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Old 01-03-2018, 01:44 PM
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mattuga mattuga is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: GA
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Default Boykin Spaniel

Whatever you do get papers and look at health clearances.

For doves most retrieving dogs would serve you well. Find a good trainer to follow their method. I would consider which you hunt more dove vs ducks when considering what dog to get.

I think in Georgia you can do a spaniel for ducks but you'd have to know your dog to know what temps to limit. I considered a boykin spaniel and the GSP's are good dogs if you take the time to run them. The GSP require more exercise than others IMO and what I've seen. You'd be leaving most of those dogs home this weekend with the cold. I do plan to have a boykin one day, they seem very loyal and "lab like". I've not hunted with a GSP but they seem a little high strung to sit for hours in a duck blind.

You simply cannot beat a lab for ducks in most hunt situations. I was in between a lab and another breed as well but could not be happier 11 years later that I went with a lab. My choc started with doves and even planted quail she did pretty good. I have a smaller sized lab and she doesn't shed nearly as bad as I thought she would. A labs discipline and obedience is astounding when trained correctly, my dog was so easy to train general obedience. Mine is good enough for me on my first dog trained but labs can be as good as the owner wants. I've seen some robotic hunting retrievers and then the switch goes off (trained switch) and they are great house dogs.

Are you against getting a lab or just wanting to know what other options should be considered? Good luck either way, there are some smart dog guys on this forum who can help with whatever you go with. Having a professional dog trainer (better be a duck hunter) to help you train your dog is worth the investment. I won't own another dog without help, me and the dog will benefit.
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