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British/Irish Labrador Retrievers
As the founder and owner of Southern Oak Kennels, Barton breeds and trains British Labradors to be useful tools in fields and marshes across the US and around world. He is also the co-founder of Cornerstone Gundog Academy, the most comprehensive dog training program on the web. An avid waterfowl hunter, Barton gets to live the dream by combining his passion for dogs and waterfowl hunting in both his life and his work.
I met Addison early on in the life of Gunner Kennels, and he was the type of guy I wanted to align my companies with. His product was far beyond anything else in the industry, and I wanted only the best for my dogs.
My mentor is Jonathan Hart, a long-time friend and the guru of all-things entrepreneur. Jonathan understands what it means to infuse your DNA in a company in such a way that the overall vision matches what you once dreamed about yet the company itself is marketable and replicable beyond you.
Maggie, the matriarch of Southern Oak. She was fantastic in every way. Her natural ability surpassed my skills as a novice trainer, and I learned far more from her than she did from me.
I always loved dogs. My favorite movie growing up was Old Yeller. A close second was White Fang. My parents wouldn't let me have a dog when I was young, which made me want one even more. By the time I got a dog, in high school, I was obsessed with training her to do anything and everything.
Either the Mallards of small water in Oklahoma or Speckle-Belly Geese in dry fields in Arkansas!
A few years back I went out hunting with an old stud dog of mine named Archie. We shot into a volley of Canada Geese, and one sailed over the tree line on the other side of a frozen lake. The swim, through icy water, was about 150 yards... After that, Archie had at least 75 yards of work through pine trees to get to the injured bird.
I got him to the edge of the tree-line, stopped him, and gave him a hard "Back!" He disappeared in to the woods and was gone for at least two minutes. Suddenly he appeared, right where he had entered the woods, with a giant honker in his mouth. It was a fantastic retrieve, and there is no way we could have recovered that bird without a well-trained dog.
I would be a Great Dane because they're massive and lazy.
I was once explaining to my friend Corey how a buddy of ours had been hit by a dog running through a field, and it tore his ACL. Just as I was explaining this, a group of four dogs, who were playing chase, ran into the back of my legs and sent me flying through the air. Thanks to the wet grass, I slid down and nothing was broken or torn. We laughed pretty hard, though!
I want to build a strong community around gundogs and hunting companions that has enough voice and influence to significantly impact the future of waterfowl and upland hunting.