Category Archives: breeder

Choosing a Dog Breeder: What You Need to Know

By Linda Cole

Most of my dogs from the past and present have been rescued, but I did have two Siberian Huskies and three American Eskimos that came from breeders. We all have personal reasons for choosing a pet from a breeder or a shelter. If you do decide to go with a dog breeder, there are some things you need to know – beginning with picking a breeder that’s reputable. Asking the right questions and knowing how a credible breeder should interact with you, helps you make a wise choice.

Good breeders are associated with local and national breed clubs, and kennel clubs like the AKC or UKC. They know their dogs well, and their objective is to constantly improve on the breed(s) they raise. Only healthy dogs are mated, and kennels, exercise areas, yards and homes are clean. All of the dogs are clean and well cared for, and their kennels are not overcrowded. Their dogs are family pets first, and many breeders enter them in dog shows, hunting, herding or Earthdog trials and other activities.

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Why is the American Kennel Club Important?

By Linda Cole

The American Kennel Club (AKC) was established on September 17, 1884, with the adoption of a constitution and by-laws. One delegate from each of the 12 active dog clubs that had recently held a bench dog show or field trials, met in Philadelphia to discuss forming a sort of “club of clubs.” The National American Kennel Club had already been established in 1876. With a need for a reliable stud book in the U.S., the AKC combined their records with The National American Kennel Club’s Stud Book, which was published in 1878 for a complete and thorough record of a dog’s pedigree (male and female) for all registered purebred dogs in America. Westminster Kennel Club was the first dog club to join the AKC and is the only remaining member of the original 12 dog clubs that established the club. The AKC has been responsible for maintaining written documentation of purebred dogs in this country ever since; however, the AKC does more than just keep records.

The American Kennel Club is a nonprofit organization with the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and is responsible for the rules and regulations for more than 20,000 AKC-sponsored events every year. The Westminster Dog Show is one of the AKC’s more famous events, but they also oversee events in other conformation dog shows, rally, lure coursing, hunting tests, field trials, agility, herding, tracking, obedience, coonhound events, and earthdog tests. The AKC’s mission is to be an advocate for purebred dogs as family companions, to advance dog health, to be a champion for the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership. The AKC is responsible for the integrity of the Stud Book, and promotes dog sports and dog breeding to make sure breed standards are maintained.

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How a Dog Show Helps You Find the Right Breed

By Linda Cole

Finding the right dog for your lifestyle is difficult if you don’t know what a specific breed’s characteristics are. We see well trained dogs in movies and TV commercials, and think maybe that dog breed would be a great pet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the right breed for you. A dog show gives you the opportunity to see different breeds up close and personal, making a difficult and important decision a little less of a gamble.

Dog shows give you a venue where you can talk with responsible breeders who raise purebred dogs. They know their dog breed inside and out, and are your best source of information. Breeders can tell you about a dog’s personality and breed characteristics which helps you decide if a dog breed will fit into a certain lifestyle. A Border Collie, Pointer or any dog from the working group is perfect for an active family who loves getting outside with their dog, but they may not fit into a lifestyle that includes small children or small pets, like cats. Someone looking for a small dog thinking the dog’s smaller size would be perfect can be surprised by a Terrier who digs up their flower garden or spends the day yapping at the neighbor’s outside cat.

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The Relationship between Dog Health and People Health

By Linda Cole

Dogs are not only “man’s best friend” – they are also aiding researchers who study dogs to discover better ways to treat humans. Because dogs live in the same environment that we do, they are also exposed to the same sort of things that cause cancer, diabetes and other diseases we share with our dogs. By discovering the genome responsible for a disease in dogs, researchers have a better understanding of the disease in humans, and know what to look for. New research in dog health is helping scientists learn more about people health.

A genome is one single set of chromosomes that contain all of its genes, i.e., the total genetic makeup of a cell. A genome contains all of the biological information all living things need that makes each species unique, including humans. The information in the genome is encoded in the DNA and divided into genes. Because our genetic makeup is so diverse, it’s been difficult for researchers to pinpoint exactly where diseases like cancer and diabetes originate in our complicated makeup.

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How Big Will My Puppy Get?

By Ruthie Bently

When people decide to adopt a puppy, they usually want to know how big it will be when full grown. Interestingly enough, the genes that determine a puppy’s adult size come from both the sire and the dam, not just one parent. They each contribute three alleles of size to their offspring and the combination of these determines how large your puppy will be. However, without knowing which alleles for size each parent is providing, it can be difficult to determine the puppy’s adult size.

