I met Carolyn 2 years ago at my very first hunt test. Her dogs were top notch, just wonderful line manners and it was a learning experience just watching her handle.
I trained a started dog...(what I thought was a started dog) and I asked her if she would be willing to take him to the next level in his training. I had created so many bad habits without even knowing that I did. Carolyn has worked so hard and dedicated so much of her time to developing my dog and myself as well. She has shown me kindness and been a wonderful friend. Mojo my chocolate male was just over 2 when she got him this past March. He would break, force fetch was done incorrectly by myself, and he had no handling skills beyond baseball drill. He is a very stubborn dog, but on August 21st he got his HR title with Carolyn. He is a completely different dog! I couldn't be more pleased with the work she has done! I'm forever thankful for the hard work, dedication, training days, advice, and friendship. Thank you Carolyn.
When I first brought my Labrador Retriever, HR Thunder Vallies Jessie's Jedi CGC, to Carolyn I had never owned a gundog. Despite many years of hunting, I knew virtually nothing about what went into training a high-speed hunting retriever. Though faced with several training challenges presented by my dog, Carolyn was able to get him through those difficulties. Using a variety of innovative and tried-and-true training methods, Carolyn surpassed all of my expectations for my hunting retriever. I cannot say enough about the quality of her expertise in training hunting retrievers and I very highly recommend her to anyone considering dog training.
Christopher P. Gangwish
Police Specialist (Ret.)
Covington, KY Police Department
I met Carolyn Elam about six years at fall grand in Lyons Georgia. She had a puppy I had purchased out of her female Amber. I wanted a good hunting dog and decided to let her train my female Blazing Belle Dawson. I couldn't have made a better decision for a trainer. Carolyn knows how to get the most out of a dog. I have found her to be caring compassionate and trustworthy since meeting her. I plan on her training one of Belle's puppies around January. I would most definitely recommend her for anyone wanting their dog trained.
I have been involved in the waterfowl hunting industry since 2001 and been hunting since 1986. I've seen alot things and have had the opportunity to hunt all over the United States. I now guide for Skyveiw Waterfowl in Southern Illinois and Missouri.
One tool that is always over looked in the waterfowl industry is the dog. I have had several labs over the years and have had some success with them. In 2013 I took ownership of a yellow dog from Blazing Red Kennels. Best move I have ever made.
Carolyn has a passion for upland and waterfowl hunting, which makes it easier for her to understand the clients needs. I would be lost with out my gun dog from Blazing Red Kennels.
Field Proven Calls
I have had the great pleasure of owning 2 dogs that were from Flame and trained by Carolyn Elam. My first dog Ruger was a beautiful red lab. He was an awesome hunting dog and was well on his way to getting his titles when tragedy happened and he was taken from us. It was in this time of heartache that Carolyn went from being my trainer to a dear friend.
She called as soon as she heard the news and invited me down to visit.
It was on this visit that we found Copper our second dog. Carolyn offered us Copper, a pup from Flame who was her pick of the litter, and yet she honored us with this magnificent animal. Carolyn has done an absolute amazing job training him, Copper has his seasoned title and is a beast in the field, best house dog ever.
Long story short if your looking to have your dog trained hire Carolyn. But if your looking for a friend who cares about you and your dog and will help guide you through this journey then definitely look no further.
Carolyn you truly are a godsend thank you for every that you have done for me and my family.
Tyghe Windau Sunday and Family.
After having finally come to the realization that I didn't have the patience or the wisdom to provide the formal gun dog training that our Lab "Cabo" was going to need, I began looking for and researching professional trainers. Lucky for me, the Sire of my dog is Flame from Blazing Red Kennels, and I knew that in addition to breeding hunting Labs that Carol Elam was also a professional trainer. I checked a few references that all came back very positive, and my wife and I decided to leave our boy with Carol for 3 months during the summer of 2015. What we got back after those 3 months was a completely different dog from when we dropped him off. He was now a retrieving machine with a tremendous amount of drive. Carol accomplished everything that I had hoped for from a training aspect within those 3 months, and was very receptive to the weekly "status" calls and texts that I sent. What really sold me on her training was that she would frequently remind me that she was moving at his pace. It clearly paid off, and I can say in all honesty that it was the best decision I've made to have him spend the summer with Carol. We spent this past spring in getting him his Junior Hunt title, and he went 4 for 4 on the tests. My only regret is that we don't live closer to Carol, as I would love to have him spend additional time with her. I would highly recommend Carol Elam to anyone that is searching for a professional trainer that will truly have your dogs best interest in mind from a training aspect, and understands how to get the best out of your dog. It takes a special person with a special gift to be able to do this.
When you look at this picture you see a yellow lab with lots of ribbons. There is quite the story behind this dog and the ribbons he earned being trained and handled by Carolyn Elam from Blazing Red Kennels. This is HRCH CPR Chaney's Gun Bin Smoking' MH, call name Gunner. I bought Gunner back in 2010 from a reputable breeder. Gunner had a solid pedigree and is the grand pup of APLA Hall of Fame Dog GMPR Riks Risky Raider MH. He came from a long line of pointing labradors. Multiple finished titles and several US Pheasant National Championships were notable in his pedigree.
