Meet the Heart and Soul of TopperLyn Kennels!
Lynda L Kieres, a native of Montana with roots dating back to the gold rush of the 1860’s, Lynda has over 40 years of experience with dogs. With a deep belief in diversifying, she has neither limited herself to one type of dog nor one philosophy. While focusing on the versatile hunting breeds, she has also worked with working-cattle, retrieving, and assistance dogs.
“My dog training days have been some of the best days of my life. Along with the versatile hunting dogs — I have also enjoyed opportunities to work with seeing-eye and assistance dogs, which has been very rewarding and challenging.”
Mentoring under world-renowned trainer Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt, Lynda was there in the early years of the still newly formed North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA).
As founder and first president of NAVHDA’s Big Sky Chapter, she coordinated and held the first field tests in Montana as well as served as an apprentice judge. “Being an apprentice judge allowed me the opportunity to travel the country and see a variety of wonderful dogs and develop a deep appreciation of the capabilities of the versatile hunting dog.”
With the development of her dogs and training always her prime directive, Lynda has attended numerous training seminars; traveling to Germany in 1980 and again in 2008; as well as France several times. The first trip to Germany was with a group from NAVHDA whose desire was to learn about the origin of the NAVHDA testing system. In 2008 Lynda was privileged to show a TLK bred dog in the German National Breed show, as well as apprentice judge under C.E.B. President Christian Gunther. Further opportunities allowed her to apprentice judge in the Club de l’Epagneul Breton Nationale d’Elevage in Millau, France in 2010; as well as attend Judges’ Seminars in France.
While having great success in the field, Lynda also enjoys showing her dogs in conformation shows. In the late 1970’s her American Brittany, CH Suzabob’s Hun Harrasser (Tiger), was a highly distinguished show champion in both the US and Canada; to be followed by National Best of Breed GRCH TAN Beau de l’Hospitalier. She has added multiple UKC and AKC Champions to her resume since then.
In 2010 her fondness of showing led Lynda to add her first Schipperke to the fold – GRCH Delamer A Fish Tale (AKA Huckleberry). Huck has afforded her the opportunity to travel throughout the United States competing in AKC Conformation Shows and National Specialties. In 2013 her “Bucket List” included a dream trip to Orlando, Florida to participate in the AKC National Championship with Huckleberry. One thing led to another and a beautiful Cirneco dell’Etna (who she discovered in Florida) expanded the family once again with this “new” breed.
Lynda has been actively involved with a number of dog oriented organizations, including NAVHDA, the Club de l’Epagneul Breton – US and France and the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation. She was also the Montana field representative for Paws With A Cause for four years, a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs to those in need. Lynda is also a UKC Field Trial judge and Certified Confirmateur.
Lynda recently retired from her full time job as a Contracting Officer of a local US Government agency, with a career extending over 35 years. Lynda is already planning how she can more fully enjoy retirement with her dogs
Christopher L. Kieres, Chris has always had a deep affection for dogs. While still in high school he raised and trained his first Australian Cattledog “Justice Tuff” to work a variety of livestock, including horses, cattle and buffalo. Chris and “Tuffy” were a working team, no matter how difficult the situation.
After completing a successful stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chris approached his Mom, Lynda, with the idea of “getting back into the hunting dogs.” His enthusiasm for the outdoors, and in particular hunting, made this a natural progression. Together, he and Lynda acquired their first Bretons in 1998.
In the spring of 2002 Chris bred his first litter and selected “Trinite” to be his personal hunting dog. At a very early age “Trin” quickly became the ultimate hunting companion and proved himself in both the field (NAVHDA, Natural Ability and UKC Liberated Bird Trial) as well as in the show ring. Trin earned multiple show placements, his Grand Champion Title, and was Best in Show out of a field of 109 dogs at a UKC MultiBreed Show in Washington with Chris handling.
Chris also trained and handled CH Destinée de l’Hospitalier presenting the first Epagneul Breton for the Jagdgebrauchshundverein-USA VJP and HZP tests. Destinée achieved the highest score of any EB tested in the VJP and is the ONLY EB to ever pass the HZP in the United States.
In 2004 Chris acquired Winterhelle’s Strike, a Pudelpointer, from renowned breeder and founder of the Pudelpointer Club of North America, Sigbot “Bodo” Winterhelt. Chris’ Mom had several Pudelpointers over the years and Chris decided it was time for him to move up the ranks to this exceptional breed.
Chris also has a deep appreciation for the process of judging versatile hunting events. He has been actively involved in NAVHDA, the PCNA and VHDF as well as being a UKC Field Trial Judge.
In addition to training and testing both Pudelpointers and Bretons in a variety of venues, including the JGHV German testing system, Chris is a full-time firefighter and Paramedic in northern Idaho. Along with his lovely wife, Kerry Ann they also own and manage “Paragon” a British-styled brew pub. It goes without saying that when Chris and Kerry got married there was a “Best Dog” in the wedding party.
In spite of his busy schedule, Chris still enjoys working with the dogs and reaping the fruits of their labors – in the field – over excellent representatives of the EB and Pudelpointer breeds.