Are there any visible indications as to whether a Labrador Retriever puppy will make a good hunting puppy or not

Yes, you can visually look at the pedigree.

You can also look at behavior – you’re looking for a puppy that really likes to have things in its mouth and displays natural retrieving instincts.

The pup that is enthralled by a few duck or pigeon feathers and that is constantly carrying around a toy is a good choice.

But, seriously, look for a pedigree full of hunt test titles. And health, look for health testing, too (OFA hips, CERF eyes, etc). Nothing worse than a puppy that runs on heart until it breaks its body.

Also realize that the standard does really describe a functional working waterfowl retriever. Don’t skimp on that blocky head (the better to pick up heavy geese with) or that otter tail (the better to steer in rough water with) and don’t get a dog whose parents are much (if at all) outside of the standard heights and weights.

Depends on what kind of hunting dog. I agree with Katie that pedigree says a lot.

If you are going to use the dog to retrieve, then you really want to see which puppy pays attention to you (it’s a pretty good indicator for intelligence too).

If you want a pointer, then look for the traits of a pointer, the stance, the tail, pausing rather than going headlong into a puppy brawl.

If you want a chaser (as in fox, coon, rabbit etc), then look for that unwavering single minded fixation on a toy and dominance.

But really, you can train most labs (pedigreed or otherwise) to be pretty good hunting partners regardless of the traits. Those are just traits that make dogs that are great hunters (and competition winners).

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Check if the dog’s eye color is brown or hazel. Look into the pup’s eyes to examine the color. If the dog is a yellow or black lab, check that the puppy has brown eyes. In the case of chocolate labs, check for brown or hazel eyes. In the past, some purebred labs have had yellow-green eyes. Many Labrador owners are convinced that there are personality differences between the colors. Some say the Yellow Labs are the sweetest and calmest, while Chocolate Labs are thought of as a little wild and rambunctious, and Black Labs are thought of as patient hunters. Angela Swanson

If you seriously want a hunting dog, then you should be getting the dog from someone who specifically breeds, trains, hunts, and shows them. They will have a whole family tree of dogs in their gene pool who have won awards at this skill.

Such a person will be doing genetic testing, and you may have to wait a few years to get one of their dogs. You will pay a lot of money compared to a “lab” you can get in a parking lot or the side of the road.

Such a person will screen you to see if you qualify to own one of their dogs, and will require that the dog come back to them if you cannot keep it.

Although Labradors are protective of their owners and loved ones, you should not expect this breed of dog to be a guard dog. In general, Labradors are too friendly and lack the traits necessary to be suitable and effective guard dogs. The Labrador breed has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Some of the general health conditions that afflict Labradors are patellar luxation, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is canine elbow and shoulder dysplasia. Go to my Profile and you can find all Labrador Retrievers material there…