Be very careful about a Breeder’s claim of Pointing Labrador Retriever puppies. In the upland fields, Labs are primarily know as flushing dogs. There exists a movement to recognize Labs as pointers, BUT, I have done a significant amount of research and spoken with a PhD in Genetics, who performed additional research, and I can find NO scientific evidence that pointing in Labs has a genetic link that you can expect to be passed on to subsequent generations. It appears that pointing by Labs is a learned trait. It may or may not be evident in their progeny. Our dog Babe is a prime example. She comes from a long line of successful hunting dogs that also had a strong history of NAHRA retriever titles. Her breeder had no indication that she would be a pointer, nor where there any claims of “pointing” by her predecessors. On her own she very quickly transitioned from a “whistle sit” to a “point” at any bird holding in cover.

Even though Babe is a pointing Lab, I have very mixed emotions about this skill. I enjoy the excitement of hunting over a flushing dog. If you are paying attention to your animal you are rarely surprised by flushing bird. Your dog almost always knows about the bird before it flushes and by their behavior so should you. In addition, if your dog is well trained, rarely will a bird flush out of shooting range. Based on comments from the many groups that I have guided on pheasant and chukar hunts at Wood Crest Pointe there is a significant appreciation for those Labs that point and just as much appreciation for those that don’t point.