Hi again - just a comment on docking. The reason a V's tail is docked, (and there are numerous clubs out there that have evidence to back this up) is because if they are hunted hard the tip of the tail on V's, who are undocked, often becomes broken. At birth puppies have very few nerves in their tails as they are still developing, this is not true when the tail breaks when they are older.
Many dogs have had lifelong damage due to being undocked. V's have incredible drive and if used for hunting, don't quite know when to quit even when they've opened themselves up from barbed wire. A docked tail protects the V, when in the field. The same is true of dew claws. I've seen both, and I've also seen V's who have had their dew claws ripped off when hunting. The pain a dog feels from a broken tail or a ripped dew claw is very traumatic for them as well as the owner.
I guess, having watched tails be docked, and seeing the injuries; our family chooses to protect the adult dogs mind and nervous system. I supose you could look at it like the having baby boys circumsized...it doens't hurt as bad when their little, but the adults I've known to have it done don't recommend it....
As far as the hip scoring procedure, it takes about five mins. and is not a big deal. The dog is placed on their back and an x-ray is taken. Most of the time the dog is not asleep for the procedure if you go to a decent vet. The cost is between 100-200 (american) to have it done in the states. It also let's you know if your dog will have future problems...which might be important to know about for their own health.
Having great character is wonderful as well as being a good family pet, however I do not/will not breed to a dog that just has that. Does the dog have a great nose, can it hunt, how does it's tail look on point, how much drive does it have, is it titled (which does not necessarily mean I will breed to it), has it produced other good dogs. There are plenty of great pets out there. Everyone thinks that their dog is the best dog/has the best personality and that this will automatically mean that it will produce other great dogs. This is simply not true. There are dogs that are great producers, look back five generations there is a dog that produced 5+ national champions and produced great pets as well as hunting dogs. What negative resessive genes are behind your dog. All dogs have resessive genes that could end up causing the pups to have Epilisy as well as a whole host of other diseases and problems. Have you talked to the person you bought the dog from...do you trust them, will they be honest about problems other people have had with dogs out of what they've produced...many will not.
I've watched dogs for years before making the decision to breed to them. They all have holes in their application of hunting, looks, tail height, personality...ect
Please don't lightly undertake this, many of us care deeply (as you most likely do) about the breed and spend much of our free time attempting to make it better. Many of us work in rescue, to help place dogs that have been 'backyard' bred and are not placed in good homes.
Best of luck,