Once, over forty years ago for the only time in my life, I hunted behind a friend’s
bird dog. An experience I would always remember. I had never, however, owned one
of these wonderful creatures. In the winter of 2006, following two days of quail
hunting and a conversation with a bird hunting friend, Tahkodah arrived straight
from the local animal shelter. Now, the dilemma was how to train this
approximately one year old character, a German Shorthaired Pointer.
Clearly, I needed to seek professional help because of my lack of knowledge of
everything surrounding this subject! I heard of Blankenburg Kennels, run by Gene
and Ute, from several people in the hunting world. After visiting them at
their facility in Chino Valley, Arizona. I brought Koda to begin our dual learning
The significant factors driving my decision were:
1. The reputation that preceded them.
2. Gene and Ute’s openness and honesty about their training program.
3. The cleanliness and appearance of their kennels.
4. The obvious good care and excellent condition of the dogs under their
5. The love and enthusiasm for their “work.”
I asked Gene if it would be possible to “trail along” and observe while he was
training Koda. Receiving an unequivocal, “Yes,” I began an informative and
fascinating journey. Along the way I have questioned, learned, participated and
assisted in multiple dog activities. I don’t know who had the greater learning curve,
me or Koda!
There is a purpose to this story: If one has a hunting dog and a desire to hunt or
compete with that animal, talk to Gene and Ute. You and your dog should be a team;
a partnership. In order to learn about and develop that relationship, seek
assistance. You can’t do better than Blankenburg Kennels both for yourself and
that future hunting partner.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Litchfield Park, Arizona