We were not planning to get a new male puppy in 2016. But then we received an unexpected email from Isabell Riedling, Luke's breeder. She had a litter of pups on the ground and she offered to "gift" Luke to us. She said that she wanted to help build the Deutsch Langhaar breed in North America. She then asked if we would be willing to send a puppy back to her out of Luke after he gets certified for breeding. We could not refuse such a generous and exciting offer. It is flattering enough to be given a nice puppy from a great breeding, but even more thrilling to think that this could be the start of some American genes going back to Germany!
We picked up Luke and his brother, Lakota, from the airport in August 2016. Both puppies were bold and friendly, but yet sweet and cooperative. They both had short backs and dark tight-fitting coats often passed dwon by their grandfather, Greif vom Reitbach. We kept Luke at our house and placed his brother with a friend and DL-GNA member in Wisconsin. Luke is developing into a well-built boy like his father, Caj von Alt-Huemmling. He loves to retrieve and has a nice search and point. His best quality is his temperament. Luke is as bomb-proof as they come in regards to temperament. He is sweet and cooperative and really wants to please. He is super-friendly with every person and dog he meets. He is even friendly enough to diffuse aggressive dogs that he meets.
Luke stumbled a bit during his VJP (Spring Puppy Test). He scored very well in search, pointing, and cooperation. But he is more of an air-scenting dog than a ground-scenting dog and as such, did not perform as well as we had hoped in tracking rabbits. When he flushed a rabbit, he did show great desire by chasing and barking after it (he was marked as sight-loud).
During Luke's first HZP, he was pretty anxious on test day and that anxiety manifested into a retrieving issue. Luckily, we had the opportunity to re-run him in another HZP one week later. He was much calmer during his second attempt at the test and performed just as well as the dog we had seen in training all summer. He showed an especially impressive live duck search (expanding nearly 400 meters back into the pond) and a beautiful field search. And his retrieves were flawless. This earned him the highest score of the test and tied him (with his brother) for the highest HZP score of any Deutsch Langhaar in the country in 2017.
Luke recently completed his breeding certification! We are very excited to see if he will produce handsome, high-drive puppies like himself.