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Pointing Labs Started Dogs



What is a started dog?

A started dog is one that has been taught all of the required fundamental concepts necessary to find birds, point them and deliver them to hand. These are the requirements for all good hunting dogs. The concepts taught will need continued work in order for a dog to become really proficient at them. That is where the owner comes in to the equation. They need to make the commitment to continue to work on polishing up the concepts that the dog has been taught. In order for these concepts to become proficient usable skills more work needs to be done with the owner/handler and the dog. These dogs need opportunities in the field, translation, lots of bird contacts to get really good at what they are capable doing.

What we teach our started dogs includes:


The purpose of the kennel command is to teach a dog to enter a crate when given the command. We start off teaching it with the create on the ground. Eventually with continued work with the owner a dog can be taught to load into other things as well. For example the back of truck to load into a dog box or the back of an SUV to load into a crate. This will require continued work between the owner/handler and their dog. We highly suggest when ever transporting a dog that they are in either a crate, dog box or . A dog can easily be tossed out of a truck with a collision. Always keep the safety of your dog in mind when transporting them. This includes extreme heat or cold. Either one of these can be fatal to your dog.

Introduction to birds is done by showing a pup what birds are and how to find them. This includes making them bold on birds which means to aggressively seek them out. We also give them more exposure to birds by doing simple retrieves with birds. This gets them use to carrying birds and teaches them how to pickup and carry them in their mouth. Typical birds we use are pigeons, chuckars, ducks.

Introduction to the gun is accomplished after the dogs are fired up about retrieving. We use a starter pistol to teach this basic concept. We teach the dogs that a shot is a good thing and to look out in the direction of the shot for a falling object. We start this process out using a bumper and then transition later to using birds.

Basic obedience is, in our opinion, the most important training concepts you can teach your dog. This is the foundation for all training. Virtually everything else you teach your dog will, in some way, be related to obedience. This includes virtually all advanced retrieving concepts a dog will learn. It is important to teach the sit, here, and heel commands so that the dogs completely understand them and you are getting a good response. The dogs will be taught to respond well to all of these commands while on a lead and collar. We also will introduce the whistle for here and sit after of these commands have been taught and the dog is responding well.

The conditioned fetch response is another critical retrieving foundation tool we teach the dogs. The dogs are taught to fetch a bumper or a bird on the fetch command. They are taught to hold the bumper until given the drop command. This is a very valuable tool to have in place and is used any time a dog drops an object retrieved before being given the drop command. All advanced retrieving concepts are based on this concept and it must being fully understood by the dog. This is also the place the dogs are introduced to pressure and the e-collar.

Introduction to whoaing is taught in order to begin teaching a dog steadiness on point. This fundamental concept is taught so that the dog has the basic idea of don't move when you find a bird and point them. This is accomplished buy using a check cord. While we begin to introduce this concept here it requires a significant amount of additional work for anyone wanting to move into more advanced steadiness. Much more work is required for the advanced dog that is steady on point to wing, shot and fall.

Basic marking concepts will be taught doing single retrieves (marks) in low cover. This is where we solidify the mechanics of the retrieve using the concepts we have previously taught the dogs. This includes cueing the dog with the word mark, releasing the them on their name, here, heel, sit, drop. That is the sequence that will be taught. Depending on the time of year dogs will also be introduced to water and water marks.


Introduction to field work with birds is where we move out to the field environment and work with birds. That includes upland birds and usually marks with ducks as well. If water is available, depending on the season, we will expose the dogs to water marks as well. This is where bring things together to expose the dogs in a hunting type situation.


What a started dog is not.

While a started dog has been taught the basics tools to go into the field to begin to hunt, a started dog is not is a polished hunting dog. A started dog is a one that is still working on lead. They are not working off lead as an advanced dog would be. They are not steady yet in several ways. They don't yet have the experience to be rock solid in the duck blind or at hunt tests on the line. Started dogs are not steady in the upland field on point, to wing, to shot, to fall. These are all advanced concepts as well. That said a started dog has the foundation laid in order to potentially continue to progress into all of the advanced training concepts if you do your job as a good handler.



Is a started dog for you?

The answer is it depends. If you don't have the desire or the time it takes to deal with a puppy then it could be an attractive possibility for you. If you want a dog that has the basic ability to begin hunting with you right away then that is another plus. That said keep in mind you are building a team here. That does not happen overnight. It takes time for you to develope an effective team relationship with your dog. One of mutual respect that will allow you to build a bond of a lifetime.

Another advantage to deciding on a started dog is that you will see more of the personality traits of a particular dog as well as the natural and developed abilities. You will also know with certainty that the dog points and is trainable. You cannot see these things in an eight week old puppy the way you can in a dog that is nine months to a year and a half old.

Some people ask will a dog bond with me when they are a little older. My experience in dealing with a lot of clients is absolutely. That is what is so nice about the labrador retriever. They love people. In most cases after feeding them for a week it is like they have been with you since the day they were born.



Why should you talk to us about your next started dog?

What seperates our dogs including started dogs from the rest? The dogs we produce are second to none anywhere. To start with it is in the pedigree. Look at our dog's pedigrees and you will see the difference. We are professional trainers and breeders with well of a decade of proven results. Breeding and training is what we do for a living!

We have a list of started dogs that are in training currently as well as dogs that may be available now. Click on the link that says available started dogs.