Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rants, Raves and Opinions

Here is where I'm going to ramble on about things that have to do with dogs, my dogs, and the breed in general. Remember as you read... these are my opinions only. You may agree with them or disagree with them, that's ok.
If you would like to comment on them, great! Be warned that I will remove personal attacks on people or individual dogs, but feel free to let your opinions be known.

October 13, 2010
Nationals are over for this year, and I'm glad to be home. It was an enjoyable trip, but long, too long. Being away for 2 weeks is getting tougher and tougher as the years go by, and by the end of the 2 wks, I was ready to go home.

Congratulations to all the winners, to their owners and breeders,

This was my 29th National..... and the event sure has changed over the years. We've gone from dog dishes as trophies to bronzes worth hundreds of dollars. My very first National trophy was a stainless dog dish with an engraved plate on it. I still have's dented and well used, but treasured and was won by Sure Shot's Justa Racie Lacie in the Futurity (or derby?) in Southern CA. That year the field events were held in the Mojave Desert, a dry, miserable place where we killed Rattle Snakes and tried not to scare the tortoises. I hope to never go back there.

Judging this year was by all western judges. All of our judges were from the west coast, cost effective for sure, but not sure a wise decision on the part of those who voted for them. Having all of our judges from the area where the Nationals are held opens up a perception problem. This is one reason the FEAC made the rule that the local host club chooses 2 judges and the FEAC chooses 2 judges, but when people form a voting block and they all decide to vote for the locals, well... I'm just saying. Perception problems. And then when we have one of our judges post on a email list and congratulate the local winner and leave out the non local winners..... I'm just saying.... Perceptions.

There has been talk amongst some of the need to centralize the Nationals. Have them in one place, the same week every year. The other talk has been to have 3 locations, east, central and west. Both ideas have merit and it's something that needs to be discussed amongst GWPCA members. GWP owners, just like their dogs, don't seem to like change and can be downright snarly when anything different is brought up.

In my 29 trips to the Nationals I can tell you that I've seen the same people year after year, no matter the location. Others are only seen when convenient to them, and others will only attend when they have a dog that can win something. So, I s'pose the question is.... for whom (or what) are these events for?

In that same vein, the thing that did make me sad at this years Nationals was that the Top Dogs from our Show ranks were not there. I guess I am old school and believe that appearing at the National Specialty should be the highlight of the year. This is where your breeders and owners get to see the dogs, dogs they may have only seen photos of. This is what the Nationals should be about, the best of OUR breed! It's too bad that we have owners who feel our Nationals are not important enough for them and their dogs.

We all want to win, it's human nature. But entering a dog in the Nationals (show, field, obedience....) is more then winning. It's showing the GWP world your breeding stock, what the dogs are producing, how they run, how they point, how they move, what coats are looking like. Only a couple of dogs are going home winners, but having the chance to see lines, families of dogs, generations of dogs- that is what it's all about. At least that's what it's all about to me.

Thanks to everyone who worked for well over a year to give us the opportunity to come to WA and see the dogs!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How To Choose a Professional Trainer

I remember the first time I sent one of my Wires out with a professional field trainer. It was horrible! I felt like I was sending her away, she would never be the same, how could I do that to my wonderful little dog?

It was the best thing I ever did!

Too many of us believe our dogs will just simply die without us. It's our ego's, it's our sense of loss that bring us to those conclusions. After 30 yrs in this breed I've learned it's simply not true. Your dog will (or should) bond with the trainer in a very short time, and while they will be happy to see you when you come for a visit, they will also look to the trainer for direction. However... if you go for a visit and your dog is not a happy camper, is obviously not bonded to the trainer, is not jumping up and wagging their might be time to take them home and look for someone new.

One thing I found amazing...even when gone for a long time.... every single one of my dogs came home and acted as though they had never been gone. They knew which chair was theirs, what time dinner was, greeted their doggie friends and human friends like they had never been away. They have amazing memories!!!

Our breed, the GWP, is known to be a one man dog. Once they adopt you as the boss, they can and do become very attached. Some dogs become too attached and end up with separation anxiety problems. Not fun to live with!

