Spottadachs Kennel is located in Milford, Utah.
My dogs are my full-time “job”, really I enjoy it too much to call it that. Several of my older children have also taken to breeding Dachshunds and help with the daily care of the dogs as well as bring their dogs over for playdates. If you haven’t already figured it out we are a very unique kennel. I do things a bit differently than most breeders.
Beyond our unheard-of lifetime genetic health guarantee, I believe in being very upfront with my adoptive families sharing views of everyday life most breeders wouldn’t via live puppy cams, and texts, as well as pictures shared on social media. The good, and sometimes even the messy. 😉
While I pride myself in my professional quality weekly photoshoots, I also like to share real moments caught on camera or video with my puppy buyers as they happen. Ok, I admit it I LOVE to take pictures of cute puppies and though I may be biased I think my pups are the CUTEST! If you can’t handle frequent cuteness overloads you might want to rethink and go with a less obsessed puppy breeder where you might get two pictures the whole 8 weeks.
I grew up around dogs and breeding for the best of the best. My parents raised and successfully exhibited (showed) standard collies (and quarter horses) my entire childhood and teenage years. My first “very own” dog growing up was the niece of the famous tv star Lassie. Brilliant dog but oh the hair! I swore when I grew up I would never again own such a fluffy long hair dog.
Growing up in a family that was heavy into showing, I learned to recognize and judge for proper conformation but after I started having children of my own I decided spending quality time with my family and dogs was more important than the politics and stress that goes along with the world of showing. My children have had the opportunity to experience the excitement of showing but more for the fun and life lessons than the fevered pace I experienced.
I have been raising Miniature Dachshunds for over 20 years with a few years of also raising Great Danes and Mini Aussies.
Danes and Dachshunds actually complement each other well Danes are much calmer and Dachshunds love when they can boss bigger dogs around. The Dachshund breed will always be my true love though. No other breed has such a variety of personalities, coats, or colors.
Despite my many years of experience, I still do not consider myself an expert and am by no means perfect. I strive to learn new and better ways to raise healthy puppies constantly. The advent of DNA health testing has made amazing advancements and become more readily available as a tool to help breeders take some of the guesswork out of the genetic equation.
I spend every spare moment comparing notes with other reputable breeders, as well as researching health and genetics that would make your head spin (gibberish as my husband calls it). It’s almost unfathomable how much has changed for breeders and the breed over the last 20 years. Back when I started Piebalds and English creams were not even a known or accepted color…
Our family has a very unique set up which I am pretty proud of we have both a cute little refurbished home originally built in 1910 with a great front porch and a huge backyard right next to the city park so we get the FULL experience on the 4th of July fireworks show, and a front-row seat to all the local sports games and the blaring the fire engine sirens every time the home team makes a point.
We are also blessed to have a 4000 sq ft refurbished church on half an acre that serves as my home office, art/craft zone (she shed), family gathering place, and our dog’s indoor housing and play/training grounds.
Our dogs are not kept in crates, on wire, or sleep on cold concrete floors, we strongly believe in giving our dogs as natural a pack-like social life as possible while still experiencing life in a household setting. We do crate train our dogs as pups so if they need to be in one to travel or medical rest it is not stressful however they sleep in pairs in their own “bedrooms” and spend the day lounging about my office or playing in the yard outside.
The 2000 sq ft walkout basement where the dogs and I spend most of our indoor time has huge windows with plenty of sunlight for year-round sunbathing, space to frolic, and its own private kitchen, laundry, and bathing facilities. With all this room you would think I would have tons of dogs but I believe in quality over quantity. Every one of my dogs gets group snuggling as well as one on one attention daily. Most love to freely follow me around as I go thru my daily routine (read more about that here)
The majority of the day our dogs spend together supervised as a pack.
Inclement or cold weather days are spent indoors with a couch for snuggling and running tag circles around, a variety of different beds, a tv for sound acclimation as well as to help keep me awake on the long nights waiting for new arrivals, loads of enrichment activities and toys that are not allowed in the bedrooms for safety reasons, all bordering my office/craft area. So even when I am not cleaning up after them, or snuggling on the couch I am not far away but they cannot accidentally get ahold of craft items that would not be safe to swallow or chew.
When the weather is nice outside the pack and I love to spend time outside under a shady tree or cooling off in the pond. Our half-acre outdoor adult play area has a private beach for swimming, sunning, tunnels to explore, a sand hill for playing king of the mountain, and an overgrown shrub for chasing birds, squirrels, and cats out of.
There is a fine line to keeping a healthy pack balance. Too many alphas and you have constant fights where everyone has to be locked away from each other (which is why most breeding kennels have individual kennels for every dog). To be able to give my dogs a better life and avoid fights, I keep a limited number of dogs and have large “bedrooms” for pairs or groups that are trusted together when not hanging out as a pack under supervision.
