| 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
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