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Thanks for your reply! Please tell me more about the breedings that you went with, and also about your started dog. I read everywhere about field trial washouts or culls that don't make a field-trailer's string at around 9 -18 months. Who would you call if looking for a suitable started dog, and who might you avoid? Tons of dogs on gundog central, but I don't know who to trust and who is just trying to move a dog.
Thanks so much for the reply - I'm considering going the started dog route as well, mainly to ensure that the dog already has a solid(ish) retrieve. It seems too dicey to go with a pup in these breed even if there are retrieving parents IMHO. Did you go with a field trial washout? Thanks again!