Blu trained with his litter mate, Honey Sunday at Busch Wildlife. If I can get it to load, I am going to add it to this blog! I think it’s only going to let me add photos. 😦

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HR Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow JH - Blu

HR Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow JH - Blu

Blu went to Michigan this weekend to run in a hunt test for his AKC Jr. Title.  He passed on Saturday!  Today he passed his first AKC Sr. Test.  He had a 100 yard blind and honored.  He did a wonderful job.  One of the judges from Saturday’s test thanked my Trainer and Handler Mike Carosello for demonstrating such speed!

Blu has passed all of his hunt tests thus far without failure which includes UKC/HRC and AKC hunt tests.  He is 12 for 12.  Nothing drives this dog more than retrieving.  He eats, sleeps and breathes retrieving.

We are off in a couple of weeks to try for the next two legs of his Sr. Title.  Hopefully he will have it soon and then we will work on his HRCH Title this fall as well as his Master Title.

Blu’s father is HRCH  Maple Creeks Captain Morgan MH owned by Bill and Marcia Butikas.  You can view Morgan’s pedigree by clicking on the following link. Morgan Pedigree

HRCH Maple Creek's Captain Morgan MH

HRCH Maple Creek's Captain Morgan MH

Once Blu has all of his HRC/UKC and all of his AKC Titles, we will be offering him at stud.  People have already been inquiring about Blu but we have not yet had his hips, elbows and eyes tested.  He is only a year and a half old.  So, in time folks he will be ready!  He still has a lot of work yet to do and he is having a lot of fun doing it!

Blu and I hope to see you at the line.

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers

HR Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow - Blu

HR Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow JH - Blu

Hi everyone.  Just a note to let you know that Augie, a phenomenal yellow lab is up for “Retriever Line-Up”  next week.   I have sent his trainer and owner their interview questions to answer.

I have handled and watched Augie work.  I love watching this dog work.  I do believe you will enjoy reading about him and looking at his photos.

I actually took a close up of his head so I could print a 4 x 12 of just his eyes.  I sent the photo to his trainer.  I took this photo when he was watching another dog work.  He pays attention.  He watches, he learns.  I printed his eyes because I saw him thinking when he was watching the other dog.  I should have been paying attention and photographing the dog working but I couldn’t stop watching Augie.  Look at his photo, you will see what I am talking about.

Augie watching another dog work

Augie watching another dog work

On deck is “Maple Creek’s Captain Morgan – Morgan,” owned by Bill and Marsha Butikas of Blindfaith Retrievers.  Everyone who watches this dog loves him and wants him in their blind and kennel.  One man said at a hunt test, “I hate that dog because he is so darn good.”  I have photos of Morgan from last year but they are on the other computer.  You can see Morgan and read about him at Blindfaith Retrievers .

I will be seeing Marcia, Bill and Morgan soon to take photos for his “Retriever Line Up.  So be checking back in a month to 6 weeks to read all about Morgan and to watch him work.

In the hole is “Lone Oak’s Ten Gauge – Gauge.”  Chad Bartles of Cahokia Creek Kennel is the owner.  Gauge is one of my wall of fame retrievers along with Brody and Tick.  I will never forget the money shot of Gauge that I took in St. Louis, MO.  I had goose bumps and was shaking and had tears in my eyes.  This dog can teach most trainers anything they need to know.  He can teach new handlers what to do.

Next fall, I am hoping to breed my Angel with Gauge.  When this breeding takes place, I will only sell these pups to hunters and/or someone who is wanting to run them in hunt tests or field trials.  Both dogs learn easily and love their job.  They have a lot of desire and drive.  They would not make good couch potatoes.  The pups could possibly be a working pet but they would need exercise and training.  Most pet owners wouldn’t understand their blood line, desires and needs.  Angel is out of Clubmead’s Road Warrior, “Chopper.”

Check back for my Retriever Line Up.  I do hope you enjoy reading it.  If you want to check archived articles, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on previous blogs.  You can read and view older blogs!

We hope to see you at the line!

Wendy Porch

TotalRetriever.net

TotalRetriever.net

Hunt Test Photos

June 28, 2010

Finally, I have all photos of the dogs competing at hunt tests up on my site now.  All of the editing is completed!  That is a huge load off my shoulders.