After I bought Gunner I recognized he had lots of potential, however I was not knowledgable of the competition world of hunt tests or field trials. We decided to send Gunner to a professional trainer after he earned his AKC Junior Hunter title and CPR title. This is where I made a mistake that I will always regret. I took Gunner to a professional trainer out west, and to be honest, in the short time of 6 weeks he nearly ruined my dog due to too much pressure. Gunner was malnourished, sick, and terrified when I brought home. Prior to this Gunner was doing mini-T and baseball. When I brought him home he sat and shook and was afraid to move when casted. Needless to say, I basically thought he would never be a finished dog and primarily just upland hunted him. The lesson I learned was to do your homework prior to selecting a trainer.
I had met Carolyn Elam when Gunner was a little puppy out at MapleGlen farms. I went to a couple HRC training days and was always impressed with how Carolyn's dogs handled and performed. Not only were they impressive to watch, they came to the line with their tails wagging. We decided to send Gunner to Blazing Red Kennels with Carolyn, and the rest is history. Gunner became an excellent marking dog and over time he began to handle well on blinds. Carolyn started running hunt tests with him, and he rolled off 4 straight HRC seasoned passes for his HR title. He moved up to Finished level and then earned his HRCH title and now has over 200 points in the UKC. They went 6 for 7 in AKC Master level tests and earned his Master Hunter title. It would have been 6 for 6 had it not been for the walk up live flyer at Michigan Flyways. Carolyn told me that she felt Gunner should run the International Grand. I couldn't believe my ears, but we went ahead and entered him in the 2015 Fall Grand in North Alabama. We didn't earn a grand pass, but he did make it to the 3rd series and we couldn't have been prouder. There were times I was ready to give up on Gunner and settle for what it was, but Carolyn wouldn't let me. I am glad she didn't.
So this is the story behind those ribbons. I would recommend Carolyn to anyone looking to get the most out of their retriever for competition or hunting. She has a way with dogs and teaching them what she wants them to do, and even fixing other trainers mistakes. She takes great care of them and will be honest about their potential.
I met Carolyn in 2007. I was researching stud dogs and she had one that interested me. When I contacted her for more information, she invited my husband and myself to a hunt test she was attending that weekend. It was fairly close to us, so we went. I didn't know anything about hunt tests. I just knew I wanted my dog to work like I saw those dogs work. At the time, the dog we had with the best pedigree was Harry, an English bred Lab from champion show lines that I was using as a stud. He had been hunted over but had no formal training. Carolyn took him on and in 3 months, she had him force fetched, collar conditioned, and 2 titles on him. That says something about the dog, because he was already five. It also says a lot about the trainer. It speaks of dedication, commitment, and an ability to read each and every dog, bringing out the best in each one. Harry achieved his HR title before I retired him for an injury that caused some arthritis issues.
Since then, Carolyn has trained several of my dogs to different titled levels. Kansas, Scarlett, Stevie, Cayenne, Allie, Vesper, and Seger have all benefited from her training methods.
And that brings us to Georgia, another special dog. Georgia is out of my Keepsake bred girl, Stevie, and sired by Carolyn's boy, Flame. Georgia lost her sight in one eye when she got an infection at 5 days of age. Even with treatment, when she was old enough for the eye to naturally open, the eyeball had simply collapsed. I figured I would raise her as a future breeding prospect. After all, it wasn't a genetic condition. But Carolyn saw something in her and at 4 months of age, we had the eye removed for safety's sake and her early training began. Under Carolyn's training and handling, Georgia has earned her HR title and is working at a Finished level, with one Finished pass under her belt. Carolyn had to teach her to mark off the barrel of the gun, making sure she faced the direction each bird would fall, giving a greater chance of success for a little one eyed dog. That takes more than the ability to train. It requires the ability to think outside the box, to know what each individual dog needs. No cookie cutter training here!
If you are on the fence in choosing a trainer, give Carolyn a call. I know she can give your dog exactly what he needs to be the best dog he can be.
