EP 25: The Rhythm of Ryman Setters in Lewiston, Montana

Chris & Rick Taylor and their beloved Ryman Setters

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Traits and characteristics of Ryman setters
  • Dogs need connection and intimacy with their humans to achieve their full potential
  • Different setter strains and breeding for specific traits original to the Ryman breed
  • Joys and struggles of dog breeding
  • Setters are very sociable dogs that want to please- easy to live with and get along with children and other dogs

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs

In this episode, Web speaks with Christine Taylor, who, with her husband Rick, owned Setters West Kennels which bred and sold Ryman setters from 1995-2022. She speaks about the characteristics of the Ryman setters and her experiences with dog breeding and running the Pheasant Tales Bed & Bistro in Montana. 

Early on, they ended up in Montana, where she and her husband, Rick, encountered Ryman setters. She found that their loving personalities and “foot hunting” traits were very appealing and perfect for their lifestyle.  They bought a piece of land and Chris started breeding Ryman setters, soon after that they opened Pheasant Tales Bed & Bistro.  The two businesses operated symbiotically, with the B&B catering to bird hunters who got to see Ryman setters at work, and whose bird-hunting successes were presented in gourmet meals. 

When Chris began her project to breed Ryman setters, she researched the breed. George Ryman, of Pennsylvania, developed the Ryman as a “hunting type” English setter during the early to mid-1950s.  The dog was bred to work closely in the field along with a laid-back, affectionate personality. She discovered that over time, some of the original traits had changed and lost focus due in part to a lack of out-crossing and she found a breeder in Germany that had stayed true to the original traits of a Ryman setter. 

Over time, working with the breeder in Germany, she focused on and developed the Ryman setters that her Setters West Kennels became known for.  She and Web talk about the joys, hard work, and difficulties of breeding dogs, raising puppies, and letting them go as they find new homes. 

All dogs need connections with their humans, and living together fosters that connection. Ryman setters need the closeness of everyday living with their families. This is a primary requirement, and without it, their natural abilities and talents for bird hunting won’t develop. It is as true for them as it is for people- we all require connection, intimacy, and affection to feel safe and comfortable and to bloom to our fullest potential. 


Christine Taylor 



Setters West Kennels:  1995-2022

Cookbook:  We eat like Kings in France: Pheasant Tales Game Bird  Cookery 

by Christine Taylor

Chris Taylor has been preparing gamebird gourmet meals for bird hunters since the inception of Setters West Kennels in 1995. Her clients did not want to go home after they ate, so Chris & Rick opened “Pheasant Tales Bed & Bistro” in 1998. Chris compiled her gamebird recipes for your enjoyment in her cookbook “We Eat Like Kings in France”. Contact Chris at rickt@lewistown.net for more information.