What is a Llewellin?

A Llewellin setter is a strain of the English setter bred specifically for upland bird hunting. They are distinguished from the English setter by the specific bloodlines they must maintain, and were imported from England over 100 years ago. (The extensive history of the Llewellin breed is easily found in an internet search) They are recognized in the Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) but can also be cross registered as English Setter with AKC.

Simply put- Every Llewellin is an English setter, but not every Setter is a Llewellin.

What type of birds does a Llewellin hunt?

Our dogs are bred primarily to hunt Grouse and Woodcock, however they are successful on all upland species.


The average male is 45-58lbs. Average size of the dames are 35-48 lbs.

Colors are White/Orange, White/Black and White/Chestnut —Tri-Color are White/black/Tan & White/Black/Chestnut

Who purchases a Llewellin Setter?

Our customers come to us usually via word of mouth or internet/Hunting magazines. Most potential buyers are looking for a hunting and family dog. They are also looking for an outdoor companion as these dogs are active and able to keep up with all day hunts and rigorous outdoor activities. Once at home their wonderful temperaments and friendly nature allow them to transition to calm and lovable family companions.

What happens if I am unable to hunt my dog?

Approximately 80% of our dogs go to hunting families. The other 20% go to active families that love the outdoors and want a family addition that has the endurance to hike and participate in most outdoor activities and transition to calm, lovable and gentle pets at home. These are active dogs that need to be exercised daily. 

Most Frequent words we hear back from customers?

“Amazing bird dog” “Best friend” “Smart” “Loyal” “Sweet” ‘laid back” “Hunting under one year” “Loveable” “Easy to Train” “Well Behaved” “Great with People”  “Wonderful with kids” “Calm” “all business in the field” “Birdy” “Beautiful”

What is your Puppy Purchase Process?

Once you have talked to us and have decided on a puppy from Little River Kennels, we have you place a deposit with a reservation form. All pups are reserved in the order a deposit was received. We generally take 6 deposits per litter. We have been doing this many years and this has always been the fairest way to place a pup.

Long Distance Purchases:

Coming from a distance/can’t make it to us until puppy pick up?..no problem, thanks to modern technology we often facetime/video chat customers and spend time with pups on video and any questions regarding the puppy personalities, traits and overall process.

What happens while we wait?

It is an exciting time when our pups arrive. Our priority lies with the mom and the pups, especially those first several days. We are dedicated to their well-being and often don’t get much rest ourselves those first several days.

Within a week of the litter arrival, we contact those customers who have a deposit with us in the order they are received. Sometimes when multiple litters are born over the course of couple weeks it can get a bit longer. We are often spending our nights contacting customers and sometimes it will be a couple days before we can touch base.  We are doing our best to confirm a litter that is sold so please be patient. All of our customers are important to us, and we take that time with each of you to find the best fit possible. Once the litter is confirmed and Male & Females are sorted out, we send updates weekly to customers. We will often play short video clips and pictures on Facebook and Instagram for all to see. After 5 weeks of age we allow visits. (This is for the health and safety of the pups) Between 6 and 7 weeks we start the pick order so by 8 weeks everyone knows which pup they will be bringing home. This system has worked 90% of the time. Things do happen and pups become available at the last minute. This is why some breeders have a “wait list”. Our wait list is usually the deposits that have been placed for future litters. Once all these avenues have been exhausted, we will let it be known we have available pups, via social media and our website.

How it all started?

Pretty simple. One summer day in 1991, I came home from work and there was a dog in my house. A beautiful Black and White setter adeptly named “SPOT”. (See home page of website) A friend of George’s had come under circumstances beyond his control and could no longer care for him. The rest was history. 😊

Where we are heading?

After 25 plus years of raising Llewellin Setters we continue to be amazed by this wonderful breed. In 2018 we began to make improvements around the kennel and our land to bring seasoned/new hunters together and watch these beautiful dogs work. Hopefully a byproduct of that will bring interest to a new generation of upland bird hunters.  We are also working on a store on our website to offer unique and cool products for setter owners. We have also acquired some new and rare bloodlines that will enable us to continue to keep this breed intact while maintaining the purest and healthiest Llewellin Setters.

Why we don’t post or use social media as much as we should. 😊

George and I grew up in generation without cell phones or Facebook, Instagram, websites…etc.etc.

I like to call it a simpler time. (We both also have jobs outside of the kennel and have raised/raising 3 beautiful girls) We sent out lots of pictures and lots of letters. We talked on the phone a lot! 😊 And for the most part, the talking has not really changed. George does most of the phone work as I am no longer able to hear on the phone and I do most of the computer work. This is how we get to know our customers, this is how we figure out what is a good fit when you are looking for a pup, and this is how we still do it after all these years. However, things like this website, our Facebook and Instagram pages do make life easier, we can reach out to you and hundreds of others in minutes. But there is still that personal part where we make that phone call or send those first pictures of your pup that will never change.

What sets us apart from other breeders?

We have been breeding the Llewellin consistently for over 25 years, and we are always learning. Buying a pup is a very personal investment that lasts 10 to 14 years and we want you to be comfortable. We not only encourage your questions, but we expect them and if we don’t have answers we will try and find someone who does. Our customers keep in touch and many become family. Our strengths come from years of success using time proven raising and rearing techniques to give your pup the best possible start. We learn from our customers and what they are saying. We learn more with each generation and adapt, improve and make decisions based on all these things. It goes without saying that most reputable breeders do what they do for the love of breed.


Fun Facts

·        We were the First ever DNA Registered litter of pups with Field Dog Stud Book through American Field Publishing Company

·        Our first Llewellin Spot was on the cover of New Hampshire Sportsman

·        Dogs have appeared in Gun Dog several times

·        Oldest breeder in New England

·        Our farthest pup sold was in Alaska

·        We have our customers run into each other in the field. Farthest encounter-2 Customers hunting the prairies of New Mexico

·        Our Phoebe goes back Eight Generation out to 1992

·        Our first Llewellin we acquired by circumstance

  • Our Llewellins have hunted 13 species of upland birds