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Laura Harmon with Benelli and HOPE I'm Laura Harmon, currently a breeder and proud owner of five beautiful Llewellin Setters; Benelli, Skylar, Shayla, Sawyer, and Shelby.

Since acquiring my first Llewellin in December of 2004, this relatively unknown breed has totally captured my heart as both a great hunting partner and family companion.

I started raising my own Llewellin litters in 2005 and have placed puppies all across the country into wonderful families of hunters, non-hunters and celebrities alike and continue to enjoy this business alongside my husband John.

These days I am dedicating a large part of my life to these amazing dogs, raising litters of pups and educating people about the breed. I want folks to know not only that these dogs have exceptional natural bird hunting instincts in the field, but also about their loving, gentle devotion and companionship at home.

Hickory Hollow - view coming down our driveHickory Hollow is our small rural acreage near Shellsburg Iowa, nestled far back into the hickory timber with many mature fruit trees and lush rolling pastures for our two horses.

The dogs enjoy a very large fenced-in backyard where they can safely get the proper amount of exercise they require, running, playing and interacting with each other daily. They all get along like peas in a pod, they really are best buddies and enjoy each other's company. Sometimes they play so hard that when they finally come inside they just flop due to sheer exhaustion.

Life with these dogs brings daily joy to our lives!



Our Philosophy

When you purchase a Hickory Hollow Llewellin Setter, we feel that you are not only getting a new family or hunting companion, but you are also getting to enjoy the experience of a lifetime!  

If you feel like an expectant parent in anticipation of bringing your new puppy home, you will LOVE our program. From our regular BLOG updates, frequent Facebook social interaction, regular postings of new photos and videos and our LIVE Puppy Cam, you can feel like you have been a part of your pup's life from the very start, not just from the day you take your pup home.  

We offer you these perks:

  • LIVE Puppy Cam! - Watch your puppy grow from birth to the day you bring him/her home through our 24/7 live video feed streaming in high definition!
  • pUpdates blog - Providing a whelping day play-by-play with up to the minute details and photos posted as pups are being born. Then frequent blog entries throughout the first 7 weeks of life with pup development progress and fun new things happening day-to-day here at Hickory Hollow.
  • Puppy Portraits - Weekly puppy portraits are posted so you can see how the pups are changing from week-to-week.
  • Litter Photos - Miscellaneous litter photos taken throughout the previous week are posted weekly.
  • Video Clips - Several video clips are posted to YouTube throughout the pups' 7-week development so you can get an up close and personal view into your pups life.

------------------------ P L U S ------------------------

  • Join Our Family - We will welcome you with open arms into our HHLS family, we consider all of our clients friends for life! We enjoy staying in touch and sharing stories, we will be there for you whenever you have questions or concerns. We also want you to be part of our Facebook Family, a fun community of HHLS pup owners and followers.
  • Exclusive Discounts - All of our HHLS clients get exclusive access to deep discounts on all upland hunting gear such as upland clothing, dog training and tracking equipment, and aluminum dog boxes offered through our online retail store: Hickory Hollow Upland Sporting Gear, located on the web at!

COME JOIN THE FUN! Your next family and hunting companion is worth the wait from Hickory Hollow Llewellin Setters.

We handle every aspect of our business and customer transactions with precise detail and with utmost professionalism. All of our information, contract conditions and guarantees are provided in writing. We strive to go above and beyond our competition by providing a well-rounded package with the highest quality of service and Llewellin Setter puppies possible.


Our Commitment  (To the breed / To our Pups / To our breeding dogs / To our clients)

    To the Llewellin breed...

We breed with the aim of producing a healthy family friendly, high quality, close working, foot hunting dog that will perform with a superior level of excellence in the field as well as embody the ideal blend of strength, stamina, grace and style that is classic of the breed. Our breedings incorporate some of the finest Llewellin bloodlines in the country including Wind’em (Advie), Gladstone, Royacelle, Blizzard and Bondhu. Just check out our dog's pedigrees!

In recent years we have been focusing on the Dashing Bondhu bloodlines which include a direct lineage from the famous "Hank" from the OLN TV show "Hunting with Hank".


We pledge to better the breed by doing genetic screening on all our breeding dogs. We have screened our dogs for Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) and inheritable eye diseases as well as serum blood testing for Thyroid Dysfunction and our dogs have been certified by OFA.  We have also used Embark DNA testing to screen over 200,000 genetic markers for inheritable diseases. Dogs that do not pass the tests will not be used for breeding, PERIOD!

