Stonebroke Kennels
100% Field Bred English Springer Spaniels

Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Springer Pups - Aug 1  2009 018

Why should I Get a Pup From Stonebroke kennels?

Good question. I’m actually asked this quite often. I think what differentiates our pups from many others is the time we spend with the pups before they go to their new homes. There are many fine breeders, of course, and most all of the long time breeders have outstanding lines, but not all have the time to spend with their litters and we feel the time we have before the pups go to their new homes is crucial. A pup’s brain is developing and is like a sponge. It’s very, very important to make sure the pups do not just sit around in a kennel run during this time. They need to get out and explore. The world is brand new to them and they need to chase a butterly, get their feet wet, smell all the things there are to smell, maybe chase a knotted up sock, smell a pigeon, etc. We never have a pup that is a “wallflower”….that is, one that cowers in a corner, etc. By the time our pups go to their new homes they have been exposed to all sorts of people, places, other dogs, etc… They’ll be chasing a wing on a string, will have played with lots of kids (we get a lot of visitors when we have pups!), etc. They are ready!

And there’s this……We will also provide support after you take your pup home… If at any time you have any questions regarding training your pup, just give us a call or e-mail us and we will do whatever we can to help you out. We don’t always have all the answers but we’ve dealt with most questions people have had over the years….

Sam - June 1  2015 021

Should I get a Male or a Female?

Unless you have plans to breed, there is virtually no difference between a male and a female as far as temperament, trainability, hunting instincts, etc. providing you get the male neutered before it goes through puberty. A male neutered before puberty will not lift his leg on everything, mount other dogs, and the other things intact males are noted for. A neutered male is pretty much identical to a spayed female in most respects….they get along better with other dogs when neutered (there are no “turf issues”) and are just an easy dog to own. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and not as soft… If you have no plans to breed, we strongly recommend getting a male pup neutered and a female spayed… It makes life a lot easier!! I’m often asked if I had just one dog and wasn’t interested in breeding would I have a male or a female. All things being equal (the right lineage, etc.), I’d have a neutered male.

Are your dogs regsitered?

Yes, our dogs are registered with AKC. We provide an AKC registration application form with each pup we place.

What color are your Springers?

We usually have both liver/white and black/white pups in our litters. Our dogs are usually more white than liver or black and usually have light to moderate ticking. Our dogs have the relatively short, flat type of coat. We do not breed for color and markings. Our primary concern is temperament, brains, hunting/retrieving desire, conformation, etc. Like they say, “A good horse can’t be a bad color”……the same applies to dogs. Please note: If someone absolutely has to have either a black/white or a liver/white pup, we will not accept a deposit. We will do our best to provide the color a person wants, but we cannot guarantee we will have a pup of a specific color.

How large are your Springers?

Males are usually between 40 and 50 pounds and females run between 35 and 45 pounds. Our dogs tend to be somewhat “leggy”, but not overly so. We do not have the shorter legged, heavy set type of Springer.
Are your Springers Hyper?

We are asked this question fairly often, but almost always by people who haven’t owned a Springer from field lines before. In a nutshell, no our Springers are not hyper. Having said that, a hunting dog of any breed has to have a certain degree of drive to do what it was bred for….to find birds. All dogs need regular exercise regardless of the breed. If a person doesn’t have the time to work with a dog and give it the exercise it needs, they probably should get a cat. 🙂 Ceasar Milan, “The Dog Whisperer”, emphasizes that a dog needs three things…. Exercise, discipline, and love (in that order!). I’m a far cry from the Dog Whisperer, but I agree with him on this 100%. I tell folks to watch a dog in a kennel run…if the dog is calm and mannerly when in an outside run, it will be that way if it is brought up to be a house dog. If the dog is constantly pacing, barking, etc…if a dog just can’t seem to settle down, the dog will probably be like that in the house as well. Dogs like this are rare. I think a dogs like this have mental/emotional problems… They certainly should never be bred. Keep in mind that puppies will be puppies… They will be very energetic and very busy until they mature. Every pup is different, but Springer pups settle down considerably by the time they are a year old…some sooner, some a bit later.

Ted and Gunner - Mar   2016 009


Do you remove dewclaws and how long do you dock the tails on your Springers?

Dewclaws are removed when they are just a couple days old. We dock the tails on our Springers “Field Bred Length” (we leave approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the tail when we dock…we do not leave just a 2” stub like you see on Springers from Show lines).

Do you charge more for “Pick of the Litter”?

First of all, I don’t believe in “Pick of the Litter”. I do not believe anyone can pick out the best pup in a litter when pups are 2 or 3 months old. In a well bred litter, pups should be very uniform. All should be relatively the same size and exhibit similar traits. Pups change from week to week….what might appear to be the most precocious pup, the largest pup, the pup with the strongest retrieving desire..etc..may not exhibit those same traits the next day or the next week. Pups go through stages. Many times, the largest pup will develop early and not be the biggest dog in the litter when mature.

When I am looking for a pup, I first look at the parents and grandparents. In my opinion (and in the opinion of many long time breeders) those 6 dogs are by far the best indication of what to expect from a pup when mature. I then do some reference checks on the breeder. Is he/she reputable? Will the pups be well socialized before they go to their new homes? If everything checks out….if I like everything I see and hear from the breeder and people who have done buisness with the breeder, if the dogs close up in the pedigree exhibit the traits I’m looking for, I get a pup and I don’t really care what pick I have….

Many people think if they are 6th on the on the list of people who have reserved a pup, that they will be getting the 6th best pup. I can’t emphasize enough that this is absolutely not true…if you’ve done your homework as I’ve described above, it makes no difference whatsoever where you might be on a list. Also, my policy is that I will not place a pup with anyone that I would not want to have as my own. If I have a pup that I feel is not a representative of the type of dog that I am trying to produce, I will not sell that pup to you. The bottom line is, do your homework and don’t get hung up on where you are on a list.

