Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Picking a Puppy


There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about buying a gun dog. When we think about the different things to consider, breed is usually one that seems to rise to the top of considerations. For now we will suppress the desire to herald one breed over another and look at other things that should be considered first.

Perhaps the most important question to ask is; “What do I intend to use the dog for?” or to put it another way, “do I want a retriever, upland dog, rabbit hound, or big hound? Do I want a versatile dog that will do it all? Or a specialty dog that excels at one thing?” These are the first things to consider. Some I know want a dog that is a good companion first and a hunting partner second. While others want only a working dog that will perform flawlessly under all situations and companionship is limited to their time training or afield. Fortunately we have a lot of kinds of dogs available to fit almost every desire and need.

Once we have narrowed down what we want, now it’s time to start looking at breeds. A lot of the breed selection at this point is strictly personal preference. Some like big dogs while others prefer smaller stature dogs. Some like short hair and others like long hair. Some want dogs that are independent and far reaching and others want a passive dog that works close. But without question THE most important element in buying a good sporting dog is……..Pedigree. Their parents/grandparents/great-grandparents. Or as one person once told me. “When I buy a dog, I don’t pick out a puppy, I pick out its papers.”

Breeding sporting dogs is so advanced in today’s modern world that the breeding is so selective that in order to get a great dog, you have to have a great line on both the sire and dam side of the equation. When you have a great pedigree, you will have a great dog. And you will pay handsomely for that dog as well. It is not uncommon for puppies out of excellent stock to sell for several thousand or even tens of thousands of dollars. But as the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.”

Finding the right pedigree requires a lot of leg work. Internet searches, field trials and dog shows are all great places to start. Personally, I prefer field trials when looking for a sporting dog. I have the chance to watch a dog perform under pressure and I begin to inquire about breeding schedules. Usually in these cases, deposits are necessary to secure a puppy.

What should you expect when you buy a puppy? Many breeders will have some requirements about future breeding. If you intend to breed your female, there will usually be a list of requirements that you must agree to before they will sell you a puppy. These can range from; No breeding allowed and the female must be spayed. All the way to the breeder reserving the right to provide the male for all breeding and they’ll want some sort of compensation for this breeding. Stud fees range from “pick of the litter” all the way to a thousand dollars or more for the right to breed.

Picking a puppy can be one of the most exciting days of your life as an outdoorsman. You are literally picking a companion for the next decade or longer. Take your time and choose wisely. Do not let the cuteness of a puppy override a thoughtful decision that will impact you and your family for a long time. But once done, you will never regret buying a puppy.