Strong Gundogs has earned a prestigious reputation for consistently producing field trial quality English springer spaniels which are excellent companions in the home and exciting partners for the hunt. It is no small achievement, but we would have it no other way.
Spacious and modern, our new kennel facility is located on a large, privately owned, family ranch in South Texas not far from the picturesque Gulf Coast. We work our springers throughout the six month long hunting season on waterfowl as well as on traditional upland game birds.
David Jones, the owner of Strong Gundogs, began his life-long career at the famed Saighton Kennels of North Wales as a young man. Prior to his arrival in America in the 1980s, he earned a respectable reputation for his training and dog-handling abilities. David is a professional gun dog trainer and a tough, seasoned competitor in field trials. He also hunts and selectively breeds his English springer spaniels. Throughout the ensuing years, Strong Gundogs bloodlines have remained steadfast to their Saighton roots.
A Proud Tradition
Internationally famous, Saighton Kennel's bloodline originated during the 1930s. Talbot Radcliffe established the prestigious kennel at the grand Presaddfed Estate of Anglesey, Wales, and he proceeded to introduce the world to his athletic English springer spaniels. These merry spaniels soon captured the attention and imaginations of all who were fortunate to witness their awesome working abilities. The Saighton English springer spaniel became well-known as an intelligent, powerful, athletic-built dog capable of exciting, and sometimes, even incredible displays of skill, stamina and courage, on land and in the water.
And so, the legend was born.
"Impressive" is perhaps the single word which best describes the mighty Saighton's Stinger who took the British spaniel world by storm as he rose to the challenge and, in 1965, became the flashy winner of the prestigious English National Field Trial Championship. This powerful dog is every bit as legendary today as he was in his own time. Stinger, perhaps more than any other single British-bred English springer spaniel - before or since - most certainly ignited the interest and passions of spaniel enthusiasts across the American continent. Dozens of Saighton-bred spaniels have placed in - or won - field trials in the United States and Canada, as well as many National Championships on both sides of the border.
Since the late 1960s, with very few notable exceptions, the vast majority of US National Field Champions have had a heritage of Saighton blood running through their veins. No other kennel has even come close to commanding as much influence over the breed on this vast continent while staking a claim to that honorable achievement.
As the years all too quickly slipped by, Mr Talbot Radcliffe and his reknown Saighton Kennel reached their journey's end. Along with the swift passage of time, nearly all of the present-day English springer spaniels living on American soil have lost close generational ties to their Saighton ancestors.
Fortunately, the proud tradition lives on.
David Jones, who began his career employed by Talbot Radcliffe at the prestigious Saighton Kennel, is the founder and owner of Strong Gundogs, which is located near Tivoli, in south Texas. David has put forth a vigilant effort to preserve and continue the classic Saighton lineage - and especially their hallmark traits - in his own, top-notch Strong Gundogs bloodline of English springer spaniels. He has worked tirelessly to achieve his goal of producing the highest quality dogs possible.
This year marks the kennel's proud 40th Anniversary... and they're still going Strong!
David J. Jones
David has been very fortunate to enjoy a lifelong involvement with English springer spaniels. He received his first springer puppy from his father at the tender age of four. When he was just ten years old, David eagerly began learning the art of dog training. His dedication, skill, and passion for training dogs would soon become his chosen career path, taking him to new adventures in the far corners of the globe.
Completing his studies, the Welsh native graduated from the Game Conservancy's Gamekeeper Training Course at Fordingbridge in Hampshire, United Kingdom. He soon was hired to work as an underkeeper on the well-known Carrog Shoot in Wales, where he remained for two years prior to his employment in 1975 at the world renown Saighton Kennels. His new position was located on the rugged Atlantic coast of Anglesey, Wales, at the regal Presaddfed Estate.
He was working as an underkeeper when the Saighton Kennel owner, Talbott Radcliffe, recognized David's innate aptitude and understanding of the springers. From then on, David was assigned at least two of the Saighton springers to handle during each hunting season. One of these dogs was Saighton's Seeking, who was the main stud at the kennel at that time. Perhaps the best known offspring of Seeker was 2xNAFC/NFC/CNFC Saighton's Scud, a dog who was exported to America where he achieved an amazing four national field championship titles.
After working for six years at the Saighton Kennel, Talbot offered David the Head Keepers position, but he decided to spread his wings and accepted an offer to relocate to Victoria, Texas, instead.
