Some Thoughts on Breeding and Picking a Breeder

We only consider breeding a female (bitch) when she has demonstrated the abilities of a finished gun dog that is also enjoyable in the home.  Not all females should be bred but by testing them in the higher levels of AKC and NAVHDA, we can evaluate their field/hunting abilities, cooperation and trainability so we’re not just taking chances on what we expect to see in our pups.  We expect as much if not more from our females as we do the males, but they too are selected using the same criteria; health, abilities, cooperation, trainability, personality and conformation; and so the test results are critical in our breeding decisions. All breeding dogs and bitches are OFA’d (Orthopedic Foundation of Animal) meaning their hips are evaluated for any signs of dysphasia and CERF’d (eyes are evaluated for any signs of abnormalities) and we are also having every dog cleared for cardiac and thyroid abnormalities/defects.   When a bitch comes in for breeding, they too have criteria they must meet.  We must feel confident that the pups have the best start possible and that means having a good sound background.

All pups from our kennel come with health guarantees in a written contract (see puppy contract on Upcoming Litter’s page)

As you can see, we don’t take breeding lightly.

Considerations when looking for a pup. 

When you’re preparing for that next/new GSP, you should not be in a hurry and take the time to research kennels and pedigrees. Our best advice is to meet at least one of the parents and do so prior to visiting the puppies.  This will help you to focus on the parents to see if they possess the traits that are right for you and your family.   If your future dog is going to hunt with you, ask to see the parents in the field this should never be an issue for the owner of the dog(s).  They should be more than happy to show you what their dog has to offer.  When doing so, look beyond the obvious and ask yourself some questions:

Does the dog respond to the handler?

Is the dog working for the handler?

Does the dog seem to know his/her job?

Is there an unspoken cooperation between dog and handler?

A point and chase does not constitute a good dog. It doesn’t constitute a bad dog either but it’s not giving you the positive picture you may be looking for. There’s a whole lot more to hunting dogs than the ability to point a bird.

If you’re looking strictly for a companion with no thoughts of hunting, then your focus will be on personality and temperament. You will live with this dog for the next 13+ years so be sure you like what you see in the parents. Take a close look at their personality in their environment and how they react to you as visitors in their home. You also need to ask yourselves, is this the right breed for you? GSP’s are energetic dogs that require exercise and stimulation; you must be prepared and dedicated to offer your pup both. As we always tell people, the dogs are going to expend their energy in one form or another, it’s up to you to ensure it’s constructive. This is a wonderful breed but they need you to make them the best they can be!