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Today we’re headed to Arkansas to check out the latest Reader Gun Dog of the Week. Belle is Golden Labrador owned by Talbott (Tal) Parten. The two of them are working their way down gun dog road for the first time and are seemingly having a blast.

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Is Belle birdy? Well, according to Tal, when they watch duck hunting DVDs together, Belle often tries to “bite” at the ducks on screen when the dogs retrieve them. Sounds like she has plenty of enthusiasm.

And now, on to the questions:

Dog’s Name: Belle

Breed: Golden Labrador (1/2 Lab, 1/2 golden retriever). She’s all black, some of her brothers and sisters are reddish, chocolate, and golden. Her hair is just a tad bit longer than a Lab’s, but much softer.

Age: 4.5 Months

Type of Hunting: Duck, quail, dove, even squirrel

Favorite Place to Hunt Together: A couple of hardwood bottoms here in Arkansas

Moment I’m Most Proud Of: When she attempted to retrieve a squirrel in the snow at 9 weeks and pushed through like a trooper. She was so tough. She still is.

Moment I’d Like to Forget: My parents came up to Arkansas from Georgia for Easter weekend. I was very proud of Belle’s training and obedience, and I was anxious to show her off to my dad. We took her down to the river bottom to train and everything fell apart. It was like she didn’t even know what Sit meant. She spent most of the time biting the tops off of flowers. Nothing too horrible. She is a great girl, and I learned a lot about patience and keeping it fun that day.

What Has Your Dog Taught You: Belle has taught me that her progress and performance is exclusively dependent on my dedication toward it. She has great instincts and loves retrieving. I have realized that if I am lazy for just a couple of afternoons, it has an effect on her training. She is incredibly faithful and always wants to please–it’s up to me to make sure she has the tools so she can hunt. She is my first gun dog, and I’m young, but I’m working hard so that she turns out right and has fun getting there.

If Belle Could Talk She Would Say: “Please let me play with every person we see and let me chew up the phone book (again)…and I’ll train hard when we need to.”

Sounds like you’re doing it right, Tal. Keep up the good work.

And, as always, those of you who want to nominate your dog for the Reader Gun Dog Series, just click here. For those that have already sent me info about your dog, you could be hearing from me very soon.

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