Sporting Dogs

Everyone loves puppies. Sure they’re cute, but for hunters and field trialers puppies from good breeding represent hope and the possibility of a great career. Experienced pros focus their attention on the puppy’s first 12 months because they know how hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks. Puppy training should be a lot of fun, so here’s some savvy advice from industry pros on how to best conduct business during that first year.

Hard charging sporting dogs—like English pointers and setters, Labrador and Golden retrievers, English field cockers and Boykins, the dozens of versatile breeds among others — are wired to work. Their work requires fuel appropriate to their exercise level. Some dogs need fuel for quick, intense bursts of activity while others need endurance to help them along their half or full day’s work. 

Canine nutritionists have long known that nutrition is key to performance, but how much and when we feed our dogs is just as important as what we feed. These factors can impact your dog’s energy levels, physical fitness, and post-hunt recovery. Here is what you need to know to help keep your sporting dog in top form throughout the year.

On the night of February 10, 2020, Marty Robinson and three friends were in a texting session about field trials, when their conversation took an urgent turn.

“We felt that something bad was needed to change things up,” Marty recalled. “There have been no changes to field trials in the past 145 years. We wanted to fortify the sport.”

The fascinating part of sporting dogs is that they’re all so different. Never mind the fact that you can find a setter that casts at 40 yards, one that runs inside of bell range, or wins AA as the late Shadow Oak Bo did (twice in fact). That’s a wide range of performance in just one breed. Start to include other pointing, flushing and retriever breeds and the view expands. The icing on the cake comes when you add in 30 breeds of versatile hunting dogs acknowledged by The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA).