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Thread: Pointing Labs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Pointing Labs

    Does anyone out here have experience with pointing labs? Do they have any advantages or disadvantages when it comes to hunt tests and field trials? Like I said I know nothing about them.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  2. #2

    Default Points South Labradors

    Check out

    Wendy Forbes run a kennel on Padre Island, Texas and specializes in pointing labs. Good resource for your questions.


  3. #3
    Member Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK

    Default Bad Idea

    My personal opionion is that if you want a pointer, get a pointing breed. Labs are bred for certain characteristics which make them great waterfowl dogs; eye sight and memory, trainability and their conection to the human. If you want the lab to hunt upland birds and waterfowl, then use them as flushers.

    As far as Hunt Tests and Trials, I think it would be a disadvantage because the pointing is never a part of a hunt test or trial. Pointing dogs need to be somewhat independent of their handlers, making decisions of their own while being away from the human. Labs should not be, they have to be more under the control of the handler, particularly on blind retrieves.

    I believe you could train a herding dog to point birds, but why? You would be making it harder on yourself and the dog. Lots of years of breeding for something else.
    My Chesapeake had a tendency to point when he was young. I worked that out of him as quickly as possible.

    It is however, personal choice and I wouldn't want anyone to make a decsion based soley on any one opinion, mine included. Read, listen ask questions learn all you can, then decide.

    My 2 cents...

  4. #4

    Default "pointing" labs

    I think that you will find most of the "pointing" labs are more appropriately "non-flushing" labs in that they are trained to hunt upland game but not necessarily go on point when they are on birds.

    Check out Wendy's website.

  5. #5
    Member Burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK

    Default different levels of expectations

    I did not visit Wendy's site and I admit my experience is limited to one guy with 2 pointing labs. I have seen other promo videos for pointing labs and they all have labs who hunt a little farther than a spaniel and not as far as most pointing breeds. From what I have seen, they have been trained to point and flush. They all held a soild point, then flushed on command for the handler.

    I am sure there are different levels of pointing expectations from one handler/trainer to another. I will visit Wendy's site to see what her expectations are. Does she have video?

    Please dont get me wrong, I appreciate and applaud anyone who hunts with dogs.

    However, I personally am not a proponent of mixing the breed traits. I feel the same about breeding big running pointing dogs in the bloodlines of a versatile dog (examples; English Pointer with German Shorthair or sled dogs with pointing dogs). They were bred for different reasons, why not keep it that way. I understand why they want to do that, I just don't care for it.

  6. #6
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    The official line from the LRC (Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., which is the single organization officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as the national parent club of the Labrador Retriever) is:


    The clear and unarguable fact is that the Labrador is a retriever, not a pointing dog. There may be a residual instinct to point in certain Labradors. That does not make the Labrador a pointing breed. It was bred for use as a retriever of game and in this country particularly, as a waterfowl retriever. There are any number of sporting breeds that excel at pointing upland game as well as flushing such game. The Labrador is not one of those breeds and should not be bred or sold to the public as a pointing breed.

    It's kinda like hammering a nail in with a screwdriver . . . it can be done, buuut . . . .



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    My question is what do you want to use the dog for? I have PL and would not have any other dog! I hunt pheasants and spend a lot of time in heavy cover. My lab will run circles around most pointers in cattails. She points very well and i NEVER did anything to promote a point out of her. I bought great bloodlines for pointing. She is only 54lbs but she can run all day. Will she run as big as an englis pointer?? no she wont but i dont want her to! I hunt the dakotas where the birds head to thick cover after opening week and you just cant beat her for that. She is also a stellar duck dog. I have a great dog that does everything i want her to do and more! She holds a point well and is smart enough that if the bird moves so will she. A good PL is a pleasure to hunt behind. If you want to hunt quail in light cover she is not the first choice but for an all purpose dog that points as well PL's are dang hard to beat!

  8. #8

    Default Point Labs are Not From Outer Space

    They are like any other lab. Some are really good, excellent markers, etc, most are so so, but that can be said of any group of labs. There are current running FC AFC labs that are Gand Master Pointing Retrievers. They seem to be passing it on. It would shock most lab people to see the great FC labs that show up in many pointing lab lines. Pointing is a part of the lab gene pool, not some strange thing that is being taught or enforced. In order to pass the APLA tests a dog has to be able to do both upland and retrieving.

    I've got a year old BLM that I suspect will point. His pedigree is a who's who of the Field Trial world that product point. His sire was a finalist in the 2008 Am. Champ. His dam is out of Gates and she points great. Not trained, they went pheasant hunting and came around a corner and she was locked up on point. I also have a female what is from top pointing lab lines. She is really fun to hunt with. I'm not smart enough to teach her to do that, she is going to hunt by what ever is in her genes.

    LRC has stated labs are not pointers. That is true, they are retievers. That means that are also not flushers, the are retrievers. Many of us like to hunt both and to have one dog that can do it all is great. Others don't like that concept and own other breeds of dogs.

    If anyone really whats to learn about these dogs, rather than a small breeder in Texas, look at the main club's website:

    Pointing Lab regards.

  9. #9
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    camp-go-4-beer fbks

    Thumbs up great dogs

    75lb they run ..grew up right next to the guy who came up with the breed...mine has cancer and goes down today

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Pointing labs

    Belive a lot would depend on what you want to use the dog for , My youngest boy had a great pointing lab , pheasants , quail , chukars , was steady on point , worked close , great retrieves , would even back my brittney ,s points . Would work with his nose to the ground where my brit works the wind , both have there advantage .Was a lot better in heavy cover then my dog . He is now looking for another .

  11. #11


    From my experience with them. They will only establish a point on live birds in cover. They will not point a deadbird. During my training when I'm using dead birds they will run and pick them up just as a regular lab does. So running a pointing lab in a hunt or field test competition is not an issue. HRC and NAHRA both have an upland test. Dogs will need to quarter a field and sit to flush and shot. I have during these test had pointing labs point the box trap before it was set off by the judges. Knowing this , if you time it right you can have a good advantage over the dog ahead of the flushing bird.
    I'm not biased about pointing labs. It's just simply another tool "trait" that you have available. Seems pretty versatile to me. As long as the gene is characterized from registered lineage of labradors. Not enhanced by trying to cross breed retrievers with pointers.
    Typically this is a recessed gene in a large part of retriever breeding stock. Mostly what I have seen is the trait being fine tuned through selective breeding to other retrievers that carry the same trait. Which produce pups more likely to have the pointing characteristic.

  12. #12


    I have had a pointing lab for the past 7 years and she is one heck of a bird dog. She works over the pheasants well, and is a pleasure to hunt behind. You never feel rushed hunting with her. She won't run wild like an English, but works a nice wide sweep. She hold point very well and does not creep in like a flushing dog. And best of all she retrieves like a retriever should. In my opinion it is the best possible combo. I am looking at getting another dog from Blackjack Kennels in Kansas as we speak. Great dogs.


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