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Old 11-10-2013, 09:42 PM
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Best Retrievers in Florida

My 12 year old son wants a dog, we've never had a retriever. Which breed is best and why? Labs, goldens, chessies, boykins or what? Thanks
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:34 AM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

That's a loaded question without a good answer. Do your research on each breed and figure out which one is going to work best for you and your family. Remember that hunting season is only a small part of the year and you need to make sure that you are picking a breed that is going to fit with your family, house/surroundings, and lifestyle.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:37 AM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

What D Duck said multiplied by 5................ hunting is such a little part of the dogs life and family time will be the most....
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:11 AM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

the love to hunt makes them easier to train
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:45 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

D Duck and Billy, you guys are right, and with all the gators, maybe we don't even need a retriever. Thanks

I was expecting to hear several guys bragging on their dogs here, I know they become family.

Randy, what do you feed that thing?
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:45 AM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

I don't brag on my dog, but brown dogs are the best....

You need to look at where you hunt - if you're mainly chasing ringers in deep water, I would never recommend using a dog. If your hunting shallow (2ft at the deepest), then a dog can be a great tool without a lot of risk of gators turning your partner into a meal.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:44 AM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

I don't brag on my dog either but BLACK dogs are the best

I agree with D Duck and mine when hunting deep water would wear the neoprene vest that help with the cold and floatation. Got to REMEMBER..... a dog will not know when to stop as he lives to please you and this can get him/her killed. You have to monitor the signs of exahaustion from over swimming or fighting the hydrilla, heat stroke, to water ingestion and drowning from that.

The worst thing is watching your dog get attacked and mauled by a gator and then having to put him down that I will never forget even 41 yrs later.........
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:19 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

We feed Griz "ALOT" ........ naw actually he has lost some weight down from 125 to 117 lbs . But honestly training a dog is great fun. I use a book called water dog from back in the day Richard walters I believe some will say I am dated but heck it has worked well with all my dogs. of course mine are not field trail dogs and I don't want them to be. well behaved family dogs that love to hunt. Snipe duck dove and even tried quail, they all have loved it. I think it opens another part of waterfowling watching the dog lock on the scent of the bird and turn into the breeze and find that cripple that you swore was 50 yards the other way
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:01 PM
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:02 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

Black Dogs Are The Best Dogs My Pup hunts the decoys in very swallow water Only, if he has to swim he not going. I never trained him for long blinds because I want him close, if we knock one down that sails I go with him.

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:35 PM
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Smile Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

Great advise guys, I'll let you know what breed we go with after this season, when we can devote the time needed to train a pup. I'm sure I'll have more questions then too. Thanks again for the tips. Have a great season enjoying God's creation with family and friends!
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:58 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

Black Dogs are the best. And I'll be happy to brag about my boy and his brother (my hunting buddy's dog)...mine is the younger of the two. But Mike is equally as special and wonderful to hunt with.

Here's something else to think about and fishnbilly alluded to it some. If you hunt heavily vegetated areas, (and we hunted areas lots thicker than these pictures), you're going to want a "bigger dog" with more "power". It could be the difference in losing birds or not. Or wearing your dog out quick, or not. The kayak that was used in the picture was used merely as a dog platform. I did not use it for moving around the water in. I pulled the boys into the hunting areas and some of that stuff if you had a little dog like a boykin, you might have issues with the dog being able to get through some of it to make a retrieve. And I can tell you that at thigh level with nothing but water and thick thick vegetation to walk through, even people move slow, so imagine a little dog that can't get traction on the ground trying to move through some of it. Not saying they can't. Just saying I believe that you're handicapping yourself if you choose a little dog but hunt areas where a big dog would be more effective and practical.

I also agree with Lenny. ESPECIALLY since the areas I hunt if there is a "long" blind retrieve to be made out past 40-50 yards the dog can't see me because of the vegetation so teaching him long blind retrieves makes no sense. I go with my boy as well if it's a long retrieve.

Mike and my Black Dog both get "lost" easily (goobers can't seem to back track themselves like other dogs can...not a biggie but something to keep in mind) so if we don't go with them on a retrieve and they get too far out not only can they possibly not see us, with all the splashing they do and all the vegetaion bouncing noise and blocking noise, they can't hear us or can't place us either so teaching long retrieves in that regard also is pointless cuz they can't see or hear which way they're being instructed to go after a bird. We don't have to hold their hands, or do their retrieving for them. They're excellent hunters and have made many outstanding retrieves, but in those scenarios you do want to keep an eye on a dog not only for your own peace of mind, their peace of mind but also it saves you from having to tromp around the marsh the rest of the day looking for your dog who is probably also trying to find you.

And here's a thought about long haired dogs. I also have a toller (long haired dog) who doesn't hunt but I've GOT to keep him shaved in the summer because of the heat and have to keep him brushed and i8n the fall/winter/very early spring he picks up burrs and briars and sticktites and any other little seed that is bound to stick to you about a thousand times more than my lab does. So, if you guys aren't into the work of keeping the burrs out of their fur, I'd avoid a long haired dog. Just a thought.











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  #13  
Old 11-19-2013, 04:27 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

I had a chessy for 14 years AWESOME dog, but for professional handlers ONLY these dogs are the best of the best... extremely hard to train. These dogs bond to the trainer... He passed two years ago my 8 year old wanted a dog, so we went w/ a lab. Much easier to train at 18 months Gibbs was in the blind! Not a single bird has escaped his nose. This dog is doing things my that took my Chessy 8 years to do... I did start right off the bat a few months old doing blind retrieves in the back yard... He's 2 1/2 now can't wait to see him perform this year! He even Polices our brass! He's a KEEPER! GOOD LUCK!
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:04 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

Great pictures guys!!! love the Kents in the mouth shot.......Black dogs are the BEST!!!!
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:59 PM
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Re: Best Retrievers in Florida

Have too go with the black dog as well . Just title one this last weekend in Georgia at Mossy Pond Retrievers & Outfitters . Hosted by Coastal Empire Hunting Retriever Club . I've trained a lot of retrievers and will say the Lab is the best for a first time trainer . They are very forgiving . I highly recommend that you get a good pup from a breeding from Hunting or hunt test stock with OFA Cert's on hips , knees ,eyes . Also make sure EIC is clear . No matter what bred you pick , still should have above . You can buy from a backyard breeder and you could get lucky with a good pup , but most of the time it turns bad . That being said , remember that this is going to be a family member and you will have too commit for it's well being for as long as maybe 15 yrs . Good luck .If you live up this way ,I could lead you too a good litter .
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