One way to stop this is to send a young dog out with someone else for a period of time. A friend, family, fellow GWP owner, just another home. I feel this teaches them that good things can come from lots of people, life doesn't end when your favorite person is not there. They learn to adapt, to accept change, to get over things.

I like to send out my youngsters when they are right around 6-10 mos. old...sometimes for a week, a month or maybe longer. And if you are going to send them out somewhere, why not get some training done? Have them learn something? Something useful for the future?

But I want to do it myself!
Well, of course you do. And if you have the time, the resources, the land, the birds, the experience, the knowledge, you go for it! A great bond can be made by the owner doing all of the training. And when done, both you and the dog can have a great sense of accomplishment.

However, if you don't have the time, the resources, the land, the birds, the experience and or the knowledge.... you can sure screw up a potentially great dog! Our Wires are pretty resilliant, but a little bit of knowledge is not a good thing when it comes to training a dog. Make a mistake, use the wrong techniques and a good dog can quickly become a gun shy, bird chasing, run off, boot polishing mess.

Reading books, watching videos, going to training days will help you not make these kinds of mistakes, and I always suggest new dog owners do all of these things. If you are determined to do it yourself.... arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Join one of the Bulletin Boards on the internet, read the training blogs, talk to as many GWP owners as you can. And keep an open mind! No one training technique works on every dog, they are as much individuals as we are. And last but not least... have fun! Laugh off the little mistakes your dog makes, there is always tomorrow.

When looking for a professional field trainer there are several things I consider.

Do They Know The Breed?
First and most important to me .... Do they have experience with GWP's? Do they know this breed? Have they owned them, or worked with them in the past? What is their overall opinion of the breed? Do they like them, hate them, have few kind words about them?

There are a ton of Pro's out there who have had great success with GSP's, Vizsla's etc., but have never worked a Wirehair. If they believe a gun dog is a gun dog, and they all train the same, I would be very hesitant to send them one of my Wirehairs. These dogs are NOT GSP's with a longer coat. They think different, they train different, they mature different.... good or bad, it's what it is.

I'm not going to go into all the why's, or if it's a good or bad thing, I'm just giving my opinion. If you are looking for a field trainer, find out if they have experience with GWP's.

Priorities and Goals for your dog
What are your goals? Do you want a weekend warrior that will be a comfortable gun dog? Are you looking for a dog that will be a nationally ranked competition dog? Are you a breeder looking to produce the very best dogs possible and want your breeding stock proven? Some trainers can do all of the above, some are competiton guys only, some specialize in hunting dogs, some are breeders who know what they are looking at.

Discuss what you want in your dog when the training is complete. Ask the trainer what type of timeline you might expect to complete those goals, a month, 2 or 6? Is being steady to wing and shot important to you? A dead on retriever, advanced water work?

One thing I would suggest is to keep an open mind when discussing your goals with an individual dog. Not all dogs have the same amount of talent. Not all dogs are going to be top notch water dogs, or field trial contenders. Ask the trainer to give you an honest evaluation of your dog, and try not to get your feelings hurt if they don't turn out to be what you expected. Then again... you may have a star athlete whose talents far outshine your goals. If so, take the time to consider allowing the dog to go on and showcase those talents!

Do You Like This Trainer?
The next thing I feel is very important is- Are you comfortable talking to this trainer? Do you have a good rapor with them? Is asking questions easy ? Do you feel their answers to you are up front or a canned speech. Are they honest?

Personally, I want to be kept in the loop when I have a dog out with a trainer. I appreciate a phone call or email from time to time letting me know how the dog is doing. I want to know if progress is being made, is the dog moving forward, are there problems? If I call them, I want a return phone call within a reasonable amount of time. Hey, I'm sending them money, the least they can do is keep in touch with me! That's my dog they have and I want to know what's what!

With todays technology there is little reason for a trainer not to keep in touch. And a bonus would be a photo or two, maybe a short video of the dog working. I know, trainers are busy guys and usually a one man band, so their time is limited.......but sending out an email takes about 2 minutes... writing my check every month takes about the same amount of time. I feel it's a pretty good tradeoff.

