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Testimonials (72) | Back to Top Gun Kennel
Submitted by: Brian Lynds on Jun 14, 2014Cooper has been great! He has a very playful and kind personality. He gets along very well with the young nieces and nephews. He has definitely made himself a big part of the family. We mostly hunted grouse and quail this year. He seemed to figure out how to manage the different terrains pretty easily. He stayed a bit closer in the thick stuff for grouse and would stay out front quartering in the fields. It's been great hunting and spending time with Cooper and my dad and its fun to see how much they enjoy it too. He weighs about 64 pounds. Everyone loves him! I couldn't ask for a nicer dog. Thanks for putting so much time and energy into your dogs and kennel.
Hope all is well,
Brian Lynds - WA
Submitted by: Denver C Hospodarsky on May 24, 2014Dear Steve and Jodie,
Thought you would like to know that Happ is dong great at the end of his first year. He continues to advance in his bird work surpassing all my expectations. He's a great family dog and we love him dearly. At the local hunt club he has made a serious impression resulting in at least two earnest offers to buy him outright. Needless to say, I have appreciated the attention but declined in both instances of course. He's big, handsome, and strong yet with good sense. At a recent seminar, Rick Smith came to refer to him (I think somewhat affectionately) as "the big shorthair." It's a nick-name we now use sometimes. Thanks for breeding such a great dog!
I mentioned when I picked up Happ that we may be interested in a second dog one day. Well, my wife Marty just mentioned that it might be time to inquire about any breedings you might have in mind for 2015. Another son of Sir Henry would suite us just fine, or any other pairing that you think shows promise. Please let me know and thanks again for our Happ.
Best personal regards, Denver H.- AZ
Submitted by: Dusty Ames on May 15, 2014Gus is doing great! I'm blown away with his personality. If I didn't know any better I'd think he's half bloodhound, as laid back as he is. I've been training him myself but haven't gotten to take him out in the field much. In the past couple weeks he's started noticing birds and even flying insects a lot more. He about did a backflip last weekend when a butterfly flew in front of him. He retrieves like a lab and is extremely soft mouthed. He goes to work with me everyday and greets people when they come in. I've gotten lots of compliments on both his looks and temperament. He loves to ride in the truck too, front or back. I couldn't be happier with him. He has been a bit of a stinker the past couple days, just testing me to see what he can get away with. It's been irritating but funny too. Thank you for an excellent dog! I'll try to send some pictures too!
Submitted by: Andrew Staiger on May 15, 2014Max is doing great. He is currently with Russ Richner at training. I trained him as far as I could and as much as I had time for. He is very smart and really well behaved. He caught on to all the commands very quickly. I am excited to see what he can do in the field. Russ said he is catching onto everything very quickly. I couldn't be more happy that I went thru you guys for a puppy. He is a very special part of our family and we are having a hard time with him being gone. Miss the little fella. Thanks again.
Andrew Staiger - ND
Submitted by: Chris Thornham on May 15, 2014Steve & Jodie,
Ruby has been doing great. At 6 months, she is currently 36-37lbs. Health checks at the vet have all gone well.
In the home she behaves amazingly well. She has great manners, doesn't misbehave, and for a 6 month old puppy blows me away. Even better, when it's time to play/work outside, she's full of energy. I'm not sure how you were able to breed a calm house dog AND an active field dog, but you worked some magic ;)
I have been working with a professional trainer from California and we are focusing on the official AKC obedience requirements. We are currently just finishing up week 8 of a 10 week Novice course (about 100hrs), will start "Open Obedience" in June (another 100+ hrs), and then Utility Obedience (200+ hrs), when Open is completed. I'll title her in all 3 classes when the training is complete for all three.
I've attached some pictures of her below, and the requirements of the three AKC obedience courses if you are interested.
Chris - NV
Submitted by: Dennis Hogueison on Feb 07, 2014Greta has been a great addition to the family since we brought her home in Aug 2013. We had no problem house training and from the beginning has had a drive to please that has made her fun to work with. She is a bird crazy, beautiful dog that has become my eleven year old son Ryan's best friend. We cannot wait for next season to see how she matures. Thank you again Steve.
Submitted by: Brett Dirksen on Dec 22, 2013Dear Steve & Jodie
Thought i would let you know how well buck is doing from the snuffy litter last summer. Went out today for his first hunt and wow what a great dog had alot of buddys say how good he was and good looking he is. Just wanted to say thanks for such a great dog
Submitted by: Brian Lynds on Dec 22, 2013Hi Steve and Jodie,
I hope everything is going well for you guys. Cooper has been great and we've been having a lot of fun together. He's growing every day.
Well I spent a little over a year trying to figure out which breed I wanted. I had it whittled down to a german shorthair, german wirehair/draathar, or a pudel pointer. I heard of you guys while doing research on the internet. You guys had a great reputation and since I was looking for a family friendly hunting campanion that would be good around the house and good for a foot hunter, it seemed like a good fit. You guys were great about answering my questions and I'm very glad I decided to go with you. I took Cooper to Cabela's a couple weeks ago and there were about 4 different families that came up to meet him that had german shorthairs of their own. They all said they couldn't believe how calm he was. It made me feel even more lucky and I would like to say thank you. He's going to be a great friend for a lot of years.
I hope everything is going well with you guys and thanks again!
Submitted by: Dan Salm on Dec 22, 2013Steve and Jodie,
Just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with Sadie! She is an awesome dog and a great family dog too. She loves people and has already been pointing some. Thank you very much for her.
We will keep you posted on her progress. She already knows her name and has not had any accidents in the car or house! I love that!! Thank you again for raising such a great dog. She gets lots of love and attention around here. Have a great day!
Dave & Jackie Salm
Submitted by: Sean & Heather Wood on Dec 22, 2013My name is Heather Wood and my husband, Sean, and I bought a female German Shorthair from Top Gun in October 2008; Top Gun Wood's Ruby Rue. She has been a magnificent dog for both our family and taking out in the field. I have attached a couple pictures of Ruby showing her off her skills in the field.
