I first hunted over a Weimaraner about 15 years ago when my roomate in college took me up to his dad's 80 acre spread in Northfield, VT. We hunted grouse that weekend and I was thoroughly impressed with the repore' between my roomate's friend and his 5 year old male Weimaraner. I had only waterfowl hunted over Chessies & Labs prior to that, so seeing the pointing dog game was an eye opener.
When I finished school and settled down into a lifestyle that was condusive to dog ownership, I began going to field trials to "see what I could find". One day, after hunting, I showed up at a trial whose gunners pulled a no show. Someone saw that I had a gun and asked me if I could drop some birds. That was over 9 years ago and I've been gunning at trials ever since!
About five years ago, after careful investigation, I was lucky enough to purchase a bitch from Susan Thomas of Camelot Kennels who turned out to be ALOT of dog! This motivated me to become a better trainer/handler out of shear necessity. I joined the Southern New England NAVHDA chapter, soon became their Director of Promotions & Training as well as entering the Judges Apprentice program. This has given me much insight to the trials & tribulations that various trainers face with many versatile breeds.
I am currently a working, AKC Pointing Breed, Hunt Test Judge as well as a WCA Shooting & Retrieving Ratings Judge. The latter has given me an "eye-opening" experience in regards to where Weimaraners are in relation to other versatile breeds as far as hunting aptitude.
One thing is for sure, I'm always learning. Just when you think you've seen it all, something happens to blow the "absolute" theories out of the water! I try to be open to anyone's opinions & methods, then boil everthing I've learned down into something that is going to help me advance the training of a specific dog. Because EVERY dog is unique! I don't put up with the breed generalizations that some know-it-alls like to throw around in various hunting circles.
Sometimes, my philosophy & tone rubs people the wrong way. At least those people know how I feel about a particuliar issue. If you want to know how I feel about something, just ask me! I'm not one for being politically correct because I NEVER aspired to be a politician. I do aspire to become the best trainer I can be, given the tools I have available to me.
I am currently running two dogs in AKC SH tests, with one of those dogs just finishing preparations for her NAVHDA Utility Test. I'm a staunch supporter of NAVHDA, requiring all of my puppy buyers to test their dogs. My kennel, HOPPY'S, is a registered NAVHDA kennel name.
I'm in this game for the long haul. I don't expect miracles overnight. With the watering down of the hunting lines in Weimaraners by American breeders over the last 25 years, I know my job is a tough one. Alot of people don't like to hear that, but it's the truth. There are but a handful of Weim breeders in this country who consistently put litters on the ground where the majority of the pups are predisposed to hunting, biddable & true to Weimaraner type. That is my goal.
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