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I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. When running the flushing Spaniel hunt tests, it was amazing how many people came over to "watch the Golden run" and then would tell me in some form or another that "the best hunting dog I ever had was a Golden!".
These were mostly Spaniel people of course.
 

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overall its easier to find a good hunting lab that will put in the waterfowl work down here. You can find all kinds of capable MH lab breedings and its easy to train labs for most training styles. Labs are generally straight forward so even the most novice of trainers can train them. The good old boys all breed their buddies dogs. so that keeps the common lab price low. Same with goldens there are a lot of lower priced hunting test goldens. NOW there are some Lab breeders that are exclusive. Their lists are long and selective. Prices can reach to 20K a puppy to gifts to their buddies for free. Good goldens are like these labs. its comparable but maybe not as exclusive because there is less demand for them so the left over pups go to pet homes.

From what I've also seen is that this field sport which is where it began for goldens, not hunt, is primarily very very wealthy owners that spend lots and lots of money on their dogs or retired people that train all the time. I know a dog that was sold for 250000. They are playing this game like they are gambling and making wagers. They want a sure bet and statistically labs win which leads to these crazy high achieving bred labs. Unfortunately goldens are rarely bred like this because there just aren't that many FC/AFC bitches to breed FC/AFC males.. Labs are bred with more risk than golden breeders as well. Health clearances are important but certain things are not as emphasized as they are in the golden world. Thus keeping good golden breedings even lower than labs.
I agree with what the writer wrote about the style and flash of a great goldens. Nine to ten lab clients that come out to train their dogs with my pro and see me training proof will comment about him. Its like they can't believe they are seeing a working golden like that. He just catches your eye and his coat is amazing. I have two show bred goldens and I hated getting them in the field. They always get stuff stuck in their coat and their endurance level just didn't match mine. I have a lab now and her fur takes longer to dry and sheds more. Proof's coat dries quickly and never tangles. I don't have to groom his feet but once every four months where my show goldens have to be done every month. I think that for most people thats not a big deal but for a working dog that I'm working with all day every day it is hard to find the time to do a lot of grooming. He loves to train and picks up concepts quickly. He uses his nose but can be trained to focus on the task at hand. If more people could have goldens like mine than I think they'd be more apt to having one. And I'm not saying that Proof is a rarity I'm saying that there just aren't enough of them in the field working. They are in the hunts tests or they are pets. Only a few make it into the field. Recently I feel like there are more and more though. Thats a good thing, it means good breedings will happen more often.
I have a lot of thoughts on this topic since I'm in this sport and take a lot of crapp about having a golden. In fact today I was told he looks like a ball of seaweed floating in with the current since he's quite a bit slower on the last water bird back.
 

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Kate
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My friend's husband is a duck hunter and she says his preference for a Lab comes down to one thing - the coat. He thinks a lab is less work after a hunt but a Golden needs a thorough brush out to remove burrs, sticks, tangles etc. She's been asking him to get a Golden for years and he always tells her "great dogs but too much work."
The funny thing as a golden retriever owner is that your first thought on this is there's just no way to argue the conclusion that a golden is more work than a lab because you actually have to own a dog brush. :laugh:

That said, I have to throw something out there just because it's one of the most frequent assumptions when people (with short-coated breeds) meet my dogs.

Their comment: You must brush them all the time.

And nothing can be further from the truth. o_O But it gets really complicated explaining why. Because the type of coat/texture that the dogs have is what makes them easy keepers when compared to the spaniel and setter breeds. The coats are not supposed to be "silky" or too "soft". Silky and soft and cottony is what tangles and really picks up all kinds of yard junk. I'm trying to figure out why a stick would have to be brushed out of dog's coat?

Burrs don't count completely btw, because some pondy areas here in MI have really nasty burs which stick to everything and are completely miserable getting them cleaned off. They stick to my jeans and somebody with a short-coated dog would have to set time aside to clean up their dog if it got covered with these burrs.

I do have certain tricks for getting these burrs off my dogs pretty fast. I have some oily grooming goop stored in my trunk + a slicker brush. If my guys pick up those really nasty kinds of burrs while we are out, I have the stuff in the car for quick clean up. And it literally takes about 5 minutes to get the burrs brushed out (using the oily goop to get the burrs just slide out). I do send my guys back out into the water (if we are near water) to wash the oil off, but that's it. It doesn't take heavy duty grooming.

