P Litter Six Weeks Old

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The puppies are really getting rambunctious and difficult to keep track of these days!  They are always slipping into the woods or under a bush.  Luckily Ruth helps me track them down if needed, but they are getting obedient enough to come when called quite a bit.  After this morning’s run and kennel cleaning, all eight ran back into the kennel when I rang the breakfast bell, with zero stragglers.


P litter puppies in the ex-pen while I clean out their kennel

They’ve found the bird pen on their own and take great interest in it.  They would love to explore the woods, but I can’t risk having them wander too far with a large pack of coyotes close.  The neighbor says that the coyotes used to come up into our yard before we lived here, which is one of the reasons why we elected not to have a kennel outside.  Zoro does a good job of doing laps around the house barking and peeing on things to let them know to stay away.  I did see one a couple of weeks ago about a block away acting very disoriented, which in addition to the flood would make sense if my dog pack has displaced them from their normal trail.

But back to the puppies.  They love to play and bite and chew.  Everyone is healthy and fun.  I wish that I had more time to go through and label each of these photos individually, but I think that I got at least one of everyone.  They are all equally cute.

Shopping list for new owners: Puppy food (I feed Diamond, but can give you some to mix with whatever you pick), food and water dishes, Medium puppy collar (they are growing out of these already) and puppy leash, either a small crate (no smaller than 22 in. tall) or a larger crate with a wire insert, and puppy toys (I like small rope bones and hard rubber balls).  For those of you traveling a long distance by car, bring some old bath towels in case you want to hold the puppy on your lap and paper towels to clean up any messes.  Bottled water is also a good idea both for them to drink and to use with clean-up help.

Very important: purchase liquid de-wormer (available at any pet or farm store) and a children’s medicine syringe that you can get from a pharmacy.  Two or three days after taking the puppy home, you need to de-worm them again.  Being in the bird poop under the bushes, even though I will de-worm them again right before they go home, they will need it again.  And if you spend a lot of time outdoors and they have their mouths on things outside, once a month from then on out.

I have two videos this week, one indoors and one outdoors.  I am going to mess with individual crate and dead/live bird time this week.  Since I’m a one-man band, it will be tough to get good footage, so bear with me if it isn’t great or non-existant, plus with the holiday and having family in town, I won’t have time for everyone before next Wednesday.  I also have a brand new cap gun around here somewhere that I’ll pop off while they are messing with birds, so I’ll have to track that down.

Indoor video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx-4QvX41S8

Outdoor video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEdVOla8YDA


P Litter at 5 Weeks Old

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I apologize that I haven’t had a chance to yet respond to everyone who has emailed asking if these pups are all spoken for, but yes, they all have homes at this time!  Feel free to email bluestemkennels@gmail.com to be placed on the contact list in the event someone backs out at the last minute.  We won’t be breeding again until Spring 2020 (more on that at another time).

The puppies have been getting many new experiences: including transitioning to kibble, learning about the crate, coming in the house and playing with toys.  I did get their kennel set up so that they can move in and out of the box with steps, so now they are able to go out of the box to go potty.  I do let them outside every few hours so many of them are holding it until then and doing it outdoors.

Here is the video for the week, the first time they were outdoors: https://youtu.be/2aXOT2APiMw

I have been so focused on getting individual photos of the pups that I haven’t had time to really do too many candids.  Here are a few.


Crate time

Puppy Attack

Have I told you that Caleb likes puppies?

Life of a Mom

Oh the life of a mom…

Now for some individual photos.  Most of the posed photos are terrible, but I need them for my record keeping, showing the owners the pups as best I can, and for the veterinarian when we do microchipping.  With only three boys and having them all being very different and going to totally different parts of the country, it was easy to decide who goes where and that has already been done.

I have to tell you that aside from coats, the girls are all totally the same to me.  They are all outgoing and mischievious, the way puppies should be.  It is going to be tough to decide who goes where over the next week and a half or so.  But I have to decide by the time they get their microchips.  Sometimes it works out where all of the new owners just happen to have different favorites, maybe that is how it will work this time.