This alone makes us stand out from the rest, as not many breeders do this testing which is a crying shame. Good breeders should strive to better the breed and make conscious decisions that affect the outcome, overall health and success of the pups.

BEWARE OF THE BACKYARD BREEDER who is just out to capitalize upon the market's demand for Llewellins just to make a quick buck and will wash their hands of you once you have paid for your pup and walked out their door, providing no genetic testing of breeding dogs, and no health guarantee for puppies, nor any future client support!

Therefore, we urge you to hold your breeder to a higher standard and require health testing and certification for healthy eyes and hips on the parents before you commit to purchasing a pup. After all, this puppy will be a huge investment, not only monitarily, but also in your time and effort, so why not invest in the best!

We require all of our pups to be spayed or neutered as outlined in our Puppy Purchase Contract unless they prove to be of breeding quality. Before any of our pups can legally be bred, they must also pass all genetic health screening tests.



    To our pups...

We do everything humanly possible to produce healthy, happy and sound puppies by raising them in the best possible way involving; providing a carpeted surface for young pups to get traction for movement, providing neurological stimulation during the critical development phase based on the "Super Dog" theory, feeding a nutritional diet, providing adequate room to play, socialization both with children and other adult dogs and cats, noise desensitization, and medical/veterinary care when necessary.


We are dedicated to each and every one of our pups and won't leave anything left to chance. If we have a big litter and momma is having a hard time feeding them all, we supplement with regular bottle feedings. If a pup is small or ailing, we don't just leave it's fate up to mother nature, we get right in there and do what needs to be done to save a life. Loss is not an option if we can have anything to do with it! Due to our diligent efforts, we have saved several pups that may have otherwise been lost.


Our goal is to place our pups in the best possible environment for them. These dogs were bred to hunt and that will be a high priority when finding them a home. We will also look for these dogs to be lifelong family companions, not just hunters and that they will be looked upon as an integral part of the family. These dogs need companionship, the kind they will also provide 100 fold in return. If you are one of the lucky ones to adopt one of our pups, then you have demonstrated to us that you have our common interests at heart and we believe you will be the kind of puppy parent(s) that we are seeking.


If for any reason an owner can no longer keep the dog, we will provide assistance in finding the dog a suitable new home or are willing to take the dog back when possible. We will not permit our pups to be surrendered to animal shelters, humane societies or rescue groups when they can come back to us. We feel a sense of responsibility because we brought these pups into the world and therefore will always have a vested interest in where they reside.


    To our breeding dogs...

Our Llewellins live in our home and are part of our family, they are not permanently housed outdoors or left to live a life of solitude in a kennel. They have a large fenced in yard where they get out multiple times daily to exercise, for socialization and to explore and sometimes get into a little mischief. Once they've gotten their outdoor time, they come inside and lay at our feet and put their heads on our laps.

We are not a “kennel” and do not have typical kennel-type outdoor housing facilities that hold dozens of dogs. We only keep a select few number of dogs for our breeding program, and sometimes we seek stud service from other responsible breeders with genetically tested and approved males. Therefore, the Llewellins we do have get tons of love and attention on a daily basis, the kind of affection they are more than willing to return in full.

We do not overbreed! Usually our females have one litter per calendar year and are allowed to rest for one cycle in between litters. We do not breed without a demand. We only produce a litter when we have taken pre-reservation deposits with a commitment to purchase a pup.

We feed a premium performance diet for optimum nutrition and health and it reflects in their soft shiny coats and happy personality.


    To our clients...

We know that part of the reason folks have chosen us as their breeder is our dedication to detail in breeding and raising our pups as well as providing the experience of a lifetime.  We strive to make this an over-the-top, enjoyable experience for all our puppy buyers.

  • We dedicate a LOT of time to website updates, taking and posting photos and videos along with frequent blogging and interaction on Facebook to keep you in the loop as your puppy matures. The addition of our LIVE Puppy Cam in HD has taken our program to new heights and has quickly become a main attraction because folks can literally see their puppy 24/7, day or night.
  • You will become a part of the "Hickory Hollow family" and we will welcome you with open arms into our elite inner circle. We consider all of our puppy clients friends for life and enjoy staying in touch! We have met so many wonderful people this way and are thankful for ongoing frienship and camaradarie within our little Llewellin community.
  • We think of all our pups as our "fur kids", so we like to hear reports on the puppy's progress, share fun stories and even tears when necessary, and are available to answer questions and discuss concerns whenever needed throughout the lifetime of the dog and beyond. E-mails and photos are always welcome and we strive to acknowledge and respond to each and every one.
  • We stand behind our dogs and our guarantees. We put our health guarantee in writing, and thus we offer purchase contracts so there are no misunderstandings of our terms. We go over everything in detail with you on delivery day during your puppy pickup appointment.  And most importantly we deliver on our promises.


