About us

(Click to Enlarge the Photo)

A picture of us taken in 2009.  The pickup is a 1946 Dodge that belongs to Craig Gunning who lives in Lansford, ND.  In order in the back with me is Amos (Bailey), Emma, Hella, Cole, Flora, Ina (Ilka), Ben (Dabo), and Cali.  

My name is Rick Hartle and along with my wife (Jan) we run a Deutsch Kurzhaar kennel in North Central North Dakota.  We are located in Grano, North Dakota near Lake Darling Wildlife Management area. Our first Deutsch Kurzhaar litter was whelped in  the Fall of 2001. This litter was out of Hella vom Eichelspitz. As our kennel name we chose vom Gänsehimmel (goose heaven or goose skies) since we are on one of the major migration routes for waterfowl.

Our second  female was Ilka vom Osterberg, she was the back bone of what we are building off from to form our own kennel line. I have ran numerous dogs in the testing system and still have so much to learn in this area.  But I found that it is very addictive and that I enjoy it so much. Just as important is that my wife Jan enjoys it. We have ran dogs in the Derby, Solms, HZP, VGP and NAKP and I would like to go further some day and run dogs in the  IKP, or Kleemann and even VJP and a SW, but that is down the road.


Bailey and Rick after the VGP Bloodtrack

Since being formed in 2001, we have learned a lot about the Deutsch Kurzhaar and have developed a sound program for us to operate with.   I will not breed a litter that I would not want one of the pups myself.   This means we don't have a lot of litters, and that we look hard at what we are doing.  

We have found a line of dogs we are comfortable with they have primarily Osterberg and Pöttmes bloodlines.   We are finding strong abilities in these dogs, and easy to work with.    They are meant for the everyday hunter and first time handler.  Requiring minimal training to hunt the first year, and easy for somebody to handle that wishes to run them in hunt test.   Because of this we try not to breed dogs that would be considered high prey drive, instead look for a combination that will suit the average hunter were everything is in balance.   Their prey drive (desire) will please most hunters.  More on Breeding Click

Our Deutsch Kurzhaars are meant to be in line with what the German's original reasons for developing the Deutsch Kurzhaar   a versatile gun dog (one that can do any hunting task) and still be a joy to have in the home.   We do not wish to produce a dog that is meant to be in a kennel and not part of the family.  

As stated elsewhere on this web site we do not have AKC bred dogs.   We do not agree with the AKC thought of what a breeding is and will not contribute to this style of program.   We embrace the German system which involves proving each dog and generation.  They must be proven in their abilities and form, this is done through testing of field abilities and conformation testing.   Our goal is to test each dog to the highest level possible giving us the best indicator of each dog's  ability.   The dogs are also ran in conformation test which is not only a DKV requirement but also important to us helping us to see the short comings in our dogs as well as their strengths.

Dabo (Ben) Pöttmes with a couple of Sharptail grouse taken in the fall of 2006


Cole vom Gänsehimmel  and Cali vom Rahe with a couple of roosters and a cottontail taken in the winter of 2006.

We are located in some of the Best hunting grounds in North America.   As such I do not make a lot of out of state hunting trips.   My dogs are hunted regularly during the hunting season right here at home not out of state for a couple of weeks.  Sorry if you expect to see that we have hunted in 5 other states we have not.   I did get to hunt  Cali in Nebraska in 2006 but it was more of a social hunt than to get her on birds.   We get plenty of bird contact at home.

One of the most important things about us is we are active in the testing of our dogs.     We have our hands on every dog and know what they are like.   We run dogs in Spring Breed test the (Derby).   This test is for the testing of the natural abilities of a young dog.   We would like all DK puppy owners to consider this.   The next test that we run our dogs in is the Fall Breed Test the (Solms).   This is again a test to check the dogs natural abilities when it is a little older.    The most difficult  test  we run our dogs in is the VGP (Verbands-Gebrauchsprufung).  This is a German Master hunting dog  test.  It consist of Water work, Field Work, Forest work, and Obedience.  No other test compares to it, it shows that you have a completely finished dog in many areas.  The VGP also shows the ability of the dog and handler to work as a team.   When 2 dogs have both completed the VGP and are bred it is consider a performance breeding.    We have ran a dog in the NAKP (NORTH AMERICAN KURZHAAR PRUEFUNG).  This is an international show case test.  It is meant to exhibit the traits and abilities of the DK.     We were unsuccessful in our first attempt in test in 2006 and will run it again some day.  This goes along with learning and we are not professional trainers.   In addition to the test listed above we have ran dogs in the HZP which is the JGHV version of the fall breed test. 

(Click on Photo to Enlarge)
In 2011 we begin our 10th year with DK's.   Above is a 4 generation picture of our DK's.    One of the 2 foundation dogs that formed our  Kennel is Ilka vom Osterberg she is the white and liver  dog in between the 2 black and whites.  On the right is Cole who is the son of Ilka, on the far left is Emma who is out of Cole, then next to her is her son Iso.   Not in the picture is our other foundation female  Hella vom Eichelspitz, who is the other great grandmother, then Asta out of our kennel is the Grandmother.   So Iso is a 4th Generation dog out of out our Kennel, we owned 2 of the 4 great Grandmothers, we owned both grandmothers, one of the grandfathers, then the mother and the father is out of our kennel.    By continuing to breed dogs out of our own kennel we are able to continue to put  out puppies that we are confident with as to what they will be  "good hunting dogs".   We will continue to breed with dogs we  know and put out some of the best DK's in North America.