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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are waiting on a lab from an upcoming litter. She has gone out and bought several books on house training, while I picked up Water Dog.

Now she is all in a panic because she is convinced that a retriever trained to retrieve somehow becomes neurotic. I think is because both my father and father-in-law had Beagles trained as bird dogs.

My feeling is that retrieving a downed bird is simply a very well directed game of fetch; a conditioned response to a very specific condition. Am I crazy thinking a dog can be a good (not even great) "water dog" and still be a nice family dog?

Thanks for your help, convincing stories are great too!
 

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No,,, you're not crazy 20Bolt.
Here's a pair of Great hunting Dawgs and very controlled house Dawgs.
It's all in the training and letting them know who the Alpha is in the pack.


 

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:dito:
BTW...I love those pics of Boom and Molly Brydog! :thumbsup:

20Bolt - I take it the wife doesn't hunt? :yes: To Brydog's point...a well trained retriever spends its 1st 6-9 months of life going through some of the best obedience training possible before it ever gets to go 'hunting'. Done correctly...you guys will likely have the best trained dog in your neighborhood if not the best trained dog she has ever seen.

The only neurotic dogs I have ever seen are ones that are tied out back, left in kennels, not trained for discipline or obedience, or believe they rule the roost. None of those apply to a good hunting retriever.

By comparison - a police K9 dog isn't out-of-control aggressive, a sheep herding dog doesn't run sheep to death on his own accord and drug sniffing dogs aren't drug addicts. :yes:

A true working dog does it's work -when you tell it to and stops working when you tell it to. What they all have in common is they are trained to the highest level possible...confidence and obedience being the platform they all share.

So 90% of you new labs life will be learning how to be a great citizen, understanding what you want, performing that action without question and understanding his role your world. The other 10% is his instinct and drive. That's a VERY important 10% to have in a dog (this is where breeding and genetics matter) but at the end of the day...you'll have the dog you train for.

Waterdog is a good book to read but I highly suggest getting a program or series that can walk you through the entire lifecycle of retriever training. Goosehunterdog is a poster and sponsor here and does a tremendous job helping folks get the right training material.

Make sure you post a pic when the pup arrives! :thumbsup:
 

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To put things in a bit better perspective, a working dog (of any breed) can be a real handful. They are different from the self-regulating, opportunist mutt that shows up at your door and ingratiates his way into your home.

Purpose-bred dogs can be very intense, and may become neurotic if they don't have an outlet for their specialized skills. It doesn't matter whether they are bred to hunt, protect, or herd stock--they need to have a job to do. If you disregard this fact, you do so at the risk of your sanity. Not to mention the risk of the destruction of all your possessions.

Rule #1: a tired puppy is a good puppy.
 

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If I may add my two - I agree with the above posts and feel the same as far as owning a excellent hunting dog and family member at the same time . You just have to start from day one with all the consistent training and what I call "same page" training with every family member in the house . The dog will always be a dog he just needs to be trained in all areas of his life of what is expected of him or her, in the house or in the blind. I believe it starts right as you walk in the door of the house for the first time .

My wife and I have three boys and we own several hunting/family dogs, (labs and Goldens) they live with us in the house. When we go hunting that same dog with famly trained manners can still retreive ducks/geese all day all still has that drive that a kenneled dog may have . I really believe that if you pick a breeder that has family/hunt dogs you have a better chance of that getting that hunting dog you are looking for and that same dog that will lay on the floor with your four year old.

Training two/three times a day (ten minutes each) start with the basics and slowly move your way though the program you have picked. There is so many great books/dvds on training that you can get out there . I picked - Water Dog / Gun Dog and Ten Minute
retriever. I pulled little bits from all have been very happy with my results. Your whole family can help with the training in several areas (basic obedience). You get out what you put in . Good luck and have fun LG
 

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wuzzagrunt said:
Rule #1: a tired puppy is a good puppy.
:dito: :dito: :dito:

BEAUTIFUL Dawg Ace ! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'm assuming that's Ace ?!?!?
 

