We Can Learn a Lot from Bird Dog Trainers

Show Notes

Bird Dogs, Hounds, Terriers, or Cur Dogs all learn the same. The techniques for getting Xtreme Performance from your hunting dogs are transferrable. In all cases, understanding the basics of training, dog behavior, selection for breeding pairs and puppies and how to manipulate and control behavior will make your time hunting more enjoyable and successful. 

On this episode of the Journey on the Houndsman XP Podcast Network we are going across the country to the state of Utah in order to learn more about what it takes to make a top notch bird dog. Heath meets up with Tyler Smith from Eagle Mountain, Utah to talk about the Deutsch Kurzhaar. Tyler is the Vice President of Deutsh-Kurzhaar Group North America (DKGNA). He’s been hunting DK’s since he was in grade school. That turned into training dogs full time. Tyler’s passion for DK jumps out during this conversation between Heath and Tyler. They talk about the DKGNA and what it stands for. Heath and Tyler touch on puppies, training, breed selection and holding an above average standard. Tyler gets into how important temperament is to him. This is a trip you don’t want to miss. Join us on The Journey. 

DKGNA Website: https://dkgna.org/

Tyler’s Webpage: https://www.vomhochlanddk.com/


Show Transcript

[00:00:00] The Houseman XP podcast Network is taking you on the journey. Your host, master trainer, Heath Hyatt, will combine his decades of experience as a homan and as a professional trainer that will light the path forward and make our PACS lighter on this lifelong journey to become better hunters and hounds men.There are no shortcuts, so lace up those boots and grab a dog leash. The journey begins now.

Hey guys, the journey on Hounds Man XP has teamed up with Gow Wild. Gow Wild is a social media platform that was made for hunters by hunters. If you guys and gals have listened to any of the other podcasts that I've been on, you know what a huge outdoor enthusiast I am. [00:01:00] I love being in the woods, my hounds.

There's nothing more exciting than hearing the thunder, the spring gobbler. I love fishing for trout and the brooks and the streams, and I love being on the river chasing that ever elusive fish of a thousand cast. The Musky Co Wild is the place that I can post my trophies, hunts, and memories without being censored.

But Go Wild is so much more than that. It's a place to share your stories, sharpen your skills, hone your tactics, get gear reviews, and shop for anything outdoors when you make a purchase from the Go Wild Store. Everything is free shipping, anything that you purchase anywhere in the country, no matter how big free shipping.

So go down to the show notes, click on the Go Wild link at the bottom, and get signed up today. [00:02:00] And let's go wild. If y'all purchase anything from Go Wild, make sure that you're using the Hounds Man XP promo code, and that code is gonna be H X P 10. So when you go in there and you download your cart and you come up to the bottom and it says promo code, add Hounds, man XP to it.

Hey guys. Heath here with the Journey. We are going to roll into this episode. Again, going back to the Shot show. Met some really cool people, made a lot of contacts, networking was off the chart. And today we are gonna have a guy. Rolled up to a booth, started talking. He seen my hat and got to talking about dogs and [00:03:00] it was just a miracle that he didn't get fired because we stood there and talked dogs for way, way too long.

But I found out that he was in the BirdDog world and just piqued my interest as always wanna learn. And we talked, went back the next day, we talked some more and. Talked him into coming on the podcast and telling us about what he does, which is really cool. He works for axl, which is a hearing protection and hearing aid company actually got me some of the GS extremes and I'm really excited to start putting those things to use.

I got 'em in, got 'em tuned in and hooked up on me. And anyway, so today I'm gonna have Tyler Smith from Eagle Mountain, Utah. So the journey has went out west, which is, we haven't done a lot, but we are definitely broadening our horizons. So Tyler, how is things in Utah this evening? . [00:04:00] Hey,

he, thanks for having me.

Things in Utah. Cold and snowy, but absolutely fantastic.

Yeah. So it's not it this morning. A lot of the schools here were two hour delayed and I'm, I have to say I'm ready for spring, like the winter I'm done with it. You can keep your cold weather, you can keep it, just keep it all out there.

But we're dealing with the same thing. And we're in that nasty time of year actually where it's cold and rainy and wet and the ground thaws out and turns into a mud mess, and then it freezes back up. Where we're at too .

That's awesome. One of the saving graces of being out west is that my hunting season still continues for two more weeks.

Oh, nice. And so I, I have the oppor, yeah. I have the opportunity to keep going after 'em, even though it's doom and gloom here as

well. All right so we're gonna talk about, we're gonna talk about dogs here in a minute. Now, Tyler, tell the listeners a little bit about you. Where you're at, what you do, [00:05:00] and we're gonna dive into the dogs

That sounds great. So yeah, like you said, my name's Tyler. I grew up here in, in central Utah. I went to school at lone Peak High School. Ended up graduating from Weaver State University in their professional sales program. I'm currently the National sales Director for a absolutely kick butt hearing, protect, protection, shooting company that specializes in the state-of-the-art shooters protection gear, known as Axl Ax I l.

And I'm absolutely loving what I do for a living, get to, to meet people like yourself. And I'm a sales guy through and through I'm more of a relationship guy than I am a sales guy. But found my niche in. , the big earth here to help people protect their ears while while shooting.

So yeah, and the style of hunting you do and the hunting you do that's very important because you're shooting multiple times [00:06:00] a day, probably multiple times a shot. So yeah, I can see how that fits right into your lifestyle, really.

Yeah. Amusing. I used to watch my grandpa, he's an old school sheep herder shoot with no shooters pro off the back of a horse.

I'm mean true. John Wayne of his day guy was tough as nails. I've seen all my family before him as well. And just recognized the need at an early age because most of my family's deaf from shooting guns and live action .

Yeah, I, I, yeah I deal with tonight is pretty bad. And my left ear, it's in my right ear too.

