Category Archives: breeder

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.

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The Challenges of Raising Litter Mate Puppies


By Linda Cole

It’s hard picking out just one puppy. They’re all so cute and adorable. People with room in their home and heart for two pups may not think twice about buying or adopting sibling puppies, but there could be potential harm to one or both of the pups. Raising litter mate puppies is more complicated than it sounds, and it can be a challenge.

A new puppy needs to have a chance to bond with the human who will become his pack leader. In fact, it’s essential that bonding take place. Pups are ready to leave the nest when they are 8 weeks old, and their development will continue in their new home. Litter mate puppies are comfortable with each other, and can keep each other company while you are gone. The situation can change, however, once they grow up. Just because they get along as pups doesn’t guarantee they will get along as adults, especially if they are both male, or both female. As full grown dogs, siblings will fight and jockey for dominance in their pack just like any other dogs would do. Female pups will also fight for their place in the pack, especially if there’s a male dog in the home. Aggression and rivalries could turn into double trouble for their human parents.

When you raise pups from the same litter, you risk creating insecure dogs with behavior problems that can be with them their entire lives. There’s a good chance they can be so dependent on each other that separation anxiety could become a severe problem anytime they are not together. You want them to play with each other, but they need time apart in order to learn about life away from their sibling.

Raising litter mate puppies can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible as long as you are aware of what you’re getting into, and you learn how to teach each pup according to their personality and individual needs. You will need to keep litter mates separated as much as possible for the first year. Treat each puppy as an individual dog and not as an extension of its sibling.

Keep them apart from each other during housebreaking and training activities, at feeding time, and when you are giving each one attention and playing with them. This gives each pup a chance to develop their own personality, find their own identity and understand their social order in the pack. It also gives them both a chance to bond with you equally, which will help them learn how to maintain a balanced and stable relationship where they both feel secure within the home. If you crate them while you are gone, they need to be in different rooms. Take only one at a time for walks or to the vet for checkups and vaccinations. Even though they live in the same home, each one should be treated as if you have just one dog.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to raising litter mate puppies. Some breeders won’t sell siblings because they are afraid they could turn out to be more than the owner bargained for and one or both pups could suffer the consequences if the new owner can’t handle two pups. Other breeders feel it’s up to the buyer to decide. Responsible breeders will work with you and are happy to help out any way they can. A breeder’s concern is for the pups, and they want to make sure the puppies are going to a good home.

A prospective owner who understands what they are getting into and has the time and energy to properly socialize and train both pups should do fine. If you really want two dogs, a better solution might be to take one, then go back in about 6 months to pick another puppy from a different litter. If you want to take litter mates home, it will work out better to take a male and a female. Make sure to have them neutered and spayed as soon as they are old enough to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Two puppies will require double work and expense when it comes to housebreaking, veterinarian bills, food and time for bonding, development and training. But if you do your homework and invest in the hard work and commitment needed to raise litter mate puppies, you will also be rewarded with double the love and fun of two well-adjusted individual pets.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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.

Tips on Finding a Reputable Breeder


By Ruthie Bently

If you’re looking for a new dog or cat and want a purebred, do you know what to look for? Do you know which questions you should ask to help you choose the right pet? If you’re not sure what breed you want, going to a dog or cat show is a great way to find out. At a show you can look at the different breeds, talk to the breeders and find out if a pet you are considering would be a good fit for you. If you have already decided on a certain breed of dog or cat, finding a reputable breeder is fairly easy. The best advice I can give you is to remember to do your homework.

Don’t buy a particular breed simply because your children are begging you for the dog they saw in a movie. You need to make sure that the breed you choose is going to fit into your family and your lifestyle. Many Dalmatians ended up in shelters after the 101 Dalmatians movie came out because people found out that they didn’t have either the patience or energy to keep up with that breed.

