Sloan and Samantha Williams’ passion for the outdoors developed at an early age and dogs have been a part of their lives since the day they were born. Being raised by a dad that loved to hunt and a mom that loved dogs promoted a lifestyle that is often not enjoyed by girls…but Sloan and Samantha have proven to be exceptions. To them, it made sense to combine both of the family’s passions into a career that they not only excel at, but love.
When Sloan was born and then followed two and a half years later by her sister, Samantha, their dad was slightly disappointed that he did not have a son. Who was he going to teach all the things that men teach their little boys? His disappointment was quickly cured by the laughter and dimples of his two blond-haired little girls (who soon had him wrapped around their little fingers). Sloan was the self proclaimed “Daddy’s Little Girl” and Scott found that the only time he could get a break was at work or in the woods hunting. At the age of three, Sloan started begging her daddy to take her hunting with him. One evening loaded down with snacks, a blanket, Sloan, and his hunting gear, Scott headed to the woods. He thought she would soon get cold and restless and that her hunting career would come to an abrupt halt. However, he soon realized he had underestimated his little girl.
Little sister Samantha was more of a “mamma’s girl,” but it was not long until she started competing with Sloan for some of her daddy’s attention. At five years old, Samantha decided she wanted to hunt as well. Though hunting with Samantha was a little higher maintenance than hunting with Sloan, Scott did not care. He loved the fact that his girls enjoyed spending time with him outdoors and were not too “girly” to kill, clean, or eat an animal that God had provided them. Through the years the girls have taken deer, duck, geese, dove, swan, pheasant, and squirrel with everything from a bow and arrow to a black powder gun. Scott realized not having a boy was pretty cool because hey… “Girl’s Hunt Too” and sometimes they do it better than boys!
So how did the dogs enter Sloan and Samantha’s lives? It was more like the girls entered the dog’s lives…the dogs were there first. There have been anywhere from one to twenty dogs in our home from the day Scott and I were married. When the girls were little we bred and raised Golden Retrievers. It was not uncommon to see Sloan and Samantha running in the back yard, with their long blond hair flying in the wind, and a litter (or two) of fluffy blond puppies trailing behind them. About fourteen years ago, we lost our last two Goldens within days of each other and were deeply heartbroken. At that time, Scott and the girls were just beginning to duck hunt and thought a Labrador Retriever might be a good fit for the next family pet.
Our search for a Lab took us to Beaverdam Kennels and trainer Charlie Jurney. He happened to have a litter of pups that were ready for families. We became the proud owners of a sweet little yellow female. Not so sure about the sweet part – we ended up naming her Sharkey (I’m sure you can guess why), but she has been a truly great companion. While watching Charlie train Sharkey and handle her at the HRC events, the girls decided they would like to have dogs of their own to train and run at events. Charlie began training Sloan and Samantha using his best training tool…his dog Scoop. Scoop and Charlie were both patient teachers and fine tuned the skills that have made Sloan and Samantha great trainers.
Sloan’s first dog came out of a breeding with Sharkey and a dog named Willie out of Kansas – hence her name “Kansas”. As Charlie began her training, the girls started helping out at the kennel on a daily basis…cleaning, feeding, working with clients and their dogs, and learning what it means to have a dog training business. The girls enjoyed the dogs so much, that going after school every day and on the weekends was not enough for them. They decided if they were homeschooled they could complete their daily school in half the time, thereby giving them extra hours in the day to train dogs.
Long story short…the girls trained with one of the best professional trainers for eight years on a daily basis, learning from the ground up how to read and train dogs, as well as work with the owners. Whether you are looking for basic obedience training or a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion – Sloan and Samantha are able to deliver. They have been successfully competing in weekend hunt tests and biannual Grand events for the last six years and have passed multiple dogs at each level. Both girls have attained some pretty remarkable achievements. Samantha is the youngest female to ever pass a dog at back to back Grand events (her dog Bogey is a story to share at another time), while Sloan is the youngest female to pass multiple dogs at a single Grand. If you want to talk about patience and determination – Sloan has had her dog Kansas at the Grand thirteen times. Charlie ran her a couple of times, but Sloan was determined that she was going to title her dog…and she did. Thirteen was their lucky number!
Sloan and Samantha are now realizing their dream of having their own training and boarding facility, S&S Outdoors, located just minutes outside of Mooresville, NC. Their 4,000 SF facility sits on 61 acres of land, and is nice enough that most of you would like to vacation there. They have access to over 1,500 acres of training land with technical water to show your hunting companion many different scenarios. These professional, responsible, and determined young ladies can help you achieve your goals with your dog. At the ages of 23 and 21 they may be young, but do not let that fool you…they have more experience and training hours than most people twice their age. Sloan and Samantha’s love of the outdoors (and the fact that they were raised tougher than any boy breathing God’s air) has conditioned them for training in any environment. If it is ten degrees with winds blowing twenty miles per hour, you can rest assured that your dog is still being trained that day….and if you do not believe it they will send you a video clip to prove it!