Breeding Confirmed – Columbus OH Ring Assignments

Delighted to announce our Champion Heartstrings Mambo x Champion Heartstrings Shirley upcoming babies!  An exciting pairing, puppies are due late April and we will be committing/accepting 2 advance deposits for companion homes.  Additionally, we are interested in working with families in Ohio and contiguous states on “show contracts” whereby we can watch and see how our top litter picks turn out and retain the ability to show the puppies.  Please contact us to discuss.

Shirley Championed 2014 out of the Bred by Exhibitor class.  She also received the 2014 DDBSA Top Bred By award from the national club.  Shirley is CHIC health certified.  This is her 2nd litter and what a great mama:  we are watching her 2015 babies come along famously and are excited that at least 4 of the puppies will start show/working careers later this year.

Mambo Championed 2015 out of the Bred by Exhibitor class as well and is working towards his Grand Championship.  He finished in the US Top #10 in the National Owner Handled Series and with very light showing so far 2016, is currently ranked #8 DDB in the US in Breed Standing.  Clear heart on echocardiogram by Dr. Schober, chief cardiologist and department head of cardiology at Ohio State School of Veterinary Medicine.

We will be home on maternity watch but 3 of our Dogues, including Mambo, will be exhibiting in Columbus OH 04/23, 04/24.  The address:  Ohio Expo Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.  717 East 17th Ave, Columbus OH 43211.  Saturday 04/23 ring #4, 8:00 am.  Sunday 4/24 ring #4 at 10:15 am.  Nice entry – 11 DDB’s Saturday, 14 DDB’s Sunday.  A great opportunity to meet and see 3 of our boys who live all around Ohio in the ring and hopefully we will be cheering some great results!

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Just for Practice – Mambo Currently Ranked #8 DDB in US

Champion Heartstrings Mambo is currently ranked #8 DDB in the US in Breed Standing (01/1/16 – 03/31/16).  Extra exciting:  Mambo has only been to 2 shows so far this year “just for practice” where he was rewarded with Best of Breed wins!  Recall he has been shown lightly, but still managing to finish 2015 in the US Top #10 of the National Owner Handled Series.

He creeps closer and closer to Grand Champion, having earned many of the requisite points and 3 of the 4 required Major Wins.

Mambo will be exhibiting in Columbus, OH April 23 & 24.  We are hoping for exciting show results and will post the ring times and numbers here when they are available.


Art of the Craft – Subtle Distinctions

A beautiful photo of Heartstrings Vauquios RN captured by photographer Mark Plonsky.

Breathtaking photo.  You wonder what those beautiful amber eyes have to say, you can almost feel that soft, velvety fur or his ticklish funny whiskers.

But look carefully.  See these wide-open naris/nostrils.  To us, this is a very subtle and often overlooked part of the “headpiece.”

As some breeders make choices to manipulate head type, perhaps to shorter muzzels, perhaps to “rounder heads” or whatever the market demands, we stay true to breeding the correct Dogue de Bordeaux consistent with historical and empirical data.

Our mission has been to stay in keeping with the beautiful athletes that our breed embodies.  Vauquois is a wonderful representation.  Again very subtle, but something as simple as nostrils getting larger instead of smaller, tighter is very satisfying.

One look, Vauquios screams – “I was bred to do my job as history has set forth.  I am an athlete.  Despite my size I can work and do my job all day.”  Well done, Vauquois, you make us so proud!


Jazzy x Mambo x Popeye Babies Have Arrived! Dual-Sired Litter.

No friends, this is not an April Fool’s joke.  In this case three *is* company.

The puppies from this litter are spoken for, but we wanted to take some time to explain the rationale and process behind dual-sired breedings.

Understand that we breed first and foremost for ourselves and the furtherance of our program.  We “keep” from every litter with an eye towards the future – minimally a “5-year plan” involving a complex matrix of pedigrees, ongoing health tracking and carefully calculated coefficients being the scientific basis behind choices.  Then the right-brain factors; the art, craft, the fine-eye of the movement for example – will the puppy grow, speak to us and one day make the cut into our elite breeding program?

