Welcome beautiful litter born October 12, 2011. Enjoy the slide show below. Photos will be added as pups grow. Visit Kennel Flora Blog for more information. If you would like to see an educational photo gallery which captures the miracle of birth follow this link: The Birth of a Puppy at Kennel Flora (graphic depiction of the canine birth process).
Why I chose this pairing...
Kennel Flora is committed to a mission to preserve and protect the Danish-Swedish Farmdog breed in accordance with the breed clubs of the countries of origin of this breed, Denmark and Sweden. Kennel Flora's primary purpose is to encourage and promote responsible, selective and ethical breeding of purebred Danish-Swedish Farmdogs, emphasizing health, temperament, structure, utility and conformation.
Many sports dog people have approached me for a "Ruby puppy" because of her drive and structure for sports. As a breeder, I suppose I could choose to produce a line of "designer" Farmdogs for dog sports. However, this would go against my Kennel mission and my personal ethics. My personal goal is to ensure that Kennel Flora breeds healthy, breed-typical Farmdogs that can do the job they were intended to do -- a balance of health, temperament, structure, utility and beauty. Balance is key. As breeder, I will not endeavor to change the breed into solely a sports dog or solely a companion dog, as has been suggested by some to the point of creating a divide among breeders in the US. This breed is a companion and a working breed and should be responsibly bred so it may continue to have the ability to do the job for which it was intended -- an all purpose Farmer's dog. It is my personal belief that breeding to balance health, temperament, structure, utility and beauty will, in the end, result in a strong and consistent breed. This type of breeding takes time.
I considered for a long time whether or not I should or would breed Matilde's Ruby. I consulted with Pat Hastings, an international judge and re-known expert in dog structure and breeding. I consulted with other Farmdog breeders and I have studied our breed standard as well as general canine breeding literature. Sports dog enthusiasts may wonder why I would hesitate to breed Ruby, given her extraordinary drive and structure for dog sports. But it's not all about sports and drive -- it's about balance. Personally, I do not want to see the breed divide into working dogs versus show dogs. I envision a balanced breed where there are beautiful breed-typical well-structured dogs in the show ring which have the innate drive and ability to do the jobs they were originally bred for.
While Ruby is an excellent example of good basic dog structure, with drive for dog-sports, she is not as "breed typical" as may be desired according to the Danish-Swedish Farmdog breed standard. Ruby is, phenotypically, an "elegantly pretty" dog, but Ruby is not a Farmdog "beauty queen" in the show ring. However, she has held her own and received "very good" ratings from AKC judges. I expect that if I continue to show her, she will attain her ARBA or UKC championship. Compared to the breed standard, Ruby is somewhat leggy, a little long in the head, a bit tucked up and lacking in spring of ribs and fore-chest. As a breeder, I fully recognize this, and am not "kennel blind." Structurally, what she has going for her is excellent angulations (beautiful gait), excellent OFA evaluated hips, elbows, and knees, good top-line, tail set, hocks, coat and color and correct bite -- she has excellent basic dog structure. Additionally, Ruby is extremely healthy with no allergies or digestive disorders that some US Farmdog breeders have reported in their own stock. (Kennel Flora has had one female reported to have digestive sensitivities -- this female has been spayed and has not produced any offspring.) Ruby has breed-typical Farmdog temperament and utility work ethic. Ruby is truly a "working" Farmdog. In my judgement, it is important to keep these attributes and pass them on. I believe that if we look only at phenotype, we may be neglecting some very important attributes which we need to keep within the breed. I would breed a healthy, structurally sound dog like Ruby any day over a phenotypically breed-typical beauty queen with underlying structural issues (i.e. poor hips, elbows, luxating patellas, poor angulations, slipping hocks, etc.), poor temperament (i.e. dog or human aggression issues, overly shy or fearful), and/or ill health (i.e. multiple allergies, digestive disorders). It's up to breeders to keep their breeds healthy. Please refer to the BBC documentary, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" on the Veterinary Literature page of the DSFUSA website.
Ruby has many excellent breed typical, champion Farmdogs behind her. When I described the lineage behind Ruby to Pat Hastings, she advised me to look at what is behind Ruby and to breed her to a well-structured male which phenotypically makes sense with regards to the Danish-Swedish Farmdog breed's standard, and which might be a line breed on a particularly good dog. We discussed the line breed on Ruby's grandmother, Flora, an excellent breed typical Farmdog, both a Danish Champion and ARBA Champion. At the time, Pat was evaluating the 2010 Flora line-bred litter (Target/Dottie) and was most impressed with the puppies, and the breed in general. Three of three puppies in the line-bred Target/Dottie litter were evaluated by Pat Hastings as better than average show quality: Flora's Salty Dog (Salty), Flora's Make a Joyful Noise (Tabatha), and Flora's Morning Glory (Milly). At adulthood (15 months), these three pups have proven their mettle, all being very breed typical specimens of the breed which are very well-balanced. With this, I made the decision to line breed Matilde's Ruby.
I believe I have found an excellent mate in Frisco. He is very breed typical in phenotype -- an excellent representation of the breed proven in the show ring. Frisco exhibits the head and chest in the breed standard in which Ruby lacks strength. He is healthy and structurally sound with good hips, elbows and knees. He is about the same size as Ruby in height. It is important that I not breed Ruby to a large male, as it is very easy to make a breed larger than it should be. Flora's breeder advised me in the very beginning to "breed to the middle," and I have considered this in every breeding. Frisco's temperament is all Farmdog. He participates in agility and is also a therapy dog. Both dogs have the heart and sole of a Farmdog and I feel very good about this pairing.
This pairing is an 8.5% line breed which is considered a fairly high line breed. Because the appropriate testing of both dogs has been performed on this pair, I am comfortable with this percentage. I am happy to share my thoughts and considerations with anyone at any time. I am hopeful this pairing will produce lovely, healthy, breed typical puppies which will make their new families very happy. Perhaps there will even be a puppy to contribute to moving the breed forward while maintaining health, temperament, utility and conformation.