Michigan's storied Gun Dog lines.

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by Steelheadfred, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Jay, Great information. Thanks Mike McDonald

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. everlast1

    everlast1 Banned

    Same here :D Having shot over Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota bred dogs I'm glad I went with that breeding. A friend of mine hunted with andy and one of his first dogs back in the 50's and knows the line well. There have been alot of good decisions not only in the breeding but who the pups go to. With the way people whore out dogs over time I'm amazed this breeding is still around.

  3. if you go back 40 years, approximatly 10 generations with a group of dogs, there are 512 dogs in that 10th generation. 256 males, 256 females. mathematical fact.

    of course some dogs are repeated, there are not 256 different males as a rule. but when you look at the numbers it's easy to see that's it's impossible for a single kennel to breed a line for that legnth of time without a lot of outcrossing.

    Bob Wehle did do it to a degree, but he was pretty wealthy, had a lot of dogs at any given time and still did introduces a fair number of outcrosses.
  4. everlast1

    everlast1 Banned

    Just a guess but I'd say 100 of 512 were culled
  5. Whenever someone mentions Andy in a thread I kind of cringe.

    I was fortunate to have become acquainted with Andy. I enjoyed our conversations and admired his knowledge and dedication to the resource. Through some luck I was able to acquire his Winchester model 21, 20 gauge. By the time I received it the gun had been upgraded, by the previous owner, to custom gun status by the late Don Allen of Dakota Arms. Long story short, one day when I was hunting I left it on my topper, drove off and lost it.

    Back to the MI/MN setter grouse dog connection. My history only goes back to the 1970's. The first dog of this type I knew of was Tordoff's Molly owned by the Dean of MN Grouse hunters Bud Tordoff. All accounts were that she was a really gifted grouse dog but as a field trial buddy once commented..."she moved like a Camel with a broken axle". Bud bred her to a local male dog owned by one of the owners of Gokey's which was once a famous local sporting goods store known for quality handmade boots. The male he bred to was named "Warriors Half Dollar" His line went back to famous Horseback Shooting Dog lines. Several good dogs came of this and some of those where bred back to local gun dogs and somewhere along the line a local grouse hunter/Forester named Rod Sando ended up with one named "Sando's Lars".

    Lars was a pre-potent dog and he produced a number of excellent grouse dogs. If you looked in his pedigree you would have seen numerous MI DNR type grouse dogs. If any of you remember the old TV show American Sportsman and watched it, in one episode you would have seen a grouse hunt with Rod Sando and Lars. Anyway...years later after Lars was dead Rod Sando became the Commissioner of the MN DNR.

    Another MI DNR type grouse setter that was bred in MN and ended up with a famous owner was a male named Douglas. I think he was bred by Sam Kirkwood but as a young dog he went to Leigh Perkins of Orvis. As I understand it he became one of the Perkin's favorite dogs.

    I know two other folks in MN currently that still have MI grouse gun dog blood in their dogs. That is Jeff Smith and Rick Peifer. I'm sure there are others with similar dogs but these two guys and the pups they have produced are probably the heart of it. That said, there has been much out-crossing and now they are probably as likely to be considered MN gun dog setters as anything else.

    Rick is planning to breed his young female Katie to CH. Magic's Rock Balboa this spring and with that will dillute the MI influence even further. And so it goes.

    Anyway thats a little more of what I know if my memory serves me right.
  6. ? you cant "cull" them. that number represents the number of dogs in the last generation of a 10 generation(approx 40yr pedigree). they represesnt the sires and dams in that generation. the 11th has 1,024. it's simple mathematics, a geometric progression that goes backwards.

    the point is, you cant start a strain of animals with a couple males and a very few females and maintain it without a lot of outcrossing. if you try to do that, in a very few generations, the offspring are highly inbred.

    in some cases you maintain a single of few top sire lines. the male line on the very top of the pedigree all traces to one or a few sires. morgan horse all trace on the top to Justin Morgan. and thoroughbreds all trace to one of 3 arabs or barbs. but many many unrelated females were involved in establishing those breeds.
  7. My 2 cents on a Saturday morning.

    BTW - Jay it's good to see you here.

    I've met Andy half a dozen times. He's a great guy and did much for our upland birds.

    I've hunted with many "DNR" dogs in MI and MN.

    I've owned a dog 1/2 ghost train lines.

    I've watched the Thurstons dogs work birds.

    I've brokered several Stillmeadows pups to grousers.

    Blah, blah, blah. I say the "blah" thing not as disrespect but more in the line that I consider "people" as normal people and not celebrities.

    In the end, there are some good dogs, bad dogs, and everything inbetween. I've enjoyed some of them more than others. Some were fast. Some were slow. 20, hell 30 years later, they are vastly different (good and bad) from the original dogs.

