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Author Topic: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted  (Read 2507 times)

Offline Bookworm007

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Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« on: January 15, 2024, 11:47:46 AM »
Hello all! I am looking for feedback on pointing labs. It is time to look for a new hunting partner and the previous breeder I used is no longer available. I have seen other forum members have great success with dogs from Tiger Mountain Pointing Labs and I especially like that the pups get early exposure to birds.

My questions are as follows:

I read that the breeder selects the puppy for you based on a survey you fill out, has everyone been satisfied with this process or would you rather have found a breeder that let you select your puppy?

Has anyone actually trained their pointer lab from tiger mountain or any other pointing lab breeder to actually point in an effective manner in hunting situations?

Those of you who have bought pointing labs before, would you do so again or would you just seek a quality lab from a standard breeder?
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2024, 12:17:27 PM »
Well I donít know a darn thing about pointing labs. But if I wanted a smart well bred lab that I could pick for myself again. I would go back to Ireland Farms.

Several folks on this forum own them and I think I could teach my dog to do what ever I wanted. She is very smart. And very birdy.

I trained her myself to hand singles and retrieving and her only limits have been me.
Now she is 10 and has had a perfect health record.

Good luck
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ďI f he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.Ē ― Theodore Roosevelt

Offline 10mmg

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2024, 12:39:22 PM »
I have commented on similar posts regarding my dislike of johnís operation at tiger mountian. I know other have had good experiences with John. If i had a pointing lab i wanted trained i would look at pat murphy in monroe.

Offline Bookworm007

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2024, 12:54:49 PM »
Well I donít know a darn thing about pointing labs. But if I wanted a smart well bred lab that I could pick for myself again. I would go back to Ireland Farms.

Several folks on this forum own them and I think I could teach my dog to do what ever I wanted. She is very smart. And very birdy.

I trained her myself to hand singles and retrieving and her only limits have been me.
Now she is 10 and has had a perfect health record.

Good luck

I actually also have a black lab from Ireland Farms and love him dearly, and he hunts very well and is incredibly social! He has a fantastic coat that handles even the coldest days with no problem, but his sister who an american chocolate lab is needing to retire from hunting in the next year so. I am hoping to find another american lab to give him a friend that can better match his energy level and pull some upland hunting duties in the thicker brush and hotter days where an 85 lb english lab struggles.
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline Bookworm007

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2024, 01:04:54 PM »
I have commented on similar posts regarding my dislike of johnís operation at tiger mountian. I know other have had good experiences with John. If i had a pointing lab i wanted trained i would look at pat murphy in monroe.

Yeah I found your posts on your experience and they sounded awful, it actually made me wonder how many folks successfully take advantage of the pointing attribute, and if it worth while limiting breeder selection based on that attribute. But thank you for detailing your experience, it is helpful hearing from the successes as well as the failures to temper expectations.
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline Bone collector 13

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2024, 01:05:08 PM »
Hello all! I am looking for feedback on pointing labs. It is time to look for a new hunting partner and the previous breeder I used is no longer available. I have seen other forum members have great success with dogs from Tiger Mountain Pointing Labs and I especially like that the pups get early exposure to birds.

My questions are as follows:

I read that the breeder selects the puppy for you based on a survey you fill out, has everyone been satisfied with this process or would you rather have found a breeder that let you select your puppy?

Has anyone actually trained their pointer lab from tiger mountain or any other pointing lab breeder to actually point in an effective manner in hunting situations?

Those of you who have bought pointing labs before, would you do so again or would you just seek a quality lab from a standard breeder?
Iíll preface this by saying by no means am I an expert in pointing labs. But Iím a year in on mine. And did a ton of research before pulling the trigger. 1st. Any breeder that lets you pick your pup, Iíd severely question their reputation. Not saying it doesnít happen. But all the breeders I talked to, pointing and non, I didnt get free choice of the litter. The breeder I ended up going with, we had 3 separate 10-15 minute phone calls over about a month before she sent me pictures, and then she narrowed it down 2, and gave me the full run down and said pup A, is this. pup B is this. They both fit what youíre looking for, pup A is more driven, definitely gonna be higher energy, pup B is a little bit of a lazier dog. Pick 1. I know some breeders donít even do that. But anyone that just shows you dogs and says which one do you want. Iíd have some reservations about. 2. Labs are tough. Everyone is breeding labs, health is a huge issue, hips, elbows, allergies and eyes are all common health issues in labs. Make sure you get clearance on all those things. Iv seen a lot of good labs that could have been great labs that were limited by health problems due to bad breeding. 3. Iím not familiar with any of your west side trainers but there is a wa state pointing lab association. Reach out to them. Mine is going to a trainer in Moses lake that specializes in pointing labs, and is known in the pointing lab community, and there again I got there by talking to him, and talking to countless others that have either used him, or hunted around his dogs. Make sure training style lines up with your training philosophy. A million ways to skin a cat. And you want to be on board with the way your dog gets trained. 4. As far as bird count goes. You dog needs to get birds and quality training early. Everything I read and everyone I talked to said that magic number was about 100 birds in the first year to solidify a dog. Where guys tend to fall apart on training their own bird dogs isnít that they canít do it, itís that they donít get bird exposure. And 20-30 birds a year takes a couple years to get to that 100 birds and by then your dog has developed bad habits, etc.

