Its been quite while since I touched base. I think Dory (official name Drummer) is now 6 and has quite a few miles and birds behind him. He’s been a great dog and the only one left in my kennel after I put down the other 2 I had at the time he joined us.
Anyway, Dory has hunted a great variety of birds over the past 6 years including ruffed grouse, woodcock, snipe, Sharptailed, Sage, and Blue grouse, plus pheasants , huns, and chukars. This September we flew to AK and I shot all three species of ptarmigan over him as well. He is a driven bird finder and I’d have to say that his specialty is covey birds in big country – he is absolutely death on chukars.
Anyway, thought you might like a couple of pics, so see attached.
I have Bernadette — more commonly known as Tater, from your 2006 breeding of Toy and Tabia. Tater is doing well — we just got back from a week of ruffed grouse hunting in Maine. She is healthy and in her prime. But my older dog — the male Aussie you met briefly and worried about — is 14 now and it will be time to have another dog in the house in a year or so to keep Tater company. I have so much appreciated Tater’s trueness to your breeding vision that I want to get another of your puppies. She has been everything you told me she would be and more — extraordinarily athletic, as smart as any Border Collie I’ve ever met, a tremendous hunter, and a wonderful house companion.
So, while I am not ready to get a puppy right now, I would ask that perhaps you could let me know about upcoming breedings so that I can put my name in early. If that requires a deposit now, let me know.
Thanks for the great work you do with these dogs.
I just want to share a note and thank you for your great training of Igor. I took him out for the first time in front of birds this fall since you trained him in April. Since he has so much energy and drive I was worried how he would react when he found his first bird. I was overjoyed. He locked on scent/sight and didn’t move until we flushed the birds. He also immediately retrieved and dropped the birds for me as well. All told we flushed all 8 birds we had placed in the field. He also returns promptly on the whistle. I am excited to get him up north in a couple weeks to see how he does going after grouse.
Feel free to post this on your testimonial page.
You are a miracle worker!
A few years ago we were researching kennels and dog trainers to see if a trainer could exercise the “gun shyness demons” from our 3 year old French Brittney, Tudors.
I’m glad we found you. Even though Tudors was not one of your own kennel raised pups, you were still very interested in helping us with a major correction given the severity of Tudors gun shy condition. When Tudors heard anything remotely similar to a gun or pop, he would run to a corner to find security and breath so heavily we thought he was going to have a heart attack! It was good to hear that you were confident that you could correct his fear of the gun. We thought you displayed an incredible amount of knowledge and applied some really good psychology…..for everyone involved. We really liked your approach and the professionalism from start to finish. As we didn’t know what to expect, you wanted to see if you could achieve progress after 3 visits before taking him for a month of training. This meant a lot to Natalie and me as we loved him for the companion he was in the house and we didn’t want that part to change, but we also wanted to see if he could live his life for what he was meant to be in the field.
We were blessed with Tudors being such a loveable and affectionate dog, as it turns out, none of this part changed. I think he loves us even more because you opened a new world of fun and purpose for him!
Tudors is now 5 and he has spent hundreds of hours in the field over the past 2 years gaining lots of “on the job experience.” I can say that at the end of each days hunt, he and I get better at being a team. As you told me, with Tudors less is more. He does everything he is supposed to do in the field and I don’t need to give him much instruction, and when I do he figures it out. When I have hunted him with other dogs, even flushers, I think Tudors is one of the best if not the best dog in the field. Tudors can change styles and approach because he has learned the difference between a hunting in the aspen forest and how to handle those conditions versus a pheasant habitat. I could go on and tell you stories about his eagerness to hunt, his bird pinning points and crazy retrieves, but I’m much more happy about the fact that he now loves the sound of the gun!
Great job John! I’m glad we found you!
I just wanted to share a story from my first outing with Nikki, a puppy that I got from you. Nikki almost yard trained herself by following my old dog around. When dove season rolled around she was almost 6 months old. We normally don’t get a lot of action where I hunt, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce her to the gun. We went out and our first dove came in. I shot and dropped it in some chest high grass. I looked down and Nikki was gone. I started swearing at myself thinking I messed up an excellent dog by rushing the training. Less than a minute later Nikki came out of the grass with the dove in her mouth. She brought it right to me and gave it up without a problem. We had more action than normal that day and I had one of my best shooting days on doves ever. When we were done, I rode the golf cart back to the farmhouse and the farmer walked up to us. He said he heard all of the shooting and asked if we got many of them. I can’t remember how many we had but it was near a dozen. He knew where I was hunting and knew about the grass. When I told him Nikki retrieved them all he said that’s one great dog you have there. Since then we have had many great years and a lot of great stories. I got Nikki from you guys 8 years ago and am going to be getting another puppy from you next year.
