Submitted by: Nickolas and Katie Switzer on Apr 13, 2015
We really cannot say enough about the wonderful dogs and people that can be found at Round River Setters.
The puppy we acquired from Scott and Shelley was a wedding gift for my husband. We looked at two other breeders before stumbling upon Round River Setters. Neither of those breeders/dogs impressed us (we are picky people, apparently).
When we went to visit Scott and Shelley, I will be honest that my expectations were low based on our prior experiences. Boy, was I wrong. These two people really care for their animals and are passionate about matching their customers with the right dog. They allowed us to stay as long as we wanted to meet all their dogs and the puppies. They are so knowledgeable and nice you will be tempted to spend hours chatting and cuddling (the dogs).
Our "puppy" is now nearly two years old and just about the best dog you could ask for. Not only is she gorgeous (we get comments all the time about her soft fur and remarkable coloring) but she has a great nose and high potential as a hunter. Her personality is perfect and her temperament is excellent (especially for a family dog).
Couldn't ask for nicer people or a better dog. We highly recommend Round River Setters!
Submitted by: Dave Wenke on Nov 04, 2013
Scott and Shelly are some amazing people, so are the four footed ones that live with them. The way the puppies are cared for is on a level beyond what I had expected. They are in either the living room or the kitchen and constantly looked after. Clean, warm and happy is the best way to describe all the puppies that I saw over a 4 week period.
You can expect any one of these puppies to let you play with their feet or nearly anything else without complaint. The adults are well behaved and are a balm to the souls of us who lost our companions before their time. Trusting, friendly and ready and willing to sit in your lap.
After nearly 2 months of having my Cali (Calista) I am constantly amazed at how calm and collected she can be. When she was chipped and had her shots, she never uttered a sound. She took to water quickly and loves to retrieve her favorite toy. Fearless in the field, she dove into brush and did not complain once at the brambles, stickers and thorns she was covered in.
So far I've caught a glimpse of the Lady she will become and after training she'll shine even more. I can't wait till we can get in the field together and watch her work.
If you are looking for nothing more than a hunting dog, keep on looking. If you are here for a companion, a new family member who will hunt for you, then you are in the right spot.
Submitted by: Dave Wenke on Oct 17, 2013
Where to start?
Might as well begin with where the pups and other adults are housed. Most breeders I've seen and been to have external buildings for the pups and adult dogs. I was pleased to see the pens in the kitchen and living room so the pups had attention and care constantly from both Dam and Humans.
Both litters from all my many visits were well socialized and happy to see new faces. New fingers to taste as well. The pups had no issue with having their feet, tails, ears or just about anything else fiddled with for cleaning or just plain handeling.
The adult dogs are a blessing in disguise for thosse of us who have lost our house/hunting companions. Calm, comforting and ready to flop in your lap was just plain amazing to me.
I have already recommended Round River Setters to my coworkers and friends and am happy to do the same here. I will be happy to answer any questions and provide pictures of my pup Calista "Cali" if asked.
Submitted by: Paul and Patricia Gingrich on Apr 01, 2013
A year after losing our older English and Irish Setters, we decided that we wanted to open our house and hearts once more. After some unanswered emails from previous breeder hopefuls, Shelley and Scott answered my inquiries immediately. Right away, I sensed the compassion and care for the dogs by the way she responded back to me. From the initial emails on, I knew we had found the right people to work with. After awhile I passed the communication torch off to my daughter, Nicole. The decision for our one puppy, led to a second puppy for Nicole and her family, then led to a third puppy. Three puppies later, tons of spots, and a whole lot of personality, we were given the name of the "Setter Trio" by Scott and Shelley. The whole selection process from start to finish was a fantastic one... weekly emails, pictures upon pictures, and the opportunity to meet and pick out the pups before they were to come home. Scott and Shelley have a pack of smart, obedient and loyal dogs. We were so impressed on how well-behaved the dogs were inside their home, as well as the many commands Jesse can do. Even today, Nicole is still in contact with Shelley and they frequently share photos of our Setter friends.
Six months later, our Autumn and Daisy have found a love for the outdoors. They respond to simple commands and are as loyal as can be. Autumn and Daisy are a team, work side by side cornering chipmunks, and angling to "catch" a squirrel. Although they won't be used in the field, they do show characteristics of setting at the birds in our wooded backyard. Although the deer that travel through aren't so sure of our spotty friends.
Scott and Shelley Gillis are the go-to people for quality English Setters. Hands down, the most compassionate people we've ever dealt with in selecting a puppy.