Offline MR5x5

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2024, 01:24:32 PM »
So I hunt pheasant a lot with a couple different friends and their pointing labs. So my question to you just what are you after in your dog?  If you want a pointer for upland birds I'd advise getting a true pointing breed.  If you want a dog that does both dry and wet work, get a versatile breed.  If you are set on a lab and think it would be cool if it pointed a bit too, then by all means go that route.  What I have seen with labs is that they are not typically the best pointers, and they are not built to do the the hard field work a pointing breed does.  That said, I think labs are great dogs, it's just that upland is not their strength.

Offline Old Dog

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2024, 01:43:00 PM »
Lots of good pointing lab breeders besides Tiger MT.  Check in with the Columbia Basin Pointing Labrador Club or The Northwest Pointing Labrador Club. 

I love my pointing Labs, and wouldn't have any other dog..., but in all honesty they are not the best pointers.  That being said.  The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in North America and Great Britan.  There's good reasons for that.  Having one that also points is icing on the cake!   :tup:
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Offline Dhoey07

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2024, 02:47:38 PM »
Good luck with your search.  I have one that is 11 and have had zero issues with him.  Unfortunately the breeders both passed away and that line is no more. 


Offline Bookworm007

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2024, 05:12:19 PM »
Hello all! I am looking for feedback on pointing labs. It is time to look for a new hunting partner and the previous breeder I used is no longer available. I have seen other forum members have great success with dogs from Tiger Mountain Pointing Labs and I especially like that the pups get early exposure to birds.

My questions are as follows:

I read that the breeder selects the puppy for you based on a survey you fill out, has everyone been satisfied with this process or would you rather have found a breeder that let you select your puppy?

Has anyone actually trained their pointer lab from tiger mountain or any other pointing lab breeder to actually point in an effective manner in hunting situations?

Those of you who have bought pointing labs before, would you do so again or would you just seek a quality lab from a standard breeder?
Iíll preface this by saying by no means am I an expert in pointing labs. But Iím a year in on mine. And did a ton of research before pulling the trigger. 1st. Any breeder that lets you pick your pup, Iíd severely question their reputation. Not saying it doesnít happen. But all the breeders I talked to, pointing and non, I didnt get free choice of the litter. The breeder I ended up going with, we had 3 separate 10-15 minute phone calls over about a month before she sent me pictures, and then she narrowed it down 2, and gave me the full run down and said pup A, is this. pup B is this. They both fit what youíre looking for, pup A is more driven, definitely gonna be higher energy, pup B is a little bit of a lazier dog. Pick 1. I know some breeders donít even do that. But anyone that just shows you dogs and says which one do you want. Iíd have some reservations about. 2. Labs are tough. Everyone is breeding labs, health is a huge issue, hips, elbows, allergies and eyes are all common health issues in labs. Make sure you get clearance on all those things. Iv seen a lot of good labs that could have been great labs that were limited by health problems due to bad breeding. 3. Iím not familiar with any of your west side trainers but there is a wa state pointing lab association. Reach out to them. Mine is going to a trainer in Moses lake that specializes in pointing labs, and is known in the pointing lab community, and there again I got there by talking to him, and talking to countless others that have either used him, or hunted around his dogs. Make sure training style lines up with your training philosophy. A million ways to skin a cat. And you want to be on board with the way your dog gets trained. 4. As far as bird count goes. You dog needs to get birds and quality training early. Everything I read and everyone I talked to said that magic number was about 100 birds in the first year to solidify a dog. Where guys tend to fall apart on training their own bird dogs isnít that they canít do it, itís that they donít get bird exposure. And 20-30 birds a year takes a couple years to get to that 100 birds and by then your dog has developed bad habits, etc.


Thank you for all of the detailed information, it is very helpful. I have always gotten ultimately choose my own pup, but definitely ask the breeder for their opinion on the pup and if it suits my expectations/needs. I am a weekend warrior for both upland and waterfowl and know that I cannot satisfy the drive of a guide level dog, but I do raise my own pheasants and hunt my dogs nearly every weekend. The idea of being able to hunt a lab like a pointer interest me, but I don't see/hear of many hunters doing so. That being said it sounds like you have had a lot of success in the department which makes me optimistic! Thank you for all of the advice!
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline Bookworm007

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2024, 05:16:36 PM »
Good luck with your search.  I have one that is 11 and have had zero issues with him.  Unfortunately the breeders both passed away and that line is no more.

