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Robert G. Wehle started the breeding program at Elhew Kennels in 1936. He established a long range breeding plan and adopted conformation and psychological standards. Mr. Wehle’s ultimate objective was to produce, over a period of years, a strain of pointers that would consistently fulfill these standards - a strain that would produce true to type generation after generation.

This strain was to be of the quality necessary, not only to win field trials, but to be pleasing to the eye and to satisfy the most discriminating sportsman as gun dogs. These dogs should be outstanding in conformation and performance, and of a quality that would be popular over years and satisfy the sportsman who will be admiring pointers generations beyond.

After many years of effort and many generations of breeding, he felt that he achieved these basic objectives. Upon his death, Mr. Wehle entrusted his line of pointers to Brian and Martha Hays, who are working to continue producing fine English Pointers based on Mr. Wehle’s breeding program.

The Origin

The original brood matron used was Jem of Fearn, who was imported from the grouse moors of Scotland in 1936. She was bred to Frank of Sunnylawn, who was one of the all time great shooting dogs. He was not a wide-ranging dog, but he had an excellent nose, bird sense and great determination to find game. Both Jem of Fearn and Frank of Sunnylawn were outstanding physical specimens and both had won in conformation competition. This bloodline was then crossed with Lexington Jake, that great sire from New England. It is difficult to rate bird dog sires because so much depends on the quality and quantity of the matrons to whom they were bred.

Much also depends on how much promotion the sire receives. In the case of Lexington Jake, Mr. Wehle believed he was one of the great sires of the breed, considering the limited opportunities he had when compared with many other well-known sires. His prepotency was proven at Elhew Kennels, for all Elhew National Champions trace many times to him.

Other blood was introduced from time to time, principally from Air Pilot. In other words, Lexington Jake and Air Pilot can be considered the fountainheads of the Elhew pointer strain. Volumes have been written about these sires so it suffices to say that they are two of the great sires of the breed.

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