My Jacks does not need to be show-groomed, however it takes 5 minutes to trim his feet (and he would have full blown slippers if I never trim them). And I literally just take another 5 minutes to clean up his neck and trim up on his tail. And he's done. And the grooming job would actually look just fine for showing. You don't have to go all poodle owner grooming these dogs. That's why they are a common sense choice of breed for most homes. A lot of people in pet homes take more coat off their dogs than they have to.
 

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I've never hunted with a dog, but I have spent hours hiking in the woods with them and they all loved to get off the trail and into the really heavy undergrowth. Daisy was a very full-coated dog and even with her it only took minutes to knock off the leaves and burrs with a slicker brush. I did have to attend to it right away because she would "self-groom" and rip the stuff out with her teeth as soon as we got back! I agree, the perception of the high maintenance Golden coat isn't really accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
My friend's husband is a duck hunter and she says his preference for a Lab comes down to one thing - the coat. He thinks a lab is less work after a hunt but a Golden needs a thorough brush out to remove burrs, sticks, tangles etc. She's been asking him to get a Golden for years and he always tells her "great dogs but too much work."
I don't have that problem with my dogs' coats. Actually what they have is perfect for hunting, not excessive coat. I can hunt lowlands as well as uplands with my dogs. Minimal grooming and care.
 

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This was Molly a few years back after pheasant "hunting" (they were planted)... I mean, this was pretty ugly but I was able to brush every single one of them out without using any product. She also has spay coat which makes everything worse. I can't imagine this ever happening to Maisey with a more "fieldy" coat. It's a lot shorter, the texture is different, and things just don't stick to it. Molly's tail feathers has always had a "kinky" texture (that I'm sure is probably not "correct") that things can get easily tangled up in.


 

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My dogs don't have a coat that collects excess debris, nor do they have feet that require any kind of trimming (other than nails).

Spaying a female on the other hand will change the texture of the coat and cause it to collect every burr and seed available. Spay coat however is a man made condition.
 

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Kate
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This was Molly a few years back after pheasant "hunting" (they were planted)... I mean, this was pretty ugly but I was able to brush every single one of them out without using any product. She also has spay coat which makes everything worse. I can't imagine this ever happening to Maisey with a more "fieldy" coat. It's a lot shorter, the texture is different, and things just don't stick to it. Molly's tail feathers has always had a "kinky" texture (that I'm sure is probably not "correct") that things can get easily tangled up in.
I think her coat looks like it has the cottony spay coat thing going on. It looks similar to what we had with Arthur (rough collie with major spay coat going on).

The thing that bugs me about stuff out there is you have some conformation breeders out there where everything they breed has a TON of coat (more than my guys and a lot of local show peeps dogs).

And they won't sell to pet people without spay/neuter contracts and literally put a lot of emphasis on neutering the dogs because they are very protective of their lines.

I get that... but the same time, I just think it must be really miserable having that much coat on a dog + dealing with a spay coat like that.

You're talking as much or more coat than Molly has in the pics. It's unfair to the dogs especially since they don't get to enjoy life like regular dogs.

The owners can't take them swimming because the dogs are prone to hotspots and the coats are miserable to get completely dry. And it's just a really tough road to go as an owner.

These are the types of dogs which I believe field people and the "moralists" in the breed are talking about when they are saying that "show dogs" are being bred to have too much coat and because they don't recognize the moderate dogs in the breed rings who have really correct coats without being naked and recognize the other issue as far as the damage that neutering/spaying does to any coat.... they are falling into the trap of defending the opposite extremes (dogs who have incorrect coats like single coats, not enough feathering for anyone to call that "moderate", etc).

You don't have to go to either extreme end. A lot of people in the middle do just fine with the dogs they have. It's a coated breed and you DO EXPECT to groom them. If they have the same amount of coat as a lab - then they do not have a correct coat. You should not breed dogs to be more like the breeds you really want. Just get the other breeds.

