About Stonebroke Kennels
We are located just outside Chinook, Montana, in the Northcentral portion of the state in the Milk River Valley. The Milk River Valley is a network of irrigation ditches, drainage ditches, sloughs, creek bottoms, grain field, alfalfa fields, cornfields, etc. To the south of us are the Bear Paw Mountains and to the north is wheat fields and prairie. Pheasant, Hungarian Partridge, Sharptail Grouse, Ducks, Geese, etc… abound in this area, providing unlimited hunting opportunities for the upland bird and waterfowl hunter. We hunt a variety of game with our dogs with Pheasants and Huns being what we spend the majority of our time pursuing.
We are not a business…..we breed dogs strictly as a hobby. We breed these fine dogs for pleasure and the satisfaction of placing quality dogs with loving families who will give them a good home. For us, breeding dogs is a labor of love….. Our goal is to breed a dog that excels in the field, yet is comfortable to have in the home. The majority of hunting dogs double as the family pet, so temperament is very important to us. We strive for the dog that has the drive to get out and find birds, yet is docile under pressure and has the ability to “switch gears”, so to speak, and to be calm and mannerly when in the house. To the best of our knowledge, we have never produced a Springer with a poor temperament. We will not tolerate and have no use for an ill-tempered dog. While hunting ability, conformation, etc. are extremely important, we feel that these qualities are irrevelant if a dog has a poor temperament. We live with our dogs….they are part of the family. They provide us with far more than the birds on the table and fun in the field. Anyone who has ever had a dog understands this………..
Ya, I think we all need a dog….
Conformation is also very important to us. As hunters, we spend most of the time in the field watching our dogs work. A dog that is built properly will hunt hard and not tire as easily as a dog with poor conformation and is a joy to watch work.
We are hunters. We think we understand the type of dog most hunters are looking for. We’ve bred top quality gundogs for many years. I grew up with hunting dogs and understand the bond that develops between hunting dogs and their families. We are committed to only breeding the finest Springers we can. While we love to hunt too (the understatement of the year!),our primary interest is in breeding top quality dogs. I love researching pedigrees, talking to other breeders about various dogs in the breed, genetics… etc. We absolutely love having puppies and placing them in good homes. We look forward to a new litter of pups like a kid looks forward to Christmas! When I decided to get into breeding dogs, I decided that I was going to either breed the best dogs possible or I wasn’t going to do it at all! The bottom line is that breeding “top of the line” dogs is my primary interest… “It’s my thing.”
We do not field trial or participate in hunt tests. As I have mentioned, our interest is hunting but we fully understand and appreciate the value of a working title. We acknowledge and give full credit to the people who invest the time and money into putting working titles on their dogs. Our dogs come from a long line of hunt test and field trial champions and we give full credit for the quality of our dogs to the people past and present who have worked hard to maintain and improve the working ability of the English Springer Spaniel.
We feel that socialization during the time we have a pup before it goes to its new owner is what makes the difference between a good dog and a great dog. Socialization is not just about a pup’s interaction with people. When we use the word Socialization, we are talking about socializing a pup to the world it will be living in. This not only includes a pup’s exposure to people, but exposure to the field, other dogs, to various noises, exposure to the scent of birds, etc.
Our puppies are born in our living room. They stay there until approximately 3 weeks of age. By having them in our living room, we can not only keep a close eye on them, but it exposes them to all kinds of sights, sounds, and smells. The family plays with the pups… every pup is handled several times a day.
When the pups outgrow our living room, we move them to an area we have set up in a separate building behind our house near our kennel runs. As they get older, they have access to an outside run where we have various objects for them to play with (a ramp to climb, balls to play with, etc.). When the pups are old enough to get around, we take them on daily walks so they can explore their outdoor world. We start our pups on retrieving as soon as they can see enough to fetch a rolled up sock. We continue this until they are retrieving a pheasant wing and a small puppy dummy. We keep homing pigeons for training purposes. Your pup will be introduced to pigeons before you take it home. In a nutshell, we would be willing to bet that you will not find a better socialized pup anywhere.
As you have probably figured out, we feel that socialization is abosolutely critical in the overall development of a pup. This is the most enjoyable part of what we do with our pups before you take your pup home. By having just a litter or two a year, we can take the time to ensure that your pup receives the best socialization and overall care possible. We believe that what we do makes a difference. We only have a couple litters each year. By keeping things on a small scale, we feel we can give each pup the attention it deserves and it keeps everything fun instead of being a lot of work.