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Finney, a dog trainer for wealthy breeder Andrew Garrett, is preparing to shoot Rock, an English setter alleged to be an animal killer. The shooting is prevented by Deke, a 17-year-old runaway who contends that the dog would make a fine hunter. Deke is picked up by the police, but Garrett obtains custody of the youth and hires him as Finney's assistant. Deke and Garrett's 15-year-old daughter, Elaine, become friends, and they work together to train the dog. During a field trial, Rock is bitten by a rattlesnake and rushed to a veterinarian. Although Rock loses the competition, his life is saved.