Paul – outdoor candid


Paul face


Paul side


Paul back


Peter – outdoor candid


Peter face


Peter side


Peter back


Philip – outdoor candid


Philip face


Philip side


Philip back



Phila Mae – outdoor candid (purple collar)


Phila Mae face


Phila Mae side


Phila Mae back


Peggy – outdoor candid (Orange collar)


Peggy face


Peggy side


Peggy back


Penelope – outdoor candid (Teal collar)


Penelope face


Penelope side


Penelope back


Patience – outdoor candid (Pink collar)


Patience face


Patience side


Patience back


Pamela – outdoor candid (Hot pink collar)


Pamela face


Pamela side


Pamela back


I also have photos of Zoro training for his Natural Ability test, but I need to cut it short today.  The sale of our previous home closes tomorrow and there always seems to be loose ends to tie up.  I am working through contacting the new owners of these pups and starting to get things finalized, so  if you are getting one of these pups and have not heard from me individually yet, expect to hear from me in the next week or so.

P Litter at Three Weeks Old

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The pups are all getting big, have their eyes wide open and are waddling around.  They just started on canned puppy food yesterday.  Another week or so and they’ll want to start spending time outside, right now they stay in their box with the garage door open for sunshine, fresh air and outside sounds and smells.

Here is this week’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV4g9fQYaco

I’ve also started banging tins when I’m around to get them used to loud noises, which is part of how I start my process of gun exposure.  The pups will be too young to finish the whole process, the rest is left up to the owners.  I wrote an article about my puppy bird and gun exposure process a few years back and titled it “Early Exposure for the Gun Dog Puppy” and it is reprinted here: https://bluestemkennels.com/2016/08/08/early-exposure-for-the-gun-dog-puppy/

They will be up and moving next week, as well as eating lots of soft food, so come back and check them out then.  I hope everyone is enjoying the spring sunshine as much as we are.

P Litter Two Weeks Old

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It has been quite a week for the residents of Bellevue, Nebraska and the entire state of Nebraska for that matter.  By now you’ve seen it on the news I’m sure. The most shocking for us is that the neighborhood that we moved out of 16 years ago is under water.  Even today, the mobile homes are up to their windows with water.  The great thing is that we’ve all rallied together to take care of those impacted by the flood.  I wish that I had more to give for the relief effort, but 15% of the deposit money from this litter of pups went to food for those impacted by the flood here in Bellevue (the rest is needed for dog food and vet bills to keep these guys going).  So many people are coming together volunteering their time and making donations.  The Bellevue church community is running its own shelter and supply distribution center, ran entirely by local donations.  The American Red Cross is also operating a shelter and supply distribution center.  If you wish to donate to flood relief efforts in our area, please give to the American Red Cross https://www.redcross.org/local/nebraska/about-us/news-and-events/news/nebraska-flooding.html


Bluestem Kennels Flood Relief Food Donations to the Bellevue Christian Center

All of the new owners have been anxiously awaiting new phots and video now that the puppies have their eyes open and are much more mobile.  At this point, I like to put them in a new environment for 5 minutes or so every day or every other day to get them used to the idea of there being a world outside of their box.  But their favorite place is still in their box and it will be for another couple of weeks yet.  I will start spoonfeeding them mush over the next week so that we can transition to the pan

Here are the photos of the individual puppies.  They are for my record keeping and identification going forward as much as they are for anything else.  These are just names that I use as placeholders to post photos online.  I do not actually call them by these names.  In this case, I had enough “P” female names in my family to give the whole litter names.  Usually it is family and friends’ names or characters from literature.  Due to time constraints, I only do individual photos a few times.

Here is this weeks video, from their adventure on the living room floor to back in their box. https://youtu.be/I1NJSQSJOGc


Phila Mae Face


Phila Mae Back


Peggy Face


Peggy Back


Penelope Face


Penelope Back


Patience Face


Patience Back


Pamela Face


Pamela Back



Paul Face


Paul Back


Peter Face


Peter Back


Philip Face


Philip Back


I hope you all enjoyed those sweet faces, I know that I did!  Take care until next week and keep Nebraska in your thoughts and prayers.

