Who We Are

Our Mission

our Story

Tamarack Kennels has unfolded into a venture committed to the breeding and the development of quality Pointing Labrador Retrievers. 

Beginning in 1985 as a hobby for my son Chris and I, Tamarack Kennels has unfolded into a venture committed to the breeding and the development of quality Pointing Labrador Retrievers. When Chris and I started, we were intrigued by the versatility of pointing labs. But, we ran into the problem of finding dogs that could hunt the kind of waters and cover found in central Minnesota. Because we were dairy farming, most of our hunting time was reserved for later season, colder hunting conditions. Most of the water fowl were in bigger waters, and the pheasants had taken to the thick, dense cover of cattail sloughs.

In 1985, it was hard to find sturdy dogs that could work the areas we were hunting. We decided to breed our own. My son and I wanted dogs that could both point and retrieve. We wanted a traditional lab with a big block head, with a large soft mouth; capable of carrying the large green heads and late season geese without destroying the birds we’d worked so hard for. We also wanted dogs with the traditional lab temperament. In our opinion, breeding leading up to the mid-eighties was yielding flighty, high strung small labs in response to competitive field trials. What we came up with physically is a throwback to labs of yester-year.

People who purchase dogs from Tamarack Kennels find they’re getting a larger, sturdier dog that possesses the abilities to retrieve in water and on land, as well as possesses the ability to point game in the field. We breed a larger sized lab that weighs from 75 to 125 pounds. They have large heads and necks with full broad chests and strong muscular hind quarters. Our dogs also have the stamina and bird drive our customers are looking for. They carry themselves with a calm demeanor and confidence found in their proud, ancestral heritage. The dogs are exercised twice daily on 2 to 3 mile runs. We feel this sustains good health and builds stamina, as well as giving them an opportunity for play time with us and their kennel mates. Each dog occupies a 4 foot by 12 foot kennel run. The runs lead to individual kennel enclosures located in a heated enclosure. Kennels are cleaned and disinfected daily. During the summer months, the runs are shaded with roof overhangs and fans providing constant air flow to cool the dogs. They also get two swim sessions a day in the private ponds.

After a father and son start, Chris has moved on to school, then a career and family of his own. Chris still shows up during the hunting season to hunt with the dogs. These days Pam, and I are carrying on with what started 30 years ago. Tamarack Kennels is located just north of Melrose, Minnesota. We occupy a private land area set among 150 acres of tamaracks mixed into three private ponds and upland prairie fields. Our property borders 700 additional acres of U.S. Federal Water Fowl Production Area land. The 850 acres are habitat to countless pheasants, ducks and geese. We are also close to the many water areas created by the once glaciated lands of the Birch Lake Chain, the Sauk River, and Adley Creek. On top of that, it’s all located in the heart of Stearns County. If this seems like heaven on earth, you’re right! Come visit us! Look to our “Contact Us” information on the web site and we’ll provide you with directions for your trip. The dogs will be excited to see new faces. We look forward to meeting you. --Chuck & Pam Barth