A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!
One of my two favorite breeds, the second being Epagneul Bretons [French Brittany Spaniels].
While I have strong affections for Weimaraners and Chessies, the dogs I grew up with, I tired of the constant need to reinforce their training despite their incredible endurance and performance in the field.
I much prefer the outcomes one gets from the effort put into training, Brits, and Goldens which are much less stubborn while being just as smart and functional as the dogs of my youth. Do you have a breeder that you would recommend? I recently lost a Golden Retriever that was my heavy lifter for waterfowling and could use a dog or two to take her place in the marsh and the boat.
I have a good friend that lives in Silver Bay, MN and hunts with 3 FB, they all have a set of wheels on them. Great dogs and very biddable. The Admiral that hunts with us has 2 Wemaraners he brings out from Va. The Commander lives in Spearfish SD and has one of if not the best hunting dogs I have ever seen. It is a lab however and not a Golden. He also sees thousands of birds a year and it takes birds to make a bird dog, so that helps. I saw his lab make a blind retrieve on a pheasant of a couple hundred yards in 2 foot waves. I had to call the Toller back because I thought he was going to drown. The lab has a great disposition, intelligent, and is a great all around dog with the drive and endurance of a Chessie. His owner and wife are headed to the West coast right now to leave on a month long South Pacific cruise to Australia and back so I can't contact him. However a guy I shoot skeet with is waiting on a litter to drop in a couple of months from the same breeder and parents. He is primarily a waterfowl hunter over in Wisconsin and did a lot of research and came up with the same breeder as the Commander. If your interested PM me and I can find out the kennel, think it is in Western Mn.
I live in NE but I have never hunted anything but deer here. I have always hunted up near Mobridge and some areas north of Pierre (Gettysburg area for one) They said they had a rough year last year due to all the water, but I'm hoping this mild winter is allowing them to bounce back.
I'm curious, did you notice low pheasant numbers this year?
Yes birds were down at least half in numbers from previous years. We still limited out most every day though. I had to turn off my cell phone weather alert from all the flood warnings that kept coming up while there. I too am hoping this mild winter will help bring them back. Think a good spring will be important for the broods to survive.
Interesting that you say they are hard. I have heard that they are among the softer of the gun dogs. You may want to check out NS as a source. I'm sure the prices will be a little more reasonable.
Please feel free to post any and all hunting pics in the dog thread: http://www.styleforum.net/t/109517/leftys-random-dog-thread/2610_30#post_5327278