My left ear is really bad and. It come from shooting. We're b Growing up as a kid, not having any hearing protection. We don't, we nobody told us to wear that stuff. We was shooting shotguns and running weed eaters and chainsaws and lawnmowers and , tractor. We just didn't wear it. And now, it's 10 times bad and then, I poke fun at it, but, the last dog I had was a Belgian Melan one.

He literally barked [00:07:00] in my car nonstop and I contribute a lot of that hearing loss. Because of that. It was nonstop in my ear. And when I got my third dog, which is a dutchy now, yeah, he's quiet. Like you do not even know he's in there. And I don't want anyone to hear him that he's in there. The only time I'd get him to barks when I tell him to


That's the mark of a true German dog. I don't know much about the cheese, but I prefer my dog dead. Quiet and calm. Yep.

All right. So talking about dogs, Tyler tell everybody the organization that you represent, and then I'm going to probe a little bit into your background and how long you've had dogs and what actually lit that flame.

So yeah let's lay it out there for the listeners. What you actually do and represent in the dog world. Awesome.

What I actually represent is live action in good times. That's what I live for is hunt hunting behind really well trained and really well bred dogs. I'm a [00:08:00] connoisseur of fine shotguns and bird dogs, and honestly, I don't care what kind of dog it is.

I just like watching 'em work. But a little bit about me there. So I belong to the DK g and a, Deutsche Kurtz, our group, north America. It's the newest Kurtz Har Club in North America. I've been the, a founding member and a lifelong member and I'm the current vice president of the club as well.

So I get to see, how things work and the ins and outs of the club. I've represented the board for five years and gotta correlate back and forth between north America and Germany and had a lot of great interactions developing lifelong friendships and relationships with members here in North America.

Yep. And how long have you been the vice president of that organization? .

Yes. This year will be my sixth year, and I plan to not stand for reelection. I've got two sweet young boys at house that need their dad back. But I've had the honor and privilege [00:09:00] of almost six years now being the VP of D k G and A.

And it's it's a unique thing here in North America, Kurt Kurts, our clubs are plentiful. And so there's a lot of, there's a lot of information and con confusion to people who may not know the differences between, say my club and the other clubs that exist in North America.

And one thing I like to bring to light is that all of the Kurtz Art Clubs in the world all reports and are under the umbrella of the dkv, which is the Deutche Kurtz Harbor Bond, or the Parent Club, the original Kurtz Heart Club that was founded. A lo a long time ago, so

and what is it that where is that based out of? Like where is the club? Like, where is it like stationed? Yeah

that's a great question. So the main hub of our memberships here in Utah and primarily out west, however, we are a nationwide club, [00:10:00] hence the group North America. We have members, all the way from the farthest East coast as you could get to California. . We had we had tests all over the nation last year for our organization, but the majority of the membership is based right here in Utah. I gotcha.

So how many dogs do you have right now?

How many dogs I have and how many I want are two different things. But I've got, so I've currently got three females in my kennel. . I'm not a very large operation. I choose to stay small for a reason, mainly just because I want to keep the, my, my quality high and the attention I can give each dog high as well.

So I've got jinx, who is my foundation dog. She came out of a kennel in Illinois. Steve Kosmic was the breeder. Von Kdk is her name. So Jinx von Kdk. She's a j litter puppy from his j breeding. And he gi he gave her the name, interestingly [00:11:00] enough, because she was the only puppy born in the J litter.

So he felt like he was jinxed. And. . She, let's put it this way, she's lived up to that name, good and bad for lots of things, but she is a once in a lifetime dog for me.

Yeah. Just so the listeners know, I know when you say the J litter, I know exactly what that means. In fact, the, we just had a litter out of my, one of my male dog, and we started at a And can you tell people what that stands for?

What it represents, what it means? AB Forbes Absolutely.

For y'all. Yep. Yeah. So the Deutsch Kurtz, our breeding system is highly regulated. It's a performance system by which each dog must hit minimum standards in each category being performance hunt tests. Genetics such as hip dysplasia, O C D, vda brands, confirmation and temperament [00:12:00] prior to being bred when a dog has reached that and a breeder has also met the standard.

Now they're, what people don't understand about a true breeding club is that each breeder in our organization has to prove that they are worthy in representing the club well through several different metrics. But when the registered kennel does a litter, they start at a litter being their first litter and then they work through the alphabet until they reach the Z and then they start over with A one B or A two b2, c2. And that's how you can tell where they're at in their breeding. . And the J litter is referring to dot breeder's whatever J Land number wise.

Litter number.

Yep. Yep. And go ahead.

Yeah. One more piece to that would be the breeder's responsibility is for the life of the dog to keep track of it and understand where that dog is and what it's doing. And so from each of my litters, I have the opportunity to name[00:13:00] the registered name of that dog that goes on the Onin tole, which is the dog's pedigree, birth certificate, driver's license, and passport all in one.

And the dog is tattooed and micro chipped with the correlating number to that dog's name. And that's how the dog is known through the German system.

Yeah. And some of the Europeans also use the the the year to name their dog or to Yeah, to name their dogs too. We learned that when we were dealing with some guys in Netherlands that instead of using the alphabet, they'll use the numeric, which I thought was cool myself.

Interesting. Yeah. So yeah. Hunter bef before we get too deep in this, how long have you been fooling with the Kurt sars and what lit your fire to get into that specific breed and to do what you do?

Yeah [00:14:00] that's a good question, Heath. I've been doing short hairs most of my life.

I was lucky enough to be blessed to be born into a family of guys that ran dogs before me. So I had a lot of. Mentorship and more importantly good memories with my grandpa and my uncle. My, my mom's dad Jerry Jacob and my uncle Scott, Jacob are fully responsible for my addiction here. They used to, back when it was appropriate, checked me out from school and take me hunting without my mom knowing, so I wouldn't come home from school.

