How To: Pick The Right Pointer Puppy

by Jack T. Wilder

Thinking of buying a pointer pup?

Our friends at Field & Stream detailed the right steps everyone should take when picking out their first bird dog puppy. Buying a puppy you plan to overland hunt with is entirely different than buying one you plan to do anything else with; including, herding sheep. Here are some of their top tips for a happy combination of owner + new pointer puppy.

Choose The Right Litter of Pointer Puppy

“As you look at a prospective litter, study the dog’s lineage for health problems. Be sure the sire and dam are certified against hip dysplasia. Check the dog’s lineage for titles as well. Look for AKC Hunt Test Titles, or, in the case of the continental breeds, NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) test results. If you see titles and championships listed and you don’t know what they mean, ask. Field trial titles, for instance, only matter if you want to compete in field trials or you need a very wide-ranging dog for western hunting. Most of us want a dog geared to the foot hunter, not one for following on horseback or an ATV. Also, you want to see the parents hunt, either in the field or on video, to get a good idea of how your dog will work in the field.”

Pick The Right Pup

“Watch the litter. If one dog stays back and sits there, you probably don’t want it if you need a hard-charging hunter. (It might make a great family dog, though.) ‘We tell customers who come to our place to take a walk outside with the litter. Some puppies won’t follow, some will run off. We tell them you want to keep the one that stays with you,’ he says.”

Read more here to find out what Field & Stream suggests as the six best types of bird dogs for first time owners.

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