North American Pudelpointer Society Newsletter
July – September 2021 • Volume 6
The 2021 NAVHDA Invitational is in the books and Pudelpointers fared pretty well this year with a total of 16 dogs entered and 8 new Versatile Champion titles earned. I was fortunate to be able to attend for 3 days and watch some of the Pudelpointers run, visit with their owners, and spend time with the dogs. As has always been my experience at invitational, whether running a dog or just being a spectator, it was really fun and educational. I learned that typically, about 40% of male Pudelpointers pass the invitational compared with 50% of females passing. I got to visit with old friends and meet some new ones that I am very excited about communicating with more in the future. I had the distinct honor of meeting and spending time with Darryl Pernat and his dog “Noonan” Ripsnorter’s Shoot and Miss. What gentlemen, both Darryl and Noonan.
It was great to see so many passing scores this year. Stephen Lundy of North Texas Pudelpointers received a maximum score of 200 with his female. Three Rock Creek dogs passed making an impressive total of 6 VC’s produced by their kennel. In all, the passing scores were as follows:
- VC Cedarwoods Pi P R Texas – 200
- VC Bruedersthal’s General Copper – 197
- VC Rock Creek No Nonsense – 197
- VC Foothills Benelli – 191
- VC Ripsnorter’s Outlaw Grounds – 190
- VC Killbuck’s II Java – 190
- VC Rock Creek Delta Dawn – 187
- VC Rock Creek Edmund Fitzgerald – 185
There were several other Pudelpointers and their owners from all over the country and it was so good to reconnect and to connect for the first time and I look forward to seeing them all again.
If you missed this Invitational then you should definitely make plans for New Mexico next year, or Ohio in 2023. It’s a great opportunity to meet some first-class dogs and people!
We’ve got a few traditions here in the southeastern US, traditions for every season. Our hunting season is always kicked off with an annual tradition that I remember from a young age and my very first days afield. Dove Hunting. I guess my very first quarry was probably a bushy tailed grey squirrel but I can vividly recall my first successful wing shot. We were hunting a watering hole on a family friend’s property, there were three dads and their sons that fall afternoon. I was sitting beside my buddy on the edge of this pond and a few mourning doves had begun to filter in to drink. This particular dove was coming in across the pond with wings locked on its final decent. I took aim with my single shot 20 gauge and folded up that little grey beauty. My daddy jumped three feet off his dove bucket from across the pond and let out a rebel yell of approval that put an end to the bird hunting for a few moments. I was pretty pumped myself. That yellow shot shell hull was proudly displayed beside my Little League Baseball and 4-H livestock trophies and ribbons that I had won in my early years. It was a special thing for me and that was just the beginning on what has become a lifelong pursuit.
Being raised on a family farm I had a few advantages some of my classmates didn’t have when it came to hunting opportunities. My daddy and uncle were not big hunters, though they did do a bit of dove hunting with my brother, my cousin, and myself. We’d get to invite our school friends along and most all of those guys still hunt with us today. Every year we would have a sunflower patch set aside in a field corner for the early season doves and if we grew peanuts on the farm that year, we’d have a late season field for those later arriving migratory birds.
One key thing was missing in those early years of my hunting career, a furry four-legged companion. I’ve loved dogs since I can remember, but it was not until my Junior year in college that I finally owned a hunting dog. My second year of college I had done more partying than studying and my wiser than me daddy said it was time my focus was on academics instead of other topics so I returned home and commuted to a smaller university that was only 30 minutes from home. Back in those pre social media days I found a pup the old fashion way, an add in an area newspaper for a yellow lab puppy. Convincing my parents that I would be the one to be responsible for his care was the next step. Training a few retriever drills from Richard Wolters book and I had my first dove dog, Tanner. That spark started a fire and I would never be without a gundog again.
Fast forward a few years, and couple of labs later and I became curious about versatile hunting dogs. My career as a pharmacist was in full swing, my lovely and intelligent wife was opening her optometry business from scratch and I needed a new project to tackle. We had purchased a tract of land that had a few ducks, a covey of quail or two, some deer to track and of course a spot for a dove field. The thing that was missing was the versatile hunting dog. All it took was a Google search and I’d found this furry brown, almost lab looking, dog on the MidSouth NAVHDA website. I’d never even heard of a Pudelpointer or NAVHDA before. After some research and a few phone calls I was on my way to “look” at a litter of pups. Robin was less than thrilled when she pulled into the driveway and saw our latest family addition. She soon gave into that furry face and came to love Gus for many reasons.