If you get a puppy from a reputable breeder and are getting an AKC recognized breed, ask the breeder if both parents are on the property and if you can see them. By looking at the sire and dam of your chosen puppy, you can get an idea of how large it will be as an adult. An alternative is to check your local library for the American Kennel Club’s latest edition of The Complete Dog Book. It contains the breed standards of dogs currently recognized by the AKC. It can provide you with the adult size and weight that your puppy should be when  full grown.

If you are adopting a mixed breed puppy, it can be a bit more difficult to determine its adult size. Not everyone owns both the sire and the dam of a mixed breed puppy. Many times the female will come into season and become pregnant before her owner knows what has happened, and they don’t always know the male or males responsible. If you are adopting a puppy from a shelter, they may not know the breed of either parent or the age of the puppy. If you can see both of the parents, you can get an idea of the size the puppy will be when full grown. If both the parents are seventy pounds, chances are your puppy will be close to that size full grown. Likewise, if you have two ten pound parents your puppy will be a smaller adult.

I read an article which stated that with two dogs of differing sizes, the puppy’s size will come more from the mother. I disagree with that; I personally know of several dogs whose father was larger than the mother and the puppy is a large adult. One dog I know is a fifty pound cockapoo/terrier mix whose mother was a cockapoo that weighed ten pounds and whose father was a terrier mix that was over sixty pounds.

There are several other ways to help you determine the size that your adorable puppy will grow to. Look at their paws – if they have large paws it is a safe bet they will be a large dog when they are full grown. How loose is their skin? If they aren’t a Shar Pei it is another indicator that they will be growing into that extra skin and could be a large dog.

You can also document the puppy’s weight and height as it grows, and by keeping track of this on a growth chart you might be able to estimate how large your puppy will be as an adult. If the age of the puppy is unknown you could have your vet examine their teeth to help determine their age. The growth plates of a puppy’s long bones (found in their legs) fuse closed between the age of eight to eleven months old, but their weight continues until they are adults. A large breed puppy like a Saint Bernard or Great Dane will not be fully grown before the age of two.

An easy way to predict your puppy’s adult height is that it will reach approximately 75% of its adult height at about six months old. A non-scientific method is called the “double it” formula. You take the puppy’s weight at fourteen weeks and by doubling this you can get the estimated weight it will be as an adult. Since many of the larger breeds are not adults until the age of two, this formula won’t work for them.

Whichever method you choose, make sure before you get a new puppy that they will be a welcome addition to your family. A dog can bring great joy, unconditional love and plenty of laughter to your household, but you need to remember they will be with you for a long time. So now that you know how big your puppy will be, how big of a puppy do you want?

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Simpatico Weimaraners: Elegance, Strength & Balance

By Suzanne Alicie

It has been my extreme pleasure to interview Jennifer Martin of Simpatico Weimaraners for this article. Jennifer is a loving “dog mom” who is excited about her dogs being sponsored by CANIDAE pet foods. She was approached by CANIDAE to be a part of their Special Achievers program after contacting them to ask questions about the food she was feeding her dogs. Such care and attention to detail as a responsible pet owner caught the attention of the CANIDAE representatives. Jennifer says that she is thrilled to let people know that her dogs get noticed, in the show ring, at the vet or on a walk, and that CANIDAE All Life Stages dog food is partly responsible for that.

Elegance, Strength and Balance

As breeders, owners and handlers, Jennifer and her husband seek to ensure that Simpatico Weimaraners are the epitome of these three characteristics. The elegance, which makes a Weimaraner such a beautiful dog; the strength of character and breeding in these dogs; and the balance of temperament, mind and body. Simpatico Weimaraners are known for being exceptional examples of the breed, and Jennifer works hard to make that so.

Up early each morning to run 3-4 miles with the dogs and work with them, the Martins are dedicated to all stages of their dogs’ lives. While these dogs are “show dogs,” which basically means they are working dogs, Jennifer takes great pride that they are also their pets. The dogs are part of the family, and they live in the home and hang out together when they aren’t training or competing.

Getting Started

Jennifer and her husband originally became interested in the breed and wanted two puppies to raise as pets. A Weimaraner breeder sold them two littermates. According to Jennifer, who quickly learned, anyone knowledgeable about dogs and their pack mentalities would know that two litter mates should not be sold together. This is because one will become submissive and one dominant as they grow up together, just as a litter of six who stay in the same place will develop a leader and followers. Learning as they went, the Martins worked with those puppies and worked through the personality problems.