P is for Puppies and Procrastination

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Please e-mail bluestemkennels@gmail.com if you would like more information on this upcoming litter. 

I’ve been in denial about this for quite some time and only finally faced it two or three weeks ago when it was no longer able to be ignored.  The “P” Litter of 2019 cometh.  Some kennels have trouble with breedings not taking, I have trouble with taking a year off.


Pregnant Ruth napping in the sun today

We were in the middle of moving at the beginning of January when my 14 year-old son Conrad and I had to take some heavy items from the old house to the new (to us) one.  We left ten year-old Caleb at home, with Zoro in his crate and the girls in the yard.  We were gone for an hour at the most.  When I got home and saw three dogs out back and I didn’t see Ruth and Zoro in a tie, I thought maybe that Caleb had just let Zoro out and nothing had happened yet.  Wrong.

Ruth and Zoro

Zoro and Ruth sunbathing about a month ago

So here we are, puppies to be whelped any day.  With this being my SIXTEENTH litter in nine years, I think that I have this down and can handle it.  Get ready for some new puppy photos in the next week or so.

End of Hunting Season

Charles was able to get out for sharptailed grouse, pheasant and quail, all on public land right here in Nebraska this year.  Hunting season came and went and unfortunately I never made it out.  The hearing in my right ear is really starting to go and I’m not sure if I’m just going to suck it up and deal with it, wear an ear plug just in my right ear or slow down with hunting for awhile.  Charles is already deaf and loves to get out and chase birds, so I never have to worry about the dogs getting out.  I’ve done the Nebraska Grand Slam in my hunting career and I’m really wanting to get the out-of-state trips in once the kids are all grown.  I’m just going to keep getting in better shape and praying about it.

Zoro Quail 2019

Charles and Zoro with some Southeast Nebraska quail, January 2019


Zoro in the snow a week ago

The dogs and the move

It has been quite an adjustment going from just living with the one youngest dog in the house with the older ones spending their most of their time outside kenneled to having three indoor dogs.  Of course, the dogs think that it is great being full time housepets.  I enjoy the company while I work from home during the day and not having the hassle of outdoor chores.

What is most suprising is how we’ve adjusted to not having a fenced yard.  Luckily it is a pretty remote neighborhood with no busy streets nearby, everyone has dogs so there are no complaining neighbors and the 3/4 of an acre is distributed equally around the house, so it is sort of a dog track.  We can walk on the sidewalk around the house and the dogs can range out and stretch their legs in the yard.  Even though we border a 2000 acre forest, the neighborhood full of dogs keeps the deer and raccoons pushed back so that the Griffs don’t seem to want to go out and chase.

The Winter of our discontent

This has been a very snowy and cold winter for many of us to say the least.  A record snowfall year in the Omaha metro area with plenty of snow days for the kids and teachers to enjoy.  Not sure what it is going to do to bird numbers across the plains, but we’ll find out in the fall.

My son just called that he is ill at school so it is time to say goodbye for now.  Until puppies!

Hunting Season Update

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Hunting Season Update

Charles has been having a great fall hunting with the dogs. It is tough to get motivated to blog about hunting when someone else is doing it and you have to sit out. I’m still working through some health issues that I need to get cleared in order to return to the field, but I’m hoping that I can take in a few late season outings after the first of the year.

He made it out to the Nebraska Sandhills for duck opener in October, where Chief and Fire saw lots of action.

Fire duck 2018

Fire with a limit of ducks

Chief duck 2018

Chief with a nice haul of ducks

Ruth was able to get some quail under her belt with Charles and Matt down here in southeast Nebraska.

Ruth quail 2018

Ruth is not being photogenic with the quail taken with Matt and Charles

He and the dogs had a great time with some landowner friends out in the south central part of Nebraska chasing wild pheasants. For whatever reason, the dogs didn’t end up in the photo, but our dogs were the ones retrieving these birds with Charles handling. The dogs must not have been too annoying because they were all invited back for next season.

