Our story

We do lab work!

Four Rivers Kennel was started in 2011 by Dr. Craig N. Coon as an independent facility for large breed canine nutrition research and dog feeding trials. Our research colony consists of only Labrador Retrievers, one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. We have an expansive facility on 180 acres in rural Missouri, where we provide our dogs quality care, exercise, and daily outdoor time. 

Our aim is to provide the allied pet food industry with sound nutrition research and accurate results using large breed dogs. Differences in physiology compared to the industry standard Beagles can improve our understanding of nutrition for the pet food industry as a whole.  

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about dr. craig coon

Dr. Coon spent his early years at Texas A&M University, earning his B.S. in animal science, M.S. in plant physiology and biochemistry, and Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics. Dr. Coon has been a faculty member involved in research, teaching, and extension at the University of Maryland, Washington State University, University of Minnesota, and now the University of Arkansas. Dr. Coon is a world-renowned poultry nutritionist and is now apply his extensive knowledge to canine nutrition. Dr. Coon developed Four Rivers Kennel as part of a mission to provide independent nutrition research for the companion animal and pet food industries. 

about mary ann boggess

If you’ve visited the kennel, you’ve probably met Mary Ann Boggess. Mary Ann is Craig’s partner and co-founder of Four Rivers Kennel. Originally from west Texas, Mary Ann  finished school at Texas Tech and went on to manage a cattle ranch in Belize in the 70s and 80s. After putting together the build for the kennel and facilities, Mary Ann moved to the kennel full time in 2013. Mary Ann is the co-owner and chief financial officer of Four Rivers Kennel.