Saturday, July 11, 2009

Breeders' perspective - a tough decision about Olana

Being a dog breeder of hunting dachshunds is tough. Our goal is to breed blood tracking dachshunds who can do a good job for hunters and handlers. At the same time they should be healthy and have nice, outgoing and stable temperaments. Conformation is important too but certainly for us it is not a number one priority. We take our responsibility seriously, and there is no room in our decision making process for being enamored with cuteness or sweetness of puppies.

The most important parts of the breeding process is evaluation and selection of the breeding stock. If we keep a puppy for ourselves, it is never because of emotional sentiments but because we see desirable working and temperament qualities in the pup, which are needed in our breeding. By no means this is easy or pleasant.

We bred three litters this year because we needed to keep a female or two for ourselves. Our youngest brood bitch, Keena, is four years old. The oldest, Elli, is eight, and she just got spayed. We were planning to keep two female puppies from the Joeri/Emma and Theo/Keena litters. It was very disappointing to have only two females in Emma's litter, and we have kept Olana long enough to evaluate her. Now she is almost six months old, and today we said good-bye to her. She has many very good qualities but she also has serious weaknesses from our (breeders') point of view. Her coat is soft, and this factor would be a serious liability in breeding her, limiting our choice of a breeding partner. Also she comes from a litter where two males ended up with undescendend testicle, and there is a good chance that she might be a carrier for this trait. Her interest in blood tracking is not as intense as we like to see, especially in a prospect for brood bitch. So when a very good pet home came along, we decided to let Ola go.

Today Jeffrey Murray and his friend Carol from Kingston, NY came to pick Ola up. We are going to miss her as she was a delightful puppy, but we know that as breeders we have made a right decision. We hope that Ola gets along with Jeff and Carol's cat.

Good bye Ola - we know that you will have a great life with your new owners. We'll see you from time to time as you'll be just over an hour drive from us.

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