Sean & Heather Wood
Submitted by: Phil Nye on Dec 04, 2013Steve & Jodie,
I Wanted to touch bases with you. Lo La doing very good. She has been hunting quite a bit, and doing nicely. Everyone that ever sees her really thinks she is a nice looking puppy...great style, range, and markings. She also has a great nose. I will send you a recent pic in the near future.
Submitted by: Josh Burnett on Dec 04, 2013Just thought I would send an update on Bea. She is doing well...great at finding the birds and almost steady to shot.
Josh - CA
Submitted by: Bruce Read on Dec 01, 2013Steve and Jodie
Hope is doing great! She has been to Highland twice and wild bird hunting once. Natural retreive has been great. Yesterday she starting sticking points and finding dead birds. Looks like she will be another good Top Gun Dog! Plus she is geat in the house. Thanks for all your help.
Bruce & Pat - IA
Submitted by: Brandon Durland on Nov 17, 2013Steve,
Just wanted to give a little update on Jackie,so far we've spent 32 days in 5 states Jackie has pointed sharp tails,Hungarian partridge,prairie chickens,pheasant and quail. It's hard to rest her because when you put her on the ground she has an uncanny ability of finding birds and she will go through anything to find them. Thank you for breeding such a driven bird finder and have great Thanksgiving.
Brandon - KS
Submitted by: Dennis Wilber on Nov 01, 2013Just wanted to drop you a note on how Maggie is doing. I have taken her hunting twice and she has pointed and retrieved 25 birds in two hunts. We have been fortunate in that we only missed one bird in these hunts. She has pointed pheasant, quail, and chukar. The amazing thing about Maggie is that she not only is a superb hunting dog with drive and intensity out of this world, but at the same time; the most loving companion that anyone could ask for.
Maggie’s mission in life is to please and she does that like no other dog that I have ever owned. I always wanted a good hunting dog and that is exactly what I have gotten with Maggie. She isn’t just a hunting dog; she is my best friend.
Submitted by: Patrick Flanagan on Nov 01, 2013Read a story today about Bob's pup. Shook me up. Went to your site and saw his article on naming. Saw his reference at the end that was prob the start of they're naming a pre-Izzy.
We love the dogs so much you and Jodie provided us it would be hard to lose either.
So, I just want to say thanks for the genetics and athletes you bred for hunters like me!
I Have to say we are geared up and rain counts are good and quail on the border should be up. Team HankJack are well tuned and in phenomenal condition. We will be back in Iowa for X-Mas and birds. Oh, and Jack was great on Arizona early duck. Loves to swim.
Jessica & Patrick, AZ
Submitted by: Jess Hofberger on Jul 06, 2013Happy 4th Ries family!
I started looking for a new pup about a year before picking up “Scout”. I’m way out in Utah, but when I asked my local short-hair owners about their dogs and started looking at a few pedigrees, I saw a number of Top Gun ancestors in a few different dogs which I admired. That’s how I found my way to the Top Gun webpage, which is really excellent. Emailing and speaking with Steve & Jodie sealed the deal. When I picked up my pup I was blown away first and foremost by the kindness and knowledge of Ries family, second by their amazing dogs and third by their wonderful facilities. What a fun day!
Scout is settling into our family well, and is all things puppy! He is taking to his obedience training and very soon will be introduced to birds. He’s the darling of my family, friends and everyone he comes in contact with. He is the most self-confident pup I have ever seen and is fearless to a fault. We bumped our first covey of grouse at 15 weeks (with a little help) and I expect there will be many more!
Can’t wait for the season to start…
Jess - Utah
Submitted by: Denver Hospodarsky on Jul 04, 2013Dear Steve and Jodi,
Just a brief note to let you know that Happ and I made the drive to Arizona without incident, although we stopped every few hours for Happ to investigate the highway ditch. No car sickness, though, and he slept most of the time stretched across my lap. He's very loving of all in our family (except the cats of course) and his basic training has begun. He's smart, eager to please, and all ours. Thanks so much for the opportunity to have Happ with us.
Best regards, Denver
Submitted by: Jim Rohda on Jun 16, 2013I am so glad I drove to lowa to pick rocky up from Top Gun Kennel. You in my opinion breed dogs of excellence.Versitial hunting dogs for sure.
Jim - WI
Submitted by: Minndakota Kennel on May 27, 2013The Emery pup ( Di X Snuffy) has been one of the easiest training dogs I have ever had and he throws it into his pups. We should talk sometime. Would like to know where it comes from so I don’t breed away from it. Take care.
Submitted by: Brian on May 26, 2013Steve & Jodie
Thanks for all of the help and communication through this puppy buying process, I feel very lucky that I was able to find such a great family and breeder to work with. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated. Thanks again for making it such a pleasant experience.
Submitted by: David & Jackie on Jun 25, 2012Steve and Jodie,
Just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with Sadie! She is an awesome dog and a great family dog too. She loves people and has already been pointing some. Thank you very much for her.
We will keep you posted on her progress. She already knows her name and has not had any accidents in the car or house! I love that!! Thank you again for raising such a great dog. She gets lots of love and attention around here. Have a great day!
Dave & Jackie -WI
Submitted by: Craig W. on Jun 23, 2012Hi Guys,
The trip home went very well. The flight was delayed two hours (an ATC center on the east coast burned down and messed up the whole system). Rather surprised that the pup ('Top Gun's Top of the Rock', Rocko for short) did not soil himself in the car or kennel once. We stopped about 5 times, once at Dyersville as you can see (thanks for the tip), on the way to Milwaukee and he took care of business. He was also quiet as a mouse the whole time. A few peeps if we weren't in direct view, but that was it. Very well behaved.
Can't tell you how impressed I am with your operation. From the cleanliness of the kennel, to the quality of those dogs it was an outstanding experience. Keeping a whole litter of pups for a year to insure that they had the traits you desired really blew me away. That's commitment!
