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Defining a Good Bird Dog Blood Line

Will these pups hunt? They are from a proven line, so chances are good. Photo by Todd Sauers / Pheasants Forever

Will these pups hunt? They are from a proven line, so chances are good. Photo by Todd Sauers / Pheasants Forever

In the last couple of blog posts, I’ve written about my newfound respect for Field Trials and Hunt Tests.  As I was driving home from a night of dog training last Thursday evening, I caught a FAN Outdoors radio interview with pro dog trainer Tom Dokken.

tomdokkenweb

Tom Dokken

During the interview, Tom articulated why folks interested in acquiring a hunting puppy should consider field trial and hunt test blood lines to find the best bird dog puppy blood lines.

“Successful field trial and hunt test dogs,” Dokken explained, “have proven they have the genetics to be good hunters in addition to being very trainable.  Even if you have no intention of trialing your own dog, these characteristics are exactly the same traits important to creating a successful bird dog.”

Dokken went on to explain how to find these successful field trial and hunt test blood lines in a breeding’s documents by looking for the following acronyms after a dam or sire’s name:

FC = Field Champion

AFC = Amateur Field Champion

NFC = National Field Champion

MH = Master Hunter

SH = Senior Hunter

To listen to the full podcast of Tom’s interview, follow this link to Hour 2 of the show on July 18.  You can also contact Tom direct by visiting his website.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

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3 Responses to “Defining a Good Bird Dog Blood Line”

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  1. Adam says:

    There is also the VC designation which is Versatile Champion from the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). NAVHDA also uses Natural Ability and Utility Tests for evaluating dogs. Their system encompasses both field(hunting, pointing, retrieving, and tracking) with water (search and retrieve).

  2. Ross Copperman says:

    Per Adam’s reply and having experienced both NAVHDA and the AKC trials, when it comes to pointing dogs, NAVHDA champs are definitely more accomplished.

  3. I think that proper training can make any dog become a hunting dog. I think that the best thing to do is to train it yourself.

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