We are Dan Koon and Lane Conrad, married, both in dogs and our lives. Lane is a dog trainer, specializing in dog/human communication, a groomer, a photographer and a veterinary technician. Dan is the father of Justis & Radigan, a chef and has raised and trained horses and dogs all his life. He runs the family ranch, supervises the boarding/breeding operation and
handles all web design (Justis Koon is now dealing with the website.). Lane says: our Bracco experience began when we met – Dan told me that he wanted to raise a rare, unspoiled breed, and that he wanted to be the best breeder in the US. He had bred Rottweilers in the ’70’s, and watched them become slowly ruined by the popularity caused by AKC recognition. In 2000 we were lucky enough to find Di Ala D’Oro Bracchi, in the Netherlands. Tina Steffens and Jaap Muller recognized our commitment to breeding carefully and well, and allowed us to have Dino, our foundation male. Jaap then went to Italy and got Alba, our foundation female, for us. Since that time we have gone to Holland to Tina and Jaap’s Family Day, where all the Bracchi they have bred come back to meet each other and their owners. We also attended a wonderful judges’ seminar, which taught numerous European judges the finer points of judging the Bracco.We had our first litter, by Dino and out of Alba, in 2002. Both dogs were tested for hip dysplasia and eye problems, and were certified as healthy, before we bred. We found wonderful homes for the puppies. Since 2002 we’ve had 10 more litters – totalling 65 puppies, almost all of which have been placed in hunting homes all over the US, (although we don’t ship our puppies – people are willing to travel long distances for a Bracco! ) In 2005, we were lucky enough, with Tina and Jaap’s help, to get a puppy from Gianpaolo Poggio. Mr. Poggio owns Rivana, argueably the most winning bitch in the history of the breed. Astor (aka Draco) is a wonderful dog, – a hunting fool – and sired our 2006 litters – out of Alba’s litter, we kept Giana. This was Alba’s last litter.
In April, 2007, Dan went to Italy and had a wonderful experience meeting several breeders, attending a raduno (combination conformation/field show) and going to field training sessions. He learned more about the Italian ways and traditions of working the Bracco, and became even more dedicated to promoting these in the US. He brought home two puppies – Apollo came from Mateo Tori. He is beautiful and birdy, producing three litters. Apollo’s sire and dam both became champions in the World Dog Show, 2007. In 2008, Dan again traveled to Italy and wonderful experiences with Bracco people all over the country. His trip culminated with 4 days of hunting with Dr. Giovanni Grecchi, past president of SABI, the Italian Bracco lovers’ association. Dan brought home Eros, our current sire and the pick of Dr. Grecchi’s litter. Eros is an incredible dog – almost human periodically. Currently (2013) we own Eros, his daughter Serena, Apollo’s daughters Bam and Silva, Leila, Ziva and Alba, still going strong at age 13.
Our general philosophy about our Bracco breeding and the Bracco in the U.S.
We feel it is our responsibility to continue what the Italians have done so well for more than 500 years. They have consistently produced a birdy, intelligent, healthy driven dog, and are dedicated to continuing. In the US, when a pure breed becomes popular, a parent club is formed. In the beginning, the breed’s original purpose (i.e. hunting) is the main focus. Slowly, there is more arguing about the focus of the breed – and since conformation showing is so important to so many people, AKC recognition is desired by some in the original “parent” club. The breed then becomes widely known and backyard breeders take over, with little or no regard for health or quality, let alone the original reason for the breed.
We do not want AKC recognition for the Bracco and feel that we can do very well without that questionable umbrella. As an alternative, we feel that NAVHDA (National Versatile Hunting Dog Association) is a wonderful asset that Bracco owners should introduce themselves to. NAVHDA is both a registry and a hunting organization, promoting owner and dog training for beginners and experienced handlers alike. Due to our strong disagreement regarding the direction for the Bracco’s future in the US, we left the BICA (the United States Bracco group) several years ago (see the “Why we Left the Club” page.)
We stand for continuing hunting the Bracco, just the way the Italians have done. We want to breed healthy, happy, intelligent Braccos, and place them with hunting families who understand the importance of letting these dogs accomplish their strongest desire – bird hunting!
Where are we located?
We are located in the southwest corner of Colorado, 30 miles east of the Utah state line, 60 miles SW of Telluride, 30 miles SW of Norwood and 14 miles S of Naturita.We are located on Route 141, 12 miles south of the intersection of Routes 141 and 145, between mile marker 45 and 44. Look for the first group of buildings in the entire 12 miles (!) on the left including our big grey barn. Get off the highway onto the access road and park in our driveway on the left. Across the street is the Basin Store. PLEASE don’t ring the bell….. a phone call works best, for obvious reasons!