they are packed in sausage casing. Great lookin birds.
.....you've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

Dirty Harry

Die' en ain't much of a livin' son.
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Postby donell67 » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:49 pm

nice looking labs. as always great pics pitboss. love the oldsquaw one.
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Postby pitboss » Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:43 pm

thanks fellas on the kind words... :thumbsup:

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