Starting with foundation stock imported directly from the Saighton Kennel, David bred, trained and developed his own line of Strong springers. Stepping into the limelight with his powerful spaniels, between 1981 and 1987, he handled the dogs in US and Canadian field trials. The success of the Strong line English springer spaniels included winning field trials, finishing field champion titles and placing at the US National Open Championship. In addition, Strong dogs achieved first and second placements for national high point dogs in 1986 and, in 1989, FC/CFC Strong's Seamus was honored to be named second on the Top Sires list. This was especially significant when taking into consideration that Seamus only had a limited number of breedings.
During a hiatus from English springer spaniel field trialing, David continued to cultivate the development of his Strong English springer spaniel line breeding program with an unwavering commitment to keep it true to its Saighton heritage. This primary goal has always remained a top priority.
Meanwhile, Jones became well known as a tenacious competitor on the pointer field trial circuit and also as he ventured into the highly competitive arena of greyhound races. Both venues presented unique challenges, yet David successfully bred, trained and handled his Strong dogs for each of these diverse pursuits.
Finally, in 1997, David Jones announced his long awaited return as an active competitor in English springer spaniel field trials and he's never looked back.
In addition to his appreciable experience with English springer spaniels, David has also trained countless pointers, Labrador retrievers, working terriers, racing greyhounds, trailing hounds, as well as English cocker spaniels. Over the past three-plus decades, David has served as a discerning judge with a keen eye for cocker spaniel and springer spaniel, as well as pointer field trial competitions not only in the United States and Canada, but also in Australia and New Zealand. Besides his fine reputation as a dedicated, knowledgable breeder and an experienced professional trainer of high quality hunting and field trial dogs, David Jones is a certified National Sporting Clays Association Shooting instructor.
By 2001, David realized there was a need for a high level competition which not only tested the spaniel for the desired qualities found in a field trial competitor, but balanced that with the traditional work of a well-polished hunting companion. Taking it to another level, competitors were also required to shoot over their own dog. The bar was raised as David Jones established and organized the National English Springer Spaniel Shooting Dog Championship. This challenging annual event ran for several years and was held in Texas during early February. It attracted the interest and participation of many of the very finest judges as well as first-rate dog and handler teams from coast to coast and Canada.
English Springer Spaniels
The Strong line of English springer spaniels was developed from a solid initial foundation of Saighton's very best bloodline. Outcrossing has been done on a limited and highly selective basis.
Each and every dog we breed, regardless of whether they are from our own Strong bloodline or if they may be an intended outcross, is carefully selected for their desired traits. These prospects are also rigorously evaluated to ensure they meet our high quality standards.
But the bar is higher, still.
Those springer spaniels who have proven they have what it takes and can consistently perform to our satisfaction are further required to complete and pass their genetic health screenings for eyes, hips, and blood before breeding.
Our careful selection process involves the training of promising young springers to which we provide the opportunity of gaining actual hunting experience on plenty of wild game. The Texas hunting season begins in September with dove while the weather is usually hot and dry. This results in poor scenting conditions, putting the dogs scenting abilities to the test which provides ample opportunity to evaluate each dog's nose as they are used for retrieving duties. Our lengthy hunting season progresses on to duck, then geese, and finally on to quail hunting, which comes to an end in March.
In addition to an incredible amount of wild upland and waterfowl hunting experience gained at the ranch, there are frequent hunting trips to Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, and the Dakotas, as well.
This produces phenomenal hunting dogs.
It is only our very best hunting dogs which are carefully selected and trained for field trial competition, along with an initial test breeding. The resulting offspring are thoroughly evaluated. Only those springers that meet our rigorous high standards and which have proven their ability to pass on these desired traits to their progeny are finally accepted into our breeding program.