I was watching a thing for Westminster 2-3 years ago and they were interviewing the handler for a poodle and he was talking about the grooming process taking FOUR HOURS just washing/drying/prepping the coat. Add to that the fact that these dogs have falsies put in to build up coat and they are LADEN with hairspray and powder.

Our breed is NO WHERE NEAR ALL THAT....

And for that matter, what I know people go through in order to groom that poodle coat - makes me just fall over from the craziness of people creating doodles under the premise that their coats are easier to manage than like golden retrievers! o_O!

If you have a dog with no grooming done on him (or her), the biggest amount of time might be spent drying the dog after a bath. Sometimes with senior dogs, it's really important to get them completely dry around the necks at least because it's a bacteria-yeast stomping grounds there... but also you do have to get them dry if you don't want random curlies popping up when the dogs shake (the moisture is shaken out of the under coat and ends up causing flippies with the top coat). And if the dog is not happy about being groomed, wrestling with the dog takes time. But literally golden retrievers are very easy to groom and keep groomed. Because they are a coated breed, you are talking about more grooming than labs. They need to be brushed every once in a while, they will need feet trimmed, and some dogs who have more shag on the heads need to get that cleaned out. These things which are done to prevent issues like tree sap or clay/sticky mud becoming like cement between the dog's toes. It also prevents those danglers (little tight mats that develop around the ears because the fur on the ears tends to be really soft and fuzzy even when the rest of the dog's coat is correct). And brushing the dogs once in a while isn't just because you "have to" in order to prevent mats. It's more about distributing oils and checking for ticks too. Because retrievers are oily dogs + we are coming up on tick months (April-June) when the dogs are brushing up against long grass or bushes and picking up ticks.

There's labs out there who are never groomed, but even they could do with more frequent brushing because they shed like crazy + the oil clog type issues. I swear their coats are more oily than goldens. But it might also be that they just are not getting the same random grooming like most goldens do. o_O
 

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My thought is that spay/neuter coat in labs isn’t nearly as bad as it is in goldens, so all around they just have easier to manage coats.
 

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Archer looks just like that after a day of hunting. He has that terrible spay/neuter coat. Teal can go through the same trail and not pick up a thing. Sometimes I give up and trim all his tail feathering off because it's torture for both of us to brush it out 2-3 days in a row :/
 

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Cowboy magic is your friend!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Vhuynh2

Those are beggar ticks and are a pain in the neck to deal with. Also, tick trefoil which sticks to dog and clothes and I think some member of the nightshade family (don't remember name) which looks like a tiny lightbulb with sticky hooks (the worst after burdock) are horrible to deal with.
 

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As purely a companion dog owner, not showing/hunting/breeding, I could have gone with a lab or a golden. They both suit my needs as great family companions.

The deciding factor was the reminder that I am allergic to cats. With lab dander being very similar to cat dander, I can't bury my face in the fur of lab like I can that of a golden. I'd be washing my hands and face with ridiculous frequency, have to double my allergy meds, bathe the dog more frequently and clean house like a mad woman. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to play with a lab puppy again before I bought one. Had I bought a lab, I would have stuck with him/her. But really, life is so much more comfortable for me with a golden.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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I grew up in kind of a male-dominated hunting family. I took some grief for having Goldens which were *sissy dogs* vs. Labs which were *real retrievers* We used to trade barbs about that, mostly in good fun, but not completely. For some reason it seems Labs are the more *manly* choice for hunting dogs.
I had to laugh when I read that because I had one Lab breeder refuse to sell me a puppy when he learned that I was gay. He actually suggested that I try a Golden Retriever.

(I had a similar situation with a Golden Retriever breeder but that breeder didn't suggest a Lab.)
 

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Some people use WD40, too.
However, Cowboy Magic doesn't leave the coat greasy, it leaves it soft and shiny. Also smells good.
I don't know about pine sap, though, haven't tried it for that!

Or olive oil. :)

Which as far as I know is the only thing that rapidly removes pine sap. <= guess what I was doing today? And guess which 2 blondies smell like an Italian dinner? :D
 

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Kate
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We had a lot of pine trees dropping branches this winter (we had rain followed by a heavy snowstorm last month). The dogs are going nuts nosing around those branches and marking them. >.< And getting sap on their heads and sides....
 
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