About Us and our Philosophy on Breeding
Bob and Neena Bergquist, Belgrade MT 406 223 2602
Bob and Neena Bergquist are retired military, ex outfitters and used to be farmers who have turned to breeding top quality pointing , retrieving and family labs later in life. We have a small family run breeding operation using top quality pointing lab genetics from top breeders from across the country. We do not take credit for developing these genetics, but we value the effort put into them by the great folks who did so. We feel the combinations of genes we have assembled tick all of the boxes that make a top notch labrador retriever. All of our pups are AKC registered and have many Master Hunter, retrieving and pointing lab titles in their histories. All of our dogs live in our home, not in kennels. Besides being hunters they are all gentle and loving as most labs are. We have a wide range of colors to choose from including classic stately blacks, athletic yellows and chocolates depending on the breeding. If you are looking for a versatile Labrador equally adept at hunting upland birds, retrieving waterfowl or as a great companion in the home these are the dogs for you.
We take picks based on a first come basis including sex and color, obviously that makeup is litter dependent. All pups come with AKC papers, shots and a full genetic health guarantee. We encourage new owners to visit the litter between age four weeks and eight weeks to get to know each pup and even start the bonding process. We usually require the pups to be picked up in Belgrade MT at seven weeks of age as we strongly believe in the 49 day bonding timing and as this is the perfect time for the socialization process with the new owners to begin in earnest. We do require all pups to be picked up by their eighth week, unless special arrangements are made. Price is based on the litter genetics but will vary between $950 and $1250. A deposit of $200 will hold your pick. Deposits are refundable if the color and sex combination you have requested is not produced. If the requested pick you desire is not available when you call we will add you to our pick list on a future litter. Or as many folks do you can simply make a reservation on a future breeding or litter in order to ensure a top pick of the litter. We will require the deposit to be made when we get a positive preg check, but a reservation will hold your place until that time.
Our puppies are meticulously cared for from whelping to the day you take your pup home. All of our puppies are vaccinated with nine way vaccine, dewclaws removed and will have been wormed three times (not that we have ever had any problems with worms as many kennel bred and kept dogs often do). We also trim nails weekly from age four weeks on which gets them used to the procedure. The pups are also bathed at least twice a week which also gives them a nice introduction to water and bathing. Our whelping and nursery area is adjacent to our living area which allows us to monitor and socialize with all of our pups. These areas are tiled and have shower pans installed which facilitates cleaning several times a day (and a head start of potty training). Bio-security is a priority. Our pups are not allowed outside until they have received their first shots. We highly recommend that you avoid dog parks or other public places where other dogs are present for at least the first three months after you pick up your new puppy. And we obviously always recommend making all the requisite vet visits as required for follow on shots and health check ups.
The pups are weaned at six weeks of age and wll be eating solid puppy food. As soon as a pick is made we like to know what the name of the pup will be if possible as we can start using individualized names. Each pup will have daily socialization with us as well as being exposed to pheasant wings on strings as part of their play. At this time the first signs of retrieving and pointing are usually observed. At seven weeks you will pick up your new puppy. We suggest you potty train your pup using the bell on the door method which we also use in their nursery area. We have had outstanding results in starting the potty training process by introducing bells and encouraging and thus reinforcing the positive behavior. Most new owners find that the potty training process is fast and easy compared to most kennel raised pups. We also start teaching all of the basic commands such as no, sit, stay, find it and come as well as retrieving a toy or wing in the house or on the lawn. Also start to get the pups heeling first on the leash.
When you get your pup home, get the basics down pat with your puppy as these are the building blocks of a great pointing lab. If you are planning to hunt with your pup, this is also the time to expose your pup to live birds, such as a tethered pidgeon or perhaps a dead pheasant or partridge on a string to bring out the interest in birds and the pointing instinct. You want the pup to stalk the bird on a leash or rope, like a cat would but only release on your command. Retrieving is also the most fun thing for your pup to do at this age. Above all keep it FUN for the dog and yourself. Frustration is natural, but try to keep it to a minimum. Good trainers are always positive with the pup, even the NO command should be made in a gentle voice and followed up with praise when your pup self corrects. We suggest you never use your pup's name while correcting during the early training phases to avoid any negative association between the name and the command or correction. Neena has found over the years a stern "eeeecckkk eeeeckkk eeeecccckkk!" sound gets their attention and indicates they are out of line. Once the pup fully understands who it is, then start using their name to get their attention. Another trick she uses is to train the "look at me" command which focuses their attention on you. Dogs naturally make eye contact with humans and other dogs, as such this command also invokes nonverbal communication between you and the puppy. Your Lab naturally wants to please you, everything in his life is about fun. Let me repeat that...everything in a dog's life is about having fun, be it doing what they were bred for (retrieving, hunting) or simply going out and about with you as the the pack leader. As pack leader they trust you, so never break that trust by hitting or screaming at the dog. If you are out of control chances are your dog will learn to be so as well. They expect you to be consistent, not a pushover to be taken advantage of (NEVER lose your natural place as alpha by betraying your dog in their doggy minds ) but rather as a firm but fair, fun but incontrol head of the family always ready to provide both love and guidance. End every training session on a positive note with lots of praise and love. The idea is to bring the best instincts out in your dog, they are there waiting to be developed. As with anything in life the more effort and time you put into your pup the more you will get out of the finished dog.
We do not offer any advanced dog training now due to Bob's disability and because we have we have moved to Belgrade rather than out on our larger property in Livingston, but we can help with advice or direct you to some of the top pointing lab trainers in the country if you like. We also have recommendations for some great videos produced by Gary Buys from Poudre River Gun Dogs that will get your dog exactly where you want it to be in the field given you put the time and effort into training. As with any endeavour, work produces rewards. These pups have the genetics, the drive and championship bloodlines to be your best buddy in the home and the field.