Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to choose a "show" or "sport" breeder instead of a "hobby breeder?"
Your traditional show or sport breeder quite simply does a lot more to ensure you're receiving a quality pet. It isn't actually about receiving a dog that's destined for the show ring. An ethical, quality breeder will always prove that their breeding dogs are fully health tested, structurally sound, and have proper temperament.
This means that you can more reliably trust that your dog will live a healthier, happier life and actually fit your family the way the breed is expected to. With "hobby" or backyard breeders, they often mix lines without understanding temperament and the issues this can cause, as well as potentially damaging the integrity of the dog's joints. They also frequently breed for color and make their money off of selling fad colors and buy their breeding prospects off of this rather than health and structure.
What lines should I consider?
This, of course, depends on what you are looking for!
Here at Spellcraft, we exclusively breed European bloodlines as we simply prefer their general health, temperament, work ethic, structure, and aesthetic. We are always happy to provide people with references to other breeders of different lines if we aren't the best fit, but here's a short explanation to get you started.
Bench: These are your traditional AKC, American-style showline dogs. They will have more coat, a more pronounced head shape, and those long dropped ears. They're calmer but more sensitive, over all. They generally make good family pets and will have varying levels of drive for actual work.
Field: These are your traditional American-style hunting dogs. These dogs tend to be more compact, shorter coat, and significantly more drive than Bench dogs. Their ears are more triangular. These are your very birdy, high energy dogs. While they too can make good pets, they're more suited to an active home than being a couch potato.
European: We're a bit biased, but we find these dogs to be physically the most appealing with a solid head shape, low-set ear, and moderate to heavy coat. They tend to have medium to high drive, make excellent companions and workers. They can happily cuddle up on the couch, but still are going to want to have a job to keep them happy and mentally stimulated.
Mixed Lines: We will never recommend this. While it can be done ethically, the majority of people mixing the three lines are backyard breeders. Each line should arguably be on its own pedigree with how different they are, from temperament, drive, to even structure. Blending them simply isn't easy to do right and it will be difficult to predict their adult personality without years of experience.
Should I get a male or female?
Both, generally speaking, make great family dogs. Due to being slightly larger, males will require a bit more exercise than the female - though both will need consistent walks. Females will usually be calmer and mature at a greater rate; they become very attached to their people as well. Males tend to be more upbeat, cheery, and even goofy and handle change a bit better. Each dog has their own personality though, so this is just a general idea of what to expect when selecting male or female!
What is grooming maintenance like?
Basic coat maintenance requires frequent, regular brushing of at least a few times a week to prevent small mats in the ear, armpit, thigh, and rear region. This can be easily done with a pin brush. Baths do not have to be done horribly often but should also be regular to keep the coat shiny and soft. We very highly advise against shaving as this will likely permanently damage the double coat of this breed and can lead to it growing back fuzzy, unmanageable (matting), and actually impairs their ability to both keep warm and to cool off. Double coats naturally accomplish this and in extreme cases of weather, we simply recommend either a jacket or cooling coat.