Located on the Cheyenne-Sherman County line in Northwest Kansas, is Ringneck Country, the home of Rex and Sandi Murray. Ringneck Country is also the home of Murray’s Vizsla’s. The Murrays are well known throughout the United States for their dogs, dog training and participation in hunting tournaments. They have held the Kansas State Pheasant Championship hunting tournaments as well as holding the National Upland Classic Series tournaments for the National Kennel Club.
Ringneck Country offers Upland Bird hunts. They host hunters, their families and dogs at their lodge and cabins. If hunters don't have hunting dogs, Ringneck Country offers guided upland bird hunts.
Rex is widely known for breeding, raising and training vizsla hunting dogs. Vizsla's are a pointing breed, originating from Hungary. The breed has a very distinct rust colored, sleek coat. Rex has a passion for Vizslas but enjoys training all hunting breeds. His bond with dogs is evident as, even after several years, the dog recognizes him and works for him in the field just like the day it did when it left Ringneck Country.
He has been training dogs for over 35 years and for several years now, Rex has been presenting dog training seminars throughout the United States. In his training seminars he uses his own dogs, clients dogs and he also encourages spectators to bring their dogs too. He incorporates spectator's dogs to show that their dogs can respond to his training techniques and has the potential to benefit from a training program. Most dogs participate in a 30-60 day training program.
When training dogs for other people, he prefers to get the dog when it is about 10 months old. But, he said, he will take them at any age. I prefer “high-energy” dogs, he said.
It takes about two to seven days to bond with the dog and earn his trust, he said. Then, the training begins with exposure to the gun and game birds. Pointing breeds, are trained to point the bird and hold steady until released by their handler. While flushing breeds are trained to find and flush the birds for the handler.
After successfully completing the basic program, an advanced program can be started if the client desires. Some areas of the advanced training could include, honoring, hunting dead and quartering.
When the training program is complete, the dog’s owner can personally work with the dog and Murray. A video is taped for later use. There are times he never sees the client due to distance. Dogs are flown in for the training program and flown back home at the completion of the program. In those situations the videos are very helpful so the client can view the videos to learn how to best handle their dog.
Before Murray begins a training program, it is very important for him to know a full and accurate history of the dog. If a dog has a problem, Murray said, it generally can be fixed. Most problems, he said, are man made. For example if a dog has been frightened by a gun. Sometimes, these problems take the longest to be fixed.
Rex and Sandi have traveled many miles across the United States with their dogs in their signature yellow dog trailer. Each dog is secured with a double, locking door system. And behind each door, you will find a dog enjoying a nice air conditioned or heated area. The color and signage of Rex’s dog trailer has been a big attraction and prompted many visits with people. Rex has gained many customers over the years by visiting with curious people that he meets along the way. Rex and Sandi look forward to many more years of traveling to dog tournaments and seminars and always enjoy it when they are accompanied by their family.
Fire in February 2019
In February of 2019, a fire destroyed most of the kennels at Ringneck Country. Several of his top competition and guide dogs were lost in the fire and some that were saved will never breed, hunt or compete again. Most of the dogs featured in the various TV shows filmed at Ringneck Country, were lost.
It was devastating, Rex said. Over 30 years of my breeding program and blood lines were wiped out.
At the time of the fire, Rex had client dogs in for training. Fortunately, they were not harmed in the fire. He said he called the owners and told them what had happened. Rex told them he would fully understand if they would like to come get their dogs. However, the clients confidence in Rex never waivered and they all chose to leave their dogs at Ringneck Country to complete the training program.
For several months, Rex couldn’t even talk about the fire and the loss of his dogs but, then, he began visiting with people who had purchased puppies from him over the years. He was encouraged to continue his breeding program and past customers wanted to do what they could to help. Offers were made to help him obtain some his bloodlines through various methods. Murray located a couple dogs in Illinois that had some of his bloodlines from several generations back and he was able to acquire those dogs.
As the ashes settled, the Murrays began getting calls – calls from all over the nation. Many of those calls were from customers who wanted to help the Murrays rebuild. Rex was told, that he must rebuild because people need you and your program at Ringneck Country and Murray’s Vizslas. I am not sure we could have made it if it wouldn’t have been for friends and family, he said.
So many people are so kind and good, Rex said. We are fortunate to have friends and family and live in this community.
Rex and Sandi have started rebuilding some of the kennels and rebuild proper accommodations for the dogs. We never shut down training dogs after the fire, Rex said. And, customers are still planning on bringing their dogs for training. The Murrays are determined to continue offering full services to all of their customers!
For more information on Vizslas and everything Ringneck Country has to offer, call Rex at 785-332-0408.
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