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Old 05-20-2007, 10:52 AM
kjc kjc is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hamlin, Texas
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Default Labs?

Lab owners. my son has a cocolate lab and I just love this dog. I would really like to have one. However I live on a small farm with free range chickens guineas and ducks / SO my questions could he be taught not to mess with my birds. IM looking for a good companion/guard more companion though. SO is this possible or am I asking for trouble?
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Old 05-20-2007, 01:03 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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I think it is very possible. They are not supposed to be animal aggressive. Will you be getting a puppy or adult? From a shelter or breeder? If it is a puppy then make sure you spend a lot of time socializing him with the birds. If an adult ask the shelter if they know how he is with birds. see if they will let you see how he reacts to them. They should let you test him because you do not want to bring him home and find out he attacks them and then have to give him back.

If I were you I would still keep an eye on him when ever he is out with them. Most labs will not guard, they may alert you of an intruder but most will go run up and lick a burglar Chesapeke bay retrievers are good guard dogs but I believe their temperament is not as easy going as a lab. Chessies tend to be more dominant and harder to train.

If you get from a breeder make sure it is a good one! they are a popular breed so you are bound to run into a lot of bad breeders. i of course recommend getting a rescue! Do some research into the breed. They are VERY energetic and love to swim, I'm assuming you have a body of water for the ducks so if you don't want the dog in it...good luck! It's really a great breed though for the right family.

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Old 05-21-2007, 02:34 AM
ks02 ks02 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Iowa
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I agree with Maxy24. Over the weekend, I was at my parents' house. They have two mixed breeds, and I had Riley with me (my 10 month lab). We were down by the river, and the dogs were doing retrieves with a retrieving dummy in the river. A squirrel ran by and my parents' two took off after it. I looked down and there was Riley sitting at my side with his retrieving dummy. Silly boy. In my experience, labs do not have a high prey drive like a Husky or a terrier would. They are more content to retrieve, which is a good thing, since it is what they were bred to do. They are also VERY trainable, so with a little work I doubt you would have a problem. Puppies will be puppies though, so I suppose if your lab got bored or did not get enough exercise or stimulation, he might decide to find his own fun with your birds.
As far as a guard dog, a lab would not be what you want. Most will alert you that someone is there, but they will do nothing to try to stop an intruder. Labs are people-lovers, and everybody is a friend.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:36 AM
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Julie Julie is offline
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Location: Wild Wonderful WV
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I think with early socialization and training, it may be possible. Personally I would stay away from field labs, they tend to be more "high drive" and retrieving birds is very natural to them. It doesn't matter if they are dead or alive....they want to retrieve them, that is what they do.
Don't forget if you ask a breeder of labs "how are they around birds/ducks", normally an answer of "good or great" means they are very interested and would love to kill them or carry them around.

I could never have free range ducks or geese around my labs, but mine have already had the "taste of feathers", and they hunt/retrieve regularly.

Personally I would look for a different breed, you may end up having problems. Labs were bred to retrieve game, that is like putting a steak in front of a starving man, and expecting him not to eat it.

I am sure there are some labs that would have no interest in your chickens and ducks, but I think that would not be the norm.
I guess it just really depends on the dog, and how you would train him.

Good Luck!
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