There's something gratifying about being known for what you do. It does not happen overnight. It takes time, experience, desire and dedication. Over the years, I've gained an immeasurable body of knowledge which on many occasions I am called to share. As this journey has enriched my life beyond anything I could imagine-imparting what I've learned is one small way of giving back.
My goal is to educate, and provide insight into what to look for when choosing a breeder. It's one of the most important decisions you can make-so take your time. Look for someone who is reputable, responsible and responsive-as you will be sharing a relationship for a long time to come. There may be many qualities to look for. An ethical breeder has integrity discernment, patience and a deep knowledge and love for the breed. The intelligent breeder studies pedigrees, progeny generations long and hard:only gained over time. It's a process I call PB, (Planned Breeding), and like anything worth doing, it takes a tireless commitment. I cannot emphasize this enough-planned breeding is essential to the desired outcome-healthy dogs with strong solid lineage producing pups that are intense on point, have an even blend of cooperation and desire, calm around the house yet in the field their natural talents shine through. You'll also want a puppy that not only matures into a great hunting dog but equally as important a great family member of the family. A good breeder knows what it takes to produce the kind of dog that will hunt with the best of them, and yet, be just content to lay at your feet.
The Breeder's who have earned a good reputation are themselves a breed apart. They have respect for the breed. They do not need to brag about their accomplishments, their accomplishments speak for themselves. They understand temperament, personality, traits and have the ability to read underlying meaning of an individual pup's behavior. They have developed their own intuitive senses. Acutely aware of the emotional state of the dog or pup an experienced breeder sees things others cannot. This is an important distinguishing factor. It comes from experience. observations knowing what to look for. Recognizing the nuanced behaviors that form personality happens through a deep communication between animal and breeder. It takes trust, built over time. The quality breeder does not cut corners anywhere. They create the right environment for raising pups. They invest in the very best veterinary care, putting health of their dog above anything and everything else.
Do the research-it's well worth it. Ask for references, health certifications. Contact the breed organizations in your area., When speaking with breeder's ask questions, for a dedicated breeder should be happy to answer any and all questions you may have. The more questions you ask the more you will learn about him or her. Are they selling you or are they sharing information? What promises are they making? Will they answer any and every question you might have and are happy to do so. The more questions you ask the more insight the breeder will have about you. A breeder should be interviewing you at the same time you are interviewing them. They should be as particular as to where they place their puppies as you should be on selecting a breeding. You should never be made to think you are asking too many questions. Do you feel a rapport? Can the breeder identify the reason(s) for the pairing of the sire and dam as well as be objective into their own breeding programs and not those of other breeders.
Keep this in mind. Just because a pedigree may have some highly recognized kennel names, it does not mean that the person who bred that litter with the breeding pair has knowledge, understanding and expertise. Names on a pedigree are never enough. Find out what organizations for the breed they belong to. Words on a paper are just that words. If you are looking for a hunting companion simply because a breed is considered a hunting breed that alone should not qualify or be the sole reason to purchase a pup from a litter of puppies. Many breedings may be just that a breeding. Does the breeder in fact hunt their dogs in the field or do they simply say they do. Do they only test their dogs to gain a title when in fact while testing may be a good indicator however all testing venues are as far away from natural hunting conditions as possible. If a breeder does not hunt their dogs how will does the breeder actually know the abilities of their dogs under actual hunting conditions. Did the breeder purchase a mature dog from another and never hunted the dog, A breeder should know how their dog preforms under actual hunting conditions; how does their dog seek objectives, how does the dog use the wind, what is the range of the dog, was the dog easy to train, how is the dog around other dogs, how good is the nose of the dog.....etc. etc. Take your time do your research in the end you will be glad you did!
You can see how it takes more than the pairing of dogs for one to call themselves a breeder. Yet so many do. We believe that it is the job of the breeder to put together a pairing that will produce pups that are; healthy, have natural ability, desire, prey drive, intelligence and conformation. It is the environment as to where the pup is placed that will bring out the greatness or not within an individual puppy.
For one breeder to badmouth another breeder or a litter it is not a sign of integrity.
I also suggest asking the breeder how they determine the right fit between family and pup. Over the years I have developed my own testing and criteria which for me has worked well. The breeder should ask you lots of questions as well. They are doing so to determine insight into the lifestyle and family of the potential puppy buyer. Be careful of the breeder that has no interest in your lifestyle and family as perhaps all they are looking for is a sale-to move out pups. The end result may be a match that is not a match at all. I always say that love is blind. Here is what I mean. When a potential buyer is looking at a litter, it's highly unlikely that in an hour or even two they can determine the personality and characteristics of the pups. Here, rely on the breeder as after all this is why you chose him or her. What one sees within the whelping box or back yard with their litter mates may be totally different when they are home within their new environment. Finding out how a breeder socializes the pup is also important. The good breeder spends time observing the pups with their litter mates a well as one on one, making notes. I take them out in groups, then one by one, to see how they socialize. I will take the male pups out introducing them all to a tile floor making notes on each. Then I will take the females out one by one to see the reaction alone on the tile floor, again making individual notes on each. I am looking for which ones adapt first to the new texture. I will then do the same on grass, observing them in that environment, then onto cement. This may indicate how bold a pup is on the initial experience. I will also take them out as a group paying attention to which ones move out first and how far they will explore. At feeding time, I'll whistle once. This conditions them to future training. We even use their visit to the vet utilizing that experience to make notes, which then are compared to the notes at home. How will the breeder you choose make an assessment of the pups and their personalities? Ask the question. It is critical to making sure the pup and the owner are the right match.
It takes years of commitment to build the knowledge, experience and awareness to be worthy of being called a "Breeder".
I have been dedicated to this breed for more than two -thirds of my lifetime. At times it has been challenging, weekends training, traveling to tests, missing some down time with the family, but it has been incredibly rich and inspiring journey. Well worth all the effort! I have never claimed to have "the best" dogs and neither should any breeder. I am guessing the best dog out there is one that no one ever heard of sitting on someone's front porch hanging out with his human buddy living, I hope a wonderful life.
For me, the greatest reward has been the countless relationships made along this journey. For you, it should be countless years of love and enjoyment!
We started this journey many years ago out of my love for the outdoors hunting and fishing. Little did I know that my passion for this sport and the breed would stand the time it has!
Finally we do not claim to have "The Best" we simply claim to do our best! There are many fine breeders that are breeding for all the right reasons. Good luck in your search....
As in all walks of life there are individuals that throw around names and associations hoping that will benefit from that relationship. We are not nor have ever been associated or have anything to do with any other kennel that may be giving the impression that they in fact are.