    In evaluating dogs, the last thing I'd consider is one or two dogs 5 generations back or who owned them.
  8. a dog 5 generations back is 1/32 of the genetics. or if you prefer, 1 dog out of 62 in a 5 gen. pedigree.

    that was my point in my earlier post, it takes a lot of high quality dogs in a pedigree, a lot of depth, to prodcuce high quality offspring.

    but if you see a sire producing high quality and winning sons, grandsons and even great grandsons then you have a true line and can expect better results from the offspring as a rule. just like any brand name.
  9. A Michigan fieldtrialer was responsible for perhaps one of the most popular strains of pointing dogs in this country and it happened over a century ago.

    It was David C. Sanborn of Baltimore MI who in 1880 imported from the R. Ll. Purcell Llewellin kennel in England a 10 month old pup that became a pillar of the breed known then as the Field Trial Breed, known today as Llewellin Setter. The pup was registered as Count Noble.

    Sanborn was not very high on the then gangly pup but after an evaluation on prairie chicken on the prairies of Minnesota with the owner of the American Field; Dr. Nicholas Rowe he saw a diamond in the rough.
    14 month old Count Noble ran his first field trial Nov. 1880 winning first on prairie chicken and quail at the farms of Col. A. G. Sloo near Vincennes Indiana.

    Count Noble went on to a number of other wins throughout the midwest and midsouth which were becoming a hotbed for the field trial sport.

    Sadly David Sadborn died while training dogs in Tennessee. Count Noble was sent to Sanborn's longtime friend, Capt. C B Wilson in Pennsylvania where the dog was retired to hunting and becoming an icon as a breeding animal.

    Sanborn had a musically talented daughter and that Capt. Wilson contributed the stud fees from Count Noble to further her education and saw her turn out a talented concert pianist.

    Count Noble was mounted after his death and was on exhibit for nearly a century at Pittsburgs Carnegie Museum, and more recently on loan to the Bird Dog Museum at Grand Junction Tennessee.

    It was said by many that if your field trial setter does not go back to the great Count Noble, then he isn't a field trial setter.

    Another Michigan sportsman /fieldtrialer that had a tremendous influence on the sporting breeds today is Arnold Burges of Hillsdale, Michigan who was a well known importer of the blue-blooded setters from England in the 1870- 80's.
    He is known for his book The American Kennel and Sporting Field written in 1882.
    Mr. Burges was the first in this country to organize a registry of pedigrees of canines in this country.
    Today we have the AKC, and the FDSB, but it was Mr. Burges that got the whole ball rolling here.

    Hoosier Bill
  10. Could that be Maryland, not Michigan? Reason I ask is because there is no Baltimore, Michigan...a NEW Baltimore, yes, but in the 1880's I would question whether it even existed. I know the US Army Corps of Engineers was diking the lake and doing other things at that time that eventually provided the high ground that is New Baltimore today, cause my grandfather was one of those who worked on that pretty phenomenal project, but I believe that occurred in the early 1900's...Mt. Clemens was the only high ground around until then.

    Not to take away from anything about Count Noble, tho, who was truly a storied dog...and one of those foundation dogs I spoke of.
  11. sorry, never heard of it before. Lived in this state all my life and never heard of it.

    Again, not to take away from Count Noble. Interesting stuff.
  12. there's a 'rest of the story" to count noble. he and count gladstone did capture the attention of US breeders/trialers and the bred their native dogs to him and rebred. a couple people i know with a lot of expertise put the percentage of llewellin blood in fdsb english setters today at around 95%.

    but some llewellin breeders wanted to keep their breed "pure" and convinced th AF to make them a seperate breed. they didnt outcross to our so called native setters. and a great deal of inbreeding and resulting problems occurred.

    so, the fdsb setters we know to day trace their top sire line to those two llewellins, but they are a much different dog than the llewellins of today.
  13. Well known Michigan dog handlers of their day.
    Today most dog folk would probably not recognize their names.

  14. Mine is :D (But nobody would accuse him of being a field trial setter)

    Great thread here although it is clearly a middle and old age topic of interest. Anybody associated with Setters in the late 70's and 80's is familiar with the Ghost Train line. As famous as a michigan breed comes IMO. According to my observation, it also started the trend toward foot hunters running dogs that covered multiple zip codes.

    I bought a Crocket setter from Dupree, the guy who used to sell beeper collars out of Blanchard. Too small and too hot, but they made a pretty big splash on the Michigan scene for a while.

    I've enjoyed the pleasure of Andy Ammann's company on a number of occasions. He used to participate in the Michigan Counsel of the RGS that used to meet up in Clare four times per year. I was a very close friend of the late Al Smith of the Al Smith chapter. Hunted with Andy up in CLare as well. Glad to hear, but surprised he is still alive. My gosh, he was getting up there in the 80's!

    Got to know Tom Prawdzik through that association too, great people. As I recall, Andy's setter "Kate" was the original woodcock banding specialist. Very close working and "patient." Saw quite a few slides of her in action pioneering woodcock banding.

Share This Page