About Ruger Dachshunds E-mail

People often visit this website when they want to know more about my breeding program, my dogs, Dachshunds in general, costs and my philosophy on breeding, raising and training Dachshunds.  I encourage you to call me personally to discuss just those things.  I think I've done a fairly good job of explaining most of these topics, but nothing replaces a real conversation.  Making a choice of breeder for your next family member should be based on far more than a well-written (or not so much, lol) web site.  Ideally, you should be able to visit a breeder's home and see not just the dam of the litter, but ALL the other dogs under that roof as well.  It's easy for a breeder to trot out her "stars", but much more telling to see ALL of the dogs and how they are kept.  While the continuation of the socialization started at your breeder's is ultimately up to you, your new puppy will be a product of that initial environment to a great extent.  Unfortunately, this ideal situation is not always possible upfront and as such, I want to be able to speak personally with people to discuss expectations.  I expect a lot of my puppy homes, but it is never more than I give and is ultimately for the puppy to excel; regardless of whether he is destined to be a Champion or the best buddy for you and your children.  Neither destiny is more important than the other.  I want my puppies to be welcome and well-adjusted in as many situations as possible and be pets first and foremost.

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Below is our "dog room." It's the sunroom that leads into our family room where we all (dogs included) spend most of our time. The dog's crates, grooming area and toys are in here...well, it's where their toys are supposed to be, but they are usually scattered everywhere else. I need to work on training them to pick up their toys!

puppy-pen.gifWhen we have puppies... sunroom_plantview.gif...and when we don't!
A 360° view...sunroom_vertcrateview.gif sunroom_vertplantview.gif
sunroom_tableview.gif sunroom_andiescrateview.gif

We are a small show home located in gorgeous Colorado. I am a native of Illinois and my husband, Jody, is from Michigan. We used to own our own residential mortgage company, Clarioun Financial Corporation, and we worked from home.  It was wonderful, but starting in 2008, the politics of the mortgage industry made it impossible to continue as a small shop.  We both now work for others; Jody is still in the mortgage business, and I am in Information Security with a Fortune 500 company.  We currently share our home with eight miniature Dachshunds, Elliot, Griffin, Maximus, Ryan, Evie, Logan, Sansa and Arya, and one Afghan Hound, Fiona. The dogs range in age from 16 to under a year.  All of our dogs are house dogs. I have nothing against well-run kennels, but I find that living in our home, underfoot, works best for the way I raise and train my Dachshunds.

On these pages, you will get to know all about our dogs, the events that we participate in with them and our training and feeding philosophies. We are infrequent breeders, but we are happy to provide you with information that will help you find conscientious breeders. We are also thrilled to help people find a Rescue Dachshund to love (our multi-talented Elliot is a Rescued Dachshund).

Thanks to Walt and Sharyn Hutchens of Timbreblue Whippets for giving us permission to reprint this article!  I've added the Dachshund-specific information in green.

On Breeding

Anyone who breeds a litter has a goal, whether it's to breed the top showdog in the country, to win Westminster, to own the number-one racing dog, to have a lasting influence on the breed as a whole, or to produce Hollywood's next Lassie. Some breeders want to make money (a goal that often backfires on them!), some to make a name for themselves in agility, flyball, dog shows, field trials...you name it. And some just want to create another dog "just like Muffy." Who's to say which of those goals is worthy or unworthy?

Our goal is to breed the best whippets in mind and body that we can and to match them with people who will treasure them. Winning shows matters a lot less to us than seeing to it that our puppies make good pets. We try to place them in lifelong homes where they will be loved and enjoyed and will improve people's lives. So our priorities in selecting dogs to breed are temperament, health, soundness, and type, in that order.

Temperament

The happiest life for a dog is as a cherished family pet. In making breeding decisions, we first look for the qualities that will make our puppies successful members of a household. This means breeding our females to males whose temperaments we know rather than those we don't. No matter how "famous" the dog or how much he has won, we won't use him in our breeding program unless we are convinced he has correct, sound whippet temperament.

It means choosing sometimes to breed animals with easygoing temperaments over those with more drive to win in the show or performance arenas. While we hope some of our owners will show or race our puppies, or work with them in agility, obedience, lure coursing, flyball, and other venues, we place puppies only in homes where they'll be pets first. And nothing is more important in a pet than temperament.

Health

In the long run, no breed can survive unless its future is protected by breeding only genetically healthy dogs. Whippets are an exceptionally problem-free breed and we would not knowingly breed any animal with a hereditary question mark.

Eye problems are sometimes found, but are not common in whippets. We have ours checked annually by a certified ophthalmologist. Heart disease is becoming more common in whippets, so we've made a commitment to also have echocardiograms done before every breeding. Deafness has been reported, again rarely, so we have our dogs BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) tested. As additional problems crop up in the breed, we'll do our best to test and breed against them.