That is where I am right now, my first lab was from an american lab breeder and the best hunter I have ever had the pleasure of working with, but I waited too long and her line was not continued. So now I'm trying my best to recreate that combination. Glad to hear you have had good luck. Do you hunt your pup as a pointer when upland bird hunting or mostly as a flusher?
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline Bookworm007

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2024, 05:31:13 PM »
So I hunt pheasant a lot with a couple different friends and their pointing labs. So my question to you just what are you after in your dog?  If you want a pointer for upland birds I'd advise getting a true pointing breed.  If you want a dog that does both dry and wet work, get a versatile breed.  If you are set on a lab and think it would be cool if it pointed a bit too, then by all means go that route.  What I have seen with labs is that they are not typically the best pointers, and they are not built to do the the hard field work a pointing breed does.  That said, I think labs are great dogs, it's just that upland is not their strength.

I'm not looking for a 100% pointer, upland bird hunting makes up at most 50% of my season and I am very comfortable with labs and would rather stay in that breed. What has led me to pursuing a pointing lab is that my first hunting dog just turned 9 and now has arthritis in multiple joints and while she still has the drive to hunt comes home limping if I let her hunt a full session. The wife and I also acquired a black english lab who is coming up on 3 years old and is turning out to be a fantastic waterfowl dog but lacks the nose, agility, and size to keep up with upland hunting which has motivated me to bring home a new american lab puppy in the next year or so to fill that role. So basically my question for the masses is if I get a pointing lab, manage to train it to point on birds, will it be able to add to my hunting experience or is the pointing lab arena more marketing than substance?
"I ain't never had too much fun"

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2024, 05:49:49 PM »
Reach out to Old Dog (responded above), pick his brain a bit. Get a hold of the Pointing lab club here on the west side and go to a couple of training days, talk to actual dog owners, hear from them about breeders and mannerisms you are seeking. As mentioned there are several breeders. We've had pointing labs for 15 or so years, because I wanted labs and the pointing part was a huge perk when the kids were little and beginning to upland hunt. Raising your own birds is a big plus. Allows you to put extra birds in front of your dog. The pointing lab group will have LOTS of help and information to help you train your own but by working with the group you have training help when needed.

Good luck in your search, enjoy the process and remember the purchase is the fasted and cheapest part of dog ownership.

Offline cem3434

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2024, 05:50:53 PM »
So I hunt pheasant a lot with a couple different friends and their pointing labs. So my question to you just what are you after in your dog?  If you want a pointer for upland birds I'd advise getting a true pointing breed.  If you want a dog that does both dry and wet work, get a versatile breed.  If you are set on a lab and think it would be cool if it pointed a bit too, then by all means go that route.  What I have seen with labs is that they are not typically the best pointers, and they are not built to do the the hard field work a pointing breed does.  That said, I think labs are great dogs, it's just that upland is not their strength.

Not sure where you hunt or if you have only hunted in the field over pointers, but I go to SD pheasant hunting every year with the Steffan Bros (https://huntpierre.com/pheasant-hunting) and the preferred dog that they hunt with day in and day out is labs.  They do have a couple pointers, but the labs outnumber them 10 to 1 and that is a professional outfitter that hunts probably +/- 100 days per season.  They are not the best pointers, but they definitely handle the "hard field work" better than any of the pointing breeds from what I have seen. 

I do agree if you want a true "pointer" then get a pointing breed as I have a pointing lab out of East Harbor Gundogs and she is a great flusher unless its a squirrel and then she points like there's no tomorrow.  IMHO most labs (not the 95 lb monsters) will keep up with the hard field work and give you the versatility of hunting waterfowl, not to mention the temperament of labs is usually way better for a family dog as well.  :twocents:
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Offline HereDuckyDucky

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Re: Pointing Labs Thoughts and Advice Wanted
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2024, 06:03:16 PM »
My first ďpointing labĒ was from Trieven Kennels. Great dog. Excellent duck hunter. Never saw him point anything other than a piece of kibble under the couch.

My next one came from Tiger Mountain. Didnít point, but eventually turned into an okay duck dog. She had health issues that made me steer away from Tiger stock.

After two pointing labs that didnít point, I decided to stop playing around. My next dog came from KB Kennels in Colorado. She was the runt of the litter, but came from arguably the best pointing lab lines in the Country. That dog was pointing wings at 5-weeks, and sheís been killing pheasants on point ever since.

I was so impressed with her that I bought my next dog from the same bloodline. This one out of Bearpoint Kennels (also Colorado). That dog, too, is a pointing machine!

My next dog will also come from Bearpoint lines. Thereís honestly no comparison to ďpointing labĒ lines Iíve observed in WA.

RW

 


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