Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 10

 Meet the Breeder
The Last Gordon Breeder in Dixie
By Dennis Guldan

Dog show and field people have been at odds ever since... well ever since there has been dog shows. The worst of these skirmishes have been in the long hair breeds, mainly the spaniels and the setters. The war has created sub-breeds or a separate show and field variety in several breeds most notable in the springers and the setters.
In the show dogs you will find long flowing manes that any bird hunter would cringe at. In the field dogs the feathering will be hardly and inch long. We frequently get asked about Ron's Springer Scooby, if we shave her? Our response is simply: "No, she's a field springer" like she is an entirely different breed.
The field setter people solved the same problem by creating separate breeds under the American Field registration system. The long flowing red dogs the AKC call Irish Setters, the American Field call Red Setters. The field bred Red Setters hardly resemble their cousins of years ago.
The white dogs the AKC call English Setters can be found under the name Llewellin Setters or English Setters (depending upon their bloodlines) under American Field registration. There still exist field Irish and English Setter lines registered with the AKC but the movement to American Field registration seems to be a reasonable solution to the issue of what a dog is bred for. And yes, dogs are frequently dual registered, meaning they are field designed dogs.
The Gordon Setter on the other hand has not made quite as smooth of a transition. Gordon Setters, some call the "King of the Grouse Woods" have not held up so well with the "invasion" as some would call it by the show breeders.
Breeding for coat, coat, coat and damn the rest has lead in some breeds to a genetic nightmares. Ask any springer breeder about "springer rage." The show Gordon are no stranger to genetic issues. Out of all the sporting breeds I'd stay furthest away from show Gordons.
But before thy abandon ship fear not there is a small group of Gordon breeders, a handful, maybe a dozen well known in the country that are breeding good quality, sturdy genetically strong Gordons for what the breed was designed for, "the Field".
That's why I call this article "The Last Gordon Breeder in Dixie." I have known, though never met, Russ and Sharon Guevel of Bates City, Missouri for years. They are on a short list of breeders that have supported us at Bird Dog & Retriever News since almost our genesis in 1992. So last month, Ellen, Ron and I decided to take a road trip and travel about 60 minutes east of Kansas City to the edge of Dixie and tell you more about one of the great Gordon breeders you should know about.
For you Wisconsin residents or Catholics, both of which I am, you might remember it as the day Marquette lost in the Final Four. For that poor bastard on highway 70, east of Kansas City, you'll remember the day forever, least your wife will remind you forever, as the day you told your wife you didn't need to tie down that $2000 big screen TV, now strewn for miles on the freeway and imbedded in the front of that semi following you at bit too close to your pick-me-up. But I digress...
We met Russ & Sharon Guevel at about 2 in the afternoon on the type of day we would not see in

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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News May 2003
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
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