Contact Information and FAQs
Marble Mountain Kennels
Owners: Pete & Julie Morrill
E-mail is the best way to get a hold of us and allows us to respond to your questions much faster. Thank you.
(530) 598-0943 - Julie
(530) 598-1527 - Pete
Mailing & Physical Address:
P.O. Box 159
2006 South Kidder Creek Road
Greenview, CA 96037
A Short List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Someday we hope to have a separate page just for FAQs but, for now, this will have to do:
- OUR #1 MOST ASKED QUESTION IS: How does the puppy selection process work?
- Step 1, DEPOSIT AND RESERVATION: Send in your $200 deposit with your detailed reservation form so we know exactly what you want in a puppy. As soon as we receive your payment and reservation, we place you on an ordered list based on when we received your payment and reservation.
- Step 2, PRE-BIRTH TO FIVE WEEKS OF AGE: Over the next several weeks, keep watch online for our posting of when the puppies are born. You will see how many puppies were born of each gender, how many of each are reserved, and how many are still available for adoption.
- Step 3, THE SELECTION PROCESS BEGINS AT 5 WEEKS OLD: When the puppies are 5 weeks old, Pete places colored collars on each puppy. The puppies are placed on our live puppycam for you to watch during certain hours of the day. In good weather, the puppies are on the puppycam less often, since they like to be outside running around in the fresh air. Puppies born in colder, wetter months are on the puppycam more often.
- Step 4, SELECTION PROCESS CONTINUES AT 7 WEEKS OLD: When the puppies are between 6 and 7 weeks of age, Pete completes a puppy profile for each pup, noting their distinct personalities and hunting-related characteristics. This is when the selection process truly begins. We call the first pick of the litter buyer, send you a copy of our “puppy profile”, talk with you over the phone about each puppy’s temperament, place just the puppies you want to watch on the live puppycam, and either post photos online or send puppy photos to you via email.
- What is a puppy profile? How do you evaluate the puppies? These are two other popular questions. When a puppy is between six and seven weeks old, Pete puts all puppies through a short battery of tests to evaluate their natural skills and temperaments. The criteria tested are: boldness/dominance, energy level, nose, retrieve, birdiness, responsiveness, size, and color/shade.
- What are your facilities like? (Usually people want to know this, because they want to make sure we’re not a puppy mill.) We believe it is more humane to have a reasonable, manageable number of dogs on site at any one time, rather than too many dogs in crowded conditions like a puppy mill. To ensure that our dogs are treated humanely, we have wide open spaces and lots of lonely dirt roads for our dogs to run several miles twice a day. In addition to this daily exercise, their runs are large and spacious enough to accommodate additional physical fitness. Dogs are social animals and thrive in a pack so we try to have at least seven or eight dogs living together, but as you’ll see in answer to the next question, a lot of our dogs don’t even live with us at our kennels.
- How many dogs do you have at your kennel? The number fluctuates dramatically from month to month (or week to week), but we can have anywhere from seven to twenty dogs here at a time for the reasons listed below:
- STUDS: We always have two stud dogs (Banks and Major). All other studs listed on our site belong to other breeders. They do not live with us. We maintain a close working relationship with those breeders and use their stud services for breeding our dams.
- DAMS: We typically have very few breeding female dogs on site at our kennels at any given time, because we intentionally place them with loving, responsible local families. The dogs belong to their owners, but we retain the breeding rights for up to four breedings. Each time one of the females comes into heat, she comes back to our kennel to be bred, after which she is returned to her family until she’s ready to whelp. She returns to our whelping kennel and we care for her and her puppies until the puppies are weaned.
- Do you sell your retired females? Yes. After a dam has given birth to 3-4 litters of pups, we seek loving homes in which to place them—sometimes at reduced prices. If you’re interested in adopting an older, more mature dog, let us know. You should be aware that these retired mother dogs are usually neither hunt trained nor house broken.
- DOGS IN TRAINING: It varies, but at the time of this writing, we have about two dogs in training for clients and future clients. We have had as many as eight at one time. (They can keep our kids, my husband Pete, and our trainer Tyson very busy! Our teenage kids often provide basic training; then Pete and Tyson take over on the more advanced training.)