We're off to the vet today and learning his way around his new home,
Take care and I'll be in touch,
Submitted by: Dan H on Jun 23, 2012Steve and Jodie,
I have a couple things to say. First of all, I wanted to say that I made the right choice when I chose Top Gun Kennels. Your kennel and you are world class! To many times, I have gone on road trips to pick something up, and I've been disappointed upon arrival. Not the case with you! Your facility and your professionalism, exceeded all of my expectations. But never once did I feel like this was a business transaction. The "Faith, Family, and Friends" saying that you have on your website, is what drew me to Top Gun Kennels, and you truly live that. Thank you!
Second, whatever socializing that your daughter and you did with the pup, has paid off. She whined very little on our ride home and only for a minute last night when I put her in her kennel for the night (11 pm). She never made a peep all night! She is running around our house and doing her business out side like she's been doing her entire life.
Again, thank you for the wonderful experience.
Dan - WI
Submitted by: Ron and Jonnine on Jun 23, 2012Steve and Jodie
We are having a great time with Dee. She is a gem. She settles down in our lap so well and is very smart. We are very excited for the years to come.
Thank you for a wonderful dog
Ron and Jonnine B - Iowa
Submitted by: Timmy Suggs on Dec 19, 2011Diamond carry’s the prestigious Top Gun prefix in her name and is a good example of the high quality GSPs that Top Gun strived to produce. Diamond's deep pedigree will enable us to produce exceptional hunting companions to promote our kennel's future. Diamond was a natural in that she pointed, held point until the flush and honored from her first hunting trip. She completed her AKC Master Hunter title before the age of 2 while only being trained by myself. Many of the Judges and Professional trainers were surprised to find out her young age when she was running the Master Hunter braces. Diamond is an exceptional hunting companion and has received many compliments during paid hunts from a very young age.
Submitted by: Tony Milosh on May 27, 2010Steve,
I met you at the GSPCI clinic last week, a pleasure by the way. You spoke about "hyper-hydrating" a dog prior to taking the field, I'm wondering if you could name a few of the products (powders) you have used?
P.S. I have been much more consistant with the commands and the use of the trigger and will continue to do so, I've seen progress already. Also, no more leaning into me or my wife. I learned a lot in a few minutes of expert advice. Hope you can make it out next year.
Tony Milosh -IL
Submitted by: Pete on May 27, 2010Top Gun Team Sport Members,
Thanks for attending the GSPC of MN AKC Hunt Test. You have some very impressive dogs. I also admire the professional way in which all you not only handle your dogs but how respectful all of you are towards other handlers, Judges, and volunteers. This game needs more of us out there. Good luck with rest of the Hunt Test season and have a great hunting season. Look forward to seeing next year!
Submitted by: Tommy Maffei on May 13, 2010Steve & Jodie,
I would first like to personally thank you for your wonderful hospitality these last few days. They say Texas in known for their “southern hospitality” however I have never experienced the kindness of good hearted people like I experienced in Iowa this weekend. It was a pleasure meeting each of your family members along with your family friends. I cannot thank you all enough and words cannot explain how impressed and grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to come to Iowa and meet such wonderful people that I did during my two day trip. To welcome a complete stranger in, make them feel as if they are a family friend at home, introduce them to your friends and family and allow them to tag along to the gatherings that you allowed me to, indeed truly shows the wonderful character of each of you as a person and I am grateful to have met each of you. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in my life time and deal with many of good and bad people every day with my profession however I can honestly say, your family and friends left a truly wonderful impression in my heart that I will never forget and I cannot thank you enough.
It was an experience that I will never forget and have truly found a state that I will defiantly be visiting in the future hopefully at least once a year for a hunting trip or to pick up another dog (Haha).
You have produced and operate an awesome kennel and have produced and raised some fabulous dogs. I have no regrets of choosing Top Gun Kennel as my choice with the purchase of my first German Shorthair Pointer. Your facility’s are top notch and are without a doubt the best Kennel facility’s I have seen in person or online. I believe that the first thing that sticks out within your Kennel business is the customer service which is outstanding. Your willingness to teach and expose your new dog owners to as much as you can in order to be able to give their new puppy the opportunity to success of becoming a family/hunting companion of even reach the Master Hunter level , goes without noticed.
The techniques that you use to train your dogs to such a high level are very easy to grasp and not overly difficult to understand or teach. As an instructor in a totally different line of work then what you teach, I truly believe in and appreciate your methods of instruction and training. You hold your breed at a very high level and expect the same out of their owners which I respect to a great deal.
Also as an instructor it is my perspective that although the “learning objectives” may be totally different, the teaching methodology should always remain the same throughout everyone’s learning process, no matter what type of experience or skill of the person. We must first start out with the very basics and excel to an advanced level from there. Your teaching methods are very simple and easy to comprehend which will allow any person willing to learn, the opportunity to excel at a high level and build their puppy to the companion that they desire.
As for “Tex”, I am again overly impressed by his performance as a five month old puppy however after meeting you all I would not have expected anything less. I am very excited to bring him home at the end of the month and show him off to my friends and family. I am even more excited about sending him back up to Iowa in a few months and seeing the final product that he will produce in the hunting fields of Iowa and Texas.
Once again I want to thank you all for your welcoming hospitality and valuable time during your busy weekend to entertain me. It was an experience that I will always appreciate and never forget. I am blessed to have met a family and friends like yours. If I can ever be of any assistance to you, family, or friends in any type of way at all, please do not hesitate to give me a call. I will do all I can to help out. If you need a reference here in Texas or anywhere worldwide give them my number and I will be more then glad to fill each of them full of positive facts about your Kennel business.
Thanks again Steve Jodie, Rachel and everyone else I had the opportunity to meet this weekend and I truly mean it.
Tommy Maffei Galveston, TX
Submitted by: Mark Donahoe on May 13, 2010Hi Steve & Jodie,
I put together a quick summary of Mocha’s success in the two tournament hunting series that we participated in for the 2009/2010 season and thought you might like to see it All in all it was a great first year for Mocha and I expect to build on it for next season.
Midwest Upland Gun Dog Series ( M.U.G.S.)
