Why we chose to Breed:
Pretty simple answer here, it's been a life long dream to do this. Jen and I both have had successful careers and once I retired we were very fortunate to find ourselves in a position that we could choose what we wanted to do next. We're not in it to make a quick buck or supplement our income, we've found a breed we love and plan to be involved with for the rest of our lives.
*Side note, the background picture on this page is very young Pepper pointing a Mountain Lion with CiCi backing her. As I walked infront of her to flush what I thought was going to be a bird the Lion jumped out of the trees and ran the other way.
Why we initially decided Pepper was the one to begin our venture into breeding:
As I said, we have been interested in being in this business for a long time and we did a lot of research before ever bringing a Griff home.
Anyone who owns a Griff knows you get asked "What kind of dog is that?" almost every time someone sees you. In addition to the questions about the breed, we were constantly getting left cards, phone numbers etc... by people in the dog business asking us to give them a call if we ever decide to breed her and a male we had at the time Lincoln. The Vet who conducted our Pennhip evals, said Lincoln "had the best hip structure he'd ever seen," people at our NAVHDA chapter training days were talking about what to look for when breeding Pepper like it was a given. However, what finally convinced us to say these were the two that we'd start our breeding with was when Ben Garcia (our trainer) told us he thought we needed to breed them. Additionally, he wanted a puppy out of our first litter. I list a few of his accomplishments on our "About Us" page but the fact that he's been in this business training National Champions, Field Trial Champions and been sponsored by some of the biggest names in the hunting dog business is pretty compelling. He's not traditionally a Griff guy, he has Brittany's, Vizla's and Lab's but he has seen a lot of Griffs in the field, trained his share and thought these two were special!
Ben's been a great mentor and guide for us through our first couple litters and we lean on his expertise quite a bit. Decisions to breed, not to breed, choosing the right stud etc,,, are always tough, require a lot of research and we take them seriously. Ben's helped us produce three wonderful litters, avoid kennel blindness in our stock and make the right decisions. Pepper is an amazing dog and has produced litters to date that we're very proud of. However, I'm just as proud of our decision not to breed Chili, she came from great stock but in the end we didn't believe she exemplified Mr Korthals vision of the breed and the conformation standards set forth by the AWPGA. She's a great dog but when we had an AKC judge look her over at 2 years old they confirmed the faults that we had identified. Again, we don't show our stock at this point but we do take conformation seriously. Chili is a great family dog and tremendous hunting companion, just not the breeding stock we are looking for.
Why we decided not to use Lincoln as our stud:
In the early Summer of 2017 just before we were expecting to breed Pepper and Lincoln for the first time, we were up in the Mountains and Lincoln cut himself pretty severely while swimming in a beaver pond. He ended up with stitches in a location that prevented him from being able to breed. Pepper came into heat just about the same time he was injured, followed soon after by Chili. It wasn't a good situation for Lincoln's recovery, or the girls. So we made the tough call, to look for a place for Lincoln to spend the hunting season getting some experience in the field. We were fortunate to find him a great place and eventually made the decision to let him stay at his new home. We also opted not to make a rush decision to find a replacement stud and waited until we could find a suitable replacement in the Spring of 2018.
Our breeding program goals:
The goal of Greenhorn Mountain Griffs breeding program is consistent with the breed founder "Eduard Korthals" goals, we want to produce the "Ultimate Gun Dog." However, that's only half of the job, we've also got to place that dog with it's forever home and family. Our commitment to our puppies is for the life of the dog. We'll take the dog back at anytime and never want to have one of our pups abandoned.
To achieve our breeding goals, our desire is to create healthy, well-tempered dogs that excel in the field and home. Our dogs must have the temperament to live as family members and still function as the "Ultimate Gun Dog." Although we don't show our dogs, we realize that for the Griff to excel in the field, our breed has to pay strict attention to the breed standard and stay away from some of the pitfalls that have affected other breeds. We have carefully selected our Sire & Dam for their excellent temperament, natural hunting ability and conformation to breed standards. We'll say it over and over again, the dogs must be great in the field and with the family.