and health are most important concerns at Applecreek. Diversity is critical
to the genetic health of this rare breed. We continually work with breeders
in Europe and the United States to assure the soundness of these wonderful
dogs. Our Entlebuchers are raised inside the
home as members of the family. The Applecreek breeding prgram is committed
to producing dogs with excellent temperments, minimizing health risks,
and maintaining the physical beauty of this wonderful breed. Visitors
are welcome. Member of NEMDA
and Code of Ethics Breeder.
nothing went wrong. After almost two years of grieving I started going to
dog shows and animal rescues, researching breeds, and knowing another dog
was in my future. And, I still wanted to become a breeder. As I looked at
breeds I made lists, talked to breeders, read books and thought about what
traits I wanted in my next family member. I finally saw a dog I was unfamiliar
with in a book. It sounded perfect, excellent temperament, loving, intelligent
and devoted. I found a breeder listed in a dog magazine and made my first
contact. My phone bills soared as I talked to anyone who had an Entle what-ever-you-call-it.
As I gathered information I knew I had to have an Entlebucher. The people
who had Entlebuchers gave me excellent information about the character,
history and temperament of the dog. I also became aware of the genetic problems
that occur in the breed due to the small genetic gene pool that was available
when the dogs were brought back from near extinction by a Swiss doctor.
I talked to several veterinarians about the genetic factors. The short tails
especially concerned me.
Since there were so few Entlebucher’s being bred in North America at this time I knew a long wait was likely. But, I was lucky. An "unexpected" litter was born in Washington and puppies were available. I talked to the breeder about my dream of becoming a breeder someday myself. I understood the importance of testing for the health problems that are prevalent in the breed. I understood the small gene pool and knew that the genetic lines crossed in these puppies pedigree. I felt confident that nothing would go wrong. Nothing did with my Springer.
And was I wrong. I will tell you about Ariel later. She is my first Entlebucher and she is the one who really taught me to be a good breeder. For now know that she has serious health problems and there would never be any breeding program with her in it. She was spayed at six months and was given a life expectancy of two years.
My second Entlebucher, Heidi came from Germany. I had a German friend call the breeder and explain what I hoped for in temperament and health and physical appearance. A gentle, intelligent, eager to please little girl was transported to California by her breeder. I was able to ask him how to correctly pronounce the name of the breed and wrote it out phonetically. Ent-lay-boo-ker. Of course the Germans have a guttural pronunciation of the last syllable that is difficult for most Americans to duplicate. Then my breeder Helmut Breyer, helped me find a male Entlebucher with my specifications. Hans joined my family. Hans’ mother had been the International Entle champion that year and his lines were very diverse from Heidi’s.
When Heidi passed her health tests for eyes and hips I was delighted. Since Hans wasn’t old enough to be used for stud, I searched for the right male and found two that had the type of personality I hoped to breed for. Breeder’s lesson number one: Never think you can plan when your female will come into heat. After the expense of flying the owner and the male to California at "the right time" Heidi did not come into heat. Back home they went and when Heidi finally came into heat I decided to use my other choice. The male was beautiful, gentle and friendly. He had been championed and won several best in show awards. My hopes of being a breeder were finally realized. I had beautiful, gentle natured puppies with some Entle spunk. Abra was the only female from this mating and she took the best from her parents. She is beautiful, good natured and friendly and has no health problems. Abra completed my breeding stock to this time.
When Hans became old enough (two years old) and passed his eye and hip tests he began to be used as a stud dog. His litters have consistently had the excellent temperaments I hoped for. I have also not had any serious health problems reported.
So now I am a breeder and breeding dogs is a joy. It is a lot of work, but it is work I like. Watching the puppies grow, and the mother’s wonderful instincts while raising them is amazing. As Abra has had a litter now too I see the dogs from her background showing up in markings and personality-the color from the grandfather or the muzzle from the grandmother in Germany or the easygoing disposition of Hans..
Temperament and health remain my most important concerns. Diversity is critical to the genetic health of this rare breed. I am continuing to work with breeders in Europe and the United States to assure the soundness of these wonderful dogs. I think the best compliment I’ve had as a breeder was from a person who adopted one of my puppies. She said, " Our puppy is not only beautiful on the outside, he is beautiful on the inside." That’s just what this breeder wants to hear.