You could fill a book with all of the available tips and tricks to pick a good pup from a litter. And the truth is there’s nothing harder than staring at a wiggling mass of puppies and saying, “I do,” with conviction.

When my wife, Jenny, and I chose Pritchard it was meant to be a group decision. I tossed puppy bumpers to see which of the youngsters had solid retrieving drive, and I rolled them over and gently pinched between their toes to see who reacted and who didn’t.


When we narrowed it down to three females we put different colored collars on each one and got ready to make the big decision. Well, at least I thought we were getting ready to decide. When I looked over at Jenny she had the blue collared pup (that’s her in the above photo) wrapped in her arms, and I knew my (our) decision had been made.

After talking to a few professional trainers it seems the best advice for picking a great pup is to study the parents and the parents’ parents. A good hunting bloodline is hard to deny. After that, it seems you’re just as likely to pick a good pup by closing your eyes and grabbing as you are by running through a battery of tests and trials.

Let’s hear how you chose your pup. Did the pup pee on your shoe? Lock up on point at a sparrow in the front yard? Or come right up and say “take me?”