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Stacking the Odds For Your Next Gundog

by David Krassler

Well, in past columns I examined the different types of breeding that goes on in today’s world of breeding world-class gundogs. Hopefully, I have shed some light on the somewhat confusing world of dog breeding! Now you should have a good understanding as to the different varieties of dog breeding that take place when you speak to the breeder of your choice.

Now it is time to locate the proper breeder for your next family companion and hunting partner. By all means, at a minimum, find a professional breeder. Find someone that has been breeding the type and style of gundog you desire to fulfill all of your expectations. You will stack the odds more in your favor by choosing someone that has been in the business of breeding and training your specific type of gundog. Your odds of finding the proper pup suited for your own personal needs are greater if you can find a professional that offers both the breeding and training end of things. Many of the professionals that offer both services usually have many of the pups that they sell come back into their facility for gundog training. This gives the breeder an opportunity not only to evaluate the offspring’s field abilities but also to evaluate the demeanor of the pup as a family companion!

Do some research and locate the breeding and training facilities that specialize in you selected breed. Talk to breeders who specialize in having the hunting bloodlines of your chosen sporting dog. Dogs that come from proven hunting bloodlines are the solid foundation to having a dog that is able to cut the mustard and become a great gundog. Look for someone that has developed a strain of dogs that show the characteristics that will satisfy all of your needs. Many times you will find a kennel or a person’s name that comes up frequently during your search in your local area. Chances are that kennel or person is well qualified, and should be added to the top of your prospect list. Inquire as to the characteristics that they have developed in their strain of gundogs. This will give you a better idea if that breeder has the style of dog that will satisfy your needs. Should you stumble upon a hunter with a fine gundog, certainly ask who and where he purchased his gundog. Additionally, many quality professional breeders will know others who may have the specific sporting dog breed you desire.

Should you have difficulty locating a qualified breeder in your area, don’t be apprehensive to look into other regions of the U.S. With all of the strict regulations today, flying a puppy to a client is a safe and simple task. Most professional breeders do transport puppies to clients across the United States. However, it is a standard policy that you, the client, will have to pick up the shipping charges.

Be advised that once you find a breeder you may have to take a ticket and get in line. Many of the top professional breeders have deposits on their upcoming litter of pups way before they are ready to travel to their new homes. This case is especially true if you want to get a female puppy. Be prepared to have to wait for your new pup to arrive. However be patient, it is well worth the wait in the long-term investment end of things. Top quality gundogs start with their genetic background and build from there.

Naturally, the time of the year that you get your new gundog prospect has some bearing as to when you will be able to get out and enjoy the outdoor sport with your new partner. The ideal time to get a pup is any time from October through to March. Flushing dogs that travel to their new homes during this time frame have a fairly good chance of being hunted over in the upcoming bird season. Naturally, they must have the proper schooling beforehand to prepare them for the upcoming season. Those pups that go to their new homes after March stand little chance of making the grade in time for the next bird season. This is simply due to the dog’s young age; naturally some sacrifices may be needed if you wait to get in a special litter that you desire.

Well, the time has come to make the trip out to the breeder to choose your new hunting partner. It is time for you to decide which pup is the right one for your needs. They all look so cute and cuddly and give you that “take me home expression” that all puppies have. To help the process along, you should have selected your gender preference earlier. Most breeders will ask you to make this decision at the time of placing your deposit on the litter of pups.
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