Submitted by: Amy Higgins on Jun 27, 2008
I got a fantastic chocolate labrador retriever named Burton out of the Spring '07 litter (took him home in April).
Burton was well on his way being house and basic obedience trained before I took him home. The jumpstart in the learning department was definitely a benefit for me. I've obedience trained dogs before- but never specifically for hunting. Though, I do not actively hunt- some of my family does. I worked with Burton on retrieval skills and he went out on a few duck hunts last fall. He's got potential that we're working with as he matures. He's got super instincts, a good nose, and a great work ethic.
Burton was very well socialized when I got him, and b/c of this was very adaptable. Loves playing with other dogs and meeting people.
Would definitely recommend a Vermillion River pup to anyone looking for a nice family dog, or a top notch hunting dog- or better. . . a combination of the two.
Submitted by: Curtis Fleury on May 12, 2008
We bought our dog, Suzy-Q, in March of 2007. I had full intentions of raising and training a hunting dog that would also double as a good family pet. This was my first lab and I have never trained a hunting dog before so I wasn't sure exactly what I was in for. Well, it's been one hunting season behind us and I can honestly say, I couldn't be happier with my choice.
Being that Vermillion Kennels were a smaller breeder of labs and I didn't have a whole lot of history to go on, I solely went with pedigree. Jade and Bravo had extremely good backgrounds and once visiting the puppies and seeing Jade's highly ambitious retrieving abilities, I knew I couldn't go wrong...and boy was I right.
Suzy-Q has been an amazing dog. She is full of endless energy and is still a wonderful, obedient, laid-back house dog. She is not vocal in the yard or around the house. She took quickly to house training. And most of all, she loves playing with anyone who gives her the time...including guests of ours. Not to mention, she is the most highly trainable dog I have ever owned...by far!
Now on the hunting side, with the assistance of books and DVD's, I have worked with Suzy right from a pup. By the end of the hunting season, she had accomplished a number of tasks many seasoned dogs can barely do (or at least I would like to think so). She was retrieving any duck I would shoot; live in the field; live in the water (out to about 80 yards) and would respond to basic hand signals for direction. She was not mouthy with the birds and would not shake them if they were still alive. With the aid of a vest, she was also starting to bust through ice to retrieve ducks out to about 20 yards from shore. Generally, I don't want to encourage this as it can be dangerous but it's good to know in a pinch she can accommodate.
She would also bring back dead geese (live were still a bit scary for her but I'm sure that will come). She could not carry the geese but would instead drag them back by the wing. Because she was so young and excitable, I did not take her on a lot of goose shoots but will in the next season being that she was sitting so well for ducks at the end of the season.
Next season I look forward to continuing with extending her range using hand signals; working on flushing upland birds, retrieving live geese, seeking and retrieving deer sheds. Being that Suzy is so thrilled and willing to please her fellow hunters, I know she will be more than happy to achieve these tasks.
This dog from Vermillion Kennels has truly been a pleasure to have as part of our hunting family.