(A) Wisconsin Open: 3rd place Top Gun Amateur Pointer
(B) Chuckar Classic: Champion Top Gun Amateur Pointer
(C) The Jewel: 3rd Place Top Gun Amateur Pointer, and 3rd place Top Gun Main Event Pointer
(D) Menomonie March Madness: Champion Top Gun Amateur Pointer
(E) M.U.G.S. Amateur Championship: Champion and Third Place Top Gun Amateur Pointer (This event was a match play event which involved 6 runs in one day)
(F) M.U.G.S Series Championship: Champion and Runner-up Top Gun Amateur Pointer event and 2nd place Top Gum Main event Pointer.
North American Tournament Hunting Association ( NATHA )
(A) Minnesota Pheasant Championship: Champion Top Gun Pointer O/50 and Champion Open Singles Pointer
(B) Wisconsin State Pheasant Championship: 2nd place Top Gun Pointer O/50
(C) Missouri State Partridge Championship: 2nd place Top Gun Pointer O/50 and 3rd place Top Gun Pointer
(D) Minnesota State Partridge Championship: 3rd place Top Gun Pointer
(E) US Open Pheasant Championship: 4th Place top Gun Pointer O/50 and 4th place Top Gun Pointer
Mark Donahoe, Minnesota
Submitted by: Jay Johnston on May 11, 2010Dear Steve and Jodie,
Sarge is the best gun dog anyone could want.
I took him for a run from 5:45am to 6:30am on the 8th hole this morning and he loved it. He thought he was back in Iowa but for the 80 degree temperature! We got some quail chicks and are raising them on a farm here for fall.
He said to tell his kennel mates he hit the lottery as he is very happy with his new surroundings.
Again, he is the best dog I have ever owned. You guys are really talented breeders.
Jay Johnston Puerto Rico
Submitted by: Randy and Kristen King on Feb 21, 2010Hi Ries Family,
I received the photo's of "VC" Top Gun Zephyr at her 2009 NAVHDA Invitational run. Zephyr scored 200 points for a Pass. This is a perfect score for this test. We trained almost every weekend from April and several days a week. She is very cooperative and loves to please. She hates to make mistakes and when she does, a little correction will fix the problem. No heavy handed correction needed. She loves the water and had little difficulty learning the Blind Retrieve or the Shackled Duck retrieve. Toward the end of our training she was retrieving thrown ducks from 150 yards out. What this means, is that by the time she arrived at the "splash" the duck had swam off and she had to use her nose to track the duck. Proves that she has a fantastic nose and has learned to use it. On her 1 hour run in the field, she found many birds and honored her brace mate with ease. It is my feeling that when we were in Iowa for the wild pheasant hunt she learned to honor while in the field with 5 shorthairs. Maybe it was her dad, Higgins keeping her in line! Teaching her to honor after that hunt was easy.
Looking forward to seeing you and Jodie at Pheasant Fest.
Oh, also looking forward to giving Higgins a good scratch.
Randy and Kristen King PA
Submitted by: Chad & Tricia Firzlaff on Feb 09, 2010Steve and Jodie,
We wanted to share some pictures we took of "Top Gun Taylormade Rooster Cruiser". What an awesome dog! She is everything we could ask for and more. She is perfect in the house and phenomenal in the field. She is very smart and easy to train, with tons of style! And wow what a nose! We get compliments on her by everyone. Thanks again for such a awesome dog. And for all your time and advice from you and the other trainers on Saturdays. We couldn't have done it without you. We recommend Top Gun Kennels to everyone, and can't wait to get another puppy from Top Gun!
Chad & Tricia, Dubuque, IA
PS. See you at Pheasant Fest!
Submitted by: Robert Hopkins on Feb 03, 2010Steve,
I wanted to take the time to thank you for placing Katy (Top Gun's Katy Lied) with me last June. She is a good girl, albeit impish at times, who really lives to please. Katy is great with my boys, my wife loves her & she's answered the call at every step of her Gundog training. Katy has 3 passes in 3 attempts at her JH tests with 8.5 being her average score. I've run her in one Walking Puppy stake & one Walking Derby stake in Field Trials and she ran hard & far while handling kindly.
Katy is now 9 months old and is a green-broke dog. I must admit, her training has been quite easy as she really understands what is expected of her after only one or two sessions. She hunted Grouse & Woodcock in the MAine northwoods at 5 months of age & graduated to Pheasant on Massachusetts WMAs by the time she was 6 months old. Her steadiness improved dramatically as the 2009 season progressed and culminated in a 13 bird Harvest in a late season Hungarian Partridge/Pheasant hunt in Rhode Island with my brother-in-law & another friend. Both of these guys are seasoned dog men and they were blown away by Katy's staunch points, steadiness through shot & biddability...... all this at 8 months old!
Katy will finish her JH early this spring and also run Natural Ability in NAVHDA. We'll get her in some Puppy Stakes at some field trials as well. Thanks again for breeding such a fine Gundog-
Submitted by: Jerry Vanni on Dec 23, 2009Steve
I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your generosity on providing my brother in law and nephew a once in a life time experience to hunt with some of the best German Shorthairs in the country. Charlie and Chaz do not get to spend much time together but they have made some great memories!!! I had to already make some 8 x 10 prints for them!!! It was one of the best days of their lives. They truly enjoyed the whole hunting atmosphere and camaraderie etc..
Again, thank you .
Jerry, Iowa City, IA
Submitted by: Dave and Stacy Gonzenbach on Dec 23, 2009Steve,
Mav is doing very well... I love to hunt with him (just Stacy and I) He has pointed and held about 20 birds already and retrieves very well.. I just got back from a year end hunt out in Pierre SD. We shot over 200 birds.. Mav was a star. Everyone out hunting couldn't believe what he was doing at only 7 months. I was very proud! He really is pointing and holding well!!! I am still getting use to hunting behind a dog that actually tells you there is a bird there when he points...
Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year..
Dave and Stacy Gonzenbach, SD
Submitted by: Chris Kane on Nov 29, 2009Thanks for such a great dog! I have had many hunting dogs over the years and Greta is the best I have ever had. No one would ever guess this is her first year of hunting.
She learns and adapts very quickly. We started the year hunting Sharp-tail Grouse where she is able to range out big and she almost instantly switched to hunting Pheasants in tight. She even bangs the cattails and hits the water like a Labrador. She is also a very strong retriever in any circumstance.
