Do You Health Test??? Ask the Right Questions.

Exhausted after spending two hours with a breeder tying to pin them down on whether they health test.  As breeder understanding the jargon and trial lawyer seasoned in the art of cross examination it was a lot of work for me, so I thought I would pass along the right questions to ask and how to verify the seemingly ambiguous term “health testing.”

The DDBSA Health Committee recommends 4 tests on breeding stock prior to being bred:

1.)  Heart on echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist;

2.)  OFA Shoulders;

3.)  OFA Elbows;

4.)  OFA or Penn State hips.

That’s it.  Very simple.  It’s a yes or no answer.

Whenever buying a Dogue do your own research.  Familiarize and educate yourselves.  Penn Hips and echocardiograms have to be mailed in for a nominal fee but know that THERE IS NO OPT OUT on OFA passes for the other tests.  Saying: “I just didn’t mail it in” carries no weight.  Saying: “My vet looked at everything and we’re good” carries no weight.  Always see the health testing with your own eyes on the following links.  If it isn’t there, assume correctly that it never happened:

Be well and buy well from a true Preservationist Breeder.  For the Love of the Dogue.

Heartstrings Trifecta in Columbus, OH

This past weekend, amongst a beautiful entry and majority of European imports competing, the Heartstrings-bred Dogues sweep the show!

Winning Best of Breed Bronze Grand Champion, National Specialty Winner Heartstrings Luther.

Winning Winners Dog and the MAJOR, Heartstrings What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong).

Winning Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for the MAJOR, Heartstrings Dream a Little Dream of Me (Ella Fitzgerald).


The Wins and New Titles Just Keep Coming!

Heartstrings Luther becomes Bronze Grand Champion and just keeps winning!  The latest Best of Breed win over beautiful competition in Birch Run, MI.

Heartstrings Dream a Little Dream of Me (Ella Fitzgerald) a MAJOR win.  Ella has a perfect heart on echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist.  OFA Normal thyroid panel.  Soon we will have a look at her Ortho’s under film and hope for great results from this beautiful young girl.

Miss B wins Best of Breed at 8 months over much older and mature competition.  The Breed win put on her by a highly respected judge.  She is recognized and rewarded an AKC Puppy of Distinction!

Nadia (Luther x Jazzy) becomes AKC STAR puppy at the unprecedented age of 3 1/2 months!


Health Effects of Early Spay or Neuter

We strongly recommend waiting until at least 2 years of age to spay or neuter.

Sometimes this can be a challenge when boarding.  Or managing a couple of cycles with a young female.  But the long-term health benefits far outweigh the short-term inconveniences.

Attached is a nice read on the effects of early spay and neuter issued by the Golden Retriever Club of America.  They found, among other things, that early s/n is linked to hip dysplasia, cruciate injuries and certain forms of cancer.  We have additional information in our library, please feel free to contact us if you would like it.

While there is little data available on the effects in giant breeds, we can only assume that it is intensified.  Unless there is a risk of an accidental pregnancy or some other medical concern to weigh carefully, the studies are mounting showing that it is best to wait.

Please be informed and make good decisions for your youngster – they are counting on you!




When a Dream Comes True – Twice!

In 2009 the sun, moon, stars all lined up and we were fortunate enough to be trusted with our Urszula.  The Queen, the Pride, the Matriarch, the Heart of Heartstrings came to us from the Czech Republic.  And we were lucky, lucky, lucky to be chosen amongst a very long waiting and applicant list to be her forever family.  Even today, long retired she still takes our breath away approaching 9 years old.

Urszula has been a history-making girl for us.  Bronze Grand Champion.  The first black mask DDB to earn Grand Champion (please visit our media tab to read more).  Westminster Invite.  Her show credentials too long to enumerate.

We hoped and waited a long time for her, long before she was born.  What was most significant about her was that she was a rare black-mask Moby de Legeane daughter.  Moby, the undisputed legend and once every 30 years, once-in-a-generation male from the Netherlands had sired a litter in the Czech Republic and there were black masks!

Fast-forward to October 2016.  In a beautiful, home, family kennel in the Netherlands and through the magic of science, frozen semen, perfectly calculated timing and expert veterinarians our No Mercy Van de Madroelhoeve was born.

Our second black mask Moby daughter.  She is a dream come true – twice.  

