IPLA History

The purpose of the IPLA is to develop and breed a versatile Labrador Retriever that possesses the instinct to point, track and retrieve wild game, on land and water, that game be conserved.

The IPLA is an out growth of the Versatile Dog movement in the US. The versatile continental breeds were popularized by Bodo Winterhelt through the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) from 1969 on. Several people attempted to run their pointing labradors in NAVHDA trials and were told that the labrador was not a recognized versatile breed. The need for a new organization was apparent.

Mayo Kellogg as Ducks Unlimited Magazine’s dog columnist and independently, wrote many articles popularizing the labrador as an upland dog. His position was at first rejected by the traditionalists, but due to the high acceptance by the public, was eventually accepted.

In October, 1989, Larry Mueller, the dog columnist for Outdoor Life Magazine, wrote a momentous article supporting the purposeful breeding of labs for the pointing trait. While it ruffled many feathers, no birds were lost.

On September 8-9, 1989 at Funkrest Game Farm in Madison, SD the First IPLA Certification Test was held. It was organized by Mayo Kellogg, Stu West and Vince Retacco. Twelve people attended and the first eleven dogs were tested. Nine were certified.

Photo Photo

Again on September 8-9, 1990 at Funkrest at the Second IPLA Certification Test an additional 18 people tested 12 dogs and 6 were certified.

The Third and Fourth Public Certifications were held in the Spring of 1990 at the Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake, MN. 38 dogs were run and 29 were certified.

Starting in 1991, due to concerns about insufficient testing dates, an Independent Testing System was initiated. Testing is now by appointment with judges and field crew. Concerns over gallery distractions of young dogs were also voiced and seem to be supported by higher current scores.

In 1992, the focus of the IPLA shifted to qualifying young pups on the Natural Ability Novice Pointer 9 month hurdle. This focus has continued to this day.

An ancillary organization, the American Pointing Labrador Association (APLA) was formed in 1992 to test trained adult dogs and to pursue public education. The IPLA fully supports the work of it’s sister organization.

FOUNDING FATHERS The Support of the Following People has been invaluable in the development of the Pointing Labrador as a Versatile Hunting Dog. Their free and willing service has been crucial to the dogs and their owners.

Larry Mueller (Honorary)

Bodo Winterhelt (Honorary)

Mike Chalupsky (Honorary)

Bonnie & Don Funk (Honorary)

Mayo Kellogg

Vince Retacco

Stu West

Additional People at First Trial:
    Ari Gillow
    Tova Johnson
    Matt Larson
    Clair Smith
    Scott Smith
    Pete Svare

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