My next dog will definitely be from Top Gun Kennel! Please feel free to use me as a reference anytime.
Chris Kane, MN
Submitted by: Tim Quagliano on Nov 24, 2009In 35 years of bird hunting never hunted behind a pup who already does the things she's doing. Perfect range, quartering, excellent nose, solid point.....Great timing too as I lost my shorthair Casey in October and my weimer Marley last week. Hope taking here to South Dakota this weekend won't screw anything up! Thanks a bunch and if things continue like this there's no way she will get spay.
Tim Dubuque, IA
Submitted by: Oscar Hernandez on Oct 05, 2009Hi Steve,
Jade is the perfect dog for my needs, she's not only a great birdog but, she's good in the house and has a personality that everyone enjoys. You did a fantastic job of matching me up with her. I've hunted Jade on birds in Montana, Wyoming, Texas as well as pheasants in western Kansas, her range is very adaptable to the terrain and the kinds of birds we are hunting. She's also quite a swimmer, I've had her not only retrieve unpland birds in the water, but she's also retrieved a few ducks!! I tell everyone that asks where I got her and if I ever need another hunting companion, it will come from your recommendation. She's rock solid on point and very animated in the field, a true pleasure to hunt with. Thanks again for being such a reputable businessman.
Submitted by: Ben Mergens on Oct 05, 2009Steve,
Hope things are going well with you the family and the dogs. Hank is doing GREAT at 5 months of age!! He is a real fast learner. It took me about a week to train him to sit and stay. He kennels up when told and is very clean in his kennel. The first time I had him on birds it took three times and he was standing his birds with no check cording needed. Last week me and my wife took him out to work on some bird and he had six birds to point and pointed all six all by himself with no need for any check cording. His last bird he pointed at about thirty feet away. This weekend we took him grouse hunting. When the older dog went on point we brought Hank in and he put his nose down and tracked the running grouse for about thirty feet before it flushed wild. Thanks again Steve, I will keep you up to date on his progress as the hunting season goes on.
Ben Mergens, MN
Submitted by: Terry Hong on Aug 19, 2009Hello this is Terry.
Thanks for the very nice GSP my boss, Mr. Cho appreciates you raising such great German Shorthair Pointers. Our GSP is having good time playing at the beach. First she was hesitant to go near water, but now she runs faster than the life guards at the beach. She is very friendly with people and we are training her to sit, stay and fetch, which she has no problem doing.
We are flying back to South Korea next week and I will make sure to send some pictures.
Terry Hong, South Korea
Submitted by: Dick Hoffer on Aug 17, 2009Steve,
Hoop is doing great and we are very happy with him. I’m sure glad you encouraged me a little to look this him to meet our needs. Without your honest input I would not have done this. He is perfect for us and I am thankful for your help to have the confidence in us to buy him. He is going to be a great grouse dog. He works awesome in the woods. We can’t thank you enough
Dick H. WI
Submitted by: Steve McBride on Jul 20, 2009Hi Steve, enjoyed browsing through the Top Gun website, great stories and pics, I purchased a "Top Gun" puppy back in 2005. Words don't exist to describe the bond that my fiance and I have made with this dog (Liberty's Ninth Sir Brody). I grew up in central MO, we had a few quail to chase around but no pheasants. Needless to say,since moving to south central Wi. in 1999 I'm now "hooked" on pheasant hunting, and it seems like every time I take Brody to the field he picks up another bird finding talent and trains me in the process. I thank you and Top Gun Kennel for doing what it is that makes my dog what he is today!
Submitted by: Bruce Silvia on Jun 27, 2009Steve,
We just couldn’t have possibly believed how well “KOAL” has fit into our home and adjusted to our way of living.She is constantly alert to all of her surroundings.
From being gentle around small children to licking our cats,rather than making a rag doll out of them. At just 12 mos.old she has shown me that the training she received from you is definitely second to none.
She swims better than most labs that I have been around and with more intensity to please and retrieve.
I took her to a pheasant shooting preserve where you can shoot all year long.There were 6 birds out for us.Koal locked up on all 6 birds .Stayed locked up solid until the flush.She then retrieved all the birds by circling around to my right side and sitting by my left until I removed the bird.
I can only say "I was totally elevated beyond belief". As you know I’m 59 years old and I do believe Koal knows more than I do and when to do it in the field!!! What a nose!
Are you sure she’s not 6 or 8 yrs.old?
TOP GUN KENNELS not only breeds great GSP’s but also trains them beyond belief.
Thank you for such a fine GSP of which is even far better than you you described to me.
If I ever need another GSP, I will be calling you.
Submitted by: Mike Witynski on Jun 07, 2009Hi Steve & Jodie:
We've had Jetta now for over 2 1/2 years. She has been such a joy to have in our family. She is a great family dog and is even better in the field. It continues to amaze me how smart she is. Her nose is unreal and is always the fastest dog when we hunt. She holds her point well and her retrieve is still strong. We take her to South Dakota a couple times a season and get her in a hunting preserve several times as well.
Last year I took my 12 year old daughter Abby to South Dakota. She got her first bird and just loved watching Jetta work in the field. I have attached a few pictures.
Thanks again for Jetta, she is a great dog.
Submitted by: Brad Bird on Jun 07, 2009Steve and Jodie
First off I want to thank both of you for the everything that you have done for myself and the boys.
Getting the dogs have been a real blessing for us. We not only have received great dogs but we have gained a friendship.
The training that we get on Saturdays and the
time I get with my boys and the dogs is also priceless.
Again thank you Steve and Jodie
Submitted by: Timmy Suggs on May 09, 2009I am currently trying to establish a core of strong females to build the quality of my kennel. With each puppy purchase, I try to make it be one that can make a difference. Believe me when I tell you I’ve looked at ~ 60 other possibilities when I chose Top Gun.
Submitted by: Walt Colquhoun on Apr 03, 2009Steve and Family,
Congratulations on Higgins receiving the 2008 GSPCA Sire of the year! It is always good to see awards like this presented to well deserving recipients. We are proud to be part of the Top Gun family. It is exciting to see you guys continue to work to be the best when many others would have lost interest or given up.