Charles Neb Pheas 2018

Goodbye, North Dakota. You may have noticed that there was no pheasant hunting trip to North Dakota this year after almost a decade of getting up there every year. Between the droughts up there and habitat loss due to changes in farming practices, it just doesn’t make sense for us to buy the extra licenses and make the trip up there anymore. Nebraska has made a recovery to a point that although it might not be at levels seen in the 1990’s for pheasant in our area, there are some great quail numbers here and the pheasants are just a bit west.


Training Plans

Up this spring, we have Stonyridge Zoro going for his NAVHDA Natural Ability Test. He’s had some wild bird exposure earlier in the season and did well, but I want to get him out on some roosters and quail once I’m back in the field. It seems like forever to warm up enough in order to work on the water retrieve and we’re a long ways off from that right now. I should get some training pictures of him now that he is full grown. He is the sleeker type of Griff with the shorter, flat coat that is ticked, with short fur on the top of the head and ears, but with a beard and eyebrows. He is right around 50 lbs and well muscled. I really like that he is not too tall or heavy, which is what we struggle with in males of the breed out here.

Since Fire will be off from having a litter, we are going to work with her on getting ready for the NAVHDA Utility Test. It is hard to believe that she will be five in February, which is the perfect age for a Griffon to train for the test. They are pretty slow to mature, so all of the old-timers have told me to wait until this age to UT. She is a great natural hunter. This will be our third owner trained/handled NAVHDA UT dog.

Ruth is right in the middle. She’s done her NAVHDA Natural Ability Test. Like her mother, Fire, she got the maximum score of 112 and a Prize I. She needs so much work with middle level field work such as a staunch “whoa” in any and all situations, backing/not stealing another dog’s point, being polite when another dog retrieves/not trying to steal the bird, heel, basically everything that makes a dog a joy to work with in the hunting field and not training as you hunt wild birds.

Training as you hunt wild birds, although it gets the job done and is effective, can really ruin what could be a nice hunt. Not doing yard work and not working with planted birds in field training scenarios in the off-season just leads to screw ups by the dog and handler in the wild bird field and fewer birds in the bag. As much as I love the Nebraska Sandhills, I have spent countless hours trudging up and down dunes for another sharptailed grouse. Been there, done that. LOTS. If we want to branch out in our quarry, doing high altitude hunts such as white ptarmigan and Himalayan snowcock, foothills birds like the California quail, chukar, or dusky grouse, woodland hunts for woodcock and ruffed grouse, the desert quail species in the Southwest US…so on and so on. Those are once-in-a-lifetime trips. On a sage grouse or Himalayan Snowcock, you might only get one chance at a shot. It’s one thing if you miss because you’re a crappy shot (that’s me). But bad dog work makes it awful. As our friend and trainer Leo “Black Shockey” Boman says “train, don’t complain”.

And speaking of training, it isn’t just the dogs who need work. Those mountain hunts require some serious stamina, so it’s time for the humans to hit the trails or the pool or whatever it takes to get in shape to get ready.

Chief moves on

Due to the upcoming move, we have sold Chief as a started stud dog on contract. He was sold to a previous puppy owner who was looking for another dog here in town. We still have rights to breed with him should we choose to do so in the future. I am not sure if Kyle is interested in having him as an active stud to service females, but it is something for him to consider. If you are interested in using him as a stud on your female and live near Omaha, let me know and I can pass your contact information on to Kyle.

Chief and Kyle

Chief and Kyle head for his new home

What’s going on in the breed?

The AWPGA had their president step down and there are some new regional representatives, as well as new people working on their magazine the Griffonnier, they have some regional specialty shows coming up and are working on 2019 Nationals in Idaho. Take a look at their Facebook page or website if you’d like to get involved, we need new enthusiasm in the club. So many people have been very active long-term and it leads to open positions to volunteer. After four years of the magazine, I’ve stepped away from being active in the club for awhile, but love to keep up with everyone’s successes in the field and ring. It is a great way to meet people who are as equally passionate about these dogs as we are.