Maggie KC Hunting Retriever Club's Spring Hunt Test

Now I can work on fulfilling orders, my website, my blog and photographing all of my dogs.  I need to make cd’s of dogs and mail them to various magazines.  That’s been on my list of things to do for months.

Welcome fellow Retriever and Hunting Friends! I would like to introduce you to “HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH.” Grab your popcorn and enjoy reading!

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

I was contacted by Kenneth Farris to photograph his dogs while attending the Music City Hunting Retriever Club’s Spring Hunt Test. We met at the hunt test and booked a setting for early morning Sunday.

Ken brought out one dog at a time for me to photograph. After I photographed one dog, he then went to the truck and brought out HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH. When I took my first glance at Brody, my jaw dropped. As I write this, I am trying to think of one word to describe my first thought of Brody. I can’t describe him in one word.

As he heels next to Ken while walking towards me, he looks regal. His gait is beautiful. Powerful. Stunning. Mellow. Well behaved. Attentive. Aware. Attractive. A stellar looking Labrador Retriever.

Each time Ken gives Brody a command, Brody does what his master asks willingly and obediently with no question in his eyes. I take many photos of Brody. My lens following his every move. I asked Ken to sit him so I could get profile shots. His profile is magnificent. He has a block head that is exquisite. Brody sat for Ken and he willingly sat peacefully while I took as many photos as I liked.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I wanted Brody in the water. Water is my favorite place to shoot retrievers. Again, Brody obediently did what his owner commanded of him. He ran into the water. I took several shots. I had goose bumps watching this dog work in the water and on land.

As much as I didn’t want to photograph another dog, I had a job to do. Ken put Brody away and brought out another Labrador for me to photograph.

I knew Brody was running in the finished test that day so I made sure to come back to photograph him. Keep in mind that when I took his photos in the morning, he was working but we were mostly playing in and around the water and on the land. I had seen enough that I knew I wanted to watch this dog work, to hunt. To do what he was bred to do. I had to come back to watch him in his test.

I attend a lot of hunt tests. Even finished dogs in the holding blinds whimper, bark, and some try to break away to the line to pick up a duck. Not Brody. Brody does exactly what Ken commands of him. I was so amazed at his manners that I took a photo of Brody in the down position with no lead on. It was just before the test. When most dogs would be acting up and going crazy because they know what is about to come their way, here lies Brody as calm and collected as he can be.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

As calm, cool and collected as Brody is off the line, he turns it on at the line. His line manners are second to none. You can see the switch flip in his eyes once it’s time to go to work. He drives hard and fast. He marks like a pro. His blind work is straight on. My positioning for taking photographs wasn’t the best. I thought I would have plenty of time to move around from where I was and get set up for the next shots of Brody. Once he left the line to go after the next mark, he was just gone. I didn’t have much of a chance with Brody. His test didn’t take long at all. Once a dog leaves the line, I move up by the handler so I am able to get better shots of the dog swimming straight back at me without disturbing their test. Once they are about half way back to me, I have to move and get out of their way so I do not distract the dog. Brody was out and back in no time.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I was amazed after watching this dog. So amazed that I wanted to write about him. I asked Ken if I could write Brody’s story. Sure, I love most Retrievers. But there are a few that are special. I see hundreds of Retrievers work at hunt tests. I have my favorites. I know the difference between a good retriever with drive and desire and one that does not have that desire or possess the marking skills that others may have. You know when you see a champion. You know when you see that one Retriever that you would want in your blind and in your kennel. Brody is one of them.

I will get to Brody’s story in a moment but there is something I would like to say before I do. Brody is a must see. I give him 10’s across the board on temperament, conformation, desire, drive, ability, skill level, intelligence and beauty.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Brody did not come from a pedigree full of hunt test titles. Does that mean that Brody or his offspring are not capable of being a champion? Absolutely not. Brody is beginning his own pedigree right now as if the hunt tests are just beginning now. I would use Brody in a heart beat as a stud dog. I invite you to go see Brody. Don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth and ask him where he and Brody will be running at hunt tests. You can contact Kenneth Farris by email. Click to email Kenneth

Here is Brody’s story.

