High Ridge Gun Dogs is located in scenic Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania. Joe and Laina Popelka are passionate and dedicated breeders who strive for nothing but the best in their pursuit of breeding high quality Braque Francais litters. The following is Joe's personal story of how he became involved with this magnificient breed.
I became interested in the Braque Francais after losing my Brittany to Cushings Disease. I spent the next year going through the motions of being a bird hunter without my constant companion at my side. It did not take long "1 season" to realize I needed to find a new hunting partner. I did not want another Brit due to memories of a friend I did not feel could ever be replaced. I started looking into different breeds when I stumbled upon Jersey Sporting Dogs website. They were advertising dogs that I had never heard of. Their statement that ultimately changed my life is as follows, "If you are looking for an unusual, beautiful, obediant family pet and hunting dog that thrives on companionship this might be the right breed for you." Truer words were never spoken. After spending some time communicating with Karen and Mike, I decied I was ready for a Braque. That fall I took to the woodcock woods with a very small inquisitive pup by my side, her name is Tia. Tia's transformation from puppy to bird hunting machine was one of pure pleasure. We spent that first fall hunting woodcock in classic covers at that magnificent time of year. Before long Tia froze and was pointing her first wild bird at a very early age, Mike and Karen were there at that magical moment. Tia in the past years has shown me that even if you are not a professional trainer "and we all make mistakes" that this breed of dog with exposure to birds and a few commands will develope into a dog that you are proud to have at your side. My wife and I decided to breed our Tia due to the fact that she is everything a Braque Francais is known for and supposed to be. We felt that she truly is the perfect example of the breed. Since having Tia in our lives, we have added a few more to our home. A special Thank You to the Ercolano's for introducing us to the breed and starting us off with such high standards.