Each bedroom has a bed just big enough for 2 dogs, blankets to burrow under, favorite toys, a potty area, and of course food/water. When it is bedtime most often we let the dogs choose which roommate they want to be with often switching up to avoid co-dependency and them becoming overprotective of their bestie. As girls come in heat and often during pregnancy tempers tend to be shorter and the dynamics can very quickly change so we have to also be mindful of the different personalities and needs.
We considered having solid walls for room dividers but dogs are such social animals they are much quieter and happier when they can see what is going on with the rest of the pack. For sanitation reasons (intact males pee on everything and puppies love to fling poo) we created a custom underfloor drain system that is easy to wash down as often as needed yet is still comfortable for the dogs, unlike wire or concrete.
Many breeders banish the boys to a shed or outside but we felt it was important for them to still be part of the daily pack living so made compromises to allow that. We are blessed that our boys actually get along and play well together most of the time.
Our pack almost always has an alpha female, as well as a matriarch that helps keep the peace and teaches the puppies proper social behavior. Where we only breed our females a few times we usually also have prospective young dogs (the teenagers) that keep things lively.
I am very picky about who will have the privilege of becoming a breeding dog, as I take the creation of life very seriously. All of our dogs are evaluated for breed standard, and health tested before even being considered. Beyond science, a healthy balanced personality is a requirement. Just because a female is old enough doesn’t mean they are mentally prepared to be a mother. Each female is evaluated on a personal basis.
I used to believe it was best to keep new moms in a quiet room by themselves but over the years discovered they are so much more relaxed if they can still see the pack but are protected from nosy intruders or well-meaning older females who might fancy a pup for themselves. So we have incorporated small, private “whelping suites” for moms and pups until they are ready to be introduced to the pack just like dogs would whelp in a burrow or cave in the wild. The private bed area is connected to an open potty and eating area adjoining the pack bedrooms allowing the moms to feel protected but still be able to stay connected with the pack.
When the pups are old enough to start moving around they are introduced to a crate bed and more open pen where they are able to touch noses and start observing the social behaviors of the pack while still protecting them from older pups that might play too rough. As needle-sharp teeth start coming in the moms like to be able to get away via the doggy door for breaks and start allowing older sister, aunty, or grandma to puppy-sit just the way they would in a wild pack. Females who have grown up around pups and protective mothers make better mothers themselves.
Adopting families are also given 24/7 access to the camera(s) for their puppy starting with a close-up view when they are non-mobile and expanding to a full area view as they begin interacting with the pack more.
Our outdoor puppy sensory garden has things to sniff, taste, feel, hear, and new toys to explore on a more puppy-safe level.
The pups we raise experience everything from kids on bikes, vacuuming, and noisy trucks rumbling past, to chickens, bunnies, and cats. We strive to introduce our pups to as much variety (smell, taste, touch, and sound) as we can in a safe manner before they go home with their new families so they are not as stressed as a pup who has been raised in only one situation would be.
Every area interior and exterior of the building is surrounded by live feed camera’s so even when I am not in the room I know everything that goes on (who is being noisy, grumpy, chewing a pillow, having potty issues, or what stray cat is causing everyone to bark). For the safety of our dogs, I also have a temperature, moisture, fire, carbon monoxide, and gas detection alarms that will alert me no matter where I am.
We are also lucky enough due to living in the middle of NOWHERE to have lots of hiking trails and a reservoir to cool our toes come summer just a short walk or drive from our front porch.
If you would like to read more about how a typical day in the life goes at our house check it out here
Some would say breeding is unethical or breeders are just money hungry. For me at the end of the day especially the hard or heartbreaking ones it is the unbiased love I get in return from my dogs and the families who adopt my puppies. I live for the updates of pups from their loving families. I have also been accused of being a birthing junkie I love being hands-on with every aspect of my litters. My vet has told me multiple times I probably know more than he does about the hands-on parts of breeding, birthing, and raising healthy animals maybe I should consider getting a veterinary degree.
While my whelping schedule is quite often all night or hectic I think a vet’s life is much more time-consuming and heartbreaking. I find my joy in producing healthy animals rather than constantly treating sick or dying ones. Every once in a while my husband asks do we have to have puppies? I just look him in the eye and say you want more kids? 😉 Breeding satisfies my strong mothering instincts and the best part is I don’t have to deal with teenagers!
There is so much more that goes into being a dedicated breeder than just playing with cute puppies all day. It is not about the money either because any breeder who takes proper care of their breeding stock, puppies, and customers as well as invests in healthy genetics and constantly strives to improve their breed is not making much extra money.
We love to talk Dachshund so feel free to contact us (any reasonable hour) no question is too stupid to us we would much rather you ask so we know our babies are going to families who want the best for them just like we do.