Gus’ first bird exposure was the dove field. I made tons of mistakes with him, I’m sure, and he did make a few retrieves that day but all those little feathers in his mouth seemed to bother him a bit. A couple more dove hunts and he was over that quickly. Next thing I knew we were in South Dakota and both learning how to hunt a pheasant. The third day of that trip is when the light switch flipped for both of us. He took off in one direction and I followed, he locked down, the bird exploded from the CRP, I managed to aim straight, Gus brought that beautiful pheasant back to me and we took a picture. It was a great moment and that bond was forged. The world of hunting turned for us. I wanted to do all I could to make sure we could spend as much time pursuing birds together as possible.
Living in the southeast means that hunting wild upland birds requires a good bit of travel. Yeah, there are a few wild bobwhites around, but the story of their population decline is well documented. What could I do to increase our hunting opportunities closer to home? Easy, get back to my roots of dove hunting. I had gotten away from planting my own dove field for a few seasons but no longer. My father-in-law retired from farming and gifted one of his John Deere 4020 tractors to us, I found an old harrow that went for cheap at an auction, my daddy loaned me his bush hog and I bought one of those cyclone spreaders. We had the tools needed for our first dove field. Hunting doves can be done over many types of crops, brown-top millet, milo, corn, peanuts, wheat and sesame seed are all crops I’ve planted and managed to scratch out limits of birds over. Water holes, clear cut tree stands and even a sod field are a few others places I’ve hunted but the best of the best crop to attract doves in my experience is a nice clean sunflower field. Sunflowers are basically the filet mignon of dove food plots. They are also picturesque. Sunflowers are what you will find in our dove field every year.
After all of that preparation, the reward is watching your new budding pup or seasoned bird dog getting actual hunting work after a long hot summer. Some claim that doves are more shooting than hunting, I disagree. There are no other game birds with a 15 bird limit that I know of in our area. An afternoon where your four-legged companion has that many opportunities (hopefully) to make retrieves is an excellent chance to work on steadiness by blind, retrieve to hand, scenting work if the bird lands in taller grass or the nearby woods, blind retrieves, ect. Most of my close bird hunting friends have their own bird dogs. Another aspect the dove field may offer is the chance for your dog to learn better manners while around other dogs. These skills are needed and examined throughout the various testing levels of NAVHDA.
One other appealing aspect of dove hunting is that it requires very little gear. There are many gadgets that can be purchased but the basics are a shotgun, some shotgun shells (I prefer 7.5s), a dove bucket, fresh water for your pup and that’s it. I do use a Mojo dove, a shell belt with a separate pouch for my doves, and I bring along a plastic tub and a bag of ice. This provides a cool spot for my dogs on those hot/humid afternoon hunts. The plastic tub I use is one I found at my local Tractor Supply.
Access to dove fields is generally easy to come by. The state of Georgia has several Wildlife Management Areas planted for doves and I’m sure this is an option in other states. Also, pay dove shoots and dove clubs are advertised in hunting magazines and on social media pages. Knocking on farmer’s doors is an age-old approach, or if you have access to a plot of land you can plant your own. One thing to keep in mind on the dove field is gun safety. Choose your shots wisely, doves are known to dip and dive and fly lower than they can be taken without shooting in the direction of other hunters.
Another nice point to make is how good they are as table fair. If you’ve not had a bacon wrapped dove on the grill then you don’t know what you are missing. A more traditional method of cooking them is to pluck the birds (leaving the skin intact) and fry them whole. They can be eaten straight out of the frier or taken a step further by slow cooking them in gravy and onions like my Grandma Catherine used to do. The meat is darker but so very delicious.
As I am writing this my Pudelpointer, Syrus, is at my side and the heads of our sunflowers are beginning to droop and lose a few of those yellow petals. Syrus and I are entering our fifth dove season together. I was shooting doves the moment I got the phone call from Doug Rogers telling me that he had a pup for me out of his latest litter. That was on opening day of dove season 2016, hence Syrus’ registered name Juniper Creek’s Early Season Syrus. Later that fall, the day after puppy pick-up I went dove hunting for a bit and brought back a freshly shot bird for Syrus. I tossed it for him and watched this eight week old pup make several retrieves in the yard. Syrus was a keeper. We’ve hunted pheasants, ducks, geese, grouse, quail, snipe, woodcock and doves together from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and both Dakotas. It all began with mourning doves.
Several doves have been hanging around the driveway getting ready to feast on some black oil seeds. Finding shotgun shells this year has been tougher but I did manage to score enough to get us through several hunts. Syrus and I will do a few bumper tosses and some steadiness work when the sun gets lower. I’ve sent my buddies a few pictures of the field and they’ve shown them to their kids to remind them about what is on the schedule for the upcoming September weekends. Hopefully one day we will sit back while the next generation makes all these preparations and us old guys can reflect on our kids’ first dove and how it opened their world to hunting and gundog ownership. This tradition will continue, for me it all started with dove hunting.
