Not to be confused with Freestone
OK, not 100% decided, but it's looking like yellow lab is leading at present....then, maybe another GR.

Switching gears a little... a question about using shock collars. Neither the wife or I want to use them. Obviously, many thousands of great bird dogs were trained prior to that technology becoming prevalent. My question to those who have trained with and w/o these is "what difference have you experienced"?

I do however like the signal that tells you when the dogs if on point... one of the dogs at my Miller Ranch outing had this and that was pretty cool.
I'm a Golden guy. My current dog is wonderful, we made the choice and frankly, dogs are part of us, so I'm not livin' without one.

That being said, a somewhat smaller breed might be desirable as we move ahead. I'm considering Brittany Spaniels, similarly biddable as goldens are, and about 1/2 to 2/3 the size, also make good versatile hunters and wonderful play companions as I fish, waterfowl and upland hunt, and like swimming with dogs. Labs are wonderful dogs in every way, but often pretty high energy for me on a daily basis.

As to electric collars, I consider them essential. Use them as you would a long check cord. Get one highly adjustable, with a vibrate setting. My golden has been shocked about 3 times, buzzed with the vibrator many, and it gets his attention. I've no ability anymore to run a dog down while it's headed for a highway, and yes, I train 'em, but if they're going and you can't stop 'em, that collar will get their attention now, and they will stop and turn around. Most of the old training manuals written by a guy whose name escapes me right now (Walters? Books: Gun Dog, Water Dog, etc.) have new editions with sections on the proper use of an e-collar.

They've come a long way since the big box my old man had to train beagles to pheasant hunt...they're very humane. Again, think check cord, not torture device. For obedience in the field, essential. For other, advanced training, I'll leave it to someone more experienced to comment.


Not to be confused with Freestone
The wife is in full stride on the dog thing now. We've looked at a couple of litters and she is doing lots of research to include having gone to the dog show at Puyallup yesterday to see labs and GR's. I'm OK with either and, since she will be home with primary rearing responsibility, I'm letting her steer the direction on which and male or female.

Funny, on our first GR we spent hardly anytime researching, just a couple of adds in the local paper later and she was home with us. For Max & Hallee, a little more, but not too much...now, holy heck, information overload! Maybe we were just plain lucky with our first 3 GR's...all lived 12-13 and no hip, eye, elbow, etc. issues and great dogs. Now with the internet and the plethora of info, our heads are spinning... maybe too much info is not so good? I generally think this to be true of many things today and long for simplicity.

Guy -- Interesting thought about the shock collar. I guess saving a dog from heading off onto a road in chase of game does seem a reasonable trade-off. Guess my impressions of them (shock collars) have been hearing a dog yelp and get really dejected looking after so... perhaps being used incorrectly. Ah jeezz, another thing to research :eek:

I suspect this time we'll be a bit more picky, but in the end, having a dog (or dogs) is simply part of who we are and we miss them presently...stay tuned.
You'll do fine. Don't let the info overload you, when you find the dog for you, you'll know. Take 'em home. Nice people who care and train their dogs have nice dogs. It's that simple.

Respect for e-collars is a good thing. It sound's like we've both seen them misused. That's one to read up on, but really, it opened up a whole new vista of training for me I'd struggled with. From a safety perspective alone, it's a helluva tool.

Good luck with your new family member.
As for genetic and health testing, luck has something to do with it. I've been both lucky and unlucky with the health of my dogs, the first one having to be retired at age 6 due to severe elbow dysplasia. With my last two I've settled on nothing less than all the tests being done on both parents. You can still end up with an unhealthy dog no matter how healthy the parents are, but I like the reassurance of buying better odds.

I also wouldn't buy a puppy if the parents were untitled in hunt tests and, for me, obedience - I want the best odds the puppy I get will have the aptitude to do those things AND it shows the breeder has an interest in creating good dogs.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Guy, it's Donald Wolters. And when y'all find a good field trials Golden breeder, please let me know? Fiona's going to be 10 this fall, and Ailan's almost 8, so I need to be thinking about maybe a third pup to take up room on the bed!
I'll let you know about trials golden breeders, if I ever hear of one.