Go to your local library and check out a cat or dog breed book and read about the breeds that are available. A reputable cat breeder won’t let you purchase a cat if they know it will be spending its time out in the barn hunting for its food. And no reputable dog breeder is going to let you chain one of their dogs to a dog house and leave it to fend for itself. A good breeder wants their animals taken care of; you should be aware that you are bringing home an animal for their lifetime and need to provide for them in a proper manner.

If any of your friends or family members have a purebred you like, ask them where they got it, how the pet’s health is and what they think of the breeder. Check with your veterinarian and ask them if they know of any reputable breeders. CANIDAE has links to reputable breeders on their website. You can also check the American Kennel Club website for a list of dog breeders. If you are looking for a purebred cat, the Cat Fanciers’ Association website can help.

Beware of “backyard breeders” (also called puppy mills). They breed dogs and list them in newspapers and on the Internet to make an easy dollar. The problem is they are not looking to breed a quality dog; they are breeding for quantity because the more dogs they breed the more money they make. While I have not heard much about “kitty mills” I am sure they exist. These animals can have many genetic and health issues because of their breeding, and that cute bundle of fluff you bring home can cost you thousands in vet bills down the road.

Reputable breeders can be found in the classifieds of your local paper, but they will have a list of qualifications for you; they don’t sell their animals to just anyone. They want to make sure you can take care of the pet you choose in a manner that is up to the standards they themselves will approve of. They also want to make sure you can handle the dog or cat you purchase.

Once you find a prospective breeder, there are several things you should ask them. Such as, are the parents on the premises, and can you see them? How old does your pet have to be, before you can take it home? Does the pet come with a health guarantee? (See my previous article for more questions you should ask a prospective breeder.) A reputable breeder will have requirements for you as well. Will the breeder want you to show this dog or cat? If the answer is yes, and the dog or cat becomes a champion, will the breeder want to breed the pet you have chosen?

I have had American Staffordshire Terriers since 1981. I had a personal relationship with the breeder before I ever considered getting one, and though I enjoyed all the dogs she and her husband brought into my store to socialize, I never thought I would give my life to this breed. Once I had my first one, however, I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with any other breed.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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.

How to Find a Reputable Breeder

Do you know how to find a reputable breeder for that new pet you’ve been promising yourself? The most important thing I can tell you is to do your research. I did research for someone a while back who was looking for an English Bulldog puppy. As they wanted a purebred puppy, I started out at the American Kennel Club’s website. They have an online classified list of breeders of AKC registerable dogs. They also have listings of the breed clubs, breed rescue groups and a local club breeder referral. You can also check out the CANIDAE site for links to breeders.
The online classifieds on the AKC site allow you to see the breeder’s profile, which will provide you with information on AKC dog registration applications, whether or not the breeder is a member of a parent or specialty club, health screens for the parents, whether or not they provide a written bill of sale, if they will take the puppy back and under what conditions they will do so. It also tells you whether or not the breeder will provide you (the buyer) information for being a responsible dog owner, a health guarantee, if they tattoo or microchip the puppy, if they are enrolled in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery program, what AKC events her dogs participate in and how long they have been breeding.
Stay away from puppies coming from a puppy mill as they are often not treated well and can have many health issues. For more information on what puppy mills are and why you shouldn’t support them, see stoppuppymills.org.
Questions to ask the breeder:
  • Are both of the parents on the premises and can you see them?
  • How old does your pet have to be to take home?
  • If you pick out a pet when they are too young to be taken home, can you come back for visits?
  • If you are buying a show quality pet, who will show them?
  • If you are buying a pet quality pet, do they need to be spayed or neutered and when?
  • If something arises in the future and you can’t keep the pet, will the breeder take them back?
  • Does your new pet come with a health guarantee?
  • Have the parents been certified healthy for issues the breed might have?
  • Have the puppies already had some of their shots?
  • What kind of food do they feed and how often?
  • I’m happy to say that I found several reputable breeders, and even found one that was close to where they lived, so they could go and pick out their own puppy. Not only that, the puppy I found is a happy and healthy dog today, with a warm and loving family.
Ruthie Bently

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.