Spring in Georgia just wouldn’t seem right without a bunch of puppies romping in the sunshine on warm grass.
The current litter was whelped out Northwoods Carbon by Northwoods Grits in late December. At 35 lbs., Carbon isn’t a big dog but she carried and whelped nine—three females and six males—and has since cared for them all in spectacular fashion.
Jerry and I are keeping a couple of the puppies but the rest will soon be off to their excited buyers. Three will be shipped to Minnesota and another is flying to his new home in Great Falls, Montana. Puppy buyers are also driving from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Falls, Pennsylvania.
During a frigid cold snap, one-week-old puppies out of Northwoods Carbon by Northwoods Grits stay warm on the 100-degree nest and under the red glow of a heat lamp.
As a late Christmas present, Northwoods Carbon whelped a litter of three females and six males on December 26. All nine puppies are tricolor.
This litter’s sire, Northwoods Grits, is out of one of our favorite nicks—Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis. Grits inherited the best of both parents. From Ox, Grits got gusto, drive, speed and his sweet, calm nature while Chablis passed on her bird-finding, class and poise around game.
As previous litters have proven, puppies out of Grits inherit his talents and temperament.
Due to the lopsided gender distribution of this litter, some males are available.
Northwoods Brie (Northwoods Blue Ox x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2010)
Photo: Chris Mathan
From all of us in southwestern Georgia, wishing peace, love and joy to our bird dog friends this holiday season.
In the grouse woods, not many dogs are as fast, focused and unrelenting as Northwoods Grits (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011). Back in the hunting cabin though, Grits’ style is altogether different. He is utterly at ease relaxing and snoozing—especially in the lap of his owner, Bob Senkler.
“Like father, like son” is the usual idiom but in the case of some of our setters, I prefer “Like father, like daughter.”
Northwoods Blue Q Tip (Quinny) was whelped in early April 2017 out of Northwoods Bismuth by Grits. Even though just a puppy, Quinny has had a stellar first season. Not only did she find plenty of grouse but she even pointed some.
In the evening after a long day in the woods, Quinny finds solace in precisely the same manner as Grits—sprawled in the lap of her owner, Brody Dietz.
Jerry and I are excited to announce four planned litters for 2018. There are three English setter litters and one pointer litter. Three dams and all sires are proven producers.
Our first litter—Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carbon—has already been bred. Carbon is due to whelp in early January. We’ll go back to RU-CH Erin’s Prometheus for Carly Simon and, for first-time dam Gucci, we will use Grits again, an excellent, pre-potent sire.
Our pointer litter is a repeat using frozen semen from legendary sire CH Rock Acre Blackhawk to our Northwoods Vixen.
For photos and complete details, please see Puppies.
Dixe Mae (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Bismuth, April 2017) is part of a Kowalski family trout fishing trip in Montana. She clearly loves goofing around in the stream.
This will be the final post of the season filled with puppy photos. Puppies from our last three litters—born within weeks of each other in April and May—are happily settled into their new homes.
As always, many thanks to our wonderful clients for staying in touch and sending photos…but most of all for giving the puppies loving homes and fabulous starts to their roles as bird dogs.
There could be two themes for this last puppy post. It seems our puppies thoroughly enjoy being in the water and also display an early proclivity to point.
Luna (Northwoods Nirvana x Northwoods Carbon, May 2017) is “a quick study” for the Conaway family in Maryland, already proficient at many commands. Pro Jeanette Tracy is also training her on pigeons.
Josey (Northwoods Nirvana x Northwoods Carbon, May 2017) found the perfect cooling-off spot on a terrace of the Clark family home in Georgia.
Finn (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Nickel, May 2017) displays good intensity pointing a bug in the backyard of the Edwards family home in Minnesota.
Puppy, mom, son and trout in a Montana stream. Doesn’t get any better than this!
CH JTH Izzie (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011). Look at her eyes.
August is an auspicious month for bird dog owners. First of all, autumn is in the air—especially on cool evenings. Too, even though they might have been conditioning their dogs all summer, they now begin training in earnest on wild birds.
JTH Scion (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015). It doesn’t get any better than this.
Jeff Hintz is an excellent example.
He owns two white-and-black pointers: JTH Izzie (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) and JTH Scion (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015).
Big bluestem, purple blazing star and yellow sunflowers are a pretty backdrop to a pointer hunting for sharptails.
The preparation and training is, for him, as much fun as the hunting. Since June, Jeff has been preparing his dogs for the hunting season. Scion, the younger dog, needed finishing work on manners around birds. He conditioned both off a reconditioned golf cart, and now is training them on wild sharp-tailed grouse. These birds can be found in open, native grasslands or thicker, mixed cover of oak, alder and prairie plants.
