Got Tough Questions? We've Got Answers!
Outdoor Dog Runs
Here at HPK many of our dogs live in a three sided building closed to the north. The building is a split roof design intended to keep the shelter 10 degrees warmer or 10 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature.
Indoor Whelping Pens
Our whelping area and nursery is heated in the winter – via heated floors — and cooled in the summer via doors that open on all sides.
Pretty tough to have bird dogs without birds!
Traveling in Style!!
Be it to the vet, to a hunt test, or just hunting for fun — HPK dogs travel in style!
See Our Facility
Hunters point kennel is located in just outside Marshalltown, IA — which is in the center of the state — conveniently located within an hour of the Des Moines International Airport. Being in Iowa blesses us with wide open spaces for the dogs, plenty of wildlife to hunt, plenty of fish to catch, and the wonder of the ever changing seasons. Even a short drive down a central Iowa road — and you will understand why we choose to call this place home.
The kennel grounds occupy approximately 9 acres. We have one bank of adult kennels that contain 22 runs that are each 5′ x 12′. The kennels or runs are situated in a three sided steel split roof building. The split roof design — taken from that of a cattle shed — allows for protection from the wind an elements — but allows for maximum air movement.
The Kennel floors are slatted treated lumber and plastic kennel floor that drains into a trough. The trough is connected to a 1000-gallon septic system and a custom built french drain. The runs are divided by chain link fencing, and each dog has its own house to relax and get out of the elements. This entire area is surrounded by a half acre fenced in exercise yard that we use to let the dogs run around in while we are cleaning.
When we first relocated the kennel from Indiana to Iowa, the kennels were concrete runs completely open to the world around them. As one could imagine this made for very warm kennels in the summer and very cold runs in the winter. This new system has cut down on the labor required every day — AND increased the health and comfort of the dogs.
The whelping areas are inside an insulated metal building with radiant floor heat. We currently have three concrete runs of 8′ x 16′ inside and 8′ x 8′ outside. The runs are concrete block up four feet and then Steel on top of that. This allows for privacy between the runs, but still allows air circulation. These runs are also connected to the septic system. The concrete slopes and troughs make for easy and thorough daily cleaning.
We have two large areas for training and exercising the dogs. The first is located on the property and includes CRP, live birds, and a creek. We also have 80 acres of private training ground 5 minutes away with large tracts of CRP, large training pond with an island, dikes, a fast running creek, brushy fingers of timber, and a wetland marsh. We use these areas for all aspects of our puppy “Jump Start” program as well as our HPK breeding stock training and exercise rotations to keep everyone in shape. This provides us an easy location on-site to do basic bird dog training and allows us to change up where we are working the dogs.
Our Intent and Purpose
In any type of business it is important to have a clear intent and purpose. Hunters Point Kennel is no different. Danny Allen and Byron Fagg summed up our intent and purpose in 1987 when they said:
Meet the Team
Justin McGill – 812-216-4119
I have been involved with hunting dogs, livestock, and hunting dog breeding since childhood. I grew up on a dairy farm in Northeast Iowa and aside from raising, breeding, and milking cattle, we also raised and bred Britney Spaniels (a breed of bird dog). Raising dogs and cattle have given me an excellent background to manage Hunters Point Kennel.
In my professional life, I have both a Bachelor’s Degree and Masters Degree in Agricultural Systems Technology from Iowa State University and Purdue University Respectively. Currently, I am the Vice President of a PMI, Iowa –a large construction contractor that serves the Millwright Industry. It is a joy daily to interact with both my staff and my customers, and I carry this joy with me in every aspect of my life. Danny Allen made the statement “quality invested results in quality received” that was and still is Hunters Point Kennel’s philosophy.
Nate is the Senior Executive Vice President of our pro staff. While finding time to be an APLA board member and work for a living — Nate travels the Midwest every fall in pursuit of ducks, geese, pheasant, chucker, and quail. You never know if Nate is going to be up in Canada after giant geese, in the Dakotas chasing pheasants & ducks, or down in Kansas locating a few coveys of Bobwhites. He also guides clients on pheasant, quail, and chucker on a local preserve. Nate has raised, trained, and hunted with various bird dogs all his life. He got into pointing labs back in 1998 when he purchased his dog “Hunter” from Danny Allen and Hunters Point Kennel. From that October day at a hunt test in Michigan when he picked up Hunter he has been training, hunting, and running hunt tests in various AKC and APLA events. Nate handles some of our guiding requirements, conducts our in-house training and most importantly gets out and hunts the dogs!