It has been well documented that one of the first breedings done to create today’s Pudelpointer was a black dog named Molly, who was half pudel and half pointer, but there has long been contention about the color black within the Pudelpointer breed. Some people seem to abhor the idea of a black Pudelpointer, while others embrace and even seek out this coat color. Most people tend to agree that brown is, and should be, the predominant color of the breed and many are concerned with the increasing number of black Pudelpointers being produced today in North America.
It should be noted that genetically, black is a dominant color (B) and brown is a recessive color (b). When there is a Bb combination, the pup will always be black as black is the dominant gene. Many breeders caution against breeding black to black because a portion of the pups produced would produce homozygous black dogs (BB), meaning that they would only pass on a dominant B gene, and all pups they produce would be black. For example, if you bred two black dogs which were both Bb with a gene for both black and brown, in theory there would be 25% brown pups (bb), 50% black pups with the Bb genetic combination and 25% black pups with the BB genetics. The 25% pups with the BB combination will only pass on the dominant B gene.
Over time you can overcome the BB by only breeding a BB to brown dogs which are always bb genetically because you need to have two copies of a recessive gene for it physically present in the dog’s color. In the first generation you would have all black pups but they would all be Bb. In the second generation you would start to see fewer black pups as the recessive bb is reintroduced to the line, if you continue to only breed to brown dogs. It would take a couple of generations to reduce the black genetics in the line, but it is possible.
These are very simplified terms of genetics, assuming we only ever deal with the brown (b) gene and the black (B) gene. As more DNA studies are done specific to the Pudelpointer, we may find that there are more variations in this equation, but for the purposes of this article I’ll stick with the basics.
While I personally do not have an opinion about the color of the dog, I thought it would be interest to look at the numbers.
Prior to 2005, black Pudelpointers were rarely seen in North America, but since then the numbers have been steadily increasing. Since 2017, the number of black Pudelpointers produced, per year, has been greater than 10%, with a current overall percentage today of 8.4% of the North American population registered with NAVHDA since 2000 being black. In the most recent years, the number of black Pudelpointers registered with NAVHDA, as a percentage of total registered dogs, is as follows:
2013 – 8.2%
2014 – 9.6%
2015 – 11.5%
2016 – 6.5%
2017 – 13.2%
2018 – 13.8 %
2019 – 10.3%
2020 – 12.6%
2021 – 15.4% – (registry data through May 2021)
I’ll end with my usual disclaimer. These figures were calculated based on the current NAHVDA registry and do not take into account other registries in North America. If anyone finds fault with these calculations, feel free to contact me as I am always willing to discuss and learn more.
What a great time of year this is! Hunting season is here, cooler temps are starting to arrive, the NAVHDA Invitational just wrapped up with a record 8 new VC Pudelpointers. This all means Pudelpointers and their owners are out and about doing what they love. We hope you are taking quality photos of your hunting adventures with your sidekicks because we’re going to be starting the 2022 Calendar contest early this year.
NAPS has a new twist for the 2022 Pudelpointer calendar. This year there will be 4 categories:
- Retrieving/Waterfowl (yes we know retrieving is involved in upland also and a great Upland retrieve photo can win this category)
The contest will begin with a designated post on our NAPS Facebook page on October 12th and voting will close on October 26th. The top vote recipients with a qualifying photograph will win each category. The owner of the photo used on each month will receive a free calendar. The owner of the photo with the most votes will receive a one year NAPS Membership and $30.00 credit towards merchandise in the NAPS Shop.
Hot Tip: The earlier you post your photo the more votes you are likely to get.
Calendars are $20 each and are now available for pre-order on our website and our quantity will be limited so make sure you order early. We are moving the contest up to October this time in hopes to avoid the production and mailing delays we dealt with last year; thanks for everyone’s understanding through that. We anticipate shipping to start in late November or early December. So get out there and have some fun with your hunting companion. Take great photos and make great memories. We can’t wait to see them.
*Photos must meet the following requirements in order to be published.
- Clear and sharp
- Available in jpg format
- Large enough file size to accommodate calendar format
She’s 9 weeks and 2 days old, nestled in a blanket that smells like mum in her kennel heading to her new home. 5 hours and several potty stops later we are there without a peep from Lucy. Sitting in the driveway I look at the new 5 foot high chain link fence that encompasses my back yard. I think to myself; fence, do your job and keep my Lucy safe.