Good to catch up with you yesterday. I wanted to share my recent hunting experience.
Edgard de L’Escarbot – 4 ½ yrs. old
Father – Soska
Mother – Abbie
Walk-in Hunting just east of Pollock, SD
John, I wanted to share my recent “tracking” experience in South Dakota. My good friend his Labrador and I were hunting a Walk-In area which was comprised of a large lake bordered by approximately 75 yards of the nasty, thick cattails. We were walking in the grassy area beyond the cattails when Edgard sharply pointed a loafing Ringneck. The bird burst from the scene and my friend and I shot simultaneously thinking the bird was dead and hit very hard. As we reached the area the bird dropped, we were surprised to see that it was not there and had escaped (poor shooting). The dogs heard the command, “Dead Bird, Find it” and began to work the area around where the bird had dropped. After about a minute my friend called out that Edgard was on point on the edge of the cattails. As I entered the cattails, I noticed Edgard locked down pointing a large clump of reeds and cattails. I gave the command, “Fetch it up” and he raced into the clump followed by the Labrador. Both dogs ran franticly trying to located the wounded bird with no luck. This went on for about ten minutes with no bird to be found. At that time my friend called his dog off the search and I gave three sharp whistle blasts to call back Edgard. As my friend and his Labrador returned to the grassy area, I was having trouble calling the dog back. Being that I use a Garmin Astro GPS unit for my dog I decided to look at my receiver. The unit showed his travel through the thick cattails in the direction of the lake..45 – 50 – 60 – 75 yards, then the unit beeped “on point”. Thinking that he was on another bird, I trudged the 75 yards through the thickest cover I’ve ever been through to find the location of dog. As I came within 5 yards I still could not locate the dog due to the heavy cover. As I took one more step, I saw the dog just to my right in two foot of water, locked down tight with his nose just above the cattails. I gave the command again, “Fetch it up” and he buried his head in the heavy cover grabbing the Rooster by the neck and dragging him out from under the cover delivering the bird to hand. I couldn’t believe that he had tracked this crippled bird nearly 75 yards, through the thickest and wettest area I had ever seen! We then made the nearly 100 yard journey back to my friend and his Labrador who I know thought we were on a wild goose chase. As we got closer I held up the crippled bird with true pride and my friend couldn’t believe what he saw. I think his words were, “WOW that is impressive”! In all the time hunting with Edgard, I remember him tracking many crippled birds, but this one was the most impressive ever!
Ellie has really come on this year so far.
We had built a johnny house and have been working her on loose quail and she is really doing well! We have some tremendous fliers and they act very wild.
Was up north last weekend for grouse and woodcock and lots of bird contacts. But the highlights were the three separate grouse coveys she pointed and HELD! I was able to shoot grouse out of each covey.
She is holding her own against a pretty darn good 5 year old GSP. Heading up for more grouse and woodcock for 3 weekends in Oct.
Here is a picture my daughter took today as ellie was pointing a quail.
Also attached a video of her run today.
Not quite finished but darn close.
I tagged the kennel as well so if someone searches youtube for your kennel this should pop up as a vid.
Happy hunting this fall!
Cottage Grove, WI
John – I wanted to write and thank you for all the help through the first season with Geron (Mr. G). The first year has been a tremendous time challenge for me as my twin girls arrived six months after Mr. G. Even before I put my deposit down for a pup, you were a great source of help & knowledge. I appreciate you being open to me calling you about vets, food, toys, obedience, exercise, training gear, e-collars, retrieving, boarding, etc. I’m pretty sure you were sick of me and then I sent him back to you for a month of formal obedience & field training. Even before I sent Mr. G out to you, you made it very clear as to what you wanted to accomplish with him and set my expectations appropriately. We discussed his progress weekly and I was able to visit right before he was sent home, which was primarily to train me to keep his development going. Six months after hunt camp, Mr. G continues to get better in the field and you continue to answer my calls for advice, thank you.
My testimonial would not be the same without a hunting story…we were making one last pass along the road above the river when Mr. G pointed straight down a 30 foot bank. Without pause, my hunting partner goes down the bank and flushed a pheasant. We both instinctively shot the bird, which was over the middle of the river. Mr. G looked up at me, ‘should I go get it’ just as my buddy runs past me, throwing his gun at me, and heads down river yelling ‘I got it!’ I was thinking ‘is he going to swim for it, idiot…’ Then Mr. G takes off in hot pursuit…as I’m stumbling down river carrying equipment, I look up, Mr. G is in the middle of the river, spots the bird, swims directly to it, grabs it & swims back, hand delivering it to my buddy. I’m pretty sure I yelled out ‘F-YEAH!!’ more than once.