Across the various Facebook groups, we have several people who are attempting to be breed wardens of sorts. I appreciate their efforts, it is a huge cross to bear. The explosion of the breed through advertisers using them in commercials, our breed’s success in major televised dog shows the last few years, and just word-of-mouth has created a crazy demand for puppies and information about the breed. I stay out of the Facebook conversations as much as possible, it is just too overwhelming at this point to try to keep up. I really just need to get with some knowledgable folks and write a book at some point. But that is not today or anytime soon.

What should you look for in a breeder?

Don’t look for quick, flashy responses or lots of litters. We all have families and other careers. You will most likely wait a long time to hear back from them and wait even longer to get a puppy. Not always, sometimes buyers fall through and last minute puppies come up from great breeders. At a minimum, make sure that the parents have hip scans and are hunt tested (at a minimum AKC JH or NAVHDA NA). If you are wanting a solid hunter, lots of wild bird hunting photos too, not just pictures from one hunt.

Not all breeders give regular photo and video updates of the litter as they grow, so don’t necessarily expect a weekly update like I do. Not a lot of breeders will meet you or ship the puppies air cargo, it just varies (like I’ll do air cargo, but can’t meet, you have to come to my house).

Ask other breeders about them, good breeders are friends with one another. Most Griff breeders are odd, I’ll admit it. Having a successful breedings, getting the females through pregnancy, whelping litters (and all of the nasty mess that entails with stillborns and the ones who fade away in a few days), finding quality homes, trying to maintain some semblance of contact with owners over time, maintaining records, keeping up on research in health and genetics, dealing with having to retire dogs that we love, losing some dogs to accidents and old age, training, training, training, training, handling the dogs daily, various clubs and tests and all of the work that goes in to keeping those running, trying to educate the public about our breed and how it should be raised. It’s nuts. We are all nuts. So be prepared for some weird. We’re not some major corporation putting out a seamless, well-packaged product. We’re a bunch of people trying to keep a dog breed going and doing our best at it.

Thank you to all of my fellow crazy Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breeders for being out there. When I first started nine years ago, there weren’t that many of us. All across the country new people have stepped up to take on this daunting task of keeping this breed going in a QUALITY way. Not just churning out puppies to meet the demand. You can’t have a huge number of dogs of this breed and do them any sort of justice, they are very demanding of your attention and time. When this breed had a depression in the 1980’s, there was a breeder who had 40 of these dogs in a kennel. I can’t even imagine. I really think that the most one person could have and handle it is six. They aren’t good kennel dogs at all, they prefer indoor/outdoor with most of it being indoor. So if you see someone with ten or twenty of these dogs, I would seriously question it unless they were absolutely full-time dog people (and I know that there are a few good ones out there who have this number, so I don’t want to insult anyone, just do your research).

Make sure that the breeder asks you as many or more questions as you ask them.

Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah – Merry Kwanzaa

Blessed Winter Solstice – Festive Festivus – Happy New Year

Whatever the seasonal observance you observe this time of year, enjoy it. If you have a Griff, enjoy it with your Griff. You can even dress them up with hats and outfits if that tickles your fancy. I am not one of those types. But if you are, have fun with it. Peace.

The Last Day of Summer

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“O” Litter Homegoings from May

This last day of summer leaves me thinking about all of the letting go that I’ve had to do over the last four months or so.  Our “O” Litter went home in May.  I was not here for most of the homegoings due to unforeseen health issues and Charles had to cover for me on most of them.  The most important thing is that they all went home happy and healthy to great new homes where they are loved.



Kelvin took his second Bluestem puppy (litter name “Ophelia”) home to Colorado.  He and his wife Nancy also have Winston from our “A” Litter


Dennis and his wife heading home with their pup (litter name “Owen”) to Missouri


Rodney’s pup (litter name “Obediah”) also at home in Missouri


Galen and her pup (litter name “Omar”) at home in Michigan


Katie, her husband and pup (litter name “Osborne”) at home in Minnesota


John’s pup (litter name “Olivia”) playing in Alabama


Chris and his wife with their puppy (litter name “Oprah”) in Maine


Paul, his pup (litter name “Orville”) and me at the airport before they head to Texas

We had other pups go to Oklahoma, another to Texas, one to Kansas and one stay in Omaha, but due to all of the confusion of my absence, we didn’t get pictures.  I hope that everyone is having happy and healthy lives with their new puppies.  I figure that no news is good news!

