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And, Now a Few Words from Our Sponsors...



Leatherwood's Orange Crush

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~Dan Shoaf~2012 


LWK NOTE - Tigger is from our Amos x Ruby Litter and is a Started Dog. After the 2012 Hunting Season, she will come back to be traininged to a Finished Dog by LWK. She is 10 months old.




Leatherwood's Jumpin' Jack Flash

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~Burton Wood~2012

LWK NOTE - Jagger is from our Amos x Ruby Litter and is a Started Dog. This photo is from Jagger's First Hunt (Jagger and Burton on Right) on Dec 29, 2012 - Age: 10 Months old.





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~Brett Massey~2012




Leatherwood's Ghost Rider

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~McClure Thompson~2012

LWK NOTE - Maverick is from our Amos x Storm Litter - He is an Intermediate Finished Dog at 15 Months Old (2012). McClure is our YOUNGEST Handler at 13 Years Old.





Leatherwood's Skywalker JH

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~Steve Sermonet~2012

LWK NOTE - Luke is from our Balew x Storm Litter - He was sold initially as a Family Pet, was trained by LWK for Obedience, then relinquished a few weeks later. Within 6 weeks, he completed Force Fetch and received his AKC JH Title in 4/4 attempts. Photo is from Luke's first Season Hunting (2011) at 18 months old.







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~John Parker~2011

LWK NOTE - Gus is from our Balew x Mammy Litter - He was was trained by LWK as a Started Gun Dog. He is just over 18 months old.






Charlotte's Swimmin' Sam JH

I would like to express my genuine thanks to Linwood and Tonja for their remarkable efforts with Sam. Having had Labradors my entire life, I knew how energetic (and difficult to manage) they could be and I had really struggled on my own in the past with even simple training.  It is hard to imagine being able to mold the little hunk of brown clay that I dropped off at 6 months of age at Leatherwood Kennels into an obedient working dog.  Methodically and systematically, Linwood and Tonja guided Sam through the steps he needed.  Although it seemed like a long time during the process of training that Sam was gone, in hindsight it passed very quickly and I wouldn't trade that time for anything now. As they both said it is an investment in you and your dog's future.  There were several weekends I went to Shady Oaks to watch them work the dogs - truly a learning process for me!

Sam passed through his Junior Hunt test with flying colors and received his title. Granted Sam (and I) are both still a major work in progress but our sights are set on a Senior Hunter title in the spring.  He is still "amped to the max" and a challenge but I know there would have been no way I could manage him without the training he received at Leatherwood Kennels.  The most important thing I realized during this journey is that Linwood and Tonja really care about you and your dog as individuals--when I took Sam home it almost seemed like I was taking one of their own children away from them.  Linwood and Tonja are great people first and true professionals-I know Sam and I will be going back for more coaching/training sessions in the future.  Thanks for everything.

~Larry Watts~2011





I would like to thank you for the great job you did with Tess.  Her first day hunting went great...we were hunting from a blind and Tess could not see the ducks go down...With very little assistance from me, she found every bird and brought them back to hand....Everyone, including the guide, was very impressed with her. 

The second day...ducks everywhere!...The guide told me she was running out retrieving a duck, dropping it at my feet and going for another.  The guide asked if he could take her to look for a cripple...I could not believe it, He called her to him, walked a short way into the field, set her up and told her back.  She took off and after a very short hunt brought the duck back to him.  

All I can say is thanks to you and Tonja for everything.  She is a dream to have in the field.  On a two-day guided hunt we worked with two different guides who both were very impressed with Tess.  They both wanted to know who trained her and your information was proudly given to them. 

 Thank You!!!!!

~Carville & Elizabeth Evering~2010

LWK NOTE - Tess is from our Scout x Snap Litter. She was trained to a Started Dog by LWK.





I am not sure Linwood knew what he was in for when I walked up with my Golden Retriever, Blast, and told him that I wanted a Senior Hunter Title and asked if he would teach me to teach my dog. But, if the truth be told, I am not sure that I know how much work I was in for, either. Luckily for Blast and me, Linwood agreed to take us on. The rest is history...in 2009, with a lot of patience and hard work from teacher and student, Blast achieved his AKC Senior Hunter Title.

~Mary Dean~2010





El Duque

I have been meaning to email you! Duque is doing great! Your training has made a huge difference! We can now enjoy him so much more. He is still a puppy (which we like), but he can now focus on us (even make real eye contact, which he couldn't before). We are using the e-Collar and that helps too.

We are very grateful and we know now that we can make it work with him and keep him and enjoy him! Before sending him to you, I was thinking that we had made a terrible mistake! Now I don't know why we waited so long to have a dog!

So thanks! We will definitely take him back to you for boarding when we travel again in the future, and have him have some refresher training!

~Graciela Vidal~ 2010




Puck was bred to be a part of a medical research study, so he had no exposure to the “real world” until he was about 5 months old. Until then, he had no obedience training.

After hearing about Leatherwood Kennels through a friend, I decided that I needed to be proactive to make changes to benefit the well-being and safety of my dog. Puck was 9 months old when I consulted Linwood and Tonja about training. I was averse to the idea of leaving Puck for so long. However, Tonja and Linwood made me feel very comfortable leaving him and assured me that he would be well cared for.

During all of his training, I felt very informed about Puck’s progress. I was able to visit and see a few of the training sessions; I was amazed at how much progress was made in his obedience in such a short period of time. I became increasingly involved in his sessions, and was able to start taking over.

When it was time to bring him home, I was very concerned that I was going to negate everything that they had done with Puck during his training. Tonja personally spent time training me, so that I felt comfortable when I left with Puck. She raised my confidence in working with my dog, which is most of the battle with regards to training.

Leatherwood Kennels is responsible for shaping both my dog and me as a dog owner. Linwood and Tonja have both the skill and experience necessary to train dogs well. But beyond merely training dogs, they have a passion for it. And that has made a world of difference in my life and the life of my dog.

~Julie Shelton~2010




Cole is the reason I found Leatherwood Kennels at Shady Oaks. In the Fall of 2007, I was searching for another pup, and met Gene Kirby and Pro Trainer, Linwood O'Briant. Linwood helped me with Cole's obedience, and after MUCH persistance on my part, I began to clean kennels, throw birds, and finally became Linwood's Assistant Trainer. Through a lot of hard work & patience from Linwood, Cole learned to swim (yes, really), be obedient, mark & retrieve birds, and handle. Cole achieved his AKC Junior Hunter Title in 4 of 4 attempts, and his AKC Senior Hunter Title in the Fall of 2010. Under continued training with Linwood, he achieved his AKC Master Hunter Title.

~Tonja Reeves-Ridgeway~2012