in my opinion ramtough is right golden retrivers have been bread so much for show that it is hard to find a good hunting dog,but if your do have a good one u still have to think they are not good with cold weather theyre coat doese not dry as fast as a labs so hunting in late season will make the dog cold and age him with arthridise faster then others even if u put a vest on him it will take its toll so do u want to spent all this time and mooney training a dog u will only get to hunt for maybe 5 years or spnet a litle more on a lab that u will be able to hunt for 10 if u take care of him.
My brother in Fort St. John's BC has goldens which he shows but they do still show good hunting abilities. There is one thing which I have noticed and not only with the Dogs that he has had but with other Golden retrievers is a tendency for them to develope cancer at age 7 and up.
I have a Golden Retriever. This last fall was his second real season with me. We bought the dog as a pup, from a breeder named Sue Kiefer (Choctaw Kennels) in Clintonville, Wisconsin. This is my second Golden; the first, which my wife and I trained ourselves, was a wonderful duck/pheasant dog, and he would also retrieve sharptails, Hungarian partridge and quail.
My second dog, Pal, has done a great job these last 2 seasons ! This last fall, I shot about 28 ducks that he retrieved. I do a lot of jump shooting and sneaking irrigation ditches, and he never refuses a retrieve. We hunt in Northern Indiana in the snow/cold, clear up to about Christmas time, shooting mostly mallards, wood ducks, widgeons and the like.
Another requirement I have is that my dog must primarily be a pheasant dog. This one, as well as my first Golden, has proven to be a fine pheasant flusher/retriever. I shot 34 wild birds in Northern IN and another 13 roosters in South Dakota last fall and he flushed and retrieved them all. If you need a mild-mannered combination waterfowl/upland dog I would highly recommend the Golden---from hunting stock, of course.
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