BB’s Retirement

BB’s last litter was in the spring and she now is happy at her new home on a farm in Kansas with my friend Brice.  Brice is an avid hunter, so she should see some more hunting action in the coming years.  His son Ridge calls her his pet and I see that they recently went fishing together.  I just don’t have the space to retire all of my dogs at home once they are done breeding, so it is great to give them away to folks who really appreciate this breed and can give them a good place to live out their senior years.

BB was imported from Quebec’s Bourg-Royal Kennel, owned by Gilbert Tremblay and Renee Fortier.  She is a fantastic hunter and a valuable foundation bitch.  Thank you Renee and Gilbert for entrusting us with her.

CKC/AKC/NAVHDA Bourg-Royal CB Bluestem JH, NA I UT III and multiple AKC Walking Derby Field Trial Placements

BB Goodbye

Me saying goodbye to BB

Boyle Family BB

Brice and family getting ready to head back to Kansas

BB Ridge

Ridge and BB ready to hit to road with one of their shepherd pups

September Hunting

We traveled to the Nebraska Sandhills for the opening weekend of sharptailed grouse on Labor Day weekend.  I’m taking this season off from hunting for health reasons, but Charles got out for three mornings before it heated up.  The first morning he didn’t see a thing, but Sunday he, Chief and Ruth bagged a limit (pictured).  He also got a limit of three Monday morning with Zoro and Fire, but we didn’t get a photo because we were too busy getting back on the road.


Charles with a limit of sharptailed grouse, with Ruth and Chief

He also made it out a couple of weekends ago for some teal, sora and snipe hunting with Fire.  Here is a photo of their bag for the day.


Fire with a snipe, four sora rail and a blue-winged teal

A Change of Seasons

The cool of fall is here and with that arrives the ability to work in the outdoors.  That is exactly what I intend to do.  Happy hunting to everyone out there!

Bluestem Kennels is on Summer Sabbatical

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Please be aware that Bluestem Kennels has taken a very important Jesuit summer sabbatical.  The summer sabbatical is an important tradition in the Jesuit community of which I am a very important part of by being member of the Creighton University community who is aligned with the current Pope Francis.  I will not be responding to kennel e-mails until the fall.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Goodbye Griffonnier

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After four years as editor of the Griffonnier, the magazine of the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association, I decided that it was time to step down and let the board of directors of the club find new leadership for the magazine.

In our time at the helm of the magazine, Amy Caswell-O’Clair of Soonipi Point Griffons, our paid graphic designer Jane Swanson and I vastly improved both the appearance and the content of the club magazine.  With our nomination for the 2017 breed club magazine competition of the Dog Writers Association of America, we walk away with our heads held high.  Best of luck to whomever takes over this weighty position.  Thank you to all of our contributing members and advertisers who made our magazine a smashing success, we always received numerous compliments and were presented with the AWPGA Service Award in 2016 at the banquet in Helena, Montana.

It was also nice to go out with one of my puppies on the cover: Bluestem Winchester SH, NA II UT II retrieving a duck.  The photo is by Jerry Imprevento of Field Dog Imagery and “Chester” is owned by Sal Licata of New Hyde Park, New York.

I went ahead and scanned in my contributions to the Spring 2018 Issue to share with you all.  As I have more time in the future, I may go back and scan in my articles for previous issues to share on my blog.  I hope to devote my writing time to creating a manual for my puppy buyers and writing articles for hunting publications.  And of course keeping you up-to-date with our dog silliness here.

Griffonnier Cover_0001

Griffonnier Editor

Griffonnier WKC1

Griffonnier WKC2

Griffonnier WKC3

Griffonnier WKC4

I haven’t been taking many pictures recently, but Zoro is getting ready for his NAVHDA Natural Ability Test in the fall.  Maybe next time Charles goes to a training day with him, I will tag along to take some pics.  Until then, everyone have a great 4th of July holiday!

