Every so often, the time comes for us to retire our faithful bird dog. He served us well, bounding through cut cornfields and milo, but can no longer spend a day afield pointing and fetching. It's tough to watch a once birdy German shorthair, Lab or setter get old, stretching morning cat naps into all-day siestas — but such is life. Though we love our old friend, excitement is on the horizon as it's time to pick out a new pup and start the training process all over again. We love these young dogs, mostly because they're so darned cute and do the darnedest things.
Check out the best reader submission photos in our latest edition of the Gun Dog puppy gallery.
Bernie the Brittany
Bernie, a bold, beautiful, birdy Brittany, is 3 months old and owned by Noah and Mindy Clark of Gresham, Ore.
Pup on the Prowl
This proud puppy looks like a noble lion on the prowl — one of the reasons we love the spunky character of young pups everywhere.
Dog Days of Summer
All went "swimmingly" with this photo shoot! This litter of Boykin spaniel puppies is owned by Bill and Dawn Crites of Blythwood, S.C.
Pick of the Litter
The spotlight is on the pick of the litter, LuLu! The cocker spaniel is owned by Nevena Martin.
Every girl needs a good bag, including Ellie, a Chesapeake Bay retriever belonging to George Vandel of Pierre, S.D.
Start \'Em Young
Sixteen-week-old Roba, a Weimaraner, is now an exceptional bird dog, according to Dennis Volpe of Wilmington, Mass.
Casting a Shadow
Casting a perfect shadow is Dakota, a 14-month-old English setter puppy owned by D.J. Clark.
Hiver de la Pierre d\'Or (Evie) is a Braque du Burbonnais. Pictured here at 6 months, Evie is a French import that now lives happily in Michigan with owner Erin Feichtner.
Makin\' waves! This lab pup belongs to Robert Knupp.
Autumn greetings! These lab puppies are owned by T.J. and Mercedes Jones of Laurel Hill, Fla., and were photographed by family friend Shanna.
Zeus, a German shorthaired pointer, is owned by Mario Notarfrancesco of Melbourne, Australia. He is pictured retrieving a grey teal and has a bright future ahead of him hunting ducks and quail "down under."
This proud pup strikes a pose for the camera — yet another reason we love collecting pics from the cutest puppies around.
Twelve-week-old Sage, a Labrador owned by Gina Pfister, is undoubtedly daydreaming of hunts to come.
Bins full of puppies! This litter of English setters, on their first trip to the vet at 6 weeks, are owned by Dave Jungst of Morris, Minn.
All About the Attitude
Attitude — with a capital "A." English setter Kota has the heart of a lion when it comes to hunting, according to owner Diane Peterson of Wisconsin.
Working Man\'s Dog
This little firecracker was born on the 3rd of July. When not mowing the lawn, Major Winters, a vizsla, loves being in the woods and learning about hunting, according to owner Bill McGough.
A Good Chew
"Ropes and strings and chewy things!" Georgia de L\'Etoile du Nord, a French Brittany, is owned by Kelly and Renae Kappes of Ada, Minn., and was photographed by their son, Ryan.
Talk about a pair of blue-eyed cuties! Kym Lish\'s daugher Piper holds a German shorthair pup from their recent litter.
High fives all around — let\'s hunt! Baked in the Sun "Boise" Paw\'Tater is owned by Caroline Fenton.
Popper is a deaf English setter puppy fostered for Ohio English Setter Rescue by Danica Barreau. He quickly learned hand signs, was adopted and now lives a spoiled life with an adoring family.
Nose to Nose
"Let\'s discuss this nose-to-nose!" Copper, a 7-year-old male English pointer, becomes acquainted with Todd, a 13-week-old female German shorthair owned by Ashley Stevens.
This is GCH Truly A Daydream Believer JH when she was four-and-a-half months old. The Irish Red & White Setter belongs to Ed and Wendy Brockman of New Tripoli, Penn.
Romp in the Field
This pup took a romp in a field — one of the reasons we love getting reader photos of young, scrappy little pups.
Seven-week-old Bryar, a German shortaired pointer, shows off his first dove retrieve. According to his owner, Jennifer Horan of Manchester, Penn., Bryar has become a bird hunting machine.