Our Business (Licenses / Registrations / Certifications / Routines / Timeline / Super Dog Program  / Qualifications)


Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Breeder's License: #11285
License Date: 11/5/2018
Expires: 11/5/2019

We were visited by a State License Inspector who interviewed us about our business practices and inspected our breeding, whelping and nursery facilities. She has indicated on numerous occasions that she wished all breeders would live up to our standards.  



  • VIP SealField Dog Stud Book (FDSB) - Our breeding dogs are 100% purebred Llewellin Setter which have been registered by the American Field of Chicago in the Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB). FDSB registration certificates can be provided upon request.

    The FDSB requires all registered Llewellin Setter breeding dogs to be DNA tested and verified to prove Llewellin lineage before any litters produced by them can be registered. Our dogs have been DNA tested and have been issued a Certificate of DNA Analysis with the "Verified Identifiable Parentage" (VIP) golden foil seal.  All of our litters are registered with the FDSB within a week after birth and are issued a registration number. Therefore, all our puppies within those litters are also eligible for individual FDSB registration as purebred Llewellin Setters. (See also DNA Certification below).
  • American Kennel Club (AKC) - Since our dogs are registered with the FDSB, this makes them eligible for cross registration with the American Kennel Club because the AKC acknowledges the FDSB as an acceptible domestic registry.
  • Unfortunately the AKC does not differentiate the Llewellin from the English Setter in the same way the FDSB does, so all FDSB registered Llewellin Setters will be classified as purebred English Setters according to the AKC paperwork.

    We offer assistance with this option for those clients who wish to participate in AKC sponsored events.


Certifications... (Genetic and Health Testing)

VIP SealDNA - Our breeding stock have been DNA tested by the American Field in conjunction with UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to guarantee pedigrees by proving parentage and purity of the Llewellin lines.

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab is internationally recognized as a pioneer and expert in DNA-based animal testing and forensics services. They have experience genotyping hundreds of thousands of dogs for breed registries and associations. DNA is the only way to prove that a dog is a purebred Llewellin and we can show certifiable proof that all of our dogs have Verified Identifiable Parentage ("VIP") status.


OFA stickerHIPS - Our breeding stock are evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to be free of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) before they are used in our breeding program. Once they reach the minimum two years of age, x-rays are taken while the dog is chemically restrained in order to get an accurate photo of the hip joints. Those x-rays are sent off to the OFA for evaluation by several doctors who will rate the hip joints from Excellent through Dysplastic. Ratings within normal limits are Excellent, Good and Fair. Dogs with these ratings reduce the likelihood that their offspring will have the condition.

EYES - Our breeding stock are certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to be clear of inheritable eye defects that cause Juvenile Cataracts and blindness in young dogs. To be certified, our dogs must be screened annually by an OFA approved, board certified veterinary opthamologist. The eyes are dilated and examined with an opthalmosope.


THYROID - Our breeding stock are certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to be "Free T4" since Hypothyroidism does run in some Llewellin bloodlines. The dogs are tested between the age of 2-4 years.


OFA stickerGenetic Health Testing through Embark - Our breeding stock have been DNA screened for genetic diseases by Embark in conjunction with the University of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Embark DNA test kit for breeders provides insights on a dog's overall health and traits including coat color and body size. This is an all-inclusive genetic health test consisting of inbreeding coefficient and results for nearly all genetic mutation tests covering 165 diseases on over 200,000 genetic markers in 16 different areas; Brain and Spinal Cord, Muscular, Blood, Multisystem, Eyes, Gastro-Intestinal, Skin and Connective Tissue, Kidney and Bladder, Metabolic, Immune, Skeletal, Neuro-Muscular, Heart, Clinical, Hormones and Other Systems. Results are accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for all conditions where OFA has established a DNA registry.



Feeding - Our adult dogs and puppies are fed a high-quality 5-star rated performance dog food formula called "Native" by Kent Nutrition Group. Native is PERFECT for the working dog because they offer four different formulas, each one covering a different energy need but all have a standardized ingredient profile so you can easily switch between them based on the ever-changing caloric needs of your performance dog.  

