Submitted by: Kurt Krueger on May 11, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
I have owned and hunted over English Setters for 15 years. My first, Bandit, a Ryman, was dynamite at finding birds, but was a self hunter that I was never able to fully control. A regret, as she’d have been a star had I been able to adequately balance her ability with proper discipline. The second, Radar, a Llewellyn, is currently 9, a great affectionate pet, fun to hunt with, much more manageable than Bandit, but lacks a bit of her sheer talent (much more staunch on point, however). When Bandit died 2 ½ years ago, I postponed looking for a replacement, waiting for the right timing to bring a third back into the house (my wife has a Samoyed).
In February of ’08, I was casually perusing some of the gun dog pages on the net and did a quick search for field Gordons and Irish Setters, thinking that I might like something different on the next go-round. As chance would have it, I stumbled across Wild Acreage, Lord Bond Gordon Setters, just 15 minutes from home, and advertising puppies. I wasn’t in the market for a new pup just yet, but brought the idea home as a litmus test. My wife agreed that to look wouldn’t hurt. We made an appointment to visit the kennel and view a brief expose of the two dogs currently in residence, Spirit (now several weeks pregnant) and Fire. Spirit being the dam of Fire, a pup held over from a previous litter for a hunting companion and future breeding. Immediately, we were taken by the sociability of the dogs. Outside the temperature was about -5°F and very windy, not pleasant hunting conditions. That however, didn’t cool either dog’s desire to put on a show. I was impressed by the desire, ability to locate birds, staunch point, high tail and willingness to retrieve. Bear in mind that Fire was only 7 months old at the time. We placed a deposit on a pup from the upcoming litter before we left. Incidentally, Spirit won a hunting contest the very next day, claiming all 4 of her birds in under 5 minutes!
Our pup, Winger, arrived in mid May and has been a joy ever since. The desire we observed in both Spirit and Fire are very evident in Winger. She came home at 7 weeks and pointed her first bird, a quail, at 9 weeks,,, yes weeks. And it wasn’t a fluke. I repeated the exercise, even hiding the birds in grass where they weren’t visible. She quartered in from down wind as if she were a seasoned veteran. I was so stunned, I forgot to take pictures. Over the next several months, she proved to me again and again that we were on to something special with this new pup. She learned everything very quickly. By mid summer, she would reliably come when called, respond to the whistle as a range control, obey the whoa command and point & hold birds (trap-released pigeons) to the flush.
Last fall we enjoyed our first hunting season. With a little help from older sister Radar, Winger learned quickly range in the grouse woods. While some puppy exuberance over ran and flushed some birds wild, she did remarkably well for an 8 month old puppy.
In addition to the drive in the field, Winger has proven to be an excellent house pet. She has been very easy to house break and rarely gets into things she knows she shouldn’t.
I’m looking forward to next season and have never regretted our spur-of-the-moment decision to make a Lord Bond Gordon a family member.