We are not your average breeder.
Our dogs reside in and around our home so they get plenty of attention and socialization every day. Our dogs live with us as our pets and their puppies are raised in a climate-controlled whelping room with free access to over 7000sf of green playspace. The free access to greenspace activates the puppies’ natural instinct to use the bathroom far away from their living space. We perform specialized sensory training on all of our puppies, bathe/groom all puppies weekly from four weeks to 8 weeks, introduce them to sights, sounds, and experiences of a house, and handle and play with them frequently.
We want our dogs to have the best of all worlds.
Our dogs have free access to ten sprawling acres- also known as our front and back yard, as well as 24-hour access via a doggy door to a remodeled two-car garage that is climate controlled and built specifically for them – the garage is accessed off of our home kitchen and the door is often left open and they come and go as they please (unless it rains, and then the stinky butts have to have baths first, lol). They are not kept in kennels and we don’t have a separate ‘puppy palace’ for them away from our home. Not only do they get free play, but they are also each instructed in obedience training several times a week.
We don’t overbreed.
There are currently two accepted schools of thought among reproductive veterinarians about when to breed, how long to breed, and how many litters are best for the breeding dam. The first, which is the most traditional, states that a breeder should wait until the dam is 2 years old, has had at least two heats, and to only breed every other heat until the dam is about 6-8 years old – producing 4-5 litters in a lifetime. The other, the more recent and quickly becoming popular among reproductive veterinarians and breeders alike, is called back to back breeding. This is where you breed young (after they are One Year of age), and breed consecutive heats until the dog is ‘done’ – retiring the dog early – still producing 4-5 litters in the dog’s lifetime.
Edenrbight Brittanys follows the new school of thought, preferring to reduce as many problems for our dams as possible. Our dams’ health, lives, and comfort is our top priority. Skipping heats and waiting until the dog is over 2 years of age has been proven to dramatically increase the risk of many reproductive-induced issues.
By following current science, we aim to:
- Start early (before 2 years old)—reducing dystocia risk by almost 60%
- Breed back-to-back in order to reduce pyometra, mammary cancer, and endometriosis risks
- Retire early (ideally by 4, but not always)— reduces pyometra, mammary cancer, and endometriosis risks.
We made our choice for what is best for our dogs after contacting 6 different reproductive vets all over the country before our first pair of pups was even six months old – we wanted to really know what was best:
- 4 out of the 6 vets agreed that back to back was far better for the health of the dam as long as we were dedicated to keeping up with the nutritional requirements with supplementation to make sure that the dam remained healthy between pregnancies – the other 2 vets recommended two back to back breedings, then skipping a heat, then continuing back to back breedings.
- 6 out of the 6 agreed that waiting until either the dam was one year old or even better – on their second heat – before breeding – was best practice.
- 4 out of the 6 agreed that retiring after the 4th or 5th litter was best, while the other two stated that there was no hard limit for how many litters a dam can have healthily – all agreed that retiring by at least six years of age was ideal.
Like everything in the pet community, these schools of thought are contentious and are hotly debated among animal health professionals, breeders, and animal advocates alike. In the end, you must go with the breeder whose program meets your personal standards. This is YOUR puppy we are talking about, YOU choose!
Edenbright Brittanys is dedicated to the health and well-being of all of our dogs. Period. Point. Blank. There is nothing – no opinion, no amount of money, no shortcut – that will derail me from making the best ethical choice for my beloved pets. The same should apply to you. If you feel a breeder, including myself, doesn’t align with your personal morals when it comes to the health and treatment of their dogs, you absolutely have that right to choose not to do business with that breeder. A dog is a decade-long commitment, and I encourage buyers to be picky about their breeder’s breeding and puppy raising practices.
Here are some sources that you can look at to better inform yourself.
Most of our breeding dogs stay with us after retirement.
We do not rehome our retired dogs unless it benefits them. Some dogs want a one-on-one lifestyle with their owners, while others relish the busy, loud pack life we have created. For those dogs, we just want the very best, and if we think the transition will be handled well, we give it a try. We have a limit on how many dogs we can handle in our household – and that number consists of half-retired pets – which means our breeding program will always remain small and personal.
Why do we rehome some of our retired dogs?
Because we love them, and in order to be a preservation breeder, we have to. Let me explain:
Let’s assume if you are wanting a purebred dog, you believe they should exist because of their predictability and heritage. In order for a breed to evolve and exist, there need to be knowledgeable stewards of that breed. One cannot just breed one litter and pass the torch on to another, as knowledge of that line, health and temperament is tantamount to improving and moving generations forward. Seasoned breeders learn the nuance of breeding; each breeding done is done for a purpose for their line. As such, they should keep a puppy or puppies intact from each breeding. So, the breeder often keeps one back in her home. Simple math will tell you that this number can grow very quickly.
So a breeder is faced with how to handle this, and many do it differently: guardian homes, large kennels, and retiring adults that either do not work out for breeding or who have been bred and might excel as a single dog or one of just a couple. A combination of these program management strategies may be used.
Does it mean that a breeder doesn’t love these dogs they retire and place? No.
One of the hardest parts of breeding responsibly is choosing to place a retired dog. At a certain point, how much attention can a person give 5 dogs? 8? 10? For a breeding program to continue for decades breeders must keep puppies from their breedings. What happens if one doesn’t pass health testing? Would that puppy enjoy a better life as someone’s beloved and cherished pet as opposed to part of a large breeding program?
In my home, my dogs live as pets. They play in our living room, play fetch with my kids, go on trips with us to town, ride around in the CanAm, shed fur ALL OVER MY HOUSE (LOL), lay under my feet while I am cooking, and are in general a part of our life. I am honored to bring them in to the world in my hands and I love them from day one.
Breeders who are breeding for the improvement and love of a breed often are faced with the necessity of retiring and placing adult show dogs. It can be a difficult decision for breeders. We are lucky to find excellent homes that become like family to us, but that does not make it easier to do. We thank those who have opened their homes to a beloved retired dog and thank those of you supporting breeders by doing so because this allows them to continue to contribute to their breed’s preservation by being able to continue to breed.
If you are interested in a retired dog, please contact me early on. The placement process for one of our retired dogs is lengthy since we do not charge a fee for placement. All participants must be within 300 miles of us and be willing to meet me and the dog in person. You can learn more about our retired dog program here.
At Edenbright Brittanys, you’re joining a bright family. Stay connected with other families on Facebook.
We have created a private group on Facebook just for Edenbright Brittany’s families. Families discuss topics like grooming, training, and boarding. We love to follow pictures, videos, and funny stories from all of our families. You will get a link to the Facebook Page once you join the Edenbright Family!