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Brydog said:
wuzzagrunt said:
Rule #1: a tired puppy is a good puppy.
:dito: :dito: :dito:

BEAUTIFUL Dawg Ace ! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'm assuming that's Ace ?!?!?
Thank you, and yes that is ACE. I will soon have 4 hounds running around the house. ACE (5), Dixie (2yrs old this wed. at the pro's most the time), Sam (13wks) and Jack (not born yet, 3/3/08)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the stories. Not sure if she is convinced, but its helping.

Breeding: I think I am all set there. Both her F/M are Dick and Doll Labs.

Sire:
http://www.labradale.com/Coffee.html

B*tch:

(Black Lab on the Left). This is probably the worst picture I have, so I will put up a better one soon. She is my parents dog. She was from a litter of 4, 2 boys both Field Champs, and 1 girl show dog.

We expect the litter in about 5 weeks, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. My wife and I have paid most of the expenses, so we get the pick of the litter. :biggrin:

Thanks for the comments
 

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20bolt said:
This is probably the worst picture I have, so I will put up a better one soon. She is my parents dog. She was from a litter of 4, 2 boys both Field Champs, and 1 girl show dog.
Sounds exciting! So out of a litter of 4 pups - your parents dog, 1 show dog and 2 field champions? Who are the FC's?
 

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Don't know if it'll help convince your wife by having a female's perspective on the issue, but here goes...

I couldn't agree more with the above posts!!! Obviously obedience is super important!!! The one other thing to think about is yes, the dog might get a little crazy, but it'll be crazy about HUNTING!!! It'll be very directed excitement, not excitement 100% of the time about anything and everything. I'm a newbie, so I don't have as much experience as the other guys, but my little 6mth old BLF is the biggest cuddler (almost TOO cuddly at times :no: ), but the minute we step out into the field and she hears birds (or recently, given the several feet of snow on the ground, when she hears those geese on the hunting videos haha) she gets super excited...her ears perk up and she sits there all antsy, with her tail twitching. But it's not like she's crazy all the time. Also, all craziness is under control with proper obedience! :thumbsup:

Hope that helps some...

Cheers,
Katherine
 

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SK Girl said:
The one other thing to think about is yes, the dog might get a little crazy, but it'll be crazy about HUNTING!!!
I couldn't agree more,
If I so much as touch an article of Camo clothing, or a gun, my Dawgs start doin' backflips. Other than that, they're couch potato's.
 

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Train...Train...Train....my Choc. just turned a year old and loves it when my 5&6 year old daughters dress him up and play house with him(getting harder @ 87lbs already),and sleeps in the middle on the old king size,BUT when its time to work he works,as Ive trained him w the help of Mr. Wolters from the get go :thumbsup: (note to self)I dont agree with everything in the book but it helped alot with my work in progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is Pearl: the Mother (she is about 2-1/2 years in this picture)
 

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If anything, retriever training will make a dog more controllable in the house. A working breed is going to be a bit nuts at times, no matter how you train it. You are getting a lab, retriever training should be the least of her worries. How about the things that the dog never brings back, never even lets you know that its just EATEN?

I honestly feel that having a dog conditioned for an extended sit or down in the house, as a result of retriever training, kicks the crap out of a dog that can roll over, but won't sit still for more than three seconds. Anybody care to argue that point?

So no, you are not crazy.

What I'm getting at here is that we are talking about a lab pup here. You are in for it either way.

It's your choice. If you would prefer you can lift the dog in the air by your favorite hunting socks and try to pry them out the dogs mouth. Or you could simply say "give" and get them back. Take your pick.
 

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DuckMN said:
I honestly feel that having a dog conditioned for an extended sit or down in the house, as a result of retriever training, kicks the crap out of a dog that can roll over, but won't sit still for more than three seconds. Anybody care to argue that point?
No argument here! :thumbsup:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 
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