And she'd get a call about six o'clock that I'm in the truck with pile full of pheasants or ducks or whatever. And we're inbound to get burgers. As far as I can remember back, we've had bird dogs in the family specifically GSPs, which is, the American standard dog. And what kind of got me was I served a two year l d s mission for my church, and came home from it. Absolutely. Enamored with wanting to be a professional [00:15:00] trainer and to guide Hunts solely because I missed out on, on those two years of being out serving my religious organization.

And so I started guiding at a local club here known as Wasatch Wing and Clay. And they had a guy named Chaz Holt, who is a draw hard guy who basically I showed up to some free guided youth hunt and one of the owners of it one of the guy head guys of it was a big member of the S C I and came back and booked close to $50,000 worth of hunts with me specifically.

And he had no idea who I was. And he brought me on and through him I discovered that there was a German system and that it also applied to the dk. So my love for short hairs kind of propelled me from. not knowing that there was a breed standard and short hairs that could be trained without e callers and short hairs that would shut it off when they came into the house.

I primarily had filled trial lines [00:16:00] and some NADA lines. And had competed and tested in all of those. But what really got me was I had a nada utility price three dog and an AKC master hunter dog in my kennel. And my uncle bought this puppy jinx, originally from Steve. Cost Mickey because the Kurtz Art Club had just got started here and he had to change jobs and move.

And so he asked me to take the pup on since I was training professionally at the time. And he said, Hey, if you do the, all the testing, I would just wanna pup out of her if she can make it. And within a week of her being in my house, I. . I called him up almost four times in that week saying, what the heck's wrong with this dog?

And he'd say, what do you mean? I'd say she doesn't bark, she doesn't whine. And she doesn't spin in her crate. She just sits calmly until I, I let her out. When I let her out. She then turns it on and goes crazy and couldn't, I couldn't fathom that there was [00:17:00] a short hair that actually was levelheaded and calm, and after seeing her in the field multiple times as a very young dog where she outperformed a lot of these older, advanced dogs in many categories, but specifically in the water and in recovery of dead game I couldn't turn back. There was no other option. I had found the truth or the light

. Yeah. And I had to move forward.

Nice. Yeah. And that. I'm taking what you're saying, and of course I can apply it into the hunting, hunting world that I'm in, but that's exactly the style of dog that I have now with my dutchie. He's calm, he's laid back. You don't know.

You don't even know he is around. And then when you put him out in the field, it's like you, it's like you just let the fireworks off at the 4th of July . It's live action, isn't it? Yes. It is. It's a completely different world.[00:18:00] I have been used to the, like I just said, the dog that I talked about with barking in my car nonstop, that was a whole issue with him.

He was like an rat on acid. He never sat down. He exerted so much energy in the car when I needed to get him out and actually work him most of the time he was gased in a very short amount of time. Yep. Yep.

Yeah. Yeah, I, there, there was such a big difference for me that I understood that genetically this dog was different and I wanted to be part of whatever made that different.

Being that, I've seen a lot of good American bread dogs don't get me wrong, and I've been lucky enough to own a few. But when I found this, there was no denying that I had to sample it further and test it out, which is landed me in a lifelong addiction of Kurt sars and I couldn't be happier.

Yeah. Good. And how, is she still

alive? Yep. She just did 27 miles this last [00:19:00] weekend in Southern California quell hunting and 11 and a half years old. strong as ever. And doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down, but it's only gotten sweeter and calmer with time.


Very nice. So one of the things too I wanna touch on before we get into the training and stuff is you talked about the Kurtz are culture and the mission. Tell, just tell the listeners a little bit about what that means and stands for.

Yeah, it, I coined this phrase, the Kurtz art culture.

I didn't I did coin it when I started venturing into the German dog clubs. And I think anyone that's part of any serious dog group or animal group of tests, it seems to bring out the crazy in every single person. And we found really quickly through various clubs here in North America that the standard and ethics were being of the breed were being violated by members.

And. That just didn't sit [00:20:00] well with me, specifically hostility towards each other based on differences in lines, training styles and or understanding of the rules and system. And it turns into this big crapshoot of an ego game. And I just at a certain point said I had my dad and brother with me at an event, and my dad leaned over to me and my dad's my hero.

He is a great man, doesn't ever speak I, but he leans over to me and says, Hey, I wanna make sure that these are the type of people you want to be res represented by moving forward. And that hit me like a ton of bricks. And Within a few years mean other, a bunch of other members who had enough of the bull crap started the D K G N A and the founding principles of it, which are that the, from performance to a standard, meaning that the standard of the performance of the dog and the breach should always be put first.

And then [00:21:00] we also hold our members accountable to the culture, which is that, any company, any organization's greatest asset is their talent and their people. And we want it to be represented in the right way. And so we hold each other accountable to not violating that standard. And I know this may sound like corny duh, that's, that should be anyone or any group.

Take one look on Facebook or your local breeding listing page, and you'll find really quickly that there is someone there violating a breed standard, whether it's in nor breed or mine. And so Kurt's, our culture largely was developed for people to grasp hold of something that would say we're part of something bigger than ourselves, and we're going to represent ourselves in our conduct in a way that our wives and kids would be proud of what we did when we were in our home.

I gotcha. That's the way it should be. , honestly. So you're the vice president of it [00:22:00] and you're running dogs. So let's start talking about the dogs and you said you, you were training dogs professionally. What is it in the, what is it about the training that you see as some of the most valid or less, the most important steps?

And you can talk about the bird's side of it too, if that, if you need to. But like just in, in general, in the training.

Yeah, I get asked a lot of questions from puppy owners based on that same line. , and I would say there are two foundational principles that must be applied to a puppy from the day the puppy goes home.

And in fact, it starts here. When I breed the dog, my wife, kids and I actually help start ingraining in this. We abide by two things, which is we socialize the dog and we expose the dog and control the behavior of the dog in those exposed scenarios while you're socializing it. [00:23:00] So foundationally, from the day you get that dog home, you are setting up the groundwork and the basis of what that dog's going to experience life like.

