Scott is a science teacher and Cortney is a wildlife biologist. Both of us grew up hunting. After we got married, it seemed only natural to get a gundog. We ended up with an independent, high-strung dog whose breed we won't even name :-) As a result, our search for a second gundog was much more thorough. We wanted a talented gundog with a calm temperament. To ensure that our new dog had excellent hunting ability, we also restricted our search to dogs with performance (hunt testing) standards.
That is when we got really interested in German-bred dogs: Deutsch Drahthaars, Deutsch Kurzhaars, and Deutsch Langhaars. All three breeds have strict breeding and testing regulations. We ruled out Kurzhaars because we lived in Wisconsin and duck hunted a lot. We decided to go with a Deutsch Langhaar (German Longhair).
We got our first Deutsch Langhaar in 2005 from Illertal Kennel. Kaylee was an incredibly easy puppy to raise and it was really rewarding to have a dog who could sleep in our laps and yet have very high drive in the field. She just seemed so responsive and eager to learn. And at the same time, she had a really quiet demeanor with a definite on/off switch for the field.
Hunting season is always our favorite time of year as we try to get out with the dogs as much as possible. During the rest of the year, we spend a lot of time training and testing our dogs. We believe that testing your hunting dog is an excellent way to explore all of your dog's potential and to keep you both on track so you can be prepared for the hunting season. We test our dogs in JGHV-recognized organizations including DL-GNA (www.dl-gna.org), JGV-USA (www.jgv-usa.org), and VDD-GNA (www.vdd-gna.org). And while it does not count for breeding purposes, we enjoy running our personal dogs through NAVHDA (www.navhda.org) tests as well. Both testing systems are a lot of fun, require similar training, and provide us with non-biased evaluations of our dogs' natural ability and trainability.
Our first langhaar, Kaylee, is such a great dog. It was not long before we started getting requests for puppies out of her. Everyone from our vet to gunners at hunting tests. We always thought that if we did breed her or any other langhaar, that our breeding priorities would be to produce high-drive hunting dogs with cooperative temperaments. It is amazing how much easier it is to train a well-bred dog that wants to please you. Our other langhaars also exhibit this high-drive, cooperative nature that results in an easy-to-train dog.
We decided to name our kennel Coraschatten in honor of Kaylee. Kaylee's registered name is Cora vom Illertal. "Schatten" is the German word for shadow. So, Coraschatten literally means Cora Shadow or Cora's Shadow. We do feel like every dog we ever own or produce will be compared to Kaylee and will have to live up to her standard. Thus, we felt it was appropriate to name our kennel Cora's Shadow. We hope that by breeding Deutsch Langhaars we will be able to provide hunters with a dog that they enjoy living and hunting with as much as we have enjoyed Kaylee.
We have also chosen to get more involved with the organizations who make it possible for us to test and breed our dogs. Cortney is a Verbandsrichter (JGHV Judge) and serves as the Breed Warden and Webmaster for DL-GNA.