“O” Litter Bird Exposure and Ruth’s NAVHDA Natural Ability Test

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The “O” Litter puppies have gone to great hunting families all over the United States: Alabama, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  I appreciate all of the new owner families having the confidence in Bluestem Kennels in choosing us as your breeder.  I am working on organizing those homegoing photos and hope to have those posted later on in the week or sometime next week.

For those of you looking for a puppy this year, we are done with our litters for 2018.  We take a break in the summer months, then start taking names in the fall for our spring litter.  We are planning only one litter for 2019, a repeat of the wonderful Chief x Fire breeding.  So please do your research regarding the breed and read the writings and check out the photos that I’ve taken over the last seven years of blogging, then email us at bluestemkennels@gmail.com in the fall if you are still interested in the puppy from us in 2019.

I have yet to do a precise head-count, but over the last eight years, we have bred over 100 puppies with clean bills of health.  We have brought together the hunting bloodlines of Europe and North America in hopes of reconstructing the family hunting dog that Korthals established in the mid-1800s in the Netherlands and in Germany.  The breed, as with all European hunting breeds, took a serious hit during the two world wars.  It survived a genetic depression in the 1970s and 1980s and it is only through conscientious, responsible breeding since that time that we have the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breed that we all love today.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the Griffonnier entitled “Early Exposure for the Gun Dog Puppy”.  Here is the link to the article on my blog: https://bluestemkennels.com/2016/08/08/early-exposure-for-the-gun-dog-puppy/

This gives new puppy owners an idea of how we approach the raising of a gun dog puppy.  We have found that it is a successful way to expose a pup so that it is successful in the field.  Here are photos of the “O” litter pups and Stonyridge Zoro, our new pup from Wisconsin, with a dead, frozen quail.  I gave each of the puppies access to the quail and let them carry it around, but it is difficult to train and take photos at the same time.



Ruth’s NAVHDA Natural Ability Test

We were pleasantly surprised by “Ruth” Bluestem Peaches En Regalia’s performance at the Heartland Chapter NAVHDA’s Spring Test on May 5th.  We were getting less than 100% water retrieves in practice, but the excitement of the testing environment really made Ruth shine.  She achieved the maximum score of 112 points.  Ruth is now officially:

Bluestem Peaches En Regalia, NA I

She is from our first breeding of Bluestem Otoe Chief, NA II and Bluestem Prairie Fire, NA I.  Chief brings the power from his genetic origins in Montana, Michigan and Iowa.  Fire brings the finess of her roots in the bloodlines of Quebec.  Here are the photos from test day:

In the bird field




Our nine-year old son, Caleb, was my buddy in the gallery.

IMG_4544 (2)

Ruth pointing in the proper style for the breed, known as the “Korthals Crouch”.

In the water and evaluation of attributes



On the track


Great job, Ruth and handler, Charles!  Many thanks to NAVHDA judges Tracey Nelson, Dan Pforr and Chuck Casanova, as well as appentice judge Kat Pippitt for their priceless assistance in evaluating our dogs.

In my opinion, the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association has the best testing system for the evaluation of breeding stock of the versatile hunting breeds.  We are so blessed to have multiple active chapters within driving distance of our home.

Memorial Day Thoughts

I hope that everyone is enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day, remembering all of those who have fallen in service to our country.  My rememberance is of my father, Ronald Gene Dredge Sr.  He did two tours in Vietnam with Naval Task Force 116 on the Mekong Delta, aka “The Brown Water Navy” or “The Gamewardens of Vietnam” as they liked to call themselves.  He was one of the first service connected disabilities related to the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.  Agent Orange was an untested dioxin defoliant used by the military to assist in locating the enemy by forcing the trees to drop their leaves in the jungle.  He met an untimely death at age 49 in 1998 after battling constant health issues since his return to the states after Vietnam.  He also gave me my love of sporting dogs through our childhood dog, AKC ASCOB Cocker Spaniel “Butch”.  He was at peace with our God at his passing and rests easy in the arms of Jesus.

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