, and I'll give you a couple examples. I, I. . Currently I have, I'm up to my sea litter. I've got 23 puppies out on walk, walking the God's planet Earth here. And dealt with various situations with owners. But the one common factor that I continually come back to is that the dogs that are struggling come from weak owners and weak handlers.

And it's easy to blame a dog when it's not doing what you want. But I always say that a bad trainer blames the dog. Most of these dogs have more in them than what we can give them. Now, can you get a dog that's a dud. Yeah, absolutely. Have I produced one of those? We'll, knock on wood, no.

Up to this point, I've had really good success with real wild bird dogs and hunting dogs.[00:24:00] But for me, I would say the foundation of everything that I do starts there. . And then one more thing, and we can dive into this, is I believe that the temperament of the dog should be as such that the dog is easy to train.

And that's where, like I said with Jinx, that's what got me over to the German system and the Kurt sars was I had a levelheaded dog that technically made me look good and made up for my flaws as a printer. . So does that

answer that? Yeah, no, I'm a big I'm a big proponent.

I've had several people on the podcast over the last, year foundation work. And in fact I had done a podcast recently with Jerry Bradshaw of Tohill Canine, and we talked about, foundation. And that's exactly what you're saying. You gotta get the pups out, you gotta expose them.

You gotta look for the behaviors you want and discourage the behaviors you, you don't want . And I think that. Makes, that makes the [00:25:00] dog so much more pittable when it comes to that time of putting some pressure on him and stress in the working environment and the other things that, that leads through the dog's life.

So yeah, I completely understand that and feel like it's probably one of the most important aspects of a dog's.

To, to me without it. I just got a puppy back from my bee litter, excuse me. A dog that I br that's no longer a puppy. I got it back two years ago from a young gentleman who Whose parents went through some very hard times and ended up splitting up and the dog had some foundational training done with it, which was great.

But there are still several things.

The journey on Hounds XP has teamed up with one tdc, this dual action support for oral health and mobility in our. This unique [00:26:00] supplement is so effective that it is recommended by top veterinarian experts worldwide to maintain and improve our dog's health in four different areas. Their oral health, hips, joints, and muscles, skin coat, energy and recovery.

Guys, I've been using this product for the last six months and it has been a game changer for me. If you're looking for something to help with the overall health of your dog, go to work so well.com and give this product a try. It is highly recommended by Hounds Man XP here on the journey.

So the, I got this dog back, she's now four and a half years old.

And foundational train with the basics like, come sit hill. Whoa. But doesn't understand her place in the p pack order in the home. And so I'm still dealing with things like counters surfing or just pure negligence from the dog [00:27:00] because she doesn't understand that human word actually has weight behind it, whether it be through discipline or action.

She seems to conduct herself in such an independent manner that she'll flip you the bird whenever she wants. And to me, those foundational things are so crucial in the beginning stages of that dog, so that the other things come, like you said, almost a lot easier. And especially when you start the harder things like, retrie refinished, retrieve work force fetch, and you actually wanna put pressure on that dog.

The dog seems to trust you more and understand you more as a human. If you do

that as a puppy. Yes. It's and there's so much more tolerable at that younger age. Yeah, it's just kinda how I, yeah, it's how you can do so much more younger, even though, you can do the other things when they're older.

Don't get me wrong, but it's when they don't have any knowledge or experience, it's so much easier to [00:28:00] put 'em in the right direction. So to say

a agreed. It's the difference between homeschool and public school. It's the difference between public school and college education.

And I firmly believe it starts day one. So for us we try to set our dog owners up with foundational training things, but I get asked a lot, what are you doing with your dog? And I'm controlling behavior. That's it. I'm not worried about does this dog track, does this dog point. I expect that if the dog doesn't do that, I'll probably move the dog.

That being said, If the dog flips me, the bird in the field, or disregards my command to be quiet or lay down, depending on what's going on it's gonna get reprimanded and it's repeated so consistently that the dog understands exactly what I'm asking from it before there's any discipline or harshness showing towards the dog.

. Tyler, I wanna backtrack just a minute. As we're sitting here talking about training how who taught you, where did you learn your skills [00:29:00] and methods and, for for me, I've been very fortunate. Everybody's heard me talk about it on the podcast, My, my department sends me to trainings all over the country.

I get to go to seminars, I get to go to some hands-on schools for the law enforcement side. And then I've been to the school of hard knocks of learning the hard way in my hand, the hound world, where, I started back in the mid nineties and was young and dumb, didn't know anything, and just took off busting through the woods.

And it took me a long time to, to learn things in that manner. And it seems like you have been like, just bam. You're, you've, you're there. So what got your, what got your start? What, or who helped you or who molded you or mentored you to get where you're at in the dog world today?

That's such a great question and I have so many people to be grateful for. But [00:30:00] I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest my grandpa, Jerry Jacob, who introduced me to this sport. And I wouldn't say he, he gave me any formal education. The one biggest factor and most important thing he taught me was how to read dogs and their behavior in the actual field.

When we were hunting he would always take the time to say, now watch her, see what she's doing. He'd always, he had a pretty signature phrase. I remember him saying, the tell will tell you everything and specific to a bird dog. And so I got to learn through, real world education.

My uncle Scott Jacob, who I also mentioned, he He used to check me out from school, even up till senior year in high school. I would slough school with him when we'd head up to go train with a, there's an old school pro here named Scott Barner. He was a nav guy, and he was kind enough to let my little punk, 16 year old butt [00:31:00] show up and sit with him for four hours.

And he taught me a lot of really great foundational methods and training techniques that I'll never be able to repay him. Scott is no longer alive with us on the earth. So I think about him constantly. But, and then lastly much like you, I read as mu much as I could. I gathered as many books as I could, and I started training my own dogs to the level that I thought would be appropriate against the performance tests I was in, like the AKC Master Hunter and just used that as my metric.

and got lucky enough to have a few guys see the dogs I had trained and want want me to train theirs as well.

