Part one of this series covered some basic information about different types of hunting dogs, and their jobs. At this point I am going to assume that you have picked the breed of dog you want. I hope that this decision was based on the game you hunt and not the dog’s aesthetics. I plan on using my hunting dog for upland birds, water fowl (infrequently), blood trail tracking, and scouting. In other words, I decided to go with a versatile hunting dog.
Versatile hunting dogs include breeds such as German Shorthairs, German Wirehair, Vizslas, Brittany Spaniels, Griffons, and many more. Specifically, I chose to go with the Wirehair pointing Griffon. The AKC (American Kennel Club) describes this breed as: “Medium sized, bred to cover all terrain encountered by the walking hunter. Excels equally as a pointer in the field, or a retriever in the water. His easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly temperament endear him to all.”
So now what? If you have no idea where to start looking for a breeder, check on the AKC (American Kennel Club) website. You will find a lot of information on this site about breeders. There will also be specific clubs for the breed that you choose, and they can provide breeder information. For example, NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) and AWPGA (American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association) are great places to start for someone looking at getting a griffon.
There should always be an open dialog between you and the breeders. Any request for paperwork relating to the registration and pedigree of the sire or dam (dad and mom) should always be readily available. If you are given any difficulty when asking for these documents, you should consider moving on from that breeder.
Another important consideration is the temperament of the sire or dam, and the age of the pup when you receive it. If you are able to visit the breeder prior to picking up your pup, ask to see the parents and really pay attention to their temperament. Is the dog very shy, or, is it extremely aggressive? Both can cause problems down the line and should be part of your determination in selecting a breeder. As for the age at which you receive the pup, my father (a veterinarian) recommends anywhere from seven to nine weeks depending on the dog’s development and whether or not the breeder has to ship the dog to you via airplane.
So we have selected the type of hunting dog, the breed and the breeder. All that is left now is to get ready for our pup to arrive.
(Featured image courtesy of topdog-breeds.blogspot.com)