Walt and family
Submitted by: John Houck on Jan 28, 2009Over the past 3 years I have personally purchased 2 Top Gun Kennel bred pups and have had the privilege to work with a third Top Gun Kennel bred gun dog. I compete in field events and probably have higher expectations than do most weekend hunters. The first pup I purchased became a Field Champion of record and earned 4 Master Hunter qualifying scores prior to his 2nd birthday. This is a big accomplishment for any dog regardless of age. The second pup is just 12 months old and is performing at a level far above his age. I plan to compete this dog with high expectations in the next couple months in puppy, derby, and gun dog stakes. My experience shows that the Top Gun Kennel dogs have a desire to hunt, make excellent field companions, are quick learners, have a desire to please, and in competition events make me look like a better trainer than I am.
I am an AKC licensed Field Trial judge and AKC licensed Hunt Test judge. Over the past 10 years I have closely observed 1000's of German Shorthairs. When I want to buy a pup, Top Gun Kennel is the only place I look.
AKC No. 15515
Submitted by: Karl Weinner on Jan 15, 2009Gabe had a great day today. I took him to my friend who is a trainer to test his hunting instincts. He received an "A+" from a breeder/trainer of English pointers. He retrieved a dead quail to hand and he had a couple of stylish points on live quail. I could not be more pleased with him at 5 months of age both in the house and in the field. We are well on our way to a great friendship and I look forward to seeing him progress every day. Thanks again for everything and I’ll send you some pictures in the near future.
Submitted by: mark selly on Nov 13, 2008Well, I'm a bit reluctant to let everyone know what I think about my dog just because I don't want the line to be too long at Top Gun when I go to get my next dog from Steve. I've had German Shorthairs and English Setters for the past 20yrs and hunt very hard in Mn. and S. Dakota. 4yrs ago I drove to Cedar Rapids to look at some pups and came home with the best dog I've ever had. People ask me where I got the dog and who my trainer is. I laugh a little and tell them that she's had no formal training, she's just that good to start with. And if I could give any advice to someone looking for a great dog don't bargin shop. Start with a well bread, proven line and you've got yourself way ahead of the curve. My dog Top Gun Nikki is 4yrs old and has become more impressive with each hunt. Our group shot 58 pheasants last weekend and Nikki was responsible for the majority of the points and retrieves. She's dead solid on the point, brings them back as good as any lab out there and tracks on running and wounded birds like a champ. After the hunt is over you have to bring the dog home and with Nikki that's a pleasure. My wife and I have 4 children and needless to say things can get crazy but it not because of the dog!! She's 38 lbs with great temperment and has a beautiful deep liver color.I've seen the high strung washed out looking shorthairs that don't listen. The guy probably got a "deal". THANK YOU STEVE !! I GOT THE REAL DEAL!!
Submitted by: Mark Selly on Nov 13, 2008Hi Steve, just thought I would give you an update on Nikki. She's now 4yrs old and has turned out to be a dog that I just flat out love. I've had her out to south dakota 4 times so far this year and have at least 2 more trips planned. last Sunday our group shot 58 birds in 3 hrs and she was responsible for the vast majority of the points and retrieves. Everyone that watches her work complements her performance. Solid on the point, retrieves as good as any lab and tracks wounded, running birds very well. All that said, when is the next litter due ? Very interested in another shorthair. That way I can make my friends twice as jealous !
Thanks, Mark Selly, MN.
Submitted by: John French on Nov 10, 2008As a lifelong Quail hunter I’ve been blessed with many good hunting dogs. In 2002, I met Steve Ries and Family and purchased my first great hunting dog and daily companion. Since that time, I’ve added one more Top Gun Dog to my kennel and I can honestly say...... I will never own another German Shorthair Pointer unless it comes from Top Gun Kennels. Your dogs defiantly raise the bar on style, desire to please and the natural instincts to honor and hold points endlessly! Thanks Steve for the friendship and the great hunting companions – Top Gun Josie and Top Gun Little Lou!
John French – Kansas
Submitted by: Adam Thomas on Nov 10, 2008I just wanted to send you a little message about Ace. This past weekend me and a few buddies went to a game farm in NE Iowa. One of the guys had 2 experienced 4 and 5 year old setters. As the day began all the dogs worked pretty well together but after about an hour little Ace absolutely took it to these setters, pointing birds that the other dogs walked 2 feet from it was nothing short of amazing. And his retrieves were absolutely awesome just wanted to say thanks again for a great dog.
Submitted by: Randy G. Bimson on Oct 29, 2008Steve:
Dean and I had just a really great time hunting with you and the dogs. Your dogs are with out a doubt, some of the best I have had the privilege of hunting over.
If we can arrange it while I am in Cedar Rapids I would love to get together with you and dogs again and see if we can hunt up some Iowa pheasants. Let me know what you are up to.
Again, had a great time with you.
Randy G. Bimson
Technical Support Manager
Beretta USA Corp.
Submitted by: Russ Richner on Oct 29, 2008Steve,
Just got back from 8 days in North and South Dakota and had to let you know how good Tess did. After 5 years of some great hunting behind her, I didn't think she could get much better. Was I ever wrong! She really lit it up! Her desire and the way she handled her birds this year, including countless long range tracks on cripples left me speachless with a big grin on my face. She definately got the attention of everyone in the field with me. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. She was that good. I just hope my next dog from you can equal what she has done for me! Thank You!!
Russ Richner, MN
Submitted by: Todd Achter on Oct 18, 2008Steve,
Just wanted to stay in touch and give you an update on "Rosco". Rosco is a awesome dog, he is still a bird machine. We have been conditioning all summer and working hard in the field for birds. He continues to outperform my friends dogs bar none. I have guided at the pheasant club that I belong to with Rosco.
Guys will have 4-6 birds realeased and on the average we will come back with 12-14 birds. Everybody who sees Rosco work are competely amazed at how good he is. We are planning a late season hunt in S.D. I will be at the Pheasants Forever expo and look forward to seeing you guys and sharing some time.
