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Old 01-04-2018, 08:48 AM
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gunslinger33 gunslinger33 is offline
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Erik

What are you wanting in this dog? What are you expecting it to do versus what it was bred to do?

I have a DK (gsp) that is 4 and he will do whatever you ask him to but........ he doesn't love to do everything you ask him. He doesn't love to sit quietly for hours with little to not action. He doesn't love to enter the water when it's 25 degrees. He will but it's not passionate , however he will run for hours searching for birds. He will retrieve any game fur or feather.

I recently took to him to a trainer for an evaluation. The trainer asked me what I wanted him to do or what my expectations are for him. By the end of the conversation I realized I am wanting my DK to be a "retriever". I am wanting him to be something he is not. The draw of a DK for me was breeding control and versatility but the reality is I duck hunt 95% of the time and 5% upland work. Understand DKs and DDs (gwp) go through some unique testing and for some undesirable training (predator dispatch) along with tracking. They are very nose driven , so yes if they wind a rabbit , coon , fox , coyote or other fur game they will either find it or kill it , so control is key when you are walking a mile through the woods in the dark to get to your duck spot.

I'm not suggesting getting a DK (gsp) or DD (gwp) as alternate choices for a Lab. I am just giving you my experience of a different breed to do the work that a retriever was bred to do.

Of course whatever breed you decide to go with make sure the breeder is reputable and provides all the necessary health clearances for the particular breed you have decided to buy. Research the genetic health concerns for the breed you have decided on. Talk to your vet about the particular breed of interest for health concerns.
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