I typically have one, maybe two, litters a year from my personal gun dogs. I select sires based on what I feel is the best match to complement my female and help me to meet my goals for my breeding program. I travel as far as needed to breed to the sire that offers the best match: sires must meet the same requirements as my females in that they must be impressive on wild birds, have a sound, calm temperament and OFA clearance. I do not do any breedings just to have puppies and I sell only to hunting – companion homes that will offer wild bird hunting opportunities to their pup. My puppy buyers usually want a pup from a specific litter and are willing to wait: as a result my litters are typically spoken for before they are born, often before the breeding even takes place.
10/12/23: I am planning two breedings for 2024. Given what I am seeing with the puppies from Dance’s first litter I am planning to breed her a second time in 2024. I have not yet chosen the sire for her next litter. Info and pics on Dance are below on this page from her 2023 litter. The second litter planned will be with Kyah. Kyah is a beautiful, 50 lb blk/wht daughter of my Annie x Tip, OFA Good/normal. She is 2-1/2 years old and hunts grouse and woodcock 70+ days a season. Her career started when she was 5 months old and she developed early and at 2 yrs hunts and handles like a veteran with a strong natural retrieve. She is calm and gentle in the home. This will be her first litter and I have not yet chosen the sire for her litter. The first photo is not a great photo but I love that it is of Kyah at 5 months “assisting” her grandmother Sally retrieve a grouse, the video is Kyah retrieving this season. Kyah:
10/12/2023: My two litters for 2023 were both whelped in early spring and have already gone to their homes. I was very pleased with both litters. They have just turned 6 months old but already we are seeing very good natural development, already hunting and pointing wild birds. I did hold onto a female from each litter for evaluation and possible breeding down the road as the pedigree from each of these litters is of high interest to me. As always I am looking for quality bird dog companions over pedigrees so only when they are out hunting for a couple of years will I know how we did. Below is the info and photos of the 2023 litters.
The first 2023 was a repeat breeding of Firelight Dreamboat Annie to Firelight KM Tip. Any time that you hear that I am doing a repeat breeding you know that the litter from the first same pairing must have been very good. After hunting and spending time with those pups (now almost 2 yrs) I decided that I needed a female for myself. Annie has everything that I strive for in my breedings: talented on birds, exciting to hunt with speed and animation, strong natural retrieve, healthy (including OFA excellent/normal), beautiful tri, 48 lbs, and easy to live with. Tip is a Firelight homebred who lives in and hunts New England. He has some legs under him and ranges to 100 yards yet requires very little handling. Talented bird finder, healthy (including OFA Good/normal), 62 lbs, handsome and easy to live with. His offspring from other litters are also showing his talent and Firelight style. The first 3 photos are 3 of the pups from this litter.
My second planned breeding was with my Dance. Dance is 7th generation Firelight and is just what I am looking for. A classic beauty, 48 lbs, fast and very stylish on point, so much fun to hunt with, strong natural retrieve, healthy (including OFA excellent/normal) and a character who lives easily within my pack. The sire was an outcross for me and introduces some new to me bloodlines but most importantly, a strong proven bird dog pedigree. At 63 lbs and OFA cert, he is a calm, gentle and affectionate dog with a nice hunting speed and pattern and beautiful style on point. The first few photos are of some of these pups. They just turned 6 months but are already showing strong natural talent.