People who plan to bring up a puppy as a hunting dog face a twin fold challenge. The first aspect of the challenge is the selection of the right puppy. After this, the arduous process of training starts.
The first stage, selecting the right puppy, requires a lot of attention because it is the starting point of the whole idea. Once you have chosen a puppy, you are pretty much stuck with it and the task of training to be a bird dog. This is why it is essential that people should give the process a lot of thought and follow the guidelines set by experts.
One of the first things that people get wrong is going for a specific breed. In fact it is the breeding not the breed of the puppy that determines whether it would grow up to be the perfect hunting companion.
Instead of opting for a specific breed in the hopes that the puppy would do well is a mistake that many first timers make. Although the breed of the puppy matters, the pedigree is of more importance.
The best way of predicting whether a puppy would be a great hunting companion is to check out the history of the puppy. If it comes from champion stock with good hunting record on both sides, the puppy has a much greater chance of being a champion itself. It has inherited good instincts and technique and only requires a balanced training program to polish its skills.
The next important factor that should be evaluated during puppy selection is the social skills of the puppy. Being social is a key trait for hunting dogs because they would be around many people a lot. If the puppy has low social skills or is down right anti-social, it would have a very hard time during training and would develop handling issues.
Perhaps the worst way of selecting a puppy is to make ‘cuteness’ a factor. This impairs the selection process and cause people to select the wrong puppy for the job. Cuteness is indeed important for a puppy’s owner. However, a hunting dog is a working dog and its selection should be based more on its suitability for the job rather than its looks.
To avoid making this mistake, do not give in to impulse buying. Instead of making a snap decision and regretting it a couple of moths later, a better strategy is to make multiple visits to the kennels. Theses visits should be spaced a week apart so that you could have a fair idea of the development of traits in the puppy.
Theses visits allow you to determine whether the puppy is suitable for your needs and whether it would be able to complete the training program successfully.
The most important traits are its social skills and its potential of integration into your family. The largest puppy of the litter might not be suitable for an apartment or a family with strict schedules.
Select the right puppy and you will have a faithful companion for many years to come. Make the wring choice and you will have a broken dog on your hands.