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Gun Dog Breeder Reviews for Pook's Rise Spinoni

Testimonials (18) | Back to Pook's Rise Spinoni
Submitted by: Giuseppe and Karen Iacono on Feb 28, 2014
From wanting a dog to finally getting one is a fairly long road. And it better be. It does take time to prepare yourselves to welcome the new member of the family. And we were very lucky to find Maria to prep our family for such wonderful event. First, she made sure we were serious and committed about wanting a dog, and mostly she made sure we would be ready to welcome one of her puppies. Second, she made sure that one of her puppies would be the right fit for our family. We were very fortunate to receive her "green light.” Today, we are the proud “parents’ of Dante, a wonderful Spinone from Serafina’s and Toby’s 2013 litter. That little bundle stole our hearts from the first moment we saw him and his brother and sisters 4 weeks from birth. And from that moment we could not wait to welcome Dante into our home. Now, in a few days Dante will be 1 year old. The past year has been magnificent, and we owe much to the precious guidance from Maria. You must remember that one of her puppies might become your dog, but they will ALWAYS be her puppies. Through Maria , we share stories and experiences with fellow owners of Spinone offspring from her litters. We exchange emails with observations or questions. We relay stories of goofy behaviors or antics, complete with photos and sometimes a video. You become part of her expanded family. What a priviledge. We could not thank her enough for her guidance, and for how serious she is about the well-being of her puppies, and the purity of the breed. And all of this with an unique wit. Thank you Maria!!
Submitted by: beryl ann cowan on Feb 02, 2014
I cannot say enough wonderful things about the experience of acquiring a gorgeous and delightful female spinoni from Pook's Rise. Before, during and after obtaining my puppy, Maria Holt was both informative and accessible to answer all my questions. She allowed me to visit her to get to know more about the breed, and her dogs before I made my final decision to enter the wonderful world of spinonis. Maria takes incredible care of her adult dogs, as well as her puppies. They are raised under clean and loving conditions. It all pays off. My puppy is a bright, healthy and happy girl. She is terrific with people of all ages, there have been no surprises. I am planning on training her to work alongside me as an assistant in my mental health practice. Maria and the families who obtain her dogs continue to be a network of shared fun and information. I can't imagine a better experience.
Submitted by: Charles on Jan 29, 2014
We are the proud adopted parents of Juno, from Pook's Rise 2012 litter between Serafina and Toby. We also have another Spinone who is 7 years old. Juno displays wonderful characteristics of the breed. Her composition is only bested by her disposition. She is beautifully sweet and affectionate with our children, who are ages 21 months and 3 years, and has never been timid with other dogs. I highly recommend Pook's Rise Spinone. Maria is as knowledgable as any Spinone advocate I have encountered and she breeds exclusively to produce outstanding examples of the breed. If you are fortunate enough to make Maria's list, you will be in for many joyful years of Spinone companionship.
Submitted by: Chuck Park on Sep 11, 2013
Donna and I first became interested in Spinoni Italiano about three years ago. We had an aging Old English Sheepdog at the time, and were thinking of bringing a new puppy into the family. I was interested in a dog with the personality and demeanor of the OES; with a hairy face and expressive eyes, like the OES; but with less maintenance required and good health ratings.

After much research into many different breeds, the Spinoni kept coming up at the top of our list. The next task was to locate a breeder within a reasonable distance from where we live in the greater NYC area. We found that there are just a few breeders nationwide, but were pleasantly surprised to find that Maria lives just down the street from Donna’s best friend, Jill in Massachusetts. So on a subsequent visit to Jill’s house, we called Maria and went over to her house to meet her and her brood of adult Spinoni.

Maria was very hospitable, friendly, outgoing and kind to our band of marauding strangers. She told us all about the breed in general, and in depth information on the members of her pack, Sire Toby, Dame Serafina, and companion Gus. The dogs were everything we had hoped they would be, and more. They were friendly, playful, affectionate, and intelligent. And not too excitable, which is a huge bonus. They are very relaxed and laidback. Maria went into great detail about the health of her dogs, and the screening process for congenital diseases and conditions. She goes to great lengths to insure that her bloodline stays true and disease-free.

That sealed the deal for us. We were completely sold on a Spinone from Maria as the next member of our family. But timing is everything, and our timing just wasn’t right. We missed that year’s batch of puppies by a few months. Maria breeds just one litter a year, and she explained that the puppies should be socialized with people and other dogs while they are still young, and the best way to insure that they get that socialization is to plan the breeding for an early Spring birthing so that the puppies will be ready to go to their new homes in late Spring/early Summer when the weather is more conducive for getting the puppies out of the house to go meet and greet other dogs and people.

