Jerry Kolter

Jerry Kolter is a nationally recognized trainer whose dogs have won numerous grouse dog championships and awards. He has more than 20 years of training, upland bird guiding and field trial experience. He and his wife, Betsy, own Northwoods Bird Dogs, a breeding and training facility.

Top puppy buying mistakes

Posted by: Jerry Kolter under Dogs Updated: April 14, 2011 - 2:37 PM


 

Being in a hurry. 
Hopefully your dog will live a long life of 10 or more years. It’s far more important to find the puppy that meets your needs rather than one that’s currently available. In fact, the best breeders usually have a waiting list.


Not knowing what you want.
Before you even begin your search, think about what you want. What qualities—such as looks, temperament, hunting ability—are important to you? What birds do you hunt? Do you like a close-working dog or a wide-ranger? Will your puppy live in the house or the kennel?


Choosing a puppy based on price.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Good breeders who produce high quality dogs have invested time, effort and finances in doing so. In addition, the initial outlay is virtually inconsequential when compared to the cost of a dog over its lifetime.


Not choosing the right breeder.
Do your research and get references. How long have they been breeding? Are they personally familiar with the dogs they’re breeding? For how many generations? Then make an appointment to visit the breeder. Are the kennels clean and the dogs healthy and well cared for? Do the dogs seem happy?


Not picking from the right litter.
This should be at the top of the list. Picking the right puppy is easy if you’re picking from the right litter from the right breeder. Like tends to produce like—if the sire and dam aren’t proven on the birds you hunt and in the manner you hunt, odds are that the offspring won’t either. All puppies are cute and it’s difficult to distinguish much among 8-week-old littermates.
 

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