Location, Location, Location
Another consideration is location. Are you willing to send your pooch off to a trainer many many miles from home? The best trainer for your dog may not be as close to home as you may like, or you might be lucky and they are within a couple of hours drive.

Being close has it's advantages for sure. You can go there and participate in the training process, you can see your dog and keep track of his care and progress. And best part is... you can learn how to train and handle your dog. If you do go to your trainers for a day to watch, be prepared to work and help. Don't expect to be entertained.....go grab the pooper scooper and pick up. Go fetch fresh water and fill the dishes, make yourself useful. Remember, trainers have dogs from many owners and they all need to be worked. You can't expect them to drop everything and take care of you all day long... you wouldn't like it if your dog sat while another owner got all the attention. Fair is fair.

But what if the trainer you like is very far away? This can be a dilemna and a very difficult decision to make. In the past I've sent dogs to California, Georgia and now Iowa. Trust me, I had to think long and hard about it before I sent any of my guys out. It wasn't going to be easy for me to keep track, I could only go a couple of time a year to see them, and I was going to have to depend upon and trust these trainers.

Before I left a dog with anyone, I knew them. I had watched them work dogs, I knew what their strong points were, I had talked to other owners who had dogs with them. If I had a bad feeling about them, my dogs were not going. I didn't care what their success records were. I had to be comfortable with them. And the dogs had to be comfortable with them!

When Good Things Go Wrong
I will say that there were a couple of times that I made the wrong choice for a certain dog. The dog and trainer just didn't gel, their techniques just didn't work for that dog. When I knew I made the wrong choice, I brought the dog home. No hard feelings, it just didn't work out.

But I've also made some really great choices and these folks have become very good friends and mentors for me. I may no longer have a dog with them, but I will always recommend them to others, will always trust their judgements and look to them for advice.

Bottom line, sometimes sending a dog out with a Pro is the right thing to do for your dog. If you want a competitive field trial dog, a Master Hunter, a NAVHDA UT dog and if you don't have the know how..... or the time......don't feel guilty where your dog is concerned. Think about it this way... they will be out doing what they were bred to do every day, not just here and there when you have the time. You will get back a trained, confident, reliable dog.

Sometimes, it's just the right thing to do!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Upcoming Litters

Upcoming Litters of German Wirehaired Pointers

NAFC/CH Ariels Justa Gotta Go Now x Kiwi

Puppies born January 21, 2010
to see photos of these puppies at 7 weeks old, click here!

Litter due the end of March 2010
Louie has been bred to an outstanding bitch-

Ch Ebbtides From the Ashes "Ashley"
  • 2007 #1 GWP in the show ring
  • 2008 Best Of Breed Westminster Kennel Club
  • 2008 Best of Opposite Sex GWPCA National Specialty Show
  • 2009 Best of Opposite Sex GWPCA National Specialty Show
Ashley exudes breed type, is a medium sized bitch with wonderful and very sound movement. Her coat is strong and harsh.

This breeding will bring together a Top Flite grandson and grandaughter!
Beauty, brains and plenty of hunt.

For more information contact Ashley's owner Garnet Persinger at
puppies due end of March 2010

The Darla x Scout puppies have arrived!
6 males- 6 females

For more info on this litter.... click here!

Louie and Sassy- July 2010 litter
We were so happy with the litter we had last summer out of Sassy, we are going to breed her to Louie in May. From watching her puppies grow up, and from talking to their owners, I would expect the Louie x Sassy combination to give us some very strong dogs, both working wise, and conformation wise.

To see Sassy and read about her 2009 litter, click here.

This litter will be born here at our home, email me for more information or to be placed on the list for a puppy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Darla x Scout Puppies! Update 10/2011

The Darla x Scout puppies are all grown up!

We are so proud of the puppies from this litter......

From the whelping box- to almost adults.......