Our timing was off the following year, as we would not be back from an extended trip in time to take delivery of a puppy. But, finally, this last Spring, everything fell into place and we got on the list for one of Maria’s puppies. That puppy, Isabella, is now six months old, and the light of our lives. The reason she is such a joy is partly due to the general disposition of the breed, but mostly by how she was raised by Maria from birth to eight weeks-old. Unlike some other breeders that whelp and raise their puppies in outdoor kennels with a minimum of human contact, Maria’s puppies are born and raised in her home with constant human attention, caring, and love. I think that makes all the difference in the world.

Chuck Park
Cortlandt Manor, NY

Submitted by: Lesliejohn and Jim Roche on Mar 02, 2013
After raising and breeding Brittany’s for many years as companions and hunting dogs we decided we wanted to research a different breed with hunting abilities and as my husband would say, I wanted a big fluffy dog. With research and many months of looking we found Pook's Rise Spinoni and Maria. From this point on Maria was extremely knowledgeable about the breed as well as personable and just a lovely individual. We set up a visit when her female Spinoni, (Serafina) was pregnant. As we approached her home and up the drive way four Spinoni’s greeted us at our car. That was it; these dogs are just magnificent in every way. Well, it is hard to believe in a little over a week Maizy will be a year old. Time has gone by fast and everyday has been a joy with Maizy. She is a kind and loving soul, wants to please and a joy to have around whether she is lying by your feet or playing catch outside. She was great most the time in obedience’s school other then she would decide when she just wanted to lay down and still get the treat. As a puppy Jim spent time everyday working with Maizy playing fetch, teaching her to come, going for long walks and introducing her to the field to bring out the hunting instincts. At every stage Maizy wanted to please and when hunting season came that was no exception. At seven months she proved to be a natural hunter in the field, both pointing birds and retrieving. She will only improve with time, and Jim can’t wait until the season begins again, and I am sure Maizy feels the same.
Submitted by: Bill Wadsworth on Feb 28, 2013
We purchased Roman from Maria's 2012 litter and he is absolutely the love of our household. He is a very affectionate, intelligent dog who would if possible, rather lay on you than next to you. He infatuates almost everyone that comes in contact with him either through his almost regal looks or the comical things that he seems to do. He is developing already into a very athletic hunting dog locking up on either Chucker or Pheasant and would even honor the other two Shorthairs points at probably 6 months. I have been a duck hunter with Labs for some 35 years so Roman and others are teaching me alot about upland bird hunting but he will alredy heal unleashed as we jump ducks off the creek and amuse everyone with his ability to walk in the creek with his head below the water searching for whatever. He is an absolute joy to have in our lives so whatever you have been doing with these dogs Maria, just keep doing it.
Submitted by: Nathan on Oct 13, 2012
We have an excellent male from Maria's newest litter. She provided an ideal experience. We met the parents prior to the breeding and got a real chance to see what we were in for. Toby and Serafina are very strong examples of the standard with distinctly enjoyable personalities we absolutely loved. The puppies held true to form when whelped and Maria really went the extra mile to raise them with excellent socialization and fine veterinary care. The puppy we bought home is beautiful and healthy. He enjoys a little pseudo-birding around the property, but mostly likes romping with us in the yard and brisk hikes over and through the rolling hills of the surrounding area that have easy access to grassy meadows. Indoors, he's playful for a while, then loves settling in for a nap. He's really a wonderful companion. We highly recommend Maria and her spinonis if you are looking for truly home-raised puppies with great pedigrees and wonderful temperaments.
Submitted by: Kathy & Ted Parge on Sep 25, 2012
Ms. Holt is a very knowledgeable and caring breeder of Spinonis. She has continued to be an excellent resource to us long after having picked up our puppy. Her puppies come from great breeding lines and are healthy both physically and emotionally. Great "Spins" from an exceptional breeder. I would highly recommend calling Pook's Rise first when looking for a Spinone!
Submitted by: Dolores Hughes on Sep 20, 2012
After many years of research (reading about, meeting with Spinoni owners and their dogs, going to the Westminster Dog Show and talking with breeders there, etc.), we purchased a Spinone pup from Maria Holt 6 months ago, and he has lived up to all our expectations of the breed. Sweet-natured, smart, clownish, he loves our 14 yr. old son, (and would love to play with our 14 yr. old cat if the cat would allow it). He has low indoor energy, and he loves playing outside, he's goofy, and yes, he sorts and eats laundry too, and we love him!
