We train a few of our puppies to the “started dog” level; these will be ready to hunt. Some are offered as started dogs, others are purchased as puppies, left at the kennel to be trained and still others are returned at about one year of age to spend six weeks training on birds. We raise hundreds of flight conditioned Bobwhite quail and Chukar Partridge for our training program and we have the knowledge, all the modern equipment and the facility to make it a pleasurable and efficient endeavor. There are many advantages to purchasing a trained dog, many young dogs are improperly introduced to birds (and gun), they are over trained and/or not developed properly, decreasing their potential and in worse cases, ruining them. Yes, I know most people don’t feel they are in this group and you’re probably not, but buying a started dog eliminates a whole lot of headaches, errors and detrimental “learning experiences.”
In addition, a person buying a started dog has a far better idea of how the dog is going to turn out as opposed to a person buying a pup. The dog’s style, its gait, nose (scenting ability), hunting intensity and temperament are all established and observable. With Setters just knowing if the dog is a natural retriever is a significant value. It is worth the cost of having the dog force broke for upland hunters who value retrieving. What’s it worth to the guys who like a dog that looks good on point? How biddable is the dog, what type of disposition, and it’s conformation … All of these things quite apparent in a quality started dog.