Zwinger vom Roten Wald
| Zwinger vom Roten Wald – Kennel of the Redwood Forest |
Karen Wolff is the owner of Roten Wald Kennel. She was very gracious in agreeing to this interview. Please enjoy!:
Martin: How long have you been a breeder of German Shepherds?
Karen: I have been breeding GSD for 10 years. I started breeding with a dog that I imported from Germany that was titled SchH3, spitzen V, Kkl 1 life, and with good hips and elbows.
Martin: Why have you selected the German Shepherd Dog breed as your choice of breeding dog?
Karen: My husband got me interested in them because he liked them so when we went to look for dogs, we went to german shepherd breeders.
Martin: How do you select your breeding stock from among your dogs?
Karen: As pups, they have to first have all their teeth and for males, testicles down. Then I look for drive and confidence. After that I work on titling them in schutzhund and showing them in shows. Eventually they are breed surveyed and ready to become breeding stock.
Martin: Of those dogs active in your breeding program, do you have multiple sires and dams, or just one pair?
Karen: I have only one stud dog but I also use a lot of other dogs for stud. I have multiple females.
Martin: How many German Shepherds do you currently have at your kennel, and are there more bitches than males?
Karen: Yes, more bitches than males. More than one male is very challenging because they tend to want to fight because of the girls in heat throughout the year.
Martin: Are your dogs kenneled, or are they “free roaming”?
Karen: They are kenneled and of course let out to play in our yard during the day but only 2 at a time and most of the time not two bitches.
Martin: What’s feeding time like at your kennel? Do the dogs get fed at intervals, or is there a mass feeding?
Karen: Feeding time is a bit noisy with everyone wanting their food. We do mass feeding.
Martin: Are the puppies separated from the other dogs? And when are they integrated into your “pack”?
Karen: Puppies are separated from other dogs. We do not let them pack.
Martin: What do you feed your dogs and why?
Karen: Canidae is a good all around food. We also feed Natural Balance duck and potato for the fussy eaters. Our pups eat Royal Canine.
Martin: How often do you introduce “new bloodlines” into your stock?
Karen: It depends on what dogs I have. Almost all litters are different. We have only repeated breedings 3 times.
Martin: Do you specialize in “working lines”, “show lines”, or both?
Karen: We specialize in show lines but dogs that work well. (*** I love this answer ***)
Martin: What is your interview process like for perspective new dog buyers?
Karen: We find out why they want a shepherd. Ask them what they know about training a shepherd. We try to match the best pup to the buyer in terms of temperament. We also ask them about their family and find out about their intentions on keeping the dog out-of-doors or indoors.
We assist our buyers after they buy their pup in answering training questions, directing them to good trainers and any questions about the health of the dog.
Martin: What is, in your professional experience, the most demanding part of being a GSD breeder?
Karen: Titling the dogs in Schutzhund. It takes a lot of money and time to get them titled.
Martin: Do you ship your dogs domestically, internationally, both, or not at all?
Karen: We ship only internationally. Why breed to a dog that I have to ship to in the US when there are better dogs in Germany. The cost is about the same.
Martin: Why do you breed German Shepherd Dogs?
Karen: They are a breed that is useful to mankind as a family companion and in service work.
Thanks to Karen and her husband Wallace for both the time it took to answer the questions and be apart of the interview, as well as their dedication to the German Shepherd Breed!
Breeder Name: Karen Wolff
Contact Phone: 510-651-8140
Location: Fremont, CA