Yeah. So how much time do you spend in the field a week? And I know the weather and I know you're, you travel some with work and stuff like that, but on a average, like what is your, and I think that's something that a lot of people like our season for me, I can only bear hunt three, three months outta [00:32:00] the year here.

And if you go out of those three months during training season, I can hunt seven days a week if I choose to. And then during the, the actual harvest season, I can only hunt six day. I can't hunt on Sundays. So that cuts, that cuts down your time, but how much time do you actually get to spend in the field?

I know you told me that you'd been to Idaho this past week, and how much time do you spend with the dogs and hunting and training? .

Yeah. So my, my wife will tell you, there's two seasons in the Smith household. There's hunting season, then there's training season . We, we do I'm blessed in the sense that I get to spend an enormous amount of my time in the fall actually hunting behind the dog.

We, our hunting season starts in September here and runs all the way to the second week of February. And so I, I get to spend, on average, I'll spend 30 to 45 days hunt actually hunting wild game behind the [00:33:00] dogs in a fall. And I get to go on just the most incredible adventures five, five to eight states in that season most years is what I try to average and just create a bunch of new memories.

I got to take my son Tate this year he was nine hardcore Chiefs fan. And by the way, go Chiefs . You

that was a controversial game, , just to

say, Hey, you say what? You say what you want. We're in the Super Bowl, baby. Yeah. . I gotta take him out for his first chucker hunt this year with me.

And I asked him before, I said, Tate, you gonna run dogs and train dogs like your dad? He goes I don't know. I've never really done it. I said that's fair. You've been out training. He goes, yeah, that's fun. After we got back in the truck from chasing trucks he grabbed me on the show and goes, dad, I wanna run dogs.

That's, I think you had a good time. That's a good thing. Pass it down. Pass it down. Yes, sir. So let's talk about the dogs now and what you hunt, how you hunt. I know [00:34:00] that you and I talked and you basically hunt from foot. Just get in, just get into that a little bit. Yeah.

Living in Utah, we have.

Kind of a unique hunting situation here. When I grew up here, there were plentiful pheasants in Utah County. And since the big tech companies and other businesses have started growing and booming here most of the places I grew up hunting, quell and pheasants have largely been developed into houses or buildings.

And so I've had to pivot as I, teenage to my early twenties. I started chasing a lot of dusky and rough gros and also chucker partridge. And we've really never had any issues with waterfowl. So long as we get some cold fronts here, we get, I wouldn't say anything near what the Midwest or y'all get, but we get good enough that I can go out and chase ducks and geese here as well.

One of the things I look for in, in my dog is I need a dog that's got some [00:35:00] endurance. and I'm talking, all day endurance. I average ba roughly based on my Garmin steps and the tracking callers that I have all average between 12 and 15 miles on my bud a day. And I'll burn a pair of crispy Nevada GTX boots out in a season.

And the, their claim is the thousand Mile boot, if you will. Or at least that's what I've heard. And I run one of those out almost every fall. Yeah.

And you are trained, go back to your training season cuz I, I may have missed that you're training season, so how long can you run dogs? Can you run year to round?

Tr training here is different. I don't know how y'all train there. We have access to private grounds here. Yeah. And we primarily use ho homing pigeons and planet birds.

We're not allowed to train, nor would we train on wild game birds. Most of them are in their nesting seasons when training [00:36:00] season is. Oh, okay. And that's, uniquely why the German system set up the way it is as well is it revolves around the different game that's being hunted and why they're being hunted that way.

So we start our training with the Dkg and a, the Desert Mountain chapter here starts right after chucker seasons ends. We hold free training days every single Saturday until hunting season starts. And so sa every Saturday we meet at Los Etch wing clay, or we've got membership in Idaho now that's starting to hold 'em.

And you can come out and we'll have various things planned, but if you start with us from the beginning, , the goal is to take the young dog and develop it into the finished dog by the

end of the year. So that and that would be a, and I'm just assuming, so a six month old dog to a year and a half, or is that a year old dog to a two year old dog?

What is that age frame for that? Or what [00:37:00] do you look for consistently?

Yeah, so our derby class dogs are a dog from five months to about 16 months old, and that's our puppy youth group. . Between 15 and 16 months plus the dog qualifies for our Psalms a z p test. And just depending on the dog's maturities, when we'll push that dog through into those tests and then two years old on, we're looking at an advanced test like the V G P or the N A K P and those type of tests that are.

Require extreme finished work, the complete finished dog, if you will. ,

and those dogs are usually between three and four two,

two to six years old is where Okay. I've seen 'em as young as 18 months to be truthful, but most of the time they're between two and four years

old. I gotcha.

Yep. And it, it's so interesting to me, and I know I, I go back to Jason's podcast that I did a while [00:38:00] back, that, you're using these dogs to, to point birds and retrieve them. Correct? Yes, sir. And then you can go plum over to waterfowl where they're sitting with you and just basically retrieving


Crazy. Yeah. That's, that's and you look at a multi-dimensional. An animal. And I guess, I'm not as familiar with the bird dogs and the retrievers, but like that's to me is just fascinating that that the dog can, I know because of the police side that dogs can do multiple things and be very good at those things, but it's just, it's just amazing for me to, cuz I just use my dogs to, to find a track or rig a track, chase a bear tree, bear that I'm not doing multiple things with him or them.

And, for you [00:39:00] guys to be able to go out and to point and not flush and then retrieve and then, okay, next Saturday we're gonna go duck hunting. So you're gonna sit in a blind with me, or I guess y'all hunt out a blind, you're gonna sit in a blind with me and just go retrieve birds all day.

Yeah. Yeah. The unique thing the Kza was bred for, to be the one dog to fulfill all tasks in hunting, fur, feather water or land. . Our dogs are good tracking dogs in the sense that we do test for blood. It's one of our blood tracking ability. And it's one of the things that I think makes this dog unique.