The Road to Westminster

Soon Luther will be packing his bags and traveling to New York to participate in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

A rich history, the show is the 2nd longest running sporting event in American history second only to the Kentucky Derby.  The city loves the event, even lighting the Empire State Building purple and gold, the colors of a Best of Breed ribbon.  Everyone, everywhere you go is just lit up and buzzing about the dogs.

Through a depression, two world wars, blizzards and power outages the show has gone on.  Amazing feeling to have bred multiple Dogues of the caliber to exhibit here and Luther is looking forward to every second of the excitement.

A link with the great history and ticket information – we hope to see you all there!

Puppies Available!

Prior to publically announcing availability we wanted to extend this opportunity to our repeat owners, friends and family members.

In the wee hours just before dawn on Christmas morning Silver Grand Champion Heartstrings Jasmine blessed us with beautiful babies.  In addition to earning Silver Grand Champion, Jasmine was the #1 female in the US 2015 & 2016 and beating the boys to end both years #2 ranked DDB in the US in breed standing.  She was a 2x Westminster Invite and Select Bitch.  Crufts Invite and UKC Best in Show winner.

The sire to our beautiful litter is Grand Champion Heartstrings Luther.  Luther made our dreams come true when he won the DDBSA National Specialty Show in November, 2017.  From there he traveled to the Royal Canin National Championship show in Orlando and received First Award of Excellence.  With light showing in 2017 Luther ended the year #3 ranked DDB in the US in breed points and also a Crufts Invite.

Both Jazz and Luther are CHIC health certified (hearts clear of genetic defects on echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist, OFA elbows, OFA shoulders and Penn hips).  Both are from multi-champion litters.  Both are from generations of dual Champion-bred grand and great-grandparents.  Both have several siblings also CHIC health certified.

Perhaps most important, this litter proudly moves us further into our 4th generation of publically documented clear hearts behind the puppies.

Please contact us to discuss availability.  Priority will be given to applicants in Ohio or contiguous states open to a show prospect arrangement.


Luther Wins Best In Specialty Show at the National!

It is beyond a dream come true.  Luther wins the DDBSA National Specialty!

While there are many prestigious shows throughout the year, for any Breed the Annual Specialty is the holy grail.

The National Specialty show is where breeders and enthusiasts meet up one time per year.  For meetings.  For seminars.  For long discussions over dinner about improving the health of their breed.  No matter the location people and Dogues fly in from all over the US to take part in this important event.

And to showcase the best of their best in the show ring.

This year nearly 60 Dogues were in the show ring.  Luther was named the 2017 National Best in Specialty Show Winner!  What makes it even more gratifying is that Luther is a CHIC health certified Dogue de Bordeaux.  A very satisfying moral victory proving that you can have amazing type *and* amazing health. 


4th time US Breeder of the Year/Breeder Medallion Winner

Greetings Friends!  We are fresh back from the 2017 DDBSA National Specialty show and bring much great news.

This year, for the 4th time, Heartstrings wins the DDBSA Breeder Medallion award.  We also bring home the Dam of the Year award to our beautiful GCH, CH Heartstrings Margaret.

Additionally a tie for Sire of the Year, both magnificent Sires exclusively in our program.  GCH, CH Heartstrings Mambo and Multi European Champion Vlempa Bardos.

More great news to come but we wanted to share this exciting news right away with you, our friends and family members!


2 Adult Males Available

Due to a change in the circumstances of the family we have 2 adult males available.  The Boys are very bonded and it would be ideal to place them together if at all possible.

Kronos – Kronos is Grand Champion and just turned 5 years old.  During his show career he was nationally ranked and exhibited at Westminster Kennel Club dog show.  Kronos is from a litter of 6 Champions.  He is retired from show, will be neutered and placed in a loving companion home.

Laszlo – Laszlo is Champion and 2 years old.  He has been taking a break from the show ring to develop.  Laszlo is from a litter of 4 Titled Dogues thus far with 2 more on target.  He is very athletic and would be an excellent Dogue for someone looking to get into Sports.  A competition home would be ideal for him as he would love it, but we are not ruling out neutering him and placement in a companion home.

Both boys have been handled by a Junior Handler.  They do well with other dogs, children.  Per our policy, neither boy will be placed with breeding rights.

Please contact us for more information.