Above: Riley and Erika have been married for five years and have two little boys and a baby girl.
Riley began Red Fern Companions with his father, Craig, with one goal: Provide the best, champion-quality English Golden Retrievers possible for families and professionals alike. To do this, Riley had to create a one-of-a-kind breeding and training program for Red Fern Companions that is unlike any other in the country.
With his prior experience in Wildlife Sciences and Veterinary Technology, Riley had a unique perspective on the type of genetics and class for his companions. Because of this, Red Fern English Goldens are well-known for their intellect, demeanor, and high-class confirmation. As pets, Riley prioritizes a calm and gentle addition to the family. As competitors, he has selected his breeding dames and sires from some of the world’s best show bloodlines, imported for not only their success in the show-rings, but also for their health and longevity.
It is Riley’s belief that a world-class dog with world-class training and conditioning is the ultimate companion. Using Red Fern’s exclusive training program results in a dynamic addition to families and competitors, as well as candidates for service and therapy work. Red Fern dogs are raising the bar in their already stellar breed with their amazing personalities and beautiful, show-stopping looks.
As a child, we always had at least one dog in our home. Along with dogs we had horses, cows, rabbits, homing pigeons and many other animals. My love for animals has always been strong, but there has always been a special place in my heart for dogs.
Growing up, I always owned Labrador Retrievers and had a dream to breed, train and show Labs. That was before I was introduced to English Golden Retrievers. I was shocked by their temperament, easiness to train, loving companionship as well as their striking looks. While my love of labs has never faded, my goal has turned to introducing others to the amazing English Golden breed. It is my passion to provide the highest quality dog, which you will enjoy for a lifetime, whether it be in the show ring or running around your back yard.
My dad and I have spent countless hours reviewing pedigrees and speaking to breeders all over the world. After determining the best, we have purchased dogs from here in the United States, and have also had dogs imported from Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Canada, and Russia.
Our dogs have over 11 acres of land to roam in the beautiful setting of rural Benjamin, Utah. In total, 5 acres of land is hay, another 5 acres is beautiful pasture and grass, and the remaining 1 acre of land is where the barn and back yard are located. This means that your puppy has over 10 acres of grass to romp, play and enjoy learning social behaviors and how to mingle with dogs, humans, cats, horses and more.”
Above: Craig with his beautiful and oh-so-patient wife of 30 years, Jodie.
Craig brings invaluable experience and knowledge of the world of business and marketing to Red Fern Companions. From his early years beginning at Brigham Young University (as one of its most notorious Business Finance rebels), Craig has started, built, or turned several businesses to date. Over the years, he has developed a true passion for the creation and stability of small business; advocating for a tight-knit, fun, productive atmosphere where employees and clients alike can enjoy their experience.
“All successful businesses that I have been a part of are successful because I believe that your team is your #1 asset, and cash/cash flow is your #2 asset.” This mind-set has helped build the foundation at Red Fern Companions, bringing together a team from all over the country with a true passion for what they do. And that passion reflects in both the Red Fern facility, the dogs we raise and care for, and the families we work with.
As co-owner, Craig plays an vital role within the Red Fern team with his insight and excitement for the future. Like all the staff at Red Fern, he believes the dogs we provide are the true representation of a canine companion. “For 25+ years I have built small businesses that provide great services and make an appropriate profit, but NONE of these businesses change lives. I personally believe a well pedigreed dog with the appropriate temperament, who is trained by skilled, caring hands can and will change lives every day. For me, it was time to be a part of something that changes lives, provides security, companionship and joy!”
Kelli is one of our kennel techs at Red Fern Companions. She also assists in training of the LVL I and LVL II puppies. Kelli lives by a motto: “There’s nothing in life that can’t be solved with puppy love!”
Koda is her 5-year-old Yellow Labrador who is, admittedly, spoiled rotten. Her favorite part of working at Red Fern Companions is being able to watch our puppies grow and learn new things every day. “It feels good to know that I get to help people find their future life companions!”
Dane started his work with animals on a farm in Genola, Utah where his family had steers and horses. He also had his German Shorthair Pointer “Little Ann” who he trained when he was about 13 or 14 years old. As a young trainer, Dane learned the importance of consistency and patience with such a strong-headed breed like Little Ann!
Dane joined the Red Fern team in April of 2015 as a kennel tech and assistant trainer. His natural ability to empathize with the animals he works with made him an easy choice for Riley and Aly to bring on-board. Dane hopes to continue to advance his training skills and knowledge with Red Fern for a long-term career as a trainer with our team.
Dane married Jessica, the love of his life, in October of 2014. They have a beautiful little girl and are enjoying this exciting time in their young family!
Chelsey began working with Red Fern Companions in April of 2015. She joined the team with her previous experience in animal care from St. George, Utah. As a Kennel Tech and Assistant Trainer, Chelsey finds each day at Red Fern to be a learning experience. “My favorite part of my job is that it doesn’t really feel like a job! I enjoy every day here with the dogs and puppies.”
When not at Red Fern, Chelsey enjoys reading and spending time with her family camping, four-wheeling, or playing sports.
With her work at Red Fern, she hopes to continue her education with animal behavior and training where she can be a vital player in the Red Fern team and continue to help animals and people better understand each other.
John is one of our amazing kennel techs here at Red Fern Companions. Growing up, his family always had all different types of pets thanks to his mom, who worked at a nearby animal hospital. From a road-warrior pig to many boarding and recovering patients, John was always around one animal or another. Currently, Hank the Black Lab and Wrigley the Red Fern English Golden are his two in-home pets. John spends much of his free time with them and his family, staying active in the outdoors of Utah.
“I have been working for Red Fern Companions for a year now and love it! Working for Red Fern Companions really puts a new meaning to “whistle while you work.” It has been a great learning opportunity from the birth of puppies to watching them as they grow and mature.”