Stillwater Kennel & Game Farm is family owned and operated by Ron & Monica Garringer and their children - Aaron & Lindsey Garringer and Justin & Christen Butler. Located on over 150 acres about an hour north of St. Louis, Stillwater Kennel & Game Farm provides a unique and peaceful experience especially for high energy or large breed dogs in search of a home away from home while their owners travel or work on home projects.
When it comes to gun dog training and bird hunting, Stillwater Kennel offers over 40 years of experience in the complete spectrum of retriever training. Whether you need a dog to hunt game birds and waterfowl throughout the year or if you want a competitor for hunt tests and field trials, Ron & Christen would like to help you. Their style is a bit "old fashioned" but the end result is a dog who WANTS to hunt, LOVES the field, and performs with STYLE, happily by your side for many seasons to come.
Ron's interest in animals began early in childhood when he had pets of all kinds including a skunk, raccoon, fox, and multiple family dogs. He taught the dogs tricks and also enjoyed hunting. In 1971, his sister gave him a Labrador Retriever pup for Christmas which was his first hunting dog named Cinder. Although Cinder was not registered, Ron attended "picnic trials" and was hooked. He was primarily self taught in retriever training and relied heavily on the information in the book, Training Your Retriever. He hitch hiked around the state of Indiana and attended field trials where he met many people and eventually acquired his first registered dog, Sampson of Stillwater.
Ron competed with Sampson and was allowed to use Cinder as a test dog at field trials. Sampson earned 3rd place in a state of Indiana field trial. He befriended some professional trainers, including Dale Hofstetter who eventually introduced him to Roger and Pert Vasselais. Ron left college in 1975 to train at Upland Farms, owned by Roger & Pert in Remsenburg, Long Island, which was his first professional retriever training position. He traveled the east coast, gulf coast, and the midwest to compete in field trials, representing Upland Farms. In the winter season, he spent time training at John Olin's Nilo Plantation and Kennels in Georgia with T. W. "Cotton" Pershall. It was there that he met Tommy Sorenson. In 1976, he began training for Tommy Sorenson at the Old Casa Audlon Kennels, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Wallace in St. Louis, training gun dog and trial dogs.
In 1989, Ron founded Stillwater Kennel (named for his first dog, Sampson) in Silex, Missouri, with his wife, Monica. With the loyal support of several clients, the gun dog business grew to include obedience training as well as boarding and shuttle services, primarily serving the St. Louis and surrounding areas. The family assisted in every aspect of the 24/7 operation including the game bird farm that raised hundreds of ducks, chukars, pheasants, and quail.
At the age of 3, Christen had one goal in mind - to take over the family business and train dogs with her dad. Ten years later at the age of 13, Christen assisted with obedience training and in 2008, she began a full time gun dog apprenticeship with her father.
No one else works at Stillwater Kennel. You can trust that your dog is cared for by the Garringer & Butler families and they promise to always be there for you to provide consistent quality and exceptional service for your dogs. They look forward to continuing to serve you for many years to come!
About Stillwater Kennel & Game Farm
Stillwater Kennel is a place where a dog can simply be a dog - with open air kennels, two room insulated dog house, field to run in and a pond and creek to swim in - many dogs are nearly as excited to see OUR family as they are to return home. There are 30 cold water/air cooled kennels for the summer and 10 indoor/heated kennels for the winter. There are also two cat kennels available.