I introduce Lucy to her new outdoor area. She gets right after it and runs, jumps, sniffs, sits, and whimpers. Then she spots me. With her ears flopping and her awkward little legs running over new ground she reaches me. She jumps up on my leg and acts like I am her best friend. I give her a little praise, a pat on the head and together we walk her new boundary. Before too long she was investigating the flowers and shrubs. She hopped up on a rock and tumbles off. She chases after a moth then comes back to me for approval. I could tell she was going to be just fine here.
Once inside the house I carry her up the stairs to her newly gated domain. The furniture is moved to new locations, the rugs are picked up and there’s a big kennel just sitting there. I then realized exactly how many changes had been made for this little pup and know there will be many more happily made just for her. She sniffs around and tinkles on the floor then runs to me for a pat. I sit on a pillow on the floor in an area with no furniture not realizing this is going to be my new position for the next several months. She runs and scrambles trying to get on my lap. I pick her up and give her a squeeze and a kiss on the head. It all begins.
For the first week she was so inquisitive, exploring everything and everywhere, testing her limits. Eager to see what’s over there or under that, she sniffs and digs around the shrubs tearing out some of the black yard fabric and parading around like she had won a great prize! She points her first wing hidden in a bush. She went to NAVHDA . She worked the field and I tried to hold back the tears as I proudly watched her show her natural ability by pointing some birds. She went to NAPS and met lots of other dogs that were just like her only bigger. She even tussled with other little Pudelpointers. This was a very busy first week of being home. There were plenty of car rides and cart rides at the stores. People loved her and were drawn to this little shiny black, unfurnished, bright dark eyed, Lab! Yes, a Lab. Sometimes it warranted a correction and sometimes just a smile and a thank you. At the end of the day I’d give her a squeeze, a kiss on the head and into the kennel she went. I’d go to my new sleeping quarters, on the couch. Leaving the TV on for a little light and sound; I’d lay there listening to all her little sounds and think how lucky I am and how I love this pup.
After the first week of her sleeping like a champ I decided it was time to move back to my own bed. Oh boy how I looked forward to that. She settled down in her kennel and me in my bed ready for a good sleep and……….it happened. It all started with a few whines and whimpers. My head pops up and I intently listen to see if she is in distress. Nope. The yodeling, howling, yipping, that went on was astounding! I wondered if there was another animal out there with her. What does that little cutie turn into when I am out of sight? I stayed true to my belief and stayed in bed and let her work it out on her own. After no response from me, off to sleep she went. This went on for a few nights each session a bit shorter. I would just stay in my bed listening to my Lucy experimenting with her voice. Impressive audio this little pup had. Little did I know that she was letting me know she was going to be a talker!
After the first week of us both learning the ins and outs of each other, I decided it’s time to start the bell. You can imagine how many times a day I’d get her to the door, ring the bell with her paw and say potty? We also started working on sitting until her food was in the dish before coming to eat it. Waiting by the outdoor gate while someone entered or exited the yard was another early lesson. She was eager to learn and get that positive praise. Yard check cord work was not her favorite thing to do but was completed when she learned there was a treat at the end. The work sessions were short and always followed by fun. She loved playing hide and seek or where’s your toy. Playing in a box of leaves or riding in the wheelbarrow that was full of grass clippings were such great times. The best part was always that you only had to find me to find Lucy, always by my side.
Weeks flew by with lots of running, playing, hunting, learning, laughing and loving. All too soon she wasn’t that tiny puppy. She no longer climbed into the dishwasher every time I opened the door. No more turning into a noodle dog when I try to get her off the couch and into her kennel for the night. The holes dug in the yard were becoming fewer. Her kennel was getting a little tight. I noticed her blaze orange vest that I insisted she wore every time I took her to the field was getting smaller. She was growing beautiful furnishings. It was time to raise her food and water bowls to a higher position. She would now bury her bones and always remember which flower bed hid her treasure. Her swimming is more confident. Times spent in front of a mirror conversing with that other dog along with, hey mum what are you doing back there look, were always entertaining. She no longer needs help getting on my lap or in a chair. She now takes up a considerable amount of space when she contorts herself into those hilarious sleeping positions on the couch (The no dog on the furniture rule lasted about an hour). It is harder for her to sit on my lap while playing cards. I no longer need to sit on my pillow on the floor to be at her level. While she is always supervised she does have more freedoms in the house. She knows what get a toy means. She rings the bell to go outside. She has learned great patience and helpful tricks from her weeks of puppy classes. All the basic commands are now embedded hopefully for life. I’ve learned my favorite coffee cup was not safe on the counter. And that she always runs to tell on herself if she knocks anything over or onto the floor with a look on her face and a story in her very unique language. She is such a talker with all her varying pitches and tones in her voice. Along came her introduction to table whoa work, E collar, place, pointing, tracking and they are all coming along nicely. I’ve learned that the mistakes she’s made were actually my mistakes. It’s been a learning experience and I look forward to more great times in what’s ahead. I can’t wait to watch her in her first hunting season, doing what she was born to do. I used to see a puppy I now see a young dog.