As you're no doubt aware, Golden's don't do so well in trials. IMHO, Goldens have more stamina in general (I'm not criticising labs, guys, so keep your hands off your keyboards...) but not the drive and energy that trials emphasize. My dog comes from show stock, and leaves many things to be desired as a hunter when compared to decent to fine level labradors of my hunting friends. When compared to the labs, he's slower (I'm old), he will space out and run around like a pet (he is a pet 350 days per year), and he gets covered with burrs, thistles, and cheatgrass, requiring at least an hour to brush after each hunt (during which he groans and looks passionately at me.). On the third day he's still chugging away, the labs are usually all in, probably because they have covered twice the ground he covers. He'll walk over birds, and he's also not steady in the blind (don't put your sandwich down to shoot) and he must run around me counterclockwise twice with every bird he retrieves (very strange). Yet, he's my pal, I trained him, and neither he nor his predecessor ever lost a bird, I'd rather hunt with him than any other dog.

For my retreivers I've believed that 5-8 yrs. are the journeyman years..puppy nonsense mostly gone, energy and health (if you're lucky) at adult level, they know the program and the process. Beyond 8, they start moving with the economy of age...Old age and treachery, don't ya know, and are best for wild birds 'cause they've seen that stuff before. Yeah, you're about ready to start again.


Not to be confused with Freestone
Looked at GR and LR litters this weekend... getting closer. All the way to down to Onalaska then over to Raymond...can't seem to find much around the Tacoma area. Wife's doing some research on pedigrees. She found a really cool website for tracking all about lineage and health of registered dogs.


Just picked up a couple of dog kennels this morning so we're set-up when the decision is made. We're discussing getting two again and going back and forth on the pluses and minuses of that option -- it really was fun having siblings. Also discussing getting one of each... we're convinced we're nuts so feel free to pile on. :D


Active Member
i'll chip in on the rving side.....been travelling with them for 20 odd years as my wife trains, shows and is into agility.....would rather travel with one or two than without......make that two.....a single gets bored and thinks get chewed......rv parks in the US ,[not all] look at weight, breed and how many.......depending on how neat you like to keep your travelling home, a non shedder like an airedale or a poodle is an advantage......something without a huge prey drive.....do love GRs and labs though......


Not to be confused with Freestone
Well, we did successfully raise our two GR's; brother/sister. 90% of the effort/credit goes to my wife and it helps that she works from home and they always have someone providing instruction...they were awesome and on the plus side, you get it all done at once. Chances are we'll get one then another a bit later...but we are weak and we know it :D.

Is that your dog in the boat? He/she is a great looking dog! I went back to see read your other posts and perhaps I missed it, but where did you get your dog? Thanks for the other link.
Yep, that's my Penny. She's the best puppy I've ever had, but I think I deserve it after having two hellion labs. I got her from WindyCanyon Labradors which is located right at the bottom of the Yakima River Canyon. I really wanted a dog with an off switch, but with plenty of drive to hunt - which is exactly what I got. She took 2nd place at a practice hunt test (Sr. Puppy division) in late June and was the youngest dog in her class. At home she's super easy going and better behaved (usually) than my 11 year old lab. She's still a puppy and will occasionally destroy a crate pad or try some DIY gardening.

I know Anne at WindyCanyon has a litter this fall the same sire and Penny's aunt, but I'm not sure on availability.

Here's Penny's pedigree: http://www.huntinglabpedigree.com/pedigree.asp?id=71504


Not to be confused with Freestone
Well, after lots of looking, we placed a deposit on a female yellow lab last week. The litter is 2 weeks old yesterday, so we won't bring her home until late the first week of October. We're pretty excited and a little apprehensive at the same time...it's been 14 years since we last did the puppy thing. It will be good in many ways.

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