A few years and much wisdom later, Jennifer and her husband decided they would like to get another dog as well as learn more about the breed to begin showing dogs. Their first step was to contact Tom Wilson, the well known and reputable breeder of Smokey City Weimaraners. After several meetings with Tom to learn all they could and convince him they were the right couple to entrust one of his dogs to, he agreed to sell them a puppy. Because Tom believed in them, he selected a puppy with a strong pedigree and a champion dam.

That puppy, known as Avery, was finished by the novice handlers as their first show dog, and Jennifer’s husband handled Avery to a championship. Not only did they gain a champion dog they also formed a lasting friendship with Tom Wilson.

After Tom’s death, Jennifer used her own Smokey City Weimaraners to start her breeding program known as Simpatico Weimaraners. Out of respect for her friend and mentor, Jennifer did not continue the Smokey City name. She felt that if she did one of two things would happen, and either one would diminish the championship name. 1.) She would be trading on the rich history and success of the name instead of on her own merits, or 2.) She would not live up to what the Smokey City name stands for.

Her respect for Tom and the Smokey City name shows a great deal of character and self awareness. Jennifer is certainly doing something right, as Simpatico Weimaraners is now home to several champion dogs. A member of the AKC and the WCA, Jennifer is committed to responsible dog breeding, dog care and producing the best examples of the breed.

Breeding and Placing

Jennifer and her husband are dedicated and responsible pet owners and breeders. When speaking with Jennifer I was impressed with her sympathy towards rescued dogs and dogs without homes. As a responsible breeder, Jennifer has an ironclad contract as well as a thorough application process that demands potential puppy owners meet with her and spend time with the dogs before being approved to be a home for one of her puppies.

Because Jennifer keeps all dogs that are to be trained for show, her puppies are only placed as pets, no showing or breeding, with a spay/neuter clause in the contract as well as a stipulation that the puppy never be sent to a shelter or rescue. All an owner has to do is return the dog to Jennifer if they are unable to keep it for any reason. Jennifer says all of her dogs have a forever home with her. She is also adamant that the AKC registration papers aren’t given to any new puppy owner until she receives written verification from a vet that the puppy has been spayed or neutered. She doesn’t want to be responsible for any unwanted puppies. Jennifer stands behind her dogs, from the amazing amount of love and attention each is given from birth through adoption, to the open door policy if an owner is unable to keep the puppy, and visits from her puppies when the owners go on vacation.

Knowing the quality of life and care that Simpatico Weimaraners come from, many people who are approved for puppies are put on a waiting list and have even waited up to two years for a puppy. The bitches aren’t bred until they retire from showing at about four years of age. The career of a show dog is fairly short; after that they get to be mommies and pets.

Raising Puppies

Jennifer and her husband have a whelping area where the dam and puppies are kept for several weeks. While they are in this area, Jennifer’s husband often sleeps in there with them, and the puppies are not left alone for any amount of time for the first 4-5 weeks of their lives. It takes real dedication for two people to handle the grown dogs with exercise, attention and training while babysitting several puppies for weeks on end.

Weimaraner puppies are born with striking blue eyes and stripes. They grow out of the striping, and many of their eyes change color. It is pretty much impossible to know in a puppy whether the eyes will stay blue or not. I spent a great deal of time looking at pictures on the Simpatico Weimaraners website and have to say these are gorgeous animals. You can see the love and care that is provided for them. My favorite is the picture of them all lying on the bed; there is no room for a human in that doggie pileup.

“Jennifer’s husband” as you’ve come to know him here, does have a name, but let’s maintain the mystery a little longer and I’ll tell you a little about what Jennifer says about her other half.

“My husband is the unspoken hero, he has a great sense of humor, and he supports me.” She goes on to say that because she and her husband do it all from start to finish with their dogs he is a big help and support, working by her side to raise and show the dogs. Each time she speaks she doesn’t say “I,” she says “We.” They are a team, and from the success of Simpatico Weimaraners I’d say they are a great team.

Final Thoughts

As a responsible pet owner and breeder, Jennifer advises that anyone who is interested in dogs and their breeding should pay attention to the dog laws that are being debated and instituted, be aware of dog happenings in your community and realize that just because a dog is in a shelter or rescue it doesn’t mean the dog is bad. Please visit the Simpatico Weimaraner website to see photos of these dogs and learn more about Jennifer and her husband Curtis.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.