Hello Friends of DeCoverly Kennels!
Wow! What a year! I have been meaning to write an update for the kennel newsletter since Nov., but just like the whole year we have just been flat out busy! Good stuff just keeps happening! I like to think Bill, Sr. is guiding us.
The Setter population has been trimmed to a tidy 40ish top quality dogs. We now have 4 paid trainers and 2 volunteer trainers. Both puppies and the older dogs are getting more work and more playtime loose in the yard. We are able to start dogs young and get a better feel for who they are sooner. If they are not making the very high standard that we have developed, then they will be sold as a younger started dog. A win for both the dog and the kennel AND the buyer!
In the Setter breeding program, we are starting to appreciate the 2nd generation fruits of the breeding to Shadow Oak Bo ( He died late 2019). Trouble , a 3 year Bo son, has produced a nice first crop of pups whom are doing terrific in the field. See photos of 18 month old Giggles and Stuyver. Both are rock stars in the field . Stuyver has even been to Holland hunting and retrieved rabbit! Trouble also has bred with Crystal and Lark due early 2020.
We are also seeing the results of my selections within the kennel and coming up with some very solid structure, temperaments, ability and drive in the field. Finn is producing some beautiful ,driven pups. Brew is one of those dogs, shown here at Orvis in Princeton, NJ, schmoozing with an autistic girl. This was the first time he had ever been off the property! Brew is also shown here pointing, boy oh boy does he has a great run!
We are super happy to have our first crop of “Liam” babies on the ground and THEY*ARE* GORGEOUS! Some of you may remember that I went to Westminster dog show with Liam last year. Sooo looking forward to more beautiful babies from him later this year and can’t wait to see these babies start in the field. Hopefully this litter will be as tenacious in the field as Liam and Garnet are! We have kept 2 of these boys. There is one boy and one girl available.
Other litter keepers we had this year are doing great as babies! Started in the field at 5.5 months old and being shot over 4 weeks later. The plan of picking for a little hardier dog is paying off… 6 month old Darcey.
This year is starting out with babies! Lark X Trouble are due any day. We also have Crystal X Trouble, Hazel X Ace and Tricks and Ace , whom are all bred. It is going to be a BUSY spring! We are super excited about all four of these litters for great looking gundogs ! There will be limited litters after this bunch, so if you are thinking about a puppy , it may be the right time this spring. Litters later in the year will likely all be sired by Liam.
The DeCoverly English Setter kennel is in the best position it has ever been. A tidy population, with more health clearances, and better drive , structure and temperament than the dogs have ever had. We are pretty darn proud of what we have in this kennel.
This year has been a record year for the training and boarding business. Both Nick’s pointing and flushing dog program and my retriever program have produced many gun dogs as well as MANY AKC Hunt test ribbons and titles for 2019. Those programs are boarding school or “Train the Trainer” programs. Everybody knows that training the dog is hard work but training the owner to train his/her own dog is quadruple hard. We ARE VERY proud of all the work our clients put in this year and how FAR you all have come! Congratulation to you all and know that we appreciate you!
I had a fabulous year with the retrievers qualifying two dogs to go to the Master National in South Carolina. Crosby and Floyd both ran and did very respectably with 3 year old Floyd making it the third series and more experienced, Crosby making it to the 6th and last series , coming just 3 birds short of getting a plate. The Master National is a test of keeping it together for a grueling week of nerves and challenging tests. We will be qualifying at least 3 dogs to go to Minnesota this year, with Charlie and his dog joining the Master ranks!
We have trained and/or competed with English Setters, Red and White Setters, Red Setters, Labs, Goldens, Flatcoats, CurlyCoats, Tollers, Chesapeakes, Airedales, Shorthairs, Drahthaar, Wirehairs, Brittanys, Munsterlanders, Beagles, and I am sure I am missing others.
The training kennel also trained 10 or so obedience dogs of various breeds with Dani and Bridget. One was a 1 year Cane Corso ( can you say big? ) for a 90 year old owner! Both are working fabulously at last report.
Kennel assistants, Dani, Jamie and Sarah , are thankful they can take a breath for a couple weeks until the boarding business gets busy again for Presidents weekend! Thank you to all of the boarding clients, we have a great group of regulars and we appreciate you, too ! With the boarding business building please plan ahead with boarding reservations, I hate having to say “we are full” to regulars.
This training year is starting with a bang with me and Charlie taking the retriever truck on a winter training trip to Collierville, Tennessee (near Memphis). Jan, Feb and March are not conducive to effective retriever training, so we are loading up 12 dogs and going south to get a 2 month jump on the training season. The hope is to do one next year with the pointing dog truck also. If you are interested in going south to train for a week or so, there are rooms available in a lovely home on a large horse farm. Collierville is right near Memphis, so there is a ton to do!
This year we will be looking to hire a dog groomer and add professional grooming to the team and we have started to explore expanding the indoor /outdoor kennels for the boarding business and for the Setters. Stay tuned!!
So all in all it has been a SUPER year for everything DeCoverly! Please as always , send me updates and pictures of your DeCoverly Setter. I want to know about health , temperament and hunting ability! Boarding and Training customers please feel free to send critique and suggestions also. We are always trying to improve!
Happy New Year !!
Bridget and the whole team at DeCoverly Kennels