Bronze Level Breeder of Merit

We are very happy and proud to announce that Heartstrings was recently awarded the prestigious designation of Bronze level Breeder of Merit by the American Kennel Club.

We are so humbled and honored.  The criteria is a lofty goal, including producing at least 15 conformation Champions and a close eye on health.

We are very proud, Preservationist Breeders true to the Breed, correct Type and always the cornerstone of improving health and longevity in our glorious Breed.  Many, many thanks to the American Kennel Club for awarding us with this prestigious designation.

New Champion – Heartstrings #29 AKC Titled Dogue

Last weekend Heartstrings Low Country Bernadette became new AKC Champion – at the nearly unheard age of 10 months!

She enjoyed an undefeated May.  1st place and Winners Bitch every time she stepped in the ring.  Then on to multiple Best of Winners and 2 Best Opposite and Best of Breed wins over older, mature, seasoned Champions.  Many times the youngest Dogue de Bordeaux at the shows.

Our southern belle “Miss B” lives with trusted friends in South Carolina and becomes Heartstrings-bred AKC Titled Dogue #29.  We are so excited about her future and very grateful to her wonderful co-owners Vic and Pam at Low Country.

2 More Perfect Hearts!

Last week we made the long drive to see the head of cardiology at Ohio State, one of the top veterinary schools in the US, to have 2 echocardiograms performed.  Weeks for an appointment, we go here because if there is a problem, Dr. Schober will find it and the prospect will be eliminated from our breeding program.

Aortic stenosis (AS, SAS) and some other heart conditions are genetic and leading causes of death in the Dogue de Bordeaux.  Many times they are silent and can not be determined with a “listen” so an echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist is necessary.  Here, on echo, we can measure the volume, flow.  Actually see the heart working and determine if there is any regurgitation.  Things you just won’t here on mere auscultation.

Very proud and happy to announce that No Mercy Van de Madroelhoeve and Heartstrings Olga have passed their echocardiograms by a board certified cardiologist with flying colors!

Fantastic Results from Bucks/Trenton Show

Miss B wins Winners Bitch all 3 days!  2 days Best of Winners!!!

We are so excited about this young girl.  Turning 10 months yesterday, already AKC pointed with a Best of Breed win over much older, mature competition.  Awarded AKC Puppy of Distinction in March.

Keep your eye on this beautiful rising Heartstrings star.  It’s going to be an amazing ride!




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!