State your name, your kennel, and where your kennel is located.
Hi! My name is Anna Clausen. I am the lead kennel operator at Ideal K9s. We are an American kennel in beautiful Bend, Oregon!
What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
Our program focuses on breeding XL and XXL American Bullies and Pit Bulls. I have had a soft spot for and notable connection with bully breeds ever since I can remember having them around in my life. After I got my first American Pitbull Terrier, and met my kennel partner with his Bully, I was compelled to do as much research as I could on everything relating to Pitbulls/Bullies.
Quickly, I became a huge advocate for the bully breed. We started developing a vision for what our "Ideal" Pitbulls and Bullies were like, and what we hoped the future of these amazingly loyal dogs would look like when carefully and thoughtfully bred. It became much more than just bettering the breed; but desiring to produce exceptional, healthy companions for many generations to come.
What is your favorite bloodline?
There are many bloodlines that I admire, but I don't have just one favorite! I see great qualities in many lines, however I am particularly keen to XL/XXL "old school" bloodlines with athletic and giant bulls in their program!
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a responsible dog breeder?
There's a lot that goes into responsible dog breeding. First and foremost, your heart has to be in it and you have to be passionate about what you are doing. A good, responsible breeder is knowledgeable not only about the standards within their breed(s), but are also resourceful when it comes to information on general canine behavior, anatomy and history.
Responsible breeders implement health testing in their program and keep up to date with all of their dogs' veterinary care. It's important that they are transparent and good communicators. They will ask potential new owners a lot of questions and will have a written contract. A responsible breeder cares about the future of their productions, and will keep in contact with the new owners, in addition to being a lifetime adviser for their clients.
What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
Our pack eats a mixture of dry food and locally sourced raw meat. For dry food, we either go with Victor or Taste of the Wild. I go up to the local butcher and source many different types of proteins like beef, venison, chicken, lamb, and more.
I add in supplements as well, such as coconut oil, foods rich in Omega-3 oils, raw eggs with crushed up shells, Dyne nutritional supplement and other supplements depending on time of year and what's available! They love to snack on turkey necks, chicken feet, dehydrated beef heart chunks and marrow bones, which have the added benefits of dental cleaning!
How many times a day do you feed your dogs?
Typically, adults are fed twice a day, and puppies over 3 months are fed three to four times a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon (and in timed increments throughout the day for puppies). Their feeding schedule changes throughout the seasons just like their energy and activity levels do. We adjust the amount and frequency of their meals as needed.
How do you keep your dogs in shape throughout the year?
We are very blessed to live out in the country on a couple acres and surrounded by nature! When we are staying at home, our dogs love to run around playing fetch, chase the flirt pole and tug on the spring pole. I use a weighted vest occasionally to help with strength and stamina training. We live close to a lot of nature trails and river spots, so the dogs get to hike with me and they love to go swimming!
Walk us through the process of purchasing a pup from Ideal K9s from start to finish.
Sure thing! It's very important to us that we create lasting (and hopefully lifelong) friendships with our clients.
- We start by requesting a phone or video call to get to know our potential clients and make sure that they are a good fit for an IK9S puppy.
- Once the interview process is completed, our clients choose which pick of the litter they want and they review and sign our Puppy Contract.
- Once the contract is finalized, the exciting wait period until the puppy is ready to go to their new home begins! We understand the anticipation to meet your baby and are more than happy to video chat any time of day (within reason in between naps and feeding), as well as send over photo and video updates daily!
- We keep our clients involved and informed about vet appointments, daily weight logs, and more! Ideal K9s is a family oriented kennel and we want our clients to feel comfortable coming to us any time for questions and/or advice. We aim to make purchasing an IK9S puppy a fun and personable experience!
Do you currently show any of your dogs?
Yes, we sure do! Ideal K9s has been going to ABKC and BRC conformation shows since 2018, with plans to attend UKC events soon. There aren't as many dog shows as we would like to see up in the Pacific Northwest, but we are slowly seeing more events up our way, which excites us for the future!
It is such a rewarding, fulfilling feeling to train and handle our own dogs in the ring; it is something I am very proud and passionate about. I'm currently in the process of making a beautiful display for all of our dogs ribbons and trophies!
What advice does Ideal K9s have for any upcoming breeders?
Do a lot of research. Constantly read and learn new information. Connect with others in the community and find a mentor. Have patience and understand that you can assist in nature, but you cannot control nature. If you're only considering breeding for a fast paycheck, turn around and walk the other way!
This is not a get rich quick scheme. You've got precious lives relying on you to take care of and provide them with everything they need to thrive. Your heart is not in this if all you can see are dollar signs, and you'll also be let down fast when you realize that this is a huge investment of your time, energy, plus hard earned money. For the first many years of getting your foundation started, you will be investing everything and then some back into your program and dogs. Ethical breeding is a BIG commitment!
What do you think is the most difficult thing for people in the bully game to overcome?
There are two things that come to mind. First, you must recognize and accept the fact that you cannot and will not be able to fully control nature. No matter how much you plan and work towards a goal, sometime's Mother Nature has other plans far beyond your control. Second, it's a challenge having to constantly defend our breed(s) and the unfortunate bad reputation that comes with owning one (or multiple) of these mighty and magnificent beasts.
How do you think they can overcome this thing?
I believe in order to overcome these difficulties you must be forgiving of nature's plans and also to those who lack knowledge of the breed(s). Our role as a reputable breeder is to educate others about not only our breed, but also about canine health and training in general, while also preserving the image of our beloved dogs. The way you introduce your dog(s) to the public can change these misconceptions and find new lovers of American Bullies and Pit Bulls!
Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
There are a lot of people and kennels I look up to in the bully game, I can't name just one. I deeply admire the people who have been in this community for 10+ years, because they paved the roads for the bully community and helped to create the class standards we go by today. I also respect the women operated kennels, so here's a shout out to all the other amazing Bully Mom's that are running their own program!
Tell us about one of Ideal K9s main goals for 2021.
The main goal for 2021 is to continue to build onto Ideal K9s facility and attend more ABKC & UKC events, while also building up our amazing and supportive fan following!
Describe how you would want things, in the bully breed Community, to be 10 years from now.
In 10 years, I hope the bully breed community has come together to agree on solid standards for the XL American Bully. I would like to see XXL become its own distinct class, as well as merle becoming an acceptable coat pattern for American Bullies and American Pit Bull Terriers for every established registry.
I hope that health testing becomes the gold-star standard in our community, and programs focus on quality of life of their productions and future generations over "hype" factors alone. On top of it all, I hope to see more women joining the bully breed community!
What separates Ideal K9s from the competition?
There are two things that really make our program unique. Ideal K9s meticulously plans out each breeding, and at this moment we only have one exclusive litter per year. We also offer Ideal K9s Hand Delivery when possible, which gives our clients a truly special, personalized experience and the peace of mind knowing their baby is being compassionately delivered by IK9s themselves!
What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
I am a Bully Mom, so my world revolves around dogs! It's an entire lifestyle! When I do have rare free time by myself, I enjoy crafting and working on DIY projects, going fishing, exploring the outdoors, and studying homeopathic medicine both for humans and animals; just to name a few of my hobbies and interests.
What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
I absolutely love what Bully Girl Magazine is doing! I feel incredibly honored to be taking part in this interview today. I would also just like to take a moment to thank Bully Girl Magazine for this opportunity, and for all of the hard work they continuously put in to make this magazine publication possible!