Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Doggone—there’s a new hunting puppy

July 22, 2013 at 02:08 PM

The State Journal-Register

I said, “never again.”

I was done with dogs. My last bird dog pointed his final pheasant in January. For the first time in almost 30 years, I had an empty kennel. I didn’t really miss traipsing out to the shed on winter nights to make sure everything was OK.

But last week, I bought another Brittany puppy. “Never” isn’t here yet.

Many times, I told myself, if I was going to get another dog, I should be interested in one that’s about a year old — a dog that has been “started” by a trainer. One who already looked like his adult self. One that could point and hold birds, and knew how to come when someone said “here.” Logically, I knew a started dog was my best option if I had any intention of re-dogging, which I didn’t.

I wasn’t sure why I was even looking at puppies. Still, there I was peering into the dark abyss, about to step off the edge.

Picking out a puppy isn’t nearly as complicated as people make it. If you select a good breeder, someone with a good reputation, and a kennel with good bloodlines, the chances of that puppy becoming the dog you want are greatly improved.

I’ve watched serious puppy purchasers sit in the midst of prospective puppies for hours, meticulously testing each one, trying to determine which one will become a confirmation, obedience or field champion. It’s a lot like looking at a maternity ward full of babies and trying to spot the next Peyton Manning.

In the end, the testing goes out the window, and 95 percent of those people will choose the first puppy that comes to them.

Not me. I was partial to the one that took off like a shot as soon as he was free of the exercise pen. That boy had things to do. Stuff to look at. He had someplace else to be. Maybe that one had some hunt in him.

He did come back to check in once in awhile, just long enough to have his ears scratched, before taking off in a different direction. He’s independent. He’s probably going to be hard to train. He might be tough enough to hunt. Hard to tell when he’s trying to untie my shoelaces.

About six months from now, there might be some indication of whether he’s going to be a bird dog or just an energetic pet. That’s the gamble with a pup. You aren’t going to know what you’ve got for about a year.

Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

I have little in common with Albert. In fact, I couldn’t even spell his last name without looking it up. Still his logic in this case resonates. If you want a hunting dog, and are going to start out with a puppy, forget about going from A to B and imagine what that little guy might become.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Emerald ash borer found in Whiteside County

Previous entry: Up close with loons, in service of science

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

December 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons