Do your homework before getting a new hunting dog

If you’re looking for a hunting dog, get busy. Many breeders try to time their litters for late winter or early spring, so now’s the time to get a dog.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re picking out a hunting dog. It’s not just about deciding on a breed, then choosing a pup from the litter. This is a companion that’ll be with you for the next ten to fifteen years. That’s probably longer than you’ll have the truck you’re driving now. You need to put some thought into this decision.

Hunting with a good dog will make you never want to hunt without one. Unfortunately, not every dog is that good hunting dog. The best way to ensure that your dog won’t be a dud is to do your homework before you buy one.

Over the next few days, I’ll talk about each part of the dog buying process. Tomorrow, I’ll give you ideas on how to decide what breed you want. Wednesday, I’ll give you tips on finding the right breeder. Thursday, the subject of the show will be picking the right pup from the litter.

But first, you want to know exactly what you expect from the dog. If you don’t know what you want a dog to do, your chances of getting the right dog are next to nothing. Spend some time thinking about what you like to do. Don’t just focus on what you do now; keep in mind that you might have more opportunities if you have your own dog.

Other things to think about are your yard, your spare time and your family. If you have a small yard, you might choose a different dog than you would if you have 40 acres. If you have very little free time, you might consider getting a dog that has been trained by a professional. If you have young children, the breed of the dog, or individual dogs’ personalities, may come into play.

Now’s not the time to decide on a dog, or even a breed. This is just the first step. Make a list of all the things you want from your new dog, then move on to the next step. That next step is choosing the breed. Tune in tomorrow for tips on picking the breed that’ll best suit your needs.