A girl in our program will have minimal litters so we must choose very carefully and wisely.  We begin with finding the best possible male(s) as matches.  A dual-sired breeding choice gives us the ability to see and watch what our girl will produce when paired with different Sires and Lines.  To us, it is ideal on a girl’s first litter.

Shortly after birth each puppy is dna’d.  This is a non-invasive process involving a cheek swab with what looks like a mascara brush.  The kit on each puppy is mailed off then we wait for results and try to avoid guessing.  The puppies could be from either sire.  The puppies could be from both sires, which is optimal.

There is nothing economically practical about dual-sired breedings.  It is a long wait for the DNA results which we rely on to make careful choices for the future.  It is expensive;  the DNA kits, the insemination, potentially double stud fees, up-charges for registration being the short list.  But as “preservationist,” “craft,” or “artisan” breeders…dual-sired is an easy choice.

Additions To Our “Vault”

Hutch Mobysemen semenWe are proud, honored beyond words, privileged to announce the newest collections of frozen semen to our Vault and program.

Collections from 2006.  World Champion Moby de Legeane,  Multi European Champion Obelix du Domaine de Peyrehaut.

To say these acquisitions are complicated,  have taken years of negotiations to put together and span multiple continents would be the brief summary.  Once again, we have been entrusted with “secret holdbacks” – semen that no one knew was even out there much less available, at any price other than the honor system, trust, “high beams” on us be people we had no idea were watching, and earning their respect.

The frozen semen rolls in a vat of liquid nitrogen at a cool temp of -340 degrees F.  Very tight customs and controls it can only be shipped from licensed hand to licensed hand.

It literally takes a hired “army” of trained shippers, customs agents, scientists, veterinarians and techs around the globe to get this in our storage facility and program when it’s “go time.”   Then executed Special Op style – we only have so much time.  If the collection thaws on the tarmac waiting for a plane on a connecting flight, it is ruined.  If the collection gets hung up in customs, it is ruined.  If it isn’t processed fast enough upon arrival, it is ruined.

Incredibly fragile and delicate, the semen is stored and shipped in tiny straws.  Much like the size of coffee stirrers.  A few photos of the process, enjoy!



All About the Bitches!

We were happy to close 2015 as our 4th consecutive year in a row with either the #1 or #2 Bitch in the US in Breed/Show Ranking.

2012 – #1 Bitch in the US – Bronze Grand Champion Urszula z Orisku.

2013 – #2 Bitch in the US – Bronze Grand Champion Urszula z Orisku.  After having puppies and only 90 days of showing, right back in shape and winning.

2014 – #1 Bitch in the US – Silver Grand Champion Heartstrings Jasmine.

2015 – #1 Bitch in the US – Silver Grand Champion Heartstrings Jasmine.

Without question – the boys are impressive.  But 50% of the future is behind the Bitch.  Some would even say as high as 74%.  We ignore “popular sire syndrome” – instead focusing on the ground, the foundation, the roots, the Bitch.

When we look back at generational pedigrees and are making breeding decisions – we pay at least, if not more, attention to the “bottom” of the pedigree; the Bitches back up the history.  Their health, their type, their temperament the short list.

For some “Bitch” is a tough word to say.  It takes some time and practice to let it roll off your tongue.  Much less, consider the term or someone saying: “Wow – that is a GREAT BITCH” a extraordinary compliment and badge of honor.

Well done to our beautiful Bitches, well done!

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Our Boys Make Us Proud in Kentucky And Pennsylvania!

Great weekend in the show ring!

Dawn and Luther traveled to Louisville, KY where he was rewarded with his third Major Win towards his AKC Championship.  Congratulations and great job to these two!

Grand Champion Kronos showed in York, PA where he was rewarded with Select Dog.  Shown by Alison and what a fine job!  Following the show he enjoyed a delicious cheeseburger, his favorite.

Big, big thank you and congratulations to our families – your efforts and presentation of our babies make us so proud!

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Champion Mambo Best of Breed in Auburn

This past weekend our sweet Mambo had a very nice win!  Best of Breed over 16 Dogues entered in Auburn, Indiana; his first time back out in the show ring in months.  Extra fun as he was entered, more or less, just for practice.

