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Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Puppies

Featured Articles
Proper Puppy Socialization
As a professional trainer myself, one of the things that I see most is improper introduction of various experiences to a young dog. This is generally called “socialization,” and it is the single most important thing that you can do with your dog. (Continue)

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Postpartum Care
In the last two columns we covered a lot of ground, from the days leading up to pregnancy to the delivery itself. This issue, I would like to cover postpartum care of your dam and the warning signs to watch for during the first few weeks after whelping. Common reproductive problems after delivery include: metritis, eclampsia, mastitis, and agalactia. We will address each one of these in turn. (Continue)

Puppyhood: Immaturity vs. Capability
You've waited for weeks for this day, maybe even months. At last, your new puppy is old enough to take its place in your home, your family, and your heart. In all their innocent and youthful exuberance, puppies have no idea what a heavy burden they are carrying — and most of us don't realize we've placed it upon them. That cute little ball of fur is carrying our hopes, dreams, and expectations.(Continue)

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Just a Dog
On my sixth birthday, I got my first puppy. I was hooked for life. Forty years and a lot of pups later I am an unrepentant dog addict. Without that first pup, I might have buckled down in school, become a respectable young man and today even had a bank account with some money in it. Instead have field-trialed and hunted gamebirds and waterfowl across North America. My wife says I'm the ultimate Peter Pan. I love it. And here I am again, thinking about my latest two pups, Tex and Scout. The matched bundles of English setter energy are temporarily bedded down, tuckered out after a social session of rowdy wrestling, racing through dandelions and growling attacks on my shoelaces. I have high expectations for these handsome brothers. Their genetics are top-shelf: a blend of US National Grouse and Pheasant Championship stock. And their personalities... well, let's just say I have a feeling we'll be best friends. (Continue)

Breeding World Class Gundogs
I am often reminded of how much time and effort goes into building a successful breeding program when examining the pedigrees of the top performing dogs at local and national field trials. Field trials have been and will continue to be a place breeders turn to evaluate and prove their breeding program and bloodlines. I am often reminded of how much time and effort goes into building a successful breeding program when examining the pedigrees of the top performing dogs at local and national field trials. Field trials have been and will continue to be a place breeders turn to evaluate and prove their breeding program and bloodlines. (Continue)

Field vs. Show – What’s the Difference?
This past winter I attended a number of Sportsman Shows throughout the northeast where David Krassler (Pro Staff Advisor and Spaniel Editor for GundogsOnline.com) and I performed numerous waterdog retrieving demonstrations, showing the versatility of the English springer spaniel and Labrador Retriever. What amazed me while speaking to the average outdoorsmen was not the fact that they were unaware of a spaniel or the Labrador Retrievers’ versatility, but rather that they were unaware that there was a difference between show and field gundogs. (Continue)


 

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Buyer Beware - When Buying a Hunting Dog
The old adage "You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear" certainly rings true when it comes to purchasing a dog. If the genes that determine drive for birds, pointing or retrieving instincts and canine athleticism are lost in the mix, the resulting dog may turn out to be an inferior hunter. Far too often, by the time the owner has realized that Fido will never make a great hunting partner, the dog has become a member of the family. Parting may not be sweet sorrow. In fact it may be impossible. Now what? Your better half votes an emphatic "No!" on a second dog, and the kids have fallen in love with the new addition. This is a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into. (Continue)

Whelping a Litter -- It’s time!
Well, it’s that time… and if you are like me, it is the time you have been waiting anxiously for and a time that is sure to change your life… at least for the next 8 weeks.

If this is the first litter you have whelped it’s a good idea to consult your vet a week or two before the expected litter. This will do two things, first, it will ease your mind knowing that you have discussed and understand how you should handle an emergency, if one should present itself. Second, visiting with your vet gives you an opportunity to discuss with him/her any areas of the whelping process you are uncertain about before the big day. (Continue)