JTH Scion on a foggy morning.
Tracks of a sharp-tailed grouse.
Photos by Jeff Hintz.
Northwoods Rhea (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Nickel, 2017) loves her clicker training sessions with Jerry in the kennel office.
Summer in Minnesota is a great season…perhaps only bested by autumn, the obvious bird hunter favorite.
While most of our fellow Minnesotans are heading to their lake cabins or hauling a trailer somewhere, this summer for Jerry and me has meant puppies—lots of puppies—and groups of talented dogs in for training.
Three litters that whelped within a six-week time frame produced 24 puppies. While dams did the bulk of the work, it meant plenty of chores for us but also hours of enjoyment.
Northwoods Nickel, on left, and Northwoods Carbon reared their litters in neighboring runs.
Eight puppies were whelped on April 3 out of Northwoods Bismuth by Northwoods Grits. Grits was also the sire of our second litter, this one out of Northwoods Nickel, whelped on May 1. Last with her litter of eight was feisty Northwoods Carbon by Northwoods Nirvana on May 12.
The only male puppy of Northwoods Carbon’s litter of eight by Northwoods Nirvana litter has the perfect home with Brandon Eales.
Jerry and I kept six puppies from this group but the rest are very happily living in their new homes (at least according to enthusiastic emails and text messages!). Puppies were picked up by families who drove from Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota while other puppies flew to Helena, Seattle and Philadelphia.
Dogs bring the neatest people together and we always like to meet new clients. But, too, Jerry and I were especially delighted to see Dick and Melanie Taylor and Mike McCrary again who bought second setters from us this summer.
Staunchness training for Northwoods Blitzen (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016). Photo by Jeff Hintz.
Out in the field, summer means gun dog training using pigeons in releasers, backing dummies and dogs dragging check cords. Jeff Hintz, our friend and neighbor, has helped Jerry for many years. They are an impressive team, easily communicating with hand signals, head nods and grins.
Loki (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016) is owned by James Anderson. Photo by Jeff Hintz.
Nick (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016) is owned by Larry Young.
Gunner (RU-CH Erin’s Prometheus x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2016) is owned by Kevin Zubich.
The eight puppies out of Northwoods Bismuth by Northwoods Grits are now seven weeks old and have grown into little dogs.
Very considerate on the part of Northwoods Carbon, Jerry and I thought, that she whelped a litter of eight during the afternoon on May 12. No bleary-eyed, middle-of -the-night vigils this time. All eight are tri-color and look like miniature versions of their dark-headed parents. The sire of this litter is Northwoods Nirvana.
Northwoods Carbon whelped seven females (!) and one male on May 12. Here on Day 4, they are still tiny but healthy with round, full tummies.
This brings our total number of puppies in the kennel to 23. That’s not a record…but darn close. Within 10 days of each other in 2015, dams Northwoods Carly Simon, Vixen and Chablis whelped 24 puppies.
Joining Carbon this year are Northwoods Bismuth and Nickel. Bismuth’s litter by Northwoods Grits is now seven weeks old. Completely independent of Bismuth now, they have their own kennel run, eat real food and lap water out of a bucket.
The seven puppies out of Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Nickel at two weeks of age just about fill up their heated nest. Too, they weight an average of two pounds…more than doubling their weight .
Also sired by Grits, Nickel whelped her litter of four males and three females on May 1. With the exception of one male that is orange and white (Grandsires Shadow Oak Bo and Northwoods Blue Ox are both orange), all are tricolor.
By two weeks of age, eyes have opened. A Grits x Nickel female give me a sleepy stare.
It seems miraculous that within eight short weeks, tiny creatures that start out totally helpless and weighing less than one pound grow into 10-pound, independent beings that look like little dogs.
With the NCAA championship basketball game streaming from my laptop in the background, Northwoods Bismuth whelped her litter of eight puppies by Northwoods Grits on Monday, April 3. In less time than the game took, Bismuth easily delivered four males and four females. All are tri-color.
The litter is now almost three weeks old. They have grown from tiny creatures to vigorous, plump, easily distinguishable puppies. They crawl out of the nest to relieve themselves but still spend most of their time either nursing or sleeping in an ever-changing pile.
Bismuth was whelped in 2014—the year Jerry and I chose the elements as our puppy naming theme. It was a very good year! Among others whelped that we still own are Carbon, Nickel and Platinum while two other outstanding dogs, Mercury and Gold, were sold.