Dachshunds are fairly healthy.  Unfortunately, the two big problems in our breed, IVDD or "back problems" and epilepsy, are not those for which we can test ahead of time in any significant way.  These are also diseases that seem to not only be complicated genetically, but also affected environmentally.  Additionally, the age range in which IVDD most commonly appears for the first time is 5 - 7 years.  Most Dachshunds that are going to be bred have been by this age range; in fact, it's when bitches are commonly retired from breeding.  I have yet to find a Dachshund that doesn't have relatives with back issues somewhere in their pedigree.  As a consequence, it is critical with both of these diseases to try to mitigate their impact by doing the best one can to breed away from known back issues and to work with other breeders who are honest and open about the problems they've had.  It is also critical to know the close dogs (first three generations) in the pedigrees of dogs being bred.  It's far easier to know those dogs when you show than when you don't.  Dachshunds can also have eye, patella (knee) and thyroid issues.  We perform ophthalomologic exams on 8 - 12 week old pups and then every other year thereafter.  We check laxicity in knees in pups and then OFA those knees (through palpation of the knee) after 12 months.  We check thyroid at age 2 and every other year thereafter.

Type and soundness

After steady temperament and genetic health, we look for good structure, proper movement, and whippet "type"...that hard-to-define quality that makes a whippet a whippet, not, say, just a small greyhound or a large Italian Greyhound. Most fanciers would consider our whippets typey and sound. We do show our dogs occasionally, because we wouldn't want to breed dogs that hadn't been seen and approved by others with extensive experience in the breed (though the most valuable opinions we get are usually outside the ring from other breeders, not the judge!).

Something special!

Finally, we feel that having a good dog or even a champion isn't a reason to breed. We breed only when we believe that a particular whippet has qualities which should be part of the future of whippets -- that his or her genetic makeup is so good that it should not be lost. We had whippets for many years before we decided to breed, and it was several more years till we found whippets we felt really should be bred.

We don't kid ourselves that we are "improving the breed." We will never breed enough to have an impact on whippets as a whole. The best we can do is try to make every litter better than the last. We strive to improve our tiny corner of whippetdom, and above all, to do no harm to the future of whippets.

 

 

It goes without saying that we would not have the pleasure and success we have had in Dachshunds without others and the quirks of fate that happen to all of us....

"Rudy", aka "Ruger", was the little 8 year old black and tan smooth who dropped into my lap by being loose and wandering the day I was driving my big girls to get ice cream! (ROTFL!) If it hadn't been for this amazing and wonderful little dog, I would have never known how incredible Dachshunds are, let alone have them in my life. This was the most amazing twist of fate and I thank my lucky stars everyday that Rudy and I found each other.

"Barney", Deb McNamara's miniature longhair, was the plucky little Dachshund in agility back in the infancy of the sport that inspired me to check out performance events that I could do with my Rescue Dachshund, Rudy. I can still remember the audience chanting, "Bar-ney, Bar-ney, Bar-ney!" as he ran the course! LOL!

I cannot forget Carolyn & Laurie Janak, who encouraged me to attend my first Dachshund conformation Specialty. There I discovered, thanks to Jennie Tobin's showy little "Oscar", Multiple Group Winning CH Ez Goin's Oscar Wire MW, that I wanted, more than anything, to get a nice little wire to show in breed. Then, years and several dogs later, I had Payton, who is an Oscar granddaughter!!

Sharron Harlow, who first provided our "Griffin" to us (the black and tan salve that soothed Rudy's passing) and then fufilled my little dream to show in breed by offering "Bandit" to me for a song. "Bandit" became our "Reilly", Multiple Group Placing Am/Intl CH SilverCloud's Sunset Bandit MW, CGC. Without Sharron, we would not have had the pleasure of breeding our own Champions.

Monica Canestrini, breeder of the famous Canebrake standard wires and AKC judge, who has been so kind as to school me on the finer points of both wire grooming and Dachshund conformation, both priceless acquisitions. She is a gem and we wouldn't have accomplished what we have without her free sharing of knowledge and absolute kindness.

Then, in a fateful twist, I became dear friends with the man who bred Reilly's sire, "Warrior", CH Sunrise Red Warrior MS, after Warrior found himself without an owner. In good Rescue style, I tracked down Warrior's breeder, Valerio Hernandez, Val found Warrior a new home, and we became fast friends. Then Valerio, wanting to start a wire line with Reilly, who was at the time the only wire grandson of BISS CH Add-Sim's Good Time Charlie ROMX (Val's foundation stud dog), sent me the lovely "Tania", Sunrise Lightly Tanned MS. Tania was expressly chosen to complement Reilly both in conformation and in pedigree, and boy, does she! From one litter of 4, this girl was eligible for her ROMX. Valerio has almost a sixth sense of what dogs will do well together and without Val, Sharron & the knowledge I have from Monica, I would not have had the pretty and talented "Gladiator" litter and all that have come after.

My sincere and grateful thanks to all...Ruger would not be without you!!

Jody and I are members of the Columbine Dachshund Club & Rocky Mountain Earthdog Club.

I am also a member of the Dachshund Club of America, which is the breed parent club for the United States.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 January 2015 19:43