Brody, a 6 year old Black Labrador Retriever was purchased by Kenneth Farris of South Wind Outfitters at 14 months of age for a mere $100.00. Brody is named after one of the Crimson Tide Quarter Backs! The lady who owned Brody and sold him to Kenneth was a University of Alabama football fan. Ken thought that was ironic because he had heard that the particular quarter back that Brody was named after bought a Chessie and named him after Joe Nameth! Kenneth kept the name Brody but added his kennel name to his registered name and started his training.

Kenneth trains a few duck dogs yearly as started dogs. He thought that maybe Brody would be a good candidate to train and sell as a started duck dog. Kenneth knew the moment he saw Brody that he had to have him. Kenneth took home his new Labrador Retriever.

Once the training started, Kenneth ran into one small problem. When Brody arrived to his new home with Kenneth, he wouldn’t retrieve a biscuit!! Soon Brody began to pick up training at a fast pace and Kenneth found out that his Labrador was trainable and Brody worked very hard to please him. The best part, Brody enjoyed his job.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Although at first Brody didn’t want to retrieve a biscuit, once he was introduced to ducks, it was “game on” for Brody. His whole attitude changed. He needed them. He had to have them. His drive was his motivation. He worked as hard and as smart as he could because he knew he was going to get a duck in the end.

I asked Kenneth at what point did he decide to keep Brody. His response, “Anyone that has ever spent any time around Brody would feel the same way. He has such a great attitude about his work and so much personality. Besides that, my wife Dawn is my partner. She told me that if I sold Brody then I should go right behind him.”

Brody does have the health clearances that South Wind Outfitters require to breed. He was purchased originally to train as a duck dog so at the time, Brody’s pedigree didn’t matter to Kenneth. Brody does have some HRCH and GRHRCH in his pedigree and it was a total surprise to find that out. So if you are looking for an excellent stud dog, don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth via email. Brody has sired a few of Kenneth’s litters and the pups went to duck hunting homes.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I asked Kenneth about Brody’s future. He said, “Well, Brody loves his job. So, as far as I’m concerned he’s gonna get to keep doing it every time we get the chance. He retrieves hundreds of ducks every year and unless I’m letting someone else work their dog, I would not think of going to the blind without him.”

As far as Brody’s HRC and AKC career goes, he has titled HRCH and MH but Ken sees no reason to stop. Ken replied to my question by saying, “We have had many failures along the way but Brody’s attitude kept the team alive. When we failed it did not slow him down a bit. Just another day at the office for him. “Come on Boss, set ’em up and lets try again,” is his way. He wanted to keep going even when I wanted to quit. Now that the titles are behind us, the game is a lot more fun for the both of us. The pressure is off. I may run him in Master test when I have other dogs to run but, my current plans are to continue running HRC tests with him at least to the 500 point mark. He has just over 200 points now. Our main push and focus in life has been duck hunting. We spend as much time in the duck blind as is possible and still keep a job. (we push that limit) Everything we do with the dogs has always revolved around that. The Hunt Test games came later but have become a big part of our lives. Brody came to us for that purpose but made such an impression that it would have been impossible to let him go. He has changed our lives in such a positive way. I spend many hours with him in the solitude of the blind or on the road to the next hunt test or just resting up for the next days work. I probably spend more time with him than any person I know.”

Well folks, that’s Brody’s story. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this wonderful creature. Once you see this beautiful retriever run at a hunt test, please come back here and let us know just how much you enjoyed watching him!

We hope that you are able to see Ken and Brody at the line!

Sincerely,

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store


Retriever Line-Up

June 13, 2010

I’m working on an article to post about various Retrievers who each of us see at the line.  These are Retrievers who impress our world with their skill, desire and talent as well as their beauty.

You may want to pay attention to the Retrievers I write about if you are looking for a pup to keep, to sell as a started dog, or are in need a stud dog.  At the least, I will also be posting information as to who the sire and dam are and hopefully their pedigrees or a link to read their pedigree online.

Once a week or every other week (I haven’t decided how often, maybe once a month) I will post a new dog and his/her story.