Ch Heywire N Cedrbrk Justa Pon A Time JH
Ch Haywire N Caramel Time Piece MH NAVHDA UT
Ch Darlings Tick Tock MH
Ch Larkspurs Caramel N Heywire MH
Ch Heywires N Wismar Justa Fairy Tale JH
DC/AFC Dunkees Justa Top Flite MH
BISS/BIS Ch ADPG Suthrn Breeze JH
BIS/BISS Ripsnorter Mt View Lookout
BIS/BISS Ripsnorters Thunderhart
Ch Ripsnorters Aspenglow Warrior
Ch Ripsnorters Affarah the Hart
BISS/Ch Mt Views Next Strike
BIS/BISS Wildfires Bentley
Ch Ripsnorters Lightning Strike

CH Heywire’s Don’t Look Now JH, NAVHDA NA Prize 1
Owners – Steve and Lisa Kreuser and Bernee Brawn
Best In Sweepstakes Ft Detroit Specialty Nationals weekend 2011
Handled by Kelly Wisch


Ch. Heywire ‘N Highfield’s Hey Look Me Over
Owners – Pam and Larry Kinkaid
Best in Sweepstakes 2011 National Specialty- final cut for BOB
Multiple Group placements in 2010 / 2011
Handled by Linda Dietrich

Ch. Heywire’s Thru The Looking Glass At Kenshaw
Owners – Shawn Damon and Bernee Brawn
2 legs toward her JH-

Heywire’s Justa Casual Look JH
Owners – Lee Freiss and Jennifer Jacobs
major pointed toward her Ch.

Heywire Looks Like Almond Joy at Reece
Owners – Joni Cornell, Angie Johnson and Audrey Meinke
Major pointed, competing in obedience and agility

CH Heywire ‘N Justa’s Look Who’s Talkin’
Owners – Rhonda Haukoos and Bernee Brawn
Winners Dog GWP of Eastern Nebraska specialty 2011

Heywire’s I Made You Look
Owners – Paul and Kathy Brown
major pointed

Heywires Stop Look N Listen
Owner- Peter Garnich
major pointed

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bittersweet Studio

This is a good friend of ours, and I have agreed to help him get his artwork out to the public.

Jim Rigg, Bittersweet Studios, is originally from Vermont, an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. Jim's love of the outdoors and wildlife shows in his art, the colors he chooses and the brushstrokes on the canvas.

Jim and his wife Harry (Harriet) split their year living in Vermont, Colorado and Florida, hunting and fishing in each state.

Northwoods Neighbor
A beautiful print of an Adriondacks lake in the heights of summer.

A detail of the visiting loon
Detail of the wonderful trees

All prints will be resigned by Jim

Print size
20" x 16.5" - 1.5" border around
Actual image area is 13" x 17"

Prints are $10
Shipping $5.00 to US -$10 Canada
Bittersweet Studios
Jim Rigg
Bittersweet North (802) 454-7889: June 15 - November 15
Bittersweet South (772) 663-0425: November 16 - June 14

Click here to go to Bittersweet Studio web page to view other pieces by Jim Rigg

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hand Carved Indian Maiden

Hand carved- 8 foot white pine sculpture
The Pawn
by Vermont artist- Jim Rigg
Bittersweet Studios

Bittersweet North (802) 454-7889: June 15 - November 15
Bittersweet South (772) 663-0425: November 16 - June 14

“The Pawn” is an eight foot Indian Maiden carved from a single white pine log by Vermont artist Jim Rigg. Above shows the Maiden all carved, but not quite complete.

The historical reference is to the “Cigar Store Indian”, but with a modern theme for an ancient dilemma. She is doing something distasteful that she really doesn’t want to do (selling the bundle of cigars), but is being paid with beads and a mirror. The mirror has many facets symbolically.
I’ve chosen to have the mirror facing the viewer, allowing the spectator to interact with the theme to reflect and perhaps identify with “The Pawn”, be it a man or women.

Here is Jim working on "The Pawn"
This photo gives you an idea of the size of this piece.
Almost complete
Detailed photo of her cigars

And her beautifully detailed moccasins
Here is our Maiden finished with her dress in a faux leather stain.

To see more photos of this amazing sculpture, you can go to Jim's web page by clicking on

This sculpture is large and impressive standing at 8 foot tall.
For information on purchasing "The Pawn", contact Jim via email at

Bittersweet Studios
Jim Rigg
Bittersweet North (802) 454-7889: June 15 - November 15
Bittersweet South (772) 663-0425: November 16 - June 14