This has truly been a rewarding, exciting, wonderful experience and she’s only 6 months old. Now at the end of another day it’s time for our nightly routine. One last potty trip, a squeeze, a kiss on the head into her kennel she goes but not without one last word. I leave the room thinking to myself, how lucky I am and how much I love this little pup.
We are very excited to bring back the in-person annual meeting in February 2022! The folks at QHF have again, generously offered the use of their grounds in Palm City, Florida, to host the NAPS Annual Business Meeting. We are planning some fun events for Saturday, some training opportunities for Sunday, and will hold the business meeting on Sunday at 12:00 Eastern. So, mark your calendars for February 26 & 27, 2022 to come out and join us for some fun. There will be more details posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages as well as in the Q4 newsletter as we get closer to the meeting.
Occasionally misinformation circulates within groups, or this misinformation may simply be championed by a single individual. There has been a fair amount of discussion recently over the ability or inability of a handler or owner running their dog more than once in the NAVHDA Natural Ability (NA) test. The simple answer is yes, you may run your dog more than once in an NA test provided the pup is no older than 16 months to the day. Unfortunately, a puppy that is 16 months and one day old is only allowed to run for evaluation purposes and cannot be awarded a prize. Last years COVID exceptions allowing some older dogs to prize have expired and do not presently apply to NAVHDA testing.
Since owners or handlers have always had the ability to rerun their dog perhaps a better question would be, should you rerun your dog in NA? This a difficult question indeed. Time, money and effort play a huge role but first let’s look at the dog. Since you are considering rerunning your pup lets first identify the scores your dog received that you found were not satisfactory. Many owners/handlers focus on receiving 112 points or a maximum score, others seek 105 points or higher, for breeding purposes. Whatever your goal is something stopped your dog from achieving the results you desired. It would be much too lengthy and confusing to attempt to address all possible reduced scores so instead I will simply share a few examples.
A score lower than 4 in water indicates the puppy had issues in either desire or cooperation when asked to swim. In simple terms, something stopped the puppy from following the bumper into the water and swimming. Whether the pup just stood on shore and watched the thrown bumper float or turned and ran into the nearby field to search for birds is reflected in the desire or cooperation score with a corresponding or potentially harsher reduction in water score. The point here is to understand what stopped your dog from achieving the desired result/score. As creatures of habit, we love to train and swim our dogs in the same location. Trouble is, if we swim our pup only at the cement boat ramp, he/she may feel extremely uncomfortable slogging through 3 inches of mud just to reach water at some stinky, muddy marsh pond. In that example, lack of exposure to different water entries may have caused the issue.
If your pup didn’t achieve the pointing score we needed, then again, we must understand why our pup didn’t point consistently in the field. Did our pup always demonstrate inconsistent pointing performance and we ignored it? Were we limited on birds and bird contacts in preparing for the test? I would encourage you to refrain from blaming conditions such as wet grass, rain, the species of birds used etc. That type of thinking isn’t productive. Ok, so it rained when it was your dog’s turn in the field. Knowing that rain is possible, we should all do some training in the rain or similar conditions to prepare for the possibility.
One of the most common difficulties is tracking. Many pups don’t enjoy it because it requires concentration and focus which is much less fun for the puppy than running and searching. The other portion of this is many owners don’t train tracking believing that it’s so instinctual none or little exposure is needed or a more common error is attempting to train track by dragging dead birds. A dragged bird lays a scent trail so heavy that in the NAVHDA Utility test, retrieve by drag, the use of nose isn’t judged as the path of the drag is considered obvious.
Knowing you may rerun your puppy is important but more important is understanding why your pup didn’t achieve the score you desired. So, in simple terms ask yourself why your pup didn’t meet your testing expectations then decide if rerunning is appropriate for you and your dog. But then again there is no harm in just taking your pup hunting and enjoying their first season in the field, together.
The NAPS Board of Directors has an open position for Marketing Director. This position is responsible for the organization, development and operation of all marketing programs under the guidance of the Board Officers. Duties also include helping with the Facebook and Instragram postings, managing our website updates, and other marketing and public relations related activities, as needed.
Interested parties may contact NAPS at firstname.lastname@example.org.