For thousands of years dogs and humans have been so in tune with one another that it is of little wonder that a well trained puppy can grow up to be a hunter’s greatest asset. Yet, not all pups have the potential to be great gun dogs. Instead many will grow up to be lovable pets who give us companionship and love but who are otherwise not very useful on the hunt. And that’s okay. The trick then is determining which puppy has the most potential to grow up to be a great gun dog. Here are some tips for picking out the perfect gun dog.
- Look at the puppy’s parentage: A puppy’s parentage will tell you what it will look like, how good its nose will be and its temperament. A healthy puppy will not come from unhealthy parents. More often than not excellent gundog parents will produce excellent progeny.
- Check their health: Make sure that the puppy is in excellent health and has been dewormed and inoculated with distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus or parainfluenza (DHLPP) vaccine. Healthy puppies will be lively and energetic particularly at feeding time.
- Test their temperament: Try placing each puppy of a litter on his/her back. One that resists violently may be difficult to train. One that is too complacent and doesn’t resist at all may be too passive. Ideally, the puppy should wriggle but not show either extreme.
- Ask for papers: Buy from reputable breeders who can show you the puppy and its parent’s papers.
- Avoid negative hereditary traits: These traits include but are not limited to: hyperactivity, hard mouth, excessive toughness, shyness (gun, call, man, etc.), aggressiveness and dominance.
- Go by breed: There is much debate on which breed is best for hunting various kinds of prey. However, most people choose pointing breeds or flushing breeds for pheasant, grouse or quail hunting. Our Argentina bird hunting facility gives hunters and their dogs a wide variety of bird species to hunt.
- Get the pick of the litter: Most breeders recommend that you pick a puppy that is bold, confident and outgoing among its litter mates. In contrast, avoid puppies that are shy, hide or seem reserved.
Finally, duck hunting in Argentina is a challenge for hunter and dog alike. When choosing a hunting dog, use these tips to screen out a hunting companion that will make the hunt frustrating and possibly even dangerous.