Q. "What pointing breed did you cross over to get your ‘strain’ started?"
A. None. Cross Breeding was not necessary (and is prohibited by both the IPLA and the AKC.) All dogs descended from the wolf, the original canine. Hence, all dogs have pointing genetics in their background. By breeding labs-with-pointing instincts to labs- with-pointing instincts, labs with more pointing instinct were produced. By breeding those labs, again, to other labs-that-point, the strain emerged.
Q. What trials can I run this dog in??
A. You can run in IPLA and APLA trials as a Pointing Lab and All Other Organizations recognizing Labradors in their events e.g. AKC MH, AKC Retriever Trials, all UKC events. To test your dog with the IPLA, check for the Nearest Judge or contact Stu West at Swest@almabottom.com. If you would like to run your labrador in a NAVHDA event, please contact Bapplegate@NAVHDA.org and express your interest.
Q. "How do I train this dog? Is it different than my current dog?"
A. Like a Versatile Dog. It needs to be trained with ALL the traits in mind. You train the point like a pointer, the retrieve like a retriever, and the track like a tracker. You use the same methods: voice control, force breaking, fly-away, check cord and bench training, among others.
Q. "If I breed my pointing dog to a non-pointing dog will I get pointing pups?"
A. Maybe. Because of the multiple genes that are involved in determining a behavior like pointing, you have a much better chance if you breed to another lab that also points. Your chances improve greatly with a longer backline., i.e. the more labs in your dog’s history that also pointed.
Q. "Will a pointing labrador still retrieve as well as a regular labrador?"
A. Absolutely. The instinct to carry and thereafter retrieve has not been reduced by adding the instinct to point. The point is like an added bonus to the retrieving labrador.
Q. "Is the personality different from a regular labrador?"
A. No, still the same loving, floppy, smart dog that they have always been.
Q. "Do they come in all colors, sizes, and shapes?"
A. Yes, all the body styles, coat colors and sizes of labrador are represented.
Q. "Have you changed the breed standard?"
Q. "What do they cost?"
A. As with regular labs, puppy prices vary widely, from $250 to $6000. Talk to your breeder and find out about his program. As with regular labs, it’s up to you to determine if the asking price is appropriate. Prices vary from low to high season. Females and coat colors often cost more. Some breeders only sell by reservation, six and twelve months in advance. Talk to your breeder.
Q. "I have a buddy that paid a ton of money for a pointing lab. I got mine from the newspaper and paid a lot less, yet my lab points. Did he pay too much??"
A. "First of all, all dogs point. What pointing is is creeping as close to prey as possible to increase the chances of a kill for food. It is inherent in all breeds from prehistoric times as a way to capture food. The pointing lab people declare pointing can be reinforced, as it is a poly-genetic trait. Which means, it uses multiple genes, not just one gene, like color in some breeds. So it takes a lot more breeding and work to create quality output that may not be stable. Just as you can find gold by panning the Mississippi River, your odds are better next to a gold mine.Your buddy, as does anyone who pays more for a quality genetic in a dog, paid more to increase his odds, not to guarantee results."
Q. "What are the other places to learn about dogs on the Net?"
A. There are many. A partial list follows:
Email to the list server; write ‘SUBSCRIBE’ in subject slot; type the characters in caps listed below the server here; add the name you want behind your address ID on your mail (often can be company); follow directions for passwords and confirmations; wait at least two days before contacting administrator. Ask for a Netiquette statement if they don’t send you one; FOLLOW THEIR RULES.OTHER LISTS/WWW OF INTEREST: NAVHDA, Vets, AKC, UKC, Humane Society, PETA
SUBSCRIBE VHD-L YOUR NAME
(Versatile Dog List: continental dogs, PL’s, etc. NAVHDA oriented)
SUBSCRIBE HUNTING-RETRIEVER YOUR NAME
SUBSCRIBE GUNDOG-L YOUR NAME
(hunters, kennels, field dog people, etc)
SUBSCRIBE GSP-L YOUR NAME
SUBSCRIBE POINTER-L YOUR NAME
(EP show people)
SUBSCRIBE LABRADOR-L YOUR NAME
(Labrador show enthusiasts)
(Hoflin Publishing list)