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 Alaska Air and sometimes Delta out of Montana's larger cities. We will not ship to companion homes to any of the southern states, 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 - $650 depending on what airline we use - it includes shipping fee, crate/bedding/water cups, health certificate and all misc. travel costs.
We guarantee that we have screened all of our breeding adults for issues known to be genetic with ESSFTA guidelines, using all the breed specific health tests currently available. We also do not breed dogs with bad mouths, bad flushing ability, gun shy dogs or dogs with a bad temperament, ie overly soft, timid. ALL of our dogs have been shot over. We have had FIELD springers for over 50 years and have never owned or bred a dog that had a seizure disorder. Our heart, eyes, hips, various DNA screens are certified through the OFA open database. That's all we can do. We cannot control the hunting environment, chemical/field fertilizer/pesticide exposure your dog might have after leaving us, or your lack of common sense regarding working/hunting puppies slowly until growth plates close. We only breed talented, high drive, sound, healthy adults with ZERO health issues and proper field springer temperament. We almost always keep a puppy for our personal use, why would we want one that is unsound or sucks at hunting? We have a long list of Buyer Responsibilities. Puppy school and socialization is required and we will always take back a puppy/dog at anytime, for any reason, throughout its life.
Our springer purchase warranty for hunting companions and active lifestyle pets, who maintain pet health insurance after leaving us, is for 4 years. As of 01/01/21, and after much discussion with our breeder peers, we are no longer offering a warranty for our puppies placed in agility and non-traditional dog sports as we feel these extreme activities are well beyond the scope and original intent of a hunting spaniel.
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 exclusively in AKC sports.
All Hellfire hunting companion and active lifestyle/pet puppies are sold with AKC Limited Registration and a non-breeding purchase agreement. They are expected to be responsibly spayed/neutered between 15 -24 months old, the normal time range after growth plate closure. You can read more about why we let those growth plates close first, right HERE.
We accept a limited number of $300 reservation deposits and use a "wait and see list" for everyone beyond that. Deposits are sometimes transferable to another litter, are always refundable in the event there are not enough puppies, or as we deem necessary. They are NOT refundable if you change your mind for any reason, find another puppy along the way, or don't want to wait for the litter to be born. We do not accept deposits for Sussex puppies. Our normal wait period is 6-9 months.
We use well established science based puppy 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.
Our puppies are released only after they are vaccinated and when they are the most developmentally ready to leave.
We are a LOW VOLUME breeder. Our springer puppies are bred from fully health tested parents, raised with a structured puppy socialization program, we have an excellent track record of producing outstanding dogs, and Hellfire puppies are fed the very best foods. Our puppies are normally in the $1600- $1800, and $1800- $2000 range, depending on the sire we use, and if they are repeat breedings with proven siblings. Prices are the same for males and females. Special breedings with irreplaceable frozen semen, National Champions and ridiculous stud fees, or when we ship out bitches to be bred, will drive up our normal prices into the $2500+ range. The costs of everything dog related have skyrocketed. Welcome to the 21st Century.
Note: Our puppies are entirely home raised. They are born on soft clean bedding in our whelping room, and they are not raised in a kennel or on sawdust or straw! They start using a doggy door to go outside and potty around 4.5 weeks old, and have full time access to their own very large private yard.
Our puppy safety comes first! People who have purchased a dog from us are always welcome to stop by and say hi, we love our puppy families! Parvo virus can come in from everywhere in Montana - and we do NOT allow visitor of any kind when we have a litter of puppies on the ground. We have added Puppy TV and our litters are livestreamed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, so you can check on their progress, as often as you want. Keep in mind that our home is a private residence, not a business, and we have some rules: We do not allow spur of the moment drop ins, and no strangers - people who have not filled out a puppy application. Sorry, it's not being rude or evasive, it's being cautious and smart. If you haven't met us a dog event, and have a special request, or would like to see a certain dog, puppy parents, we'd be happy to accommodate through video and photos.
YES, we dock our tails and dew claws! Our puppy tails are docked to proper FIELD length, which means at least 2/3 of the tail is left on. Dew claws on both front and back legs are removed to prevent future tearing. Dew claws are a vet bill waiting to happen - they are worthless, dogs do NOT use them, and they are a pain in the butt to maintain if left on, so we have resumed our original procedures and take them off.
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 are in the $3000 range. All of our parents 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.
Safety first! We have changed our conservative vaccine protocols to a more aggressive plan and have added NeoPar vaccine at 5 and 7 weeks old, and the Nobivac DAPP (Distemper/Adenovirus/Parvo/Parainfluenza) vaccine at 9 weeks. No puppies leave our home, not even for vet check ups, without being vaccinated first. Hellfire Springer puppies are usually released between 9- 10 weeks old after a complete wellness exam by our veterinarian. All out of state puppies will also receive an official Montana travel certificate. Sussex puppies are released between 12-16 weeks, after having heart and health screens/check-ups, and additional booster vaccinations.
Gun dogs, performance dogs and active lifestyle pets aren't like regular companion dogs. What they do and the drive they have can put them in harm's way. Injuries, accidents, weed awns, viruses, allergies happen and we are strongly suggesting pet insurance for our puppy owners. We've even built it into our purchase contract and have increased the warranty to 4 years, for dogs that continue on with pet insurance coverage.
Hellfire Kennels is an approved Trupanion Breeder - what this means is that our puppies go home with seasonal starter kit and a health insurance policy that is activated with our kennel's special breeder code 24 hours before or after they leave our home. (Note: Puppies residing in FL and NY require additional Trupanion accommodations.) There is NO financial benefit to us for offering this to our puppy families other than the peace of mind that our puppies will receive excellent pet care after they leave our home.
Overview of the Go Home Day Offer:
• 30 days of coverage with no obligation
• Immediate coverage, waiting periods are waived
• $250 deductible, applies per condition for the lifetime of the pet
• 90% coverage with no limits on what we pay out
• Vet Direct Pay
• Coverage for any new injuries or illnesses (more information about Trupanion online)
The grain free trend is over. Hellfire puppies are not to be fed grain free foods, especially Taste of the Wild, Zignature and Acana. The FDA has issued three warnings showing the relationship between certain dog food brands and canine heart disease.
The 16 brands the FDA has listed for causing heart disease in dogs: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/us/dog-food-heart-disease-fda.html
NOTE: Hellfire puppies and adult dogs are fed all life stages food called Victor High Pro Plus Active Dogs and Puppies. Both Victor and Taste of the Wild (new!) have formulas with gluten free "ancient grains" like sorghum and millet. Until research pinpoints the root cause of the grain free issue, it's best to avoid all grain free foods, period.
Our puppy yard gate opens up to a fenced, private one acre play area, plenty of room to safely explore and run.