“HUNTERS BREEDING DOGS FOR HUNTERS”
This is the tradition of the Deutsch-Drahthaar, and is what has made the DD what it is today. There are no “Show Strains” of DD, they are all hunters. I hunt all of my dogs, and I don’t keep any more than I am able to hunt. I don’t believe in qualifying dogs for breeding and then using them strictly for breeding. All of my dogs are hunting dogs and family members first, and breeders second. The two objectives of my breeding activity are simply;
1- Providing quality hunting dogs for my own use and for fellow hunters.
2- Working on developing and improving a line of DD that I can call my own, that are consistently of the type and character I desire.
I have only one motherline in my kennel, preferring to work on improving and developing my own line. I do this by working exclusively with the females, allowing other hunters to develop the males. When I decide on the male I want to use it doesn’t matter where he is or what it takes to get to him. This gives me the freedom to make breeding decisions based on the most current needs I have with my breeding program. In general I don’t believe in repeat breedings and would do so only for a very specific reason. My focus is on moving forward, not sitting in one place.
I am a firm believer in breeding for versatility which is the intended purpose of the Deutsch-Drahthaar breed. A truly versatile Drahthaar can adapt to any type of hunting on any type of game. There are breeders of GWP and even a very small minority of DD breeders that consider the Drahthaar to be nothing more than a “Bird Dog“. I’ll be the first to admit that the majority of my dogs work is on upland game, and this work is very important to me. There are however plenty of bird dogs in the world, and focusing our breeding on only this one aspect of the Deutsch-Drahthaar will eventually result in loss of the wonderful mentality and intelligence that drew so many of us to the breed in the first place. A well bred versatile Drahthaar comes with a complete set of tools to quickly adapt to any hunting situation. It is my goal to produce this Versatile Drahthaar.
The foundation for the successful development of the Deutsch-Drahthaar as the world’s most versatile hunting dog is the VDD breeding regulations, and the JGHV testing system. Hunters can only breed dogs for hunters when they have a common unbiased method of evaluating the breeding worth of their dogs. This is what VDD and JGHV provide. VDD provides us the breed-specific ideal of what the Drahthaar should be, and JGHV provides us the testing system to prove our dogs.
I strongly believe that bitches used for breeding need to be raised from puppies by the breeder, trained by the breeder, handled through the tests by the breeder, and hunted by the breeder. This is the only way that the breeder will know everything he needs to know about that bitch to make sound breeding decisions about her. No dog is perfect, and I need to know exactly what my bitches are made of, and how they accept training for and perform all the different tasks expected of a versatile dog. I made a decision about 10 years ago that all of my bitches used for breeding will be completely tested through VJP, HZP, and VGP. The VGP is the standard of a versatile dog, and though it is very demanding and time consuming to train a dog for this test, I believe it is well worth it. The information I gain as a breeder training and testing my bitches at the VGP level can’t be obtained in any other way.
I’m not trying to make a livelihood of producing and selling puppies, but I gladly offer for sale to hunters the results of my breeding activity. I need these hunters to develop, test, and hunt the puppies from my kennel so that I can see what I am producing. I produce only one or rarely two litters per year, and then work to get the puppies to good hunting homes where hopefully most of them will be tested. I believe that my dogs are worth as much as anyone’s, but I see where too often the high priced puppies go to people that subscribe to the theory that you get what you pay for. These people often have the best intentions, but not the time to spend with the puppy, and they often end up with a professional trainer that is expected to work miracles. I’m looking for real hunters that live with and work with their dogs year round, not just the annual week in South Dakota. I try to keep my selling price close to the average price for a DD puppy.
To me being a Deutsch-Drahthaar breeder means much more than buying a male and female and churning out puppies to sell. Drahthaar are a complicated dog to breed, and if the breeder isn’t knowledgeable about the breed it’s a whole lot tougher. Breeding animals is a science, but in most cases we can’t look at the DNA of our dogs to see what they are really made of, so we must rely on progeny testing to give us an educated guess. For this reason breeding is also somewhat of an art. To me every litter must have a purpose. To some people the possibility of a profit may be a valid purpose, but not to me. Putting my hunting partner through the pangs of labor and the ordeal of raising a litter of puppies must have a valid reason. The only acceptable reason to me is to improve the breed.