Our interest in raising Labrador retrievers started with my history of waterfowl hunting. I was raised on a farm and hunting has always been a part of my family tradition. From an early age my family had labs that retrieved geese and ducks. In 2000 Amy and I purchased our first dog, Emmy from a local breeder. I trained her myself and she was an excellent marker, had decent obedience, and could recover downed birds she had not seen fall with hand signals. I thought this was the extent of a trained dog. Boy did I have a lot to learn.
In 2007, we were looking for a dog to lessen the hunting duties on Emmy and began to search for a replacement. I traveled to Virginia to purchase our second dog, Honey from a large breeder and training facility. At the kennel, I was introduced to a new realm of retriever training and competition. Many of the dogs from this kennel participated in AKC hunt tests and NAHRA events. After watching some of these dogs participate in a NAHRA event I was hooked. We began training Honey and in the spring of 2009 I entered my first AKC hunt test. Success didn’t come immediately. There was a definite learning curve on my part, but after meeting several other local participants, we began group training sessions and helped each other along.
We have been breeding labs since 2003 and in 2011 we established Churn Creek Retrievers. We currently have both male and female dogs that compete regularly in AKC hunt tests and accompany me in the field during the goose and duck hunting season. The best reward for me is to take one of my dogs on a hunting trip and have hunting companions comment about how well behaved the dogs are in the pit and how impressed they are at the skills they possess. All our dogs are raised and live in our house with our family. We treat all our dogs as members of the family. We are members of several local and regional AKC Retriever Clubs.