- PUPPIES: This varies greatly. We prefer to space out breedings so that puppies are born throughout the year at a manageable rate. However, God doesn't always work with our ideal timeline. Sometimes we'll wait for six months for any of our female dogs to begin a heat cycle; then they all come into heat at once and we have several litters of pups at the same time. We also occasionally have failed breedings. So, all that to say we can have as few as three puppies and up to twenty-five puppies at once, depending on the fluctuating factors of nature. On rare occasions our female dog owners want to keep their mama dogs and puppies at their homes until they're about five or six weeks old; in that case we might have a number of puppies available for adoption, but you won't find them anywhere at our kennels.
- How often do you breed your dams? A minimum of three times; a maximum of four times. Then the dams are retired and usually sold for very reasonable prices.
- What do you recommend for a puppy/dog with loose stool? 1 tablespoon of plain, probiotic-rich yogurt twice a day for at least a week, even after the stool is formed and healthy-looking. This is imporant. We find that, no matter how far away you transport your dog or pup--either in a car or on a plane for any length of a journey--the dog will get an upset stomach and have diarrhea. Because of this, we tell all our new owners to feed their dogs/pups plain yogurt during that first week they're with you and occasionally throughout the dog's life. Probiotics in yogurt are beneficial to a dog's (and human's) digestive system any time. (If you have access to fresh, raw, unpasteurized goat's milk, that's just as good, by the way.)
- Is crate training good for a puppy? Yes. You don’t want to leave a puppy in a crate for too long, but you can start with one hour and gradually increase to eight hours, which is perfect for a full night’s sleep—for both you and the dog. We recommend crate training for at least three reasons:
- Security: The crate makes a puppy feel safe and secure. No matter what is going on in the home and no matter how energetic a dog is, she can be trained to calm herself, relax, and rest in a crate.
- Reward: The crate can be used as a reward. After a challenging obedience training session, the crate is a place for a dog to relax, rest, and enjoy a special doggy treat. (We recommend tossing in a treat to get the dog to go inside the crate so the crate is always associated with a small snack reward.)
- Sleep: The crate creates a sleep reflex. After a quick walk outside in the evenings to relieve himself (and as we say "do your duty"), your dog will head into his crate and sleep through the night.
- Do you name the puppies? Yes--sort of. When the puppies turn five weeks old, we place colored collars on each one. At that time, we temporarily name the puppies according to their collar color, referring to them as “Blue” or “Red” or “Camo”, and so forth.
- What happens if we decide not to select a puppy from the litter we originally chose? If the puppy you want is born and you change your mind about that puppy, you can move your reservation to another litter, but you will need to send in another $200 deposit and we will keep your former deposit.
- What type of deposit is required? $200 cash, check or money order
- Do the puppies receive all of their shots and have their dew claws removed? Yes. Your pup will need another round of shots after you pick her up, but the due date for her next shots will be noted in your immunization record.
- How often, how, and what do you feed your puppies? We feed our puppies (and pregnant or lactating mama dogs) twice a day. We mix in a little warm water and let the food soak for about ten minutes before each feeding. They eat so voraciously, they choke and throw it up if it's dry. This is primarily due to the fact that all the puppies in a litter eat together and compete for food. If you have no other dogs competing for food in your home, you will be able to gradually eliminate the water and feed them dry food. In fact, we recommend feeding dogs dry dog food as soon as possible, since it's better for their teeth and jaws. We feed our puppies Purina Puppy Chow, then mix in a high-protein adult dog food, and finally wean them off of the Puppy Chow to total adult food. We suggest consulting with your veterinarian or any puppy-related book regarding when exactly to make these transitional feeding changes.
- What and how often do you feed your adult dogs? We feed our adult dogs WalMart’s “High Pro Ol’ Roy” brand dog food. In researching various dog foods, we found that Consumer Reports recommended this brand as the best high-protein value for the lowest cost. We feed our adult dogs only once a day, but you can cut that in half and feed your dog twice a day, if you wish. The exact amount of food you feed your dog will depend on his/her size. Consult your veterinarian regarding food portion sizes.