I’ve really enjoyed what a workhorse he is in the field and a devoted family member at home. He is great with my little girls (all kids actually) and my morning coffee would not be the same without Mr. G sitting in my lap, chewing his bone, & then falling asleep. I’ll be ordering more in the future…I promised each girl a puppy.
I wanted to send a note along with a picture of Sonny ( TERRAIN DE L’ESCARBOT ) on his 11th Birthday, January 29, 2013. Sonny & I spent the day chasing pheasant at the North Wing game farm in Pine City and as usual he performed like a Champ. Over the years Sonny & I have had many great trips thru out Minnesota & the Dakota’s hunting and always have been successful. I also must say that my hunting buddies are always amazed at Sonny & his great nose and energy & the fact that he has never lost a bird. So I just want to say that since I brought Sonny home from the L’ Escarbot Kennels I couldn’t be happier with my great companion & friend.
Thank you both again,
I picked up my new pup from you when he was six weeks old, watched him play and grow at the lake until I brought him back for training at 51/2 months. Hugo (Holter) had turned into a driven hunting machine upon arrival back, really intense. When we met in Fergus Falls I brought him directly to the forests in northern MN. His first point and retrieve was about 15 minutes into the hunt, also his first sniff of a wild ruff grouse. I think it surprised and pleased both of us, big smiles on our faces. From that moment on we have hunted Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and North Dakota multiple times. This puppy has got the Grand Slam: Grouse, Partridge and Pheasant under his young belt this year.
I think he tried to impress you in South Dakota when we hunted together there. Both Hugo and Etoc were on point at the end of the shelter belt. The rooster flushed, was shot and Hugo made a 50 yard retrieve right to my hand. Since then he has seen hundreds of birds and learned so much. At 9 months now, he is eager to please and on his way to becoming a very impressive dog. I had never had a pointer, there was much to learn about this different way of hunting. I am glad Hugo is patient with me.
With the 2012 season winding down we just got back from pheasant hunting in Mott, ND. Snow covered fields provided the back drop for a late season hunt. The birds were grouped up and spooky. Hugo pointed and retrieved a 3 day limit of roosters each day. It was so fun watching him. I can hardly wait until next season. Thanks for the great French Brittany Spaniel.
Battle Lake, MN
Hello John and Bruce,
Just over two years ago we brought home from your kennel an 8 week old French Brittany Spaniel Fonce whom we now call Zoey. After finding our 6 year old American Brittany and best hunting friend had terminal cancer we were in a bit of a panic to find a great dog to fill his shoes. After much research we decided a French Brittany may be a better fit for our family and hunting needs. We then began the search for a reputable breeder and a good dog we were shocked to find that the premier U.S. French Brittany breeder was just a short drive from our home and happened to have a larger than average litter with exactly what we wanted a female tricolor ready to take home in just a few days. Our decision was made and the next week we made the trip to your kennels to pick up our Zoey, daughter of Cerese and Diska. We began training right away with your detailed instructions and at 6 months old we took her out to the game farm so we could shoot some birds over her. The pheasants were bigger than her but she did awesome! She has since done some grouse hunting as well as pheasant and Chucker. We just returned from a season warmup at the pheasant farm. At 2 years old she is a fantastic hunter she listens flawlessly, marks and retrieves beautifully and holds a point perfectly. Not to mention she is a wonderful family pet, wonderful with the neighborhood kids and always up for a good snuggle.
We are so very happy we jumped at the chance to have one of your dogs and could not be happier with her hunting ability and demeanor she is a total sweetheart.
Has been a great first season for Ellie this year. We had about 4 trips north for grouse and woodcock which we managed to get just shy of 400 flushes between the two species. Obviously she wasn’t in on all those flushes, however she got a very strong dose of bird interaction and really developed as the season progressed. She has a great nose and knows where to look for birds and found more than her share over our trips. She was steady at times, and others she would pressure the birds a bit, but all of this was good learning for her.
My buddies Viszla is not a retriever and Ellie has turned into a really good “dead bird” finding machine. She has improved with her retrieves as well… not rock solid but making good progress.
She has had some pheasant exposure as well. One day we ran a field in Iowa on wild birds, she was paired with a 4.5 year old GSP. We found 15 birds, of which she located 70% of them! I was a pretty proud papa.
This weekend we were goose hunting in the Horicon marsh and we crippled a bird that required me to go get Ellie out of the truck. This was her first exposure to geese so wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but as you can see in the video, instinct and prey drive took over regardless of the size of the bird. This bird is one we WOULD NOT of retrieved if it wasn’t for her.
Have had several folks now comment that they can’t believe how far along she is for a 9 month old pup and how obedient she is and wanting to please. What a sweetheart too boot.
Another great L’Escarbot Kennel dog in the making.
Cottage Grove, WI
“John has trained three dogs for us and he did an outstanding job with all of them. He really understands the breed and has a tailored training approach that works really well for Epagneul Bretons.”
