Frequently Asked Questions

...and answers.

Click on a question to reveal the answer.


What is bordetella vaccine and why is it required to board my dogs?

Bordetella is the kennel cough vaccine. Kennel cough is a respiratory infection and causes coughing, nasal discharge, and can progress into pneumonia and be quite serious. We require all dogs coming to Stonehearth Kennels to have this vaccine whether they are boarding, training, or coming in for grooming.

Dog Training

Why are dogs required to stay at Stonehearth during training and dog owners are not allowed to visit them during this period?

We have had great success using this method for decades.

The first three weeks of training obedience are critical in getting the dog to learn and often change its behavior. Over the years, we have observed that if the owners interact with their dogs during this period, the dogs (and family members) often revert back to old behaviors. This behavior can set the trainers back in their training schedule because the dog often gets too excited and does not pay attention to our trainers, which is essential to the success of the training. For this reason, family visits then become difficult for all involved; the dogs, family members, and trainers. It also can increase the number of days required for training.

What is transitional training?

Transitional training teaches dog owners to use the correct commands and behavior so their fully trained dogs successfully follow their commands.

The first part of this training requires several nights in the classroom where the owner learns the verbal, visual, and whistle commands without their dog present.

After the owner has learned these commands, they are paired with dogs that are already trained to work with people and they learn to give commands to these specially-trained dogs, on leash and off leash. When owners have mastered giving commands to these experienced dogs, after about 4 days, they are ready to work with their own dog.

The reason that specially-trained dogs are used prior to the owner’s own dog is because the owner can make mistakes with these dogs and it will not confuse the dog. However, introducing the owner’s own dog and making these mistakes would confuse the owner’s dog.

We want your dog to follow your commands as well as it follows our commands. Dogs trained by Stonehearth Kennels represent the quality and tradition of our Stonehearth training program that we are very proud of and we welcome you to be a part of.


What does A.K.C. registered mean?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is an organization that records births of purebred dogs in the United States and issues a registration number. The registration certificate will list the Breed, Color, Sire, Dam, Sex, Date of Birth, Breeder, Owner, and AKC Number.

Your dog/puppy is not recognized as a purebred without an AKC registration. Responsible breeders will supply proof of AKC registration of the sire and dam and will encourage buyers of puppies to register their purebred puppies. We require registration of all Stonehearth puppies as part of the warranty we offer when purchasing a Stonehearth puppy from us.

What is O.F.A. certification?

OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This organization promotes the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease. They do this by evaluation and grading specific health risks in breeds of dogs.

What certifications does Stonehearth Kennels apply to the O.F.A. for?

Stonehearth Kennels applies for Hip Certification and Elbow Certification.

We require a passing grade on all breeding sires and dams before we will breed them. We try to insure healthy breeding practice by requiring certain testing for genetic issues on all our sires and dams. We also require any breeders wishing to use our stud males for breeding to have these certifications, also.

What are hip grades?

The hip grades of Excellent, Good and Fair are within normal limits. If hips have a passing grade, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals will issue a certification number called the O.F.A. number. You can request this number for proof of certification from breeders.

What are elbow grades?

There are no grades for a radiographically normal elbow. The only grades involved are for abnormal elbows.

The dog must be at least 2 years of age before having the elbows certified. If a dog receives a grade of Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3, the dog has dysplasia and will not be used for breeding. If a dog’s elbows are normal, it will not receive any grade.

What else does Stonehearth Kennels do to promote healthy puppies?

All  puppies born at Stonehearth Kennels receive a veterinarian health check a few days after birth and again approximately 5 ½ weeks after birth. The veterinarian checks the heart, eyes, and overall health of the puppies before we release the puppy to its new owner.

Schedule an Appointment

Available 7 days a week by appointment only.

Click the button below or call / text 608-769-7421.