First up in my Retriever Line-Up is Mr. Brody, a black Labrador Retriever.  I am working on Brody’s story now and hopefully I will have it posted next week.

One thing I would like for each of you to keep in mind when reading about these dogs is that when hunt tests started years ago, the dogs and their ancestors did not have a pedigree full of titles to back them up.

I am telling you this because there are two phenomenal Black Labrador Retrievers who I have met on the line.  They are excellent markers, they are full of desire to hunt and retriever and they have the best temperament.  In my opinion, they are excellent Labrador Retrievers.  I would take these two dogs in a heart beat and believe me, I have tried!!!!

Years ago when  hunt tests first came about, the trainers took the dogs to the line, the dog passed and that marked the beginning of hunt test titles.

Brody and Easton are beginning their hunt test title careers.  These two dogs are no different from years back when the hunt tests first began.  I invite you to watch Brody and Easton at hunt tests.  You will be amazed.  These two Retrievers do not have a pedigree that people maybe looking for but I can tell you that these are two Labrador Retrievers that any hunter and or trainer would want in their blind and kennel.  Please remember that titles began years ago with the very first title being handed to one dog.  The first title was the beginning of that dogs pedigree for future offspring to behold.   Remember that just because a dog may not yet have a pedigree full of titles, it doesn’t mean that it is not capable of starting its own for its future offspring!  The dogs who are new to hunt testing just may do very well and by all means are very capable of throwing some of the best offspring in the States!!!! I can assure you that Brody and Easton are now in the process of beginning their very own fabulous lines.  You do not want to miss out on watching these two dogs.  You will want their offspring in your blind, in your kennel and at the line with you, I can promise you that much.

So, be on the look out for Brody and Easton.  They are two beautiful, talented and very healthy retrievers who did NOT come from a back yard breeder or puppy mill.  They have very good parents who are excellent hunters without titles.  Here comes Brody and Easton with all of the ribbons they can handle plus some while they continue to charge after every mark and blind with fierce desire and grace.  They are tearing up the lines, passing test after test, waterfowl hunting and living the life they were bred to live.

Easton

Easton

Brody

Brody

Augie

Augie

Please stay tuned to read all about Brody and Easton and follow their career.  Other Retrievers I hope to include in my Retriever Line-Up will be:  “Augie” WAR EAGLES AUGUST GUNTHER, “Gauge” Lone Oak’s Ten Gauge, Terra, “Tick” Ten Bears Road Trip, “Coca” King Henry’s Coca Bear, Zoey and many more.  Coca Bear and Zoey are out of Tick.  Amazing animals.  All of the above are MUST SEE Retrievers!

Thank you so much!

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Fellow Retriever Trainers:

Last week I blogged that Mitch and I would be writing about Platform Training.  I posted the equipment list for you.  In hopes that each of you have built your very own platform to prepare for our platform training series, we are now ready for your first lesson.  It’s time to put your platform in a place that it will stay put for the duration of platform training, grab your E-Collar, your heeling stick, handler’s tab and let’s go.  By the way, don’t forget your retriever!

Before we get started, please always remember to have patience with your retriever.  If you get tense or upset, please walk away from training.  If you have not previously used a heeling stick and or E-Collar, please speak with someone who has experience and ask that they show you the proper way to use a heeling stick and E-Collar.  Most times, a light tap with the heeling stick will get the point across to your retriever.  Also remember that in this training process, we are teaching your dog in steps.  It’s easier for the retriever to learn in steps.  Once your retriever learns each step, it will tie all of the steps together to complete the process in whole.  Happy Training!

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Where to place the platform?

Place platform in a safe convenient place that you can utilize several times per day/week.  Keep the platform away from the kennel or other distractions.  If you have a sidewalk adjacent to a grassy area in your yard, place it on the sidewalk and leave it there for all of the initial lessons. (Important).