HPK's Health Guarantee
Hunter’s Point Kennel provides a written guarantee against genetic hip or eye disease for your puppy’s first 26 months. If the conditions of the guarantee are invoked, you may keep the original dog if you supply proof of sterilization, and we will give you another dog of equal or better breeding at no cost. Breeding the dog before 24 months of age will void the guarantee and you will be responsible for all shipping costs if applicable.
- The dog’s hips must be x-rayed between 24 and 26 months of age by an approved veterinarian, and x-rays sent to O.F.A. for examination. (Dogs over 26 months of age are not covered under this guarantee).
- If the dog was certified to be dysplastic, the owner must submit proof in writing from O.F.A. (a copy of O.F.A.’s certification) and from a veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered.
- The dog must not be used for breeding until x-rayed and approved by O.F.A. If the dog is used for breeding or has been bred before being approved by O.F.A., guarantee is VOID.
- The dog must have its eyes examined by 1 years of age by a certified veterinary ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist must state in writing that the defect is definitely of a hereditary nature and not caused by injury or illness. Dogs over 18 months are not covered under this guarantee.
- No dog will be guaranteed unless it carries the HPK prefix or in the registered name with A.K.C.
HPK's Jump Start Program
(4 Days of Life – 16 Days of Life)
Our puppy development program begins with early neurological stimulation using the “Bio Sensor” program. The “Bio Sensor” program was developed by the U.S. Military for their war dog program. Later it became known to the public as the “Super Dog” program. Please find the following description of the program:
The “Bio Sensor” program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
1. Tactile stimulation. Holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3–5 seconds (Figure 1).
2. Head held erect. Using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3–5 seconds (Figure 2).
3. Head pointed down. Holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3–5 seconds (Figure 3)
4. Supine position. Hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep struggle. Time of stimulation 3–5 seconds (Figure 4).
5. Thermal stimulation. Use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3–5 seconds (Figure 5).
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise.
Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.
BENEFITS OF STIMULATION:
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:
- Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
- Stronger heart beats
- Stronger adrenal glands
- More tolerance to stress
- Greater resistance to disease
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non-stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations. Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, whined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were calmer in the test environment, made fewer errors, and gave only an occasional distress when stressed.
(As needed, from 4 weeks to 6 Weeks):
Upon completion of the “Super Dog” exercises we begin a temperament equalization program recommended by Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. In very simplified terms the program requires random grouping of the puppies away from mother twice a day. This changes the dynamics of the litter allowing the puppies to assume roles different from the norm in their small groups. This continues through six weeks of age.
(Beginning at 5 Weeks):
Feeding time for puppies is a time of high energy and drive. We use this time to introduce problem-solving exercises to the puppies. Daily we introduce different barriers between the puppies and their food. The puppies are challenged to go under, over, around, or through barriers to get to their food. This type of brain stimulation is proven to actually increase the size of the cortex. When the puppies reach their food we fire a 22 blank pistol to imprint in their minds the association of gunfire with something good, food. This noise conditioning makes the transition to the field and the reward of a bird after gunfire easier.
(6 Weeks – 8 Weeks):
At six weeks of age we introduce the pups, as a litter, to a clipped wing quail or chucker. The competitiveness of the group makes the bird introduction a pleasant experience for all and leaves a positive bird imprint in their minds.
It is important to note at this point that unstructured handling and play by adults and children also takes place during this time to promote normal human bonding and socialization.
Many experts feel the first six weeks is the most important time for development in a dog’s life. Newborn pups have their eyes closed, have a limited digestive system that requires mothers licking to function, depends on external sources for body heat, and can only smell, suck, and crawl. At six weeks they see, walk, eat and digest solid food, regulate their own body heat, play, reason, and develop traits unique to themselves.
Studies have shown that the effectiveness of “jump start” exercises during the first six weeks of life can never be duplicated again.