"Gun Dog Training: Picking a puppy, pedigree" by: Rob Murray

   This is the first part of a comprehensive series of articles on gun-dog training.  
   We will cover the full range of training from puppy to finished gun dog. Please follow us in learning important points of raising a successful hunting companion. 
   Puppies! Are you ready for a gun dog puppy?  
   Is a puppy your best option? Before we discuss how to raise a puppy, consider a few things… 
   If you are looking for a successful hunting dog, how can you stack the odds in your favor to achieve your goal? Look at the pedigree first! 
   Pedigree can be measured in the hunting titles of the dog’s ancestors as is shown with titles such as: Field Champion (FC) or Master Hunter (MH).  
   A pedigree can also be based on personal experience such as Mr. Jones, from down the road, has been raising the greatest hunting dogs for 15 years, his dogs are great. 
   Good hunting dogs usually come from good hunting dog stock and pedigree. 
   The better the pedigree, usually the better the odds for a successful hunting dog. A good pedigree does not guarantee success. Some puppies from a great pedigree just won’t have the positive hunting skills or the heart of their ancestors. 
   Let’s assume we find a breeder that we trust and the litter’s pedigree looks impeccable. Now what?  
   Well, we choose the winning puppy out of the litter. There are as many ways to pick a puppy, as there are people in the world. It’s a crapshoot.  
   Some people use a duck feather on a string and see which puppy goes after it, some use a ball, and some people just reach in and grab one! 
   To pick a winner, a prospective puppy owner needs to spend several visits with the litter over a couple of weeks and interact with the puppies many times.  
   After several visits, it will be clear which puppy has what it takes to be a champ. If you’re lucky, the right pup will pick you!


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