WIllow (left) at 7 months old and Cascade's Gizmo with 2 limits of 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. We hope Willow ends up just like her mother.
Willow at 7 months retrieving a mallard.
Willow (Spruce Creeks Little Bit More Trouble) 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, athletic, 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. Trouble has a great PennHip score at .30 on both hips. Willow's sire has the tightest PennHip score I have ever seen at Rt .16 and Lt .11.
Willow is small, currently about 40 lbs. We expect her to gain a few more pounds as she develops. She has a super harsh, 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 just over 4 months old. She was a mere 29 lbs, with her puppy teeth. 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. I consulted with John Arkins and he encouraged me to go for it. Willow received max scores in field work, use of nose, pointing, desire and water. She lost a few points in the Tracking portion. 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 pups from Willow’s litter tested NA before 6 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!)
Willow is affectionate and engaging in the house. She's all business when we are in the field. She is athletic and graceful.
We will have Willow’s Pennhip done after hunting season.
This page will continue to be updated as we hunt Willow and she continues to develop. We are excited to have her in our kennel and our household. We will be super excited to see the puppies that she and Sage make in 2022 if all goes as planned.