Our mission as poodle breeders is to produce outstanding poodles of all colors! Our long term goal is to restore diversity in the standard poodle, while breeding for proper type and temperament. The Standard Poodle itself has suffered a prolonged and severe genetic bottleneck (see below for more information). For this reason, our ultimate goal is health and diversity. We try to focus most on bringing down the inbreeding in our litters and restore biodiversity in our breed, alongside selecting for type, temperament, drive, etc.
We examine our dogs and potential mates for a variety of health issues including thyroid, cardiac, eye, hip dysplasia, and genetic diseases like NE and vWD (and more depending on the line). Anything that does not involve a genetic test is a test that is "phenotypic", meaning how the animal is currently presenting in terms of the health factor being measured. Phenotypic tests are no guarantee a dog will be healthy forever nor that they cannot produce a problem. However, they are the best we currently have for assessing mate quality in many aspects (hips, eyes, thyroid to name a few).
We perform genetic testing of our dog's immune system genes (DLA) and overall genetic diversity (STR markers). This allows us to make sure two parents will produce puppies that are more genetically diverse (genes that are not the same or homozygous). More information can be found in this study and at this link. We analyze the information provided by this genetic testing on the website betterbred.com to determine if a breeding meets our genetic criteria (low inbreeding, diverse genetics).
Our dogs are our pets and live indoors with us and live as natural a lifestyle as we can provide them They are fed marrow bones and varied meats/organs as about 80% of their diet (Prey model diet with occasional veggies and fruits) with high quality kibble not indicated in DCM from current studies. The marrow bones to help keep their teeth naturally clean. When possible our dogs have natural tails and dew claws, and we approach their health as naturally as possible (probiotics etc). Our dogs enjoy being part of our family, walks and fetch are normal life. They also enjoy playing with our children.
In addition, our puppies are handled daily and played with by our children, for optimal socialization. They too are raised on a high quality kibble when they go home. However, when they begin weaning they are weaned on to a puppy mix of beef/tripe/organs and active cultured probiotics as well as raw goat's milk when available. For stimulation, we provide a variety of different toys and textures for them to interact with, and when old enough introduce them to new environments throughout our home. We put great effort in to ensuring they are exposed to new things daily (textures, experiences, cars, animals and people etc). No puppy coming from us will have its tail docked or dew claws removed (see The Standard Poodle for more information).
We have a very detailed potty and socializing training program and post daily updates on our facebook page when we have a litter. Puppies are raised around kids, cats, and even around farm animals (we even have goats we allow to travel by them).
Standard Poodle Genetic Bottleneck
In the United States in the 1940-1970s a particular kennel became very popular for their stunning dogs. This kennel is well known as the "Wycliffe" kennel. Many people chose to breed to this line of dogs, which were linebred. At the time linebreeding (breeding back to the grandsire/dam to produce a certain look/temperament etc) was considered not only safe, but desirable. As a result, the standard poodle went through a genetic bottleneck, decreasing the diversity in our lines and increasing the incidence of health issues, including autoimmune dysfunction. Consequently, it is our goal to seek out as unique of breedings for our girls as possible. Visit: The Standard Poodle Project for more information.
When we got married, Rebekah couldn't wait to get dogs! We got a purebred bichon boy, who we named Dookie (Sir Dooksalot). Eight months later, Rebekah wanted another puppy and got Maya, named after the Mayan indians where we went on our honeymoon. We adore our little bichons and are so happy that they introduced us to the canine race.
A couple years later, once Rebekah started medical school (she made the decision to leave medicine after two years at OSUCOM), we got a standard poodle to be a guard dog (and our pet). We were hooked on the breed! Odyssey was our first standard and a beauty. She lives with our friend Carol in Florida. After Odyssey, we found a gorgeous parti girl, Athena (Athena is now retired and lives with Kathy in Michigan). We love multicolored poodles and Athena began our adventure with them. We had a few litters of multicolored/parti poodles, then in 2009 or so, we were introduced to the Standard Poodle Project. Since then we have worked to diversify the lines we work with, with health and temperament being our main goals for breeding.
How did we pick our name? The Lord of the Rings was a book my father read to me as a young girl, and I plan to read to my children (one of my favorite book series).
We currently reside in the Midwest on an almost 20 acre mini farm.
We also are aspiring homesteaders with goats. Visit Shyre Farm to learn about that part of our life. Rebekah also makes and sells art, visit Shyre Art if interested in a custom painting! We are a member of the United Poodle Association.