Todd Achter + "Rosco"
Submitted by: John Seroczynski on Oct 14, 2008Just so you know Steve Ries is a first class trainer, Shorthair breeder and seminar speaker as well as being one of the gentlemen of the industry.
He and his wife and daughter run a full time breeding and training facility in Iowa.
You can rest assure that if Steve writes something for you it will top shelf.
He has also supported DT Systems by promoting our products and performing seminars for us.
He is also highly involved with Native Performance Dog Foods and also in the leadership ranks of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.
National Sales & Marketing Manager
D T Systems
Submitted by: Tim Barnett on Sep 16, 2008I have a 9 month old Vizsla puppy that I was training when I ran into a few problems. I attended a hands on training seminar given by Steve Ries and I found that I learned tons more than I had by reading thousands of pages in books and magazines and watching dozens of DVDs. My dog has really developed nicely after working with Steve and Jodie for a few weeks. Steve and Jodie have taught me so much about training dogs that I am extremely confident working with my dog going forward. Steve and Jodie are great people and you really feel that they care for you and your dog. I cannot stress enough how much value I have recieved from working with Steve on training my dog. The next dog I choose will definitely be a Top Gun Kennel GSP.
Tim Barnett - Iowa
Submitted by: Cliff and Jenn Anderson on Aug 29, 2008We recently purchased our first GSP through Top Gun Kennels and had a wonderful experience! We had been searching for a GSP since last fall and was introduced to Steve Ries by Iowa wildlife artist Kreig Jacque. I had to the great opportunity to hunt with Krieg and Steve and the "Indiana" crew. Watching the dogs work had me sold immediately, however did not have pups available at the time. We decided to wait.... Im so glad we did!
We were notified by Steve that pups were available from his lineage in Cedar Rapids. We were put in contact with Lindy to view the pups which were all great looking! We had a tough time deciding.
Both Steve and Lindy were most accommodating with handling our many questions. It is obvious to me that Top Gun holds great value in selecting not just great breeding stock, but also in the extended families that have TG dogs.
Jenn and I also had the opportunity to attend a bird dog training seminar at Highland Hunt Club, Riverside, IA. This was a FIRST CLASS all day event! It was held with proceeds going to the Aiming for the Cure Foundation. Steve and his great crew put on a hands on course that was top notch. I would recommend this to anyone who has the opportunity to go!
We are completely sold on Top Gun and look forward to working with Steve and crew in the future!
Thanks for a great experience,
Cliff and Jenn Anderson
Submitted by: Randy & Linda Alley on Aug 19, 2008Linda and I have been working and doing business with Steve and Jodie for a little over four years now as well as their trainers. They have always been more than professional,helpful,informative and courteous. Doing what they say they will do. As novice dog owners they have given us awesome advice and direction. We would never consider doing business with another breeder. They have helped us take our Moose from puppy to Master Hunter level and are helping us with other dog as well. They have also helped us learn how to work with our dogs as well. We give them the highest recomendation. Feel free to contact us if you would like.
Randy & Linda Alley
Submitted by: Earl Tessmer on Aug 19, 2008I am a novice trainer. Steve, his team of trainers and clients have been huge in helping me get the most from my dog. Not only do they have a quality bloodline, their service and support is top drawer. They are committed to make you and your dog successful.
Submitted by: Bob St.Pierre on Aug 18, 2008As a spokesperson for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever's National Headquarters, I do a lot of bird hunting in front of a camera and with a variety of different groups. I needed a dog that would perform for me at the highest of levels. Steve Ries and Top Gun Kennel came recommended to me with the highest regard from Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever members across the MidWest. I purchased a German shorthair pointer from Top Gun in June 2007 and have been absolutely thrilled with the puppy, Top Gun's service before and after the sale, as well as Steve's expert training advice. Steve & Jodie Ries have a first rate operation in Top Gun Kennels, but more importantly they are first-rate people that take the time to help you add a new family member to your home. You'll be thrilled with any puppy from Top Gun Kennel and you'll definitely add a family as dear friends in the process.
Bob & Meredith St.Pierre
Submitted by: Dennis Ternes on Nov 20, 2007Congratulations on your decision to consider Top Gun Kennel for the purchase of your GSP. I was a first time owner when I purchased my dog from Top Gun. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. It wasn't very long and that nervousness had disappeared. The thing that probably impressed me most about Steve was his genuine interest in making sure the dog I purchased was the right dog for me and my family. I received numerous calls from Steve asking how things were progressing with our new pup. Also, I always felt comfortable calling or emailing Steve and asking questions or voicing the concerns I had regarding my dogs development. I was always encouraged to spend time training with Steve and numerous other dog owners. Looking back, I think this was very critical to the success of the outcome of my dog's training. Needless to say, everyone benefits, including the dog, if the dog is well trained. Top Gun Kennel is very committed to helping make sure this is a reality.
Now about our dog. Deuce is 5 years old. He is a big male which may not seem like a good idea for a first time owner, but I think it's a testament to the type of dogs produced by Steve's kennel. Our dog acclimated very quickly to our family. He lives in our home with us and was house-trained within days. (P.S. I taught him to ring a bell when he needed to go outside. These dogs are smart). Having him in our home with us greatly facilitated his training. A great deal of his manners and retrieve training took place from the comfort of my recliner. Because so much of Deuce's hunting instincts were bred into him (another testament to Top Gun dogs), a large part of his training consisted of teaching him manners around birds and building a relationship between him and myself where he came to learn that I was willing to enforce what he was bred and trained to do. In the field, Deuce is all business. There is no cover he is not willing to penetrate in search of birds or to make a retrieve. As far as his hunting range goes, he pretty much self-adjusts based on the type of cover we're in, constantly checking back with me if I am out of sight for too long. I hunt mostly here in Iowa, except once a year I take him to North Dakota to hunt grouse and pheasant. His range greatly increases when he hits the open cover which is alright with me since he will always stay on point until I get to him. I have a training collar on him at all times, but it's a rare event when I have to tap him to bring him back to a reasonable distance. He also hunts very well with other dogs, which I attribute to all the training we did with the other dog owners when he was a puppy. Also, he is a willing backer which is so cool to see and also makes for happy hunting partners.
