We prefer that you pick up your puppy in person, but we will ship to some locations, for some people, during certain times of the year. We can use United, Alaska Air and Delta out of Montana's larger cities. We will not ship to companion homes south of Colorado, but we will always offer shipping options to competition homes, ESSFTA members, and of course, people we personally know or have purchased a puppy from us before. We use a flat rate that varies between $500 - $600, depending on what airline we use, it includes shipping fee, crate, health certificate and all travel costs.
All Hellfire hunting companion and pet puppies, both ESS and Sussex, are sold with AKC Limited Registration and a non-breeding purchase agreement/warranty. All competition/ breeding prospects, both ESS and Sussex, are co-owned with us, no exceptions.
If you have never purchased a puppy from us before, a screening questionnaire/puppy application is required to be filled out in order to be considered for a litter list. We ask questions about your work, ages of your human and pet family, and housing/fencing situation. We want to make sure we are the right breeder for you, and that you will provide one of our puppies with the best and safest home we can find. We give preference to people that have purchased a puppy from us before and people who compete in AKC sports.
After filling out a puppy application and being approved for our litter list, we accept a limited number of $200 reservation deposits via PayPal, and a signed deposit agreement is required outlining buyer/breeder responsibilities. We do not accept deposits for Sussex puppies. Note: As a courtesy to me and to ensure that all my puppies officially have homes by a certain age, and/or to give me time to find another family if a reservation falls through, all balances and expenses are to be paid in full, 2 weeks prior to pick up or shipping. I will not hold puppies past week 10 - please plan accordingly.
We use Puppy Culture science based rearing, enrichment and socialization methods. Our puppies are matched to families, not "picked" through pictures. We begin temperament testing at week 4, and placement matching is based on a process done over an observation period of weeks. We have been breeding a long time, your input certainly matters to us, we want you to love your puppy, but ultimately the breeder knows best. We release puppies at week 9-10 weeks old, when they are developmentally ready to leave.
Our springer puppies are in the $1300- $1800 range, in line with other quality breeders using similarly bred, fully health tested dogs. Prices are the same for males and females. Special breedings with irreplaceable frozen semen, or National Champions, will drive up our normal prices into the $1800-$2000 range. (Stud fees have gone crazy high!) I reserve the right to keep any puppy or puppies I choose, from any litter I breed. Purchase contracts are to be signed, returned, and puppies are to be paid for in full when the puppies turn 7 weeks old or 10-14 days prior to pick up/departure.
My home is a private residence, not a dog breeding business with open doors or formal operating hours!!!! I work for a large energy company, endure a demanding, full time job (working mostly from home) that sometimes requires out of country travel; I also have a busy doggy competition/travel schedule during certain times of the year. Visits are scheduled around my convenience. We do not allow spur of the moment drop ins, and I absolutely do not allow visitors who have not filled out a puppy application. Sorry, it's not being rude or evasive, it's being cautious and smart.
Our puppy tails are docked to proper FIELD length, which means at least 2/3 of the tail is left on. Strong front dew claws are left on both our ESS and Sussex puppies (UK and Euro style), rear dew claws are always removed to prevent tearing. Science has shown front dews strengthen the leg and prevent foot and wrist arthritis as a dog ages, and aid in running and turning...they actually use them!
Sussex Spaniels are a rare breed riddled with many reproductive challenges. They are bred through AI's, whelp with C-Sections, can have a high neonatal mortality rate and stay with me much longer than the springer puppies. We only breed finished champions that are fully health screened, and our puppies are socialized and enriched using Puppy Culture techniques, the same way our springers are. Our puppy prices vary between $2800-$3000. All of our parents and puppies have their eyes, hearts and ears screened by SPECIALISTS. A puppy application is required before one is considered for our litter list. We have a page just for Sussex information to read prior to contacting us.
We have enrolled in the Trupanion Breeder program which covers puppies before they leave, and I will be requiring my puppy owners to carry on with the Trupanion pet insurance as part of the buyer responsibilities section of the 2.5 year warranty - there should be no excuse to take your dog to the vet! Having a gun dog breed is different than having a non-hunting pet. They are active, curious and what they do (seek and find prey) is inherently dangerous. Injuries are not "unlucky" or breeder related, they are part of the game and many can be avoided if people would just let puppies grow up a bit more before pushing them into running and jumping too soon. Trupanion pays the vet directly. Cost per pet can vary but generally it's around $35/month for a 90% coverage policy - if that is too much, then you just can't have one of my puppies. There is NO kick back or financial benefit to me other than the peace of mind that my puppies have a new owner who takes their health and wellness as seriously as I do.