I've done in a three day period, I tracked a wounded mul there, buck on a muzzle over hunt, shot a limit of chuckers, and then went up to southeastern Idaho and sat in a river bottom and shot mallard ducks until from sun up to sundown with the same dog. It's a very unique type of dog.

And that same dog I've had puppies [00:40:00] from, and she's produced dogs that are in, dead body cadaver search homes, search and rescue team homes. and the dogs are multi-purpose. One thing people forget is that when this breed was developed the Germans in the Great War used them for dead soldier and wounded soldier recovery.

And they, the dogs were sent out into no man's land with a technique called the brink cell. And basically the dogs train when it finds the end task, whether it be a human or a wounded deer, to place this thing, nor as a brink soul, which is basically a leather attachment to the collar, its mouth and then guide the person back to the dead game or the injured person.

And so these dogs are used for just multifaceted things. But, being here in the west we can track a deer, we can track an elk, we can hunt coons with our dogs. Pheasant, quell, chucker, you name it, I want to chase it and put it in my freezer. . [00:41:00]

Yeah, that's, that's getting your bang for your buck with, with that type of dog.

I don't know if you and I talked about it, I have 5, 6, 6, 6 short hairs, German short hairs in our canine group right now. And every one of them, but one, I've got one that acts like what you are saying, you're female, like he's more laid back. He's like a light switch, boom, cut him on, goes to work, does his thing, cut him off, put him back in the car.

You don't know. He is there. The others are. , exactly what you said. They're barking, spinning in the kennel. No. They do. They, if they didn't do the job we wouldn't use 'em, but for sure. But this, the I don't know if the disposition of them is completely different. And me, I prefer the dog like what you're saying.

I prefer the dog that is laid back and chill and then,[00:42:00] all right, let's go to work. Bam, here we go. And I'm so curious to I think I'm gonna start doing some research and see if any of those are actually in the law enforcement realm. There has to be a couple out there. .

I know one of our founding members, York Cult nigger, who is a German who his parents immigrated here to America.

He fought in our Air Force. He's a true hardcore blooded American who's fought in many wars for us. His lion. He's got dogs in multiple F B I homes, and he is got dogs overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq that are doing detection work which is really cool and unique. And I, for me, you touched on something he said I would love to share if I'm not diving off too far, but temperament is everything to me, and it's almost unlivable now.

I can't not have it .

No, it's, I think it's important in all breeds. The temperament is, of course we look for it in our [00:43:00] dogs that we're choosing for the law enforcement side. , like we used to have dogs that we were a lot of dog aggression. And over the last 10 years we've moved we don't want that at all.

We can't have that anymore. Yeah. Talk about temperament. Tell us what you're looking at, what and even if you wanna take it back to your puppies, what you're, what you you had touched on it earlier about, some of the things that you're correcting and stuff, if it's temperament Yeah, go ahead.

Yeah. I, one of the unique things about the Kurtz Star system is we're the only German hunting dog group that I know of that has an actual temperament test. And the test is known as the vain and after each hunt test that we hold or even then during the middle of it, the dog is evaluated for its mental calmness and the ability to shut it off.

and what the test is looking for is the fluidity of the dog. It's looking at I guess I'll back up. What the [00:44:00] test actually does is so middle of a hunt period in Germany, they're required by law to quit chasing game. And the dog is put a lot of times you're out in the field, the dog is put in the down position and required to stay there until the rest period's over.

. And so we sim we simulate that here. And like during our middle of our souls test, when the dogs are having to track and there's live game and gunfire, these dogs are required. We pull 'em all out as a group in about every 10 or 15 yards, we place the dog down a down, and the dog is required to stay there.

And the group backs up. We get our lunches out, our drinks, and the judges stand there and they evaluate the damn dog. And what they're looking for is exactly what we just talked about, is the dog that can shut it off and know its place. Sit calmly, not whine, distract the group. They evaluate aggression [00:45:00] here because what'll happen is you get a dog, a male dog that's too driven, they'll stand up and go square off with another male dog.

. And those dogs are marked and noted. When I go to breed to a dog, let's say I have never seen the dog, besides what the guy's telling me, pictures and videos and photos, I'm able to say, Hey, let me look at your test scores and in the vain section I should be able to tell, for this dog, for the most part's, reasonably calm and t trainable and in, in stressful situations can sit down

and be quiet.

Yeah, I got a couple questions. Go to follow up on that cuz I wanna know what. Age. And I know that you said the different stages, so is that through the first stage of testing or is that the second stage and how, what, when do you start training that? Because that's something we have to do in our certification too, is after we get done with our obedience session, the dog has to do a downs stay for [00:46:00] three minutes.

Yep. Which is nothing. But the dog has gotta shut down and downs stay. I walk away from him just that's exactly what you're saying. And then, if the dog's gotta stay there, he's gotta stay at a down, if he breaks the down, it starts all over. And if he breaks the second time you're done.

Yep. Yeah, talk to me a little bit about that process.

Yeah. I mean it's it's pretty self-explanatory, but like you said The der at the derby level is different than the Psalms a z P level, and the psalms a z p level is different than the V G P or the further advanced tests, and there's reasons for that, a age, experience and exposure of the dog.

So at our derby level, the dog is required to be, they can be tied out or staked out. So I suggest to most guys, pass your damn test and go tie the dog off to a piece of sage brush. Don't risk having the dog get up and go, [00:47:00] blow you the middle finger. Pretty much if the dog stays in the sitting position at the derby level, you're gonna get a passing grade on the vain portion of your test.

If the dog's ob overly obnoxious whining, that all gets physically written into the, to the report and noted under a grade between one being bad and four being high.

And how long do they have to hold this?

The puppy level, three to five minutes.

And then the next

level at the Psalms a z p.

The dog cannot be leashed tight or steak and has to be a true downs stay. And I've seen judges the last test that I just competed in, the dog does 10 to 15 minutes. And so it's a real down, it's a real butt pucker for the handler. . .

