Are they "just show dogs?" While we may not choose to spend our money on hunt tests and field trials and therefore do not have field championships and titles galore--do not be fooled by all the pretty pictures of pretty dogs.
These dogs can hunt. They know what birds are. We just believe that it's important to also look good while doing it and to be a well-functioning member of the family when the hunt is done.
We enjoy showing, so selfishly that is where our attention goes. Most of our spaniels have very limited training before going out on birds, and every fall our supply of Grouse is dependent only on the accuracy of our shot, not the effectiveness of the dog. The setters have equally strong natural instincts and require little more than coaching to earn passes as hunt tests when we do enter.
Kei-Rin Kennel (pronounced "KEY-rin") started as a dream of Pam's over thirty years ago. Growing up, her Yorkie has been shown by its breeder, and upon marrying her husband Randy, she knew she wanted to get back into dog showing, but with a dog that Randy would enjoy hunting with as well. That's when he introduced her to the American Water Spaniel, a breed his parents and grandparents had been breeding since the 1930s! Coincidentally, Pam purchased their first AWS from Paul Bovee, who had dogs from George Kozak and Leon Stafford if you looked far enough back in pedigrees.
Kayla is Pam and Randy's youngest child, and she fell into dog showing by default--one of the kids had to go to shows if Pam was going to be leaving! When Kayla was nine, a family friend offered Kayla a chance to co-own and show an English Setter by the name of Flo. Flo came from Setter Ridge kennels. Several years later they acquired Billie- Rock Rainbow Blues Holiday from Deb and Ron Springer, who laid the foundation for Kei-Rin English Setters.
Randy and Pam's sons Nick and Nate share in the love of dogs and actively participate in hunting with both breeds. Living in northern Wisconsin, in the Roughed Grouse Capitol of the World no less, our dogs are able to get out of hunt all fall and winter! Throughout the spring and summer, we occasionally run our dogs in hunt tests and field trials when they do not conflict with the showing schedule.
Kei-Rin dogs are consistently dominating the Top 20 rankings for the spaniels, and our setters consistently win at specialties and large entry shows despite never professionally campaigning a dog nor advertising. Kei-Rin dogs have been Best of Breed winners at National Specialties, the National Dog Show, and Westminster Kennel Club multiple times over the years. Recently, a Kei-Rin setter won the National Field Trial hunting contest for English Setters and we hope to be adding a dual champion to our ranks soon.
At the heart of it all is our deep rooted passion for bettering the breeds we so love. We breed only health tested and clearance carrying dogs, backed by a health guarantee and buy-back policy. Our dogs are companions, so temperament is extremely important to us. We raise each litter in our home, socializing them to as many new experiences as possible before they become yours. Our females typically have 2 or 3 litters before being "retired," and each breeding is carefully planned to improve upon faults and solidify strengths within our pedigrees.
It is important to us that you do your research and find a breeder who works for you. Sometimes this means sending homes to other breeders and sometimes this means waiting on a list. The perfect puppy doesn't always come at the perfect time, and perfect timing doesn't always result in a perfect pet if you aren't prepared and informed.
About Our Breeds
From the American Kennel Club:
American Water Spaniels are muscular midsize gundogs, not flashy in looks or performance, recognizable by a luscious brown coat that is either tightly curled or wavy. Bred to work the icy waters and marshy banks of the Great Lakes region, AWS are ideally outfitted for the job: The coat is dense and waterproof, the feet are thickly padded, the toes are webbed, and the body is small enough for the dog to hop in and out of a skiff without rocking the boat. AWS admirers describe a merry, intelligent, and versatile spaniel suited to a variety of dog sports. As hunters, they combine working traits of spaniels and retrievers. The key to AWS happiness is activity, especially alongside their adored human—an underemployed AWS can be barky and destructive.
AWS Quirks (some noteworthy tips about our beloved breed)
From the American Kennel Club:
English Setters are elegant but solid dogs of beauty and charm. The word “belton,” unique to the breed, describes the speckled coat patterns of colors that sound good enough to eat: liver, lemon, and orange among them. Under the showy coat is a well-balanced hunter standing about 25 inches at the shoulder.
A graceful neck carries a long, oval-shaped head proudly, and dark brown eyes convey a soft expression. The merry English Setter is known as the gentleman of the dog world but is game and boisterous at play. English Setters get on well with other dogs and people. A veteran all-breed dog handler says, “As a breed to share one’s life and living space with, no other breed gives me more pleasure than the English Setter.”
Below we will be adding links and downloads to content that we think is valuable to new puppy owners!
Links to other external resources:
Developmental orthopedic disease in large-breed puppies