The Labrador

I was once told that speaking critically of girlfriends and spouses was one thing, but to do the same about someones gun dog is crossing the line. There are a ton of great hunting dog breeds out there but most of us settle on one or two. From that point on we espouse the virtues of our particular breed with little regard for logic. Heck, I had a person recently spend thirty minutes explaining to me why Border Collie’s are the best bird dog period. Maybe they are.


Photos by Steven Brutger

The debate is of little interest to me (well at least for today). A good case can be made for all sorts of breeds and ultimately the time and energy you put into whatever dog you have will usually pay off. I happen to have labs and I hang out around quite a few others. Maybe they will be the only type of dog I’ll ever own. Or maybe I’ll get an English Setter or a Boykin Spaniel some day. But on the heels of national dog day I’m going to raise a glass to the Labrador.

4 Comments on “The Labrador

  1. Here’s to Labradors – huzzah! You will no doubt be set upon by devotees of lesser breeds for this, but you will still be correct.

  2. The finest dog to ever grace my life and family was a Yellow Lab named Sandy….. A great outdoor writer (maybe Gene Hill) once said “every one is entitled to one good dog” and Sandy was ours.

  3. I will not argue with you on the Labrador— great dogs; but I am on my third Chesapeake, and my wife and I have raised, trained, and bred Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers(Tollers) in the past. Thus, I have had the privilege of working and playing with the largest and smallest of true duck dogs. Chessies can be more difficult to train as retrievers than Labs, but they are loyal, protective, and reliable when given the love and direction they need. In my experience, Tollers are such lovers of their human companions that they will strive to please in the field beyond their physical capability. Tollers are also terrific companions and service dogs. Both breeds are full service hunter retrievers.

    You are right about the time and energy you put into a dog. That effort benefits you and the dog more than you know.

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