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Q.  What are the benefits of breeding the English field trial lab?

A.  For over 100 years, the British have been breeding Labrador Retrievers for qualities that are also in high demand here in the U.S. Their dogs have a reputation as intelligent, good-looking dogs with calm, gentle temperaments, as well as being stylish game finders with instinctive retrieving abilities. In England, it is important to breed for these qualities because their field trials are run much differently than American field trials. At British field trials, handlers and their dogs must remain lined up at heel, marking downed birds, but not moving until directed. They may sit for hours, watching as other dogs are released one by one to retrieve. If a dog moves or whines he is disqualified.  Once a dog is released for a retrieve, the judges look for superb hunting skills, with an emphasis on strong game finding ability, intelligence and trainability. Since a dog cannot be spoken to except to handle on a blind retrieve, temperament is critical in determining which dogs are bred. It should also be noted that in England electric collars and force fetch techniques are not used. They believe in bringing out the desired qualities through a combination of selective breeding and positive reinforcement-based training.Holzinger Kennels - questions

The American bred field trial and hunt test dogs have outstanding qualities as well. The American Labradorís strengths lie in their excellent marking ability, endless desire and energy. They are known especially as superb water dogs.

We have been successfully breeding the American and English lines together for years, and find their respective strengths quite complementary. We are not suggesting that one line such as English vs. American or one quality, pointing vs. flushing or even one game, field trials vs. upland competitions is better than the other. We are fortunate that one breed can provide us with so many valuable choices and diversity, and that through selective breeding you can get what you need in a Labrador.

Q. Why breed a pointing lab?

A.  The pointing Labrador is a very controversial line of dog that has been gaining in popularity in the past few years. We have found that there are certain lines, particularly British, that will produce a greater natural tendency to point. In our breeding program, we have never purposely tried to bring the pointing trait out or to actively discourage it. If a dog tends to point, the vast majority of upland hunters feel that is an obvious bonus. Our goal is to breed the very best all-around lab possible. There are so many great qualities with the Labrador Retriever, we do not want to overlook one to get another. We are confident that through our experience, patience and a genuine passion for improving the Labrador breed, we can produce exceptionally well rounded dogs.

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Holzinger Kennels - Professional Gun Dog Specialist