We have partnered with Team Native's Performance Kennel Program to offer our clients New Puppy Kits containing a booklet on raising your puppy, a food product sample and coupon to use on the purchase of your first bag of food. We are absolutely convinced that feeding a superior performance food to our adult dogs, makes for stronger and healthier puppies.


Record Keeping - Even before the pups are born, our record keeping begins.  At about day 55 during gestation, we begin taking momma's temperature twice daily.  This information is used to help us judge whelping day or potential problems.  From the moment of birth, all important information for each pup is recorded such as birth time, weight, length, color, markings, position and gender. Other information is also regularly recorded such as weights, wormings, vaccinations and other developmental significant events.


Weight Measurements - Our puppies are weighed daily until they are four weeks old and then weekly thereafter. Their weights are recorded on a data sheet and kept with all the other records for the particular litter. This practice helps to alert us to a pup that might be ailing or to those that need some extra time at the milkbar or need special bottle feedings.


De-worming - Our puppies are dewormed regularly at weeks 2, 3, 4 and 6. Pups should be free of worms by the time they go to their new homes, however we recommend a veterinarian check a fecal sample during your initial veterinary wellness exam to confirm.


Vaccinations - We will give all pups an initial 5-way (Distemper Parvo - DA2PP) vaccination at 6 weeks. Puppies should be given booster vaccinations at 10 weeks and 14 weeks.


Socialization - Our puppies are well socialized during their time at Hickory Hollow. They will be exposed to other dogs, the outdoors (weather permitting), and many humans including children. We believe that socialization is extremely important in creating a well-rounded animal that will adapt to any situation that they encounter making them better hunters and family companions.


Desensitization - Our puppies are subjected to a variety of different types of noises throughout their time at Hickory Hollow. From birth to about 4 weeks of age, they are in our home and experience regular daily household noises. From 4 to 7 weeks, they are in The Puppy Cottage and are subjected to the sounds of the microwave, heater or air conditioner, squeaky toys, running water, the can opener, a food processor, clanking food pans and the unexpected opening and closing of doors as well as some good ol' country music on the radio!


Puppy Visits - We do allow folks to come visit our puppies at the point they are 4 weeks of age or older. This is because their little immune systems don't really kick in until they are about 2 1/2 weeks old so we must be very cautious about outside influences. Please call ahead to schedule a time if you would like to come for a visit.



Week 1 Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Daily weight is recorded
  Pups are in our home and live in the whelping box lined with fleece carpeting for traction
  LIVE Puppy Cam goes online in full color HD, 24x7
  Dew Claws are removed at day 2-3
  Super Dog Program, days 3-16
Week 2 Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Daily weight is recorded
  Pups get their first nail trim
  First dose of liquid dewormer (Pyrantel Pamoate)
  Super Dog Program continues
Week 3 Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Daily weight is recorded
  Second dose of liquid dewormer (Pyrantel Pamoate)
Week 4 Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Pups are no longer weighed daily, but will be weighed weekly going forward
  Third dose of liquid dewormer (Pyrantel Pamoate)
  Pups are moved to the Puppy Cottage, 9'x5' playpen lined with pine shavings
  Socialization begins and puppy visits are welcomed
  The weaning process begins with cereal meals (baby rice cereal and goat's milk)
  Noise desensitization begins (soft noises)
Week 5 PUPPY SELECTION - folks with reservations get to choose their pups!
  Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Weekly weight is recorded
  Pups get their second nail trim

Weaning continues with mush meals (canned puppy food / wet kibble)

  Noise desensitization continues and is ramped up (louder and more startling)
  Pups are presented with the opportunity for field trips to the outdoors (weather permitting)
  Pups are presented with the wing on a string during playtime
Week 6 Puppy Portraits are taken and posted online
  Weekly weight is recorded
  Fourth and final dose of liquid dewormer (Pyrantel Pamoate)
  Pups are vaccinated with a 5-way shot (DA2PP)
  Pups are microchipped
  Weaning complete, momma is removed and pups are eating solid food / dry kibble
  Outdoor playtime continues to be available when weather permits.

We continue to play wing on a string games with pups

Week 6.5 Fecal analysis is done to evaluate deworming regimen
Week 7 DELIVERY - Pups get to go to their new homes!
  Weekly weight is recorded
  All pups are given a bath and nail trim before going home
  Puppy Portaits are taken with their new families and posted online
Week 8 AIR SHIPMENT - Pups are now old enough to fly to their new homes.
  Boarding is available at reasonable rates after 8 weeks of age.