I hope I have given you a good idea of what our experience has been with our Top Gun dog. Besides being a reliable hunting buddy, he also gives our family great pleasure with his good natured temperament. A night doesn't go by where he isn't giving us a good laugh. He has adopted the role of family member, playmate, and protector. He takes his role as guard dog seriously when left alone with our two girls, and gives us peace of mind when leaving the house. Deuce is a vital part of our day to day life as a family.
I can assure you that you will be treated honestly and fairly if you decide to buy a dog from Top Gun Kennel.
Submitted by: Dave Troup on Jul 20, 20076 years ago I was looking for the best quality bird dog I could find. I did a lot of research on the Internet and also by talking to people with first hand experience. My search led me to Top Gun Kennel, and the results were exactly what I was looking for. I started with that one ?hunting dog?, now I have 5. Two of which are AKC Master Hunter titled with a few more on their way. We do a lot of hunting as well as run AKC hunt tests, with occasional runs in NSTRA, NBDCA and UFTA field trials keeping us in the bird field pretty much year round.
Top Gun Kennels has provided our family with a great string of all around bird dogs, which are all part of our family. Our dogs dirve hard in the field, point staunchly, retrieve to hand from land and water, honor naturally, and are very trainable. However when we get home Jack is sound asleep on the end of the couch and Saide is sawing logs on her rug in front of the TV.
The bird dog that Steve produces is second to none in my opinion. To my knowledge there are 8 shorthairs in Indiana with AKC Master Hunter titles, 4 of these are Top Gun Dogs. These dogs are doing at 8 and 9 months what others are doing at 2 and 3 years of age. The Ries family?s hard work in developing this line along with strict breeding requirements has produced a well-rounded hunting companion. If you are looking for a dog with a lot of desire, style, a great nose and maybe at the end of the day a nap buddy, then a Top Gun Dog is for you.
Submitted by: Ryan Giannini on Jul 12, 2007I was a first time GSP owner about 5 years ago, when I purchased a dog from Steve. Since then I have had over 15 dogs in and out of my kennel all of which come from Top Gun Kennels. The service and great advice you will receive at there operation is top noch. If looking for a GSP I would not recommend anyone but Top Gun Kennels.
I'm very satisfied with their operation and as long as Top Gun keeps producing great dogs I will always have one in my house.
Submitted by: Randy"pear"Bauman on Jul 11, 2007Having spent countless hours researching the internet looking for GSP breeders. I happened on to Top Gun Kennels. After talking at length with Steve, I was convinced I wanted a Top Gun dog. One led to two and two led too three. That is quite a testament to the type of dog Top Gun Kennels produces. Each of my TG dogs have excelled in whatever task I have ask them to perform, from hunting and field trialing, too being a part of the family. I also gained a great friend in Steve Ries and his family, along with many members of the Top Gun Team. Give Steve a call you won't be sorry. Randy"pear"Bauman
Submitted by: Bill Monk on Jul 11, 2007My name is Bill Monk and I am a proud Top Gun Dog Owner. I met the Ries family several years ago when I took my non-top gun dog there for training. Steve was very honest and open about my pup and when I got him back he was a different dog. Unfortunately he ended up with a bad skin problem and I had to make a hard choice and put him down. At that point in time I made up my mind that I would never own another GSP unless it was a Top Gun Dog. I have seen a number of their dogs and I would hunt behind all of them again. The Ries Family is bettering the breed and creating versatile dogs that can compete in anything you enter them in. They will shine in the field and they will relax at home with the family. They are the ultimate hunting companion.
Nearly five years later, I have two Top Gun Dogs, AFC Top Gun Good Time Charlie JH(5) and Top Gun Good Time Hailey JH (2). Both dogs excel in everything I put them in. They are great with my kids and has been house, apartment and kennel dogs. They are part of our family and adapt to everything I throw at them. You can and will not go wrong with a Top Gun Dog or becoming part of the Top Gun Team if you decide to get one. These dogs are bred to please and will do it from day one.
Bill, Tina, Wiley, Owen, Ian, Top Gun Good Time Charlie and Top Gun Good Time Hailey?s Comet.
Submitted by: Blake Boyer on Feb 17, 2007I did a lot of research on GSP kennels before deciding on Top Gun Kennels. If you are doing the same make sure this kennel is on your list! I have purchased 2 puppies in the last 3 years and I am on a waiting list for a 3rd. Top Gun Kennels have done their homework on lining up the breed lines, the hardest decision you have to make is deciding if you want a male or female! Calm disposition German Shorthairs with tremendous drive in the bird field, bird dogs for the foot hunter!
Submitted by: Troy Hodulik on Feb 15, 2007The formula for success is simple: Take one Top Gun Kennel puppy. Add birds, patience and hard work. Equals one fantastic dog no matter what the venue: trials, NAVHDA, hunt tests and/or just a gun dog.
Submitted by: John Prikosovich on Feb 15, 2007I purchased my first "Top Gun" pup in September 2005 and he has been nothing short of awesome. He achieved his Master Hunter title at 14 months of age and was outstanding on wild birds this past season on several trips to Iowa and South Dakota. My second "Top Gun" pup was purchased in May 2006 and she will meet or exceed the accomplishments of my first. I will pick up my third "Top Gun" pup this spring and have no doubt of what her abilities will be.
If you are looking for a dog with trainability the desire to hunt,and the willingness to please you need look no further then "Top Gun" Kennels.
Thanks to Steve, Jodie and Rachel Ries I will have many memorable hunting expieriences.
John Prikosovich South Bend, Indiana
Submitted by: Jeff Anderson on Feb 15, 2007Our family has had shorthairs from Utah since the 70's and thought we had the best line ever.. that is until my breeder left the business and told me to call top gun kennel. I now have top gun Cooper 4 years old that is unbelievable. Great nose, Hunts for me,soft mouth,hunts in water, family pet that plays with my kids and runs every morning with my wife,and sleeps on a pillow in the family room. I just got my second dog, top gun Balou last week.OH YEAH!!!!!
Jeff Anderson Arizona