WIllow (left) at 7 months old and Cascade's Gizmo with 2 limits of public land wild roosters.
Willow retrieving a pigeon she had just pointed and allowed me to walk in front to shoot at 4 months old.
Willow at 8 weeks with her mother, Trouble in the foreground. Willow is physically just like her mother with a shorter straighter coat.
Willow at 7 months retrieving a mallard.
(Spruce Creeks Little Bit More Trouble)
Willow is the newest addition to our kennel.
Willow comes from John Arkins’ Spruce Creek Kennel and includes his bloodlines, along with her mother’s Stonyridge bloodlines. I have seen John’s dogs in the field at NAVHDA events over the years and always loved what I saw. Smaller in size, tight harsh coats, incredible prey drive and desire and a strong desire to please. I have also admired Stonyridge lines for years as I have seen their progeny at various NAVHDA functions and always liked what I saw.
We were looking for something unrelated to our Sage that we felt would complement our breeding program. When we got the opportunity to get Willow, we jumped at the chance.
Willow’s mother, “Trouble” (Registered name Stonyridge Sierra) is a 45 lbs, beautiful field griff with a very harsh straight coat. Trouble scored a max score of 112 Prize I as a 5 month old puppy in her NAVHDA Natural ability test.
Willow is athletic and small, about 48 lbs and 21” at the shoulder. She has a super harsh, short straight coat with nice furnishings. Her coat was rated dense and harsh by judges at her NA test. She is a breeze to clean up after hunting in the worst burr infested fields.
Willow loves the water and was swimming early just for the fun of it.
She was pointing birds at a very young age and was pointing and retrieving shot birds to me at 4 months old.
We tested Willow in her NAVHDA Natural Ability test at 4 months old. I normally don’t test pups that young. Griffs just develop slower than many breeds and there is no reason to rush training a pup. I decided in the weeks before the test that Willow was doing everything she needed to be doing to test well. Willow received max scores in all areas except for Tracking and a 1 point deduction in cooperation. This shocked me as she had been nailing our training tracks for weeks leading up to the test. Willow received a 106 score out of a possible 112 points for a Prize II. I was very impressed for such a young pup to have done so well. (Several of Willow’s littermates tested NA at 5 months and received scores between 105 and 112) Clearly the genetic potential in this litter is strong for such young pups to be testing so well. (Interestingly, Willow’s first wild bird on opening day 5 weeks after her test, was a Hungarian partridge out of a large flock. The wounded bird hit the ground running and Willow tracked it in deep grass and was out of my sight for about 2 minutes before returning with the live bird. So much for lost points in tracking at her NA test!)
In her second season, Willow has just settled in to being a hard driving upland hunter in the field and a loving couch potato in the house. I've taken her waterfowl hunting a few times, but to be honest, she's a little on the small side to carry our big geese in the field. She's got great water love and can push any floating bird in front of her in the water.
When Willow was about 2.5 yrs old we had a pack of coyotes kill a fawn right in front of our house. I went to work on them right there and got two and wounded a third. After I got the first two picked up, I took Willow to the blood where the third coyote was hit and gave her our tracking command. About 10 minutes and 500 yards later Willow pointed that wounded coyote in a brush pile. I would never have recovered him without her tracking ability. She points, retrieves and tracks...that's about as versatile as it gets!
Willow’s PennHip is much tighter than the breed average at L.30 and R31.
Willow’s DNA is on file with NAVHDA.
We had a spring 2022 litter between Willow and Sage. They produced 10 beautiful puppies and we are hearing great things from their new owners. We are excited to have her in our kennel and our household. We have been super excited to see the progress of those puppies. See Progeny Page for some of her pups. We are planning a repeat breeding for 2023.