On this episode we explore what it takes in the world of retriever trials and tests with Lyle Steinman of Castle Creek Kennels.
When it comes to retriever trials and tests, there is one in particular that comes to mind that I consider to be a culmination of the finest and most challenging for all aspects of a Retriever’s greatest qualities. The Super Retriever Series (SRS), started by my good friend Shannon Nardi and presented each year by Eukanuba Dog Food, was hosted this year in Natchez, MS and brings forth the toughest of challenges for each handler that makes it to the championship.
This year, I got a chance to speak with Lyle Steinman of Castile Creek Kennels, a former champion handler and retriever trainer and one of the best and most versed in the business. Interestingly enough, Lyle has a background in hound hunting and night hunts and that knowledge has directly translated to his current work with Labrador retrievers. Lyle and I get into a number of different topics all covering what makes the Labrador retriever the quintessential breed for competing at such a high level along with some strategies and approaches to bird dog training leading up to the SRS.
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For the aspiring retriever champion, Lyle is a man that has exemplified what it takes to lead the way and stand out from the rest. With over 50 championship wins, it’s important to understand the philosophy behind Lyle’s work and not just the tools and tactics implemented to get to the destination. Results also come from observation and persistence, and this has been a common theme within the championship circle. Dedication to the desired results, sacrifice, and discernment are all attributes that take a handler from good to great, and Lyle Steinman is a man who’s story is illustrative of that fact. It was a pleasure to cover Lyle and as always, I look forward to following his legacy and highlighting his many contributions.
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Durrell Smith is a 28 year old Georgia native, visual artist, wing shooter, and dog handler. While creating compelling ink and watercolor illustrations based on his field experiences and hunting dogs, he also runs a podcast called The Gun Dog Notebook, which can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud. Aside from hunting upland game and waterfowl, he participates in Hunt Tests with his Labrador Retriever. As a first generation hunter, Durrell seeks to learn and contribute to the community by connecting with visionaries and veterans within the bird dog community who are willing to share stories and knowledge about the various breeds, creating a bridge to welcome new and novice dog handlers to the gun dog community.