Yeah. That's a long time, especially with distractions.

You've got people walking around talking, having conversation that's for people that's not trained, that [00:48:00] aspect of a dog that's not an easy, it can be done and it can be done fairly easy. But that takes time. Yep. That's not, it takes time. Work. Yeah. It's not something that's that's done overnight.

Again it's a process and Yep. Yeah I'd like to, and I'm sitting here thinking as we're talking, my, my wheels are spinning. Like I need to do that with, we don't sh we do shoot with our police dogs. We have to do it. That's part of our certifications where we have to actually have the dog at a hill fire, two rounds, decoy fires, two rounds.

The dog cannot break on the gunfire. Which has changed in the last five years. Cuz it used to be able, when the person started firing the weapon at us, the dog was allowed to go down and apprehend them. But we changed that in their certification process. So we need to, do I need to just sitting here thinking I need to do more gun firing [00:49:00] with my dog at that level.

Just listening what you're saying, I'm like, yeah, I gotta clean that up.

Yeah the other unique thing is that throughout the entire day, the dog's behavior is being evaluated. So if there's a problem dog it's noted, it's not just the vasin test that says, oh, your dog's good if you have a dog that's obnoxious in the truck or too bullheaded or aggressive, those type of things.

Those are also caught in built into that score and test stay. And then the last one is our V P and the vain test really isn't it's done, but it's done throughout the entire test. You do a driven hunt with a dog on down and the dog has to remain on down through a Siri, a sequence of shots between you with the dog right next to you, and then guys out, out actually in the forest trying to push game in front of the dog.

And no matter what happens with the deer, turkeys, Birds, whatever come flying out, the dog must remain [00:50:00] completely obedient and not move. And then through the gunfire, the dog must not move, which is I've done it. It's absolutely crazy. And then there's another portion of this where like a, it's a situation where you're going to jump shoot game, the dog is healed through a healing course, which has to pass.

Then a long stretch of, picking up your pace and slowing down where the dog is then placed in the middle of a dirt trail in the down position. And you disappear from the site of the dog for about two minutes and then you shoot a series of sequencing shots and the dog must remain in the down position where you fail the test.

Yeah, that's, and I'm just sitting here cuz I want to go back to the breeding real quick, but, You can't replace good genetics. You just can't do it. Agree. You can't do it.


Amen. Bef before we get into the breeding, because I'm always astonished at the Germans strictness of the breeding program, and I know we've talked, I've talked about that before, but I want to hit on it before we close out this session, but at what age, how long do you give it when you raise a litter of puppies how long do you give those pups?

And I know they mature differently. We could go through a whole nother podcast about what I'm asking , but I just want like a very, like at what, like some of our Hounds guys, they'll keep dogs to their, three and four years old. and we can look at it financially. Maybe they, this is what they got and they've gotta hunt it.

I've been there, done that. I've been in those shoes. I've been very impatient with young dogs and didn't let 'em mature, and I got rid of 'em and then I regretted it as age has caught up with me a little bit. And again, the blessings that I've had [00:52:00] with people mentoring me and coaching me and the training that I've been allowed to go to and attend I judge things a whole lot differently now.

But in general, Tyler what are you looking for at what age to make you say, okay, I'm gonna keep this dog and I'm gonna give it every opportunity that I can to be successful, or, I'm really not seeing the things that I want to see. , I may give you a couple months and if you don't make some improvements in, or I'm just not gonna keep you because you're not what I'm looking for.

That's a great question. And again, we could spend three episodes just on, on that alone. , I've had the same experience, but I'll just tell you. So the Kurtz, our systems designed so that a dog matures very quickly and then becomes very useful at a very young age. And for me by 18 months [00:53:00] to 24 months old, so two years, if the dog's not exhibiting the signs of what I need it to I'll probably start to move on the dog only because I know there's better and bigger talent available to me.

So I'm not going to, for my goals and my purposes, I'm not gonna sit on that dog and hope the dog develops. Most of the puppies and dogs that I've trained have been able to accomplish most of this stuff by two years old. .

That's my mark. And I think that's a fair, I think that's a fair shake. I'm with you.

I've got rid of some dogs younger than that because I didn't see certain things. They don't have to be a world beater by no means, but I need to see certain things. I gotta see that those mo little moments of greatness. Absolutely. And then I can start putting them together. And if I don't see that, that then it's very discouraging for me.

But yeah, I think two years is a, I think that's a fair, I think that's a fair point.

Yeah. And I'll tell you [00:54:00] why. Y for the first reason they get multiple, two and a half, maybe even three full seasons of hunting and under and this is not me being arrogant or cocky, but under my program of what I get to do, these dogs will have enough exposure.

By that point that I, if I'm not seeing it, I'm probably not gonna get it out of that dog. Someone else may damn well be, but for what I'm looking for, no. And then the other part of this is the confirmation side of it's is equal of importance to us for the dog's physical development. I personally don't ever judge a dog until about three or four years old on its physical build because I've seen males from different strains, different lines whose heads don't mature out until they're three and a half, four years old.

And that same dog was, noted in the ring as a puppy to be underdeveloped. And you'll hear guys walking around the ring, oh, that dog, that's, that dog's crap. He looks like garbage. And which isn't a [00:55:00] fair statement. And then at four years old they'll win in the top ring in the entire world in the clayman's confirmation test.

And they'll place in the highest categories. possible. So there's a variation of how I look at the dog, but I think it takes the Kenai and the experience to determine that. .

Yeah. So you're saying ability, I'm judging here, or I'm looking at here and then confirmation I'm gonna let that dog fill out mature and stuff, and that's going to, I'm going to, the confirmation don't have a whole , I don't wanna say that the confirmation is different than the workability.

Yes. Yeah.

A hundred percent. My, my dogs for whatever reason, mature quickly in the field, but physically I don't see what I want out of 'em till they're three, four years old. And it's just whatever my genetics have produced, I've, and I've outcross to, to try to improve that. It just seems to be consistent with me.

