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Since many of you are knowledgeable folks to field trials and working stock I thought I would present my question on here. I'm looking for another puppy and am curious about the personalities of different lines. Personally, I like a dog that's a little "aloof," one that works with me but doesn't need constant assurances or need to always be underfoot. Have any of you heard of any lines with those traits?
 

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Mmm. I never answered this because I'm not quite sure what you are looking for. Most Labradors from working lines are more than capable or working under their own initiative. Watching DVD's of the Retriever Championship where dogs are handled to within spitting distance of the bird is fine but mere mortals like me often only have a very rough idea which field the bird fell in so we rely on our dogs to work it out.

When talking about aloof dogs, it always puts me in mind of your own breed, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who tends to be far more aloof than the Labrador.

Regards, John
 

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Well, I normally describe my dogs as 'working with me' (rather than for me) and I like that they're 'getting on' but still responsive if needed :lol: but as John says, that should go for most working dogs that you'll see at trials or shoots working in picking-up teams.

I'd have a look around and find a few dogs that you like the look of and then go from there! Many breeders do now have websites so you can do a lot from the computer however, if you can get out and see the dogs that is even better..

Natasha
 

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As a thought for you, it might be an idea to have a word with Mike Stewart at the Wildrose Kennels. Over the years he has imported some wonderful dogs from over here, including a favourite of mine, the late Baildonian Baron of Craighorn, the sire of my old Anna.

http://www.uklabs.com/staff.php

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses. Sorry for the vague opening--let me clarify. In picking, you guys are spot on...I need a dog with the confidence to work a distance from the handler. I typically gun doves in the early season and occasionally all in standing corn or glide some distance after the shot. In my limited experience, a good working dog with some decent training will do that.

However, the more I read about the lines/kennels over in Britain and Ireland, the more I see the top breeders want certain characteristics. I like Lavenghyl lines as Bates/Williams' dogs/breeding are a competitive bunch but I read over comments where people say the dogs run "hot." I've been reading about Willowyck kennels, especially Ruff, but there just doesn't seem to be an abundance of his grandchildren in breeding over here. Del is a popular stud at a lot of our kennels but I don't know much about his personality. I've also really enjoyed reading about Leadburn gundogs and looking at various pedigrees, Drakeshead pops up regularly. Basically, I'm like a kid in a candy store and as much as I would love to spend a holiday watching all these different dogs/breeders work, that may lead to my wife smothering me with a pillow in my sleep.

My last two labs were from Mike at Wildrose Kennels but with the next pup I would like to find a dog's personality/pedigree, and then find the breeder. I hope my clarifications (though rather long) help.

Thanks again for your comments!
 

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In my experience most dogs will work with confidence at long distances and ignore the handler.

Its the dogs that work with confidence at long distances but are also willing to be stopped and handled that do well in Field Trials in the UK.
 

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Might be worth getting some copies of the IGL Retriever championship DVD's and watching some of the dogs that way. Paul French is the guy who produces them. Well worth a watch
 

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Not contributed thus far as I don't work mine & have only owned one Lab as a pet, (working lines & kept busy in mind & body).

Posting as curious to mention by John of Chespeake Bay Retriever within context of reply to OP mentioning "your own dogs" - I can't see other reference(s) to same on the thread, in OP's post history or profile.............If so motivated perhaps someone (John W) might kindly fill in the missing gap so I can return to quietly looking on from the pet owners corner ;)
 

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Posting as curious to mention by John of Chespeake Bay Retriever within context of reply to OP mentioning "your own dogs" - I can't see other reference(s) to same on the thread, in OP's post history or profile
Not meaning the OP personally, but by the name I took him to be an American, and the Chespeake Bay Retriever is an American breed.

Might be worth getting some copies of the IGL Retriever championship DVD's and watching some of the dogs that way. Paul French is the guy who produces them. Well worth a watch
Could not agree more with Sam's post. The IGL Retriever Championship is our top Field Trial of the year, so it's a chance to see most of the top dogs working.

http://www.paulfrenchvideo.com/product/2013-igl-retriever-championship/

Regards, John
 

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Some of the first Chessie's to arrive on these shores were brought over by American servicemen during WW2. In this area some of the early dogs were imported, would have been in the 1960's by Paula Taylor-Williams. I remember judging one of hers around that time. But even now we don't see that many. It's main use over here seems to be as a Wildfowling dog on the mudflats around the estuaries where it's power is put to good use battling through the thick muddy water.

Regards, John
 

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I don't think I have ever knowingly seen one in person so to speak, however, my interest in retrieving dogs is quite recent relatively speaking.
 
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