Autumn, white with chestnut spots, born on 9/26/2012 to Jesse and Rayne
Daisy, white with black spots, born on 9/26/2012 to Jesse and Rayne
Submitted by: Greg Tue on Mar 02, 2013
When I decided to get a dog after many years without I started researching breeds and after a lot of consideration I decided that a English Setter would fit pretty good with all the criteria that I had so I then started researching breeders. Living in northern Iowa I found several in Minnesota and Wisconsin but was kind of looking to stay in our home state so when I came across Scott and Shelley I sent them an email. Scott called me shortly after that and did a breif interview with me to see if I would be a good fit with one of their dogs. We decided to put our name in for one of the pups and began the wait. They were super about keeping us informed and when the first breeding didn't work out they worked with us on another litter. We had 1st pick so we drove down and looked at the pups at 6 weeks and made our pick. They had us into their home and introduced us to their entire family of dogs, cats and birds. Couldn't find people that love their pets any more than Scott and Shelley. We picked Izzy out at that time and went back 2 weeks later to pick her up. We could not be happier. She will be 6 months old in 2 weeks and she is everything I hoped for and more. Walk daily in the field behind us and she acts so birdy without actually understanding yet. She runs ahead quartering and checking back without any real work having been done. Will start to work her when the weather gets a little better but know she will be a natural. Scott and Shelley are super people and their dogs can't be beat in my opinion.
Submitted by: Nicole Lemke on Feb 28, 2013
My family and I began this puppy journey nearly a year ago, when my Dad came across the Round River Setter name. Scott and Shelley responded to our initial emails and phone calls with so much care and concern, that we knew we were dealing with good people. After waiting many months, we finally brought home three little beauties from Rayne and Jesse’s autumn litter. Although the dogs will be our four-legged house companions, we undoubtedly see the field characteristics in all of them. All of the pups are so smart, even a little too smart for their own good.
We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Scott and Shelley as they opened up their home to all of us in the process of picking out a pup. The email communication, photos, videos, updates and the time spent writing about the pups made the whole process a super fun one with our families. We would wait at the computer in hopes of the weekly photos and updates. Five months later and still on a weekly basis, I now send pictures and adventure updates of the “Setter Trio” back to Shelley. It's been a fun experience for both of us. ;)
If anything were to happen to our beloved Pippa or we wanted to add a companion for her, Round River Setters will be the only breeder we will use in the future. Thank you for everything.
Pippa, white with chestnut colored spots, born on 9/26/2012 to Jesse and Rayne
Submitted by: rob orr on Feb 28, 2013
Scott and Shelley are very sincere and conscientious English Setter breeders. They care about the breed and the homes where the puppies might be placed. The puppy I purchased from them is healthy and at five months already exhibiting the good qualities I want and like to see in an English Setter. I met my first English Setter gun dog as a youngster(Dwight Eishenhower was President), so it is good to know that good stewardwhip of the bloodlines continues with those like the Gillis' Round River Kennel.
Submitted by: Terri Winslow on Oct 27, 2012
Wow!!!!! We bought a setter pup in the last year from Round River Setters,his name is Duke,he is a great pup,he is about ten months old now.Duke learns very quickly,gets along great with other animals,even the cat.You could not ask for better dogs to raise with children,they have even temperments and are very loyal ,they love the entire family and are beautiful to look at.We have owned a lot of dogs,hunting breeds and others and duke is by far the most gentle and trustworthy with children,you will just love them.The Gillisis are great to deal with you could not find a more honest breeder,they really love their dogs and take the best care of pups and the breeding dogs are really part of the family,that was nice to see.Can't go wrong purchasing a pup from them. Terri Winslow
Submitted by: Mark Huntington on Oct 09, 2012
From a customer service standpoint, Scott is a very nice person to deal with. He tried to accomidate all of our "needs" in choosing a puppy, while doing the same for his other 9 or so customers. He posted videos and pictures nearly every day. He was very good about returning phone calls. He offered advice when we needed it. He was great when it came time to ship the puppy, in fact we recieved a call from him about 3 seconds before the plane touched down delivering our new family member.
Cooper is now about 8 months old. He has been in the woods with me probably 35 to 50 times at this point. Maybe close to 100 flushes now, some he was aware of, some not. At first I don't think he knew what that sound was. He now knows very well what that sound is! He is bird crazy! He quarters beautifully, all natural. He is learning the wind, gracefully turning into it when he scents a bird. He is a pleasure to watch in the woods. Still waiting for him to point but with all of his other traits I am in no real hurry. From time to time I will stop walking and just watch him move through the fall foliage. His intelligence is evident on the hunt as well as at home. This weekend I think I ruined my friend to hunting without a dog.
At home he is adored by the four of us and everyone that knows him, a perfect gentleman with a lovable personality and that chiseled English Setter profile. We are very proud of him. Can I say without a doubt that my next dog will be a Ryman? 100%
Submitted by: Curt Ellis on Sep 29, 2012
Hi Scott and Shelley,
I just wanted to pass on an update on Sally. She has grown to be a big girl and an integral part of our family. I was attracted to a Ryman Setter after experiencing other Rymans in our extended family and Sally has fit right in. Around the house she is a joy, if a bit clownish. She has become a very dedicated family member and devoted to my daughters especially. Your pup has definitely lived up to George Ryman’s goals. My only concern is leaving her alone with my father in law, I’m afraid he may try to keep her.