And so I don't grade my dogs. And I'll give you a good [00:56:00] example. My Berlin dog was an sg, sg is our middle of the line, mi, mid pack. Confirmation grade at a young age and just didn't seem to really fill out, was like still, I don't even know the word I'm looking for gangly. And over time she's gotten better looking and I just had her graded in the largest show ring in North America for the Ktar system under Dagmar Hayek, who is revered as the end all confirmation judge.

She wrote our breed standard and she was placed in the top four dogs there. Nice. And so I just, yeah. Giving her the time to physically mature. But that, that same female is why it's out on wild game birds.

So she's, I mean she's doing well at both ends and that's what we wanna produce.

We wanna produce an overall Specimen for that breed . That's what our goal should be, which bleeds us into the next little segment here. Before we end this we wrap [00:57:00] this up, Tyler, I'm always been astonished again, I said that again about the Germans breed standards and stuff, and you said d as we've been talking, that that's, that'll be a nick on that dog for standing up and hovering over another dog or the temperament here and this and that.

So with how many little Xs or however y'all grade or judge that, how many of those no-nos becomes a no breed? You're not breeding.

Yeah. There're, so we categorize so there's faults. Serious faults and eliminating faults in our breed. So three categories of faults. A fault could be anything from a physical confirmation fault to a serious fault, which would be like a aggressive dog or whatever.

At a certain point, when the dog doesn't meet the standard, we have an excluding fault. And just for an [00:58:00] example, a dog may fail the steadiness portion of his V G P pointing work, and that excludes the dog from passing the V G P. Does that make sense? ? Yep. So there it, in each cat category, those are the kind of the three ways it's looked at.

So you may have a dog that is hardcore hunting, great animal in the field, which by all means, I would own it, keep it, and use it and hunt it till it died. But it may not be a qualified breeding dog, cuz it can't meet that standard. Of, fault, serious fault or eliminating fault. And there's variations of that.

So if you've got a dog that's ultra aggressive and is throwing puppies that are ultra aggressive towards humans or other dogs that's the job of our breed wardens to step in and say, Hey, th this dog shouldn't be bred anymore. And so they're it's an, as strict as it may sound it's more of a intellectual by the book as well as by the, the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.

, no, and they hold that [00:59:00] standard and that's that's what I think's amazing. That they don't falter and they don't, like I said, the contacts and the people that I've met from Europe, that they're sticklers on that stuff. It's not a, there's not any, there's not any gray area

It's yes or no. and Yep. I feel as Americans and I'm guilty, I have bred dogs for no other reason than I got two dogs here and I want puppies. Yep. I never put the foresight in it to be that complex and that calculated and methodical into my breeding program. And that's one thing that I am trying to work on within my dogs is making sure, and Jason said, Carter said this, breeding best to best like I want to breathe the best possible [01:00:00] specimen of a bear dog that I can to my best specimen of a bear dog, female, or vice versa.

And. That's try, that's my goal that I'm trying to get going in my breeding and I'm, I'm older now. I'm not going to have a bunch of litters, but that's something that I'm trying to work on within myself, that

that's incredible and I commend you for that. The one challenge I would throw out to any of the users or listener listeners here is to, which standard do you hold yourself accountable to?

Because I've heard multiple short-haired guys in this community say I am breeding the best. But then when that dog is presented for, physical confirmation, temperament clear headedness water ability I'll tell you this, the reason I switched was cuz the Kurt sars got you beat somewhere somewhere.

Somehow I hear this all the time my American bread dog, g s P, it can do that. And I don't disagree. I [01:01:00] had American bred GSPs that could do that too. The difference is we're actually trying to look out for the longevity of the breeding. It only takes one breeding to ruin the entire gene pool you're working on.

It takes one crap breeding of crossing the two wrong dogs, and then those dogs that end up in the wrong hands to just keep compounding that effect. . And I couldn't, I commend you and couldn't agree with you more. Yeah.

Tyler, before we wrap up here, I'll give you opportunity. Is there anything you want to add, take away anything that we, you think that we may have left out that's very important that you want to get out to the listeners?

I'm just, I'm honored


be here and I'm grateful that I got to meet you and have your friendship. And so I've, everything I've said with my full heart and clear conscious and appreciate the opportunity is to, spread my message and have have you guys hear me and more importantly, get out there, expose the youth, and go hunt and keep this traditional alive.

Cuz we can't

lose it. Yes.[01:02:00] And one of the things that, that we here at Hansman XP are really pushing. And I seen somebody post it the other day. So if you guys made it all the way through this podcast and you're listening to the end, all dog hunters have to unite. It doesn't matter what game we're chasing or flushing or pointing or baying or treeing, like they're.

The anties are trying to push dog hunting out period. And that goes for all of us. I'm fighting to fight for you. I'm gonna fight to fight for the rabbit beagles and everybody else. You're what you're saying's, right? And, we've gotta get together. And I hope, like I said, I wanna learn, like I wanna learn about your breed and what you guys do.

And we don't, I don't have a lot of opportunity to bird hunt here. I've got a couple guys that do it, but most of them, like they travel. One of my good friends that lives just a mile down the road he basically goes to Maine and Hunts that's where he goes. Our [01:03:00] bird population here is not very good.

The invite's open for you to come out and expe, experience some hardcore Western live action with your boy here. And just make sure you've got excellent boots and more importantly that you're in shape. .

If round is a shape I have got that covered. . No, Tom May, I may take you up on that.

Like I said I, love new experiences. I love to travel and hunt and I can honestly say, and guys don't throw the water at me. I've never hunted behind a BirdDog. I never have. Wow. Let's let's change that. Will we, will, we will. The title with every episode we always end with the same saying, is, thank you for helping us teach, train, and learn, and expose us to your world of hunting with a


Thank you Heath for having me. It was an honor to be a guest on here, and I'll look forward to our relationship. Yes.