At what age can I pick up my pup?

We like to keep the pups until they are 8 weeks old. In the past we have let them go at 7 weeks, but we feel that keeping them an extra week is better. We will let a pup go at 7 weeks at the buyers request, but not earlier than 7 weeks of age., and of course the airlines will not accept a puppy for shipping unless they are at least 2 months old.

Do you ship pups and if so how much does it cost?

Due to changes the airlines have made recently regarding the shipping of live animals, we have been forced to change our policy for shipping puppies. We can no longer ship pups with Delta Airlines out of Great Falls as they are not accepting puppies on their early morning flights, which in effect, makes it impossible for us to get a pup to it’s destination. I haven’t checked with Alaskan/Horizon Airlines, but will be contacting them in the near future. However, they only provide services to cities west of Montana (Seattle, Portland, etc. ) and to Alaska.

Effective with our planned litters for 2019, we will no longer ship pups via Delta Airlines. Depending on whether Alaskan/Horizon has changed their policy as well, we may be forced to discontinue shipping puppies completely.

People might want to consider flying here to pick up their pup if driving here isn’t possible. A puppy can be brought into the cabin of the plane as long as it will fit under the seat in front of you (in a soft sided carrier). We’ve had people do this in the past. The cost is comparable to having a puppy shipped. It is currently approximately $675 to ship a puppy. Current air freight charges are $386, A shipping crate is $60, the Health Certificate is $30, and we would be forced to charge $200 to deliver a puppy to the airport as it would require an overnight stay in a motel (in Billings) plus our travel expenses. If anyone chooses to fly here to pick up their pup we would be more than happy to meet them in Great Falls with their puppy. Flying here also would provide a wonderful opportunity to spend a few days vacationing in Montana and then the puppy could be picked up when people are ready to fly home.

We have written Delta Airlines voicing our opposition to their change in policies regarding shipping puppies, but so far we’ve not received a reply.

How much do you charge for your pups?

Effective with our planned 2017 litters we charge $950 for a Puppy regardless of color or sex. We feel this is a very fair price for the quality of pups we produce. We are keeping our prices relatively low compared to other pups of similar quality as we know that airfreight charges are increasing regularly. Springer pups from similar lines as ours are currently selling for $1,000 to $1,500. With the rising cost of dog food, vet bills, etc. we may have to increase our prices somewhat at some point, but our goal is to make our pups affordable while maintaining quality. A $200 deposit will reserve a pup. We ask that the balance due be paid by the time the pups are 5 weeks old.

Do you sell pups with limited or unlimited registration with AKC and do you require the buyer to sign a puppy contract?

All pups are sold with unlimited registration. The limited registration with AKC prevents the owner from breeding their dog. We feel that people that we place pups with should have the right to determine if their dog is of breeding quality and whether or not to breed it. Most puppy contracts we have seen are a bit ridiculous and probably next to impossible to enforce.

What is your guarantee?

We guarantee the hips and eyes on our pups for 26 months from their date of birth for any genetic hip or eye problem. Upon receipt of a CERF exam by a veterinary opthamologist showing a genetic eye disorder or an OFA or Pennhip evaluation showing your pup has hip dysplasia, we will refund the purchase price of the pup. We are not responsible for any other expenses incurred by the owner such as vet bills, shipping, dog food, etc. Our dogs have hip and eye clearances and come from a long line of dogs with hip and eye clearances.. The odds of your pup having hip or eye problems are very slim, but we will guarantee your pup in the rare instance that there is a problem.

We guarantee the overall health of your pup at the time of placement. We strongly urge you to have your vet examine your pup and set up a vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your area as soon as possible. Your pup will have received its first shot and will have been wormed twice before you receive it.

How do you determine who gets which pup when you have a litter?

Our policy is that our pups are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. A $200 deposit will reserve a pup, and we go by the postmark on the envelope to determine which pick you have. We require that you tell us whether you want a male or female pup when you send in your deposit and whether you want a black/white or liver/white pup. You can give us a 2nd choice on male or female and color if you wish to. If we do not have a pup for you for some reason (if a breeding doesn’t take, if we have a small litter, etc.) we will refund your deposit, otherwise the deposit is not refundable. If we should not have a pup available and you request to get a pup from another upcoming litter we can certainly do that, but you would be added to the list….that is if you had 2nd pick from a litter and we had a “No take” you wouldn’t be 2nd on the list for the next litter as we would already have some deposits for that litter so you would more than likely be further down the list. We try to email pictures of the pups to the new owners weekly so they can see the pups as they develop. Along with the pictures, we communicate with each buyer regularly about the pups so they can have the information they need to make a decision. We ask that people decide which pup they would like when the pups are between 6 and 7 weeks of age. This way we know who is getting which pup by the time the pups are ready to go.

We occasionally keep a pup from one of our litters for our breeding program. We reserve the right to hold back a pup we would like to keep, although we seldom do this.



6 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Thanks for the information. Good stuff.

  2. I absolutely love the responses to the questions. Its refreshing to read. Pick of the litter, for instance – you are spot on with that. Love the advice on watching a dog in a kennel – so accurately true… Thanks for your love and devotion to such a wonderful breed! I look forward to seeing your upcoming litters.

  3. Is it possible to train a springer for elk, deer, ect ?

    • Do you mean to track one down after it’s been shot? If so, yes. I”ve used my Springers a couple of times to find deer I’ve shot. Just have to make sure it’s legal where you hunt.

      • Thank you very much I hope to see your next patch of puppies from Sage and Rocky☺️

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