Warm summer days in Minnesota sure make for fine puppy-rearing weather. And now that Northwoods Vixen’s litter by CH Elhew G Force is four weeks old, the puppies take full advantage of the long June days. With their basketful of soft toys, the 11 puppies love to play.
If not playing, they’re eating or sleeping.
In some ways, our pointer puppies are different from our English setter puppies. Pointers use their paws to, well, paw at each other, paw at me and sometimes just paw at the air. They are extremely coordinated at such a young age, easily scampering up and down their brick steps by the dog door. One female even leaps down from the top brick.
Too, judging by many wrinkles of fur, their bodies and skin seem to grow at different rates…..and they definitely have a lot of growing to do.
Vixen is a wonderful dam—gentle, tolerant, caring, and perhaps best of all, even-tempered and calm.
Left to right, Rod Lein with his dog, Joe Byers with Roxy (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014), Dave Moore with Bette (Northwoods Grits x CH I’m Blue Gert, 2014).
The goal of the breeding program at Northwoods Bird Dogs is to produce grouse dogs that have it all—personality, conformation and hunting ability. Of prime importance to Betsy and me is that our puppies and started and trained dogs go to buyers who will give them ample hunting opportunities.
But, too, since we come from a field trial background, it is both gratifying and valuable to know when given a chance, many of our dogs have the fire, style, focus and tenacity to compete and place in field trials.
On behalf of very proud owners, we want to recognize puppies, derbies and shooting dogs that have placed in grouse, walking and horseback field trials held by clubs around the country.
In 2014 we bred Northwoods Grits (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011), an outstanding grouse dog owned by Bob Senkler, to two proven females.
Center, Ellie (Northwoods Grits x CH I’m Blue Gert, 2014) owned by Tom Beauchamp and handled by Rich Hollister.
CH I’m Blue Gert, owned by Dave and Rochel Moore of Minnesota, to Grits produced three females and all became winners. Ellie, owned by Tom Beauchamp of Indiana, placed second in the 2015 Grand National Grouse Puppy Classic. She followed that with several derby placements on grouse and woodcock in Michigan.
Dave and Rochel own the other two females, Skye and Bette, and both dogs placed in grouse trials. Skye won the Moose River Grouse Dog Club (MRGDC) derby last fall while this spring Bette won a derby stake held by the Minnesota Grouse Dog Association (MGDA).
On left, Dave Moore and Jim Tande with Skye (Northwoods Grits x CH I’m Blue Gert, 2014) and, on right, Jeff Hintz with Cooper (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015).
Grits’ other 2014 breeding was to Houston’s Belle’s Choice. The lone female of the litter went to Joe Byers of Illinois. Not only did Roxy place second in a 2016 MGDA derby stake (beaten by her half-sister Bette) but she received her certification for use in woodcock banding at less than two years of age.
Northwoods Vixen’s 2015 litter was produced using frozen semen of multiple champion and Hall of Fame pointer Rock Acre Blackhawk. Impressive attributes of Vixen puppies is their innate intelligence and a willingness to please. Whether the offspring are hunted on grouse, woodcock, bobwhite and other quail, pheasants or chukar and no matter what state, all adapted to birds, terrain and handler.
Robby Graham (on left) with Maddie (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015).
Three earned placements in derby stakes while still puppies. In Maine, Robby Graham’s Maddie placed in two derby stakes and Arizonan Jeff Hintz’s Cooper placed in a grouse trial derby stake last fall. Bill Owen of California handled his male puppy Sage to several derby placements and first place in a puppy classic.
On left, Bill Owen and Sage (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015).
Betsy and I were so pleased with a 2013 litter of Vixen by CH Elhew G Force that we bred her dam, Northwoods Prancer, to him in 2015. Mark Fouts of Wisconsin got a female he hunted extensively on grouse and woodcock. Jordy’s experience showed this spring when on a nasty, rainy, sloppy, 38-degree day, she placed in the MRGDC derby stake.
On right, Mark Fouts with Jordy (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2015).
Finally, Ian MacTavish of Minnesota won all three placements in a stake at Minnesota’s St. Croix Valley Brittany Club’s trial this spring. Ian had the foresight to buy two females from a litter we co-bred with Paul Hauge out of our Blue Shaquille to his multiple champion Houston’s Belle. One Ian named Pearl became not only a consistent winner in AKC field trials but also quite a producer.
Ian MacTavish with left to right: Kevin (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Cold Creek Pearl), Pearl (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle), Maggie (CH Can’t Go Wrong x Cold Creek Pearl).
Placing first in the stake was Pearl’s son out of CH Shadow Oak Bo; second was Pearl; and third place went to a CH Can’t Go Wrong x Pearl daughter.
Congratulations to all dogs and their owners!