Proud to be an
Our website was last
In 1987 we were in the market for a new hunting companion and after months of research we decided to obtain an American Water Spaniel (AWS). So in 1988 our first AWS found a home with us... her name was Choco and she came from Swan Lake Kennel in Pardeeville, WI. We were so impressed with Choco that we obtained two more AWS over the next four years. The first was Gunner who was our foundation stud and also hailed from Swan Lake Kennel. The other was Teal who became our foundation dam. Teal came from what many would term a "backyard breeder" and was a mixture of Swan Lake and Bovee Farm Kennel bloodlines. Even back then, we would not have typically purchased a dog from such a breeder but we knew and had hunted over a dog from this same breeding that was 2 years old at the time and had demonstrated excellent field ability, plus he was an AKC show champion, so we decided that a pup from this breeding was worth the effort and it proved to be a great move.
At that point we had three AWS in our household and we needed to find a job for them during the off season (ie. when they were not hunting). Since AKC hunt tests were not available to our breed at the time, we entered the world of dog shows and obedience trials; not our first love but certainly a nice family sport for keeping us and the dogs busy. The dogs did very well. All three became AKC champions and earned obedience titles of one sort or another with Teal becoming one of the top AWS in the obedience world at that time.
We do not participate in either dog shows or obedience trials much any more. Paul has been an AKC Spaniel Hunt Test judge since 1995 and served on the AKC subcommittee that updated the Spaniel Hunt Test rules in 2006. Our primary focus and reason for having the AWS is on breeding sound hunting companions. Since moving to the countryside and taking up residence on a small farm we have immersed ourselves in field training, hunting and running in an occasional hunt test. Having moved from the city to the country has not only given us room for more AWS - we now have about ten AWS in our kennel - it has also given us the room needed to properly train and test our dogs hunting ability... not to mention giving our pups a great start in the field. As founding members of the Great Lakes American Water Spaniel Club , members of the AWSC, participants in AKC Spaniel Hunt Tests, and zealous hunters, maintaining the breed's hunting ability is a high priority for us. We have a strong desire to maintain the breed's hunting ability as an all-purpose hunting dog. Our focus is on the all-purpose nature of the breed because that is what it has always been. Today, as in years past, we have people trying to pigeon hole the breed as a "retriever" while, at best, giving little to no credit to the AWS's abilities as a flushing dog. It is our intent to breed AWS that have, as their ancestors had, the ability to function well as either type of hunting dog.
In 1992 we produced our first litter and since that time we have averaged about two litters per year. Certainly we are not volume breeders and most certainly we do not wish to be. However, we do enjoy the art and science of dog breeding... not to mention raising the pups. Our females are bred no more often than on alternate heat cycles unless we have one that only comes into season once a year, even then, we will sometimes put two heat cycles in-between litters. The stud dogs are often our own and will have come to us from a planned breeding or through the purchase of a dog from another kennel. We do not breed for one primary objective unless you consider a well-rounded quality AWS to be the objective. Our breeding plans are always focused on multiple qualities that include companionship, health, fitness, temperament and drive. We cannot concentrate on just one of those qualities nor can we sacrifice one in favor of another so we must do our best to achieve the highest quality in each category and hope for the best.
Although we house about ten dogs in our kennel, not every one is a breeding dog although most probably were or are. You see, because our dogs are our hunting companions and have given their all for us in so many ways, when they retire they stay here on the farm. We do not place or sell off our older dogs to make room for younger dogs. These dogs are our family and we are not about to shove our family aside simply to make room in our kennel. As companions, none of our dogs are housed solely in the kennels. Each of them spends time inside the house with us on a daily basis where they get as much pampering and one-on-one time as anyone’s dog can get. After all, these dogs are more to us than simple working animals they are our buddies, our pals, and we want to give them all they need in life and then some.
By the way, visits to our home are both welcomed and encouraged. If you live
or will be passing through the area please feel free to arrange a time to
meet us and our dogs. We love to show off the breed and our dogs love to