We just got back from my annual hunting trip to Wyoming where she really showed off her skills for a 1.5 year old. She worked flocks of sage grouse beautifully but looked truly at home in the mountains hunting blue and ruffed grouse. She hunted hard and thoughtfully with very little correction being needed for range, etc, while displaying a natural tendency to check in. This was balanced with a strong desire to hunt and hunt hard. Even at this young age Sally appears to be hunting with me as a team rather than for herself. Even though the conditions were hot and dry she endured like a trooper. She traveled well but was a bit of a bed hog in the motel. I absolutely cannot wait for the pheasant opener.
I cannot be more thrilled with Sally in all respects of “owning” (I’m not sure who owns who at this point) a hunting dog. As I mentioned previously, what reeled me in was your website and the friendliness exhibited while I pestered Shelley via email whether “the girl” was still available. The direct conversation with Scott as decision time approached confirmed how serious you both were in placing quality pups in good homes. If anyone would need reference to the fantastic pup you have provided me please provide them my contact information. I would be glad to share my experience with Round River Setters and Sally and introduce her personally if someone is near central Iowa.
Submitted by: Donna & Craig Maurer on Sep 26, 2012
Scott & Shelly delivered Ben, an English setter, to our home on my husbands birthday as a surprise birthday gift. Ben immediately became one of the family. He was 8 months old and had been very well trained and loved. He has a wonderful personality and is a beatiful dog. Four of our granchildren live with us and he is very gentle and adored by all of them. My husband no longer hunts, but I know Ben would be an excellant hunter, he loves to please and minds very well. We have had Ben for almost a year. Scott and Shelly have checked back several times to make sure everything is going ok. They truly love their dogs and are excellant breeders
Submitted by: Debbie Brown on Sep 25, 2012
Exceptional!!!! Winston is beautiful and very loveable. He is exactly what we were looking for. The owners were so nice to work with. We will definitely buy another dog from them.
Submitted by: Robert Glazebrook on Jan 10, 2012
I have trained and hunted over English Setters since I was 10 years old.
When my Cody died of cancer in May of 2011, at age 7 (and broke my heart), I began looking for a new partner. Because a hunting partner is a long term commitment, I spent many hours looking at English Setter kennels on the Internet, printed many photos, and made many notes so that my final decision would be the best I could make. (I am a tax accountant, so you can imagine the files I had by decision time!)
When I saw the extensive web site of Round River Setters, I thought they were some huge kennel in the Midwest. Wrong. They are a small family kennel who treat their setters like family members. There is NO shortage of photographs and videos of their pups from the day they are born until the day they leave home. That is because the pups do whatever the Gillis family is doing. Going to the park?---They took him. Swimming at the lake?---He was there. Professional photographs taken at a local studio?---They sent them to me. Photos of him at the airport?----Got them.---Videos of his plane taking off?---------Yep, I've got them too. (Available upon request if you think I'm kidding.) Amazing.
This is not a puppy mill.
They are always interested in their dog's progress and readily reply to all Emails from you.
A look back at the pup's heritage showed me a strong background with many familiar names of great gun dogs. That is always good sign in a pup's future.
Once they believed I would be a good partner for their pup, they jumped thru "airline hoops" (stupid regulations) to fly him to me in Florida.
The only negative in this whole thing, is that for the first 3 months of his life they called him "Kirby". Kirby?? Kirby sounds like a dog who watches hunting programs on television.
Fortunately, I saved him a lifetime of humiliation by renaming him "Dakota". (After all the times I have hunted pheasants there.) He therefore has to be a great dog---because he now owes me big time!
Dakota is now almost 10 months old. At 74 pounds, he is a big, strong, handsome English Setter Gun Dog. It's that simple. I have seen the likes of him before. He will be "hard core" and hunt with me all day, everyday,-----until only one of us is standing. (My advice? Bet on the dog.)
I did not have to force break Dakota. He was a natural retriever from day one. He loves to "hunt dead" and finds all little treats no matter how well hidden. (And he would look the rest of the day if he thought there was one more.)
In my 67 years, I have had several setters with great noses, but I have not had a dog who was only 10 months old with this good a nose. Only time will tell, but at this point, as a hunting prospect, I would say he is a nose -------attached to a big, strong dog as a life support system.
As a family member, he is a big loveable puppy who makes me laugh. He does all the crazy things that young dogs and young children do. I will, however, give him credit for being a fast learner. For instance, from his usual full speed ahead and damn the torpedo's pace, he now slows down and checks to be sure the doggy door is not in the "closed position".
Good Hunting to all of you.
Palmetto Bay, Florida
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