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About Us

Training bird dogs has always been a family affair for the Smiths.  Through over 50 years of hard work and dedication, Ronnie Smith Kennels has developed a trusted and proven name in the industry. The Smith family has a history of raising and training fine bird dogs. Ronnie’s late father, Ronnie Smith Sr., was a well-respected trainer. Both Ronnie’s uncle, Delmar Smith, and his cousin, Rick Smith, have received the honor of being inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. Bird dogs are not only a business for the Smiths, they are a passion and a way of life.

Ronnie Smith Kennels was started in 1956 by Ronnie Smith Sr. It is now owned and operated by Ronnie Smith Jr. and his wife, Susanna Love.

Ronnie Smith

You might say Ronnie has bird dogs in his blood.  Ronnie grew up involved with his father's bird dog training operation.  As soon as he was big enough, he began tending to dogs and cleaning kennels.  Ronnie spent many days in his youth at field trials with his dad, either riding his pony in the gallery or hanging back with the dogs listening to other trainers “talk dog.”

Ronnie’s first lessons in dog training came from his dad.  He trained his first dog professionally at 14 years old.  To this day he continues to draw from and build upon the principles that his father taught him.  Ronnie took over the training operation in 1982 and continues to build the business today.

In addition to training dogs, Ronnie has guided wild bird hunts for over 30 years.  Some of the historical Texas ranches of note that he has guided on include the King Ranch, 6666 Ranch, and the Mariposa Ranch.

His experience guiding has allowed him the opportunity to guide for astronauts, musicians, TV celebrities, writers, Hall of Fame football and baseball players, CEOs of some of the largest corporations in the U.S., Secretaries of State and Presidents. These experiences reinforced his belief that bird dogs and hunting bring together people from all walks of life.

The performance of every dog matters dearly to Ronnie. His life has centered around dog training. He is dedicated to continually learning from dogs and helping people to communicate with dogs.

Susanna Love

Susanna Love is Ronnie's wife, business partner, and a trainer at the kennels. Susanna has been a keen student of animal behavior her entire life. She applies her knowledge and experience to improve the Huntsmith training format. She and Ronnie discuss canine behavior and work to better the training format with every class that comes through their kennel. She works diligently to bring out the best in every dog that comes through the couple's kennel. 

Susanna has devoted herself to bird dog training. She is involved in every aspect of the kennels from the breeding pups to training dogs and guiding hunts. She helped develop the Trainer Certification Program and also instructs the apprentices.

Prior to taking on a role at the kennel, Susanna worked at the US House Committee on Agriculture as Assistant Clerk. She was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2006 and has experience in real property issues. Susanna has a Juris Doctorate from Saint Mary's School of Law and a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech.

The business continues to be a family affair as Ronnie and Susanna strive to raise their twins, Gage and Reagan, to know, understand, and love animals.  If you drop by the kennels you are likely to see all four family members together outside with the dogs. The couple pride themselves on creating a family friendly atmosphere in their business that is centered by the enjoyment of the outdoors, animals, and love of God.

Together Ronnie and Susanna feel blessed by the things they have been allowed to be a part of and experience. They have been featured in many publications such as Pointing Dog Journal, Gun Dog, Outdoor Life, Shooting Sportsman, Field and Stream, and Covey Rise. Ronnie is a frequent guest on the Big Billy Kinder Outdoors radio show. They were featured in the book Texas Quail Rigs by A. Lokey which showcased the unique quail rigs found on hunting operations across Texas. In 2015 Ronnie and Susanna were recognized by Garden and Gun magazine by being included in their selection of Five of the South's Best Gundog Trainers. For many years Ronnie has been selected as a presenter on the Bird Dog Bonanza during Pheasant Fest.

Ronnie and Susanna’s enjoyment of bird dogs transfers to every aspect of their business, whether it is training a great young hunting dog or teaching an owner how to successfully hunt with their dog. Years of observing animal behavior have developed their training format into one that works for any dog that has prey drive. While continually adding to their own repertoire of experience, they put their knowledge of bird dogs to work to help their clients find a better way to relate to and communicate with bird dogs.

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