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First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

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Old 09-06-2013, 09:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 291
First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

I grew up with an English Springer with my family however she was not used as a hunting dog and was gun-shy. She recently passed away and now I am finally ready to start searching for my first dog. The dog will mainly be used as a friend/companion but also as a hunting dog for ducks and grouse in Northern Wisconsin. Initially I had wanted a Chesapeake Bay Retriever for the cold Fall hunting weather where some smaller ponds and lakes can freeze over while still in duck season but after doing some research, I feel that that might not be the best breed for someone who has not trained a dog before and might not be the best "kid friendly'' breed either. I do not have kids now but would like to in the next few years so it is something I should take into consideration. I am now leaning towards a Chocolate Lab and I am wondering if anyone can recommend a great breeder in the upper Midwest for Chocolate Labs that have good hunting backgrounds?

I have also read that the first 9 months of the pups life are most crucial for training purposes so my question is, would it be silly to buy a puppy late this Fall or Winter and not have the ability to train in the woods/water?

I appreciate any help out there fore this is all very new to me but I am excited to start looking for a pup.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:29 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Aberdeen, SD
Posts: 508
Re: First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

We raised chocolate labs for over 20 years. They are a great dog. We bought a female about 15 years ago from Lorken Farms in Fremont WI. She was a beautiful dog. Her sire was Storms Riptide Star. They were good people to deal with and have a quality operation.
Our female had a good disposition, always wanting to please, hunted like there was no tomorrow. She also pointed.
The best male I had was sired by Pachanga Magnum Force. He was high energy, loved the water and also pointed.
Make sure who ever you buy from has an OFA certification on both parents. This is important because all labs are prone to hipdisplasia. The pups should have all shot, dewormed and vet checked before you pick them up.
I also recommend the parents be AKC certified.
Be prepared to spend a little money. We sold our pups for $800 to $1000 each. That doesn't mean that you can't get a good dog for less. We haven't breed dogs for over 7 years now but I still get calls from people asking me if and when we are going to have another litter.
As far as time of year I don't believe it matters. It's all about the time you spend with them. I bought my last male in November of 2005. He is like a robot when he hunts.
Also try and find someone in your area that trains labs. Pick their brain. See if you can help him train his dogs when he takes them out. That's how I learned. Go to a couple of field trials a lot can be learned there. It's also fun to participate.

Good luck
RMNS 8:28
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:08 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Iron Range, Minnesota
Posts: 779
Re: First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

another option is Brittany Spaniels....very friendly dogs who love to hunt, or just sit on the couch with you......

L'Etoile du Nord Kennels <meta name="description=" content="The entrance to L'Etoile du Nord Kennel">

main sire is Vern, who is one of the top Brittanys in the country

I'll look for lab Breeders too
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:49 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 291
Re: First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

MN Hunter,

Thanks for the input and advise, its greatly appreciated! I will lookup the folks you mentioned in Fremont and see if they are still breeding. It is also good to hear that you believe time of the year when the dog is purchased is not as important and the amount of time, effort, and care you provide during their first year. I am going to start looking around the immediate area and see if there are any trainers and see if I can come watch or help them while they train. Thanks again.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:51 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 291
Re: First Dog- Breeder Recommendations

emn83- I am not familiar with Brits but they sure are good looking dogs, thanks for the link to the website.
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