LESSON 1

Duration 4-5 Minutes.  Important, no more than 10 minutes training time.  After 10 minutes, go onto something else.  Do not make this a marathon.  Keep the lessons short and ALL BUSINESS.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Place the E-Collar on the dog.  Attach a short (6-12 inch) handler tab on the collar.  Instruct your dog to heel as you walk to the platform.  Encourage the dog to get on the platform.  Help with the handler tab as necessary.  Give a little praise when the dog has four feet on the platform and sits.  Make sure to reinforce sit with a heeling stick as needed.  If the dog wants to come off of the platform before you have asked it to, use the heeling stick to tap its front feet until the dog learns that all four feet remain on the platform.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Instruct the dog to heel as you heel the dog off the platform to the place where you started, approximately 5-10 feet away.  Use this same spot to start your training lesson each time.  Do NOT try from different spots yet. Use the same path to and from the platform.  Do NOT allow the dog to move from the platform until you command heel and go back from your starting point.  Use the heeling stick for violation of the sit command for correction.  Use the heeling stick if the feet come off the platform, just tap the toes.  Repeat as many times as it takes over several sessions until your dog will easily go to the platform and sit.

When the dog will easily go to the platform and sit, start using the “Kennel” command.  Standing 5-10 feet from the platform, instruct the dog to heel as you walk toward platform and command “KENNEL.”  Important:  You give 1 Command for 1 Action. Do not say to your dog, “Kennel, Kennel, Kennel,”  Tell it once, and make sure the dog does it the one time you command it, unless you want it to do nothing until you have repeated yourself 3 times.  At this point, your dog has no concept of what “Kennel” means.  So, repetition is the key.  Continue at least 3 lessons using the “kennel” command.

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel

You have now completed 5-6 lessons in platform training.  The dog goes willingly to the platform with you and it sits.  If not, keep teaching until the dog understands to heel along by your side and will kennel up onto the platform.

Please make sure to have fun with your retrieving companion while training.  Keep it simple and your dog will love it.  Having your dog kennel, sit and stay on a platform, in a blind, a dog kennel, boat or anywhere you wish is so rewarding.  Both you and your dog will be much happier once this training series is completed successfully.  Dogs need jobs to do.  When you train them and they are able to work, they feel worthwhile.  They won’t get bored as quickly because you are keeping their brain and body active!   Always keep the following in mind when training:  Exercise, rules and boundaries then reward with love and affection!  Given that, please come back and enjoy reading Lesson 2 of Platform Training next week.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here on the blog.  If you are looking for an excellent trainer, you can contact Mitch from his site at

Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville Illinois

If you would like photos of your hunt test, are in need of stock photos or need retriever training supplies, please contact me at  Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Take care and Mitch and I will hopefully see you at the line!

Wendy Porch

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Good evening Friends, Hunters and Trainers.

Beginning next week, I am going to write a weekly series that will be about retriever training for hunting retrievers and for hunt tests. The series will include photos and tips of various retriever training techniques. These techniques will start at the beginning of your retriever’s training and will follow through into the next phase. Over time, your retriever will be able to put all of the steps together. Your retriever will then become a “once in a lifetime retriever.”

Mitch Hainsfurther

My retriever training series will be based on the training methods of Mitch Hainsfurther, who owns Webfoot Kennel. Webfoot Kennel is located in Carlinville, Illinois. Mitch has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to training retrievers. His training philosophy? “To build a solid foundation for which all future endeavors can be attained. To simplify each task to its smallest part and teach. A completed retrieve is made of several small parts, leaving any part out will give less than desirable results.

I met Mitch at Gun Creek’s Hunting Retriever Club’s Spring Hunt Test a few months ago. I saw that he was from a town close to where I lived. I was shocked. We spoke about training and exchanged cards. After the hunt test, we spoke on the phone about training together. Now, we train together as often as our schedules will permit. I can tell you that I have learned a lot from rom Mitch and continue to do so on a regular basis. He is amazing to watch. His is a great teacher and takes his work seriously but has fun. He has patience. His dogs are well taught and have wonderful line manners, which is something that I admire! I truly enjoy watching and working with this man. He has a unique talent and was born to be a retriever trainer. Most of all, I applaud and appreciate the respect that Mitch has for retrievers.

I look forward to writing a weekly series with Mitch. I am most certain that once you begin reading “Training With Mitch,” you will instantly become a fan of his techniques and will be coming back for more!

Enjoy!

Wendy Porch, Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store