Why Labs?

by Simon Lusk


Mabo & Bruce with a couple of roosters on a sunny morning in Hawkes Bay where we were chasing quail and were very surprised to get onto these. The second one doubled back a long way after Mabo chased it, and I was waiting for the guy I was with to get a shot. Mabo flushed it back behind me and I had to get the 1100 off my shoulder to drop it.

I didn’t grow up with a dog, so never really had that much experience with dogs. My friends had Labs, and they seemed to be nice dogs that were ok hunters, and in New Zealand there are not as many options as in other parts of the world.

Stories of other breeds being hard to train, or gun shy, or taking two years to work out they are useless really put me off too. I didn’t know what I was doing training my first dog, so I wanted something easy, even if the trade off meant I got a hunting dog that wasn’t as good as breed specifically bred for upland.

I’m happy with my choice as my Labs have largely trained themselves, and work well for me. I don’t think I would get any more birds with an other breed, and am fairly sure I get a lot more than I would because Bruce and Mabo are so willing to work the thick stuff.