I have hunted prairie grouse for almost 40 years. Most of that time I had pointers. Then John gave me Buck and changed everything I thought I knew about bird dogs. This beautiful English Setter has fulfilled my every need; as a gun dog, as a falconry dog, and as a treasured companion. I have learned much about dogs while hunting with Buck and a great deal about John in the process. John has that rare ability to recognize a dog’s strengths and shortcomings. He understands how they perceive the world and knows how to bring out the best they have to offer. John also understands that not all hunters want the same thing in a bird dog and he makes every effort to match the dog’s abilities to his client’s requirements. If it isn’t a good fit, he’ll say so. If you are looking for a dog that fits your hunting needs, as well as your life at home, talk to John. He’ll produce, train, and condition the right dog for you. I guarantee you will get more than just a bird dog from Seranoa Kennels. You will get a hunting buddy for life.
Charles H. Schwartz Mackay, Idaho
I need to give a shout-out to a real artist in the animal training community. John and Michelle McIltrot are the owners of Seranoa Kennels in Montana. When I was searching for a reputable trainer to help me with my two pointers, John’s name kept coming to the top with both falconers and gun hunters. A few minutes of conversation with John and you sense his intuitiveness about dog (and probably horse and falcon) individual personalities and how he adjusts his training regimen and expectations according to the animal, and not the client. Bird dogs are a new world to me, and I will not live long enough to really get the mileage and traction that some enthusiasts have been accustomed to since childhood. Dogs were always companion animals and nothing more was expected of them. Starting from scratch, I bought Piper as a puppy; later Keeley entered my life, a surprise gift from another falconer—but as excited as I was to have these two beautiful dogs, I was left feeling very uncertain. John cut through the confusion quickly. He ascertained each dog's strengths and weaknesses, advised how to compensate and how to adjust my expectations, and he did it all in practically a whisper. No narcissistic selfies. No shouting, no bravado. He just got to work. So if you are looking for a bona fide birddog trainer, check him out. I am not easily impressed, but with him I make an exception.
Anne Pearse-Hocker Ennis, Montana
Henry has been a joy to have since I brought him home as a pup. Good genetics combined with a lot of exposure to wild birds is a recipe for success in a bird dog. On March 15, 2013, on the last day of the falconry season, he pointed a sage grouse that my falcon caught; that was four days before his first birthday. By his second year he quickly became the main dog and the most important part of the team. Now in his third year, he has put it all together. He can make a 500 yard cast, but will hold birds until I arrive. He is always aware of both my location and his own in relation to me. Either running him on foot or from the vehicle, he is hunting for me, and I don’t need to hunt for him. I am impressed by his intelligence and ability to “turn it off” in the house. He is a great house dog who fits in perfectly at home and is a bird finding fool in the field. I cannot thank you enough, John.
Jim Younk Boise, Idaho