After 38 years there has been a shift in the partnership between Dick Brenneman and Bob Watts. We are still partners in coverdogs. Our active coverdogs for competition or breeding are Full Blast, Blast Zone, Full Breeze, Game Winner and Deciding Point. In 2019 Dick decided not to start any more pups together with Bob. Dick and Bob will play out the careers of the winning dogs we work with together, although the dogs will remain in Dick’s name.
Enter Thor Kain. Several years ago, my friend pro trainer Tom Gingher told me that he’d found a young man who was vitally interested in competing bird dogs. Tom was highly impressed and encouraged me to meet the guy and see if I could help him, mentor him as he got involved in competing bird dogs. That young man was Thor Kain and Tom was exactly right in seeing a highly competitive person with outdoor skills, dog training skill potential, sincerity, open-to-learning fast, respectful of dogs and people and enthusiastic to work with. Add to these traits the hard work ethic of Thor’s (up at 5 am daily–I’ve never seen anyone work as hard or put in as much time with his dogs at Thor) and you’ve got the ingredients for success.
It wasn’t long until Dick and I gave Thor a prospect of ours with high potential but whose training had gone off the rails–All In, call name “Chance”. Eventually, with both Chance and Thor learning, Chance’s 9-find performance won the Region 2 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship. Dick and I gave Thor more dogs and he made winners of them as well. Thor kept learning and growing in his dog training/handling skills. He got involved in the leadership of the Pennsylvania Grouse Trial Club and the Grand National Grouse Trial Club, becoming Grouse Futurity Secretary. At times we asked Thor, as an amateur, to handle some of our dogs in trials. He won more than his share including impressive wins with Straight Forward (1st PA Open All-Age, 2018) and Blast Zone (Champion, New York Grouse Dog Championship, 2018). As an amateur handler, Thor could not collect the purses at these events. Following the New York Grouse Ch., Dick and Bob transferred ownership of Blast Zone to Thor.
With Dick having decided not to start any more pups and with Bob still wanting to retain his role as the one who starts and develops young dogs, Bob decided to team with Thor moving forward. As young dogs come along through stud fee litter picks and matings, the partnership of Bob and Thor will take ownership and work the same winning formula that Bob and Dick have used for 38 years. Bob will be the “Minor League Manager, starting and developing the pups and youngsters. The pups who don’e have top flight potential are sold as started dogs to serious hunters who offer a great home. Those youngsters who have the proven potential will move to the “Major League Manager”, Thor, usually at derby-age. Thor has access to several outstanding wild bird covers which have aided his training regimen.
Currently Thor and Bob’s active dogs are Super Storm, Power Forward and 2019 pups “Lila” (Blast Zone ex Claremont Lucky Brynn), “Hawk” (Super Storm ex ) and “Nelly” (Blast Zone ex Bridgeware Mt Pemi).
There you have it. Change happens. Dick and Bob’s dogs and their winning bloodlines are continuing. Dick and Bob are not done winning. We have some fine dogs for campaigning with the continued use of the skills of professional Hall-of-Famer Dave Hughes.
The new amateur partnership between Thor and Bob represents a new generation with an ongoing commitment to bird dog excellence, building on lines and strategies that have proven themselves in the Dick and Bob era when they historically became the only kennel to win the “Grand Slam of Grouse Dogs”–winning the Grand National Grouse Championship (3X), The Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Invitational, The Grand National Grouse Futurity and the Grand National Puppy Classic (2x).
Many thrills with our dogs in training and trialing lie ahead.
Dick, Bob and Thor