William and Courtney Bastian are a successful husband and wife team. They produce truly versatile German Wirehaired Pointers, at a higher standard of excellence. They breed only to produce the best GWP’s, which to them includes: health, temperament, conformation, and hunting abilities. At Claddagh, only dogs with an advanced hunt and show title, as well as sound temperament, and CHIC health tested are bred from. Titles are simply a means to prove the dog’s credibility, they are no substitute for real hunting experiences.
William and Courtney personally hunt their dogs on upland and waterfowl. They hunted pheasant, ducks, geese, and ruffed groused while living in Wisconsin. Recently, they’ve relocated to Montana, where the Claddagh Crew has expanded their variety of game to hunt!
While they compete in conformation shows with their dogs, they do not breed for the purpose of having “show dogs”. William and Courtney are one of very few GWP breeder’s that are able to be highly competitive in the ring and field, because they put so much emphasis on a properly structured working dog, and produce this quality consistently.
Claddagh GWP’s are bred for hunters, by hunters.
William takes pride in training and hunting the dogs at Claddagh. He believes a GWP should be the ideal hunting companion; a versatile dog, that’ll hunt on both land and water for fur and feather. The dogs at Claddagh are trained using their natural instinct and positive reinforcement to achieve the highest level of hunting performance. William has trained and handled GWP’s through all levels of AKC hunt tests: Junior, Senior, and Master Hunters, as well as all stakes in AKC field trials. He has also trained and handled through all levels of NAVHDA: Natural Ability, Utility, and Versatile Champion. William is a highly sought out AKC Hunt Test and Field Trial judge. He judges locally and all over the midwest, and has had the honor to judge the German Wirehaired Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, English Setter, Spinone Italiano, and Bracco Italiano Nationals.
Courtney’s interests reside deeply in the health and performance of their animals. She was a veterinary technician for 10 years specializing in canine reproduction and canine rehab and sports conditioning. Courtney has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Animal Science with special interest in Canine Nutrition. She handles the dogs in conformation, agility, obedience, rally, along with some field trials, hunt and NAVHDA tests. Courtney is the heart behind Claddagh’s breeding program, studying performance and pedigrees of dogs all over the world. She has an eye for structure and movement, as she believes a structurally sound dog with a correct dense, harsh coat, will be able to perform in the field to its best ability.
William and Courtney are active members of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America (GWPCA). William and Courtney have served on local and National club boards. They have headed up club field trials, hunt tests, show specialties, and training days. They volunteer as GWP breed reps at Pheasant’s Forever “Pheasant Fest” and at the Midwest Dog Fair, educating the public about versatile hunting dogs. They also put on seminars and demonstrations for hunter’s safety, Cabela’s Dog Days, and organize youth hunt events. Courtney and William are dedicated NAVHDA members, that utilize the NAVHDA program as an important means of assessing their breeding program. Every Claddagh GWP puppy is, at minimum, Natural Ability tested. They are also active in their local NAVHDA Chapters where they are both avid volunteers for training days and running tests. William and Courtney are also members of several conservation groups including: Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasant’s Forever, Ducks Unlimited and National Wild Turkey Federation.
Kids, Burke and Blayre, are growing up and learning everything dogs. Burke and Blayre feed, exercise, train, and give every dog a bedtime snack each night. They provide great socialization for all puppies whelped and raised at our house!
After studying, owning, training, and loving the breed, as well as a decade of experience and knowledge in canine reproductive medicine; in June of 2007, William and Courtney whelped their first litter and look forward to continue to produce beautiful wirehairs with exceptional hunting skills. After all……
“Life’s Too Short to Hunt Over An Ugly Dog”
To date William and Courtney have owned, trained, handled or bred 1 Dual Champion, 3 NAVHDA Versatile Champions, 31 Show Champions, 1 multi Best In Show, 55 NAVHDA NA’s, 13 SH’s, 10 MH’s, 17 NAVHDA Utility Prize holders, and the breed’s first and only Dual Champion/Versatile Champion. As well as the following GWPCA National winning GWP’s:
2005 – Best of Opposite Sex, Best In Sweepstakes
2006 – Winner’s Bitch, Best in Sweeps, Best of Opp Futurity, Winner’s Dog, Best of Breed & Group 1
2007 – Award of Merit
2008 – Award of Merit, Winner’s Bitch, Winner’s Dog/Best of Winner’s
2009 – Reserve Winner’s Dog
2010 – Winner’s Bitch/Best of Winner’s, Best in Sweeps, Best in Futurity, Award of Merit, All Star Invitational Winner
2011 – Winner’s Bitch/Best of Winner’s, Best in Futurity, Best of Opp in Futurity, Best in Maturity
2012 – Best in Maturity (only event entered in)
2013 – Best in Futurity, National Best of Winners, Regional Best of Winners, Regional Best of Opposite, National Best Veteran in Sweeps
2014 – Best of Opposite in Futurity, National Winner’s Dog/Best of Winner’s, National First Award of Merit, National Reserve Winner’s Bitch, Regional Winner’s Bitch, Regional Select Bitch
2015 – Best in Maturity, All Star Invitational Winner
2016 – National Best Puppy in Sweepstakes, Regional Best of Opposite Sex, All Star Invitational People’s Choice Winner, National Field Trial Puppy Stake 1st and 4th place
2017 – National Best of Opposite Sex, National Select Bitch, Regional Best of Opposite Sex, Best Gun Dog in Sweepstakes, Best in Maturity, National Field Trial Derby Stake 1st Place, National Field Futurity 2nd and 3rd Place, All Star People’s Choice Winner
National Reserve Winner’s Bitch (Only Claddagh GWP entered)
*With only breeding 9 litters to date, 4 litters contained GWPCA Futurity Winners (aka Breeder’s Cup)*
More noteworthy breeder accomplishments include:
2011 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2012 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2013 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2012 GWPCA Top Producing Dam – Halleberry
2012 GWPCA Top Producing Sire – Timo
2013 Eukanuba Breeder’s Stakes Sporting Group 3 Placement
2013 GWPCA Top Producing Sire – Timo
2014 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2014 NAVHDA Utility Breeder’s Award
2014 Eukanuba Breeder’s Stakes Sporting Group 4 Placement
2015 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2015 GWPCA Top Producing Sire – Timo
2016 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2016 GWPCA Top Producing Sire – Bisto
2017 NAVHDA Natural Ability Breeder’s Award
2017 GWPCA Top Producing Sire – Bisto
2017 GWPCA Top Producing Dam – Dora