Bird Dog & Retriever News

December / January 2007 issue Page 13


 December/January 2007 Now in our fifteenth year.

A Return To Their Roots
A talk with Bob & Pat Merkel of Wrenegade kennels
By Dennis Guldan
 Many of us aspire to
things and few of us
ever get what we dream of. Bob & Pat Merkel of Wrenegade Kennels aspire to go hunting behind some of the finest bird dogs in the world and they live that dream. Bob & Pat Merkel run Wrenegade Kennels of Jessup, Iowa one of the best known German Shorthair Pointer Kennels in the world.
Like most of the top of the line kennels that have won the National Amateur Championship & Open the Merkles have been breeding Shorthairs seemly forever, actually only since 1970. Bob Merkels first GSP he owned in 1972 won the National Amateur Championship. But like many of the great breeders he was not impressed with what he saw in his breed.
So Bob & Pat got involved in the Eastern Iowa German Shorthair Club. They got involved at first for the fun trials purely as a way to compete and run dogs. They have been involved in the club for most of their almost 40 years in dogs.
But over the past eleven years Bob & Pat Merkel has stepped away from the club circuit and are returning to their roots hunting. Bob's biggest complaint about the national level breeders is many don't have

 time to hunt, what their dogs are designed to do. Bob has left the Nationals in Kansas drove 1000 miles just to make the pheasant opener.


Bob has given back to the sport he loves. He has judged all the national championships over the years, doing that he has seen a lot of quality dogs. With Bockvilles Maggy at GSP National Gun Dog Championship in 1993 he won with 111 shorthairs. Hunting now has taken priority over field trials to the Merkels. And hunting is a more of family event and family is important to the Merkels. Their granddaughter Kim at age 32 is one of their trainers.

 As a seasoned judge Bob thinks there are a few things that should be changed in the judging arena. First he believes all dogs competing in events should be DNA'd. Second he believes there should be regions for judges and judges should never judge in their area where they have local attachments.
So what has the Wrenegade dogs done? When Bob was running he won or placed 62% of the time he ran. With Mad Casino Beci, the youngest most natural dog he has handled he won 17 of 18 times in puppy derby entries and was a Field Champion before he was three. Their pups have won five national championships.
Clearly Bob & Pat's dogs are competitive at the highest level. So how does one get one of these hunting machines? Bob & Pat have about four litters a year. With a $100 deposit they are $500 a piece for pups, $750 if you want one from national champion Bloodlines. But for that reasonable price Wrenegade kennels keep breeding rights on certain dogs. They typically get one litter out of each pup they sell.
Bob & Pat also sell finished dogs. Finished dogs go for $5000 to $10,000 finished dogs are a lot of work. They get to know everyone they sell a finished dog to so they tailor the dog to the owner.
So if you are looking for a national caliber dog from a national caliber breeder and trainer give Bob & Pat Merkel from Wrenegade kennels a call at 319-827-1933 they are good people.


Dennis Guldan hails from New Brighton, MN

© Bird Dog & Retriever News, 563 17th Ave NW, New Brighton, MN 55112 $20/Yr 612-868-9169 Cell

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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News May 2007
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
Maintained by Dennis Guldan e-mail
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