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When The Hunter And The Dog Become One

We have a waiting list of people who want one of the pups we breed here at Mossy Oak’s GameKeeper Kennels. I'm often asked, “How many pups can Mossy Oak produce in a year?” We’re not about production. We don’t breed our females until they’re 2-3 years old. So, we've got a lot of young females that will come into our breeding program in the next several years. Right now, we only have four females we’re actively breeding. We won’t produce more than three litters of pups per female, depending on the health of the female.

The females we use for breeding are actually fully-trained Labs. So, when they come out of our breeding program, they’ll be sold as started dogs or finished dogs. A fully-trained dog is a nebulous term, because we train dogs to do the tasks that their owners want them to perform. Primarily, we train our Labs to retrieve upland birds and waterfowl.

If a customer comes in and tells our trainer Bill Gibson, “These are the things I want my dog to be able to perform,” then Bill will train that dog to accomplish those tasks. For instance, if a customer owns a quail plantation, and he wants his Labrador to sit on the front of his quail vehicle and watch the English pointers as they point the quail, see the hunters shoot, and then go and retrieve the quail, we can train a dog to do that. We have to remember that we’re training the dog and the hunter to perform the task that the hunter wants the dog to do. Every dog and hunter requires custom training, so the two can work as one. The dog needs to understand what the hunter wants, and the hunter needs to understand what the dog can do.

To learn more about Mossy Oak’s GameKeeper Kennels, the dogs and the trainer, go to

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