Diary of a Montana Spaniel Puppy Mill

Because of the staggering numbers of puppies this “family run business” is now producing, and the complaints we have received, and keep receiving, about this breeder, this page will be updated regularly.

The Frenchtown, Montana English Springer Spaniel puppy mill mass producing springer puppies under the name Bear Country Springer Spaniels is now operating under a bunch of new website domains (a new one they use on puppyfind and nextdaypets is  english-springer-spaniels.net)  and seller names, which change ALL the time. Other kennel names they go by are Bear Mountain Springers and Mystical Mountain Cluminger Spaniels.

Be aware that this is not a reputable or professional kennel “facility” of any kind. This a high volume, backyard breeder raising puppies out of their living room en masse, for quick sale on the internet. This is NOT a hobby kennel–this is a low quality breeder all about making money and they crank out puppies like processed loaves of bread.

Because of the incredible numbers of dogs they have on their property, adults and juveniles are turned loose into bare dirt open corrals (that cannot be disenfected) with a few dog houses and Igloos for shelter. Nobody can keep ten litters of puppies in their house for very long, and puppies for sale are kept in small pens with wood shavings for bedding. These puppy pens are everywhere around their house! Most of the corral dogs are probably ignored until it’s time to breed them (again), get a bath to spiff them up for their photo op, and sell more puppies.

September Update: The Bear Country/Mystical Mountain Springer and Cluminger Spaniel puppy mill continues to slide further underground, hiding info and available puppies and using more and more back alley tricks to advertise with. Available litters and prices differ on every online selling site, and at least ten (10) puppies from May still remain unadopted, with an undisclosed number of clumingers for sale. (Shhh. It’s a secret. No pictures are on their website so nobody can identify which poor bitch they’ve bred twice this year!) The Christmas puppies will start showing up soon enough which means lots of litters and more unsold “left overs” collecting in the dog corrals… Puppies for profit. Ain’t it great?August Update: The newest babies aren’t so new anymore. Twenty two (22) older springer puppies aged 12 -17 weeks old, remain unsold. No pictures or mention of the Clumingers on their website…probably a big litter, or <gasp>, more than one litter! How many litters do you guess are in the nursery? Stay tuned…July Update: Puppies from TEN litters are for sale. Nine Springer litters and one Cluminger Spaniel mixed breed. One of the mommy dogs just turned two years old (considered fully mature) and had her second litter. The common practice of price reduction has started on the older pups. PS: It usually means more pups are in the whelping boxes… June Update: They are attempting to sell off their “wonderful”  and “beautiful” stud dogs, including a three-legged stud named Rupers. (Hey, what kind of person do you have to be to sell a three-legged dog??!!) PS: The last time they had a big website “family illness sale” it was just a gimmick for they went out and bought MORE breeders!


COMPLAINTS: We started this page in 2006 when we were alerted that this kennel was claiming to have made a fake show champion (on the front page of their website no less), and since then we have quite unexpectedly collected dozens of complaints about puppies coming out of this Frenchtown spaniel kennel regarding very serious health disorders including life threatening EPILEPSY, THYROID DISORDERS, GIARDIA, KENNEL COUGH, SEVERE ALLERGIES, joint and eye diseases including TOTAL BLINDNESS, and temperament issues including aggression and timidity. One person has claimed that the very sick and temperamentally unsound puppy they received, didn’t match the one listed on the vet signed travel health certificate–this puppy had to be put to sleep. A five month old Bear Country puppy that ended up at a shelter in 2006 was turned in (with it’s AKC papers) because it was terrified of children. A recent complaint said their puppy had severe roundworm infestation, ate feces and defecated wood shavings for the first few days after it arrived via shipping. And the list goes on, and on…Common complaints include ROUNDWORM infestations, GIARDIA, FLEAS and COPRAPHAGIA (puppies that eat feces) which could be genetic, behavioral, or symptoms of malnutrition.

First of all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Some of the people that have contacted us were told by this breeder that they have “never had a complaint before.” YES, they have.

