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Suggested Llewellin Setter Sites


Sparks Llewellin Page


Hardman's Llewellin Setter Page


North American Llewellin Breeders Association


National Llewellin Gun Dog Club


Our Llewellins Delphi Discussion Forum


Russ and I have been happily married since 1985 and have two wonderful children, Wrenn and Ariel Leaming. Pacific, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) is where the four of us call home. Our hearts, however, are back in the southwest corner of Missouri where both Russ and I were born and raised. Russ had the fortunate pleasure of growing up on a beautiful country estate on the outskirts of Carthage, MO, where we still spend many weekends and holidays enjoying the solitude and fresh country air.

It was on this family property, and at an early age, where Russ was first introduced to the world of bird hunting. You could say that his love of the sport is “in his blood”, as his grandfather, father, and a slew of uncles, cousins and friends, delighted in teaching him all they knew about the world of hunting and training bird dogs. Raising, training and developing a great bird dog, he soon learned, could be a lot of work. The reward, however, was the enjoyment of owning a loyal, loving and invaluable hunting companion. Russ was taught that in order to train a bird dog to be easy-to-handle, well-mannered and self-confident, you must first befriend your dog and treat him with respect. He learned that in order to create a close bond, you must first earn your dog’s trust with positive reinforcement and a firm but loving hand. For many years Russ worked alongside his father; raising, training and hunting gun dogs for the sheer pleasure that it brought both of them. They worked with some of the best breeds in the sport, including German Short Hairs, Pointers, Brittany’s and English Setters; hunting all types of wild game such as quail, grouse, pheasant, chukar, woodcock and partridge.

It was Russ’ favorable memory of the English Setter that prompted our search for a family pet in the winter of 2000. Russ, of course, was anxious to resume the sport of bird hunting that he had put on the back burner and I was looking for a pet that would become a member of our family. We felt that our children were ready to take on the responsibilities of raising a dog and so our search began. We could hardly contain our excitement as we searched dog breed books for a dog that would fit our lifestyle. After several months of pondering what breed we would all be happy with, we decided to investigate the temperament of the English Setters. It didn’t take long to find just what we were looking for. Coming across a well written article on the internet by Troy Sparks (www.sparksllewellinsetters.com) and by researching a handful of articles on the breed, we decided that the Llewellin Setter would be a perfect fit.

In our research we found that Llewellins are a loyal, lovable and biddable breed of dog. Not only do they distribute strong natural hunting abilities, but they are intelligent and have a strong dedication to family. They love their “people”, are always happy to be in your company and have an innate desire to please their master in the field. They are excellent with children and other pets, but are the happiest when doing what they were bred to do; hunting.

It did not take us long to discover this for ourselves. In the spring of 2000 we adopted our first Llewellin Setter, naming her Blue Skye Bailey. Bailey has become the family pet and hunting companion that we all envisioned. Not only is she well-mannered and biddable, but she is a truly exceptional bird dog as well. As the hunting season in our area is short-lived, we were looking for something more that we could do with Bailey for exercise and continued training. Hearing of the field trialing that many of our friends were enjoying, we decided to give it a try. At first we felt that this would be a great opportunity to measure our training success against others and we were secretly interested to find out how our dear Bailey would fare. To our delight, Bailey excelled and we all fell in love with the sport of field trialing. We are now in our seventh season of trialing and along the way have added another five Llewellin Setters to our family (three of which are offspring from Bailey). We have met and befriended some wonderful people along the way, those who have the same love for the Llewellin Setter breed and passion for bird hunting. We have joined and are active with five different trialing clubs, traveling across the country to various different states.  We have joined and are active with five different trialing clubs, to include National Llewellin Gun Dog Club, United Field Trialers Association, National Shoot to Retrieve Association, Quail Unlimited and Sportsman's Bird Dog Club of SW Missouri, traveling across the country to compete in these various venues.

As a family we have become closer than ever; bonding over our enjoyment of these beautiful, sweet-tempered companions. We still greatly enjoy wild bird hunting, which Russ and our five dogs take every opportunity to do. We have also started working with Russ’ parents in creating a natural habitat on their property to attract and maintain a healthy quail population. The family estate is now known as On-Point Hunting Preserve, where we proudly host field trials for the National Llewellin Gun Dog Club, the United Field Trailers Association, the Sportsman’s Bird Dog Club and the Midwest Llewellin Setter Dog Club.

More information about the property can be found by clicking on the Property Page. Information about our Llewellin Setter family and litters can be found on the attached pages as well.

For additional information on the history of the Llewellin Setter Breed, may we recommend that you visit the following website: www.sparksllewellinsetters.com.

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Last Updated: 04/14/2011