Our experience with Maria has gone beyond our expectations. She truly cares about her pups, and about them having great homes too. She has been a valuable resource for us, answering any questions we've had and a few we hadn't thought of yet. Whether it's a reading suggestion or a place to stay nearby, she's been very helpful, and she's a lot of fun, too. She still stays in touch with Spinone updates or stories, and we look forward to hearing from her. We feel very fortunate to have found her, and highly recommend her and her pups.
Submitted by: Ingrid DiGregorio on Sep 17, 2012
Maria is always there for you; upon first contacting her about the spinone breed, thru the time the pups are born and in selecting the right pup for you. She is intensely interested in how your pup is doing. She is also tons of fun; it is quite an experience to go to her lovely home in the Berkshires and "meet the parents" and members of her spinone family. Our dog Nellie, is an absolute goof ball, she is sweet, silly, naughty but is a lot of fun to take to pup school and beyond for more advanced training. She learns quickly and doesnt have a mean bone in her body.
Submitted by: Aimee Toth on Feb 09, 2012
Our pup is the kindest, most gentle, laid-back doggy soul you would ever want to meet. He is wonderful with my children. He is very willing to please and truly wants to be your companion. Fantastic and classic Spinone temperament.
Submitted by: Christine Drago on Jan 30, 2012
This is our first experience with a Spinone and we are in love. She is the most beautiful, gentle, happy, goofy dog you could wish for. She loves to run free in the woods where she is sure footed and courageous under all conditions. She loves everyone and everything (except squirrels!). She is great with children, loves to play, but knows how to be gentle. She even does laundry - well at least she sorts and eats it.
Maria Holt is an exceptional breeder. She has been more like family than someone who sold us a dog. She is always concerned and informed, with a great sense of humor that I'll swear our dog inherited. I could not recommend the breed or the breeder more highly.
Submitted by: Richard Atkind on Jan 25, 2012
Nellie is our second spinone and our experience with Maria Holt has been beyond comparison. We have a wonderful 75 lb female spinone that is truly part of the family. She is a delight to be with and is the perfect non-aggressive "puppy" as all the neighborhood kids will attest to. Maria has continued to inquire as to her well being and continues to show the caring she showed throughout the entire process of her matching the right puppy to the right family.
Submitted by: Ken Priestley on Jan 22, 2012
We have a dog from Maria's last litter. He is a beautiful, happy, healthy Spinone, who looks like his father Toby. Maria does a wonderful job of socializing the pups from the day they are born. She is a very caring breeder, spending a tremendous amount of time and effort caring for the puppies. Although I am not a hunter, Enzo shows great instincts in pointing & flushing the birds in our back yard. We also have another Spinone, who is a year older, from Toby and a different female. The Spinone Italiano is a wonderful breed, they have very sweet dispositions, and everyone who meets ours are very impressed, both by their looks and their personalities.
Submitted by: Betsy Palmer-Ehrenfeld on Jan 20, 2012
My Spinone puppy will be turning 1 on March 7, 2012 (last year's litter from Toby and Serafina) and he is such a delight. He's gorgeous, sweet and everyone who meets him falls immediately in love. My experience with his breeder, Maria Holt was terrific. She's very knowledgeable about the breed and raises all her dogs in a truly loving atmosphere. Maria was wonderfully generous with her time and I enjoyed many visits with the pups and their parents before I brought Reilly home.
Submitted by: Dr. Bethany Cook on Jan 20, 2012
Our puppy Watson is the most amazing "little" (90 lbs at 10 months) puppy I've ever been around. He is the kindest most gentle giant. He plays so sweetly with out 10 year old Wheaton and has NEVER been aggressive to anything or anyone (well except a dining room chair:) He is a perfect blend of his mom and dad and everyone who sees him says what a handsome boy he is...
Maria is an amazing breeder and once you meet her you can see why her puppies are so wonderful. My partner and I could not have more pleased with our puppy and will definitely refer anyone we meet who is in the market for a puppy to get Spinone from Maria!
Submitted by: Mary Musante on Aug 05, 2011
Ms Holt is a very caring loving breeder of her Spinoni's. My puppy looks just like his sire but has his mother's eye color. He is sweet, calm, even tempered yet a bit stubborn. He is healthy and happy and gets along with all the other dogs and cats he has met and people he has met as well. Ms. Holt cares deeply about her pups and follows up with all the new dog owners.
Submitted by: sandra wijnberg on May 22, 2011
Most wonderful dog ever with a very noble bearing- sire is Tobias from Pook's Rise - and my dog looks just like him.

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