Pointing labs, the best bird breed ever?
Apointing Lab combines a pointer’s upland bird-hunting skills with a retriever’s ability to ford rivers and bring back birds as big as Canada geese. According to Jeff Barber, owner of Hershey’s Chocolate Mocha, one of the most prolific pointing Lab trial-winners, “Pointing Labs are everything you could ever want in a dog. They have great personalities and, like most Labs, are excellent family pets. Smart and enthusiastic, they know when to work, when to play.”
Many people are confused when they talk about pointing Labs, unsure if they’re a new breed of dog, some kind of cross between a Lab and a pointer, or the result of a new way of training. According to Delery Guillory, owner of Black Forest Ranch and Kennel (303/660-2372) in Larkspur, Colorado, “Pointing Labs-which are true Labradors, not crosses-have always existed. It’s just that the trait of pointing in a Lab was often ignored. We’ve only just begun selectively breeding dogs with the pointing trait. Through our breeding, we’ve come to the conclusion that the pointing trait, if present, is dominant.”
In other words, if you breed a 100 percent pointing Lab to another, you’ll always get pointing Labs. If you breed a pointer to a non-pointer, you’ll get a pointer 50 percent of the time. And chocolate, black and yellow Labs can all have the ability to point. To learn more about the breed, look up the American Pointing Labrador Association’s Web site at www.pointinglabs.com/apla; or call directly: 410/221-8766.-Beth Parento.
Copyright Hearst Magazines Sep 1998
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