The success of our breeding program has not only produced the finest quality gun dogs, but also many notable field trial champions:
- FC/CFTCh Strong's Seamus, 1986 US high-point dog
- FC/AFC Strong's Reflection of Light
- Saighton Sleet FTW
- FC/CFC Braw Bairn of Suthron Glen, US hi-point dog
- FC/AFC Strong's Hailley
- FC Strong's Windrift Rex MH
- FC Strong Brodie
- CFTCh Expressway's Magnet
- FC/AFC Raintree's Sassy Lady
- AFC Raintree's Sea Pirate
- FC Grouse Wing Britches
- CFTCh Grouse Wing Hunter
- CFTCh Grouse Wing Sun Shine
- FC/CFTCh Grouse Wing Swaps
- FC Tullamore's Quick Saddle
- FC/AFC Redcoats Request
- 1998 NAFC/FC Redcoat's Reply, a grandson of Seamus
- FC/AFC/HR Strong's Jock of Suthron Glen
- AFC/HR Strong's Lass of Suthron Glen
- AFC Suthron Glenn's Sparky
- FC/CFC Gross Murphy
- Strong's East Coast Ellie FTW
- CFC Strong's Yosemite Sam FTW
- FC/CFC/AFC Southswell Stoke
- AFC Southswell Simon
- FC/AFC Strong's River Ranch Delta CD BN RN MH NAP NJP
- FC Cooper’s Hawk Talon
- FC Strong’s River Ranch Kate
- AFC Geordie Lad
- FC Strong’s Task Force
- BCR's Sharp Dressed Man FTW
- Kisiwa's Rock N Delta Queen FTW
- FC Deacon of Simmwood
- Pepsponies Cold Sweat FTW
- AFC Strongs Windfall Sage MH
- AFC Strongs One For the Road MH
- FC Strongs Royal Jester
- Strongs River Ranch Heidi FTW
Generally speaking, we have planned breedings as well as the occasional litter of English springer spaniel puppies available.
At Strong Gundogs, we raise all of our puppies with tender loving care, paying very close attention to their health, physical and mental development, as well as their socialization needs. Once they are ready for solid foods, our puppies are fed only a carefully selected premium high-quality kibble.
While living at the ranch, all of our puppies become well socialized as they regularly meet new people of all ages and will inevitably encounter a variety of other interesting animals. Spending time both indoors and outside, they are provided with ample sunshine, fresh air, and daily exercise.
Our Strong puppies thrive with numerous fun opportunities to learn as they explore the new sights, sounds, and experience all of the enticing smells of the great outdoors at the ranch.
Without a doubt, a puppy's life is grand at Strong Kennels!
When the time finally comes to leave the ranch, all of our puppies are fully vaccinated appropriately for their age and in full accordance with Texas state law. They also receive a veterinarian health check and their eyes are examined by a certified canine ophthalmologist before they are released to go to their new homes. All of these efforts ensure each of our puppies will have the best opportunity possible to get a good start for a well-adjusted and healthy life.
The current price of a Strong springer spaniel puppy is $1,500 plus all applicable shipping costs if it is not picked up at the kennel. Shipping costs generally involve an airline approved crate, airline shipping fees, a required health certificate, and the round trip transportation to the airport.
Please direct your inquiries related to the current availability of a Strong puppy to David Jones via the contact information provided below.
Strong Gundogs is extremely proud and very pleased to present FC Strong's Task Force, also known as "Stryker", who is currently standing at stud for approved females, only.
Descended from our own carefully developed Strong bloodline stretching back to the kennel's Saighton roots, Stryker exhibits all of the traditional hallmarks found in an exceptional English springer spaniel.
Time and again, he has consistently proven himself to be an incredibly impressive field trial champion and likewise, an extraordinary hunting companion with ample drive, determination, stamina, and style.
The very best of both worlds, Stryker is not only a powerhouse in the field, but is likewise an enjoyable, loving, eager-to-please dog in the home. Stryker is an all-around great springer spaniel and is truly an exciting once-in-a-lifetime dog.
"He won two double trials, both days with large entries averaging fifty dogs," comments his owner, David Jones. "He's one of the best, if not the best and most talented dog I've run in my field trial career. Stryker's first litters of pups have all produced field trial champions!"
We invite you to view and download FC Strong's Task Force Stryker's pedigree.
For further details or breeding inquires related to FC Strong's Task Force "Stryker", please direct your questions to David Jones. For your convenience, his contact information is provided below.
David Jones exclusively trains dogs for hunting and field trials. The training fee is $700.00 a month, along with the cost of training birds and all vet bills. Boarding of hunting dogs is at the rate of $250.00 per month. Currently, we are taking bookings for the 2020-2021 season.
Waterfowl or upland. Pointers or springers. Treat yourself to a memorable hunt with David Jones as your guide.
We are currently fully booked for the 2020-2021 hunting season.
Our location and mailing address is: 161 River Ranch Road, Tivoli, TX 77990. For inquiries of all types, David Jones can be reached by cell phone at: 361.220.0827 or via email at the following address:
"Have had 3 of his springers and enjoyed them all. And have one now that may be that special one that may exceed all expectations! Yet to be confirmed, but it's exciting to know you are starting with the best potential available. That's what David is focused on and achieving!"--Fred "Oldog" Simmons