You wouldn’t walk into a sporting goods store and purchase the first firearm you saw without doing some form of background research first, so why then would you skip that step when selecting a puppy that you’ll be hunting with for the next 10 to 12 years? Many hunters make that mistake and end up regretting later.
Also, being your most valuable hunting asset, your hunting dog is likely to become your closest companion. Not only will it share some of the best moments of your life with you, it’ll make many of them possible. You’ll spend hours with your dog during training and in the field, so you want to take great care in choosing the puppy that is perfect for you!
Not every puppy has what it takes to become an outstanding hunting dog, says Tim Nichols of Fall Flight Retrievers. So you need to know what qualities and traits to look for, specifically when it comes to health and trainability.
“The most important tip I can give you is to go look at several litters of puppies and don’t take your checkbook with you,” Nichols said. “You need to do some considerable research before selecting a puppy. If you bring your checkbook with you, you’re likely to purchase a puppy before you should because they’re cute, and they’re hard to resist.”
Health, Pedigree, and Performance Titles all play a huge factor in puppies becoming great hunting dogs. Look in to what Titles the parents of the puppy have received. It’s also very important to look into all health related issues due to the lack of trainability that the dog may have.
Knowing When It’s Time to Select your Puppy
Be Sure to ask yourself these questions:
Are the parents on site?
Is the area clean?
Is the breeder reliable?
Do they look healthy?
Odds are that if you can’t answer yes to these questions, then you need to keep looking. Do yourself a favor and take your time in the purchasing of your new hunting companion!