I been a long time lurker ever since the "other" forum was disbanded. I too am completely fascinated with a dog's nose and its ability. Give a little background on myself. I have been a lab fan for the majority of my life. At one time I was the proud owner of three beautiful labs all having their sense of purpose and jobs. Buster was my black lab and tracker of the group and my oldest. He was a throw away dog from a guy I knew who raised labs for retrieving. He was my companion. We did everything together. He came to work with me, college, you name it he was with me. I also at the time went full-time to bow hunting only. Needless to say there were a lot of bad shots in the beginning. He accompanied me on every track, short or long and began to pick up the idea to make the job quicker. As he grew older his eyesight started to fail him along with his lower back and hips (hit by a car when he was 2) but that didn't slow him down. It actually made him a better tracker. He relied on his smell and was more methodical on his tracks. Sadly just after his 18th birthday I had to put him down. It has been 3 years now and I'm just now ready for another dog. But on with my story. Sam was my blonde lab, the alpha of the pack and the best retriever I've ever owned. Once again I got him as a throw away dog from a couple having to relocate for work and were unable to have a pet in their apartment. Sam naturally took to the water and anything that feel from the sky. Whether it was a dove, duck or squirrel he would retrieve it. He was hard charging into the water and would routinely retrieve multiples without command. I was at a buddies hunting camp on the river about 4 years ago duck and deer hunting. It was one of those magical weekends when both were moving everywhere. There were other dogs in camp but none performed as well as Sam did. Sam made retrieving look effortless and me look like a dog whisperer. There were no commands given or whistles. He just knew what and when to do it. I was asked numerous times on who trained him or if I would be willing to "finish" their dog because theirs was a waste of time and money. I told them that Sam pretty much trained himself and other than knowing what I will put up with he does it all on his own. I was approached by a couple of guys throwing out big numbers wanting to buy him. Knowing he would not perform for them as he would for me along with the fact he was my family's pet and my wife's favorite I just laughed it off. As I said the ducks were flying and the deer where moving. I left Sam in his kennel locked in the back of my truck with Buster to go deer hunting that afternoon. When I came back the lock had been cut and Sam was gone. Needless to say someone wanted Sam more. I came unglued at that point. Filed numerous reports with the sheriffs and Game Warden. I went back every weekend looking for someone using him but never found him. I still want to find the guy who took him. He was 9. Charlie is my chocolate over priced house dog now or actually my father-in-law's house dog. I bought Charlie out of a "high profile" kennel with the "best" blood lines. I figured he would be a breeze to train with following Buster and Sam around. I went through all of his obedience commands, he learned them in no time. On tracks he would be right in tow with Buster and on retrieves he would be right along Sam. He was on his way to being what I thought was going to be the best "do it all" dog I've seen. But as life happens. I got married. Had a child a year later. Moved to another state. Got caught up with work and my hobbies took a back seat. My hobbies came back around and were able to have a good couple of years with all of my dogs on the farm. Buster tracking, Sam retrieving and Charlie being Charlie. Needless to say I've had my fill of sporting dogs in my relatively short life. Which brings us to present day. My wife and three children have been wanting dog for a while now. I've finally given in and began the search for what I wanted to be the best all around dog EVER!!! I want a dog that is family oriented but has the drive and the brains to do what I please. The days of ducks are gone. Wildlife management is my passion now. So my goal is to have a dual purpose dog to find sheds and be able to track as well. After a long time researching and making multiple trips to different kennels and a lot of input from my wife on what it needs to look like. I've decided the English Labrador (aka: Blockhead Lab, Conformation Standard) is the one for us. Sam was a "blockhead" and was my wife's favorite. Like English's reputation he was a Jekyll and Hide type of dog. He was the sweetest house dog with the wife and fiercely protective of the children. When he went outside to work it was like he had a switch and would be driven to perform. Well. Meet Piper. She will be my first female Lab to raise so that will be a new one for me. She is currently 6 1/2 weeks old and we will be getting her next Saturday the 28th. My plan is to start her on sheds right away with methods I pull from multiple sources and ideas that I feel like suits her temperament. Blood will come later as her willingness to please grows. Either way the family is excited about having a puppy around. Charlie is 11 now so its been awhile since I've house broke a dog so that should be fun but it's nothing new. I will keep this post updated on her progress for everyone to share and for me to learn from others as well. Sorry for being long winded but I thought proper introductions are prudent.