N4758 350th Street « Return to Listings
Elmwood, WI 54740
So, let me tell you about the preceding four decades, as the Alma Bottom Pointing Lab Breeding Program was developed. We started out breeding Irish Setters with our grandfather in the '50s, gaining an appreciation for a solid running upland dog. In the '60s, we shifted over to labs because of the health of the setter gene pool. In 1985, we watched our top one-year-old, Ticker, start to point. Hmmm, unusual learned behavior, but not impossible for a smart lab running in a pack with a wily old shorthair, we thought. A year later, a 2 year old female adoptee, Abigail, who had never been trained or even introduced to the field, pointed her first day out of the box.
This Is Not Learned Behavior!! What is Going On Here?? Well, someplace along the line, she had picked up some pointing blood, obviously. From where, we weren't certain. Maybe from the wolves, because they point for each other. Time to go back to the books. The books said Mendelian PolyGenetic Multiple Alleles. That's a 50 cent way of saying that the more times you breed pointing labs to pointing labs the more likely the pups are to point, because it takes many generations for the hidden attributes, e.g., staunchness, backing , tripoding, etc., to emerge to their fullest. Sometimes 10 generations, sometimes 25.
Such a program doesn't happen overnight and it has to be directed by Field Testing. So, in '88 we joined with Mayo Kellogg, of Kellogg Kennels and the then DU dog editor and Larry Mueller, the dog editor of Outdoor Life to found the International Pointing Labrador Association (IPLA). Bodo Winterhelt, the founder of NAVHDA was instrumental in helping us to start testing PLs for the natural ability so critical to breeders and puppy buyers. PLs couldn't be run in any association at the time, so it was necessary form our own. Hence, our continuing support for the IPLA Certification Program. Here, by judges unrelated to the breeder, owner, trainer or handler, dogs compete against a constant standard on the basis of their natural abilities. They are judged for a myriad of factors, most importantly their 'Point', but, also critically, their 'Nose'. Without a great nose, no dog can make it to the top. All the information the dog uses is Olfactory. Sight pointers aren't too useful in the field. So, we cull down within our own dogs, (which tend to score in the high end of the spread), to only those that are in the top 15%. We've had to pass on some really beautiful dogs with real sweet temperaments.
In '92 the American Pointing Labrador Association (APLA) evolved from the base established and both organizations continue to do high-quality work. We continue to support APLA, IPLA, NAVHDA, and NAHRA as well as the AKC Hunt and Water tests. For anyone certifying an Alma Bottom bred dog in one of these programs, we will upgrade breeding rights to Full Registration as well as rebate many entry fees. See the BREEDING RIGHTS section for more details.
So, we've bred certified pointers together, taken their certified offspring and bred them to other certified pointers until we've gotten 8 consecutive generations with 25+ certified individuals. But, even more importantly, these breedings have three consecutive DOUBLE-SIDED certified breedings, breeding "like-to-like". This has a multiplier effect, giving you MUCH more than a double-whammy on hidden attributes, MORE than doubling their appearance. It is THIS part of the breeding that really makes the 'point' come forward in spades.
We traveled across the country the last decade field testing dozens of pointing labs, some rumored, some real. We've identified the broadest range of separate individuals from quality culled stock, to form the backbone of our breeding program. And, we continue to check every dog we hear about. This gives you the best protection possible from the emergence of unwanted traits. It means your dog lives longer and stays healthier. We are currently breeding 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Generation pups. Be certain to deal with a breeder doing at least 4th generation genetics, if you want certainty-of-point. Ask if 'Point' is guaranteed in writing and how it's guaranteed.