The "Super Dog" Theory...

Researchers believe certain stimuli can aid in boosting a puppy's neurological system during it's development which can greatly improve the dog's performance later in life. These benefits include improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate), stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease. The particular interval of time in a puppy's life when the neurological system is rapidly developing is between 3 and 16 days of age so it is during this time frame that we will perform five neurological stimulation exercises each day to aid in their development.

All of the stimulation exercises below are done for each puppy, once per day and are held for approximately 3 to 5 seconds.

    1. Tactile Stimulation - One foot is tickled with a Q-tip
    2. Head Pointed Up - Puppy is held perpendicular to the ground with head directly above the tail
    3. Head Pointed Down - Puppy is held perpendicular to the ground with tail directly above the head
    4. Supine Position - Puppy is held on it's back in the palm of the hand with it's muzzle facing the ceiling
    5. Thermal Stimulation - Puppy is placed on a damp towel which was cooled in the refrigerator

For more information on the "Super Dog"/Bio-Sensor program, please see this article "Early Neurological Stimulation" on



Laura has a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Iowa State University and in the past has had extensive training as a veterinary technician with over three years experience in the field. Laura has also been certified as a Hill's Veterinary Nutritional Advocate and has had the opportunity to educate pet owners on the importance of proper diet in relation to maintaining good health.

Therefore, our dogs used in our breeding program are kept on a strict regimen including a 5-star premium kibble, monthly heartworm preventative and intestinal deworming medication, annual veterinary exams and vaccinations for all major canine diseases which include Distemper / Parvo Virus, Corona Virus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease and Rabies.


Have no fear about putting your trust in us!
We have placed our puppies in wonderful hunting, non-hunting and celebrity homes literally from coast to coast! (Oregon to New York).

References are available upon request or please feel free to check out our Testimonials page.


Our Facility

The Puppy Cottage was constructed throughout the summer and fall months of 2006 and into winter 2007.  We built a 26' x 36' outbuilding to accommodate our 9' x 14' puppy room.

Design began in June 2006, our old garage which occupied the desired spot was hauled away in August 2006 and construction began in September 2006.

Click here to view the details of the construction progress.

Our new 26' x 36' outbuilding with 9' x 14' puppy facility



Our climate controlled facility is equipped with hot/cold running water, a kitchen area with an extra large deep sink (great for giving puppy baths) and includes an oversized puppy play area and doggie door to a covered 6' x 10' outdoor run. The design is very effective and highly efficient, helping us to streamline our routines and greatly improve the cleanliness and quality of care that we can provide for our pups.

Puppy Facility Kitchen



The 9' x 4.5' play pen easily accommodates and safely contains our energetic and ever growing puppies. It is lined with Dri-Deck and rubber mat flooring, (which Colby has so graciously exposed for you in the photo), is bedded down with red cedar or white pine shavings and is equipped with an automatic waterer. The bedding serves multiple purposes, it gives off a wonderful aroma, repels bugs and also soaks up urine and helps to keep fecal matter off of the puppies coats. The entryway is designed as a two-part sliding door whereby the top half can be removed to allow entry of the nursing momma while still keeping puppies contained.

Puppy Play Pen


The HHLS Press

The HHLS Press is our company newsletter distributed electronically to all of our clients and business acquaintances annually (or as time allows). ENJOY!








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  click to read this issue of The HHLS Press  



NEW! Family Forum

Puppies & More Puppies

Our Llewellins in the Press

Hunting Destinations

Product Reviews

Doggy Treat Recipes




HHLS Becomes Incorporated

New eCommerce Site

Coupon Savings

Puppies; Past & Planned

Hunting Destinations

Puppy Progress Report

Product Review

Doggy Treat Recipes




SR Network

Success Stories

Llewellin Litters

Hunting in Alaska

Puppy Progress Reports

Training Tips

Preventing Dog Theft

Doggy Treat Recipes

Everything Upland Coupon


Contact Information


Laura Harmon










E-mail Addresses: 


   Hickory Hollow Hunting, LLC

   3049 - 62nd Street

   Shellsburg, IA  52332 

   Toll Free:  877.GUN.DOGS

    Local:  319.436.2277



*Please do NOT copy an e-mail to all addresses, just choose one, I assure you it will be read.


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