Hunting & Training Tips


Hunting & Training Tips

Finding Your Perfect Retriever Puppy

by SportDOG Staff

In this SportDOG Training Tip (originally aired on Pheasants Forever TV) SportDOG Brand Senior Pro Staffer Chris Akin walks you through selecting a puppy. Akin discusses the pros and cons of owning, hunting and training females dogs versus males.

So, you think you are ready for a new Retriever puppy? You would really like to have your pup ready to hunt with you this fall? Maybe you know what color of Retriever you would like to own, but you’re not sure how to obtain the right one for you and your family. Or your older dog prefers the couch instead of the hunting blind now. Where do you look? How do you begin this complicated process? Here is some advice.

I am a professional retriever trainer who has trained retrievers for hunting and retriever events for over sixteen years. We have hundreds of retrievers hunting with their owners in blinds and fields in every flyway in America. I’d like to share some proven actions and thoughts you should consider in order to help you with your next hunting retriever partner and family member.

retriever huntingFirst, seek advice from a professional in the retriever world  as soon as you feel like you are ready to shop for your next puppy. You do not have to understand Retriever bloodlines in order to make the right choice, you just need to understand that there are many different bloodlines of Retriever breeds. Shop for a puppy that is bred with the desire to retrieve, that is able to be athletic, and that is loyal. This gives you a better chance of getting the hunting retriever partner you have always wanted. It helps when our hunting partner loves to hunt with us. Some types of Retrievers just like to retrieve more than others. Some pups are bred just because of their color and not their genetics. Certain bloodlines are for conformation and never hunt! Professional Retriever trainers are training for hunters, competitions, and love to work with dogs that like to retrieve. They are also breeders and/or work for other reputable breeders that care about the Retriever breeds.

These are the people you need to be calling for your next partner. They are keeping in mind that Retrievers are bred for working with humans. They are considering their ability to hunt and watching the breed’s desire and drive. They are serious about the health, genetics, performance, and loyalty that dwell inside a retriever. My list of people to search and call upon for help would include: Professional Retriever trainers, breeders specializing in trials, hunt tests, or hunting retrievers.  Veterinarians that work for breeders also know who is proud of their puppies and taking proper care of their animals. Field Trial or Hunting Retriever Clubs affiliated with the UKC or AKC are also good places to seek advice on good places to find a great puppy.

retriever puppyNow you’re shopping at the right places and contacting the right people that can help you with your search for your next Retriever puppy. Remember to be concerned with your new pup’s health. Check to see that the breeders have paid attention to testing the sire and dam for proper hips, eyes, etc. Once you get your puppy home, remember to take your pup in to your veterinarian on time for check ups, immunizations, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick prevention.

Socialization is also very important for a puppy. While they are puppies they should go out. They need to explore! It is important for the new puppy to see and deal with the big world around them. They need to be comfortable in new situations. Get them out of the back yard and explore. Begin an exercise and/or training schedule for both of you. Join a retriever club. Practice a lot and enjoy your new puppy.  Ask questions. Attend training days, or go see a professional close to you. A comfortable and confident puppy will deal with new situations easier. Spend time bonding and playing with your new family member. Please remember to register your new puppy before you lose the papers!

Good luck to all of you that are searching for their next retriever. Don’t be afraid to seek advice and help from the professionals and retriever specialists that are in the retriever and hunting industry when looking to find that new puppy. To be prepared it just takes a little research, some common sense, training, nutrition, and all of the great products designed with you and your hunting partner in mind. Being the proud owner of a good retriever can be very rewarding. There are many people in the retriever industry that are willing to help and are working hard to make sure you have many happy memories with your hunting partner. Happy Hunting!

Always check your local and state regulations related to dog training and the use of game birds on private and public property.

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