Katherine Taylor-Green Equine, Wildlife, and Portrait Artist
I first came to know Carolyn Elam of Blazing Red Kennels in the Spring of 2008. I had a little yellow female that I had trained (first dog and new to the game) and we had progressed pretty well. Ms. Dixie had passed and received her Started title with ease, so we thought we would try running some Seasoned test. That is where the wheels began to fall off the wagon. Ms. Dixie was a handful and had the drive that no Rookie handler/trainer had the business of trying to run hunt test. After many miles driven, entry fees paid and hunt test failed we finally got one Seasoned pass. We kept trying and trying and that next pass would never come. I talked to several Pro trainers and folks with years of dog handling/training experience and asked what should I do with Ms. Dixie to get that next Seasoned pass? Their responses were all the same….wash her out and get another pup if I wanted to play the Hunt Test game. Just on the verge of following their advice another friend of mine mentioned a Pro Trainer that was just starting out in the business of training dogs for clients. I got Carolyn’s number and I gave her a call. We talked a lot about dog training and Ms. Dixie and she said bring her up and let me evaluate her. So the following Saturday Ms. Dixie and I loaded up the truck and headed to Ohio for Carolyn to evaluate her. After spending the afternoon with Carolyn and her evaluating Ms. Dixie she told me to say my goodbyes and go load her in the trailer. So I did, and I will admit, I had tears in my eyes as she loaded up and headed off to train with Carolyn. Carolyn was awesome, she called me every couple of days and gave me an update on how Ms. Dixie was progressing. After three weeks, during one of the calls she told me to enter Ms. Dixie in an upcoming Seasoned Test, I did with little confidence that she would pass. They ran the test and received passes both days to achieve a HR title. Ms. Dixie stayed with Carolyn and during one of our calls she said go ahead and enter her in a Finished Test, my response was are you sure? They ran two Finished Test and blew them both away, so we decided to run two more the next weekend. Again, smashed the test and Ms. Dixie received her HRCH. I brought Dixie home and hunted her for the season with the intentions of giving her back to Carolyn after the season went out to finish her up. That Spring and Summer Carolyn and Ms. Dixie spent traveling around from test to test and racking up pass after pass in both HRC and AKC Hunt Test. Carolyn then said to me, we are going to run in the Grand this Fall. I laughed and said you are going to run Ms. Dixie in the Grand? Her reply was yes, still laughing I agreed. Off they went to GA to run the Fall Grand with me in tow, Ms. Dixie didn’t pass that Fall but they made it to the 3rd Series. That just ignited my desire even more. I hunted Dixie that Winter and gave her back to Carolyn in the early Spring. They trained hard day after day and when the Spring Grand was over Ms. Dixie and Carolyn had a Grand Pass. To add to their list of achievements Ms. Dixie received her Master Hunter Title that summer and qualified for the Master Nationals. When late September rolled around and it was time for the Fall Grand off they headed north to Canada. When they were finished with the Fall Grand, Ms. Dixie had a new name, she was now referred to as a Grand dog and had the initials of GRHRCH in front of her name. Who would have thought???? They were not finished, they still had the Master Nationals to run the following week. Off to Maryland they traveled and after a week of endless series not only was Ms. Dixie a Grand dog she now had a Master National pass to her credit. Just jokingly I said to Carolyn, “we might as well go run the SRS in Huntsville with the success you guys have had over the past few weeks.” Next thing you know they are loaded up and heading to Huntsville, AL and the SRS. I couldn’t make the first day of the SRS event but on the way down I received a call from Carolyn. She said, “I have some good news and I have some bad news.” Not knowing what to expect I said, “give me the bad news first.” She preceded to tell me that Ms. Dixie was not in first place after the first series of the event. I didn’t expect that to happen anyway. She went on to say, “we are in twelve place out of ninetysix dogs.” I was speechless. Ms. Dixie and Carolyn went on to finish in the top ½ of the field for that event. Not bad for a handler that had never ran an SRS event and a dog that should have been washed out. The blonde bombers as I call them weren’t finished, they have gone on and added a third Grand Pass to Ms. Dixie’s name and achieved over 1,000 points in UKC. Again, not bad for a dog that was should have been washed out. Carolyn has gone on to train three other dogs for me and has become not only a friend but part of my family. You will not find a harder working Pro Trainer in the business. I have talked to her at 6:00 AM and she is at the kennels working and I have talked to her at 7:00 PM and she was still there.
Thank you Carolyn Elam for taking a chance on a lil yellow female that others thought should be washed out and making her a dog of a life time. But most importantly thank you for your friendship.
Tim Bach | Plant Manager – Mt Sterling, KY
Blazing Red Ruby Teufel Hunden (Ruby)
FEMA Human Remains Detection K9
Type III Land Human Remains Detection
The pictures you see here are just a moment in time of what I have asked my Flame daughter to do. She's incredible biddable and resilient. At the age of three, she has become one of less than 100 FEMA certified Human Remains Detection dogs that serve our country during disasters. At the age of two, she passed her wilderness Human Remains Detection certification to assist local law enforcement in the hunt for lost or missing people.
In order to pass these tests, she must locate the strongest source of odor and bark until I reach her. She's a very solid methodical searcher who takes her time and once she commits, will even refuse to leave odor for her reward. Whether I ask her to do this in the middle of a rubble pile or the woods, she works highly independently and doesn't quit.
To pass her FEMA certification, we completed an off leash obedience exercise, five minute down stay with the handler out of sight, figure 8 heeling exercise, agility which includes a teeter, wobbly surface (complete with a turn), a partially blocked tunnel with a 90 elbow and must climb a ladder set at a 45 angle up to an 8ft plank. We must also complete control at a distance, think of a major league baseball diamond and I must direct her to various bases without leaving home plate. Lastly, we have a rubble pile to search that is ~10,000 square feet in 15 minutes.
Ruby handles being a house dog as well as being a working dog. She's incredibly affectionate and enjoys a good chewy or cuddling on the bed.
I have enjoyed training with her so much that I chose a Flame son to be my next FEMA Live Find search dog.
Thank you so much for such a well balanced, level headed driven dog!
NE TF 1
IA TF 1
Paws of Life Foundation