We returned home last eve from our first ND pheasant hunt. Great weather and plenty birds.
But, the big story is Maddie. I’m almost lost for words in describing how well she hunted, both pointing and retrieving but especially the latter. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear this but I was almost in tears a couple of times when she returned from 125 yard+ retrieves of slightly wounded birds she had followed while they glided through the air. That’s how moved I was. On one day Irene hollared to me to call her back because she’d never find the bird anyway. Well, 30 seconds later she appears over the hill with the bird in possession. We got our 24 bird limit and figure 12 of those we would not have had without Maddie. I’m sure prospective buyers would be lined up at your door if they had a chance to see her in action. She also retrieved all the other birds that were in sight and which we could have gotten outselves if necessary. I can’t imagine a lab doing any better than she did.
The pointing was also exceptional as she was constantly finding birds. Never got far ahead on fence lines or out of reach. She was very easy to get back in range, mostly with the whistle, only occasionally with the collar.
Had to share the above with someone who would understand and not think I’m exaggerating. “Old story” to you, right? She’s only 2 1/2 yrs. old now so I’m thinking she’ll be getting even better in the future although I don’t think she could get a whole lot better.
Sorry to pester you but I really have to let you know how much we love this dog. He is perfect. He obeys, is housetrained and obedience trained at 7 months.
I just took him for his first walk and he heeled right by my side even with my slow gimp stride. He could not be any sweeter either. We need to send our other two to the Jake boot camp. So thanks so much.
I watched some of your u-tube videos and really enjoyed seeing you working with the dogs. Bob was impressed with your shooting. Have a great day. It’s a joy knowing you and your many beautiful dogs.
Just wanted to let you know about Ella. Whan she turned on to birds, she did it in Grand Style. Last year I got her into ruffed grouse and was just starting on the woodcock flight when I broke my leg and we had to quit. I worked her alone and and she was impressive. I’ve had her out twice this spring now that I am able to walk again, the first ime was with an English Setter and set chukars. Ella backed up points instinctively like she was trained by a pro. She also ranged out front exactly where I want her. Always circling around and positioning herself to be down wind of where we are walking. When she caught the scent cone it was obvious she was on a bird.
I had her by herself last week on more chukars. (helped work a couple of retrievers, but Ella was alone). Again she worked the field like a seasoned pro. The only flaws right now are a slight tendency to creep, but that is being corrected, and she is still learning about old set scents. She is much better on those now than last fall when it was difficult to get her to quit pointing where a grouse had flushed a few minutes ago. Now it only takes her a few moments to figure out the bird is gone.
You logo about angels in the home and demons in the field is spot on. Ella is a major snuggler. Always wants to be curled up under your neck. But, get her outside and the beast is released. She is not afraid of anything and spends hours hunting the local robins and blackbirds.
When/if the time comes for another dog, we have already decided on another Frenchie. Thank you for providing Ella, she truly has been special.
Jack and Vicki Retherford
Fauna de L’Escarbot – Josie (her given name here) has progressed beautifully. 7 months old, 36 points so far. retrieves 90 % to hand. Very solid in every aspect. I could not be happier. I have enclosed 3 photos. Always solid points. Retrieves to hand. Handles amazing.
Just thought I’d share with you a picture of Carbone de L’Escarbot “Tucker”. Tucker is now 3 years old and he and I have had by far our best season together. With an average of three days a week in the field traveling between Minnesota and Iowa, Tucker has really come into his own far surpassing any and all of my expectations. His drive to hunt, pointing ability, and retrieving skills have all come together so well, he is truly shaping up to be a great bird dog. I am by no means an expert dog trainer but with basic commands and working together on a daily basis I can’t believe I now have a dog of this caliber. Aside from hunting Tucker is my constant companion, whether we’re sitting at the house or riding in the truck, he shadows me wherever I go and is never far away. Simply put, I couldn’t have asked for a better pal. I could go on and on, thank you for letting me boast a bit, I’m very proud of him to say the least. Happy holidays and I’ll see you again in the near future to get him a little brother.
P.S. Thanks for your input on finding my friend a Lab. He spoke with your friend and ended up buying a started dog shortly thereafter.
Elsie finished her AKC Master Hunt Title this past weekend.
She has really matured this past year. It’s like a switch turned and she has decided to cooperate at her highest possible level. She has always been very nice but this year has become extremely reliable and “honest”. She has won/placed/or passed in over 50% of the events she has been entered in this year. She is also only one placement away from her UKC title. I am strongly considering getting her ready for her UT in NAVHDA. I think she will do well in that venue.
Thought you would be interested. I’ll put a photo together for you one day with all her ribbons & awards. She must have 20 or so.
Thanks for a great dog. She has been a source of great joy and pride.
Your friend, Doug & Elsie