Mambo, or “BoBo” has been shown lightly.  A true gentleman, he hung back these past two years and let Jazzy do her thing.  Earning his Championship in 2015 out of the Bred By Exhibitor class – a special badge of honor for a Breeder then pulled back lest we be competing against ourselves.

Despite limited showing he also ranked in the US Top #10 in the 2015 National Owner Handled Series, shown exclusively by Joy.  Recognizing his potential, he started confidence-building and show prep at a young age and was rewarded with a Best Puppy in Multi Breed show as a baby along with multiple Group placements in matches.

Congratulations BoBo – our big, sweet, soft, easy, gentle giant!

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Breeding Confirmed!

Over the moon to announce that our beautiful Jazzy Girl will be a Mama in just a few short weeks.  Silver Grand Champion Heartstrings Jasmine:  #1 female in the US 2014; #2 Dogue de Bordeaux in the US in overall breed standing.  That was just the beginning of her roll and she went on to do the “Double” going #1 female in the US, #2 Dogue de Bordeaux in 2015.  Two-time Westminster Invite – winning Select Bitch there.

And perhaps one of the greatest days of our lives – UKC BEST IN SHOW WINNER.  Winning Best in Show was everything you could imagine.  Beautiful competition and Jazz won the Breed.  A few hours later back in the ring against the beautiful Sibe, the sleek Doberman, the Rottweiler, the fabulously moving Bernese, so on to win the Guardian Group!

Then waiting, pacing, wringing our hands, hydrating for the Best in Show ring.  An enormous crowd had gathered.  The Terrier was exceptional, the Irish Setter flawless as everyone presented to the judge.  No question the Guardian Group and especially the Dogue de Bordeaux sent up to the Best in Show ring was the underdog.

Jazzy owned that ring and showed her heart out – owner handled by Joy and no one, including the judge could tear their eyes off of them.  Finally, the judge does the agonizing walk back through and gives everyone a final look over.  She turns, goes to her book and writes down her selections.  She picks up that giant silver chalice and 3′ ribbon and walks to the center of the arena.

By now you could hear a pin drop.  The masses of spectators went silent.  Everyone holding their breath – not even a crated dog was barking.  We watched her walk, walk, step, step to the center of the coliseum floor as if in slow motion.

She sets down the chalice, turns, pauses to look up and down the line up of incredible representatives from their respective Groups one last agonizing time, holds that giant ribbon and finally speaks.  She says: “Tonight my Best in Show will be the Dogue de Bordeaux!”

Pause.  Then a giant roar goes up that nearly blew the roof off of the stadium.  “OMG she used the Dogue de Bordeaux!  “Wow she used the Dogue de Bordeaux for BEST IN SHOW!” Yells and cheers: “Hahaha she used the Dogue de Bordeaux – amazing!”  Total strangers in other breeds jumped up and down, hugging, laughing with joy, celebrating, high-5ing each other.  Jazz and Joy mobbed with hugs, kisses, reporters, photographers as they left the ring; 45 minutes to walk 10″.

What a day, what a girl!

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New Title!

Vauquois earns his Rally Novice Title and proudly becomes another Heartstrings Titled Dogue, forever recorded in history.

Rally Novice is a sport in which the dog and handler compete on a course designed by the rally judge.  The judge tells the handler to begin and they proceed thru 10-20 stations.  Each station has a sign providing instructions on the next skill to be performed.  A dog must successfully complete 3 qualifying runs (or “Q’s”) at various shows in order to earn their title.

No surprise this beautiful team earned their title on a “perfect – 100%” score.  In our handful of litters produced, Vauquois joins the elite legion of Heartstrings Dogues adding consonants either before or after their names.  Nothing but good, old-fashioned hard work, practice and perfectly synchronized teamwork and connection between Dogue and Handler get you here and we are so proud of him and his family!

His excited owner gushed that she will soon need a display case or cork board for all of his ribbons.  We sincerely apologize for this heavy burden of champagne problems.

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