If you have some concerns over a puppy purchased from this kennel (or even from another kennel) that you’d like to share, or would like to file an English Springer Spaniel Breeder complaint, please contact Judy Manley-the current AKC/ESSFTA Springer Spaniel Rescue Rep., as the list of complaints regarding this very irresponsible breeder grows on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Montana does not have a Puppy Lemon Law, but there are some things you can do if you have purchased a  Bear Country Springer Spaniel “lemon”: Call the AKC kennel investigations department (they must do an inspection if they receive complaints), file a complaint with the Montana Better Business Bureau. There is something YOU can do to make a difference and hold this puppy mill accountable, and possibly prevent another consumer  from buying a sick or genetically unsound puppy!

CLUMINGER SPANIEL (HYBRID MUTTS):It was probably just a matter of time before this Jimmy Dean couple figured out how to further exploit their springers for profit and they are now breeding Clumber Spaniels and Clumber Spaniel/English Springer Spaniel mixed breeds and calling them Cluminger Spaniel hybrids. This allows them to breed a bitch twice a year and only one litter is documented by the AKC and subject to inspections. The AKC has over 150 breeds of purebred dogs to choose from (there is a breed for everyone) and animal shelters are filled with mixed breed “hybrids”. If you choose to research a mixed breed dog as a pet, consider a shelter dog first. They cost less and the adoption fees go to a good cause as opposed to lining the pockets of a breed for greed breeder.

As a rare breed dealing with a limited gene pool, Clumber Spaniels have many health, hygiene and temperament issues to evaluate…mixing them with poorly bred springers (especially those that are known to produce serious health and temperament issues) is a scary combination!!!!

The AKC Clumber Spaniel parent club website can be found HERE for REPUTABLE Clumber Spaniel breeders that participate within the breed.

The people who run this “kennel” will say anything to sell a dog (see reality check below). In truth, the only thing they are knowledgeable about is online puppy advertising. Using gimmicks to sell and rehome their dogs is common and they have pretty much used every gimmick in the book-from “family illness” kennel clearance sales to fabricated show champions, to self proclaimed “therapy dogs”, (which in truth need training and certifications.) They  have taken Internet backyard breeding to an entire new level of high volume “gross”, and morphed it into something that turns the stomachs of every responsible breeder that has been made aware of them.

With some research on your part, you will see the red flags flying everywhere. 

Dishonesty is commonplace with breeders of this kind. An important reality FACT Check:

In July of  2006, Bear Country Springer Spaniels, a super high volume English Springer Spaniel breeder, located in Frenchtown, Montana was exposed by a group of concerned springer spaniel fanciers, for making up FAKE SHOW CHAMPIONS (this appeared on the front page of their website in 07/06) and fabricated testimonials. When asked to remove their fake show champion, they created and published a FRAUDULENT LETTER on the front page of their website, pretending to be from the Canadian Kennel Club –full of typos and spelling errors!

When the CKC was informed of this they were not amused. Read the official CKC response at the bottom of this page. 

As a result of this unscrupulous and incredibly dishonest behavior, this kennel was reported to the Montana BBB (Better Business Bureau) for fraudulent advertising, a report was submitted to the American Kennel Club, and a call was made to the County Attorney’s office to alert them of potential consumer internet fraud.

Despite 150 witnesses who saw it there, Bear Country denies they ever placed this info on their website, or that they received a  email from the Canadian Kennel Club accusing them of fabricating the  fake Bear Country show champion and misrepresenting the CKC in anyway. (PS: Being the proven liars they are-of course they did!) 


From: Sonny Allinson
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 9:33 AM
To: bearcountryspringers@hughes.net
Cc: Diane Draper; Leila Bahorie; Laura Colangelo

Good Day,

It has been brought to our attention that, without permission, the Canadian Kennel Club logo appears on your website www.bearcountrymt.com at the bottom of the home page. The logo is considered proprietary and we respectfully request that it be removed immediately. There is also some serious concern that the letter associated with the logo which claims to be a Canadian Kennel Club correspondence is in fact not an official document from the Canadian Kennel Club and is therefore, by appearing on this website, considered by the Canadian Kennel Club to be a fraudulent use and misrepresentation of our organization. With regards to your claim that the dog Bearcountry SLV Pine Tri Gift is a Canadian Champion, our official records indicate that in fact this is not the case and no dog by this name is registered with our organization. We are seriously concerned over fraudulent misrepresentation of our records.

Return correspondence on this issue is requested as is immediate corrective action. 


Sonny Allinson

Manager, Communications Division

The Canadian Kennel Club.


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